How can we stay connected to heaven and keep His kingdom persepctive?
There are gut wrenching hard times we sometimes go through that try to steal our moments, our focus, our joy. We can be strong in our faith and it can still be hard to get through certain times. That’s just life.
One day while I was worshipping I began to sing out, “I will stay here in your presence worshipping you Lord until my heart poured out is an echo of yours.” And I just sang that over and over.
Worship takes us high above our problems into His presence. When we’re in His presence, our focus is on Him, not our problems. In fact, in His presence we don’t even see our problems, we start seeing answers and His perspective.We need to see how He sees and say what He says. And we do that through worship, prayer and encountering Jesus.
We go up into His presence so that we can come back into our situation with wisdom from above.
In Exodus 24 we see that Moses went up the mountain, experienced God’s presence and came back with a plan.
Exodus 24:9-18 (Message) reads:
9-11 Then they climbed the mountain—Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel—and saw the God of Israel. He was standing on a pavement of something like sapphires—pure, clear sky-blue. He didn’t hurt these pillar-leaders of the Israelites: They saw God; and they ate and drank. 12-13 God said to Moses, “Climb higher up the mountain and wait there for me; I’ll give you tablets of stone, the teachings and commandments that I’ve written to instruct them.” So Moses got up, accompanied by Joshua his aide. And Moses climbed up the mountain of God. 14 He told the elders of Israel, “Wait for us here until we return to you. You have Aaron and Hur with you; if there are any problems, go to them.” 15-17 Then Moses climbed the mountain. The Cloud covered the mountain. The Glory of God settled over Mount Sinai. The Cloud covered it for six days. On the seventh day he called out of the Cloud to Moses. In the view of the Israelites below, the Glory of God looked like a raging fire at the top of the mountain. 18 Moses entered the middle of the Cloud and climbed the mountain. Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights.
Climb the mountain and stay awhile in His presence. Have a mountain top encounter with God.
When God was ready to give the people the Law, Moses climbed high up the mountain. He stayed there for 40 days, close to God… literally in the presence of God. And when he climbed back down to the people, he carried with him the stone tablets that contained the laws to live by… all that the people needed to know in faith. Moses had an amazing mountain top experience with God.
Peter, James and John also had a mountain top experience.
Matthew 17: 1-8 The Message (MSG)
17 1-3 Six days later, three of them saw that glory. Jesus took Peter and the brothers, James and John, and led them up a high mountain. His appearance changed from the inside out, right before their eyes. Sunlight poured from his face. His clothes were filled with light. Then they realized that Moses and Elijah were also there in deep conversation with him. 4 Peter broke in, “Master, this is a great moment! What would you think if I built three memorials here on the mountain—one for you, one for Moses, one for Elijah?” 5 While he was going on like this, babbling, a light-radiant cloud enveloped them, and sounding from deep in the cloud a voice: “This is my Son, marked by my love, focus of my delight. Listen to him.” 6-8 When the disciples heard it, they fell flat on their faces, scared to death. But Jesus came over and touched them. “Don’t be afraid.” When they opened their eyes and looked around all they saw was Jesus, only Jesus.
Prior to going up the mountain, the disciples were very weary. They were exhausted by the non-stop demands of the crowds. Just a short time ago, they had been simple fisherman, content with their simple lives. But, then they met Jesus and everything changed dramatically. Now they were people catchers, not fish catchers. Jesus had taught them remarkable things and now they were given power and authority to go out into the needy crowds that followed Jesus everywhere.
To go out into the crowds and heal… to cure… to proclaim. Now, no matter where they went, the crowds followed them, just like they followed Jesus…. pressing closer and closer, looking for a miracle. The disciples begged Jesus to send them away. Finally, Jesus takes his three closest friends up to a quiet mountaintop to pray. Up high, away from the crowds, there was peace and quiet. The disciples were able to behold the glory of God. They were able to hear the very voice of God. And they were able to see only Jesus.Because they climbed the mountain, got away from the noise, got away from the crowds and spent time pursuing Him.
Can you imagine what it would be like to be up there, with Peter and his friends?Leaving the mountaintop must have been so difficult. Leaving that beautiful, peace-filled, place where God’s glory shone. Leaving to face the sweaty pushing crowds, always demanding a miracle. Leaving that moment of glory behind,
But they also were changed by that mountaintop experience. They received a better understanding of God’s plan: “This is my beloved son with whom I am well pleased,” (Matt. 17:5). God calls out, “Listen to him!”
All the healings and cures and miracles were pieces of one beautiful puzzle. A puzzle when completed shows us the reign of God. And with this vision of God’s reign, faith takes hold and grows.
Faith is what happens when God opens our eyes and we begin to see as God sees.
Moses had been to the mountain. Peter, James and John had been to the mountain. Those who go to the mountain come back changed and empowered. They come back ready to work for God’s vision: to make that vision a reality. Mountain top experiences are carried in the heart and are sustained when we share what we have experienced with others.
Every time I share about last year and how I got into His presence and tell of how He told me “Don’t give up, Expect God to show up.” I become empowered with boldness all over again. And I go back to that place where I was strengthened by His words and His promise. And I remember the mountain top experience I had during that time.
My prayer for each of you today is that you will go out and climb to the mountain top and get your own experience .
Climb as high as you can.
Those who go to the mountain come back changed.
I lift up my eyes to the hills—
from where will my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.