Finding Trust on the Top of a Mountain

I am praying today…praying that we would have need of quickened grace…grace that makes us not only alive, but lively!
Reading today, this quote jumped out at me, “true spiritual leadership can be defined in one concise statement, spiritual leadership is moving people on to God’s agenda” … But the antithesis to following this simple task or more appropriate, our greatest obstacle is, of course, our own agendas. Planning for the year, the month, day, hour, and even moment is innate as well as insidious. Lightening fast, the Day Planner is out and filled to overflowing. Or more often we are unconscionably engrave the list in our heads, nary a scratch pad or sticky in sight, numbers one, two, three priority annotated indelibly, albeit permanently in our consciousness and subconscious mind. Never taking into account what God may be doing. So, it is not by accident that we have been given a scripture help, Matt 6:33. “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be provided for you”. This is my new mantra… Seek first the kingdom, His kingdom and in all things, seek first the kingdom and His righteousness. Seeking first righteousness and the kingdom…His kingdom…on earth as it is in heaven. The heavenly kingdom…a heavenly agenda. A manta transforming, remolding and renewing my mind…
We are also given a story to strengthen our resolve to seek first. It is Luke 9:33. In this story, Jesus, James, John, and Peter go up on the mountain so Jesus can pray. Don’t you know, He can pray foreevvvvvvveeerrrrr, in fact, all night! James, John and Peter fall asleep. Suddenly awake most likely while it is still black dark, by a painfully blinding, bright light! Jesus is altered and He has become the glory of heaven. His clothes are dazzling white, better than Oxyclean white. And Elijah and Moses in glory too, are talking with Him about departure from Jerusalem…His death.
A week or so before this night, Jesus had made a startling statement concerning death and in the context of this holy encounter with Elijah and Moses, the disciples in hindsight, will tie the two events together for us. What was the radical statement and why had prophets long dead shown up on a lonely mountain for a chat? It was to discuss Luke 9:23. “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me”. What does take up your cross daily mean anyway? Bucking up… suffering, trials… inconvenience? Or, is there deeper significance in this mandate? Why would we need to carry a cross in the first place? The only reason people carried a cross was on the way to death; carrying a cross to die upon it. Or as David Platt states in his book Radical, “pick up an electric chair and become [a] disciple” (pg 10). So here it is: carrying your cross, a symbol of death, is an action that means death to me, my agenda, my ideas, and expectations…the ultimate surrender….Complete allegiance…allegiance unto death…Daily. How does one come to a point of absolute surrender…daily dying…become a cross carrying person. The only true, comforting, and sustaining answer is trust. If we trust God and know beyond the shadow of a doubt He is faithful, He is loving-kindness and that He will always be with us, we are forever in His presence, we can choose death today…tomorrow…daily…the ultimate surrender.

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