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A mountain tree if it would see
The far horizons and the stars,
May never know a sheltered place
Nor grow symmetrical in grace.
Such trees must battle doggedly
the blasts, and bear the scars.
–Loyal Marion Thompson
The Lord is seeking those who are willing “to come apart” and “ascend” the mountain of vision to be with Him.
“But know that the Lord has set apart him that is godly for Himself….” Psalm 4:3
There is much that yet remains hidden, which the Lord desires to reveal to those who intimately desire Him, and are willing to come apart to spend quality time with Him – alone.
“The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.” Ephesians 1:18
To these “set apart” ones, He is saying,
“…Come up here, and I will show you things which must be hereafter.” Revelation 4:1
It is the Lord’s desire that we become one to whom the “mysteries of the Kingdom” will be revealed.
“…It is given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.” Matthew 13:11
Our coming into this realm of “spiritual vision” requires being “separated” from all that is seemingly good, in order to be brought to the best. Therefore, many weights (acceptable things not born of the spirit) must be laid aside, that we might ascend into this “set apart place” of unhindered union with Jesus, in the outworking of His end-time purposes.
“…Rise up, My love, My fair one, and come away …look from the top of Amana, from the top of Shenir and Hermon….” Song of Solomon 2:10, 4:8
For those responding to this call into the higher realm of spiritual vision and insight, there is a priceless reward
“I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14
This poem, by Loyal Thompson, expresses in the imagery of a mountain tree, the price and the reward for persevering in our ascent into the realm of Kingdom identification with our Lord.
“A mountain tree if it would see.”
A mountain tree speaks of elevation. It is a lone tree, jutting out from the crest of a very rugged, wind-swept mountain, far above the peaceful forest beneath. There is a reward for its singular loneliness and its struggle to survive – It can see.
“The far horizons and the stars.”
Here, this lonely battered tree can view the distant horizon, or look up into the expanse of the Heavenlies in all their glory; for this mountain tree abides in a pure, clear atmosphere.
But there is a price – it has been set apart from all others. As a result, it
“May never know a sheltered place
nor grow symmetrical in grace.”
In the forest beneath, each tree is sheltered and protected by those that surround it. Because of this protection, these trees are symmetrical, fully formed and beautiful in appearance. However, they cannot see the “far horizons and the stars,” as their vision is very limited.
“Such trees must battle doggedly the blasts,
and bear the scars.”
Because of its exposure high on the mountain, this tree is both scarred and gnarled by the storms it faces. It must continually withstand its contrary environment ‑ all of the opposing, buffeting forces, as it struggles to maintain its place of vision.
The determination, obedience, and faithfulness in abiding in this place of pure atmosphere and vision is rewarded; for this “tree” (us) sees with clarity, not only those things close at hand, but also the “far horizons and the stars” in a perspective of which others merely dream.
Although Jesus had twelve disciples, only three, Peter, James, and John, were taken by Him into a high mountain apart, where He was transfigured before them (Matthew 17:1‑2). These saw His visible Glory while Moses and Elijah talked with Him. They received an understanding that could never have been imparted to them in any other way.
Today, there is this same call to come up into the “mount” to view the stirrings, movings, and interventions of our Lord, with a clarity and perspective that is not available to those who rest below in safety and comfort.
Few are willing to ascend the mountain with Him and then, abide there; for, “vision always has a price.” John the Baptist said, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). In other words, “The way up is down.” This paradox applies to those who would come up into the mountain top, in communion with Him alone, in the higher realms of His presence and purposes.
Abraham was called alone, out from his kindred and country, into a land he knew not. There, he became the friend of God, and the progenitor of a set-apart nation.
Joseph was sold alone, into a strange country where he suffered alone, in a dark prison. There, in a time of dire need, he became the head of a nation and saved his people.
Moses fled into the wilderness alone, where he met the Lord at a burning bush. From there, he led Israel out of bondage into their own land.
Jesus went up into a mountain alone, to pray, and to call to Him whom He would.
“…and they came to Him. And He ordained twelve, that they should be with Him, and that He might send them forth to preach, and to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils.” Mark 3:13‑15
These became the foundation upon which the Body of Christ is built.
Today, many are resting in the safety of the sheltered place, satisfied with the surrounding protection it provides. These appear as being beautiful to the eye, and “symmetrical in grace.” But something is missing; they are not in “the mount of vision.”
There are those who cannot remain satisfied in the place of sheltered comfort, and passive acceptability. These who are “intensely hungry for more,” are responding to His call to “rise up and come away.”
Never again will they be able to rest in the safety and security of past experiences or visitations, but they are pressing onward toward this mountain realm of “higher vision” in an active, present relationship with Jesus.
Each pioneer paid a price for the vision they received. Few of them were understood, or accepted in their lifetime. With the understanding that “truth and vision” are always costly, may we join with these saints of old, and begin our ascent upward toward this realm of clear vision.
We have marched around the mountain long enough. Let us linger no longer, knowing that one thing is certain:
He knows the way, and He desires to lead us there.
Wade E. Taylor