Daily Devotions

From the sermons of Charles F. Stanley

Preparing for the Valley

1 Peter 4:12-19

The primary purpose of a mountaintop experience is to prepare us for the valley. That’s why we can’t stay up there. When Peter, James, and John came down from the Mount of Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-9), they encountered many difficulties that eventually led to their witnessing Jesus on the cruel Roman cross.

As much as we might long to remain on the summit, God doesn't keep us floating around in some ethereal counterfeit spiritual experience; eventually we must return to the dusty, empty plains of life. His intention is that we be strengthened by worship and His Word—and then go about our Monday routine, prepared to make an impression upon others. If Jesus walked among us today, He’d spend His time in alleyways, on street corners, and in places where few of us in our dignity would want to be caught.

The three disciples no doubt would have wanted to stay with the Lord on the mountain, but that’s not the purpose of a spiritual high. The point is that God may reveal Himself to us in a fresh way. Then He readies us through that inspiration to go back to the common places where we have to face tasks we might prefer to avoid. Life’s realities aren’t to be escaped. God wants believers to learn to live every day in reliance on His indwelling Spirit.

The Lord was using the time on the summit to prepare Peter, James, and John for their true purpose. When God lifts us up, He doesn’t intend for us to stay there. He gives exceptional spiritual experiences to strengthen us and make us more effective when we engage in everyday life.

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