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“It was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God. And when day came, He called His disciples to Him and chose twelve of them, whom He also named as apostles.” (Luke 6:12-13)

It has always been my belief that the events that unfold here on the earth are a direct response to the activity of the heavenly realm. What is good and perfect is one more blessing from a loving God who is all powerful and in control of His creation. “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.” (James 1:17) What is evil comes from the god of this world in effort to thwart the plan and purpose of God, and man’s fall to temptation of the desire for the things of this world. Even Satan’s thoughts that he has gained an inch is false and God is able to use his corrupt deeds towards His purposes. The trials and tribulations that are brought on upon man are used for the strengthening of the saint’s faith and emboldens their perseverance. God is able to take that which Satan believes to be a victory and use it for the good of those who serve and love Him. “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

In the early time of Jesus’ ministry He had many disciples and followers. But few understood that the call was for those who would serve the Kingdom and not those who would profit only from the Kingdom. Jesus came to establish His Church so that the Word of God would spread from the Holy Land to your home today. He could not do that work Himself and needed dedicated men that would found His Church and grow the body of believers. As it is today so it was then, there is much work to do in the harvest field and few workers to do the work. When faced with such a daunting mission, Jesus provided the example that we should follow when such decisions must be made. He went to the Mount to speak with His Father. He spent the whole night seeking the counsel of God Almighty.

In Jesus’ day the religious leaders would not accept Him for who He is. They claimed to be close to God, yet, when standing in the very presence of His Son they could not feel the radiance of His presence. His many disciples and followers were amazed by the many signs and wonders that Jesus was preforming but they were not committed to making the sacrifices of following Jesus carrying their cross. They were as people of today tag-alongs seeking that which benefits themselves and not wanting to be in service to others. This is even true in the Church of Jesus Christ today, tag-alongs. My father Dr. Bob called them parasites.

They have been so complacent in living in the truth of God’s Word that the Devil has found weakness in the wall around their temple and entered in. He has blinded their minds that they may not live in the truth of the gospel. “In whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:4) Now it is a spiritual matter for what the adversary has closed and stronger Spirit must open. It is not for us to put out the spiritually lame, deaf, and the blind but to go to the Mount in prayer for their healing. “Pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints” (Ephesians 1:18)

Jesus had many followers and many disciples but after a night of fervent prayer with His Father he came down and chose the twelve that would turn the world right-side up with the gospel message. “For many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matthew 22:14) People seem to have a flaw in that if they feel they cannot achieve their task and make excuses for their failure. Or if they are chosen to do that which they do not want to do they find reasons that prevent them from having the ability. God gives to each one a talent, to some even more than one, and to some many. But all have one that is to be used for the glory of God. “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31) The Christian and the Church are the living body of Christ. We cannot all do the same thing, as we would be all thumbs. We each have a job that we are called to do and that job is vital no matter what position it is. If we are called by God, then we are equipped by God. “And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:11-12)

When we are called we must go. We must go to the Mount and meet with Him and be taught by the Master. Jesus spent three years teaching His twelve preparing them for the mission that lay ahead. There are plenty of PHD’s in the world and there are plenty of un-learned men in the world. But if we go to the Mount regularly to be taught by the Master we will have everything we need to achieve our calling. On the Day of Pentecost the learned men of the day were amazed by the eleven Apostles of Christ because they had no formal training. “Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus.” (Acts 4:13) If we do not go to the Mount and commune with God, then we will never be fitted to proclaim the gospel of peace.

I used to make a lot of money, which was my thing. I had near all that I wanted in life. But I never was happy and I never had peace because at the age of 14 God placed a call on my life and I ran the other way. Today I plan my budget down to the penny each week, I have all that I need and little of what I used to want. But what I have that I appreciate the most is that I am happy and no matter what is before me I have peace. If God has placed a call on your life, go, it is the best decision that you will ever make. “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.” (John 6:37)

Jesus went to the Mount to hold high fellowship with the Father. Jesus is the example of how we are to live our lives in order to overcome the world. We do that by following His example and keeping His commandments. The purpose of God is to restore the fellowship with man which was lost in the Garden of Eden. The Godhead wants to commune with us continuously. What better relationship can there be for man than to abide in the Lord. It is His desire and it most certainly should be hours. “Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.” (John 14:23)

We go to the Mount to seek His Kingdom and His righteousness that we may also receive the Spiritual daily bread that He gives us each day to accomplish His will and purpose. For His Word is truth and able to conqueror the evil forces that the adversary has arrayed against us. As the old Church hymn sings, “Through this world of toils and snares, If I falter Lord, who cares? Who with me my burden shares? None but Thee, dear Lord, none but Thee.” When we draw near to Him He come to abide with us. (Hebrews 4:8) At the Mount we hear the words of our heavenly Father and He prepares us for the task that lies just ahead. “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.” (2 Timothy 3:16) We are His children and He empowers us to live as His people in a world that cries for peace and truth. From the Mount we go forth to shine His light that the world may see their Savior in us. We should not go into this world without our Sword of the Spirit. “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Ephesians 6:17) On the Mount we abide with our Lord and He abides with us always. “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” (John 15:7)

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

First Baptist Church of Durant, September 13, 2015

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