The life of a believer in the most high God is a life of constant elevation. The path we walk is similar to the path up a mountain. The climb gets tougher, the air gets thinner, our legs get weary but the hand of God keeps keeps us going.
“Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness.”
There is much to experience while being on high. What should we expect to find on our climb?
When one embarks on a group hike, one of the most important things is maintaining good communication. Whether it's simply saying one word or a few words among the group, communication is crucial to make sure no one has fallen off the trail. Prayer is our form of communication with the Father. Jesus Christ often went to the mountains to pray. He did so for his disciples, he did so for us. This climb will be challenging at times. We need his guidance. We need his encouragement.
“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints”
Jesus was tempted in the mountains so we too can expect this form of trial on our climb. We have now ventured into higher places.
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
When one is at a very high height, one of the things you are told to do is not look down. Depending on your faith and courage, looking down a mountain may grip you with fear. Looking down can be likened to looking back. When we look back, we are held in a trance by things that are not of God. We are held by the fear of losing the life we once enjoyed.
“Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?”
In the midst of this temptation is the element of sacrifice. Christ demonstrated this in his resistance to the devil's offer of all the things of this world, all while in a weakened physical state of a 40 day fast. That's sacrifice. To put things in perspective, compare what Jesus rejected with what Judas sold him out for. We must be willing to make great sacrifice. Why? On the back end of his sacrifice, Christ overcame the devil. We find victory in the mountains.
When one is at a crossroads there is a decision that needs to be made. Do I go this way or that? This decision usually has great implications. There is one particularly gruelling activity that Jesus asked us to take on as followers of him. I compare this to our mountain climb.
“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”
Naturally, what would be required to carry a load like a human sized cross on your back? This would take great strength, endurance and perseverance just to name a few. It also required a level of submission and acceptance to carry out the activity. Carrying a cross in the days of Christ meant you were walking to be put to your death. The message holds firm today. Carrying our cross means we are marked for death. Death of the carnal man attached to this world.
“For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.”
Christ carried his cross for us. That act of carrying his cross was the peak manifestation of the fullness of the love of God in him. When we carry our cross, God no longer sees us but Christ in us.
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
Jesus often went into the mountains in order to flee those desiring to impose themselves upon him. Going to the mountains allowed him to be set apart from the crowd. Christ found safety in the mountains and so will we.
“Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:”
Jesus Christ took a few chosen disciples into the mountains. While in the presence of God, they had the pleasure of witnessing a glimpse of his glory. When Jesus says it's time to move, we must be willing to go. There is glory on high that he desires to show to us.
“This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.”
1 John 1:5
The righteous law of God was given to us in the mountains. We can see our promises from the mountain top. Our mountains are made for climbing. Press toward your high calling. When the dust settles, may we be nestled safely on the peaks of the mountain tops. Live in grace, walk in peace and be blessed.
“And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God”