Summary: Mountains in the Bible that God calls all leaders to climb. Clarity comes when you reach the summit
Mountains God calls us to Climb.
I do believe that there is great benefit in being both real and completely honest about the reality of Pastoral life and all it’s expectations and challenges. All of the events of the last 10 years of ministry, both good and bad, has aided both my own personal walk with God and my spiritual development.
It was the apostle James who said, (Message) “Consider it a sheer gift when tests and trials come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure your faith-life is forced into the open and shows it’s true colours. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do it’s work so you become mature and well developed”.
Why is it pure joy or a sheer gift? Because every trial, difficulty and challenge is an opportunity that helps us to become more like Christ. Speaking for myself this has been the key to my own Pastoral ministry – just a simple longing to be like Christ.
What I want to share with you today I hope will be helpful, encouraging and hopefully a blessing to each of you.
I want to take us on a little bit of a journey in this next hour. I often view both the Christian life and Christian ministry as a journey. All journeys have a destination, we are going somewhere, it is not an aimless stroll in the dark.
I remember once scrambling to the top of Ben Nevis (Scotland), for someone as unfit as I was, it was a challenging climb. I remember as I walked onto the summit thinking what an amazing reward was mine being able to see all around me with no hindrances or obstructions.
The endurance, perseverance and hard work in getting to the peak was brought into perspective only when I reached the top and saw the view. Getting to the peak and seeing the view was pure joy, yet without the hard work, perseverance and endurance there would have been no summit walk that day.! As a leader my desire is to see as clearly as I can so that can lead the people of God in the right direction.
I do believe that before I lead God’s people with clarity there are a number of spiritual mountain peaks that God desires to take all those who would seek to lead God’s people.
These spiritual mountain peaks are not measured by how many come to our church, what size our offerings are or what kind of programmes we run. These peaks are not about what we have done or what we will do, they are about something far more important than that, these peaks are about what you are and who you are becoming.
Mountains God calls us to Climb:
Gen 8:1-4 “(v1) God remembered Noah….. (v4) and on the 17th day of the 7th month the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat.”
The mountains of Ararat were a place of great hope and refuge for Noah. He had been floating around for 5 months. He seemed lost in a sea that had no end. Noah’s obedience to God and his leadership had brought him into a place of isolation. At this moment he was on his own.
Noah knew that he had found favour in the eyes of God because he and his family were the only ones alive. Yet despite this, Noah, it seemed, had been forgotten, or perhaps this is how he began to think as he drifted on a sea going in no particular direction from one month to the next. He heard nothing from heaven.
God did not tell him how long he would be confined to the ark. God did not tell him when or how he would be released.
Very good men have sometimes been ready to conclude themselves forgotten by God. Perhaps Noah, though a great believer and leader, found the great flood lasting much longer than he thought it would. Maybe he began to think, how long will you forget me Lord? The only thing he had to hang on to was the promise God had given him.
We then find some great words of mercy, “But God remembered Noah”. In my own ministry these words have not just been a blessing, they have been a lifeline that have both sustained me and enabled me to press on.
The important and significant thing about this mountain is that Noah and his family did not climb it, to this mountain they were taken to it by God Himself. It was a place of safety and a place of refuge and a place of Divine Promise. If God had called Noah into the ark and shut him in, then it would be God who would open the door and lead him out.