IT’S BETTER ON TOP                                                                                                                      Andy Hollifield 11-27-17

DEUTERONOMY 2:3 Ye have compassed this mountain long enough: turn you northward.

Genesis 22:2,4, & 13 And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Issac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. (4) Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off. (13) And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.

As a preacher, I love those times when you start with what God has given you and you have prayed and studied, and then he gives you the real message as you are preaching. Anyone that has experienced it knows what I am talking about. I was the recipient of one of those blessings when I preached at Shoal Hill FWB in Marshall on Sunday night. The Lord had let me see Deuteronomy 2:3 a few weeks back but hadn’t let me preach it anywhere.  Every time I opened my bible I read that verse. I did a lot of other reading preparing for the message. Sometimes you get one that all that God gives you is just one verse. It don’t matter how much you study and pray, he just keeps bringing you back to that one verse. Some might call it lack of preparation but actually it is just the leadership of the Holy Ghost getting you ready for a blessing. I read my text and read on down through verse 7 where Moses was reminding Israel how that for forty years God had been with them in the wilderness and they lacked nothing. Then I read Deuteronomy 3:22 and it says “Ye shall not fear them: for the Lord your God he shall fight for you.” Then on over in chapter 4 Moses continues with the story reminding them how that God had been with them. Then in verse 9 he gives them a warning and a command. “Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons;”

The thought that the Lord had given me was just that we have compassed the mountain long enough and it is time that we climb it and claim the victory that awaits us on top. We can never get to what God has for us if we are content just to hang around the bottom of the mountain and compass it as we always have. We will never know what great things the Lord has for us until we climb the mountain. I hadn’t thought about this until I heard it mentioned years ago in a message; but do you realize that at the same time that Abraham and Issac were climbing up that mountain on one side, the Lord had a ram climbing up the other side going to the top? That may not do much for you but it just kicks my bucket over and floods my soul! Here was Abraham in, no doubt, the darkest time of his life knowing what he had to do to please God, but yet he still climbed that mountain. Can you picture Abraham walking up through there with his son and looking over at him, knowing that he is the promised seed of Abraham and the inheritor of the promise of God? I am sure it had to be going through his mind that he knew that God hadn’t made a mistake in what he told him to do, and he hadn’t misunderstood him, but he just couldn’t understand how that God was going to make all of that come to pass if he slew Issac. I can’t speak for anyone else, but if I had of been in Abraham’s shoes, I would have probably never started up that mountain or even left home if I had of known what was coming. I am just being honest. Think back about that ram for a minute. If Abraham had of never went up that mountain and started to carry out God’s command, he would have never found out that God already had a sacrifice coming up the other side of the mountain to take the place of Issac. If he hadn’t climbed the mountain, he would have never experienced and got to claim what God had for him and would have always lived in disobedience never having received all of the blessings that God had for him. He could have compassed that mountain all that he wanted to but it would have never changed the fact that the sacrifice was on the top. Like pastor Brian Roberts mentioned after I preached; most of us always just ask God to remove our mountains rather than asking for the strength to climb them. We can compass our mountains till our feet fall off but we will never get what God wants us to have until we climb our mountains.

I don’t usually recap messages I have preached when I do my posts, but I felt like the Lord would have me to share it with someone. I don’t know what your mountain is but until you are willing to climb it to the top, you will never know what great things God has in store for you. Deliverance in your situation won’t come until you are willing to trust God and start climbing. The higher you climb, the more people will see you. There may be someone who is watching your situation that may just be needing to see if you trust God enough to climb or if it is just all talk and no action when it comes down to where the rubber meets the road. It is one thing to think that your neighbor just needs to trust God in their situation but it is all together different when trouble comes to your house. What will you do? Will you climb or will you just hang around the bottom of your mountain? Will you just look up at God but never go up to him? You can be right beside of God, and believe all you want to, but until you exercise your faith in obedience to his command, you won’t see anything change.

Will you go up to get what God has for you or will you just hang around the bottom of your mountain and spend your life wondering what God would have done if you had of been obedient and went to the top? You don’t have to be obedient to the Lord; but you do if you want his blessings in your situation. “You have compassed this mountain long enough: turn you northward.” It’s better on top. I hope this has been a help to you. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!

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