Category Archives: Mountains in Heaven

Hearing God’s Voice

From the book “Mountains in Heaven” …

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me’.  (John 10:27)

All Christians have the ability to hear the voice of God. The fact that you have heard the voice of God at least once is the definition of what it means to be a Christian. All Christians have experienced a moment when something inside clicked. The light bulb turned on and you forever believed that there is a God and that Jesus Christ is God incarnate.

To some, the moment came as they listened to a speaker. To some, it was as they were reading a book. To some, it was a dramatic or even traumatic event in their life. For whatever the reason, the epiphany occurred and their belief system was changed forever.

The amount of drama associated with such an event is not as important as the lasting impact it makes on the person’s life. Sure, everyone likes a dramatic story. But the real miracle is in how the event fundamentally changes the person going forward.

I believe that in many ways the moment after such a moment is of more importance than the moment itself. The moment after the moment can determine your belief system for the rest of your life. If you believed that you reached your epiphany on your own, then you are likely to become a humanist, believing mainly in the power of the human intellect. If, however, you believe that your new found enlightenment came from God, then this hopefully set you on a path of learning about and discovering the God behind the revelation, the God who has shown Himself much bigger and wiser than yourself.  Since you are reading this (Christian) book, you most likely fall into the latter category.

The human intellect is certainly capable of great things. God has given it the ability to imagine and learn amazing things, which includes learning about the nature of God. Through reading God-inspired books and through the study of Church history, you can clearly trace the interaction of God in the affairs of men and learn much about the nature of God. But the human intellect has its limitations. People learn by associating new information with old. Such association gives the information context. To remember a fact, people need to categorize it.

Receiving revelation creates entirely new categories.

The Sermon on the Mount

From the book “Mountains in Heaven” …

Matthew 5:1-3:

And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

It is believed that the location of the Sermon on the Mount is a slope in the vicinity of Capernaum. The sermon is considered the greatest ever delivered by Jesus Himself.

To read the Sermon on the Mount as goals to be achieved is to miss the point. To read the sermon as moral guidance to follow makes Jesus just another philosopher or moral teacher. No. The attributes mentioned in the sermon: to be poor in spirit, to be meek, to be merciful, to be pure in heart, to be peacemakers are not the goals of Christianity (as if someone could achieve any of them by their own self-effort). They are the changes that happen to a person as they spend time in the spirit with the Lord.

As you spend time in the spirit with the Lord, Jesus imparts these virtues. They are not attained by following religious rituals. Spending time with the Lord is the only path to attainment. This is why intimacy is the only path we are called to follow. To His disciples, Jesus commanded just one thing: “come and follow me”. (Matthew 19:21)

Dealing with Disappointment

From the book ‘Mountains in Heaven’ …

When most people think of repentance, they think about their initial conversion experience. They (rightly) define repentance as a change of heart, a change of direction given by God, the result being a turning away from their prior worldly/sinful life path to a new God-oriented path. They speak of repentance in the past tense. “I’ve repented from my sin”.

All Christians have repentance as the starting point of their journey with God. It is a big part of your past. It needs also to be a big part of your present. What you must learn is that repentance is the key to being transformed into the image of God. Repentance is how God transforms from us ‘from glory to glory’ (2 Corinthians 3:18). It is the continuous process by which He transforms the lives of His children.

Let me illustrate.

In this fallen world, all of us experience disappointment. You need to start viewing disappointment as a God ordained opportunity for change to occur. God actually allows disappointment so that we grow in godliness. Such growth comes about by the way we learn to respond to disappointment.

Disappointment creates a need to be comforted. The unsaved man will respond to that need by turning to the world or to their own self effort. As Christians, we must learn to turn instead to God.

The great goodness of God

From the book ‘Mountains in Heaven’ …

I’ve been a Christian for some time. I still need to frequently remind myself of the great goodness of God. All of us need to soak in the picture of God painted in the Bible, letting it change our view of God. Meditate on the following scriptures. Allow them to change your view of God.

Psalm 42:8:

The Lord will command His loving-kindness in the daytime,
And in the night His song shall be with me—
A prayer to the God of my life.

God is not some impersonal, judgmental lightning bolt thrower. God is good all the time. He is for you, not against you. He wants the best for your life. He created you and wants you to be fulfilled. His song should fill your life. His joy should fill your life.

Psalm 40:11:

Do not withhold Your tender mercies from me, O Lord;
Let Your loving-kindness and Your truth continually preserve me.

According to His tender mercies, God blots out your transgressions. (Psalm 51:1) All of His actions are motivated by His loving-kindness. His covenants are motivated by His love. Scriptures are not to be viewed as lists of dos and don’ts. They are the advice of a loving Father who wants the best for you.

Psalm 103:4:

Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with loving-kindness and tender mercies

How much does God love you? He gave His only son to redeem your life from destruction. So much of religion is built around trying to please God, when really it should be simply a celebration of the fact that He already loves us beyond comprehension.

Discovering your true self

Romans 8:29:

For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.

As a Christian, God is transforming you into the image of Jesus. This ‘sibling of Jesus’, this ‘child of God’ person is your true self. It is the person God created. And so, true joy, love and acceptance is only found as you discover and become that person. You must increasingly see yourself as that person.

Discovering the person God created is a journey of revelation. It is a journey full of astonishment. The person God created is holy. That person is completely separate from the sin of this world. That person is a powerful, overcoming and unique expression of God. This is why Satan works so hard to keep you from a powerful truth: you are that person right now. You are right now seated with Christ in heavenly places. (Ephesians 1:20) And, as you grow in your revelation of your true self, you will grow increasingly aware that you are right now both here on earth and also ‘seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens’. (Hebrews 8:1)