Mountaintop Experiences – A Different Lesson From Abraham's Sacrifice

And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. 2And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.3And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him. Genesis 22:1-3

For almost 25 years the only real promise Abraham and Sarah were clinging to was they’d have a son. When the glorious day arrived, true to His Word, “laughter” returned to their household in the form of a bouncing baby boy named Isaac! But, just several years after the promised arrived, a parent’s worst nightmare became Abraham’s reality.

The promised child was now being demanded by the very God that had promised him to be sacrificed! Our instinct would be to offer ourselves rather than our child. But there were no counter-offers, no bartering, no bargaining, just simple obedience by Abraham. If reading this story in today’s headlines, our inclination would be to cry child abuse, religious fanaticism, or dementia. Abraham knew when it was God speaking and had no doubt God would provide himself a lamb.

There’s little doubt what was going through Abraham’s mind and heart, the same God that had provided a son in his old age, would continue to provide. Thankfully, God hasn’t asked us to sacrifice our children, yet are we? No, it may not involve a knife, an altar, and fire, but the altars of greed, success, and selfishness line our country’s landscape. We spend countless hours chasing a pipe-dream of financial security, a bigger house, or esteem amongst our peers.

Abraham trusted God for everything, doubters would say to an extreme, including the promise of making him a great nation. Our goals and dreams are important, but never at the expense of our children, for our children often are the avenue by which God will bring about the promises He’s spoken into your life. Don’t sacrifice those special moments in their lives in exchange for the fleeting broken promises of this world.

Part of the Mountaintop Experiences Serminute Series

“Serminutes” – Sermon in a Minute. A one minute spiritual pick-me-up for busy Christians!  Visit this POST for details on what exactly that is. Thank you for visiting today! May the Lord richly bless you. Rodger Mangold

Mountaintop Experiences – Moses' Right-hand Man Joshua

And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle. Exodus 33:11

With the seeming weight of the world on his shoulders, Moses made a plea for God to show him who would one day take the helm of the Israelite nation. But, standing in the shadows was a young man who had accompanied Moses up the mount, and when everyone was commanded to remain in their tents as Moses entered the tabernacle, tenacious Joshua “departed not.”

There are two angles; Moses’ and Joshua’s. Moses the visionary concerned with future leadership and Joshua capturing the vision of his leader calling him Moses’ servant and minister. While fulfilling the role of a servant or minister, we become privy to moments those who choose to remain on the peripheral seldom see.

Before Joshua defeated Jericho, before he commanded the sun to stand still, before triumphantly leading Israel to the Promised Land, he humbled himself and became Moses’ servant remaining in the background so discretely and humbly, it never even occurred to Moses’ when considering who his successor would be. A good servant doesn’t draw attention to himself; his focus is the mission for which he’s called. Joshua’s private service to Moses his mentor, led to public victories and accomplishments, not for his glory, but for the glory of God, and for the advancement of an entire nation.

Part of the Mountaintop Experiences Serminute Series

“Serminutes” – Sermon in a Minute. A one minute spiritual pick-me-up for busy Christians!  Visit this POST for details on what exactly that is. Thank you for visiting today! May the Lord richly bless you. Rodger Mangold

Mountaintop Experiences – Must Be Present to Win

And the LORD said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them. Exodus 24:12

This may sound counterintuitive if you’re looking for motivation to “do” something for God, but there are times God doesn’t want us do anything…just “be there.” One of the most difficult things for us to master is the art standing still and letting God be God; yielding full control to Him – we must decrease in order for God to increase! This is not an excuse to sit around and do nothing; rather it’s an admonishment to know when to wait on the Lord!

God called Moses up to the mount, not “do” or “give,” something, but to receive. In order to receive we must be present with no pretense. God wanted to “give” Moses the commandments so he could in turn “teach” or “give” the Israelites the benefit of God’s covenant and commandments.

In our busy fast-paced world, our challenge is simply to “be there.” We’re bombarded with phone calls, voicemail, email, and texts, which often distract us from being “present” in very important situations, not the least of which are times when our family, or more importantly, God is trying to get our attention! Like the old adage says when it comes to drawings…you must be present to win!

Part of the Mountaintop Experiences Serminute Series

“Serminutes” – Sermon in a Minute. A one minute spiritual pick-me-up for busy Christians!  Visit this POST for details on what exactly that is. Thank you for visiting today! May the Lord richly bless you. Rodger Mangold

Mountaintop Experiences – It is Good for us to be Here

And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. 4Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. 5While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. Matthew 17:3-5

Another gospel says Peter was “afraid” and wasn’t quite sure what to say at the sight of Jesus’ transfiguration, and watching Him converse with Moses and Elijah! I feel, if you want to get the best read on someone, see how they respond under duress. With no time to prefabricate a fitting response, you just say the first thing that comes to mind. Peter’s response was, “It is good for us to be here…something needs to be done here to commemorate this momentous occasion…let’s pitch a few tabernacles or tents!” Seems a bit strange, but consider Peter witnessed a once in a millennia event!

Recognizing it was good for them to be there and the fact Peter wanted to make tabernacles is significant. Tabernacles are temporary by nature. Peter knew the experience was one to cherish and enjoy, but not one which was meant to be permanent. We relish moments of power, revelation, and anointing, but they’re not meant to be a permanent position – mountaintop experiences are transient; they’re mingled with valleys, desserts, and wilderness. Each station is of value, yet temporary nonetheless. Lastly, wherever you’re at, as long as Jesus is with you, you’re in the right place at the right time!

Part of the Mountaintop Experiences Serminute Series

“Serminutes” – Sermon in a Minute. A one minute spiritual pick-me-up for busy Christians!  Visit this POST for details on what exactly that is. Thank you for visiting today! May the Lord richly bless you. Rodger Mangold