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We All Need A Mountain Top Experience.
Facing challenges and trials
I'm going to share about increasing our faith in God and praying for things to happen. Our lives are like the swinging of a pendulum.We swing from peace, where everything is good,to the time of crisis, where we have a bad, maybe have a troubled situation.All of us have challenges and trials .And we need to know, how do we push through these things.
Now, we're going to look at an account in Mark chapter 9, where Jesus and his disciples have an encounter with a man who has a son, who is troubled or possesed by a demon. It's a familiar story. We're going to look at Mark 9, and I am also going to refer to the beginning of Mark chapter 9,where Jesus goes on to the Mount of transfiguration.
Mark 9: 2-7
After six days 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. 3 His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. 4 And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus.
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.” 6 (He did not know what to say, they were so frightened.)
7 Then a cloud appeared and covered them, and a voice came from the cloud: “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!”
So, this is the Mount of Transfiguration. They go up to the mountain and the most amazing thing happens. Jesus is transfigured. The word transfigured is the same word metamorphosis and we know what that means. Metamorphosis, where pupa turns into a beautiful butterfly. Jesus was human, frail and weak in his humanity, but suddenly there, he was transfigured and His glory was revealed again. And that's what happened. Not only was Jesus transformed, but there came, Moses and Elijah. Moses represents the law and Elijah represents the prophets.All of them came and they were with with Peter and James, and John, and Jesus and they could recognise them.
There is another account of the Transfiguration in the gospel of Matthew. Mark 9 says that Peter didn't know what he was saying and he was also frightened.
Verse 5 onwards
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.” 6 (He did not know what to say, they were so frightened.)
7 Then a cloud appeared and covered them, and a voice came from the cloud: “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!
Wow..What an experience to have. That was a wonderful time on the Mount of transfiguration and what I'd like to draw from this thing is each of us must seek such a Mountaintop experience. If you look through the Bible, you will see that many times. When Christians or Jews went up to the mountain, they had a revelation of who God was. Mountains in the Bible are associated with the revelation of God.
So we have Jesus and the disciples here of this Mountaintop experience. We have Moses who went up the mountain. Remember Mount Sinai and encountered God and God gave the Ten Commandments. He saw the glory of God. He was transformed. Then you have Elijah on mount Carmel with the prophets of Baal and all that happened there again. He encountered the power of God and he came down transformed. So what I'd like to say to us is this : You also need to seek out in your Christian Life for a Mountaintop experience.
You don't because we are so busy throughout the day and the week, 24 by 7. We've got this cellphone beeping. We've got messages coming in. We've got things to do.We are so distracted, from taking a break from the routine and the other mundane things of life or just going alone and being with God. We want to see his glory and we want to hear his voice. That's what happened to the disciples.
So here's an application for us. Seek a Mountaintop experience where you can be alone with God where you can cut off from the routine of life. It may be taking a couple of days off alone. It may be a day off. Maybe half a day, maybe a couple of hours, but you are just putting away all distractions saying, Lord. I want to see you. I want to see your glory. I want an encounter with you. I want to hear your voice. Can you imagine the transformation that must have taken place to Peter James and John. What gave them the strength to hold on to Jesus to the end.
This way, they saw the goodness and the glory of God and they heard the voice of God. Nothing could shake them . What's sad is, so many people have ceased even coming to Sunday meeting online. Some people may have genuine reasons but there are many others who just don't attend and I think one of the reasons is they've not got the biggest glimpse of who Jesus is ,His greatness and His glory. And when we see that, that will transform Our Lives.
I remember for myself, one of the other places when you get this Mountaintop experience is when we go off to conferences, Christian conferences or camps or meetings where suddenly we encounter God in the worship or in the word. So I want to encourage you, take every opportunity to get ahold of going to such meetings.
I remember many years ago I attended a meeting with Terry Virgo who started New Frontiers and this happened in Mumbai. His preaching and teaching was amazing. At the end of the word there was a call for commitment saying, are you willing to give up and serve God, follow him? I remember God speaking and I responded to that. I would encourage you to seek God. For a Mountaintop experience -Lord I want to just be with you.
Everything is glorious on the Mountaintop. But when you come down to the plains, what do you see? We see somebody demon-possessed. We see squabbling and fighting between the scribes and the disciples. We see, lack of faith and distress, and we see disciples were unable to overcome the power of Satan and unable to give relief to a father and a son.
Mark 9 :14 onwards
When they came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and the teachers of the law arguing with them. 15 As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him.
16 “What are you arguing with them about?” he asked.
17 A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. 18 Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.”
What is Jesus's answer to that?
You unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.”
20 So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth.
21 Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?”
“From childhood,” he answered. 22 “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”
23 “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”
Can you imagine? Jesus is not comforting them. He is rebuking, specially the disciples. There's something to learn from that.
Whatever situation you're facing in order to reach that level to cast that Demon, to overcome that situation- We need to increase that level of prayer. Are you willing to pay the price or rathe Pray The Prize to see that breakthrough in your situation.Whatever the situations, you know, we've got to believe what Jesus said. It's possible for him, who believes. That means, me getting a marriage partner, mine being healed of my sickness, my breakthrough in my job or my finances, salvation of my husband, or my children is possible, for those who believe.
I need to do my bit by pushing through, because Jesus says it in Matthew chapter 17:19
19 Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”
20 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.
We began the first song this morning singing," if faith can move the mountains".
Jesus says If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain move from here to there and you will nothing will be impossible for you. So friends, this is what I want to encourage you. God wants us to be mountain-moving, Christians. That's the call upon our liives.It won't just happen. We've got a play. We're going to grow our faith muscles. We have to grow in our faith and we have to grow in our prayers.
Now, Peter and John took this to heart and that's what they did. And in Acts chapter 5 verse 12 we see that the apostles perform many miracles signs and wonders among the people. That's what they did. In Acts chapter 3, Peter and John healed, a man who was crippled from birth. How do we do all these things? Because they took to heart what Jesus said and they said yes will grow in our faith will grow in our prayer.And when they did it and they were able to do mighty, mighty things. Let's bring all this to close this morning. Number one is : let's seek out those Mountaintop experiences. Put the phone off. Close the door, go somewhere, but just be quiet with God where you want to be seeing the glory of Jesus, hearing the voice of God. That is what will energize us to go on.
Secondly, what we need to do is we are going to face difficult situations. Let's just face it. If you need peace and freedom from sin and sickness and death, that will only happen when we go to heaven.But right now that we have a job to do, it's not to just exist but it's to stop the kingdom of darkness from spreading and to destroy the works of the enemy.
How can we do that?
1) We've got to grow our faith. Believe that with Jesus, everything is possible for those who believe. Wow. This is what is impossible with man is possible with God.So when we face every situation, let's attack it with faith and prayer. Jesus wants us to increase our faith.
3) The way we increase our faith.
Continue reading the word and memorizing the word and seeing the things that are there that will fit into our lives.
There are couple of more interesting things in Mark chapter 9, at the end of the chapter, that could have been possibly things that restricted their faith.
33 They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the road?” 34 But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest.
35 Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”
The disciples had some character flaws.We also have and we got to work on this a lot. I don't want to seek for my glory, my fame. You're not competing with one another using Lord. Jesus said if anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last and the servant of all.
There's another reason. Verse 38
38 “Teacher,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.”
39 “Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “For no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, 40 for whoever is not against us is for us.
So first realize, there are many Christians and we're not in competition with them. We are all together in Jesus. We need to develop our character. To be greatest in God's kingdom, just be the servant. I just want us to make a commitment to the Lord today. I want to grow in faith and as we work together, we can pray and we can see mountains remove and cast into the sea. We can see that happen, but it needs to be all of us praying and working together. It's not Jesus. Who needs to change. We need to change.
Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again), Spirit-filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that has people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service. Word of Grace is a part of a wider international family of Churches called RegionsBeyond.To know about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.