Friday Gleanings by Carmen – February 15, 2013

Mount_Sinai_Egypt“The Lord came down on the top of Mount Sinai and called Moses to the top of the mountain. So Moses climbed the mountain.” Exodus 19:20

 

Godly, holy, perfect, righteous, blameless were scary words for me.  When I first became a Christian, I would flinch every time I came across one of these words in my Bible.  They spoke to me of a goal I would never attain, of a place I could never reach, of a quality of life I could never live.  Aspiring to any or all of these things was like standing at the foot of a mountain alone, without training or equipment and being ordered to climb to the top.

As a more mature Christian, I am still humbled by these words, but I have come to realize that I do not have climb alone, without equipment or provisions.  If our Father, God calls me to the mountaintop, He will be faithful to equip me adequately and provide for my physical and spiritual needs.  Furthermore, He will not let me walk alone. He will be with me every step of the way.

The first step for any mountain climber is to decide which mountain to climb.  Will it be the Catskills or Mt. Everest? In the same way, our life in Christ begins with a decision:  Will I climb the mountain of God or will I choose to scale the mountain of worldly pleasure, fame, success or self-aggrandizement?

Once a mountain climber decides which mountain to climb, training follows.  To be in training means proper nourishment, plenty of water, adequate rest, and exercise.  Just as scaling Mt. Fuji requires physical preparation, our walk with the Lord requires rigorous training.  We are nourished by the Word and refreshed by “living water.” We rest in God’s promises, and then make a choice to practice godliness daily in thought word and deed. By joining a local church, we will be encouraged by other travelers going through the same strenuous training.

Before you can get good at mountain climbing, however, you must also go out and test your stamina, your boots, and your climbing gear. Before you attempt to reach the summit, you go out on short excursions.  In other words, the new Christian has to “crawl before he can walk, and walk before he can climb.”

Finally, a mountain climber must persevere. Making it to the top of a mountain is hard labor, demanding great physical exertion and even pain.  The only way to make it to the top is to put one foot in front of the other and keep going.  However, as exhilarating as mountain climbing can be, the thrill is limited to this life.  In the words of Paul, “while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” (1 Timothy 4:8)

Dearest Heavenly Father,

We love you so much, and trust you without reservation. We choose You, Lord.  We choose to climb your mountain.  Thank you for giving us your word to nourish us and the Holy Spirit to be our spiritual guide and trainer. Sometimes we will grow tired, sometimes we will be afraid, but when that happens, we will turn our eyes toward heaven, knowing that you are there waiting for our arrival.  Like Moses, our reward will be to finally see you.  We refuse to quit!

In the name of Jesus, who made it possible for us to see you face to face,

Amen

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