LIVING IN THE VALLEY OF LIFE

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What do you do with your life after you have been to the moon? 

Jesus took three of his disciples up on a mountain to pray and, suddenly, he was transfigured before them.  They saw him covered in glory, talking to Moses and Elijah.  Peter became so excited; he did not want to leave.  He asked if they could make tabernacles on the mountain and stay there permanently. 

But while it is our privilege as sons for the Father to take us up to the mountaintop and show us the glories of his kingdom, it is not his will in this dispensation that we should remain there.

 

A transient glory

Everything is wonderful on the mountaintop.  On the mountain, we don’t live by faith but by knowledge.  On the mountain, we stretch forth our rods, and the Red Sea parts.  We march and the walls of Jericho come crashing down.  On the mountaintop, we can move mountains.  But the problem with the mountain is not the going up, but the coming down. 

It must have been exhilarating for Olusegun Obasanjo to be President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.  But what does he do now for the rest of his life as a former President?  Life must have been exciting for Neil Armstrong & Buzz Aldrin when they were going to the moon.  But after they got there they had to come back.

What do you do with your life after you have been to the moon? 

 

The valley of weeping

What happens after you finally get married?  What happens after you get that dream job, build that hill-top mansion or buy that smashing car?  What happens is that you have to live in the valley.  On the mountaintop, we behold the glory of God.  But we don’t live for his glory there.  We live for his glory in the valley. 

However, the valley is a place of humiliation, a place of turmoil, of problems and of the mundane.  Moreover, the valley is the home of Goliath.  All the giants we are ever going to face, we never seem to face them on the mountaintop.  We have to face them in the valley. 

It is in the valley where our true worth to God is realised.  It is in the valley where our genuine faithfulness to God is revealed.  It is in the valley where we wait patiently for the salvation of God.  It is in the valley where we are required to live in the knowledge of the glory of God, which was revealed to us on the mountaintop.

 

A divine encounter

Jesus appeared to me once in a dream.  I was sitting in a big theatre with lots of people.  It might have been a church service, except there was no pulpit and no preacher.  Then suddenly, a lion came out. 

I expected there to be pandemonium, but everyone remained in their seat.  I was wondering if I was the only one who could see it.  I thought: “Why is no one else afraid?”   

Then the lion climbed off the stage, walked down the aisle and came to stand in front of me.  I was mesmerized in my seat.  Then just as amazingly, it started to play with me. 

I could see that all eyes were on us, but I was most uncomfortable.  How do you play with a lion?  What if it suddenly remembers it is a lion and turns violent?  I just could not take my mind off the fact that it was a lion playing with me. 

And then the lion did something even more puzzling.  It showed me its claws.  As it did, one of them grew out as if extended by some hidden hydraulics. 

Then it put the claw into my eye and used it to stroke my eyeball!

 

The contradictions of faith

When I shared this dream with my wife, she quickly concluded that it was Jesus, “the lion of the tribe of Judah,” who had visited me and that he was determined to tell me he is my friend.  But the reason why I am recalling this dream now is because of the nasty things that happened to me immediately afterwards. 

That day of my dream turned out to be one of the worst days of my life.  Everything that could go wrong went wrong.  The devil attacked me ferociously, determined to negate what I had been shown on the mountaintop, and to force back into my consciousness the grim realities of the valley. 

However, the intensity of our attacks in the valley is the strongest testament that we have been to the mountaintop and that we are indeed the sons of God.

Therefore, the Lord gave charge to Isaiah: “Comfort ye my people.”  Tell them: “Every valley shall be exalted” (Isaiah 40:4).