Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Wednesday Words of Encouragement

Each year our denomination's Great Commission Women's leadership team comes up with a theme for the year.  This year our theme is God's Positioning System: Placed for a Purpose.  I thought I would focus on one aspect of GPS here for my Wednesday Words of Encouragement.

This week I'm going to look at being on the mountaintop and the following is from a devotional I did from our district's leadership retreat a couple of weeks ago.

God's Positioning System: On the Mountaintop
 
I grew up on top of a mountain in the Catskill Park area of New York.  I recently had the pleasure of returning for vacation and experienced a time of refreshment and relaxation.  Every morning, I opened the window and could see a different mountain across the valley.  The smell of wild thyme permeated the air.  There was always a cool, refreshing breeze.    At night I drifted off to the sound of coyotes yipping and yapping in the distance.  I felt my spirits lift and my cares and concerns melt away.
 
Then I had to come back home.  As usual, after a mountaintop experience I start to feel down and depressed.  I don’t want my mountain top to end.  I wish it could go on forever.
 
However, as I looked throughout the book of Matthew I realized something important about those mountaintop experiences.  Every single mountaintop experience that Jesus had was followed by some key events. 
 
  • After the sermon on the Mount in chapter five, Jesus came down and began his ministry of healing. 
  • After the transfiguration, he came down and cast out demons.
  • After Jesus went up to the Mount of Olives, he came down and the Triumphal entry into Jerusalem took place.
  • After going up to the Mount of Olives again, his anointing at Bethany took place, followed by His betrayal, arrest and crucifixion.
  • And finally, his disciples were told to go to the mountaintop to see the resurrected Christ and were given the Great Commission.
I realize rather than look at my life following a mountaintop experience and feeling depressed, I need to have a different perspective about the mountain. Mountaintop experiences are given to prepare us for something. God allows these wonderful moments in our lives to prepare us for His purpose for His life.
 
We should use the mountaintop to:
 
1.    Get refreshed.  Use the time on the mountain to just rest and relax.  Breathe in the clean air and take in the beautiful views.  God gives us times on the mountaintop to rejuvenate.
 
2.    Get refocused.  There is clarity when you are on a mountain.  You can see things from a different perspective.  It’s easy to refocus on the task at hand when you can breathe in fresh air.  So use this time to refocus.
 
3.    Get ready.  God has a purpose for you.  He has a job for you to do.  Use your mountaintop experience to hear from Him and to prepare for whatever it is he has for you to do.
 
And then we can come down off the mountain, roll up our sleeves, and get to work at the task God has for us. God has placed you where you are for a purpose.  Use the mountaintop experiences you have and ask Him what it He wants you to take away and begin to use in your life and ministry.
 
Coming off the mountain doesn’t have to be depressing.  It can be an exciting time of renewal and refreshment so that you can face the task at hand.  Are you ready?