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Are You Comfortable?

HammockAre you comfortable where you are in life right now? Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Too often we get comfortable and that turns into complacency. It’s never God’s plan for us remain at one level for very long.

We can see this illustrated in the lives of the Israelites. When they were on their way to the promised land, they stopped in the shade of a mountain as God directed. But not long after that, the Word of the Lord came to Moses.

The LORD our God said to us at Horeb, “You have stayed long enough at this mountain.”
Deuteronomy 1:6

Mountaintops are great! It’s one of my favorite parts of hiking. To stand on a mountain or ridge top and survey the vast beauty all around me makes the entire climb worth it. I wish I could stay there forever just taking in the scene before me.

It’s like that in our Christian walk as well. When we’re going through challenging times, we want to be done with it quickly. We have no problem moving on to an easier time of life.

But when we arrive at a spiritual high, we’d like it to go on forever. It’s easy to just sit back and enjoy the blessings of God. We’d like to just put our lives on “auto-pilot” and cruise along undisturbed.

One of the reasons I like mountains in the natural, is that the mountaintop brings a kind of clarity. You can see where you came from and where you’re going. This view gives you an understanding of the area that is unobtainable any other way.

Unfortunately, no matter how good the view is, there comes a time when I have to move on. Life is the same. There are events that you never want to stop. They’re like being up on a mountaintop.

What we have to learn is that the valleys of life are just as important. That’s why we need to regularly take stock of our lives. You need to ask yourself if it’s time to be moving on in some area.

God desires to see growth in His people. The accompanying truth is that growth means change. I can’t move on to the new places God wants to bring me, if I don’t leave the comfortable place I’m in now.

Every so often the Holy Spirit gives us a nudge. “You’ve been here long enough. It’s time to move on.”

It’s on the mountaintops of life that God gives clear vision and renewed strength for the valleys. But we need to cultivate an attitude that desires all that God has planned for us. That helps us to be ready when the call to move on comes our way.

Spend some time taking inventory of your life. Receive what God has for you today – and move on with His Spirit.

Question: What is the spiritual movement that God is working in you right now?

© Nick Zaccardi 2016

 
 

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The Truth about Mountaintops – Clarity

 

ViewIn my last post I talked about how to climb to a spiritual mountaintop. You don’t just magically wake up there one day. You have to be intentional about doing the daily things that you know to do.

Today I want to expose another myth many people have about these spiritual peaks. They usually equate a mountaintop experience as an emotional high – a very happy time. As I said last time, you need to understand the physical to grasp the spiritual.

I’ve climbed many mountains, but I haven’t always been happy when I got to the top. I remember one time in particular when I fell and got a bad sprain on the trail. The only way back to the nearest road required me to continue up and over two mountains.

When I made it to the summit I was tired, hurting and very frustrated. In spite of this, what I found on the top was still the same as always. There’s something that happens that causes you to stop and take it in.

The defining characteristic of a mountaintop is this – clarity. Usually you get an unobstructed 360 degree view that goes on for miles. This is what being on the mountaintop is all about.

It’s the same for the spiritual. As we go through our daily routines, as boring and monotonous as they are sometimes, suddenly the view opens up. We hear from the Holy Spirit. We get a vision of where God is taking us to.

However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”— but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.
1 Corinthians 2:9-10

The revelation talked about here is not for those who simply live for themselves with no thought to the spirit walk. God reveals His plan to those who through their daily walk with Christ climb this mountain of revelation. They’re the ones who see God’s plan for their lives.

There is one catch, however. When I stand on a mountaintop I can see the next few mountains that the trail will cross. What I can’t see is the trail itself. In spite of the great view, I don’t know the exact route I’ll take to get there. All I know is that if I stay on the trail, I’ll get to my destiny.

Another plus of mountaintop clarity is that you can see where you came from. There are times when we think that God is taking us the wrong way. But looking back from the peak I can see that there was a lake that I had to go around – that’s why it took so long. It’s always good to realize why God took you the way He did. It inspires faith for the future.

I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.
Ephesians 1:17

God’s will is for all believers to live at this level of spiritual insight. This clarity in the spirit is a wonderful thing. Once you’ve experienced it, you don’t want to lose it. So remember, mountaintops are not about being happy, but having a clear vision of where the Lord’s bringing you to.

Question: How clear is your vision of your destiny in Christ?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2015 in Faith, Prayer, Revival

 

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Mount Zion

Hebrews 12:22-25
But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God.  You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven.  You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.
See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks.  If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven?

In the pages of Scripture, Mount Zion was called the Mountain of God.  It was a place where the presence of God was felt very powerfully.

I’m so glad that the presence of the Lord is no longer confined to a specific place.  That being said, there have been times in my life when I have encountered the Holy Spirit in a powerful way.  Other times He spoke with a “still, small voice.”  When we come to Him in an attitude of expectation, He will speak to our hearts.

There is one thing I have learned in these encounters.  When I hear His voice I must be quick to say, “Yes, Lord!”  Sometimes He speaks a hard word – a word that calls for change – as He did many times in Israel’s history.  Change is never easy, but when ordained by God, it’s for the best.

Seek to spend quality time in the presence of the Lord.  But more than that; when He speaks to you, be the one who is ready and willing to agree with His plan for your life.

 
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Posted by on July 28, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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The Reflection of God

Exodus 34:29-30
When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the LORD.  When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, his face was radiant, and they were afraid to come near him.

Having spent time on a mountaintop with God, Moses’ face began to shine with a radiance like that of the sun.  It was so bright that it caused the Israelites to fear even being near him.  There was no doubt about it.  Moses was changed, inside and out.

When you spend quality, intimate, time with the Lord, people will begin to notice a change in you.  Your face will probably not begin to glow.  But just like Moses began to reflect the glory of God, your life will begin to reflect Christ in a new and more powerful way.  As a matter of fact, you may not notice the change as much as your family and friends will.

We all have areas in our lives that need change.  Sometimes we try to do it on our own.  Usually we fail – we are not strong enough.  Lasting change comes from a deep work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  The kind of work that requires a freedom from distractions.  This means that you must have a “secret place” to get alone with Christ.

Spend some time with the Lord today.  Open up your life to Him so that He might work in you.  Yield your desires to the Lord that He might shed His transforming power upon your heart.  Let lasting change begin today.

 
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Posted by on July 19, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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Come Down

II Kings 1:9-10
Then he sent to Elijah a captain with his company of fifty men.  The captain went up to Elijah, who was sitting on the top of a hill, and said to him, “Man of God, the king says, ‘Come down!'”
Elijah answered the captain, “If I am a man of God, may fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men!”  Then fire fell from heaven and consumed the captain and his men.

There is a peace that comes from being on a mountaintop, or even a hilltop.  It seems easier to seek the Lord in these places.  The sights and sounds all combine together to make your spirit more open to God.  Elijah was in such a place.  He realized that the place of prayer was a place of power before God.

Sometimes, in our Christian walk, we experience a spiritual mountaintop.  It is a place where God gives us special clarity about what’s ahead.  It is an intimate place with the Lord and usually we don’t want it to end too quickly.

In this verse the king ordered Elijah to come down from his mountaintop.  He even sent a contingent of soldiers to move Elijah off of his God-given assignment.  Unfortunately for the captain and his men, the power of God worked to remove the distraction from the prophet’s path.

In our daily lives, it is the distractions of society that order us out of the presence of the Lord.  We need to learn to remain on the mountain (at least in our hearts).  If we can continue our focus on the Lord.  Then, even when we must leave the place of prayer, His peace still remains.

Take the time today to find that place of peace with the Lord.  Spend quality time in His presence, then continue to meditate upon Him throughout the day.

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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The Water Walk – Part 1

Mark 6:45-47
Immediately Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd.  After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray.
When evening came, the boat was in the middle of the lake, and he was alone on land.

As I read the Gospels, I find that Jesus loved the mountains.  He went there often to seek solitude and to pray.  I don’t think that the disciples ever realized the importance of this part of the Lord’s ministry until after the resurrection.

There were many times where the best thing for Him to do was to dismiss the crowds and to send away His disciples in order to be alone with the Father.  This was one of those times.  He had just ministered to thousands of people.  That can be very draining no matter who you are.

When the Lord took on flesh and blood, He chose to live as one of us.  Because of  this, Jesus was bound by the same physical limitations that we are.  He learned that you cannot just keep giving out to others.  You must also take something in that can recharge your own spiritual batteries.

It was in these mountains of prayer that Jesus was able to renew His Spirit.  He would seek the Father’s face and by the Spirit, hear the plan for the road ahead.  In that way He could fulfill the work He was called to do without burning Himself out doing it.

That needs to be a lesson for us.  If Jesus needed this time with the Father, how much more should we be seeking the presence of the Lord in our daily lives.  Take the time necessary today to renew and refresh yourself in the presence of the Lord.  You will be glad you did.

 
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Posted by on June 29, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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Worship on this Mountain

John 4:19-24
“Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet.  Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”
Jesus declared, “Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem… Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.  God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”

The Jews and the Samaritans worshipped God on two different mountains.  The woman speaking to Jesus in this verse was starting to get uncomfortable with where the conversation was heading.  She thought that she could start an argument about which was the right place.  Fortunately the Lord was not distracted from His objective by her question.

Jesus answered that God is Spirit.  He knows no physical limitations as to time and place.  He explained to the woman that anywhere you worshipped God was the right place.  This is a great blessing to us.

Worshipping God is one of the greatest experiences you could have.  It doesn’t matter where you set aside the place.  The key is that we come into His presence in spirit and in truth.  To be alone with the Lord is something you cannot afford to miss.

Take the opportunity today to worship in His presence.  Worship Him in spirit and truth, as He calls us to.  You will find it to be one of the high points of your day.

 
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Posted by on June 25, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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