Thursday, February 19, 2015

The First Encounter

The first encounter Jesus had on the road between Mt. Hermon and the hill called Calvary was with nine of his disciples who had been left behind.  When He went up the mountain, He invited Peter, James, and John to accompany Him.  It is easy to imagine how those three must have felt like they were special and the nine who stayed felt unappreciated.  When Jesus returns from the mountain top experience known as the Transfiguration, He finds an angry and disappointed father with them.  This father immediately begins whining that these disciples could not heal his son as Jesus would have done had He been present.
The failure of the nine to be a means of divine healing is not surprising.  Dissension had already reared its ugly head midst the Twelve.  These men were prone to arguing over which among them was the greatest and Jesus choosing three to go with Him up the mountain for a special time no doubt only fueled the fire that was burning inside of them  When the father shows up with a son in need of healing, they were no doubt to full of themselves to be of much use to God. 
We sometimes forget that there is a connection between our own level of spiritual fitness and our usefulness to God.  Spiritual disciplines such as forgiveness, prayer, and immersion in the Word serve us in many ways, but one of the things which always happens as we practice spiritual disciplines in a disciplined way is the strengthening of our own spiritual life.  A second thing which inevitably happens is that we find our spirit getting in line with the Holy Spirit.  But, let us not think that spiritual disciplines are just about us.  They have a way of putting us in a spiritual position where we can be useful to God as He seeks to accomplish holy purposes in the world.

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