Going Home After A Mountain Top Experience
Our journey on earth includes highs and lows—ups and downs. Great victories are normally followed by great testing. Such was the experience of Moses after his holy encounter on the mount.
While Moses was on Sinai with God there was a FIASCO back among his flock—“They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it…” (Ex. 32:8). No doubt some of you returned home only to find a mess. “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice…” (1 Pet. 4:12-13). Satan seeks to reverse every advance and destroy your greatest blessings by clouding our hearts and minds with difficulty. This is NORMAL in spiritual warfare.
Moses’ FRUSTRATION was due to disappointment with those closest to him. Aaron went along with this idolatrous compromise. “And Moses turned, and went down from the mount, and the two tables of the testimony were in his hand…And the tables were the work of God…as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses’ anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount” (32:15-19). Even after forty days alone with God, he got angry and smashed the commandments to bits. If this happened to Moses, do not be surprised if you encounter such aggravations that your heart rises up in an angry outburst.
But, thanks be to God, his FAILURE was not final. God called him to retrace his steps back to the mount with fresh tablets of stone. “And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there…And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed…The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth…And Moses made haste…and worshipped” (34:5-8). Grace means innumerable second chances. For every two steps forward there is often a step backward. If you fall down, don’t stay down! Get to Cross—get cleansed—get filled—and get going again!
In the midst of tremendous heartache, Moses dealt FAITHFULLY and did right in the sight of God. “And he took the calf which they had made, and burnt it in the fire…Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the LORD’S side? let him come unto me.…Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion… and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men” (32:20-28). His obedience was costly, but his faithfulness spared the nation. You may be called upon to make hard decisions, so remember, obedience always brings blessing.
The FELLOWSHIP that Moses lost was completely restored. “Be ready…and come up in the morning unto mount Sinai, and present thyself there to me” (Ex. 34:2). Broken fellowship with God, due to personal sin, can be instantly renewed by humbly returning to the LORD. “And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend” (33:11). Isn’t the restoring grace of God something wonderful?!
God was concerned about the FUTURE so He gave Moses specific instructions. Worshipping strange gods was strictly forbidden and the Israelites were commanded to separate from the resident pagans and their practices—“Destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves: For thou shalt worship no other god” (34:13-14). The people and things that cause you to fall may have to go, but the LORD has the supply of friends and power you need to sustain your walk in victory.
Moses’ recovery was quick and so thorough that his FACE radiated the glory of God. “And when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone” (34:20). As J. D. Drysdale said, “We accomplish more through our radiations than our exhortations.” God wants to use every one of us as His instruments of healing and salvation to a world drowning in despair. “Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 15:57). The God of the mountain is also the God of the valley.
Harold Vaughan 3/18/2014 (www.christlifemin.org)
Thanks for this good teaching. We are experiencing the enemy’s attacks since coming home, but God has the victory over satan & so do we! We’re determined to resist his attacks in the Name of Jesus, our powerful Defender. He’ll “find nothing in us” to use toward our destruction.
How appropriate! Some of us at our church are fractured by many prominent attacks on marriages and families. The results are shocking and we have shed countless tears about the lost testimonies and deep hurt that each family goes through! However, I know that it has produced a lot of men praying together, asking questions about close accountability to each other, and inspired ‘guard your hearts’ discussions. God will make good out of evil… and we are to being thankful each moment that our despair can turn into praiseworthy events with God’s hand in our lives. Hebrews 12.
I was SO blessed at the Prayer Advance which seems to be the ‘theme’ :). I am SO grateful that I allowed God to stir my heart to get back into memorizing His wonderful Word. There is no earthly blessing that can compare. Yes, the return home comes with ‘reality’, but praise God, I KNOW the true reality is in the Heavenlies, and it is to There I go to escape the pull of the flesh and the mind! To God be the Glory!!!!
An insightful and thought provoking article. I hope you will preach this or share it in some form at the Advances to prepare all to face the “real world” once they head back home. Blessings, Jim Binney
Thank you for the encougement, I needed that.
Thank you for this wonderful reassurance! Just what my sisters in Christ and I needed to hear. You cannot believe what God did during that precious Prayer Advance, and what He is mercifully doing now! I have much to report but I keep having to add to it!
Thank you and bless you, brother Harold and dear sister Debbie.
With love and gratitude,
Thank you for this brief word of encouragement. Exodus 33:11 continues to have a tremendous effect upon my view of our LORD God. “as a man speaketh unto his friend.” What powerful words of grace – to think we, who are low and pitiful in the sight of God, could ever have the Almighty God Himself speak to us as our friend. Blessed be His name!
Thank you so much for the encouraging words. The “Prayer Advance” this weekend has revived my spirit.
The main speaker was so “real”, she spoke to my heart. I’ve quoted her many times just in the four days I’ve been home. All true children want to hear their Daddy speak. Reminding us that He wants it as much as we do, and will come looking for us in our sin, was mammoth!
Thank you Harold! This was exactly what I needed for encouragement today! Have a blessed day and Praise God for a wonderful weekend together in Goshen, VA!!! 🙂 To God Be The Glory!!
Thanks for the encouragement, Harold!!
Thank you for this timely reminder…I made a copy of this for all my ladies. I am sooooo thrilled with what God did in my life that I have been cautiously waiting for what the devil is going to throw my way…but it’s okay…God knows! And as we learned this past weekend, God tests those He teaches…Thank you again for your vision and ministry! It has been exactly what I needed!
Spot on. “We are more than conquerors through Him that loved us”
The battle is in the mind, “be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind” Romans 12:2
“that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God”
there is no way we can “prove” until we actually get in the battle.
And we are all in this together for Corinthians tells us “there is no temptation
(i.e. trial or difficulty) but such as is common to man (that’s you and me) but God is faithful,
who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
I am so thankful for the prayer advance. My husband also attended the men’s advance earlier this year. We thank God for his goodness. After my husband returned home he became sick and to this day Is still healing. After returning home last Saturday I too became ill. Neither of were sick prior to the Prayer Advance. We both know we did not get sick because of the Prayer Advance. God spoke to both of us during our time their.
Satan is a powerful creature he is the Great accuser. It is our firm belief satan is trying to discourage and stop the work God has stirred in our souls. We want to testify that though he slay us we will not retreat. To God be the Glory Great Things HE has done. May God continue to bless the Prayer Advance. Fred and Sue Horsley