"Six days later Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John, his brother, and led them up on a high mountain by themselves. And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. Peter said to Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, I will make three tabernacles here, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah. While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, "This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!"
When the disciples heard this they fell face down to the ground and were terrified. And Jesus came to them and touched them and said,
"Get up , and do not be afraid." And lifting up their eyes, they saw no one except Jesus, Himself alone.
The Word of God is infinite, and no matter how many times I have read this account, the Holy Spirit always reveals something new. Then again, many times, it is a reminder of lessons He has spoken to me personally at particular times in my life before. I love reading of the many accounts Jesus went high on the mountain tops alone to be with His Father. Of course this time He took only three disciples with Him. It is easy for me to relate to what they must have experienced that momentous day except for the appearance of Moses and Elijah!
Peter responded naturally by feeling a great need to build something for them. As he is speaking to Jesus with his great idea, God the Father interrupts Him while He is still speaking — instead of listening, — and says what He so often has said to me while speaking my great plans for Him:
"This is My beloved Son, listen to Him!"
Oh that we might just obey that simple command. Our good intentions and futile sacrifices will all burn up when tried by fire. Only what we have done in obedience will remain. Jesus told us He never did or said anything from His own initiative, but only what the Father told Him to. (John 8:28, 12:49)
How beautiful these words are,
"… This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased."
How God the Father loves His Son! That is where we get our love for our own sons and daughters if we allow Him to parent our children through us. And how we all long to hear our Father say the same about us.
We see the response of the disciples as God spoke audibly from heaven and overshadowed them by a bright cloud with His Presence. The disciples fell face down to the ground and were terrified! How I love the immediate response of Jesus to His disciples: He came to them and touched them, and told them to get up and not be afraid. When they lifted up their eyes there was no one except Jesus. They knew they were safe alone with the only One they needed and trusted in.
My Father created me with a deep love of His mountains. I love nothing better than getting out of this world as much as possible, and running, backpacking, or hiking, to the high places where I experience my own transfiguration moments. We have something the disciples did not have at that point in their lives which is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. They experienced Him physically, but we have Him inside of us! We are never without His Presence within. I too hear the voice of my Father, but it isn’t audible; it is within. However, there are rare times it is heard as loudly within as it can be heard audibly. I love the solo times I am alone, because there are no distractions or restraint from expressing my love for Him. It is a very intimate time, and I do get filled with His love and presence. I am well aware of His presence in the clouds that often overshadow me, and I feel the tender caresses of His Presence in the gentle breezes. I feel bathed by the warmth of the sun with His love, and I breathe in the earthy aromas only His creation provides. I feel it is the closest I can get to Him till He comes for me. I often take communion to express my remembrance and gratitude for all my Savior did for me on the cross, and how I look forward to becoming His Bride soon, and going to the place He has prepared for me and you if you belong to Him.
I make these treks often while I still can, and many times I take others to join me. It is a memorable moment from all aspects, physically, spiritually, and emotionally as all of our senses are filled along with our spirit.
But there have been times I have gone alone out of deep hurt and loneliness. Last Christmas was one of those times. Holidays can be extremely painful when life doesn’t turn out like Norman Rockwell paintings, or the Walton’s. But when we are left with voids in life, we must keep ourselves in the love of God. He can turn the bitter realities of life into divine sweetness if we keep ourselves in the love of our God above all else. (Jude 1:21) Look again at Jesus’ response to His own as they were face down terrified. He touched them, and then instructed them not to be afraid. Oh how often only His touch can bring healing and comfort. I know from living it.
I will never forget my own mountain top experience where I believe He led me last Christmas eve. I was led to run with Him to the top of a mountain to an overlook to a place secluded where I would be more aware of Him than anywhere else that day. As I stood in the cold wind, immersed in the granduer of His creation and His Presence, I ended up face down before I left not from fear, but overwhelmed by His touch, and as He revealed once again the true meaning of Christmas as we took communion together. I was lifted from my physical and emotional needs to a higher place not only geographically, but spiritually. The truth of the eternal put things in perspective, and I was truly transfigured from the earthly realm to the eternal. A winter day that started so lonely and bare became one the most meaningful Christmases I have ever experienced.
The Lord has no favorites. He will do the same for you, and you do not have to scale mountain tops to get to Him. He is omnipresent! He is more real than the air you breathe. He told us in His Word those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth. It is a heart issue. He does say we must seek Him with all our heart in order to let Himself be found. He looks upon your heart. He sees all from within, not without. He tells us if we hunger and thirst for righteousness He will fill us. He longs to! He will do His part; He already has. But are you willing to seek His love and approval above all else?
I struggle just like everyone else, and fail more often than not. But we can’t earn His love. He gives it freely. His mercies are new every morning we are told in His Word. I fail bitterly daily in loving Him as He deserves, but I fall on the mercy seat of Christ, receiving His grace, through the cleansing blood of Jesus. That is why communion means so much to me. I do it in remembrance of what God the Father and Jesus did for all of us. It is our only hope. It isn’t about our performance; it is more about our repentance, and the cleansing blood of Jesus. We must drink His blood and eat His body daily. John 6:56 reads:
"Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in Me and I in Him."
I would suggest you read the entire chapter of John 6 for better understanding. This is what I want and I hope you do too, I want to remain in Him and He in me. Jesus prays this for all of us in John 17 just before going to the cross. Take time to read it, and let us strive to be an answer to His beautiful prayer He prayed for you and me just before He went to be crucified to make it possible.
In His love.
(Photos from some of my mountain top experiences!)
""He makes the clouds His chariot, He walks on the wings of the wind!" (Ps 104:3)