Blog In Audio:
Part of living in the spiritual realities of life is knowing how to go to the presence of God and how to allow the presence of God to come to us. We often think of the presence of God as something that we can easily find, and surely God is always near to us. He is never far from any of us. He makes His presence available to each of us in real and tangible ways. When the Scripture describes the presence of God, it is often revealed on the mountain of God. I have been doing a bit of hiking in the high hills where I live. I find that the view is amazing at the heights I go to, but the walk to get there requires an effort on my part. I believe that there is a climb to make for us all in every season of change in the church. We must climb to find God where we have not been in order to find what God wants to do in the land in which we live. How God reveals Himself to us on the mountain is how He wants us to see Him in our everyday life. What God is doing on the mountain is what God wants to do in our everyday world.
When we come to the mountain of God we come to the presence of God. Every season is a season of change and coming to the presence of God in our present season will always propel us forward into the new season of tomorrow. If we come to the mountain of God in a season of loosing and we ourselves are in a season of binding, our only response can be to try and hide from the presence of God. We cannot hold on to our bondage (binding) in the presence of God in a season of loosing. There must be an exchange for us to receive the life and power of what God wants to give. Jesus gives us beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, a spirit of praise for a spirit of heaviness, freedom from captivity, and the like. It is an exchange of a season we have known for a season we have not known. We cannot hold on to ashes and expect to receive beauty. We cannot hold on to mourning and expect to receive joy. We cannot hold on to heaviness and receive praise. Coming to the presence of the Lord in a season of loosing requires us to let go of the things that bind us to the past.
In the story of Elijah, Elijah was facing a season of change, but he was bound in his thinking to the years of binding in a season of loosing new things. When He went to the mountain, instead of looking for the presence of God, he went into a cave.
1 Kings 19:9 And there he went into a cave, and spent the night in that place; and behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and He said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
When Elijah came to the mountain of God, instead of going to the presence of God he went into a cave. A cave can be a mind-set. The only light in the cave is that which we have within us. The air isn’t fresh. There is no new revelation. It is the ultimate place of binding. There are only three things that we can do in a cave according to Scripture:
- “hide” for fear,
- “relieve” ourself of human waste, or
- “die” and decay (be buried)
1 Kings 19:10 So he said, “I have been very zealous for the LORD God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.”
Elijah displayed all the classic symptoms of being tainted by the “spirit of Jezebel.”
- A bragging of what one has done in the past (a rear-view ministry focus).
- A pointing of the finger to blame others for the present condition.
- A thinking more highly of oneself than they ought.
- A grasping to not lose what one has.
When we lose sight of a greater day tomorrow, the only light that we can see by is the fading light of the past. We become disillusioned with tomorrow when we choose to live a disillusioned life today. Life in God’s Spirit is GOOD! The kingdom of God is not meat nor drink, but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. A focus on the things of the past (good or bad) will bind us to the past. When we become “rear view focused” we look to blame other things and other people for our inability to have faith for a future. If we become convinced that our problems are the fault of others, we make a judgment that we are better than others. We further separate and isolate ourselves from the reality of a proper relationship with God and the children of God. The body of Christ is one body made up of “many members”. All those members make up one body. There are no “lone rangers” in the body of Christ. There is one Spirit, one Body, and one voice of the Lord that has the sound of “many waters”. No member of the body is unique unto themselves, and no member is of more importance than the need for every member of the body to function and live in their divine placement. To have a “body of Christ” mentality, one must embrace a “die to self” attitude. The more we grasp to keep our position, the more we grasp to preserve our life, the more we will lose! If we want to save our life, we must lose it! If we want to find our life, we must lay it down! These are the principles of loosing in the kingdom of heaven. If we want to embrace the season of change in our lives, we must learn to lose what we have so that God can give us more than we have ever had.
Food For Thought,
Ted J. Hanson
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House of Bread Ministry
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