Note: due to the length and nature of this post it will not be split over the two days it encompasses, but rather posted both days. I encourage you to read it the first day, then meditate on it the second.
A 365 Day Devotional Journal
Scripture: Exodus 3:1-6; Exodus 19:6, 20-21; Matthew 17:1-8; Deuteronomy 34:10; Joshua 11:15; 2 Corinthians 3:6-18.
It was during the wee hours of the morning. The day was Friday before November’s Mid-Term Elections in 2010, when the Lord spoke to me in a rather vivid dream.
My husband and I were in our former home in Virginia in the family room. I was going through a box of overheads in preparation for a presentation that a world renowned minister had prepared for that evening at our church. He, his right hand man, and another minister from South Korea were staying in our home while they were in town.
I knew in the dream that it was our job to feed and house them and remember feeling concerned that their needs were met. At the moment, though, they were out ministering in another meeting. I had pulled two of the overheads out because I wanted to copy some information from them for my personal notes, but I was mostly preoccupied with what I knew to be the subject of this night’s message – buying the mountain top.
This minister had bought the mountain top and because of this, he was safe and would remain so in the coming times of uncertainty. I desperately wanted to buy the mountain top immediately, even before he shared in the night’s service with everyone how to go about doing this. My husband was with me, watching me as I copied the notes. I remember him being very curious about it all.
[I’d like to insert here that all throughout the dream I was blanketed by the deepest, most profound peace.]
Sometime later the men returned, so I went into the kitchen and greeted the Korean man in the way of his culture [this may not be accurate of Korean culture but it was this way in the dream], bowing to him with my hands clasped in front of me like how a little child sometimes prays. In this position of humbleness, I smiled and asked “How may I serve you, kind Sir? Would you like chicken or roast for supper tonight?”
The Korean minister gestured with a grin toward a case of eight whole roasted chickens he had just brought in with him from Market Street Grill. Chuckling, he said “I think I want chicken.”
At that moment, the world renowned minister and the man who served as his assistant walked in the door, and I woke up.
The day before this dream I had experienced three close calls while driving north from Colorado Springs to Castle Rock and back, it was three days before October 31st, and I had been sensing dark goings on in the atmosphere. I don’t normally talk about stuff like this, because greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world, but that particular day’s events had left me feeling uneasy – I knew in my spirit that the unseen realm was getting stirred up over our state. And in addition to this, the upcoming Election was set to become, as it has in recent history, a battle of epic proportions in its own right.
Initially, I had thought that the dream was a reassurance from the Lord that my immediate family and I were under His covering of protection. And because we held a deep respect for this minister, that He and the other two men were a symbolic representation of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. That all is true, but it took me some time to understand what buying the mountaintop represented, and that is what I want to spend the rest of my time on with you.
Now I know what the definition of buy means but decided to look it up anyway:
“to acquire the possession of, or the right to…to redeem; ransom… buy in – buy back one’s own possession… buy up – buy as much as one can of something or as much as is offered.” But it also means “to acquire by any exchange or sacrifice”2 and comes from an Old English word meaning to “believe or accept as true.”3
I don’t know about you, but when I read this I sat up.
After the fiasco with killing that Egyptian, Moses fled to the desert of Midian, eventually marrying the daughter of the priest of Midian. So when he was tending his father-in-law’s flock, it was out in the middle of what I affectionately call “Nowhere Desert.” Moses led the flock to the back, or west side of the wilderness, to a place the Bible calls “the mountain of God,” Mt. Sinai (Horeb). And it was there the Angel of the Lord appeared to him as a flame of fire in the middle of a bush which was not consumed by the flame.
Then Moses said, “I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn.”4
Now there’s an understatement if ever I’ve heard it.
So when the LORD saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then He said, “Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.” Moreover He said, “I am the God of your father—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God.5
In other words, Moses fell flat on his face in fear, and we would, too.
Later on, after Moses had obeyed God and was instrumental, along with his brother, Aaron, in delivering the Israelites out of Egypt, he grew more comfortable to meet with God. Scripture says God talked to Moses like He would to a friend (Exodus 33:11). But Moses would go up to God on the mountain. It was on the mountain that God twice gave Moses the Law. It was on the mountain that God allowed Moses to see his back, hiding him in the cleft of the rock and covering him with His own hand, as His Glory passed by him.
God Himself protected Moses from dying in His presence and He covered him.
It was from the mountain that Moses would come down and minister to the people and the people would be afraid of him, for the Glory of God lit Moses’ face with a glow so that it shone like light.
After he destroyed the first set of tablets, Moses cut two more of stone and took them up the mountain for God to write upon them:
And the Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there and proclaimed the name of the Lord. And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord! the Lord! a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abundant in loving-kindness and truth, Keeping mercy and loving-kindness for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but Who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children, to the third and fourth generation. And Moses made haste to bow his head toward the earth and worshiped.
…Take heed to yourself, lest you make a covenant or mutual agreement with the inhabitants of the land to which you go, lest it become a snare in the midst of you.6
The people were so afraid of Moses, because his face shone so much each time he went up to be with the Lord that he began to veil his face. Scripture says, however, that when he went before the Lord, he removed the veil.
Fast forward several thousand years, and Jesus is ministering to the multitudes, then spending time with his disciples, teaching them the meaning behind what he spoke to the crowds, preparing them to minister after He has gone back to the Father.
One day, He is teaching the disciples that He must suffer and die, but that on the third day, He will rise again. Peter says, Lord may it never be so, as a way of gentle rebuke to Him. In response, Jesus says to Peter “Get thee behind me, Satan.”
It was six days after this that Jesus takes Peter, James, and John up alone onto a high mountain…
And His appearance underwent a change in their presence; and His face shone clear and bright like the sun, and His clothing became as white as light. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, who kept talking with Him. Then Peter began to speak and said to Jesus, Lord, it is good and delightful that we are here; if You approve, I will put up three booths here–one for You and one for Moses and one for Elijah. While he was still speaking, behold, a shining cloud [composed of light] overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, This is My Son, My Beloved, with Whom I am [and have always been] delighted. Listen to Him! When the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were seized with alarm and struck with fear. But Jesus came and touched them and said, Get up, and do not be afraid. And when they raised their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.7
I cannot help but notice the similarity between what happened with Jesus and what happened with Moses. They both were in the presence of God the Father’s Glory, and it changed them both – they both were transfigured.
Transfigured simply means that their outward appearance changed – a lot, as in a glow-in-the-dark type of change.
Going back to my dream and “buying the mountain top,” what I hear from God is that this is an invitation to, like Peter, James, and John, be one of the few to come to the mountain top. The idea of going is coupled with the truth that I need to sacrifice what is necessary from my life first before I can go to the top and see Jesus transfigured, and in seeing, to be changed myself. In other words, am I willing to lay down the pleasures of this life in order to go? When others have had enough of the church experience, am I still there on my face crying out for more from God? What price am I willing to pay to be transfigured like Moses and Jesus were when they were in the presence of God’s glory? Am I willing to walk the lonely road of rejection?
Moses was just a man, as was Elijah. Scripture even says Elijah was a man like us, yet when he prayed… And I suspect both men paid a great price to be close to God.
If I truly believe God is no respecter of persons, then I can accept, I can believe, God is calling me, too.
I don’t have to make the mistakes Moses made. He left the veil over his face because he didn’t want people to see the Glory of God fading with time. Unlike Moses, I have access to God all of the time through Jesus, who is the Word.
For if that which was but passing and fading away came with splendor, how much more must that which remains and is permanent abide in glory and splendor! Since we have such [glorious] hope (such joyful and confident expectation), we speak very freely and openly and fearlessly. Nor [do we act] like Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze upon the finish of the vanishing [splendor which had been upon it]…
But whenever a person turns [in repentance] to the Lord, the veil is stripped off and taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (emancipation from bondage, freedom). And all of us, as with unveiled face, [because we] continued to behold [in the Word of God] as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another; [for this comes] from the Lord [Who is] the Spirit.8
This isn’t just a mountain top experience for the sake of the experience.
God doesn’t work that way. Neither Moses nor Jesus was transfigured for the sake of the experience alone! They both left the mountain top to minister to people, to whoever would receive what God had given them. My entire family is included in this invitation to me, as is everyone I come into contact with.
That includes you.
Adam and Eve were covered with the hand of God’s Glory in the Garden. Not only could they see God in their pre-sin state, but God walked with them in the cool evening each day. God covered Moses with His hand so that he would not die in his sinful state. Jesus died to make me clean, so when I go into God’s presence, what He sees is the blood of Jesus. When I go up to the mountain top and am transfigured, I am buying in to what was originally mine, as God’s most special creation!
I think most of the church of Jesus today has fallen into the snare that God warned Moses about when He carved the Law on that second set of stones (Exodus 34:12). We have come into an agreement with the land (the world) by loving position more than we love God, by loving ease more than we love suffering for Jesus, by loving approval of man more than we love the approval of the Holy Spirit.
But if I am willing to press into to more of God and less of me, as I leave everything to follow Jesus, to behold Him alone, I will be changed, transfigured. Then, when I come down from the mountain top, I bring God’s presence to the ones who have not been in His presence on the mountain, whetting their own appetite to journey into the Glory.
Read: Exodus 3:1-6; Exodus 19:6, 20-21; Matthew 17:1-8; Deuteronomy 34:10; Joshua 11:15; 2 Corinthians 3:6-18. Journal your private thoughts.
Father God, make it so. Lead me to the mountain top. I want what was originally intended to be mine. Let not the sacrifice of Your Son be in vain. For Your Glory, and Your kingdom, amen.
1 “buy.” Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 31 Mar. 2011. <Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/buy>.
2 “buy.” Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. HarperCollins Publishers. 31 Mar. 2011. <Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/buy>.
3 “buy.” Online Etymology Dictionary. Douglas Harper, Historian. 31 Mar. 2011. <Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/buy>.
4 Exodus 3:3. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.nelsonbibles.com
5 Exodus 3:4-6. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.nelsonbibles.com
6 Exodus 34:5-8, 12. Italics mine. Scripture quotations taken from the Amplified® Bible, Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. www.lockman.org
7 Matthew 17:2-8. Bold mine. Scripture quotations taken from the Amplified® Bible, Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. www.lockman.org
8 2 Corinthians 3:11-13, 16-18. Scripture quotations taken from the Amplified® Bible, Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. www.lockman.org
Copyright © 2011, Érin Elise