Mountain troubleshooting

I saw a note about wanting to live on the mountain of spiritual high with the Lord. How does one get pulled off of it? These are things that have pulled me off before... Thankfully, the Lord wants us on the mountaintop even more than we want to be. However, He has ways that He acts and He will not change the way that He acts to get us on the mountain. For example, if having pride in my life makes me opposed to God (James 4, 1 Peter 5), one should not expect to spent much time on the mountain if they are living in pride.

#1 We move away from God. When on the mountain the level of abiding was incredibly deep with massive amounts of time in his presence - whether through prayer, annointed preaching, the Word, worship, etc. When the root structure is not as deep, the external fruit will not be as nice. This only is compounded by a group setting where all participate to see the Lord do massive amounts of fruit through all of them together.

#2 Spiritual pride can slip in. What can start with amazement at how God is working in and through us can slip into spiritual pride where we think it was due to some form of goodness in us that caused God to move in the way that He did. Ah, but in the times of closeness on the mountain we realize that we can't make God work. Only He does it.

#3 Little sins can slip in. It can start so small and innocently. Just a little judgementalism of others that are not walking as I am walking, and not taking that thought captive. Just a little division between brothers. A little grumbling over others. And so forth. The enemy still tries to throw lies at us when we are on the mountain and if those thoughts are not taken captive they can blow us off course before too long if we are not careful and make us wonder where Jesus went. I have heard Joyce Meyer define spiritual maturity as that it takes less and less for us to note God's distance rather than all of life falling apart.

#4 We coast. It is so fun to see God work that we figure we can just kinda coast on yesterday's annointing. Consequently, seeing God work becomes what one is after rather than walking in love which is what prompted God's work from the beginning. A desire for signs and wonders does not produce them. Going deeper and deeper into Christ which produces faith operating through love can open the door for the Lord to do those things through His children. If one is coasting in their life and not fully soaking in the Lord's love, it is difficult to extend love that we have not received first.

#5 Idolatry can set in. In the midst of being on the mountain, one can start to put an aspect of God's ministry or the mountaintop ahead of God Himself. The thrill of being in God's presence can be elevated over God Himself. Or perhaps ministry gets elevated over God. At any rate, God tends to distance Himself when I walk in idolatry.

#6 God distances Himself to test us. Is He really our Lord? Are we still committed to Him even if we don't live with goosebumps all the time? If He holds back for a bit, will we seek Him wholeheartedly? Or were we just seeking Him when it was easy to?

#7 We cease to walk in love. The end of 1 John 4 and the beginning of 1 John 5 are clear. The way one knows if they love God is if they obey Him and love others. The way one knows that they love others is that they love God. One cannot love the Lord more than the person or authority they hate the most. If one is not walking in love (esp. if they are walking in rebellion or unforgiveness) towards all as the Lord enables them, they should expect to feel like the heavens are like brass. We are called to walk in love more than anything else, and it matters very little what occurs on the mountaintop - since, if there is not love, it does not matter (1 Cor. 13). Thankfully, the Lord is generally good about giving us plenty of difficult people to love and plenty of opportunities to walk in forgiveness and to walk in submission to rules that we hate, to test to see if we are doing these things as unto Him rather than for our own sake.

#8 We cease to relate with the Lord. There are different aspects to prayer. The more I get in through corporate time in prayer, the more I need in alone time with Him. I find the corporate can often start to fizzle if the alone is not also there. That, or it can get perverted where I only seek a thrill or this or that. I need to be able to relate to Jesus about all of life and there is a place for solo time in prayer relating to Jesus in prayer, esp. when everything is occurring on the mountain.

#9 We derive a false spiritual identity based off of the mountaintop or things occurring on the mountaintop through us. We believe that we are the things that God does through us. We are teachers, preachers, counselors, prophets, healers, evangelists, intercessors, spiritual leaders, etc. As a result of this, "God's" ministry has to continue because our identity is on the line. We can't let it fail. It no longer is about God, it is about us. But God only wants us to derive our identity from what He says about us alone. When we see ourselves as we are, not as what He does through us, it opens Him up to use in greater way. When it runs the other way, he will let us see that our identity can only be on Him.

#10 He is purifying our motives. Sometimes He distances Himself because our motives are no longer about Him and walking in love towards others. So even though we may be doing the right things, we distance ourselves from Him due to our wrong motives.

#11 We cease to walk in thanksgiving. Psalm 100 records that we "enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise." Sometimes all one needs is to start thanking the Lord for all He has done and then the joy of the Lord and His presence is back again.

#12 Our life becomes about spiritual striving rather than resting in the Lord. What started with the Spirit, we now try to accomplish through human effort (Gal. 3:3). This can be linked first to spiritual pride and lack of thankfulness since it tries to produce in our flesh what can only be accomplished in the Spirit. As a result the Lord would not let us succeed in the flesh as it would probably just make us religious, spiritually proud, etc.