I believe it was Jessie Pen-Lewis who interpreted “the prince of the power of the air” as “the ruler of the misty foggy kingdom” (Ephesians 2:2). Truly, Satan’s modus operandi is to keep us in the mist and the fog. The pictures accompanying this article show what I often see in the morning from my porch on Walton’s Mountain. The fog is below me and I’m above it.
Five years ago, I was forced, due to my failing health, to pull the plug on multiple ministries, all of which I drove myself to tirelessly perform at breakneck speed day and night. As my failing health, as well as my physicians confirmed, my driving of myself was soon to drive me into a premature grave, if I didn’t slow down and wake-up to the fact that I was not, as I foolishly believed, indispensable to God. His work on the earth would go on just as well with or without my service.
Forced by the invisible hand of God out of the rat race of modern-day ministry and the spinning wheel of the contemporary pastorate, where I often found myself exhausted from running in place and getting nowhere, I found myself suddenly sitting in a rocking chair rather than standing in a pulpit, on my porch rather than in the pastorate, atop a mountain rather than upon a podium, alone with Christ rather than leading a congregation, and with my Bible in my lap rather than on a lectern. It’s here that the fog began to lift, or perhaps I should say, God began to lift me above the fog!
Solitude is definitely an acquired art. Being alone with God can be a disconcerting thing. We often avoid it because we are afraid of what the still small voice of the Spirit may whisper in our heart. It could be something most unflattering about ourselves, something contradictory to our preconceived ideas, a revelation of what great things we must suffer for Christ’s sake, as well as how His strength in us is perfected through such suffering of ours, or it could be any number of other things that will shake us to the core of our being and drop us to our knees. Still, it’s here, and only here, that life’s grand pursuit is pursued. Life is; after all, all about knowing God; and eternal life is only found in knowing Him and His Son, Jesus Christ, who He has sent to make Himself known (John 17:3).
I’ve learned atop this mountain that out of sight and out of mind is a privileged position, if one is also spending His days in the presence of God. I’ve gladly given up all things, as did the Apostle Paul, for life’s greatest pursuit, to know Jesus Christ in the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, so that I too might be made conformable to His death and attain unto His resurrection (Philippians 3:8-11).
I’m most blessed by God and completely content in my heart to live out the rest of my life on this mountain, where I’m high above the fog, sitting at the feet of Jesus, and daily spending my time just listening to His Word. While all spiritual lowlanders may feel I’m missing out on life, by not descending into the hustle bustle of the fog, I’ve found what life is all about above the fog, atop this mountain, on my porch, in my rocking chair, with my Bible in my lap, and alone with my Jesus. There’s really no place I care to go anymore except Heaven, which is the only step up I have from here!