Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Creating a Monument for a Mountain Top Experience

And as the men were parting from him, Peter said to Jesus, "Master, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah"-not knowing what he said.
Luke 9:33

This verse comes in the middle of the passage in Luke on the transfiguration of Christ, which provides a glimpse into the future of the glory of Christ. A glimpse into the future here is key because as Peter indicated he wanted to stay in the moment as we all would, but Luke indicates that this is a mistake. 

What Peter was trying to do is create a monument for his mountain top experience. A monument where he could stay and bask in what was taking place through the glory of Christ. Although the passage indicates that it is a mistake, I believe that we all would make the same mistake and often do make that mistake.

Take for example any true revival where the Spirit of God has fallen on a place. What usually happens? We try to stay there and take it further then what even God intended for it. We like to get stuck there by creating a monument when often the Spirit of God may have moved onto other places.

An extreme example of this is often seen in what I will call "Charismatic Movements." And before you accuse me of anything, recognize that I do fall into the Reformed Charismatic camp. I think of the Toronto Blessing that started in 1994 and had many good things come out of it, but what eventually happened is an extreme version of what the people were seeking themselves void of the Holy Spirit. Some such as Hank Hanegraaff even believe that the revival has gone on to do more damage than good.

I will let God be the ultimate judge of that, but I do recognize that these people were trying to do just as Peter and creating a monument for their mountain top experience. But the truth is that we are meant to stay in those mountain top experiences, not yet anyway. 

Part of the reason that we are not meant to stay in these experiences is that this is not the reality of the Christian life here on earth. The reality is that we face hardship and as this same chapter earlier in Luke refers to us taking up our cross and following Jesus. Taking up your cross does not leave you on a mountain top experience very long.

It is not that there is anything wrong with a mountain top experience, but what often happens when the experience is over is that we either attempt to create a monument where God no longer is in it or we dry up in our faith because we based it on the experience itself instead of the person and work of Jesus. The true and better mountain top experience is the Gospel, your salvation through Jesus Christ, and this of all places is where your monument should be.

No comments:

Post a Comment