God’s High Place
As is my habit, I woke up one morning and asked God what He wanted me to do. I was staying outside of Eli Nevada, and on that particular morning, my heavenly Father said, “get into your truck and dive.” That morning my wife was with me and so we piled into our small 4 x 4 and started off.
The Holy Spirit told me which turns to take as we drove into the wilderness via smaller and smaller roads eventually coming to a trails head. In front of us loomed a very large mountain that rose high above the flat plain. My wife and I left the vehicle and, as the Holy Spirit led, we started hiking on a trail winding up the mountain.
At first, the trail was smooth and well traveled. Being relatively flat, it was easy going. The warm morning sang with birds and insects. After about an hour, I noticed that the trail became strewn with stones and the going became more difficult. still, all things considered, the path was still easily traveled.
After another hour, our trail became many smaller trails making us pick our way around and through natural obstructions and barriers. We both slowed down, as the grade steepened, and began to huff and putt a bit, stopping more often to catch our breath.
The plain below came into better view. It stretched out before us in all directions in a striking 270 degree panorama. Features, that I could not see before we began our trek, were easy to see. At the same time, the mountain before seem to grow larger and our ascent harder with every step we took.
Abruptly, even the small, faint tail path disappeared on bare rock forcing my wife and I find our own way forward. Climbing became very difficult and each step forced greater and greater exertion on our aching muscles.
All of sudden, we met the trails end at the base of rock wall. Exhausted, my wife sat down as I studied our newest obstacle. Personally, I felt the Holy Spirit goading me onward, but I knew that, though I had some rock climbing experience, my wife could not follow where I must go.
Having been some time since I had done any real rock climbing, I felt a chill run down my spine as I put my right hand on the stone face. Going slowly I placed each hand and foot carefully so that I did not slip. If I fell, there was no ropes to catch me and, at the very least, a few broken bones awaited my slightest miscalculation. (note to self: never climb in tennis shoes again.)
One hand here, another foot there, inch by inch, higher and higher I climbed. After about 50 feet I crested a ledge and sat down to rest. Looking over they valley below I could see everything now quite nicely. From my new perspective, I could see everything below for miles around me, most of which could not be seen from the valley floor. What a beautiful view.
As I stood up, I called down to my wife that I was OK. Turning, I saw that the ledge I stood upon ran back into a small opening in the mountain. As I approach the black mouth of that small fissure, I saw that it was, indeed, a cave that dropped down inside the rock face. Looking at it I felt a sudden anxiety. I wondered briefly if God wanted me to go down that foreboding opening. fortunately, the Holy Spirit did not goad me to do that and Good thing too, because I lacked anything necessary to safely descend into that crevasse.
The better part of a day was gone and I felt that my wife was probably getting restless. Gingerly I slipped over the edge and worked my way back down to her. I told her in detail what I saw as we walked down the mountain.
I know that my little hike up to God’s high place was an object lesson from my Lord. You see, when you first start following the Holy Spirit the path before you is plain because some many people have went that way before you. Later, the higher you go in God, the less distinct the path becomes and you are forced to make detours to avoid obstacles in your path. Finally, the path disappears altogether and you must find you own way simply by listening to the Holy Spirit.
At every step, as you look down into the valley of this world your perspective changes. What was obscure or unknowable before now comes into plain view. Each step up the mountain of God is progressively harder and you work more and more to gain less and less. Finally, sometimes, you come to a place where only you can go and others, whom you have traveled with for a long time, must stay behind and wait.
Some, who have the skills and who are led, climb to God’s high place risking real personal danger. One small mistake and you could fall and hurt yourself or even worse. At that time our progress becomes very slow and deliberate because we have to concentrate on what we are doing, blocking out all distraction.
For those who will go the distance there is high place in God asnd rest. And “wow, look at the view!” From there you can see practically everything. What was once hidden below is made plain to from our new vantage point. From God’s perspective we can see where everything lays in relation to everything else.
Understanding God is not a matter of intelligence but rather a function of perspective, i.e. God’s perspective. We all have the ability to see but sometimes not in a “position” to see. This is why, when God calls, we must make the journey up His mountain. Only as we follow Him to where He wants us to be can we truly see what God wants us to see.
It is important for all of us to seek God’s high place. The path may not always be perfect and it even disappear, but at that point we must simply trust and do our best to move forward. Sometimes, there may even be danger, but for those who have the courage and ability, the view from God’s high places is well worth the effort. Besides, people are depending on to tell them what we have seen in the high places of God.
How can I apply this teaching to my life?
Ask God to give your His perspective. This often means you will have to “change” your position (what you believe) to do so because it is written,
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.”
This is difficult because most of us in Christianity are taught to fear anything new or different than what we have been told is “safe.” However, trusting God rather than man is obviously safe and the Holy Spirit will be with you all the way.
Finally, don’t be surprised if those around you, who are still in the valley, are not quick to see what you see even if you tell them. Those who do not have your perspective may even turn and persecute you because they are still afraid of what they do know personally understand. Just trust God and stand firm in what you know to be Him. Someday, just like you, those around you may experience God’s high place too and come to know the truth as you have seen it.