Today I would like to turn your attention to some other passages of scripture that might shed light on Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 13:2: „…and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.“ (KJV).
St. James, the brother of the Lord Jesus, is writing about struggles to achieve certain goals in chapter 4 of his epistle. He is concerned with subsequent strife and dissensions.
“From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not; ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye many consume it upon your lusts.” (James 4:1-3/KJV).
The pursuit of selfish desires can be a great impediment to a Christian lifestyle. Selfishness and self-centeredness could be described as a lack of Christian love.
What hindrances or obstacles in our lives should we be concerned with? What mountains should we desire to see removed? That is one question I have raised in pondering this part of verse 2 in 1 Corinthians 13.
We all have needs and it is wonderful if we can experience God’s help and his provision in these areas of our lives. We are encouraged to pray to God about all things: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6/NIV). I like the NIV rendering “present your requests to God”. We are to bring our desires before God and show them to him. We are to leave the decision what to do about them to God. We cannot force God to anything. We just tell him about everything that concerns us.
As we pray to God we submit to the overall aims of prayer laid out by the Lord himself: “Our Father who thou art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
St. Paul admonishes: “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2/KJV). This is a process. We are to learn the differences between the goals of people in this world and what God desires from his believers. We cannot settle all questions by rigid rules. We need to learn and study the word of God and to pray for his guidance.
So what should we pray for? What mountains should we desire to see removed by faith? We will not go far wrong if Christian love is our main consideration.