Friday, April 15, 2011

April 16, 2011

"Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.”   Matthew 17:4

I contend that the reason we need a mountaintop experience is not always the reason we want one. Just as Peter wanted to build three shelters on the mountaintop, I believe there are three boxes we are especially prone to want to build for Jesus. A fresh revelation of Who He is can help us confront those. This morning I want to focus on those three "shelters" or boxes where we try to "store" Jesus.

The first is the emotional box. We want to be able to pull Jesus out to give us an emotional lift whenever we feel we need it and then put Him back in. With all the dangers of 21st century living and the demands of being a parent, a spouse, and employee - a child of God - emotions can get stretched and strained.

Certainly, God cares about our emotions, but He wants to do more than just thrill us - He wants to fill us! I believe that was one of the messages of the mountaintop. Jesus had worked with these disciples and in these disciples but a His time on the planet was nearing an end He was going to have to work through them. To do that He need to fill them. If you just want God to thrill you and you try to keep Him in that emotions box, you need a fresh revelation of Who He is!

Also, if you just want Jesus in your emotional box so you can pull Him out for an occasional charge, you will find that doesn't work. Jesus didn't lead these three guys up the mountain to charge them, He took them up there to change them!

God didn't want them to build three boxes and He doesn't want you to try and confine Jesus in your emotions box.

A second box we try to build is the emergency box. We want Jesus to be like the fire alarm in our lives - "In Case of Emergency Break Glass". Rather than allow Him to guide us and keep us on His path, we ask Him to guard us when we've wandered off the path and into danger. We want rescue but not responsibility. It is hard to be responsible. It costs us something and makes demands of us. To just keep Jesus in the emergency box and have Him on call when we get in a bind seems much easier to us.

If that is where you are with Jesus you need a fresh revelation of Him. You need a mountaintop experience that will cause you to take responsibility for your spiritual progress and not use Him for rescue missions.

A third box we want to keep Jesus in is the encouragement box. Life is hard! The grind of daily routines and rituals take a toll on you physically, emotionally and spiritually. But we tend to try to go it on our own and find our own ways of coping until we run out of gas. When we feel discouraged and need a lift out of the mundane exoeriences of doing life then we let God out of the box and demand that He encourage us. We grab the devotional or the Bible or the latest worship CD and say, "Okay, God, do your thing!"

If all Jesus is to you is a means of encouragement in the midst of the mundane, you need a fresh revelation of Who He Is! He doesn't exist just to encourage you - He lives to empower you! He wants to be your Master so He can turn the mundane into your ministry and your mission field! Your routines are where your life is lived on a daily basis and if you miss Him there you miss out on Who He is and what He can do!

As Peter was proposing his plan to construct the three boxes he was interrupted by God with an announcement that Jesus is HIS Son! He is God in the flesh! He is not to be contained or confined to any shelter or boxes. He did not come to emotionally charge you - He can to essentially change you! He did not come to be an emergency response, He came to call you to responsibilty. You are to build His Kingdom! And He does not exist just to brighten your day, He wants to empower you to live in the fullness of His love and power everyday so what was once mundane can become a mission!

Mountaintop experiences happen not to construct boxes but to crush them. Are there any boxes you are clinging to? Do you need to allow Jesus to be much more than He is in the area of your emotions, in the realm of you will, or in the midst of your daily living?