It’s not often that an offshoot of the Allman Brothers Band starts a conversation about God‘s revelation.
I went hiking last week of my father in Shenandoah National Park. As we tackled a particularly steep 800ft ascent, my father began laughing as the iPod he was listening to shuffled across a song by the band Sea Level. I chuckled along with him as we both labored with our legs to get further away from that very thing: sea level.
Ever the punny raconteur, I joked, “Well, I guess God is inviting us to go from sea level to see level.”
Are you on sea level or see level?
Being at the elevation of the ocean requires no effort. People go there to escape from work, to relax, to lounge (and roast, if you’re melanin-challenged like me and don’t slather on the sunscreen). Lying on the white powdery sand, though, doesn’t give you a great vantage point of the surrounding countryside.
Getting to see level, on the other hand, requires great effort. It takes careful trail navigation, preparation, and the burning of more than a few calories along the way. Somehow, though, wiping the dust from your legs, brush off your shoes, and sweat off your brow always seems to be worth it as you crest the final hill. “I’ve never come to a summit and thought, ‘Well, that was a waste,’” my dad quipped. Not many people are willing to do it, but the perspective of the surrounding natural beauty stretching countless miles to the horizon can draw the brave and the driven to a higher place.
Elevation brings revelation, but the view is for the few.
John the Revelator knew this firsthand. The glorious sights of heaven and prophecies of the coming day of the Lord were not for the casual acquaintances of Jesus. They were reserved for the follower who was “lying on Jesus’ breast” at the Last Supper (Jn 13:25). It was the beloved disciple who left everything to be the closest of Jesus’ inner circle that received the clearest pictures of the risen Christ in the New Testament (Rev 1). John paid the price to live seated in the place of devotion and to abide in Christ.
Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord?
Who may stand in his holy place?
When you look at your devotional life and prayer time before the Lord, are you living at sea level with the multitudes or at see level with the precious few? Are you satisfied with the mundane, or do you crave to see things from God’s perspective?
Let’s take some time to ascend the hill of the Lord together. Let’s pay the price, live a devotional life, and get to see level.