“The mountain top experience”

No doubt you have heard or even said these words in reference to a time in your life when you were feeling closer to God than you have in awhile. You were at peace with all around you and have more spiritual strength than in previous days, months, or even years.
This “mountain top experience” is usually the exact opposite of the “valley experience” where people tend to feel far away from God and nothing seems to be going right. It could be our financial situation or relationships, or even a struggle with a certain besetting sin. Whatever the case may be, we are struggling, and it is here we all can agree that we don’t want to be. It is at this point that we start to labor the most in prayer and Bible study. We labor, but it seems that we labor not at growing in faith and love, or in knowledge of Christ and His will for us; no we seem to labor the most to only get out of the valley and back to the mountain top.
What is wrong with that you may be asking? Well, instead of asking what is wrong with wanting peace and closeness to God and strength for each day maybe we should be asking the question “Is the mountain top my final destination?”
What I seen in my own life and I know in others as well is a time of labor in prayer and in Bibles study and searching out Biblical counseling all in times of valley experiences and when we finally climb out of that valley and reach our mountain top, it is there we rest. We stop laboring in prayer and we stop searching the scriptures diligently and seeking out Biblical counseling, and just rest. As if this is our goal in life, to not have any trouble or be bothered with anything.
My point is not that we should resist peace or that closeness with God we all desire, but only that it should be in these times that we have strength allotted to us and peace with God in order for us to advance all the more. Sailors do not cast anchor in the day time when the sky is blue and the wind is at their backs. They cast anchor at night or in a storm when they lose their bearings and need to stay put until the storm passes.
If our goal is to grow in grace and faith and not just to be happy, then we should be taking every opportunity for that advancement. Should we pray hard in dark times? Yes. Should we desire to be strong in faith? Yes. What I am suggesting is to go into the valley praying and studying and come out of the valley praying and studying. If the only times you are pressing in are the times of trouble, and all this to just get out of trouble and distress, than I would only assume that peace and happiness are your greatest goals and not to grow in your knowledge of God and His word.
The Puritan writer Richard Sibbes in his book The Bruised Reed writes these words “Resting in a good condition is contrary to grace, which cannot but promote itself to a further measure” Being in a good condition “our mountain top experience” is not a bad thing, it is resting here that I am concerned about. None of us have or will on this side of glory arrive and should all the more labor not to get to the mountain top, but to grow in our knowledge and faith, and this in all times.
Rest is good, but not if it turns into laziness. Working out is good for the body, but who works out when they’re tired? When you find your self in the valley, than cast anchor and hold firm to Christ. Rest in Him and His promises. Seek Him for answers for why you’re experiencing this time, but when He brings you out as He has so faithfully done in the past, then continue to pray and seek Him and grow in faith and love. Take advantage of this time to not rest, but to press in and labor for that which is most important, not happiness, but growing close to God and serving Him in faith and love which will be for you, true happiness.


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