Mothers for Prodigals

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Hiking with God

We trekked a hazardous trail. My husband and I thought it perilous as our 60-year-old minds warned our aging bodies to take precautions. Together we climbed toward the hill’s summit through a moderately rugged forest path. God used our hike to illustrate some valuable life lessons to me. 

“I can’t enjoy the scenery,” I said to my husband. “If I don’t watch every step, I’m afraid I might fall and hurt myself.”

“I know,” he said, “so be very careful.” I followed close behind him up the trail.

With every step, I dodged exposed tree roots and loose jagged rocks. Our simple jaunt proved to be a treacherous trek. But we were determined to finish.

As I cautiously hiked the dangerous path, God’s world—hills, trees, rocks, roots—illustrated messages to me. Each careful step demonstrated the importance of clinging to God every single day. May your lessons, Lord, help me and others daily live the true Christian life. 

I watched my every step for fear of twisting an ankle or falling. My Christian walk requires comparable precaution. Thoughts, words, and deeds reflect my beliefs. Daily reading God’s Word trains me to avoid the traps of the devil and to follow the right path. If I fall, God through Jesus Christ graciously forgives me when I approach Him with a humble, repentant heart. What amazing grace He offers. 

Lesson learned: I need Jesus everyday in every way. 

Because I kept an eye on each footstep, I missed some beautiful scenery. I hoped a panoramic view awaited me at the top. As I strived to keep a firm footing, the Apostle Paul’s imagery in Ephesians of the armor of God came to mind. Then I remembered hearing someone describe contemporary Christianity as a cruise ship instead of a battleship. Has our modern society confused Christianity with a luxurious pipe dream? 

Sadly the church has wrapped itself up in society’s culture of gratification and entertainment. Itching ears desire to hear acquittals rather than convictions, resulting in watered-down faith from false teaching. Conditional truths normalize as followers of the latest fads believe the next best thing. A feel-good faith resembles a vacation cruise. 

But real Christianity requires battle. Believers must contend for the unpolluted faith of God's truth. We remain steadfast, persevering in our belief of the absolute truth of God, the faith handed down to us once for all through Christ Jesus. We fight the good fight of faith with God by our side.

Lesson learned: I need Jesus everyday in every way.

Eventually my husband and I made it to the top. We both gasped as we gazed at the breathtaking view. The landscape around and below surprised us—hope realized. It represented to me the anticipated beauty of eternal life at our earthly journey’s end. We hold tight to our faith with the hope of eternal glory. It’s a truth to stand firm on.                

As my husband and I carefully made our descent, I remembered life’s struggles—the ups and downs, the highs and lows, the births and deaths, the separations and reunions, the cancers and cures. We’ve all traveled these hills and valleys. Have they caused us to turn toward God or turn away? 

Your answer will determine the approach to your journey. Life is easy in the good times. Do we remember God and give Him thanks? Or not? Bad times bring pain and suffering. Do we follow Jesus and allow Him to strengthen us? Or not? It’s your choice.

With a firm footing on God’s truth and eyes focused on Jesus our Savior, hope will one day be reality. In the meantime, walk closely with Christ. He stands ready with open loving arms to be your guide. Turn to Him. He is near. 

Lesson learned: I need Jesus everyday in every way.

Do you?

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.  Colossians 2:6-8 (NIV)

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7 (NIV)

The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.  Psalm 145:18 (NIV)

And a highway will be there;
    it will be called the Way of Holiness;
    it will be for those who walk on that Way.
The unclean will not journey on it;
    wicked fools will not go about on it.  Isaiah 35:8 (NIV)

They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm.  Psalm 20:8 (NIV)

He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.  Psalm 40:2 (NIV)

Be my rock of refuge where I can always hide.
    You have given the order to keep me safe;
    You are my solid ground—my rock and my fortress.  Psalm 71:3 (VOICE)

Since you are my rock and my fortress,
    for the sake of your name lead and guide me.  Psalm 31:3 (NIV)

Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.  Psalm 25:5 (NIV)

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”  Isaiah 30:21 (NIV)

Tauren Wells - Hills and Valleys.....

No comments:

Post a Comment