Before anything of significance happens in our lives of serving God, we must climb the mountain to meet with God, to hear and understand what He wants. Dear friends, when God calls us to climb, climb. If we jump start life on our own, life gets more and more complicated. God is not a confusing God nor He is hiding anything from us. Jesus knew this about God because of being His Son. Jesus lived a simple life on earth being with God then doing what His Father said. Before his ministry to the world began, He also “climbed a mountain” in the wilderness to be with God for forty days and nights. Significant to Moses’ command to climb? Yes!
“As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:16-17
You and I both know the feeling and emotions after saying a loving, uncompromising yes to God’s call for a specific work. I don’t know about you, but I am giddy with excitement as I trust God with nothing held back. It is knowing without doubt that I’m in God’s holy presence, pleasing Him that sends my soul into the heavenlies. I see only God in these moments! I know He is there and will never leave me in this work. I know He is pleased as I align my thoughts and actions completely with Him. It is truly a spiritual mountain high!
But then God must teach us through tests and trials to prepare us for His work in the valley below the mountain of helping others know and follow Him, too. He led Jesus, immediately after revealing to the world through baptism who He was, to the wilderness to fast and pray—and be tested. It is in the wilderness that we, too are tested and taught. (If Jesus had to go through it, then…)
“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:
“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
and they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”
Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”
Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”
Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him. Matthew 4:1-11
The evil of this world, the prince of darkness, is no match for Jesus, Son of God, Savior of our souls. Jesus is Son of Man and Son of God at the same time so He is tested. Jesus then begins the mission that God sent Him to accomplish.
God calls Moses to meet with Him. Moses must climb the mountain alone. He will go beyond the other leaders and climb higher still to be with God alone. God will teach him and prepare him for the hard stuff of serving him in the days ahead. Israel, who are childish in their faith, will need a strong leader who has been with God to teach them to walk in God’s ways.
What was it like to be only with God for forty days and nights? Jesus knew for He was there, too.
Consider this thought…When it is time for Jesus’ final act of completing His mission to save the us, Moses and Elijah meet him on mountain where Jesus, for a moment, is with God and transformed by God. What was Moses telling Jesus?
“After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus. Matthew 17:1-3
Relax in the thought that God knows. God created all and is in all. God is in control. Let go, let God. He knows what He is doing. He ties up all the loose ends. He teaches us as He challenges us to grow in His love because of His mercy and grace. As Paul, another leader God called out of darkness and into the Light of His love, writes; “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)
Climb the mountain when God calls. Learn from God and revel in His Presence. Trust and obey until His Son, Jesus declares, “Well done, good and faithful servant, well done!”
Keep climbing…Are we there yet?
Exodus 24, The Message
1-2 He said to Moses, “Climb the mountain to God, you and Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel. They will worship from a distance; only Moses will approach God. The rest are not to come close. And the people are not to climb the mountain at all.”
3 So Moses went to the people and told them everything God had said—all the rules and regulations. They all answered in unison: “Everything God said, we’ll do.”
4-6 Then Moses wrote it all down, everything God had said. He got up early the next morning and built an Altar at the foot of the mountain using twelve pillar-stones for the twelve tribes of Israel. Then he directed young Israelite men to offer Whole-Burnt-Offerings and sacrifice Peace-Offerings of bulls. Moses took half the blood and put it in bowls; the other half he threw against the Altar.
7 Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it as the people listened. They said, “Everything God said, we’ll do. Yes, we’ll obey.”
8 Moses took the rest of the blood and threw it out over the people, saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which God has made with you out of all these words I have spoken.”
* * *
9-11 Then they climbed the mountain—Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel—and saw the God of Israel. He was standing on a pavement of something like sapphires—pure, clear sky-blue. He didn’t hurt these pillar-leaders of the Israelites: They saw God; and they ate and drank.
12-13 God said to Moses, “Climb higher up the mountain and wait there for me; I’ll give you tablets of stone, the teachings and commandments that I’ve written to instruct them.” So Moses got up, accompanied by Joshua his aide. And Moses climbed up the mountain of God.
14 He told the elders of Israel, “Wait for us here until we return to you. You have Aaron and Hur with you; if there are any problems, go to them.”
15-17 Then Moses climbed the mountain. The Cloud covered the mountain. The Glory of God settled over Mount Sinai. The Cloud covered it for six days. On the seventh day he called out of the Cloud to Moses. In the view of the Israelites below, the Glory of God looked like a raging fire at the top of the mountain.
18 Moses entered the middle of the Cloud and climbed the mountain. Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights.
WHAT DO WE LEARN—HOW DO WE RESPOND?
Listen for the Voice of God.
Live in gratitude for what God has done through His Son to save us.
Embrace the tests and trials that grow us for what is next on our journey to help others know Jesus, God’s Son so they also can be saved for life!
Climb the mountain! Go to the valley as God’s Holy Spirit leads. God is with us. Jesus assured us, “I am with you always”, as he left earth for heaven.
Run from temptations. We have help! “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”
Run to God!
Can we readily and unequivocally respond with “Everything God says, we will do”? The proof will be readily seen by God who sees the motivations of our hearts and by His people who will see our behaviors.
You are God, we are not. There is no one like you! You give us all we need through every test and trial. You teach us the right way to go that helps us as we point the way to you for others. You attend to us when we need it most. I love who you are and what you have done in my life as you continue to fine tune what you are still doing in me as your instrument. Thank you, Lord. I’m yours. I’m still climbing the mountain to you.
In Jesus Name, For Your Glory, Amen