Mount Rainier is a massive stratovolcano located 54 miles southeast of Seattle in the state of Washington here in the United States. It is a very prominent mountain with a summit elevation of 14,411 feet. It is also considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world because of its large amount of glacial ice.
Only 4 paths, each with a very different level of difficulty, lead to the summit. But there are hundreds of paths, heading in the general direction of the peak, that lead to dead ends, cliffs, avalanche prone glaciers, and ultimately…
…a high risk of death!
Obviously, heading in the general direction of the summit is not good enough. And the real danger is being unaware that you’re off course. Even on a wrong path the terrain looks familiar and you can still see the summit.
Most of us are not heading in the opposite direction of pursuing God to live in His Kingdom and because we are heading in the general direction we are lulled into thinking that we will one day get there, but this may not be the case.
“Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’” ~ Matthew 7:21-23 (NLT)
This is not about getting everything in life perfect because that’s impossible and would negate our need for God’s grace. This is about people who participate in certain godly activities but fail to live fully surrendered to Jesus as Lord.
We can attend church, throw something into the offering, read the Bible and even participate in good activities or projects with other christians – things familiar to us – but that doesn’t mean we’re on course with pursuing God.
The key to avoiding the wrong paths up Mt. Rainier and staying on the right path is consistent interaction with a trained, experienced guide. Our guide through life is Jesus and the indwelling Holy Spirit. Staying on course goes beyond familiar activities to actually doing life daily in consistent interaction with Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
It’s an awareness of their divine presence that we grow into as we interact – asking and listening – through prayer.
The apostle Paul encouraged us to “pray without ceasing“ because he understood that we can live in constant fellowship with God through prayer. He is with us in everywhere, always – as we get ready in the morning, as we drive down the road, as we go about every activity of an ordinary day.
© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.