Climb the highest mountain
A person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God. – Luke 12:21
24 It was by faith that Moses, when he grew up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.
25 He chose to share the oppression of God’s people instead of enjoying the fleeting pleasures of sin.
26 He thought it was better to suffer for the sake of Christ than to own the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking ahead to his great reward.
I’d Climb the Highest Mountain was a film released by Twentieth Century Fox in 1951. This story is taken from a 1910 novel, A Circuit Rider’s Wife, by Corra May Harris. It is the story of a Methodist minister who was called to a north-Georgia mountain community to serve as a circuit rider in 1910. Along with this new bride they arrive in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia. William Lundigan is from the deep South while his wife Susan Hayward is from the big city.
Lundigan shepherds his flock and tends to their emotional and spiritual needs. The area is extremely isolated and impoverished. The everyday problems of the local people are a challenge for the couple’s faith and new marriage. Lundigan’s faith meets the challenges and his inner strength is more than sufficient to guide his flock through the struggles they face. He fearlessly leads them through a major epidemic. Through it all, he is able to teach and share the message of the Father’s love. Indeed, Lundigan climbed the highest mountain.
All children of the King have challenges. One of the most important is setting priorities and making the necessary adjustments to follow through.
There are general guidelines found throughout Scripture that pertain to all of the children of the King.
For most of all, it is incumbent upon each child of the King to put the Father first.
2 I am the LORD your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt, the place of your slavery.
3 You must not have any other god but me.
4 You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea.
5 You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods.
Then there are individual responsibilities that are part of his purpose and plan for each of us. These challenges often create tension. The tension is relieved by a simple but very difficult decision. We make a decision once and for all to put the Father’s will and calling first. Once that major decision is made, the rest of life is simply a matter of carrying it out. You always know what you are going to do. There is no reason for tension.
That was the course of Moses followed. He refused the sumptuous, sinful pleasures of Egypt. Rather he identified with the people of God, the nation of Israel. He pursued a reward that is bestowed by the Father Himself. In the same way that Christ suffered for His people so did Moses. He chose to endure ill-treatment with the children of Israel rather than enjoy the passing pleasures of sin with the Egyptians.
24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter,
25 choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin,
26 considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt.
REFLECT & PRAY
Jim Elliot “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”
Father encourage and strengthen me to climb the highest mountain which you have assigned to me. I want to be “All in.”
In the movie Chariots of Fire, Eric Liddell’s convictions and priorities took center stage. Liddell refuses to allow his participation in the Olympics to compromise His commitment to the Father. He flatly refused to run on Sunday which he considered the Lord’s Sabbath. He was accused of putting God before King. Headline news read: Olympic athlete Eric Liddell puts religion before country.
He was strongly pressured by various officials, representatives of the British government, and the media. He was treated with scorn by the entire watching world and condemned by Britain as a traitor who “upheld a rigid regional piety on a global stage that required transcendent statesmanship.”
This all went away rather remarkably when he felt the Father’s pleasure and won his event and the gold medal. He even set a new world record. He was miraculously morphed from traitor to a celebrated international hero. But that’s not the end of the story. He went on to serve as a missionary in China. His greatest triumph of all.
Liddell said, “. . . since I have been a young lad, I have had my eyes on a different prize. You see, each of us is in a greater race than any I have run in Paris, and this race ends when God gives out the medals” (christianity.org.uk).
Liddell learned from the apostle Paul that athletics, spirituality, and calling were perfect allies (1 Corinthians 9:24-27). “I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast and when I run, I feel His pleasure.”
Was he rewarded for his efforts before the end of his life on planet Earth? Absolutely not the Father had a far different plan in mind.
The Japanese invaded China and Liddell was imprisoned in a Japanese Internment Camp in the spring of 1943. Liddell became a leader and the source of overflowing love, light, and love at the camp. Liddell spent his time teaching Bible classes, helping the elderly, arranging recreational activities, and teaching science to the children.
Was he miraculously freed by angels? Were the guards blinded, locks opened, and did he simply walk out of the camp? Was he carried off by a chariot of fire? No, not at all.
He had an inoperable brain tumor and died on February 21, 1945, five months before liberation. According to a fellow missionary, Liddell’s last words were, “It’s complete surrender.” He was referring to giving his life to the Father. Liddell was “All in” until the very end. Eric Liddell did indeed climb the highest mountain. It led him into the very presence of his heavenly Father.
Luke 12:21 A person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.
The Lord Jesus Christ cautioned all children of the King against wrong attitudes regarding earthly wealth. The richness of life is not found in the richness of wealth, but rather in a rich relationship with the Father. Rather than wealth and comfort, the Lord Jesus Christ promised hardship, opposition, and persecution. But intimacy with the Father is far more valuable than any material possessions.
“There is a story of a conversation between an ambitious youth and an older man who knew life. Said the young man, ‘I will learn my trade.’ ‘And then?’ said the older man. ‘I will set up in business.’ ‘And then?’ ‘I will make my fortune.’ ‘And then?’ ‘I suppose that I shall grow old and retire and live on my money.’ ‘And then?’ ‘Well, I suppose that someday I will die.’ ‘And then?’ came the last stabbing question” (Barclay).