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  • Writer's pictureJeremy Napier

Go up the mountain

Updated: Oct 27, 2023

We made it! To the NCAA tournament! Personally, I was able to play in the NCAA D-2 tournament but to experience it on the D-1 level was different. Since I didn’t know what the future would hold for our guys, I wanted to give a strong gospel message.

I told the guys, “our goal over the next several weeks is to be sitting at the top of the Mountain, winning a NCAA championship (Mountain top experience). That is our goal. Our coaches have challenged you, and prepared you for this moment, taking it one game at a time. But tonight, I want to challenge each of you in a different way. This evening we are going reflect on a different mountain we find in the Scriptures.”

I briefly talked about MOSES and how the LORD used him to lead God’s people out of Egypt, through the RED SEA. Then we ended with Exodus 19 at the foot of Mount Sinai.

In Exodus 19, God told Moses he was going to appear in a thick cloud for all to see, Why? So, they will believe in you forever. So, prepare the people…Because they are going to see a human-being interact with God. Seeing a man interact with God was going to be an incredible moment.

What I wanted the guys to understand is that Moses was the "go-between" God and his people. He listened to God, and took God’s instruction down the mountain to the people of Israel. God also set parameters around the mountain. That no one could touch it, not even the animals.

I explained that God set these parameters because it was a vivid reminder to the people of the glory of God, and the great chasm that exists between a Holy God and sinful people.

We then read in chapter 20 the result, which was that the people did not want God to speak directly to them. They wanted to hear from Moses instead. He would act as a go-between God and the people.

The warning for us today is that we can't live our Christian life vicariously through someone else.

I shared a personal testimony. Early on in life I thought I was grandfathered into the Kingdom. I came from a family of pastors. They were my Moses. I was a Christian because they were and therefore I just assumed my eternal destination was secure!

I bet many of you at some point have had a Moses in your life. What I mean by that is when it came to your relationship with God, they were your go-between, and through them, you felt like you had a connection or relationship with God.

Somehow we forget that this is about a personal relationship with God! The

Bible says YOU must confess with YOUR mouth, that YOU believe in YOUR heart!

When we stand before God we don't want to hear the dreadful words, " never knew you.”

Matthew saysOn that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name? ' And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness'” (Matthew 7:21-23).

Maybe God is saying you need you to come up the mountain, and shift your focus, and redirect your mindset from the things the world offers, to this all powerful, Jehovah, AWESOME, HOLY God, who is available for an intimate, relationship with you.

Some of you need to walk up the mountain! Don’t you know you can go up the mountain yourself?

We get to experience what Moses experienced! The best kind of "mountain top" experience.

Jesus, the God man, made it possible for us to go directly to God. To have a face to face relationship with God himself. The ground shook, the veil was torn and there is no more chasm between you and God! OUR SINS OUR FORGIVEN.

All of this was prophesied in the Old Testament in Isaiah 52-54. God said to Israel then, wake up! Don’t miss the Messiah. He speaks of the crucifixion in detail and all was fulfilled in Jesus. Israel missed it and I don’t want you to miss it as well.

Coach Bowman told us in practice before we departed Auburn that we have one chance, one game, then we are done…win or go home. In this game of life, we have one chance. We are either For Him or against Him, we accept Him, or deny Him. What’s it going to be?

After Bible study, we prayed and had an opportunity for self-reflection. I encouraged them to experience God for themselves.

One player stayed after Bible study to talk. We chatted for two hours! He went on to have the best NCAA tournament out of anyone on our team.

God is good and His Spirit was moving. Pray that God continues to bless our team spiritually, that guys go up the mountain and experience a personal relationship with God.


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