Sunday, April 3, 2016

Will You Climb the Mountain or Stay in the Valley?

          As I write this I am climbing Pike’s Peak in Colorado Springs, CO. I am climbing with a group of fifteen people. We woke up at 4:30 this morning so we could get an early start climbing the thirteen mile trail. The summit is 14,110 feet above sea level, about six thousand feet above where we are right now.                           
Several other people decided not to climb the mountain. Instead, they stayed home and watched movies. They told the rest of us that they were satisfied to hear the reports that we will bring home. 
As I climb, I am reminded of Moses climbing Mt. Sinai. God had descended onto the mountaintop in order to meet with the Israelites. But, when the people had seen God’s power, they trembled in fear. There was thunder, lightning, and a loud trumpet blast that frightened them. They stayed as far away as possible and they told Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die” (Exodus 20:19).  
Moses climbed the mountain to speak with God Almighty, but the Israelites were content to stay in the valley. The people did not want to hear the voice of God. Even though they were interested in what God was saying to Moses, they did not want to hear God themselves. “To the Israelites the glory of the LORD looked like a consuming fire on top of the mountain. Then Moses entered the cloud as he went on up the mountain....” (Exodus 24:17-18).
The Israelites saw the glory of the Lord, but only Moses experienced the glory of the Lord. Some people are content to sit in the valley and hear stories about what God is doing, instead of climbing to the mountaintop to visit with God themselves. It is possible to see the effects of God’s presence and to hear reports about it without actually experiencing His presence.      In the last several hours, I have discovered that hiking up a mountain this tall is mostly a matter of repeatedly putting one foot in front of the other. Even though my muscles may be sore, my breath may be short, and my body may be tired, I must keep climbing. The end is in sight, and I must reach my destination. It is hard work climbing a mountain, but the feeling when you reach the top is worth it.
God has a destination for your life. Reaching your mountain top is going to require hard work and a daily commitment to taking the next step. If you want to meet God, and to be all that He wants you to be, you need to leave the valley and start climbing the mountain. Step by step, day by day, you need to read your Bible, pray, and seek God’s presence, only then will you be able to experience God’s power as Moses did. 
Are you going to stay in the valley or are you going to climb the mountain? Are you going to be satisfied with hearing reports about what God is doing or are you going to experience His hand yourself? If you want to climb the mountain, begin right now by taking a moment to talk with God.