And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you. Genesis 22:5
(Disclaimer: this one is personal. Not for the sake of airing out bad attitudes or repressed feelings of bitterness. But, so that someone will understand God still has a plan in the catastrophes of life).
In prayer this morning the words were not rehearsed, preconceived or contrived. The words just came out. In speaking right into the Savior’s face as if he were physically standing in the room the words were voiced:
“What will I do? I will tell you what I will do. I will worship on this mountain”.
I wish I could write and extrude the spiritual accolades of my children. I wish I could boast of their great and mighty exploits for the kingdom of God. But, I cannot for none of our children are “living for God”. Children raised mind you while living in the church’s parsonage while attending Sunday school every Sunday from kindergarten through High School.
If fact, our youngest daughter should not even be alive today. One year ago she was found lying unconscious on a hot Monday night in a street in downtown Baltimore City from a heroin overdose. She should be dead. The mercy of God impressed a passerby to call 911 on her behalf as the medical report states she was “blue with minimal respiration”. I have the report. The ambulance crew injected Naloxone into a neck vein and brought her back to life.
Failures as parents you might say? Must be harboring some secret sin, are you? Character flaws or maybe a personality disorder must surely be the root cause. Let God be the judge. Be careful how you boast and gloat while riding in the gospel boat because life can turn our tables in a nanosecond. Chances are if hell is not rocking your world, could it be you are rocked to sleep? Okay, please pardon the interruption. Let’s move on because it does gets better from here on out.
There are many things one can do when God calls you to a mountain that will define who “YOU REALLY ARE ABOUT”. A mountain where God will test your faith, your convictions and your mettle. God knows who you are, but you do not know who you are and He will show you and He will show your enemy.
Like Abraham, every man and woman used of God will face their mountain.
The mountain of sorrow. The mountain of rejection. The mountain of pain. The mountain of heartbreak. The mountain of frustration. The mountain of fear. The mountain of confusion. The mountain of feeling unwanted and useless. The mountain of doubt. The mountain of …………
So, what is one to do when faced with apparent insurmountable obstacles?
Worship on this mountain.
The word of God gives us excellent examples. What did all of these champions of heaven do? They worshiped on their mountain:
For Abraham there was Mt. Moriah.
For Esther there was Mt. Haman.
For Hannah there was a harassing Mt. Adversary.
For Naomi there was a haunting Mt. Past Mistakes lurking in the fog of Moab.
For David there was Mt. Goliath.
For Joseph there were hateful and jealous siblings named Mt. Brothers.
For John the Baptist there was Mt. King Herod.
For Apostle Paul there was Mt. Alexander the Coppersmith, and
For Jesus Christ there was Mt. Satan.
The question is: what will you do on the mountain God sends you to? There are many options. The best one is to simply worship. What was Jesus’ instruction in dealing with the mountains of life? Jesus said to “speak” to them:
Mark 11:23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.
Worshiping is speaking, vocalizing and articulating words of praise to God. What hinders us from worshiping God in our calamities? One word. Pride. At least that is what it was for me.
Storms & Whirlwinds
There are some things God can only reveal to us in trials and tests. Which bring us to the storms and whirlwinds (hurricanes) of life.
A storm and a whirlwind (or hurricane) are different manifestations or concentrations of the same two elements – wind and water. They differ only in intensity.
Strorms bring measured amounts of water to the earth. Storms bring needed rainfall to sustain life and enable growth. Storms add to life.
On the other hand, hurricanes are much different. Hurricanes bring destruction to the earth. Hurricanes take away or radically alter life.
We can apply these same two weather patterns into the spiritual realm. Spiritually speaking a storm, or as we might say, a trial or test also adds life and promotes growth:
Psalms 119:67 Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.
Psalms 119:71 It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.
Isaiah 63:9 In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.
However, hurricanes transform whatever they touch. You will not be the same individual after experiencing or going through a spiritual whirlwind.
For Elijah, his whirlwind was his promotion to Heaven in a chariot of fire:
2 Kings 2:11 And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.
For Job’s whirlwind it meant his promotion to receive God’s storehouse of blessings for being faithful through his trial of fire:
Job 40:6 Then answered the LORD unto Job out of the whirlwind, and said,
Job 42:10 And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.
When Job prayed for his friends within his mountain of despair, God turned his whirlwind of distress into a windfall of God’s best.
The Apostle Paul’s hurricane experience prepared the promotion awaiting him in Heaven as he headed to Rome to become another of God’s prized martyrs:
And when the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their purpose, loosing thence, they sailed close by Crete.
But not long after there arose against it a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon (typhoon/hurricane). Acts 27:13-14
For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve,
Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee. Acts 27:23-24
Are you in the midst of or facing a spiritual hurricane/ whirlwind? Then know God is preparing you for your promotion:
Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. I Peter 4:12-13
Life’s storms are purposed for production. Life’s hurricanes are purposed for promotion.
Cindy, go worship on your mountain. Stacey, go worship on your mountain. Sis. Buxton, go worship on your mountain. Vivian, go worship on your mountain. Wendy, go worship on your mountain. Gary, go worship on your mountain. Ann, go worship on your mountain. Debra, go worship on your mountain. Sheila, go worship on your mountain. Gail, go worship on your mountain. Lily, go worship on your mountain. Frances, go worship on your mountain. Anne, go worship on your mountain. Terri, go worship on your mountain. Bill, go worship on your mountain. Steve, go worship on your mountain. Deandra, go worship on your mountain. Bella, go worship on your mountain. Matthew, go worship on your mountain. Mary, go worship on your mountain. Lori, go worship on your mountain.
Pastor Scott, go worship on your mountain. Pastor Andrew, go worship on your mountain. Pastor Jason, go worship on your mountain. Pastor Philip, go worship on your mountain.
You who are reading, go and worship on your mountain.