Thursday, October 1, 2009

Devotional 011009

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. It is a gorgeous day! I almost wanted to stop by highway 101 to take a picture of the beautiful Bay (this picture was taken before). The wind was calm. Sea gulls danced on top of the beautiful blue sea that sparking with glorious morning sun. Wow…I could write a psalm if I were not driving. Thank God for giving us the senses to enjoy His beautiful creation. And how blessed we are to be called the children of this Creator Dad!

"Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them" (Mark 9:2). We have all had times on the mount, when we have seen things from God's standpoint and have wanted to stay there; but God will never allow us to stay there. The test of our spiritual life is the power to descend; if we have power to rise only, something is wrong. It is a great thing to be on the mount with God, but a man only gets there in order that afterwards he may get down among the devil-possessed and lift them up. We are not built for the mountains and the dawns and artistic attraction; those are for moments of inspiration, that is all. We are built for the valley, for the ordinary stuff we are in, and that is where we have to prove our courage. Spiritual selfishness always wants repeated moments on the mount. We feel we could talk like angels and live like angels, if only we could stay on the mount. The times of exaltation are exceptional, they have their meaning in our life with God, but we must beware lest our spiritual selfishness wants to make them the only time.

We are apt to think that everything that happens is to be turned into useful teaching; it is to be turned into something better than teaching, and that is into character. The mount is not meant to teach us anything, it is meant to make us something. There is a great trap in asking - What is the use of it? In spiritual matters we can never calculate on that line. The moments on the mountain tops are rare moments, and they are meant for something in God's purpose.

This is common for us to desire some kind of super-natural, super-ordinary and super-spiritual experience, in order to validate our belief. The assumption is that if we have experience God in such a way, we will drive away all our doubts, and we are ready to even die for Him. If we look at Peter’s life, this assumption did not happen. He and the other two disciples witnessed the glory of Jesus’ transfiguration. He and the rest of the disciples saw Jesus performed all kinds of super-natural and super-ordinary miracles. But he still denied Christ three times. Peter still ran away from the fearful city of Jerusalem. Super-natural experience does not necessarily sustain our faith. It is our daily encounter with Christ and abiding in His Word along with the help of the Holy Spirit that can transform our lives. It is our daily “down to earth” experience with God that will grow our faith in Him.

We wish we could have mountain top experience like the three disciples. If God allows, it will come. But this is determined by God who is interested to grow our character instead of our pride. He knows what is best for us, and He is committed to make us stronger each day. Our daily struggle in applying God’s principles to work and family is part of His plan to grow our character. Don’t just longing for a euphoric experience in Sunday worship each week. Long for a quiet encounter with your Lover in your daily worship as well. The more you draw close to Him, the more you will grow in Him.

Love you in peace with Christ,

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