Isaiah 2:3 “And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.”
Jesus said that the Kingdom of Heaven suffers violence and the violent take it by force. That doesn’t sound very Christian if you don’t understand it. It sounds like Jesus is promoting aggression and violence, chaos. How can that be what the Kingdom of Heaven allows?
Are there passages in the Bible that you don’t understand? Are you willing to ask God to explain them to you? Why or why not?
The meaning is the Kingdom of Heaven allows passion. It’s alright to be excited for Jesus. It’s alright to get emotional about Jesus. There are things in the Kingdom of God that must be taken. They’re not always just given, but instead must be taken, reached for, sought after.
Jesus said this is achieved only with energy and an on-purpose amount of zeal.
The concept of going higher is both natural and spiritual. There is an element of human effort that must take place in order to go up. There are things you must do and that you must have in order to climb. There must be effort exerted and energy put forth in order to climb.
There are only a few people, like Enoch and the Apostle John, that are translated and instantaneously go higher. Only in rare situations does someone get taken higher. The normal way is through one-foot-in-front-of-the-other effort.
God is challenging you, ‘Will you climb?’
You’ve got to put one foot in front of the other. Go up. You’re heading to God. The Word came from Mt. Zion. You’ve got to climb.
The only time this was circumvented was Jesus and the reason why was because Satan brought Him there. The only time Satan brings you without any effort on your own part is because he wants to tempt you or command you or trick you into casting yourself down. God doesn’t want you to fall. Satan wants to watch gleefully as you fall. God wants to grow you and bless you and mature you.
In what ways have you been tempted to take the ‘easy way’ and how has that turned out for you? When have you not taken the easy way and with what results? Why do you suppose God set it up this way?
Press into the Kingdom. The naturally zealous will take the Kingdom by force. It will take intentional and consistent passion.
Rom 8:9 “… Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”
You’ve got to have that Spirit. Jesus quoted from Isaiah, ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me to seek and to save the lost.’ That was His entire mission. That was His Spirit. That was His passion. This is the call of God, to teach, to baptize, to witness.
Phil 3:15 “Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.”
Whatever your resolutions are for 2019, if the Lord has given you a vision or a calling or a promise or a hope, if you want it, it is there for the taking! Nothing can keep you from it, if you press in and push and climb, but you’ve got to go after it.
Get this attitude: If there is a Promise from God, I want it!
This isn’t a call down, that’s the earth, the world. Gravity calls you down. You don’t need the world to call you.
Fight against the call of this world, respond to the call of another world, don’t stay down, come up. Your own desires which may not be sinful may be contrary to God’s call. You might have to work harder to respond to the call of God. It’s not easy.
It’s a lot easier to go down than to go up. It’s easier to fall than to climb.
On a snowy day, it’s a lot of fun to sled down a big hill, but it’s not so fun to get back up the hill in order to do it again. It’s a whole lot more fun and thrilling to go down. There are no lifts in God’s Kingdom. You’ve got to climb.
What are some of the promises that God has given you? Are you willing to go after them? What do you think it will take from you to get those promises?
You can be a priest or you can be high priest. God is always calling you higher than you are.
Mountains are always more desirable than the valleys. God spoke to many people on mountains, Moses, Abraham, even Jesus died on Mt. Calvary.
Even in mythology, the gods met with humans on mountains. The gods traditionally lived on mountains.
Psalm 121:1-2 “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. 2 My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.”
Up on the mountain you have a view. The closer you get to God, the better you can see. Let your perspective change because of God’s view.
Ex 24:12 “And the Lord said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them.”
God wants you to come up in order to give you an experience.
Why not in a cave? Or a deep ravine? Of course, God can talk to you in the belly of a whale or in a cave, but there is something about the top of a mountain. There is a reason for the climb.
God called Abraham and asked him, ‘How many stars can you see?’ ‘How many grains of sand can you count?’ He couldn’t answer. God gave him a vision of innumerable amounts of children. God says, ‘Take your only son on a three day journey to the top of Mt. Moria and sacrifice him there.’ Why? The climb. It’s energy. There’s less air. He had to bring stuff with him. The higher the climb, the more dangerous it was. With every step, Abraham had to think about what he was doing. Then, when they got to the mountain, he told his servants only Abraham and Isaac went up the mountain. Abraham held onto the promise of the sand and the stars. Either God would resurrect Isaac or he would provide another sacrifice.
Even though Calvary doesn’t look pretty, Abraham realized the promise and the possibility of resurrection. Abraham and Jesus climbed. Get this in your spirit! Get this promise, this call, this victory into your spirit. Climb! Why wait? Climb! God wants to show you some stuff. Climb!
Why do you avoid the ‘climb’? What is holding you back? What can you do to change that?
‘Yay, Lord, I go up yonder to worship.’ Integrity is developed in the climb. You can look back at your own life and say, no more! There is something that is born in a man in the midst of the climb.
Gen 22:5 “And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.”
There is a point where you won’t go back, where you can’t go back. Natural stuff will pull you down, but God is calling you up.
In 2019, Climb!
John 8:58 “Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.”
Abraham saw Christ.
Gen 22:7-8 “And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? 8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.”
Gen 22:13-14 “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. 14 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen.”
Abraham saw something.
There is something about the air on top of a mountain that clears your mind. Bills aren’t on your mind, car problems aren’t on your mind. A sense of something higher, greater, the view changes your perspective.
Whether you’re a runner from pain or a runner toward pleasure, it doesn’t have anything to do with the climb.
There is no view in the climbing. To the few, to the climbers, God is calling you.
Psalm 2:6 “Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.”
Jesus called Peter, James, and John up a mountain with Him.
Mark 3:14 “And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach,”
Mark 3:13 “And he goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto him whom he would: and they came unto him.”
Jesus called them up to the mountain so they could be with Him. Then, He sent them. Something happens at the top.
Mark 3:13-14 “He climbed a mountain and invited those he wanted with him. They climbed together. He settled on twelve, and designated them apostles. The plan was that they would be with him, and he would send them out to proclaim the Word”
Fast, pray, and read God’s Word, that’s how to climb. You’ve got to have structure. You’ve got to have a life dedicated to Jesus. You must have a prayer life, not just a prayer time. It is a life of fasting, a life of prayer, a system of reading God’s Word, studying it, incorporating it into your everyday life. If you want to hear from God, climb. Seek the Lord. Put down your phone and climb!
The only time naturally that you go up is not the way God calls you up. It’s not really up. Satan offered money, promotion, and power. In order to go up in God’s Kingdom, you must serve, humble yourself.
How can you be more humble in your life? What changes in your thinking/attitude/words/actions need to happen?
Get the Spirit of Caleb in you and don’t forget that mountain you chose. Caleb never forgot. He waited 40 years and then, when the opportunity came, he said, ‘Give me that mountain!’
The Holy Ghost said, ‘It’s time, Let’s go up!’ Be ready. Have your stick and water ready. If you don’t make the climb, you don’t get the victory. With your discouragement, your sickness, climb! Hold onto that promise, hold onto your victory! It’s there, but you must climb!
God wants to give you revival, but you must climb! Walk it out. Give God your best. Get His Spirit of Excellence in you, that Spirit of Caleb, ‘Give me this mountain!’
Excerpted from a sermon preached by Pastor Anthony LoCascio.
For the full YouTube audio/video, click here.
If you are looking for an Apostolic Pentecostal church and are in the Chicagoland area, come check out The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. We would love to see you there!