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…..