Summary: The mountaintop is sweet because we commune with Jesus! But when you return to the valley, you will be ambushed by people who have all kinds of needs. That's why we should to always be a church built in the valley, not on the mountain.
Are you living in the faith dimension? We basically live in a three dimensional world. There are three dimensions to time: past, present and future. In terms of space, there is height, width, and depth. For many years, television and movies were shown in 2-D. But because of filming technology and special eyewear, we can now watch a movie in 3-D in which objects seem to be coming off the screen toward us.
In mathematics and physics there is a theoretical fourth dimension in which time and space are united. (I know that sounds like an introduction by Rod Sterling to an episode of the “Twilight Zone”) In all the science fiction movies and television shows, this theoretical fourth dimension is what makes time travel or warp speed possible.
And of course, you already know about the Fifth Dimension. They were a cool singing group in the 1960s who sang, “Would you like to ride in my beautiful balloon?”
Scientists have also suggested there may be a parallel dimension, or world, that coexists with our world. And according to the Bible, they are right. The Bible teaches that there is an invisible world that exists at this moment around us. It is a spiritual world. There are invisible angels and demons at work around us. I call this the Faith Dimension.
The Bible teaches there is THIS present world we can see, hear, taste, smell and touch. But there is also another world that is unseen by human eyes. It shouldn’t be too hard to understand, because there are things in this building we can’t see. Television and radio waves broadcasting shows and music are moving through this space at this moment. The only reason we can’t detect them is because we don’t have the proper receiver tuned to the right frequency. I could turn on an FM radio, and suddenly, we’d be aware of those invisible radio waves.
The same is true spiritually. There is a faith dimension where spiritual warfare takes place. And if you aren’t aware of it, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. It just means we aren’t tuned in to see or hear it. If a blind man says he can’t see a rainbow, it doesn’t mean there isn’t a rainbow; it just means he can’t perceive it. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 4:18, “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” We spend a lot of our lives focusing on all this material stuff that is only temporary. But there is another world. Jesus lives in this Faith Dimension, and we can too.
The context our passage today is that Jesus and three of His disciples had gone up to the Mount of Transfiguration. When they came down from the mountain they entered a scene of spiritual warfare. There is a desperate father seeking help for his tormented son.
Mark 9:14-32. “When they came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and the teachers of the law arguing with them. As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him. ‘What are you arguing with them about?’ he asked. A man in the crowd answered, ‘Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. 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.’ ‘O unbelieving generation,’ Jesus replied, ‘how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.’ 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. Jesus asked the boy’s father, ‘How long has he been like this?’ ‘From childhood,’ he answered. ‘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.’ ‘If you can?’ said Jesus. ‘Everything is possible for him who believes.’ Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, ‘I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!’ When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the evil spirit. ‘You deaf and mute spirit,’ he said, ‘I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.’ The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, ‘He’s dead.’ But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up. After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, ‘Why couldn’t we drive it out?’ He replied, ‘This kind can come out only by prayer.’ They left that place and passed through Galilee. Jesus did not want anyone to know where they were, because he was teaching his disciples. He said to them, ‘The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise.’ But they did not understand what he meant and were afraid to ask him about it.