1 11 2021

Have you ever noticed how many times God meets His people with powerful performances while they are hanging out with Him way above sea level? Mountains are majestic but they can become life changing miraculous monuments when God is leading the expedition you signed up for.    

Let me throw a few examples your way from the pages of Scripture to illustrate where holy power meets plain and ordinary people peaking full force while they were placed on the pinnacle parts of this planet! Noah’s Ark lands up on Mount Ararat after the days of floods in the forecast come to a close. Abraham receives his son Isaac back when God supplies an alternate sacrifice hid in a thicket up in the hills. Moses met the Lord on Mount Sinai and chatted with the Holy One as one talks to a friend. David tended sheep and wrote some pretty memorable love sonnets while he was out there elevated above the everyday nuisances and noise coming from way down in the town. Elijah experienced a miraculous victory on Mount Carmel when he was both outnumbered and under equipped battling the false prophets of Baal who would have swallowed him whole if he didn’t win the day. Jesus gave three of His Disciples a sneak peak of coming attractions when the Lord was transfigured right before the eyes at the supernatural summit with their Savior. Let’s just say that if you are looking for a divine destination, going up is a wise choice of direction.

Back in the old days, humans believed that the mountains were the sacred home of all they could not understand. Rather than cry out to the One who created the Alps, they said their prayers to the creation and not the Creator. It would be like me sitting on my front porch here on 2nd Street in Shamokin singing songs of selfless devotion to the Coal Mountain that sits on my horizon. Can you hear me chanting, “Come on Your Hilliness! Please remove the hellishness from my wounded heart!”   

But as the Psalms say, it is not the ridges of high altitude from where my true rescue comes from! If I want my love to be lifted up to where it belongs, it must reach higher than what I can see with my earthly eyes! I need lots more than a positive attitude and godlike goggles. I need faith in the One who either has the capacity to either blow that mound of rocks to smithereens or invites me to go on a journey with Him that will literally alter my universe! Going to the altar may be hazardous to your comfort zones! Maybe the real assignment is not relocating to safer terrain but allowing the Lord to turn the obstacle before me to become a launching pad that transforms me.  

The last I checked, even the so called, “Good Old Days,” that the poets wax eloquently about had its share of war, depression, sickness, and disappointments. As the Israelites learned the hard way, just because there may be giants of grief in the land doesn’t mean that the Lord longs for you to back up into your bunker forever. When you choose to not worship God in the specific ways that He leads you; you can expect to be filled with whining as you wander aimlessly in the wilderness. Hasn’t this pandemic kept way too many believers preoccupied and paralyzed by the fear around them that they are ignoring the God who promises to get them safely home to the promised land? Because of the Old Testament Hebrews resistance and rebellion against the Lord, their ancestors died in the desert rather than dining on the milk and honey of paradise. You can’t have it both ways. Either the mountains become a dead end and a death wish or they can be a divine appointment to deeper appreciation of the God who really loves you.  

Let me close with a true story to inform you what a little mountain climbing with the Master can result in. A small congregational church in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains built a new building on a piece of land that was left to them by a  member who had recently passed. Ten days before the congregation’s new home was to open, the local government inspector informed the pastor that the parking lot was inadequate for the size of the building. Unless they immediately doubled the size of the parking lot, they would not be able to use the new sanctuary.

Unfortunately, the house of worship with its undersized parking lot had used every inch of their land except for a mountain against which it had been built. In order to build more parking spaces, they would have to literally move a mountain out of their back yard. Undaunted, the pastor announced the next Sunday morning that he would meet that evening with all the attenders who owned a “mountain-moving faith”. There was going to be a prayer meeting with punch and purpose. They cried out to Jesus and asked Him to show up as they looked up so nobody would give up on the way!

Sadly, only 24 of the congregation’s 300 members came together! But God doesn’t need a standing room only crowd to crush the giants in the land. The faithful flock prayed for nearly three hours. At ten o’clock the pastor said the final ‘Amen’. “We’ll open next Sunday as scheduled,” he assured everyone. “God has never let us down before, and I believe He’s got something up His sleeve that will blow us all away.

The next morning as the minister who trusted his Lord in a mountain moving sized proportion was working in his study there came a loud knock at his door. When he called “come in”, a rough looking construction foreman appeared, removing his hard hat as he entered. “Excuse me, Reverend. I’m from the local construction company over in the next county. We’re building a huge new shopping mall over there and we need some fill dirt. Would you be willing to sell us a chunk of that mountain behind the church? We’ll pay you for the dirt we remove and pave all the exposed area free of charge if we can have it right away. We can’t do anything else until we get the dirt in and allow it to settle properly.’ And as God designed it, the grand opening of that little church was dedicated the next Sunday as originally planned and there were far more members with “mountain-moving faith” on opening Sunday than there had been the previous week. Faith can move mountains! Can it move you?



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