Read: Mark 9-10
As they went back down the mountain… (Mark 9:9, NLT)
In Mark 9:2-13 we come across one of the most fascinating and mysterious stories about Jesus in the Gospels. Jesus takes Peter, James and John to the top of a mountain, and there before their very eyes, for a few moments at least, his humanity morphs into the dazzling brilliance of his divine being. And if that weren’t enough to knock their sandals off, Moses and Elijah, Israel’s two great historical and theological figures, suddenly show up and begin to encourage Jesus about his upcoming death.
As you would expect of Peter, and as you can understand, the unpredictable disciple offers to set up shop for this impromptu triumvirate. At that, a cloud covers the Jesus and his heavenly guests, the Voice speaks a word of Divine authentication from the heavens, Jesus is suddenly left standing with Peter, James and John and everything goes back to normal.
“Everything goes back to normal!”
That’s when Jesus leads them “back down the mountain” to the real world.
Here’s the deal: God never intends for us to fixate on “spiritual highs”; we are not to build tabernacles around them. They are simply means to an end, fuel to empower us for some spiritual assignment. Jesus didn’t have this encounter with Moses and Elijah just so he could feel special. The same account of the transfiguration in Luke 9:31 (NLT) tells us that these two Old Testament prophets came to encourage Jesus about his upcoming departure—literally, in the original text, his “exodus”. He was about to face the greatest assignment of all—the cross. This mountaintop experience was meant as fuel—encouragement, strength, a reminder of his life’s purpose—for his impending death for the sins of the world.
I am not down on “spiritual highs”. They are wonderful, and necessary. Just don’t fixate on them. Resist the urge to erect a shelter and live in their warm afterglow. Don’t rate the rest of your Christian experience against them. Simply see them for what they are: Fuel for the assignment ahead.
Then get back to normal. Climb down off your mountaintop experience and get back in the game. Lost people are still lost down there in the real world and the proclamation of God’s kingdom from your lips and the demonstration of it through your life is still the only way they will be found.
“Serve God by doing common actions in a heavenly spirit, and then, if your daily calling only leaves you cracks and crevices of time, fill them up with holy service.” ~Charles Spurgeon
What If God Took Over
Is there a “spiritual high” from your past (an ecstatic experience, a fruitful time of ministry, a wonderful season in an amazing church family, a dramatic period of spiritual growth under a gifted spiritual leader) against which you tend to measure current experience? Stop doing that! Repent of worshiping that experience and instead ask God to show you how he intends for that “high” to fuel you for the kingdom assignment setting before you today.