When we lived in Kentucky, we used to go down to this trail right outside of town and hike down to the Kentucky River. There was a fairly short trail that led down to the River. It was a rare thing to find places where you could access the river because the Kentucky River is a palisades river, meaning it's carved into the rock, so most of the river is lined with high walls of stone. Our trail to the river was a hike, down though. It was quite peaceful, especially in the beautiful fall seasons we had.
There was also a bridge in town called High Bridge, very original I know. High Bridge was a train bridge that went over the river. It had a wonderful view, and a lookout spot you could drive to. It was a lot less effort and a popular place for people to check out. Plus, the bridge was known for being the longest suspension train bridge over water. I'm not sure if it still holds that title. We didn't go to High Bridge much because we loved the view of the river from the river, even though I hated the hike back up to the car.
I am reminded that so many times when God calls us to do something, it's often not without some trust, some work, and even some ridicule. Many people might say that the view of the river was just as good from the bridge as it was from the ground, maybe even better. When I walked that trail though, no matter how slow, I experienced nature. I was among the trees; I was breathing in the air, I was listening to the sounds of the forest.
There were times on the hike back that I wondered why I took that path because I would be tired. I would look up at the large incline I had to climb back and questioned my choice, but I never regretted the decision to enjoy the river as I did.
Faith is much that way. We said a couple of weeks ago that
"faith is pushing all your chips to the middle of the table."
Martin Luther King Jr. said,
"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase."
We have to be willing to step out and do something that at times might be a little crazy just because God calls us to do it.
Batterson says in the chapters for this week,
"there is a world of difference between knowing about God and knowing God. The difference between those two things is the difference between the North Rim and the South Rim, with the canyon in between."
I don't want you to be a Rim Hugger. I don't want you to just show up on Sunday morning, sit in your sit, listen to the worship songs, listen to the sermon, listen to the prayers, listen to the scripture passages, and allow the Spirit of God pass over you. I don't want you to come week after week without allowing God to change you. This church isn't my church; it's God church. My job as a pastor is to get out of the way so God can move within me and within you.
"Being all in and living all out for Jesus is about action, taking chances, and following God's will no matter what the cost. It is not enough to simply believe the Bible and have correct information about the Christian faith. We need to do something!"
Read James 1:22-25.
- Think about inaction and the refusal to be transformed. How is this self-deception?
- What keeps you from following God?
- What steps of obedience do you need to take?
Read Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and Luke 10:27.
- What does it look like when we love God entirely and passionately?\
- When was a time in your life when you did this?
- How has God used your passion for him in your life?
Read 1 Samuel 14:1-23.
- How does fear keep us on the sidelines?
- How does faith move us to the front lines?
- When was a time when you followed God's call?