Wednesday, April 12, 2017

April 13, 2017

"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.” While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” When the disciples heard this, they fell face down to the ground, terrified."  Matthew 17:4

I can relate to Peter. Perhaps you can too.

Just like him there is a part of me that wants to camp out a certain comfort level. When something good happens or especially when I experience a spiritual high, I want to linger there for awhile. I understand his desire to want to pitch a tent.

But God would have none of that. Before Peter could even finish his thoughts, he was interrupted by the voice of God. God doesn't let me get away with it either.
Why is that?

God loves us too much to allow us to level off. There too much growth that has to happen in you and in me to allow us to camp out in a comfort zone. There are too many other people to be reached to let us pitch a tent at a past event. God is too dynamic and has so much He wants to reveal to us about His nature and His will to allow us to live on yesterday's experience. God wants to stretch us and grow us so he can do greater things through us and show greater things to us!

Our relationship with God is often described as a walk or sometimes as a race or even as a journey - but never is it called a camp out! When we walk with God we must keep up with Him - stay in step with Him. The Bible urges us to "wait upon the Lord" but it doesn't say He should wait on us!

Some of the old hymns used to refer to the Christian walk as a march. Marchers move forward steadily and purposefully in step together with each other and with their leaders. You may remember this one:

Come, we that love the Lord,
And let our joys be known;
Join in a song with sweet accord,
Join in a song with sweet accord
And thus surround the throne,
And thus surround the throne

We’re marching to Zion,
Beautiful, beautiful Zion;
We’re marching upward to Zion,
The beautiful city of God.
Let those refuse to sing,

Who never knew our God;
But favorites of the heavenly King,
But favorites of the heavenly King
May speak their joys abroad,
May speak their joys abroad.

Notice the hymn-writer said we are "Marching" not camping! And we are marching forward as we march! And, we are marching upward!

So, following Jesus requires us to walk with, to stay in step with Him. As His disciples, what happens if you walk ahead of Him?  What might happen if you don't really keep up with Him? A distance can develop then, right?  And what happens if He wants to lead you to a higher place or share a newer revelation of His glory and you are still looking back?

As we head into this Holy Week finalizing preparations for a great celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, intentionally order your schedule and your stuff so you can enjoy this journey with the King of Kings. Revel in His presence and praise Him for keeping in step with the will of God for you. Chase the Risen Savior with all your heart and never pitch a tent! Never get too comfortable or casual so as to lose the blessing, the significance, the hope, or the presence, or the peace of following Jesus who rose from the dead to set us free!

Comfort is over rated. God designed and wired us for challenges, not for camp outs!

What comfort zone might you be caught in?

April 12, 2017

"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

Who doesn't enjoy a mountain-top experience?

If I ask how many would like to have to see fresh inspiring personal vision of our Lord and the manifestation of His glory - everyone would sign up! I don't think there is any doubt about that.

Is it realistic to expect a mountain-top experience every Sunday? How about every day?

Why don't we see more of them?

Even the inner circle of disciples only had one of them in their three years of following Jesus?

So, what SHOULD we expect?

While that would be an interesting discussion to have, let me tell you one thing I know from this Biblical account - REVELATION BRINGS RESPONSIBILITY!

The disciples where so excited about what they beheld during Jesus' transfiguration that they wanted to build some shrines and camp out up there! Who can blame them?

But, God Himself, shut that idea down by interrupting Peter in mid-sentence. God is not nearly as interested in happy days on the mountain as is about what happens in human hearts! He wants your worship to reflect in your walk! If your worship doesn't reflect in your witness what good is it?

Old-timers who were dubious about charismatic worship used to say, "I don't care how high you jump but I care about how straight you walk when you hit the ground!" I think that fits in this event!

Let me offer this opinion for your consideration, "We will have more mountain-top experiences when our witness and our walk reflects the passion, power and presence of our worship." Make sense?

Revelation carries with it responsibility. If you want the joy, sign up for the job! If you want to see His glory, live out His story! You can't have the experience His glory if your are willing to be an example of His glory! Mountain-top experiences are not about a thrill up your leg, it is about a transformation of your life!

The reason we are talking about this is not primarily because of what happened on the mountain-top but because what happened after they came down! John, James and Peter took the responsibility of the revelation!

Do you want more thrills on the hills? 

Live in the power of His Presence in your daily walk and be a witness to His glory! If you want the revelation - take the responsibility!