Luke 6:12 (NIV)- One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.
On the darkest days of our lives, prayer can be one of those things that we feel like doing the least.
Yes, I know that Pastors are supposed to be superhuman, but yesterday, all that I could see was the tenebrous skies above me.
My mind was obscured and my heart weighed down. I was paying too much attention to the overcast of ecclesial politics, hypocrisy, betrayals, carnality and injustices that are so prevalent in today’s Church. I was distracted by the darkness and gloom that was overtaking my soul.
So like most people in the valley of life, I decided to drown my frustrations at the mall with the purchase of an I-Pad on credit. My reasoning justified my impulse, since I could truly put to good use an electronic collection of Patristics and other holy writings at my finger tips. My wife agrees with my rationale… but she is right in thinking that investing on an I-Pad right now would not be the right timing…especially since I should get a new Mac for my work, before my old computer dies.
Of course… she’s right. But the gloom that was clouding my mind led to selfish anger, which vented by me saying: “Well I’m gonna get it now, so see you later,” with a SLAM! of the front door.
So off I drove… Immediately the Holy Spirit began to reason gently with me, with mental pictures of Lord Jesus climbing up a mountain to pray.
I arrived at the mall…and continued driving. I was still frustrated, but my soul could not act selfishly. Besides, I knew deep down inside that the I-Pad would only distract me from the real cause of my frustration. I would not only end up burying my valid concerns for the Christian Church, but also, I would be turning a deaf ear to the Holy Spirit’s invitation to make a U-turn and spend some special time with Him.
There is a water reservoir close to my house that looks like a mountain…so I parked by it and began the difficult trek towards the top.
As I was slowly climbing… the Holy Spirit reminded me of how God invites all of His holy men to spend private times at the top of mountains. I remembered Abraham, Moses, Elijah, and Lord Jesus. I never knew the reason…why God calls His servants to spend time with Him at the top of mountains…
Now I Know
The first thing the Holy Spirit told me was that in this world, communion with God is an arduous task. That most people choose to live down in the valley with everyone else, because down there is the promise of an easier life. But in reality, since everyone’s focus is on their ease of life, for the most part, they live self-centered lives, rather than focused on God.
The second thing the Holy Spirit told me was that in order to truly commune with God, the servant must intentionally leave the crowd and their ambitions behind. That one cannot be counted as a Saint (separated for a divine purpose) if one chooses to walk like everyone else.
Proverbs 15:24 (ESV)- The path of life leads upward for the prudent, that he may turn away from Sheol beneath.
The third thing the Holy Spirit taught me was that the Sun always shine, even when it is overcast. He said that when life seems dark, God is testing our resolve to see the Light.
One must climb the mountain of prayer in order to see beyond everyone else’s optical illusion. That down in the valley on a cloudy day, everyone sees but the dark, thick clouds; but when you climb above the tree line and everyone’s comfort zone, you will be able to see that nothing can get in the way of the Truth.
Truth is… that when you look towards the horizon, from a position above the tree-line, that you will see the Sun shining UNDER THE CLOUDS. The Holy Spirit taught me that when we are willing to climb the mountain in order to commune with Him, that He also will make the effort to meet us there, face to face.
Once the Light of Truth shines directly into your eyes, it will be impossible to see any darkness at all.
Needless to say, when I came down the mountain, instead of buying an I-Pad, I went to the market and got my wife her favorite ice cream. When I returned, she assumed that I had purchased the I-Pad…
When she asked to see it, I brought her a cup of her favorite ice cream with an apology for my rudeness. Of course, she had just come down the mountain herself and had already forgiven my momentary distraction.
I want to encourage you today to climb the mountain of prayer as much as possible, and especially when everything in your life seems dark and gloomy.
If you stay down in the valley, like everyone else, you will not see the Light.But if you climb up the mountain of prayer, you will be in a unique position before God…above the tree-line.
The Light of the Son of God is still shining… You just have to climb above the perceptions of this world, above the tree-line…and look straight ahead, where the Sun of Righteousness will be waiting to illumine your heart with His glory.
God is waiting for you at the top of the mountain.