People ask me, “what do you do all the time out there in the wilderness?” My reply, which often gets strange looks is “I walk around a look at God’s creation.” The strange looks reinforce that the mountains aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but there is something magnificent about them.
There are also some very Biblical things you can learn from them. The Bible speaks much about the mountains. As a matter of fact, God’s dwelling place is described as a mountain.
- Isa 57:15 For thus says the high and exalted One…, “I dwell on a high and holy place.
- Psa 48:1 Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, In the city of our God, His holy mountain.
- When we draw near to God in prayer it is seen as ascending His mountain. Ps 24:3 Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? And who may stand in His holy place?
- When people find Him they are seen as going up to His Mountain to learn from Him. Isa 2:3 And many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; That He may teach us concerning His ways And that we may walk in His paths.” For the law will go forth from Zion And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
The Snake Free Zone
“Prayer plumes the wings of God’s young eaglets so that they may learn to mount above the clouds. Prayer brings inner strength to God’s warriors and sends them forth to spiritual battle with their muscles firm and their armor in place.” –Charles H. Spurgeon
There is another parallel issue seen in ascending earthly mountains. When you get up to about 7000-9000 feet something happens that I like very much. You enter the snake free zone, hallelujah! I hate snakes! When I am on trails and see a snake in my path my heart always skips a beat. It doesn’t matter if it is a small harmless snake or a large poisonous one, I can’t stand snakes!
The devil is described in Scripture as a snake (Gen 3:1-4, 15, Rev 12:9). He comes at us like a snake, to accuse, discourage, and tempt us. When he comes one of the best things we can do is climb to the high places in God, and prayer and worship are how we climb. They are powerful weapons against the enemy. This is why James tells us that in the process of resisting the devil we must submit and draw near to God.
Jas 4:7-8 Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.
The enemy and his demonic forces are relegated to darkness (Jud 1:6). When the enemy comes to accuse and trip us up, he comes in darkness and we can fall into it. Mat 6:23…. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!
The sun shines brighter in the mountains because of the higher elevation. When we are challenged by the temptations and accusations of the enemy, the best thing we can do is climb higher. We climb to higher realms of light. 1Ti 6:15-16…the King of kings and Lord of lords, (16) who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light. When we come closer to God’s light the enemy can’t stand the altitude, and he must flee as James said (Jas 4:7-8).
There is often a problem, however. Many times I don’t feel like climbing. Especially when I have been out several days. When I go ahead and overcome my fatigue and climb anyway I am always invigorated. The same is true spiritually. When I am worn out spiritually and emotionally I often don’t feel like climbing, but I can’t listen to that.
One of the best Psalms that speaks of this process is Psalms 73. I encourage everyone to read it regularly. David is overcome by dark thoughts that seemed to overwhelm him. He had stupid thoughts like all of us have at times, but he didn’t stay that way. He climbed the mountain of God until he hit the snake free zone where there was clear air. When we climb into God’s higher zone we drag the enemy and all of our stupid thoughts into the brighter light (snake free zone).
Consider what the Scriptures say will happen when we climb higher into the presence of God
- Enemies perish – Psa 9:2-3 I will be glad and exult in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High. (3) When my enemies turn back, They stumble and perish before You (KJV Thy presence)
- Stability returns as God’s joy comes to us – Psa 16:8-11 I have set the LORD continually before me; Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. (9) Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will dwell securely…(11) You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.
- We are hidden from the plots and strife of men – Psa 31:19-20 How great is Your goodness, Which You have stored up for those who fear You, Which You have wrought for those who take refuge in You…(20) You hide them in the secret place of Your presence from the conspiracies of man; You keep them secretly in a shelter from the strife of tongues.
- Determination is renewed and joy is restored – Psa 51:10-13 Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. (11) Do not cast me away from Your presence And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. (12) Restore to me the joy of Your salvation And sustain me with a willing spirit.
- Times of refreshing come – Act 3:19 “Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;
- We see God’s glory afresh in His presence – 2Co 3:18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.
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