Then a man of God came and spoke to the king of Israel, and said, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Because the Syrians have said, “The Lord is God of the hills, but He is not God of the valleys,” therefore I will deliver all this great multitude into your hand, and you shall know that I am the Lord.’ ” And they encamped opposite each other for seven days. So it was that on the seventh day the battle was joined; and the children of Israel killed one hundred thousand foot soldiers of the Syrians in one day. 1 Kings 20:28-29
I believe it was Billy Graham who said, ‘Mountaintops are for views and inspiration, but fruit is grown in the valleys.’
Regardless of who said it, we can see the wisdom and truth in that statement. Why then is it that so many Christians, myself included, are often guilty of jumping from one mountain-top experience to another?
Can You Blame Us?
We do it because summit life is splendid.
We serve a God who will continually take the time to minister to us in personal and incredible ways. Who in their right mind would desire to give that up?
It’s this trait that the evil King of Syria misunderstood to be upon the heart of every Israeli in his day. His remark that, ‘The Lord is God of the hills, but He is not God of the valleys,’ bears witness to that. To put it another way, he said, ‘Israel is strong on the mountain top, so when times get tough they will always run for the hills.’
Sad to say, but that is often the case. However, it was not true for this group of Israelites at this particular time in history. As a result of underestimating his adversary (and more accurately the God of his adversary), the king lost a great battle. The event stands today as an awesome testimony to remaining faithfully strong for God and with God in the valleys He places us. In contrast, what a sad witness it is to be caught fleeing for the mountain top the moment a trial comes.
“In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Where Do You Run?
Faithless men are fearful men. Like light and darkness, faith and fear cannot occupy the same space; one must give way to the other. The reality is that the mountain top is not a place for the terrified, nor is it a hideout. It is a refuge of replenishment for the courageous. It is the place where the faithful come to be refreshed and rejoice in the greatness of the Lord and worship Him. And while it is also true we are fed there, the mountain top inspiration and vision that Billy Graham spoke of does not bring about favorable spiritual enlargement. This type of growth comes when our faith is cultivated in difficult places. In other words, if we stay on the mountain, we will get fat — the highly desired spiritual muscle is acquired in the valley.
Remember, tt’s easy to be a monk in a monastery, but strong Christians get that way in the valley.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever. Psalm 23:4-6
- What is the Lord telling us in these verses?
- What is our proper response?
- Where do you tend to ‘hang-out’ the most (spiritually speaking)?
These articles may or may not relate:
- In the Valley… (breakawaybylintrollins.wordpress.com)
- The Chosen Ones: Psalm 108:7-9 (psalmslife.com)
- Hearing from God – The Still Small Voice (hspcomfort.wordpress.com)
- God’s Care For Us In Our Suffering (unknownwellknown.wordpress.com)
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