“But when you are invited, go and recline in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes, he may say to you, Friend, go up higher. Then glory shall be to you before those reclining with you.” Luke 14:10
A few months ago we traveled across Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, and California. We have lived in Colorado for many years. We had never made the trip further west. We had to take some furniture to our son and daughter-in-law. The trip was longer than we thought it would be. It was physically breath taking. I always stare at the heights of the mountains regularly driving across Denver. I never realized how deep, wide, and high the terrain of the mountain range was. The drive through Aspen, Vail, and Grand Junction was unbelievable. I see why so many spend hours and days skiing in the mountains.
We drove up to above 10,000 feet in elevation. The air was crisp and fresh. There was not much traffic so we were able to enjoy the ride. The fresh lakes and streams ran along side the highway curving with each slope of the road. The sky was brilliant blue with small hints of clouds fading in and out. When we drove through Utah there were beautiful red rocks , mountains, and red dirt through the landscape.
We were almost out of Utah when we ran into a forest fire that had just started. It started from a lightning strike that morning and ended up burning over 26,000 acres. The smoke and flames shot along the road and deep into the terrain. We watched the fire helicopter cross over our car while attempting to put out the flames.We were watching the earth and trees burn.
If we had not taken that trip I would never have known what it is like be that high in the mountains. I would not have had the experience of seeing the forest catch on fire causing so much natural damage. I would not have had this sensation of what it is like to touch the sky while driving through the mountains. On the drive back through Colorado in the early morning I was up by myself driving, praying, and talking to God. I could see every star in the sky above. I could feel a peace fill the car as I prayed. The silence and peace that filled my heart rested with me for days to come.
There is a place in God through prayer that is like touching the top of the mountains. Sometimes living this life and encountering all its hardships can turn your prayer life into a routine experience. Prayer is the closest thing we have to touching heaven without ever leaving earth. It is not just the process of praying for things, but communing with God through Jesus Christ. Smith Wigglesworth once said when we pray we touch heaven and earth at the same time without ever leaving the room.
Prayer is one of the privileges we have that allows us to experience God’s voice, love, and power directly. It is in our daily mountain top experience of walking with God that we grow. It is easy to take for granted the power of prayer in our lives. We can go to God with a list of needs or ask him for direction for the things we are facing in our lives. No matter how he chooses to speak we have opened the lines of communication greater to know his will. Prayer can involve worship, praise, thanksgiving, and the releasing of burdens. It can be private or corporate. It invites his will and direction into our lives.
Sometimes prayer for many is like our trip to California, it is rare for some to experience a higher level of glory on a daily basis. It can become rare to even feel God’s presence when we pray. There has to be a focused effort to open up our prayer lives to really experience God and his glory in prayer.You have to learn to wait in prayer for answers. It took time to get to the mountains when we drove. It takes time to reach a place in our souls, minds, and spirits where we sincerely let God touch our hearts. The more we allow him in, the quicker the process becomes. It becomes normal then to reach that mountain top experience in prayer. Jesus left the disciples often to go to the mountains to pray. He spent time alone with the Father. He modeled for us that sense of the need to get away with God. Prayer is a cell phone call and a text message to heaven. IM Jesus when ever you need him. It all began with prayer when we first came to Christ. It will all end with prayer when we come to the end of this life. Our final prayer to God is making peace with him.
Living out west I see the mountains every day. We have 360 days of sunshine every year. Today it is 65 degrees. The sky is blue every day. It snows and then it melts. I am used to seeing blue skies. In our lives we should get used to seeing answered prayers as blue skies that will shine every day. Driving through the mountains encouraged me to come up higher daily in my walk with God. My mountain top experience with God daily may be me weeping, sitting still, listening, or just reading the word. My expectations have changed since I made that trip through the mountains.
I desire so much more to experience a connection in prayer at a higher level that helps me see God even more clearly in things I go through. I don’t want to just go through the motions. God’s glory is revealed even more when we come up higher. Coming up higher is learning to appreciate and mature in my walk with God. Coming up higher is understanding the importance of praying for others. Coming up higher is loving others with the love of God. Coming up higher means fellowshipping with Jesus with a pure and open heart. Coming up higher is expecting more to happen when I pray. Coming up higher means walking in the Holy Spirit. Whether you close your eyes when you pray or whether you have them wide open, humble your heart in prayer. I have the mountains in my view every day and heaven on my mind. God is calling us to come up higher!
Parable I wrote about the Mountains in my book “Lord I Go to Church But I Can’t Find a Man”.
Words of Wisdom
In living out west in Colorado, I see the mountains every day. I remember once I asked God why there were no trees on the top of a mountain. The Lord spoke to my heart and said that at the top of the mountain was very thin air and that no life forms outside of a few birds could soar or live at that altitude. He showed me the process of going to the mountain, as a spiritual place of prayer. He says you start out in the valley, which is a place of the lowness of life. You gather up everything you need in the valleys of life. That is where all the food and provisions for life grow. In the valleys of our lives. Then you head through the wilderness as you head towards the mountains. The wilderness is at the edge of the valley. It is where the trees grow tall in the sun, animals thrive, and the earth is rich in soil. In the wilderness you take the provision from the valley with you (food, trials, tribulations, daily life). He said “You live off the food from the valley and can gather up more provision in the wilderness.” It is a place of struggles and warfare, and survival. After you pass through the wilderness, you head up to the mountaintop. It is a glorious elevation where only a few travel. There you experience the glory of God in his power and see life from the highest heights. You are alone in that place on the mountain where very few can come with you. However, what you take back with you when you go down is life-changing revelations. You start back all over again in the valley for provision and prepare to go to the mountaintop again to experience God’s glory. Moses knew the mountaintop very well.