The ardous journey of knowing God

| May 7, 2015

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Each person who becomes a Christian is like someone who’s invited to climb a majestic mountain. People respond differently to such a glorious opportunity. Some never leave the foot of the mountain . They gaze up at its grandeur and feel overwhelmed and inadequate to take on such a challenge. So they remain where they are.

Many others begin the journey up the slope. They find hidden meadows at the base of the mountain and ice-cold streams rushing down from the heights above. During this initial ascent, the slope is gradual, the path is wide and well traveled, and there are numerous signs of many others having passed this way before.

At the end of the day’s journey, the weary climbers settle down to camp for the night. Sitting around campfires, they tell of the their day’s adventures. They recall the wildlife they encountered and the beautiful wildflowers they saw along the path. It’s a time of warm fellowship as various pilgrims relate their experiences and enjoy one another’s company.

The next day the climbers prepare to push on to the next height. But not everyone is going. Some travelers complain of sore feet and decide to rest for a time before setting out on the trail again. Some have made new friends along the way, and they choose to linger behind so they have more time to enjoy fellowship and their new comrades. Others simply have grown content for now with the tranquility of the campsite and lack the motivation to discover anything more.

To those who keep going, the trail appears less traveled but is still clearly marked as it climbs toward the peak. The slope is steeper here and somewhat narrower. The views are more impressive than they were the first day, and some of the travelers express regret that those who stayed behind are missing these breathtaking new vistas. They hope it won’t be long before the others resume their climb.

As the days pass, each morning finds fewer hikers setting out on the climb. The pathway continues to narrow and is difficult at times to follow. The incline rows steeper and requires greater effort. But always, as the path becomes more demanding, the scenery becomes even more spectacular.

It isn’t hard to find reasons to turn back. There are plenty of aches and pains. Some of the travelers develop conflicts with fellow hikers. Others note despondently that the summit never seems to draw nearer.

But a handful of dedicated and determined hikers continues to move upward, each one at his or her own pace. As they reach greater heights and discover stunning new scenes of beauty, the climbers often cannot find words to express what they’re experiencing. These resolute few now communicate at an unspoken level. They’ve each been through so much, and seen such spectacular sights, that they’ve become kindred spirits. Each knows the enormous effort the others have made to reach that height on the mountain. Each has been tempted to stop or to return, but all have overcome such enticements and pressed forward, often through great pain.

They seldom mention their former companions anymore. Everyone understands that what they’re viewing now will probably never be witnessed by those left behind.

Eventually the trail disappears on the rugged slopes. It appears that hardly anyone has ever reached this height before. The climbers wonder about those very few who have come this far: Did they make it to summit? Or were they overcome by fatigue or adversity before reaching their goal?

Finally, exhausted and spent, they slowly make their way up the steepest grade yet. The only thing pushing them upward is the thrilling realization that at last they’re on the final ascent. Painfully but gratefully they reach the breathtakingly beautiful crest- only to discover it isn’t the summit after all. Ahead of them rise higher slopes crowned majestically in clouds.

They keep going. Sometimes the highest peak appears beyond reach, but at other moments it seems attainable with one more day’s effort. So those determined few press on.

Knowing the Lord is like climbing that mountain. The ascent is available to all, but not everyone reaches the same level Each of us decides how much effort to expend to reach the heights; each of us ultimately decides how far and how high they’ll go.

Excerpt taken from: Unlimiting God by Richard Blackby

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Category: Christian Living

About the Author ()

I have been a follower of Christ for more than 20 years now. Started from a Methodist church, then went on to a few charasmatic churches and again back to a Methodist church now. Thus I have experienced and seen a wide flavor of different denominations. Personally, I consider myself non-denominational as I can worship in many different styles. The important thing is that I follow the gospel and love Jesus. I am currently serving as a musician and a worship leader in my church. I believe that my calling is to help others enter into the presence of God through worship. I also enjoy teaching and discipling other believers, which is the main reason why this site was started. I hope to find other believers to join me in this cause to reach out and encourage other believers.

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