The message was brought by Rev. James Childers.
Matthew 17: 1And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, 2 And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. 3 And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. 4 Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. 5 While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. 6 And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. 7 And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid.
A high mountain apart. That’s not here by accident. The mountains named in the Bible are important and this is no different. A friend of mine goes to the western mountains to hunt every year. I told him to watch out for snakes, and he said there aren’t any snakes up in the mountains he goes to. I didn’t believe him, so I called the wildlife departments in Colorado, Utah, and Nevada and asked about it. Above a certain line in elevation there are no snakes, no spiders, and no scorpions. It’s as if God in his wisdom drew a line the poisonous creatures couldn’t cross. There should be some places you and I can go and get above this world’s junk. I’ve never seen so many Christians down in the dumps and complaining as I do now. There needs to be a place we get above what the devil throws at us so that we can live a victorious life.
Some folks in the Bible went high and got alone with God. Moses went to the mountain with God. While there God wrote the Ten Commandments on two tablets of stone. Moses came off the mountain and found the people of Israel worshipping an idol. Aaron told a big lie to Moses when he said they put their gold into the fire and a golden calf jumped out. Moses got so angry that he broke the tablets of stone. In Exodus 34 we find Moses instructed to go back to the mountain. God told him to hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first: and I will write upon these tables the words that were in the first tables, which thou brakest. This time Moses had to provide the tablets. That was hard thing to do. He didn’t have the equipment we have today.
God said be ready in the morning. Get ready. Be ready. Don’t come up unless you’re ready. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every church member came to church ready? Many come and haven’t prayed for the service. Come ready. Teachers should be ready to teach. Be ready to sing. Be ready to enjoy God. This is serious business.
The next thing Moses was to do was come up in the morning. Why did he say that? Moses had to go up. God wasn’t coming down. Many want God to come down to our level and enjoy our habits. God is not going to do that. Isaiah saw the Lord high and lifted up. The cherubim cried holy, holy, holy. God is still holy, and we won’t bring him down to our level. I heard a Hollywood type saw he and God got along fine because God was a good old boy. Who do we think we are? God is holy and will not come down to our level. We have to do some climbing sometimes in this life.
The next thing Moses had to do was present thyself. God wasn’t interested in what Moses could do. He was interested in Moses. God is interested in us. It would be amazing what God could do if we just gave ourselves to him.
Moses was to come by himself: no man shall come up with thee. There were 3½ million complaining Jews at the base of the mountain. Moses needed to get away from them and alone with God. Problems won’t be gone until we get to heaven. We need to get above it—get above the snake line.
And the Lord passed by before him. I like it when the Lord passes by. There is nothing better. That happens when we get above the snake line.
Let’s go back to Matthew. Peter, James and John went on a high mountain where they would experience something they had never experienced. They saw the transfiguration of Christ. They saw him in his glory. Moses and Elijah joined Jesus. What happened? They talked to the Lord. We can talk to the Lord in the valley, but the best conversations are high above the snake line. I’m glad the Lord rides in F150’s. That’s what I drive. I can tell him by heart and don’t have to worry about him gossiping about it. It’s wonderful that God lets us talk to him. In verse 5 we see that God talked to them. He said this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. God talks back to us and lets us know that he’s there. Jesus came and touched them. God likes to touch his people. They were troubled. The Lord laid his hand on them.
When we get alone with God above the snake line, we can enjoy ourselves with him.