Climbing a mountain is an uphill experience. Mountains will test us and expose our weaknesses. We learn much about ourselves through these experiences, and they teach us about changes that we need to make. Mountains change our vision in that we look at the overall picture from a different vantage point.
By Denzil Holman
Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God (Hebrews 6:1).
The Christian life is intended to be a journey of growth and maturity as we strive to become more like Jesus Christ. It is a pilgrimage that is likened unto climbing a mountain into new spiritual heights. This sermon is about climbing a mountain and the analogies concerning it.
There are other applications in relating our walk with the Lord and the subject of mountains. A mountain can be an obstacle to overcome. It can be a besetting sin or a time of trial and testing. We have the assurance of victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. We can conquer the mountains and stand on the summit with the enemy under our feet. The symbol of a mountain climber posing on the top of a mountain peak speaks volumes, proclaiming, “I conquered the mountain.”
We don’t do it on our own, because we depend upon the power and providence of God to achieve victories. However, we must do our part, and there are some attitudes and actions that we can have and do in a joint effort with the Spirit of God. His supernatural power is the larger part of the equation, for our human efforts are small in comparison with God.
The other application of climbing a mountain is the hunger in our hearts to be all that we can be for God. The pursuit of excellence is commendable as long as we give God the glory for whatever is accomplished through our efforts. Our efforts are like a dung pile unless we keep the proper perspectives and give God all of the glory. The apostle Paul didn’t assume that he had arrived, but he was goal minded and was pressing on for the prize.
There are many who desire to rise above the status quo and mediocrity to do things for the Lord. An old poet wrote, “If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps he hears the sound of a different drummer.” Growing in God is conforming to the image of Christ and becoming more like Him as we strive toward perfection. It is climbing the mountain to be more effective in evangelizing our world and to have our lives radiate His light in a dark world.
Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ (Ephesians 4:13).
My father had a dream that he related many years ago about a group of people who were climbing a mountain. On top of the mountain was a church that represented Zion, and they started in the valley to climb. Because it was steep, they had to stop to rest often to keep climbing. When they would stop, they would look at their goal and be encouraged to climb higher.
Some are fearful of beginning to climb. We are creatures of habit and enjoy living in our comfort zones. We may even choose to enjoy the view of the mountain from a distance because we don’t want to tackle the mountain. The lack of desire and fear of the unknown cause some to be content to be perpetual babes in Christ. The price of commitment may be too costly for some, so they gaze with longing at the heights but are reluctant to climb higher. They resign themselves to living in the valley and the status quo. The tragedies of wasted lives are staggering in lost potential.