The time on the mountain was such an exciting event. Elijah stood toe to toe against 850 false prophets. He was bold and powerfully anointed by God. He even taunted the false prophets when they could not get their gods to bring down fire from heaven to consume the sacrifice. God received all the glory when fire came down from heaven in response to Elijah’s prayer.
When all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, “The LORD, He is God; the Lord, He is God.” (1Kings 18:39)
Elijah was so full of victory that he ran from Carmel to Jazreel. Hallelujah! Victory is sweet! However, when things returned to normal, Jezebel said that she was going to have Elijah killed. He ran for his life and actually wanted to die. The big events are exciting and energizing, but daily life can be such a drag.
Peter witnessed the transfiguration of Jesus, Elijah and Moses. (Matt. 17:1-8) It was so glorious that Peter wanted to build three tabernacles in honor of the three. Later, when they came down from the mountain, they encountered a young man with a demon. (Matt. 17:14-21)
The disciples had not been able to help him. Jesus had to take care of the matter for them. The transfiguration of Jesus on the mountain was so glorious; real life with real people and real disciples when they came down from the mountain was a bit more difficult and not nearly as exciting.
Oswald Chambers reminded us, “After every time of exaltation, we are brought down with a sudden rush into things as the really are, where it is neither beautiful, poetic, nor thrilling. The height of the mountaintop is measured by the dismal drudgery of the valley, but it is in the valley that we have to live for the glory of God.” (“My Utmost for His Highest”)
As Christians, we should not always be looking for some thrilling and exciting new thing. People quit jobs, churches, and relationships just because they become routine or hard. We should be led by the Spirit of God about what we do; bot quit something just because it bores us. Character, holiness, perseverance, and faithfulness can often be developed when we come down off the mountain to face the grind of the daily world below. Daily prayer, daily Bible study, and being a daily witness where we are is vitally important. (James 1:2-4)
Consistency, faithfulness and perseverance are important characteristics of a mature Christian. Let’s not just live for what is exciting on the mountain top, let’s also be faithful to live for the Lord Jesus, daily, even if that daily life finds us sometimes in the valley.
–Mike Barres, 12 St. Church of Christ, Shallowater, TX as published in Bulletin Digest, Sept. ‘05