"And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, 3 and his clothes became radiant, intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach them" (Mark 9:2-3).
In wrestling deeply this past week with the leadership topics of stewardship and purpose, I came across Oswald Chamber's devotional, The Place of Exaltation. A challenge I've been leaning into is this: How do I steward each day - specifically my time - in light of my purpose and the clarity of the mountaintop? How do I pursue greater focus that allows my impact to be not limited by my own self-centeredness, but unlimited in God's awesome power? I felt Chambers captured part of this well and wanted to share his thoughts on Mark 9 below:
"We have all experienced times of exaltation on the mountain, when we have seen things from God’s perspective and have wanted to stay there. But God will never allow us to stay there. The true test of our spiritual life is in exhibiting the power to descend from the mountain. If we only have the power to go up, something is wrong. It is a wonderful thing to be on the mountain with God, but a person only gets there so that he may later go down and lift up the demon-possessed people in the valley (see Mark 9:14-18). We are not made for the mountains, for sunrises, or for the other beautiful attractions in life— those are simply intended to be moments of inspiration. We are made for the valley and the ordinary things of life, and that is where we have to prove our stamina and strength. Yet our spiritual selfishness always wants repeated moments on the mountain. We feel that we could talk and live like perfect angels, if we could only stay on the mountaintop. Those times of exaltation are exceptional and they have their meaning in our life with God, but we must beware to prevent our spiritual selfishness from wanting to make them the only time.
We are inclined to think that everything that happens is to be turned into useful teaching. In actual fact, it is to be turned into something even better than teaching, namely, character. The mountaintop is not meant to teach us anything, it is meant to make us something. There is a terrible trap in always asking, “What’s the use of this experience?” We can never measure spiritual matters in that way. The moments on the mountaintop are rare moments, and they are meant for something in God’s purpose" (Oswald Chambers, The Place of Exaltation).
As you'll hear in my breakthrough video below, this idea is something God has used for me to freshly discover how I can be pursuing faithful obedience each day. Such an incredible truth! How do you view the mountaintop? Have you experienced not only the joy and beauty of the mountain, but also the renewal of character brought about by living it out each day at the ground level? This week, may we spend time less time hoping to stay at the top and more time persevering in what God has already granted us as His stewards. "The true test of our spiritual life is in exhibiting the power to descend from the mountain."