WEEKLY READING: PSALM 40:1–17, PROVERBS 4:1–27, MATTHEW 7:1–29, LUKE 10:25–42, 1 CORINTHIANS 13:1–13, 1 PETER 1:13–2:3, 1 JOHN 4:7–21
Taking us further into the seasons of the soul introduced in Sunday’s message, this week’s devotional leads us to reflect on the summertime experiences of our faith walk.
“And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became radiant, intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach them.” | Mark 9:2–3
Jesus takes his inner circle to a mountain with Him, and they experience a “God thing.” It was something unlike anything they had ever seen.
Most of us have had a similar experience, maybe not as intense, but a mountain-top experience nonetheless. It may have been while worshipping at youth camp, a prayer meeting or maybe even during a normal day. It was a time when suddenly God moved in a way you had never experienced. But what did you do with it when it was over?
Some attempt to relive the same experience everywhere they go. Life doesn’t seem right if one of those experiences isn’t right around the corner. They began looking for an experience instead of living their life for Jesus.
Peter wanted to do just this (Mark 9:5), he wanted to make a memorial to what happened on the mountain so they could come to it and relive the event. But Jesus didn’t allow him to, and he brought them all back down the mountain, telling them not to mention this until he was risen from the dead (Mark 9:9).
What a buzzkill, right?
You see this awesome thing, and you want to keep reliving it over again and again, and Jesus says, “Oh yeah, by the way, don’t mention this to anyone until I have risen again.”
The disciples didn’t understand this (Mark 9:10), but Jesus knew what He was doing. Jesus gave them the glowing mountain top to aid them through the dark valley after he was taken away and murdered. He graciously gives us these experiences so we can navigate the many valleys in our lives, not so we can stay on the mountain.
So, cherish the mountain-top experiences and draw from them in the valleys. But be sure to never make them idols by living for them instead of Jesus.
Are you holding on to your mountain-top experiences more tightly than you’re holding on to Jesus?
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