The Ascent

The Ascent.jpg

The sun is beaming down on you and cutting right through your sunscreen. Your skin feels hot and your are positive, that it is at least 80°outside. Sweat is dropping down your face and your entire body is screaming for A/C and an ice-cold glass of water. You struggle to keep moving forward as your body is burdened with the weight of a photo album full of memories from years ago, containers from last night’s dinner and a jar full of all the tears you’ve cried during your lifetime. You look and up and make eye contact with someone who started after you did and see that they have already completed the trail. “Why would you hike Grand Canyon with all that stuff?”, they ask.

“Why would you hike Life’s Canyon with all that stuff?”, God asked me this morning. He painted this vivid illustration and showed me that I was carrying around a lot of excessive things, that were making my journey in life more difficult than it needed to be. We would agree that the person in the illustration was acting out of insanity. They wanted to reach the summit, but their actions were proving to be much louder than their intentions.

What if I said that you and I all know someone who lives life like the person in the illustration? Yep, we look them right in the eye, every morning, night and afternoon…day after day. Our photo albums full of memories from years ago reside in our hearts, where we rehearse the good, but more often than not, the bad things of the past. Our containers from last night’s dinner, are the remnants of past regret that we carry and allow to hamper present day decisions. Our jar full of all the tears we’ve cried during our lifetimes, live in our minds as they stonewall us from letting things go and nurturing the great things in life.

There is a choice given to us, every time the sun dawns on a new day: To strap on baggage and carry it up the mountain OR to strip off baggage and leave it down the mountain. Philippians 3:13-14 tells us to cast off the past and strain towards the future, where Jesus and our Heavenly rewards are.

I now see why Lot’s wife turned to a pillar of salt when she “looked back” in Genesis 19:26. Sure, she disobeyed the angels, who were messengers of God, but her actions had ramifications that ran much deeper than defiance. The pillar of salt that she was turned to was symbolic of the condition of her heart. She was never going to be able to move forward and had she lived after her noncompliance, she would have been much like our little friend, the irrational hiker.

Whew…that was a lot, so if you made it this far…thanks for sticking with me! The good news is that Jesus eternally cut the shackles of bondage when He died on the cross. And the only thing stopping you from true freedom is yourself. Fortunately for us, God does not operate on whether we feel free or not, due to the fact that as soon as we accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, the deal was sealed in His eyes!

Are you ascending as free or a bound believer?

Until Thursday,

vmsignature

 

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