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The Hike to Glory

A man went out to the mountains looking for some kind of a sense of focus for his life.  Needing to clear his mind from all  the things he had been going through he started hiking up one of the smaller hills and found himself going through one ravine after another and then up to the lower part of that hill.  He didn’t realize that he had been hiking at a steady pace for over five hours and the physical toil on his body was starting to be felt and it concerned him.  Could he get back if he continued hiking further into the woods and further up the hill facing him?  He had to make a decision “Do I keep going on or do I turn back?”  The man stopped to contemplate what to do next.  He looked at the hill and looked back down the valley.  “What to do?”  The man liked what he saw on up the hill, but he knew it would take some energy to make it to those upper viewpoints and he didn’t know if he had the strength left to make the climb.  Just when he was about to turn back and return to his former life someone up the hill called out to him.  “Come on up here.  I have something you need to see.”  “But I don’t know if I can make it.”  The voice from up the hill said “Oh yeah, you can make it and when you get here I have plenty of water and food to restore your strength. But if you don’t come up you will miss the best view you have ever seen.”  The man decided he would go on up the hill and toward the place where he thought the voice came from.  All along he kept thinking to himself , “I can always go back down the hill if it’s not what I expected.”  As he continued to hike up the hill the voice kept calling out “Keep going. You’re almost there!”  The man would make a turn and go up even further but he still couldn’t see the person who was calling out to him.  In his frustration he stopped and looked back down the hill and thought “If I don’t see the person behind “the voice” I am going back down.  His continued doubt was totally controlling his climb and as he was about to quit the voice called out again.  “Just go up the next rise and I will meet you at the top.  “At the top?” He thought the person behind the voice was crazy, and that he surely couldn’t be at the top of this hill.  But ignoring all doubts and the burning sensation in his legs he went up the next rise and around another corner and there it was, the most beautiful view he had ever seen. It was indescribable and he suddenly felt a strength he had never felt and such a great hope enveloped his heart and mind.  He had made it to the top and to his surprise standing in front of him was the Son of God.   The voice he had heard all along was Jesus and he didn’t even recognize it.  He was a little embarrassed that he hadn’t recognized the voice of His Savior and went on to say “If I had known it was you calling to me Jesus I wouldn’t have doubted whether I could keep on going.”  Jesus turned and looked at him and said, “Who else would it be?”  When he heard Jesus say that statement he realized that if he had been walking close to God all along he would have recognized the voice of Jesus easily and would have kept going without any fear.

Are you moving forward and growing in your walk with God?  Are you climbing heights that seem insurmountable at times and relying on your own strength?  Who do you think is calling you to keep moving on up?  Who else would it be?  It is Jesus!!  From time to time I get accused  of being dissatisfied with things as they are and wanting to do more or get more.  Well…..GUILTY!!  The moment I sit back and let things roll like they are and not move on up the mountain, is the moment I quit moving toward all God wants me to be.  My relationship with Jesus “drives” me up the mountain further and further and even though the path up that hill seems long and winding, and I get real tired climbing it I know there is a better day coming.  See what Peter wrote in 1 Peter 1:  To those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen 2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure. 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, 7 so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which ]is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 8 and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.  

To me, this is the Christian’s walk, to pursue God.  It’s not a “works” type of thing, but a result of “faith” type of thing.  As God develops our life He puts a huge emphasis on climbing the hills of life and learning to persevere along the way to this great viewpoint on this “Hike Toward Glory.”  On this hike we can’t necessarily see God clearly, but at times can only hear His voice calling us to go on to higher heights.  God is also saying “don’t settle” but pursue greatness and keep on moving forward.  Anything less is going backwards.  This is the same fire that kept the apostles moving forward and taking the gospel where it was needed.  It is the same fire that we must protect and keep going.  On the show Dual Survival the two guys who are placed in a bad situation and asked to survive always need water and to get clean water they must boil it and that takes fire.  When they finally get a fire started they try to maintain it by putting the burning embers in a cup and keep those embers with them to be able to start a fire further down the path.  Spiritually we need to allow God to set ablaze an all out faith and that faith is a purifying element in our lives.  But that fire can go out and further up the path we realize we need more fire and we have to go through the whole process again just to get a fire going.  In reality as believers we need to protect the embers of those past fires and allow God to start some new fire from those embers. Romans 11: 2-6 Do you remember that time Elijah was agonizing over this same Israel and cried out in prayer?  God, they murdered your prophets,They trashed your altars; I’m the only one left and now they’re after me!And do you remember God’s answer? I still have seven thousand who haven’t quit, Seven thousand who are loyal to the finish. It’s the same today. There’s a fiercely loyal minority still—not many, perhaps, but probably more than you think. They’re holding on, not because of what they think they’re going to get out of it, but because they’re convinced of God’s grace and purpose in choosing them. If they were only thinking of their own immediate self-interest, they would have left long ago.  

If  you are like the man in the above story and you are at a pivotal point on your journey wondering whether you should give in or keep on climbing, listen to the voice of Jesus who is leading you up the hill.  Don’t quit!!!  In fact, just trust that a better day is ahead if you will just keep moving forward one step at a time.  Paul in writing to the church at Rome was bringing to mind an earlier time when God used a remnant of faithful people to keep on moving forward.  The word chosen was used and that just means that the grace they were living in compelled them to keep on trusting God and moving up the hill.  I have been reading a book written by the pastor of Hillsong Church in Australia.  In the book Brian Houston has a confession all of us need to voice and it says, “I am the one!  God’s hand rests upon me.  I am the one positioned by God for maximum influence.  I am the one carrying the Glory of God!!”

I  like that and I want to conclude this blog with a challenge for myself and for you.  DON’T SETTLE!!  God has more heights he wants us to climb.  You may get tired, but keep on climbing and following the voice of Jesus because who else would it be if it wasn’t Jesus.  Jesus is the one calling us to keep on growing.  Keep on moving. Keep on improving.  Never get satisfied, or another word might be DEAD!!  If someone tries to hold you back it is because they are not climbing that hill at all, but staying close to the bottom where it is safe and easy.  Listen to the voice of Jesus and keep climbing and the viewpoint at the end will be awesome.  Then you will hear your Savior say “Well done, good and faithful servant.  Look at this great example given by Jesus in Matthew 25: 22-23 “The servant with the two thousand showed how he also had doubled his master’s investment. His master commended him: ‘Good work! You did your job well. From now on be my partner.’ 24-25 “The servant given one thousand said, ‘Master, I know you have high standards and hate careless ways, that you demand the best and make no allowances for error. I was afraid I might disappoint you, so I found a good hiding place and secured your money. Here it is, safe and sound down to the last cent.’ 26-27 “The master was furious. ‘That’s a terrible way to live! It’s criminal to live cautiously like that! If you knew I was after the best, why did you do less than the least? The least you could have done would have been to invest the sum with the bankers, where at least I would have gotten a little interest. 28-30 “‘Take the thousand and give it to the one who risked the most. And get rid of this “play-it-safe” who won’t go out on a limb. Throw him out into utter darkness.’

Keep hiking toward glory and moving up the hill and keep listening to Jesus as your guide.

The Pilgrimage continues…..

David Warren

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