A Step of Faith
Several years ago, our family loaded up our little car and crossed the Blue Ridge Mountains on a wet and foggy Christmas afternoon. We had traveled the same patch of road before, but never in inclement weather and as we climbed the mountain the fog thickened. I hung on tight to the steering wheel and slowed to a crawl. Did you know there are some amazing embedded runway lights on Afton Mountain, Virginia? I didn’t, but I was sure glad to see them that foggy Christmas afternoon.
In Psalm 43, the writer speaks of a “holy mountain” where God’s dwells, and the “light and truth” of God that leads us there. The psalmist must have been thinking of the Old Testament tabernacle where God’s presence was evident, and the people of God came to worship and seek spiritual direction for their lives. We still race to this same mountain, symbolically, to find strength and guidance in the midst of a chaotic world. And as we go, God helps us navigate safe passage.
In life, we take steps of faith, and when we do, it is wise to come to the mountain of God. To be honest, most of my mountaintop prayers, even the ones that relate to my ministry calling, focus on me, not the light God wants to show me. Don’t get me wrong. I pray for God’s guidance. Remember, I am just being honest here. Yet, I must acknowledge there is a prayer for guidance that asks God to help me down the path I see, and then there is the one that seeks His vision.
The latter doesn’t suggest a lack of personal confidence or a failure to think strategically. Certainly, we can’t expect God to do all of our thinking for us. We are His eyes and ears in the harvest field, evaluating the challenges placed before us and adapting to our changing environment.
Though Jesus prayed often for His Father’s help, He never wavered from His mission and He didn’t ask, “What was that you needed me to do again?” Jesus had a plan! Yet, no matter how well-devised His plan, He embraced the momentary opportunities His Father put before Him and resisted the relentless opposition Satan threw His way.
We do our best to discern God’s purpose and use every resource at hand to fulfill it. His light is not an obscure mystery, but an ever-present reality. Even when oppression comes and we are overcome with grief, with the psalmist we cry, “Send forth your light and your truth.”
It is easy to feel rejected by God during the hard times, or to wonder if we are headed in the right direction when obstacles block our path. How can we see the light when our way is dark or the truth when our minds are clouded? And so we say, “God, light up the mountain! Lead us to your altar of grace here we can praise you and find joy in your presence.”
God doesn’t intend to do all of the driving. He has given us principles in His Word as parameters and His Holy Spirit as an on-board guide. Then, He has promised to empower us for ministry and work providentially in our circumstances for our welfare and His glory.
We pray when we take our first step with God, and we pray unceasingly as His will is revealed. It can be difficult to interpret His light and truth, but if we pursue it, God will bring us to the very place He needs us to be.