1 Kings 20:23 Then the servants of the king of Syria said to him, “Their gods are gods of the hills. Therefore they were stronger than we, but if we fight against them in the plain, surely we will be stronger than they."

What is happening here is the Syrian army was just defeated by the armies of Israel. So the Syrian advisors explained to the king the reason for their defeat – they thought it was because they fought Israel in the mountains. And because Israel’s God is a God of the mountains, that was why the Syrian army lost.

The truth is, the God of Israel was a God of the mountains because often that’s where God met with Moses, but what silly advice the Syrians gave to their king.

However, we often use mountains in reference to “good times” and valleys to “tough times” and thus we can also carry this same mindset that the Syrian advisors carried.

Let me explain how:

When things are going well in life, we credit it to God, but then we think He has deserted us when we go through tough times. We start thinking to ourselves “what am I doing wrong?”, “what is causing all this trouble in my life?”

But the truth is the Lord your God is with you up on the mountains and down in the valleys.

This is important theology.

It’s important not to see the gospel as a gospel of just “good works”. The gospel (good news) is about grace, mercy, and peace (wealth, health and good works are just by-products of the good news). At the very core of the gospel is Christ and the cross. Jesus purchased your salvation upon that cross which means:

  • Deliverance from sin, sickness and death and provision of health, wholeness, preservation, prosperity and everlasting life!

But to receive all this deliverance and provision, you don’t focus on the by-product (the wealth, the health, the good works), you need to focus on the Deliverer and Provider - Christ. To receive your healing you don't focus on healing, you focus on the Healer – Christ.

Too many Christians focus on the by-product of the good news and they end up becoming distracted away from the gospel and towards the by-product. This only produces dead works and a deadness in your life.

But when you focus on the good news which is Christ and what He did for you on the cross, that’s when you are focusing on the Source of life, wealth, health and good works. That’s when His life begins to flow.

Don’t become deceived like the Syrians, whose beliefs were based on what did or didn’t happen, or what they did or didn’t have. Be a solid, well-grounded, stable, secure, strong believer in the gospel of grace which is Christ. And that’s when you will walk with Him over every mountain and through every valley.

Pastor Wayne Simpson


Focus on the good news of Christ, not the by-products of the good news.