Are We There Yet?

Philippians 3:14 “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”

My wife and I spent a week this past summer enjoying the wonders of God’s creation in the mountains of Tennessee. We had planned on a specific day to climb Chimney Top Mountain. Unfortunately, it was rainy that day but we decided to press on anyway. As we climbed, we both realized that there were spiritual lessons to glean.

First, we noticed that the higher we climbed, the fewer people there were on the trail. I know that this isn’t what you want to hear, but the closer you walk with God the fewer people will be walking with you. Don’t stop though, because the quitters along the way never get to see the view from the top!

The second thing we noticed was the higher we climbed, the worse the weather got. It was barely raining when we started, but the higher we went, the harder it rained and thicker the fog grew. Many times we think that the closer we get to God, the easier things will become, when in truth, the battles only get harder. You have an enemy that does not want you to succeed, and he will stop at nothing to distract you.

Next, we discovered that as we climbed higher, the trail got very narrow with extremely steep sides that went straight down into a narrow valley. The longer you walk with God the more disastrous a fall will be. If the average teen doesn’t make it to church, not many people notice, but how about the most spiritual teen in the youth department? Watch your step teen, many people are looking to you for encouragement that they can keep climbing for God.

Lastly, when we had been climbing for what seemed like hours, we were almost desperate to know how much progress we had made, but there were no trail markers. How long do you have to keep climbing for the Lord? How long do you have to be faithful? Simple – till Jesus comes back!

Robert Pophal
Senior Pastor | Rose Park Baptist Church of Holland, Michigan