(Please scroll to the bottom to watch this powerful message on perspective and power.)
We all need the right perspective in order to thrive, not just survive. You see, we all face challenges daily. From family struggles to issues with a co-worker to sorting through feelings surrounding a health issue.
It can all become overwhelming. It can be discouraging.
So, how do you maintain a proper perspective during trials? And how do you find the power to press on in what may seem like impossible circumstances?
If you’re asking these questions, God’s Word has the answer.
Pray this before you keep reading: Dear Father, I pray that you would cause a transformation to take place in my heart today. Give me eyes to see and ears to hear what you have for me, in Christ’s name, Amen.
Let’s talk about standing on top of the hill.
You may think this is a strange subject, but you gain perspective and power when you stand on top of a hill. The phrase “Mountain of the Lord” or “Mountain of God” is found over 19 times throughout the Bible. Each time we see this, someone got on top of the mountain and started to cry out to God. Then powerful things happened. A key example is when Jesus went on top of the mountain. There He gained perspective and power and was then able to choose His 12 disciples.
I want to challenge you to begin drawing closer to God and to go to His mountain.
Do you want to go to the next level with God?
The Book of Exodus shows us that Moses was in charge of the children of Israel. He led a group of over one million people, most notably leading them out of Egypt. Afterward, as they headed to the promised land, they were attacked, causing Moses to take off the spiritual-leader hat and put on the military-leader hat. Why? Because he wanted and needed to have perspective and power.
In Exodus 17:8-15 (NIV) it says, “The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. Moses said to Joshua, ‘Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.’ So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady until sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword. Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it, because I will completely blot out the name of Amalek from under heaven.’ Moses built an altar and called it The LORD is my Banner.”
I’m always fascinated when I read the exploits of spiritual champions. As I pick apart and analyze what they do, it encourages me and assures me that if they can do it, so can I.
It also raises questions within me like, “Why did Moses stand on top of the hill? Why didn’t he go and fight alongside Joshua?” The answers are found in Scripture, which reveals that Moses knew the tension between the natural and spiritual.
Keep a healthy tension between the natural and spiritual.
If Moses would have looked at life simply through the lens of the natural, he would have never been victorious. Often we fall into the trap of viewing things through one lens because we don’t realize that life has two clear dimensions—natural and spiritual.
The natural is human, while the spiritual is divine.
The Apostle Paul weighs into this conversation in the Book of Galatians.
Galatians 5:17 (GNT) it says, “For what our human nature wants is opposed to what the Spirit wants, and what the Spirit wants is opposed to what our human nature wants.”
Paul clearly states that our bodies may want one thing, but the Holy Spirit may want something totally different. We need to be conscious that both of those realities exist. There is a difference between the natural and the spiritual.
We must work but not omit worship.
We must think as well as trust.
We must use our intellect (natural) and faith (spiritual).
Are you someone who gravitates toward thinking or do you put your faith in God?
Admittedly, I often gravitate toward thinking, but then I catch myself and say, “God, I trust you.” Moses climbed to the top of the hill because he realized that the battle would be more than temporal things, but also eternal things. He needed to win the battle, not for the temporal dwelling but for the eternal.
Sowing the seed for the next generation was on the line.
I challenge you today that if you want to make a difference in your future, then you need to go to the mountain of the Lord in this season. When you are on top of the hill, you must remember the natural and the spiritual. You cannot just live in the spiritual, and you cannot just live in the natural. There needs to be a healthy tension between them.
Honor the power of fighting battles alone and together.
When you are on top of the hill, two things will call you: being alone and being together.
We see this in Exodus 17:9 (CEV), “So Moses told Joshua, ‘Have some men ready to attack the Amalekites tomorrow. I will stand on a hilltop, holding this walking stick that has the power of God.’ ”
There is nothing wrong with wanting to have your own spiritual life, but there is also a danger. Why? Because sometimes you’re going to face battles, and you’re not going to be able to do it alone. You need to understand the tension between being alone and being together.
The need for community is highlighted in Exodus 17:12-13 (NLT), “Moses’ arms soon became so tired he could no longer hold them up. So Aaron and Hur found a stone for him to sit on. Then they stood on each side of Moses, holding up his hands. So his hands held steady until sunset. That’s how Joshua defeated the Amalekites.”
We see Moses, the mighty guy who stood before Pharaoh and performed many miracles, and he now needs help. He can no longer deliver and protect on his own. The Scripture shows the correlation between him holding up the staff and the Israelites winning the battle and how they would begin to lose when he dropped the staff.
Aaron and Hur could see this connection between the natural and spiritual. They got a stone for Moses to sit on, holding up his hands. Moses needed the reliance and support that he received from his brothers.
Who holds up your hands?
I know you’re gifted, educated, and talented. I know that you may feel strong, but what happens when something comes along that you never expected? Who is your Aaron and your Hur? You need to have community. This is not just an Old Testament truth but also a New Testament one.
The beauty, power, and fruit of living in Godly community are captured in Acts 2:46 (CEV): “Day after day they met together in the temple. They broke bread together in different homes and shared their food happily and freely, while praising God. Everyone liked them, and each day the Lord added to their group others who were being saved.”
The Christian faith is not an individualistic faith but a communal one.
We must understand the tension between having a personal relationship with Christ and the power of standing in agreement with one another. You may be praying on the mountaintop, and a big battle comes, so you think about inviting someone to battle with you. But how can you when you’ve never built a relationship with them? You need to build relationships with people so that they will go in the trenches with you when it’s battle time.
Here’s another way to look at it: “Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain. It’s not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you haven’t learned anything.” —Muhammad Ali.
I want you to understand the value of bringing your strength into a friendship and your friend bringing theirs. One of my favorite proverbs is a Zambian one that states: “When you run alone, you run FAST, but when you run together, you run FAR.”
We all must learn to run far, not just fast.
Know that what you do today will impact tomorrow.
We see the necessity for the natural and spiritual and being alone and together, but we also need to see the tension between today and tomorrow. What you do today has implications for what will occur tomorrow.
In Exodus 17:14-15 (GNB) it says: “Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Write an account of this victory, so that it will be remembered. Tell Joshua that I will completely destroy the Amalekites.’ Moses built an altar and named it ‘The LORD is my Banner.’ ”
When something happens in your history, write it down. If we don’t write it down, you will forget it. Something about capturing what’s happening today will impact your tomorrow. Moses wrote down what happened to him so that future generations could see it, and it would electrify their faith. When your grandkids want to know how you were powerful in different seasons of your life, you will have a written account, and you will be able to show them how you were able to battle on the hilltop.
You are making history when you go to the top of the hill. Remember, keep a healthy tension between the natural and spiritual, honor the power of fighting battles alone and together, and know that what you do today will impact tomorrow.
Closing prayer: Dear God, You’re so amazing. Thank You for putting this challenge in front of me. As I rise to the occasion, I ask that You would take all the excuses away and give me the kind of fortitude that I need to pursue You. I thank You in Christ’s name, Amen.
Remember this, precious child of God:
Today you’re an acorn, but tomorrow you’re an oak tree. Let’s go to the hill of God.