Sermon "Skill in Your Hand & God in Your Heart"

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Distance Between Two Mountains

"But ye are come unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels." Hebrews 12:22
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Doesn't life seem like one mountain climb after another?  I know for me it seems like I can be experiencing the mountain top of blessings, peace and joy one moment, and then the next find myself down in the valley of troubles, fear and sorrows. But as the french say "C'est la vie", or such is life. Right? 

But, as I have grown in the Lord and come to a better understanding of Him through His word, I realize that it's more than just the coincidental up and down cycles of life. I now see my life as a journey. And for me to get closer to God I have to climb many mountains...and to get from one mountain to the next I have to cross over many valleys. 

When God delivered Israel out of Egypt through the leadership of His servant Moses, His people had a journey of their own. They had to travel from the place of their captivity to the land of God's promise. And even with them traveling by foot and having to journey through some mountainous terrain, it should have only taken them between 11 days and two weeks. But instead it took them forty years; all because they were disobedient.

Along they way, they proved to the Lord that they were hard-headed people, but He still loved them. So He gave them some rules to follow, 10 to be exact. He didn't give them these rules just to be mean to them, but because they needed rules, and God wanted to help them. So He had them to stop at Mt. Sinai and called Moses to the top of that holy mountain to give him the 10 commandments. That mountain was so holy that if anyone else other than Moses so much as touched it, they would die. Even Moses was forever changed by His experience on the mountain. But we know that Israel in spite of having God's directions, were still disobedient. They continued on in their journey from where they were to where God wanted them to be. Though most died in the wilderness and never set foot in the promised land, Israel as a people finally made it there. They eventually would come to worship at another mountain, Mt. Zion. This mountain represented a different side of God. Whereas Mt. Sinai represented his unapproachable holiness, Zion represented His grace and redemption. And not only could Israel approach it, they even built a temple on it to worship.  So we can see that the distance for them between those two mountains was long and hard, but for those who made I am sure it was all worth it.

As I reflect on that today, I think about the mountains ahead of me. I think about the wonderful places God has planned for me; the joy and peace He has waiting for me. But as I peer with my mind's eye across to the next spiritual mountaintop, I can also look down and see a valley in between. I know that there are yet more trials, more temptations, more problems to solve and heartaches to bear. And I wonder, how far is the distance between these two mountains?  And even with all the wisdom I have gained on the road behind me, the truth is I don't know much about the one ahead of me. But two things I do know. I can make that distance shorter if I obey, and no matter how long it is, if I go with God, it will be worth the journey.

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