Mount Everest, named after athe Brittish general, Sir George Everest, is the tallest mountain in the world. Four thousand people have attempted to climb, but only 660 have been successful. One hundred forty-two people have died trying to climb this wonder of the world. Its height is 29,028 feet or five and a half miles above sea level, equivalent to twenty Empire State buildings.
Our lives have similarities to Mount Everest. Both go through resistance when we are being elevated spiritually. Consider all those who desired to reach the top of Mount Everest. They endured many adverse conditions, some controllable and some not. This mountain is not easy to climb, and the elevation reached along the way can be treacherous to the human body. Resistance is felt the more one climbs to higher heights. Elevation always brings about a challenge or unknown certainty, whether it is in the natural or the spiritual realm. I am glad that when God gets ready to elevate us, it is not contingent on our ability, but on Him alone.
Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him among his brothers: and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel arose and went to Ramah.~1 Samuel 16:13 NASB
Just like those who have attempted to conquer Mount Everest, elevation is costly. We have two choices before us: Either we are moving from where we are to where God desires to take us, or we are staying on the same level. Christ desires to change our mindset, our thought process, our traditional way of doing things. Too many of us get stuck in tradition as opposed to what Christ desires.
Let’s look at an example: In David’s story, he goes from a lowly shepherd boy to a king of two nations. This is a remarkable narrative that depicts the true essence of elevation. If David only saw himself as a shepherd boy, he would never have become the king God called him to be. Because He came from a family of shepherds, being the tradition of his time, to reach beyond this thought-pattern took courage.
We cannot reach a higher elevation if we are only going to follow tradition. Those who climbed the great mountain had to move beyond the low point of normalcy, to reach a place where they could not see, but still believed they would arrive. In the natural, this took faith, and in the spiritual realm it also takes faith. We need to ask God what His desires are for our lives.
I do not regard myself as having taken hold of it yet, but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.~Philippians 3:14 NASB
When climbing Mount Everest, there are various “oxygen levels” that we have. We could perish if we do not adapt to this new environment. The higher the elevation, the thinner the air is, which can cause suffocation for the climber without the proper equipment and training. No one can climb the mountain without the appropriate gear. Likewise, we can know God provides help in times of spiritual elevation.
The love of the Father permanently seals our path to higher heights. He provides what we need to allow us to endure. The resistance found in elevation builds us up, and the Father already knows that we can only make it with His help and strength. We look beyond what is challenging, as the wind picks up in our lives, knowing we can rest because He has equipped us with the required tool to survive. That tool is the Holy Spirit’s empowerment flowing and working for us to travel to higher heights.
Often we find resistance in those in our closest circles to God elevating us. Maybe a loved one gives push back, or friction is felt in households when changes are needed. Do you remember how Saul kept David with him and would not let him return to Bethlehem? Saul made David a commander over the men of war not only because he was gifted but also because he was intimidated by the favor people had towards David. Saul was comfortable with David as long as he was regulating the elevation. Sometimes men will try to control elevation, but God will take you to the heights He desires despite this, just as He did with David despite Saul’s attempt to hold him back..
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.~Jeremiah 29:11 NASB
Elevation always comes with resistance. Therefore, everyone does not reach the level God has designated for them. We must learn to keep our eyes on the Lord rather than those around us. Even Jesus experienced this as an obstacle. The Sanhedrin accepted Him as long as He did what they deemed he should be doing, but as soon as He began performing miracles and breaking tradition, they turned on Him. But, He overcame, and so can we.
In our own lives, often, we sometimes hold our own progress back. We only want to be elevated with the Lord where it is comfortable for us. The moment He creates discomfort within our inner man, we don’t want that anymore so we abort or sabotage the mission. Have you ever been there? I have. A deeper understanding of the Lord will cost us. Discomfort is part of this process. Removing traditions of who God is cost us discomfort. Denying our sinful man, changing our thought processes, or any other spiritual growth, all costs us discomfort. But the reward is in the elevation.
We can be elevated amid adversity if we determine to keep our focus on God, and God alone.Charles E. Maldon, Jr., author of In the Beginning: Godliness Through Marriage
Elevation must come from a spirit of humility. Climbing Mount Everest takes patience and a calm, steady temperament because various factors can affect our ability to make it to the top. Out of those four thousand climbers that attempted to make it to the summit of Mount Everest, some just gave up and turned around. However, those who kept their focus, made it. We can be elevated amid adversity if we determine to keep our focus on God, and God alone.
The resistance found in elevation can be a rewarding experience if we are willing to pay the price. When we can go through it with a right spirit, asking the Lord to help us to look at the resistance found in elevation from His perspective, and a determination that we will keep climbing.
Where is one area you struggle to see God? Is this an area where more humility is needed?
Lord God, help me in those areas where I am seeking elevation with the wrong motivation. Fix my mind so that the only thing that matters is following Your plan. Let me not seek elevation for selfish reasons but only to glorify Your Name, and for You to be honored.
In Jesus’s Name, Amen.
Copyright 2021: The Resistance Found in Elevation: Charles E. Maldon, Jr.: All Rights Reserved
Meet Our Contributor
CHARLES E. MALDON, JR.
Charles E. Maldon Jr., is an ordained reverend, speaker, writer and mentor. However, the title he is most proud of is a servant of Christ.
Charles is a devotion/article writer for VineWords: Devotions and More, specializing in the area of marriage, with the goal of helping men improve their marriages.
Charles’s mission in life is to encourage others to know their true value by developing an authentic relationship with Jesus Christ. As the Lord continues to mold him, Charles uses his colorful life experiences, both “good and bad”, as real-life ministry tools. He believes there are treasures to be found in every trial—perspective is everything.
The crux of his writing is to bring others to freedom through authentic transparency. In addition to his writing, Charles is the founder/administrator of Break-Thru Ministries, a men’s ministry which focuses on helping the family, especially men, to become all that Christ created them to be. He enjoys helping men to fulfill their calling in life, relationships, and manhood.
He is currently in the process of revising his book, In the Beginning: Godliness through Marriage. He is a member of the Maryland Writer’s Association and Word Weavers. He also blogs on his ministry page, Break-Thru Ministries blog, where his hope is to touch someone with the love of Jesus.
Charles is the proud father of two boys and resides in North Carolina with his lovely wife Lekeisha. In his spare time, he enjoys working out, traveling and spending time with his family.
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