Isaiah 2:1-2 The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it.
What would make a church a part of the mountain of God? It would be a place where God is higher than anything else in our hearts. It would be for the expression of God to be higher than anything else in our lives. The truth is, every mountain is made of a lot of stones. For a congregation to be a mountain, it would mean that every member needs to be a rock. Jesus said the church is built upon the rock of revelation of Christ that empowers each of us to become a testimony of Christ. It is the testimony of our lives being empowered by the huge rock of relationship that God builds His church. He is building the church and the gates of the realm of the dead cannot prevail against it. Another metaphor for the church is the mountain of God. It is the place where the little rocks like Peter become a part of the big rock – the testimony of Christ. When that happens, the nations flow into it. They are drawn to the life of each stone in the mountain.
What happens in the mountain? If a congregation is an expression of the mountain of God that is higher than all the other hills in the community, its members prove to be more dependable than anything else that can be seen in the city. When members of the city look at the testimony of a stone in the mountain, they begin to stream into the mountain. What happens in the mountain?
Isaiah 2:3 Many people shall come and say,“Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
The mountain of the Lord has to be the place that God lives. We need God’s presence more than anything. We want Jesus to be famous in our midst and in the city. The manifest presence of God transforms our lives and our cities. For this to happen, each little rock in the mountain must see God as more than anything in their lives. As leaders, we must be examples of rocks in the mountain of God. We lead by allowing God to manifest in our lives in a way that others can be touched and inspired by His testimony in our lives. In the mountain of God, each little rock manifests God in their life. When all the stones come together, the most notable and recognized thing is the presence of God. God lives here! We don’t walk out of our gatherings together to say we are walking out of the house of God. We are saying the stones of the house of God are going into the city. No matter where we find ourselves in the city, we are still us. No matter where we find ourselves, we are part of the mountain of God. We are the church! It is not some place we go. It is a place that others can come to, because they are drawn to the testimony of our lives.
The church is not a place we go, it is who we are. We go into the community with the presence of God. It is not the responsibility of leadership or the worship team to give us the presence of God, they lead us by helping us experience the presence of God, but we each vessels of His glory. We don’t gather together as a church to get the presence of God. We come and we are reminded of the presence we always carry. So, we become the presence of God in the coffee shop, the presence of God on the construction site, the classroom, the taxi cab, and in our homes. We are part of the mountain of God in the earth. In the mountain of God, we have the presence of God and then what happens in this mountain? He teaches us His ways. In the setting of coming together in a meeting, or being in relationship in everyday life as the community of God in the local community, we are being taught God’s ways. What are God’s ways? In the justice systems of the world it is right to demand your rights. In the justice system of the kingdom of heaven it is right to give up your rights for the sake of others. In the justice system of the world, when someone hates you it is right to hate them. In the justice system of the kingdom of heaven, when someone hates you it is right to love them. In the justice system of the world, when someone does something to you that is unforgivable it is right to not forgive them. In the justice system of the kingdom of God, it is right to forgive them. In the justice systems of the world, it is right for the guilty to die, but in the justice system of the kingdom of heaven it is right for the innocent to die for the guilty. These are God’s ways. They are ways of radical, extravagant love. Each stone in the mountain of God is different than the stones in the mountains of the world.
As leaders, we are examples of stones in the mountain of God. Being an example of a stone in the mountain is more important and any program we can offer. It is the power of inspiration to the other stones in the mountain of God. We must lead by being an example in the ways of God to those we lead.
Food For Thought,
Ted J. Hanson