One of the things that I enjoy doing in my spare time is hiking. Aside from the physical benefits of this activity, I’ve also learned some spiritual principles that apply off the mountain.
Lesson 1: We put in the work, but the results are up to the Lord.
Story: This happened while I was doing an internship shortly after high school. They worked into our program a couple of physically challenging activities throughout the year. This particular one, we were training to hike Pike’s Peak, a 14,110 elevation mountain in Colorado. As we were training, they would encourage us to identify things in our life that we wanted to overcome and use the hike as a physical symbol of overcoming those areas. Well the day of the hike drew near and we were unable to hike due to inclement weather at the top.
On our way back to our base, I was praying about this and was really frustrated. I didn’t understand why we would do all the training and preparation that we did and then not be able to follow through on the hike.
In this instance, God spoke to my heart and told me that our point of faith should be in the Lord and not just in the activity we are doing. Whether or not we see something happen in the natural, the effects are done in the spiritual…and that is where we place our faith and hope.
Scripture: Proverbs 21:31 which says, “The horse is prepared for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the Lord.”
Application for CEN: Remain faithful to do what He has called us to do in this season. As we are preparing for things to happen, our faith should rest in God alone and not necessarily in the physical outcomes we are expecting to see. Doesn’t mean they won’t happen…
Lesson 2: God will always guide us if we are willing to look and listen.
Story: This past weekend I hiked a mountain here in Virginia called “Old Rag.” The hike is described as “difficult” but nothing prepared me for just how challenging it was. There were places where we slid down large rocks to jump to a lower landing, we climbed up through crevices, and jumped over ravines. All along the way, the guidebook told us to “look for the blue blazes before you take your next step.” As the trail started it was easy…as we got to the rock scramble it became more difficult. There were places that the way seemed to appear to go, but it was the opposite direction. Only by looking for the blue blazes were we able to stay on track. Another interesting thing about the blue blazes is that they didn’t always go in an easy direction. However, the difficult trail, although not always fun, was in fact the safer way to go to reach the summit.
John 16:13 - When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future.
John 14:26 - But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
Application for CEN: As we’re moving on in our projects and life, remember to take a moment and stop to “look for the blue blazes” and follow where the Spirit is leading.