VERSE: “Jesus leadeth them up into a high mountain apart by themselves.” Mark 9:2
OSWALD: “We have all had times on the mount, when we have seen things from God’s standpoint and have wanted to stay there; but God will never allow us to stay there. The test of our spiritual life is the power to descend; if we have power to rise only, something is wrong…” (October 1st)
“…We see His glory on the mount, but we never live for His glory there. It is in the [valley] of humiliation that we find our true worth to God, that is where our faithfulness is revealed.” (October 2nd)
Oh, how I love living on the heights with God! Those glorious mountaintop moments when, as my friend Michael Snyder says, “heaven touches earth and I happen to be standing there.” I have experienced many transfigurational times alone with God that have elementally changed my life. But how to bring down the things I’ve seen and the truths I’ve learned to the valley in which I live?
Well, that’s where transformation gets tricky.
On the mountain with God, clouds lift and skies clear allowing us to see spiritually for miles. But down in the valley, things seem a little murky and unclear as the truth we’ve received is challenged or gets lost in the monotony of life.
For instance, it’s easy to say I’m filled with the love of God when I’ve just spent time in His presence. But to take that love and give it away – especially to people who don’t deserve it! – well, that can be difficult to say the least. And yet, the Bible makes it clear: “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ yet hates his brother [or father or mother or spouse or co-worker or neighbor – you get the picture!], he is a liar” (1 John 4:20).
In other words, we may have felt a lot of warm fuzzies on the mountaintop, we may have received revelation after revelation and waxed poetically about the heart we now have for the lost. But if when we descend to the drudgery of everyday life, we find we can’t love the people right next to us…then I have to ask. What good was the mountain?
Unless our time with God causes us tap into the deep things of God, accessing a transfusion of love that goes deeper and stretches farther than our own, then we’ve only had a religious experience that does little except make us want to build monuments to the memory [see Peter’s response in Luke 9:33].
It is in the valley of humiliation, “we find our true worth to God,” Oswald says. For it is there “our faithfulness is revealed.” Daily life is meant to be an anvil on which we hammer out the things we “know” until they become the truths we “live.” For until we live out in the valley the truth we’ve received on the mountain top, we run the danger of becoming addicted to experiencing God, but never experiencing true change.
What has God told you on the mountain top that you’ve either refused or forgotten to live out in the valley? Obey Him at that point of contradiction. Then see if He doesn’t reveal Himself to you in a deeper, sweeter way than ever before. It may cost you humiliation to obey, but it will bring the transformation you long for.