On the Mountaintop
I gave my life to Christ when I was 18. Back then, when I read the Bible I was not only a literalist (like I still am today) but I was almost a hyper-literalist. When it said Moses went up to the mountain to hear from God, I thought, "I've got to find a mountain and go up and hear from God." So -- and this is the truth -- I took the handle from an old rake, because it was the closest thing I had at home to a staff. (This was all Cecil B. DeMille imagery burned into my head.) And I walked up the nearest mountain with my staff and a piece of paper and pencil -- no robe, that would have been over the top -- and I sat there and I said, "OK, Lord, go for it. You spoke to Moses, speak to me."
And here's what's really cool about the Lord. There I was in my naiveté. I didn't presume I would get another revelation of scripture, but I really did feel like the Lord spoke some very specific things that He wanted me to do and to prioritize in my life at the time. And I wrote them down.
It was wonderful on top of that mountain. I felt really close to God. I felt like I was having a deep, rich experience of fellowship. But I couldn't stay up there forever. I had to come down off that mountain to put into practice the very things that I felt the Lord speak to me. We love to go on retreats, don't we? We typically go up on a mountain, and we spend a few days with some group, and that experience is great, but we eventually have to come down to real life and put it into practice.
Peter, James and John went up to a mountaintop and had the fantastic experience of seeing Jesus transfigured and meeting with Moses and Elijah. You'll find this story in Matthew 17, Mark 9 and Luke 9. It was so amazing that Peter just wanted to live there forever. "Let's put up three tents for You, Moses and Elijah, and we'll just camp out. I like this up here." And it was God the Father who had to say, basically, "Peter! Quit talking! This is my beloved Son. Listen to Him."
My point is this: When God speaks to you -- and He will! -- you need to be quiet and listen. When He speaks, pay attention, and then put into practice what He tells you. Mountaintop experiences are great. But down here is where we live, where the real work gets done.
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