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Hillside vs. Hilltop

On a recent rock hunting trip with my son we observed a huge house atop a very rocky hill, sitting all alone and covering just about every square inch of that hilltop. We marveled at how it must have been very costly to build, so far from town, amidst all the rocks of the desert land and without immediate access to all the regular 'utilities' that are enjoyed by us city dwellers. We imagined it cost them a pretty penny to run the water and electricity, but to stabilize the hilltop enough to ensure a house of that side didn't shift and come down in the monsoon storms of Arizona summers was another feat all by itself. There must have been a great deal of detail that went into planning for the house's build and a fairly lengthy prep process to get the land readied to receive all would become this sprawling house. Not all things built in life are going to be easy. Some 'building projects' in our lives will be to focus us high above what others can see or appreciate. These 'projects' may take a little more time because the design is important - they will cost a little bit more because the structure created must endure things others don't.  

Blessed be God, my mountain, who trains me to fight fair and well. He's the bedrock on which I stand, the castle in which I live, my rescuing knight, the high crag where I run for dear life, while he lays my enemies low. (Psalm 144:1-2)

I think we often forget we have the best 'designer' of all in our corner! We have been given the Holy Spirit as our "trainer" and God has 'designed' that which we are being trained to achieve. In the building process, God is preparing us for each and every swing the enemy will take in our lives - those things that are meant to tumble down our walls of defense and cause fissures in our foundation. God did all the design work ahead of time, knowing just what 'hilltop' we'd find our lives resting upon. Notice I didn't say God prepared the 'hillside' for us - he has prepared the 'hilltop' so we'd have the very best vantage point from which to 'live life'. Waiting for the design to 'take form' is probably the hardest part of our walk with Christ. We want to see our 'hilltop experience' right now, but we forget it takes a bit to prepare the 'space' upon which God builds his truths, cements his presence, and covers us with his protection. Truth be told - 'WE' take time to adjust to the build!

We want to skim the Word of God, hoping something might just sink in, but we forget foundations aren't built haphazardly. We hope an hour in church each week will lift our spirits, but we forget consistency isn't created by intermittent moments. We turn on the worship music on the way to work hoping it will fill our minds with peace before the chaos begins, but we forget to center our minds again on his presence when the chaos starts to turn our day upside down. Then we stand there and look out at the unfinished building on the hilltop wondering when we will ever be able to dwell in that place! He's the bedrock on which we stand. The bedrock level is the lowest, most stable level of rock - simply because it is unbroken. God provides foundation for our lives, but we have to stand upon what has been provided in order to realize the safety of the bedrock. In other words, we cannot climb to the cliffs until we are sure about the bedrock below. We cannot mount the hillside and just erect a tent on the top of the hill! We need the foundation of his preparation in order to erect the 'castle' of his presence that will endure the placement of that 'building' upon that hilltop!

He's the castle in which we live. He is a place of shelter. Castles are big, have lots of room, and are really well-built places able to endure the changes and challenges of time. This is our God - really big, able to endure the changes of time, and there is lots of room in his shelter for you and me! Guess what? We don't just visit the castle - we live there! Castles aren't built in a day - they take what seems like a lifetime to build. Maybe this is why God is taking so much time to actually get us up onto that hilltop. He is preparing what will become our 'castle'. It may not seem like much work is being done to prepare that hilltop for us but God is at work! When he is working, no one and nothing can stand against him! Listen to your builder - he knows the challenges just ahead and has calculated the moves you must take to come to rest with him upon that hilltop within that castle he is preparing for each of us! Just sayin!

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