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Sunday, October 7, 2012

Mountaintop or Valley, What Does It Matter?

          Some may have heard that we cannot live on the mountaintop with God; that is not living. Being on the mountaintop is the place where we hear and see God’s vision and where we can worship God without limitations. To remain on the mountaintop brings no benefit to God. We must return to the valley for God to make us ripe and squeeze us for His purpose. God did not make us solely for the mountaintop, but also to be His servants on earth. We are to be participators with Christ and be companions of Christ, as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 1:9.

            How can we be participators if we remain on the mountain? How can we be companions if we have not joined God in a relationship by faith
 believing Jesus is the Messiah? None of us can be joined with God without the baptism Jesus gives, the life eternal life He gives. We think we know a better way to get to heaven and we strive for it. Our striving is not what wins us the end reward, but the forgiveness and sanctification, the being made holy, by Jesus
’ death and resurrection. This forgiveness by Jesus brings us the ultimate reward. Striving for ourselves does nothing more than harry and weary us. Our strivings get us nowhere; our acceptance of Christ’s gift gets us a life of forgiveness and a promise of heaven.

             We have decided to join Jesus and be in a relationship with God
, now what? What does this mean for us? First, eternal life is the gift only God can give. He wants to give life to us. God’s desire to be in a relationship with humankind is why His Son, Jesus, died on the cross and rose again to new life. No one else and by no other means is eternal life acquired. This Life is the gift of God to humanity. What does this mean the saying, “It is the gift of God?” Since God gives us this life, it brings new meaning to “being crucified with Christ.” Since it was His life that was crucified for our sins (our wrongdoings) and since we take His life within us when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, then we are crucified to our own desires. Are we identifying with that sacrifice? This does not mean that we are physically crucified. It does mean that we must use the new life Jesus gave us and live it as if Christ is still walking on this earth through us. We are the embodiment of Christ on earth. We then have the responsibility to let Christ act through us. Through being His arms and mouth here and now, we become the pressed grapes and poured out wine of God. This gives us our bruises and aches, but this walk with the Lord here on earth, obedience to Him, like Jesus’ obedience to His Father, matures us and makes us more Christlike. For us to change and be made more into the image Christ, this relationship, this communing with God, must not only be heard but must elicit a response from each of us. We either respond with obedience, causing a change in our thoughts and actions leading to maturity, or with disobedience, causing stagnation or a wall in our relationship with God. His teaching is meant to be applied to the life, which He has put in each of us, to make us more like Him. This is the working out of our faith, the putting into action what God commands and growing the new self, because of this obedience, within each individual.

The ultimate question is have you believed Jesus is God’s Son who died for us on a cross and rose again to beat death? The next question then is: are you staying on the mountain top or are you in the valley working out the life Jesus has put in you for His purpose, to bring all creation back into communion with Him? If your answer is yes, then you can say with Paul, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who lives but Christ lives in me; and the life I now live in the body I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me” (Galatians 2:20). What will it take for you to descend to the valley and begin to work out in obedience what God has put into you, namely the life of Christ? You may be the only source of Light someone ever sees; should you not go to the valley?