24 Then He said, “Assuredly, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in His own country. 25 But I tell you truly many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a great famine throughout all the land; 26 “but to none of them was Elijah sent except Zarephath, in the region of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. 27 “And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.” 28 So all those in the synagogue when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, 29 and rose up and thrust Him out of the city; and they led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw Him down over the cliff. 30 The passing through the midst of them, He went His way. Luke 4:24-30 (NKJV)
It was the third day of my journey to the holy land of Israel. We had visited a number of spots that day which included Megido and the place where the sermon of the beatitudes occurred. Early evening had set in and our bus had arrived to the city of Nazareth. Immediately, I was overtaken by the views of the architecture that adorned the sides of the mountains and hills. My camera flashed as I acted like the typical tourist. Little did I know, I was about to have my defining moment of the entire journey. I had expected that my moment would come in the Garden of Gethsemane, or the Wailing Wall, or even the place where Jesus was crucified. But we can never predict when the Holy Spirit is going to move on us.
We were on our way to Mount Precipice where Jesus Christ had escaped from the people who had tried to push him off the top of the mountain referenced in the opening scripture. I didn’t think that this place would have any real significance spiritually but boy was I wrong! The bishop who was leading our group began to read the scripture and eventually implored us to not just be tourists for this journey. He tearfully cautioned us not to leave the Holy Land unchanged; only having souvenirs and tons of pictures as evidence of our being there. And that’s when my moment began…
As tears began to well up in my eyes, the bishop finished his sermon and we closed out in prayer. The tears began to fall as we all walked down the mountain back to the bus. For the next 10-15 minutes during the bus ride, the tears wouldn’t stop falling. The Holy Spirit had begun speaking to me about incomplete repentance. The conviction on my heart was heavy and I continued to shed tears for all of the souls of men that could not yet be entrusted to me because my repentance was not complete. I began to see the faces of so many men who I believe were representing the souls I am supposed to reach in this lifetime. The Holy Spirit revealed to me that I was just like the crowd who tried to push Jesus off of the mountain. Whenever I am ignoring His instructions and not following through on disciplines that I had promised to make in my life, I’m quenching the Spirit. Just like the crowd in the scripture, I’m pushing Jesus Christ off of the mountain. There are doors of opportunity that remain closed in my life because of this incomplete repentance. It’s a maturity issue. Something else that came to mind as I wept on the bus was something that the bishop at a church I used to attend would say: Someone else is waiting on your obedience. Tears continued to fall as the Holy Spirit asked me, “How long? How long are you going to be a hold-up? How much time are you going to waste clinging on to past and current disappointments? How long are you going to continue being infatuated with worldly views of ‘success?’ Will there be blood on your hands when you stand before Me?”
What this revelation ultimately boiled down to was that there are other areas of my life that I have not surrendered to Him. They may not be directly related to the areas of deliverance that I’m currently walking out, but they are a part of the total surrender and repentance that He desires from my life. He desires the same from all of us. So as a result, I’m only walking in a measure of deliverance and there is still an open door to run back to the old vices when the going gets tough. However, when a person’s repentance is complete, there are no open doors because they have given it all to Jesus. They walk in the child-like faith that is willing to do whatever He asks. Yes I have salvation, yes I hear the Lord’s voice loud and clear, but I’m quenching the Holy Spirit in my life. My desires, my will, my fascination with certain things all prevent me from being the pure vessel that He can use. The truth is that I could be walking in so much more of His power and authority when it comes to ministering to others. I could also be enjoying a peace that I’ve never known if I was willing to center my entire life around Him. I think about this gospel song I love called “He Wants It All.” It epitomizes this experience I had and what the Lord is ultimately saying to me in this hour. He wants it all. He is telling me and even you, “Stop pushing me off of that mountain.”
This experience I believe is the Father’s heart cry to the body of Christ. Since returning from Israel, I have wrestled in my heart and mind about this issue. I realize that I have become so consumed with my future and my circumstances that I have lost intimacy with Him. I have misused the scripture in Proverbs about hope deferred as a reason to secretly remain resentful and bitter towards Him. Hence, I’m pushing Him off of that mountain. When I shut down, whether it’s by not giving my time to an outreach event or avoiding fellowship with other believers, once again I’m pushing Him off that mountain. When circumstances and desires for other things push me into complacency for the Kingdom, I’m shoving the One who died for me off of the mountain. So it’s no wonder that I’m unable to surrender the other areas of my life. But I’m so thankful that I can still hear His voice! Hallelujah! Some of the instructions I received as much as two, three even four years ago have begun to resurface, and I know this is Him giving me another chance. He is being so patient with me! No longer do I want to push Him off the mountain. I will never forget this experience and hope that it will be a constant reminder that true freedom comes only after complete and immediate obedience. It’s time to surrender all to Him and to stop quenching the spirit. I pray that you will do the same.
Nathan Allen Copyright© 2012