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::Devotional:: ‘Coming Down From The Mountain’

February 1, 2010

Recently I spent three days with a group of men from our church attending a Prayer Advance in Goshen VA at Rockbridge Station Camp. It was an amazing time of fellowship, prayer, worship, and the teaching of God’s word.  Truly a mountain top experience – both spiritually and physically.  Unfortunately there’s always a time when you have to come down off the mountain, and that’s where we often struggle.  Life is definitely full of ups and downs, mountains and valleys, but is there a way to carry the zeal we’ve experienced on the mountain top with us?  I believe there is.

Camp is a funny thing when you think about it.  It’s like a different world where we can draw near to God so quickly and so closely it seems.  Is it really that much of a different world?  What are the major factors that make going to camp a unique experience?  I’ve been to my fair share of camps and from what I can tell there are basically five ingredients for having a mountain top camp experience.

1.  The Word
Usually all campers have their Bibles and many times you will find them taking the time to read them.  Some folks will even read the word by flashlight early in the morning or into the late hours of the night.  Those who teach at camp, are dynamic, and the teaching comes from the word of God.  Those who listen at camp, are focused, and follow along in the scriptures as they are being taught.  The word of God is present and prominent at camp.

2. Prayer
Praying in groups, praying in pairs, praying individually – prayer is all over the place at camp.  Purposeful prayer too, not just prayer for the sake of praying.  Sometimes it’s in response to a message given by one of the speakers, or directed by a group leader, or even between two friends who have shared their struggles and victories in the abundant life of Christ.  Even individuals find places to be quiet and alone with God as they communicate openly and honestly with him.  Prayer is present and prominent at camp.

3.  Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit lives within every Christian and manifests his power and movement where there are opportunities to grow.  With the presence of the word and prayer, the Holy Spirit is vibrant within each Christian and it shows.  As a matter of fact the movement of the Holy Spirit in one camper can encourage another camper to allow the movement of the Holy Spirit within them as well.  The Holy Spirit is present and prominent at camp.

4.  Fellowship
Many campers can be found gathered in a bunk room, deep in discussion late into the night.  Other times, campers will find time to share in conversation with one another about what the Lord is doing in their lives.  Some will even open up and share some of their difficult struggles as well.  Throw in some laughs and comradery  and the fellowship at camp is powerful enough to bond individuals together for life.  Fellowship is present and prominent at camp.

5.  Time
Perhaps the most important ingredient, and one that affects all the others, is time.  Dedicated and devoted time.  Every camp has a schedule to keep but time is alloted to focus on each of the other four ingredients.  Folks come to camp with the expectation and mindset to meet with God and that’s exactly what they accomplish. Time is present and prominent at camp.

These ingredients serve to make a memorable mountain top experience, but what about coming down from the mountain?  Do we have to wait for camp next year to experience this again?  Absolutely not!  Here’s the great thing about these ingredients.  Not only are they present at camps, but they are present and prominent in church week in and week out.  I know they are at my church, Twin Oaks.  That’s precisely how the Lord designed the church to be.  The early church, organized right after Jesus’ ascension into heaven, was probably at the pinnacle of its purity following the day of Pentecost in Acts 1.  Look at how the scriptures describe the early church and see if you can identify the five ingredients.

42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people.And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.  Acts 2:42-47

We may have had to come down from the mountain after camp, but we can still experience God in the same way at our church; where the word, prayer, Holy Spirit, fellowship, and precious time are present and prominent.

-Stay Rooted Col. 2:7-

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