God is our Guide
Back when I was an undergrad taking my degree in Ecotourism and Outdoor Leadership, I came upon Psalm 48:14. It was interesting to study ‘guiding’ by the worlds standards and to also have the Spirit teaching me what it meant to have God as my Guide.
As I continued in leading hikes and backpacking trips and also teaching others how to do it, my understanding and awareness of all that is involved increased. When I understood everything a guide needed to do, I understood more of what God wanted to do in my life.
There are so many parallels between what a guide does and how he/she acts and what God does and how He acts in the lives of those that are His.
If you were to pay for a guided trip or hike, you could assume that the guide has scouted out the route and determined it was safe. They would know the potential dangers and the best route to take. They would make sure the first aid kit was stocked with the necessary items and create contingency plans if necessary.
For a more ‘luxury’ type trip, they may even pack and carry a special treat or supplies for the group, just to make the experience more enjoyable. When meeting a group, they would make sure that each member had the necessary equipment for the excursion and give the group a run down of what to expect during the trip.
If hiking, the guide would lead and would hike at a pace that was manageable and comfortable for all group members. They would point out areas of interest, identify plants and animal signs, and give a brief history of the area. In tricky sections of the trail, they would be right there assisting members of the group in any way they could. Sometimes that could mean setting up a rope handrail, standing in a freezing creek, or lending a hand at a slippery or loose section of trail.
They would never force someone to continue if they absolutely refused, but they often do have a good idea of what a person is capable of and what would be needed to make that person succeed in the endeavour.
They are always aware of the group and how each member is doing. They are aware of the potential dangers all around them, be it environmental, or animal.
They plan rest breaks when needed and make sure they are not too long and not too short so that the group members do not loose their ‘second wind’ and can continue to hike efficiently. And when the group reaches the intended destination, there is a celebration!
Do you see the ways that God is similar? He knows the way and He knows us and what we’re capable of. He made the path He is guiding us on, which means He’s the only one who knows it. He never puts us on a trail and then says, ‘have fun, do your best, see if you can find your way’. No, He’s willing to lead and guide us there if we’ll let Him.
I heard a sermon once that looked at the comparison of Psalm 23 and 24. The final premise was that in Psalm 23 God is seen as our Shepherd and then in Psalm 24 He is seen as our Sherpa. Now if you know anything about Everest ascents and Sherpas, you know that most people would never be able to make it to the top with out the Sherpas.
Psalm 24 asks the question “Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord. And who may stand in His holy place?” (vs. 3) To which the response is “He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood and has not sworn deceitfully” (vs.4).
The only one who fits that description is Christ. Verse 7 goes on to proclaim “Lift up your heads, O gates, and be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in!” Only with Him can we gain entrance to His kingdom, only with Him can we reach the summit!
Christ gave us a wonderful promise in John 14:2-6.
“In my Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that were I am, there you may be also. And you know the way where I am going. Thomas said to Him, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going, how do we know the way?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.’”
How is your summit bid going? Are you trusting and leaning on your Guide as you should be?
*Originally posted on The Eddy Blog 2016