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Food for the Soul

Food for the Soul, devotionals to help you in your busy life, written by NEWIM board members and staff. 

Filtering by Tag: God's presence

Mountaintop Moments

Kim Johnson

The Lord our God said to us at Horeb,
“You have stayed long enough at this mountain.”
                                   
Deuteronomy 1:6 (NIV)

The recent rain and cold weather has left our SoCal mountains with a beautiful blanket of snow. Looking at them has reminded me of the times I have spent with the Lord—on the mountaintop. We’ve all had them at one time or another: precious moments when we encounter God in a deeper, more intimate way.

In this verse in Deuteronomy, we find the Israelites having one such moment when they had gathered at Mount Horeb to hear from God. From Exodus 19 we know that fire and smoke covered the majestic mountain as lightening flashed and loud bursts of thunder pierced the air. It was a breathtaking display as God gave them His law and they were inspired by this incredible experience. Yet their Lord had not rescued them from the slavery of Egypt to settle near a mountain in the wilderness. He had brought them out—to send them in—the Promised Land. This was merely a demonstration of His power so they would know they could trust Him to conquer Canaan. As much as they might have wanted to stay, God declared it was time for them to move toward to do battle.

Being on the mountaintop is extremely enticing. Resting in the refuge of His presence, we find a profound comfort and we want to stay there. It doesn’t matter if you are in the middle of your alone time with God, at a leader’s or women’s conference, in a prayer meeting, or even just reading a particularly good book. The intimacy can feel fleeting and we wish we could capture it and stay in it forever.

God has purpose in His pursuit of us, however. He uses the mountaintop times not only for relationship, but to prepare us for what lies ahead. He knows what battle may be looming around the corner and He will not leave us ill-equipped. Instead, He meets us in those quiet places to demonstrate His love for us, refresh our soul and give us courage as we continue to follow His plan for our life.

Don’t expect to stay too long on the mountaintop. God has work for you to do.

 We tend to seek the mountain tops in life
But it’s in the valleys where God makes the flowers bloom!
                                                                  
—Author Unknown

Spiritual Confidence

Kim Johnson

“David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands . . .” 1 Samuel 17:45-46a (NIV).

If anyone in the Old Testament was confident, it was David. As a young man, he saw everything as God’s doing, no matter what was happening around him. Someone else might take a negative view of the same situation, only focusing on the problem and the reasons why it could not be resolved. David, however, would focus on the positive and view it from the perspective of his trust in God.

In the verse quoted above, David was a young man when he faced Goliath, who was most certainly intimidating. Even the bravest Israelite soldier was afraid of him. There is no doubt David saw Goliath’s strength, his huge weapons and his enormous size. He no doubt heard Goliath boast and shout obscenities against God and His people. Yet as David prepared to battle this giant, he stood tall, claiming the victory for the Lord even before he hurled his first stone. David was confident, not because he was oblivious to the difficult task but because he was convinced of God’s presence.

This account of David and Goliath is a vivid example of the kind of faith we need as leaders. We cannot count on the size of our volunteer group, our own strength or our resources, no matter how extensive they may be. Depending on anything but God can cause us to focus on all the wrong things. We’ll see problems not solutions, be anxious without reassurance or suffer opposition instead of support. Our efforts can become so overwhelming that we quickly lose perspective. Instead, this example of David can be a great reminder that it is the power of our almighty God which enables us to accomplish His will. We are more than conquerors—only through Him.

“Faith sees the invisible, believes the unbelievable,
And receives the impossible.

                                                —Corrie Ten Boom