On Mount Sinai God revealed His character to Moses and gave him the Ten Commandments.
When you think of mountain top experiences with God, what do you think of?:
Miracles? Prophecies? Hearing an audible voice? Seeing visions? Healings?
16 On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning, with a thick cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast. Everyone in the camp trembled. 17 Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain.18 Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the Lord descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, and the whole mountain trembled violently. 19 As the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and the voice of God answered him.
The experience described here is massive! “Everyone in the camp trembled”… all the people experienced this and because of that experience you would expect them to grow some incredible fruits in Him. However, a few chapters later this generation had to be killed in the wilderness because they didn’t believe in God’s promise of deliverance to the promise land. As we go up a mountain we can see more. The danger is that when we get that new perspective we either stay there or don’t acclimatise and so panic… or in this case die!
So often we associate a mountain top experience with understanding. This is deception. Often when we come to God with a question or a request we won’t see the answer straight away. If we take the Lord a question and we are willing to camp and wait (as the Israelites did), the revelation will be massive! We can camp peacefully in the knowledge that God is good and knows the plans He has for us, otherwise we value the answer more than the mystery:
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you
Not all of our biggest revelations and experiences will be “mountain top experiences” either. God comes and meets us in everything, we just have to say “yes” to Him consistently in the small things and He will grow us. Small is the new big!
Matthew 13:32 talks about planting small mustard seeds. If we can give God our small “mustard seed” yes then He will grow us.
We live in such an “on demand” world. We can click a button and have something delivered to our doors the next day, we can press a button and watch live TV coverage of almost any event going on in the world at any given moment and we can contact a friend simply by opening facetime. We expect the rules of God’s kingdom to apply to this Earth. They don’t. God doesn’t operate an “on demand” kingdom. We have to be willing to camp and trust His judgement that He gives us as much as we can handle at the right times. If we want God to operate in an “on demand” way then we are giving ourselves to an experience not to God. If we only want to see the “big things” then we are not in true surrender of our hearts.
In God’s kingdom He does everything. All we have to do is position our hearts in surrender so He can build in us. We never do the building. As He builds, He enables things to flow out of us so that He can build even more. WE NEVER DO THE BUILDING, IT IS ALL GOD. Humility isn’t the ability to stand, it’s the ability to fall and to glorify God in our “fallenness”.
Fallenness however is a position of our hearts. We don’t have to physically fall. Everything around us can be fine and we can still be in this place of fallenness. We need God to pick us up and carry us out of the “smoke” (Ex 19:18) around us and take us to a place of freedom and humility to walk in His plans that He has for us. At Ripon last year we talked about “your kingdom come, your will be done on Earth as in heaven”. By surrendering our hearts in this way we will see God’s kingdom come.