Our choir, Voices of Inspiration and praise team ministered at Family Camp last evening. It was an awesome evening. God's anointing was all over that place. I appreciate our choir members so much. They are a group of dedicated and committed folks for Christ and God truly blessed them last night. The evangelist Greg Hubbard hit a home run with his message. Incredible time around the altar!
"We are not built for the mountains and the dawns and aesthetic affinities, those are for moments of inspiration, that is all. We are built for the valley, for the ordinary stuff we are in, and is where we have to prove our mettle."~Oswald Chambers~
Life is filled with peaks and valleys. A peak is defined as reaching your highest point, crest or maxed out. A peak is something incredible that occurs in your life, something fantastic, something to celebrate and remember. The day you get married - that is a peak. The birth of your child - that is a high point in your life. The day you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior - you were maxed out. During those moments, it's easy to be a Christian. "God is so awesome," you think to yourself. There's no doubt in your mind that God is blessing you.
But we all know that life isn't one continual peak after another. Actually there are times in your life when you probably think the peaks are scarce. There are many valleys. Those difficult moments. The troubles and sorrows of life. When you have been diagnosed with cancer - that is a huge valley. When a loved one dies - that's another huge valley. It is difficult to say, "God is good." Sometimes your faith is shaken. There's some doubt lurking there, when you're in a valley, that God is blessing you and those around you.
Peaks and valleys - so where are you right now? Are you on the mountain top today? Or are you in a valley? Maybe you're somewhere in between - maybe there's a peak or valley for you right around the corner, and you don't even know it. The disciples of Jesus Christ had no idea that they were about to enter a valley - they were about to go through a low-point with Christ. Things with Jesus seemed to be going so well - He had performed miracles - walking on the water, feeding the 5000. He had been surrounded by crowds of people, listening to His parables. It was easy to be a disciple of Jesus at that time. There was no doubt that this was the Son of God, the Savior of the world. The disciples were experiencing one high-point after another with Jesus.
But right around the corner loomed the valley of the shadow of death. The crowds would soon turn against Jesus. He'd be betrayed, and arrested, and tortured, and publicly condemned, and executed in the most shameful way known to man at that time. The valley was right around the corner. The disciples would be filled with fear and doubt that Jesus was the Son of God. Soon, it would be very difficult to be a disciple of Christ.
Jesus takes three disciples to a high mountain top. He lets them experience something amazing - with their own eyes, they catch a glimpse of His glory. Right before the valley, Jesus takes them to a mountain, to a high point, and He does this to strengthen them for the difficult road ahead. Then it was all over. Jesus told them not to tell anyone and they were to go back down the mountain. There was no time to stay there and worship as Peter wanted. There was no time to stay isolated from the cares of the world below. No, they had to go back down the mountain. Jesus did not want to stay on top of the mountain. He said no to the mountain top experience. He is saying that it was good while it lasted, but we must not stay.
We all love mountain top experiences, these are joyful, victorious times of our faith. These are the places we want to be spiritually, but our faith is a journey not a stopping place. We must take what we learn on the mountain top into the valley. A true God experience will change you. If you have had a mountain top experience with God then you should be closer to God than ever before. It is that mountain top experience that will carry you through the valleys in your life.
Our camp experience last night was amazing! It truly was one of those mountain top experiences that you didn't want to depart from. I am thankful for those times because that experience takes me to a new level in my relationship with Christ. I know that I am better equipped to deal with the valley experiences after I have been refueled spiritually and have been in the presence of God on the mountain top.
I don't know if you are on the mountain top or in the valley today in your life. I do not know if you are experiencing a high moment or a low moment in your walk with the Lord. And I don't know where you will be two years from now - what high moments or low moments you will be going through. In reality, neither do you. God's Word is your mountain to climb. Each time you read your Bible or attend church and hear the Word of God, you have climbed the mountain. You see Christ who has taken your sins away on the cross and has risen from the dead. You catch a glimpse of His glory, even if it's just for a moment. From these experiences you will be strengthened for the days ahead, for all the peaks and valleys that are around the corner.