A retired seminary professor told of a new professor who confessed that among his reasons for accepting the call to teach was because he realized that there would be chapel services every day. “Look at all the additional opportunities I will have to hear God’s word in the daily chapel services,” he said. “Why, in no time at all I should be moving mountains!” Not much time had passed before both professors noted that the mountains were still there.
In His Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13:1-23) Jesus said: “A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose, they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear.”
If you have or someone you love has ever successfully completed an addiction treatment program, you know of the initial joy. Whether that new life continues may depend on whom the person spends time, if they feed on God’s Word by studying the Bible and worshiping Him in a Biblical church which boldly declares the Triune God. Those are needed to remain in the Lord. Many of us have had what we recall as our own mountaintop experience: we never felt closer to God, and we expected that deep sense of peace and freedom to remain with us. Yet we quickly return to pet sins, reestablish spiritually unhealthy relationships, and/or return to that substance, that chemical which imprisoned and tortured you or your loved ones for so long.
The transfiguration of our Lord, (Matthew 17:1–8, Mark 9:2–8, Luke 9:28–36) is where the glory of the Christ was shown while flanked by Moses and Elijah and usually comes during the Church season of Lent, which begins with the temptation of Christ in the desert and ends with His crucifixion and death. Christ had to come down from that mountain. That was His purpose. If we believers attempt to return to our own mountaintop experiences, we likely will fail, or it will feel inauthentic, or maybe we will be blessed with hearing in our hearts the sweet comforting words of admonishment from our Lord: “Why are you here?” That experience in the past was your starting point to avoid too-often travelled paths by the still-lost people where the Word of God is not present. That former but wondrous experience was to familiarize you with His voice which now resonates in your heart to call you to deepen your knowledge of Him through His Word. Neither the heat of fear and lust nor the thorns of this world’s cares will separate you from Your Creator and Savior. As Paul reminds us believers, “but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” It is no longer “your” life. You belong to Him, so we believers walk in Christ Jesus, until life everlasting.
Gloria Deo—Glory to God