Provision And Protection
I was so excited when friends went on a spiritual retreat earlier this year. There was so much prayer behind this retreat starting months before. During the weekend of the retreat there was prayer around the clock for 72 hours! These men and women left the retreat with a renewed hope feeling that they had been with Jesus. For most, it is a mountain top experience! They could not wait to get back and put small groups together to help them hold each other accountable. Little did we know that soon, very soon, we would be speaking a new language. A language that included, "Covid -19, shelter in place, social distancing, etc" Soon people would be wearing gloves and masks and lining up to get in a grocery store that had many bare shelves! Talk about a crash landing!
I was thinking about the different times in my life that I have crash landed. It is a crash landing after a mountain top experience. I think the lesson here is that we need to pray as much for protection after an event as we prayed for provision before the event! Let me repeat that. We need to pray as much for protection after an event as we prayed for provision before the event! I am reminded of each year when we have revival. That is another mountain top experience for me and I can count on Satan working extra hard on me after that. As a dear friend of mine says, "the devil don't mess with those he's already got."
Mountain top experiences are a time when suddenly God moves in a way that we have never experienced. It may have been while worshiping, at a youth camp, a prayer meeting, when a child was born, etc. God graciously gives us these mountain top experiences so we are able to navigate the valleys in our lives. He never intended for us to stay on the mountain. Peter wanted to make a memorial to what happened on the mountain so they could come and relive eh event. Mark 9: 5, "Peter said to Jesus, “'Rabbi,it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.'” But Jesus did not allow him to do that. Jesus also told them not to mention this until he was risen from the dead. How hard that must have been to stay quiet! Mark 9: 9, "As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus gave them orders not to tell anyone what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead."
When Satan attacks it is the armor of God that we use to defend ourselves. Ephesians 6: 10-11, "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God,so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes." They are the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness, the sword of the Spirit, the belt of truth, the shield of faith, and the shoes of peace. Ephesians 6: 14-17, "Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist,with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith,with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit,which is the word of God."
As a Christian, if we are experiencing fear, temptations, guilt, distractions, unrepented sin, or frustrations, we have forgotten to use His armor! Ephesians 6: 12-13, "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to with stand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." Paul speaks of how we draw closer to God when we pray that He will reveal Himself to us. Ephesians 1: 18, "I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people."
Are you holding on to your "mountain top" experiences more tightly than you are holding on to Jesus? If you have on your armor you cannot crash land. God is still with you every step of the way!