Monday, July 14, 2014

Mountain Top

"Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight. And consider that this nation is Your people." And He said, "My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest." Exodus 33:13-14

All of us have had an experience in our lives that we see as a "mountaintop" experience. It is interesting that those experiences are considered to be a part of our past … meaning we have had to move on from those mountain tops.

The Bible speaks often of "mountaintop" experiences in which those involved encountered God in some supernatural fashion as He clearly manifested Himself.  Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Elijah, Solomon, just to name a few, all encountered God on mountains. The mountains at times represented stability, power and obstacles.  However, there is always one thing for certain in any “mountaintop” experience.  The mountain tops are never permanent residences for God’s people. 

God brings us to the mountain for a reason and He has us leave the mountain
for a reason. This models our spiritual pilgrimage in the Christian life.

Moses & Co. found themselves facing Mt. Sinai.  As the people approached the mountain, the thundering and lightening of God caused them to be afraid.  They asked Moses to go up on the mountain to speak to God for them.  In that visitation God provided for Moses and the people His laws for living (Ten Commandments).  That was the highlight of the mountain experience.  The low point of this time is that the people rebelled and sinned while Moses was up on the mountain representing them to God.  For almost a year they camped and resided beside the Mountain of God. Finally, the time had come to leave the mountain behind.  Moses, and I am sure the Children of Israel, must have thought, “The mountain’s behind us; now what?”  When the mountain is behind you there is a journey before you.  And with the journey is the growing before you.

The Mountain Behind Us … The Journey Before Us
  • Journey Beyond Our Place of Comfort
There is always the danger of becoming too comfortable on the mountain.  Moses wanted the comfort of someone going with him.  The people had become comfortable with Mt. Sinai and God said, "leave." God desires to be our comfort so He moves us beyond the things we tend to become comfortable in.
  • Journey Beyond Our Place of Security
When we become comfortable in something, we then find security in that thing instead of God.  The mountain had become the people's security rather than the Lord God. 
  • Journey Beyond Our Self
To this point the Children of Israel had majored upon themselves rather than upon God. If we are not careful the mountain will lead us to trust in ourselves rather than God.  Israel had a false sense of security that led them to trust in themselves.

It is easy to want to put down roots on the “mountaintop”.  Who doesn’t want to keep that feeling?  We tend to not want to budge from any feel-good spot or comfort zone, especially when we are going to probably be challenged!  One thing I have learned to embrace in life is the journey.  Sometimes it is uncomfortable and scary but I know that this is my journey that God mapped out for me and He did it for a reason!  This week we are going to talk more about moving on from the mountaintops, the journey before us and the growth we experience as a result.

Scripture to Claim:
"Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6

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