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God's high place

Climbing To God’s High Place

As is my habit, I woke in the 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 drive.” 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 started hiking on a trail winding up the mountain, as the Holy Spirit led.

In the low places, the path is always well-traveled

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, though 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 regularly to catch our breath.

Finally, the plain below us came into better view, stretching out before us in all directions in a striking 360-degree panorama.  Features that we could not see before were now easy to see.  At the same time, the mountain before us seemed to have grown larger and our ascent was becoming harder with every step we took.

The trail disappears

Abruptly, even the faint path disappeared on bare rock forcing my wife and I t 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 trail’s end at the base of a rock wall. Exhausted, my wife sat down as I studied our newest obstacle. Personally, I felt the Holy Spirit goading me onward. Though I had some rock climbing experience, I knew that 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 were no ropes to catch me. At the very least, a few broken bones awaited my slightest miscalculation (note to self: never climb in tennis shoes again.)

God’s high place

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 the 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.  It was quite 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 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 into that foreboding opening.  Fortunately, the Holy Spirit did not goad me to do that and it was a 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.

An object lesson

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 so many people have traveled that way before you.  As God leads you higher, the path becomes less distinct, forcing you to avoid obstacles in your path. Finally, the path disappears altogether and you must find your own way simply by listening to the Holy Spirit.

At every step, as you look down into the valley of this world, you enjoy a different perspective.  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.  Eventually, 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 are led, climb to God’s high place, risking real personal danger.  One small mistake and they could fall and hurt themselves or even worse.  At that time their progress becomes very slow and deliberate because they must concentrate on what they are doing, blocking out all distractions.

Go the distance to God’s high place

For those who will go the distance, there is a high place in God and rest for your soul.  From there you can see practically everything.  What was once hidden below is made plain to see from your new vantage point.  From God’s perspective, you 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 we are not in a “position” to see.  This is why, when God calls, we must make the journey up His mountain.

It is important for all of us to seek God’s high place.  The path may not always be perfect and it may 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 us to tell them what we have seen in the high places of God.

We’re Going Up To The High Place by Ron Kenoly