We headed out for a hike in the woodlands yesterday; a beautiful day that compelled us to get out of the house. The children leading the way set off at a jog for a few hundred yards, then settled into a brisk pace while we climbed the long slope of the hill. About 10 minutes into the walk, my out of shape body was reminding me that I was pushing my capacity. If it had not been for the chatter of excited young voices, I would have turned around.
But, I pushed ahead. The next hour turned into a woodland adventure; ‘discovering’ old fallen trees and speculating on what wind blew them over, an abandoned piece of heavy equipment that the kids climbed all over, a stream that they stuck their hands into – “Wow, that’s really cold!” – and the beauty of God’s Springtime work! But, what if I had quit?
The Lord invites you to an adventure this week. There will be some uphill climbs through discouragement, moments when you will sense His powerful Presence, some rocky stretches when things will slow you down, some distractions that the Evil One presents, and many opportunities to find the amazing grace of His goodness. Will you invite Him to lead the way and stick with Him, through ups and downs? Starting today, and each morning, I urge you to pray something like this: “Father, help me to find You, to follow You, and to show Your goodness in my life. Give me wisdom to say Yes to the Best! Keep me focused on faithfulness.”
Paul wrote to the Christians in Philippi, urging them to follow in his footsteps in an adventure with God, the Holy Spirit. His letter overflows with joy. He inspires saying “I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back. So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us.” The Message, Philippians 3:12-15 “I press on!”
John Bunyan, a devout free Christian in 17th century England, gave us a classic- Pilgrim’s Progress. This man, barely educated beyond the ability to read and write, wrote of Christian’s journey to the Celestial City. In vivid metaphor, Bunyan writes of the journey through the Slough of Despond, along the Wall of Salvation, in the Valley of Humiliation, into the town of Vanity, including a visit to Doubting Castle, and through the Delectable Mountains. In the quaint language of the time he reminds us of the necessity of pressing on!
“This hill, though high, I covet to ascend;
The difficulty will not me offend.
For I perceive the way to life lies here.
Come, pluck up, heart; let’s neither faint nor fear.
Better, though difficult, the right way to go,
Than wrong, though easy, where the end is woe.”
Let’s journey on! Remember to ‘keep step with the Spirit, since we live by the Spirit.’ This adventure is not a solo hike. Travel with those who share your love of the Savior. Together, we will discover the delights of His purpose, the grace for each day. And, press on, keeping this word from the Word in mind. “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14, NLT)
Mighty To Save
Ev’ryone needs compassion
Love that’s never failing
Let mercy fall on me
Ev’ryone needs forgiveness
The kindness of a Savior
The hope of nations
Savior He can move the mountains
My God is mighty to save
He is mighty to save
Forever Author of salvation
He rose and conquered the grave
Jesus conquered the grave
So take me as You find me
All my fears and failures
Fill my life again
I give my life to follow
Ev’rything I believe in
Now I surrender
Shine your light and let the whole world see
For the glory of the risen King
Ben Fielding | Reuben Morgan © 2006 Hillsong Music Publishing (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing) CCLI License # 810055
Jerry D. Scott, Pastor
Faith Discovery Church
Washington, NJ 07882