It happened on Thursday at 7:25 PM.
I was responding to an altar call, on my knees as over twenty young adults gathered around me to sing out praises to God. My head was bowed and my expectant hands were turned upward, waiting as the joy of the Lord rained down. I remember the sweet sound of lone voices breaking free from the throng, lifting up cries of longing for the Spirit of God to come and make His home in us. In the vocal outpouring of enthusiasm for Christ I rocked quietly back and forth, filled with peace and thankfulness that God was making His presence known in this house of worship, in this city, and in this nation.
In that moment I reached my spiritual mountaintop.
Now I’m not referring to a physical mountain. Goodness knows I’m not the type of person who likes to climb anything. I am referring to a mountaintop experience, a moment in your Christian walk when you are enraptured once again with your victory in Jesus. Every believer has them at different points in their lives. For you, it may have been at the moment of conversion, the joy of baptism, the day of marriage, or the beauty of childbirth. These experiences are the times when we are reminded of how deeply we love our savior and of our connection to an all-powerful and ever present God. They are the moments in our relationship with Him that we live for.
However, life isn’t lived on the summit of that spiritual mountain. As in any walk, we are compelled to move forward. Once we have ascended to the top, we once again descend and seek another mountain, one that is unfamiliar yet never the less conquerable.
Today I want to talk to you about the in between place where you will spend the majority of your relationship with God. I want you to reconsider how you perceive the journey from mountaintop to mountaintop, walking through the valleys of your life searching for His presence and waiting, sometimes impatiently, to experience Him again.
Our walk as Christians is more than just a momentary revelation of the glory of God. Our relationship with the Father is more than the temporary high of awakening. Our knowledge of Christ Jesus goes beyond the baptism of His Spirit.
What truly defines us as believers is our everyday commitment to Him, our faithfulness to abide in the truth of God when we can’t see Him, touch Him, or feel His presence. What seems like the absence of God in these moments is actually the refining of our faith, the testing of our promise to steward His word in our hearts when the doldrums of life set in and believing in Christ is neither safe nor easy. It’s in these moments that we prove our steadfastness. When we traverse these valleys God recognizes our commitment to the revelation He has given us and leads us to another mountain where we can experience Him more fully.
Understanding the purpose of those dry periods doesn’t make them any easier to undergo. When we struggle in our everyday lives, sometimes we desperately cling to the hope that our next revelation is only moments away and find ourselves disappointed when it doesn’t happen. In those difficult times it’s hard to remember that our relationship with God is not just based on those summit experiences.
If you are struggling as you walk through your valley, I want you to hold onto these truths.
Let It Go
Embrace your dry period. Embrace being hungry for the presence of God. Embrace being in a place of supplication, of committing to cross deserts, swim seas, and climb mountains in order to be face to face with your creator once again, and once you have come to terms with where you are, let go of where you are not.
You are not on top of a mountain, but in the midst of this valley your faith is being strengthened. Take advantage of this time to honor God in your faith as you search for greater awareness of who He is and who He has called you to be. Read your bible. Pray earnestly. Share the love of Christ with others.
Ironically, it’s only by developing our faith through discipleship that we can experience God in greater ways. Don’t cling to the mountaintop moments you enjoyed in your spiritual infancy if He is insistent in growing you to greater maturity as a believer.
Stewarding Your Faith
Your faith belongs to you. Don’t try to brush off the responsibility of stewarding your faith by saying that you are dependent on these mountaintop experiences to believe in God. If He is leading you through a spiritual valley, it is because you are strong enough to get to the other side. It is your duty as a Christian to keep faith in times of difficulty, when you thirst for more of Him yet find yourself coming up short.
Cherish what God has given you, and in the midst of your hunger cling to it like the rock it is.
Trusting In God’s Timing
Revelation isn’t something you snap your fingers for. It doesn’t come on our schedule. God is the author and perfecter of our faith, and we need to trust that He will reveal His glory to us at the proper time and in the proper season.
We shouldn’t spend our lives worrying about how we will sustain our faith. He hasn’t faltered in giving us as much as we need and can handle. God will never grow tired of showing you who He is, so be encouraged that He will once again lead you to another mountaintop.