Where Are the Pioneers
By Bonnie Peacock
A lone scout slips across the rough. rocky terrain. The lives of everyone 00 the wagon train depend on him. They have traveled far. Sad goodbyes were said to those they loved, but had left behind. The wagons stand silent, awaiting his verdict. Is it safe to continue?
The early settlers forded rushing rivers, maneuvered their wagons over tall mountains and through deep gullies. They hauled their “prairie schooners” up steep mountain slopes, often finding it necessary to empty them before continuing. The pioneers had no idea how much useless cargo they carried until they faced a steep incline. Unnecessary baggage had to he left behind as they struggled to reach their destination.
We are attempting to reach a destination too. During pleasant times, our wagons bounce across the plains and wildflowers sway in the soft breeze. When faced with steep mountains and hazardous ravines, however, we are forced to reevaluate everything we have taken on hoard.
Is it necessary?
If it once was useful. is it still? Is each item worth the added stress and struggle of attempting to go further with its additional weight slowing us down’?
God knew our propensity to accumulate unnecessary trappings in our lives. In Hebrews 12:1, we are told to “lay aside every weight.- Our Creator knew we would he prone to overextend ourselves, driven to excel and achieve, and concerned with pleasing others.
We have the best intentions. We desire to live Christ-centered lives but find ourselves distracted by urgent demands, constant interruptions, and the sea of humanity around us.
We can either wait until we reach a hazardous point in our lives or purposefully and prayerfully inspect our cargo as we travel. Sooner or later, we are forced to face the consequences of each choice. We need God’s help with our daily decisions. It’ we are not careful, we find ourselves trying to he everyone’s little darling, never saying no, and attempting to do it all.
Too much baggage leaves us distracted. pressured, and stressed. We may he able to juggle all the meetings, deadlines, appearances, and expectations for awhile. Eventually we will face steep mountains and deep ravines where these trappings hinder our going further.
God desires to take us places we have never been before. Often we struggle, kick, and scream at the thought of trading something we now possess for the unknown. He wishes us to step into something new and exciting, but we are reluctant to let go of what we have to follow Him into uncharted territory.
Who knows what lies ahead? We have worked hard to achieve our station in life and must protect our image whatever the cost. Our pride, fear, and lack of trust in our heavenly Father are revealed when we find ourselves at the threshold of rugged terrain or facing frothy rapids. We can not continue without laying clown the unnecessary.
At pivotal times in our lives, we can only carry the bare essentials if we are to get through the tight bends in the road. God allows these uncomfortable places to interrupt our paths. Many things are good and maybe even blessings front God, but they must never distract us from a closer walk with Him. To move nearer to Hint, we must be willing to let go of things we can see with our eves and hold in our hands.
J.T. Pugh concluded a powerful message with the indictment. “There are many country gentlemen but few spiritual pioneers.” It is true! We find a pleasant, comfortable spot where the soft breezes rustle over the rolling plains and stake our claim. We settle in. building a sizable holding on a gentle knoll where a small creek bubbles nearby.
It is far simpler than facing the wilds of the unknown, crossing raging rivers, climbing hill after hill. surviving harsh climate and uncomfortable surroundings, and boldly taking new ground for the kingdom of God. After all, the enemy does not seem as real when we stay in our place of safety, but he could lurk behind any rock or tree when we are Hating a trail for others to follow.
Hours are spent by the warm fire, listening to the tales of yesteryear. There is no thought of going further. We have reached our destination and have set up camp, becoming connoisseurs of sermons, songs, and programs instead of active participants in glorifying the King of kings in every service.
We need to occasionally become dissatisfied. Each time we rise to a new level in God. It is exhilarating, challenging, and intimidating, but in time we adjust. It becomes familiar, and before long we stake our claim and build a homestead when God desires to take us even further, on a new adventure in Him. We must never loose our pioneering spirit, the hunger for more of God. and a curiosity to see what is around the next bend. We need to cultivate our spirit of adventure, to fan the flames of our spiritual wanderlust. New territory and fresh horizons beckon.
Abram and Lot journeyed together for a time but then parted. Lot chose the easy, pleasant way, pitching his tent toward Sodom. “And the Lord said unto Abram … Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward. and westward: For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it … Arise and walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it: for I will give it unto thee” (Genesis 13:14-15. 17). God promised Abram a better land, where the horizons were limitless. Spiritually, taking the road less traveled is to embark on a faith-filled adventure with the Lord!
Caleb also found himself dissatisfied with taking the easy, safe route and resisted building a homestead on youthful exploits. He reminded Joshua of their past, requesting another opportunity to accomplish something for God. “I am this day fourscore and five years old. As yet I am as strong this clay as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in. Now therefore give me this mountain” (Joshua 14:10-12).
Advancing age did not dim his pioneering spirit. In spite of past victories, there were new lands to conquer. He refused to recline on his bed of ease, reflecting on the past. A mountain stood before him that had not been subdued: he was undaunted by the task.
So, why sit chilled around a campfire with the lonely sound of wolves howling in the distance and the eerie rustle in the mesquites around us when we could recline in an overstuffed armchair, satiated, satisfied, and sleepy?
Treasures of God’s kingdom lie just beyond the horizon. Riches and wealth untold are waiting, if we will walk a little further every day. The promised land of open doors, anointing, answered prayers, and exploits await those who persist in seeking God’s face, dissatisfied to remain where they are.
Audrey Mieir penned the words that mirror the longing of our hearts, “To be used by God, to sing, to speak. to pray; To he used by God to show someone the way. I long so much to feel the touch of His consuming fire; To he used by God is my desire. – The Psalmist said it like this, “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, 0 God. My soul thirsted] for God, for the living God” (Psalm 42:1-2).
To know God better, to seek His face, causes us to lay down the unnecessary. Paul said, “That I may know him … forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before. I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:10-14).
When we feel t he tug of God in hearts speaking, “Seek ye my face.” we must respond. “Thy face, Lord, I will seek!” (Psalm 27:8). We have not reached our destination. The best part of our journey lies ahead!
From, “Indiana Apostolic Trumpet”/January 2009/Page 8, by Bonnie Peacock