The Mountaintop

Twenty-three years ago this week, i was standing on the top of Mt. Nebo in Jordan, looking over into the land of Israel. It was the view of the Promised Land that God had permitted Moses to see, just before He took him home. Though it was somewhat cloudy and foggy that morning, we were still amazed to look out over that panoramic view of the Promised Land, even to the sea beyond.

That morning in my quiet time, before we headed out, i had been reading in Malachi, chapter 1. The Lord had been reminding me to lift up my eyes to see what He is doing all around the world. “Truly, the LORD’s great power goes far beyond {our} borders”(Malachi 1:5). And as our group climbed that mount, God permitted us to see far beyond our borders – literally.

i am mindful that our Lord often gives us an opportunity to climb to a “mountaintop” in order to see and experience His majesty and His work in a new and different way. More often than not, it is not literally the top of a physical mountain, but it is an opportunity for Him to open our eyes to seeing afresh from His perspective. Too often, we become myopic – so caught up in our own circumstances and the activities in which we are engaged – that we lose sight of the bigger picture – the grander activity of our Almighty God. By His grace, He permits us to join Him at the top of a “Mt. Nebo” to refresh and reboot our perspective.

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Some of you are aware that i recently had surgery to remove my cataracts. The result has been amazing! Since age 7, i have been near-sighted (myopic, if you will). And as i aged, the focal point of my near-sightedness became closer and closer. But now, as the result of my surgery, i have become far-sighted. i can see details at a distance that i couldn’t see before, even when i was wearing my eyeglasses. However, when i try to read close-up, i am finding the closer a book is, the more blurry it becomes. My optician recently told me that the eyeglasses i need are now 180 degrees opposite of what i had before. i am experiencing the reality that the further out i gaze, the better i see and the more things come into focus. The nearer i look, the more things begin to blur. i think that’s the principle of the mountaintop. God permits us to go there to have a change in perspective.

Oswald Chambers writes, “The mountaintop is not meant to teachus anything, it is meant to makeus something.” He uses it to do something even better than teaching, namely, to mold and to build our character – more into the likeness of His Son – and more into the vessel that He can use for His honor (2 Timothy 2:21).

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But He doesn’t intend for us to live there. As much as we may want to continue in that spiritual “high”, He has placed us to live and work in the hills and the valleys to join with Him in His mission to advance His Kingdom and bring glory to His Name. His power truly goes beyond the borders of our lives – and He would have us step out and join with Him.

If you’re on that mountaintop right now, allow Him to use it to makeyou anew. Remember, He is always preparing us for that which He is preparing for us – and setting before us as a part of His mission. 

But if you’re in the trenches of the valley, and you’re losing sight of the forest for the trees, ask God to take you up into a mountaintop to refresh your perspective and your passion for Him and the path He has set before you. And He will be faithful to do so.