Long Enough on the Mountain
The LORD our God spoke to us in Horeb, saying:
“‘You have dwelt long enough at this mountain.” (Deuteronomy 1:6)
If God allowed us to live on the “mountaintop,” we
would not experience trials, but neither would we achieve any victories. The
Israelites had gathered at the foot of Mount Horeb while God spoke to them and
gave them His law. It was a breathtaking experience! Fire and smoke covered
that awesome mountain; lightning flashed, and loud trumpet sounds pierced the
air in a deafening crescendo! The ground at the foot of the mountain shook, and
the people trembled in fear (Exod. 19:16–25).
As important as it was for God’s people to have
this inspiring encounter with Him, their Lord had not rescued them from Egypt
in order for them to settle around a mountain in the wilderness. God delivered
them so that they could conquer the Promised Land. God wanted to demonstrate
His power to the Israelites so that they would trust Him in their conquest of
Canaan. Finally, God announced that they had been long enough at the mountain;
it was time to go to battle.
The mountain is an enticing place to set up camp.
Peter, James, and John were prepared to reside on the Mount of Transfiguration
with Jesus, but their Lord knew that a demon-possessed boy needed their
assistance down below (Matt. 17:4, 14–18). At times God will graciously provide
you a mountaintop experience. These times come in many settings: during your
time alone with Him, at a Christian conference, by reading a Christian book, or
at a prayer meeting. You may wish you could spend the rest of your life basking
in the glow of your encounter with God. But remember, these mountaintop
encounters are God’s way of preparing you for the battles that await you.