From the Mountain to the Valley
Following a week of summit experiences it is imperative to realize we are headed into some valleys. As I’ve said before, Life is more about learning to negotiate the mountain ranges than it is about climbing the mountain.
In Matthew 17, we read the story about Jesus leading Peter, James, and John up a high mountain where He would be transfigured before them. This can best be desired showing them outwardly what he was inwardly. The absolute divinity of Jesus shown through his humanity. While on this summit both Moses and Elijah appeared and talked with Jesus. This mountain top experience led the onlookers to proclaim, “Lord is is GOOD for us to be here” and we would like to stay right here forever. But Jesus declined and led them down the mountain where they were met with despair and disappointment.
You see, when they came off the mountain they were approached by the father of a sick little boy who had brought his son to the remaining disciples in hopes that they would heal the lad. The disciples had been unsuccessful and this led to the daddy’s despair. Almost immediately Jesus spoke and healed the little boy. The disciples learned through both Jesus’ words and deeds that they had been trusting in their own abilities rather than placing their faith in Him.
Out of this story we can see the importance of knowing that following every victory in life comes moments of attack. You can be certain that where there is blessing there will be blasting. With victory comes vigilant attacks. A.W. Pink wrote:
“The devil is depicted in the scriptures both as the roaring lion and the subtle serpent. As a lion he uses force and seeks to terrorize; as the serpent he employs cunning and endeavors to poison and corrupt.”
As you come down from the mountains be aware of the coming attacks. Maybe they will come as a frontal assault or, more likely, they will be in the form of a subversive murmur. Regardless, you will be your best when you respond rather than react. Listen before you speak, and pray always for God’s strength in your weakness.
Read these words from the Apostle Paul:
I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud.Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:7b-10 NLT)
Remember, it’s easy on the mountain top, it’s tough in the valley. Yet, it is in the valley experiences that the love, strength, power, glory, grace, and sufficiency of Christ is built into our lives. Keep walking through the valley … another mountain is just ahead.