Every winter one of my favorite things to do is snowshoe up the steep slope of Mt. Spokane. As I make the ascent, there are poles along the way that serve as boundary markers for the downhill skiers. I follow those markers as a guide to avoid getting off-track or wandering into the ski slope.
However, I never know what the conditions will be like on the mountain. Weather conditions in the valley offer no clue as to what it’ll be like up there. So it is that several times each winter, I encounter strong, arctic winds and dense, frozen fog on the mountain.
I break out of the forest and begin the slog up the steep incline of the mountain looking for that first boundary marker, but the fog prevents me from seeing it. By faith, I know it’ll be there, so I head in that general direction and finally find that first marker.
Then, I look up the slope as the piercing wind laden with ice crystals assaults my eyes. But I can’t see the next marker. The fog is too dense. So, by faith, I keep plodding up the mountain looking for that next marker. It would be a relatively easy task if the markers were laid out in a straight line and at consistent intervals, but they’re not.
Sometimes I’ll trudge uphill far enough that I should be seeing another marker by now, but don’t. I’ll stop, shield my eyes from the biting wind and scan the slope. The poles and small signs they bear become encrusted with ice and snow and blend into their surroundings, making them hard to see. But eventually I spy a marker over to my right and see that I’ve inadvertently gone off track. I make my way over to the marker and then continue by faith looking for that next boundary marker.
I realize that not all of you reading this would appreciate the same thrill of adventure that I experience while punishing my body in this manner! But I think it serves as a great illustration for what the Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:7, “For we live by faith, not by sight.”
So, what does “living by faith, not by sight” look like? Below are just a few examples:
- Trusting in God’s character and His promises despite circumstances that seem to challenge them.
- Obeying Christ even when it means suffering or deprivation.
- Persevering in the face of trials.
- Taking the next step even though we can’t see beyond that.
- Looking expectantly for Jesus’ return despite His seemingly long delay.
I’m currently facing one of the most challenging faith-challenges of my life right now. A few months ago, I distinctly sensed the Lord urging me to set a goal to mobilize and equip one million disciple-makers. This goal is clearly beyond my reach from a human standpoint.
And I confess that I don’t rightly know how I’ll attain this goal or how long it will take. As of today, since May 2019, 1,759 people have “accepted the big challenge” to disciple someone and be discipled. That’s a big number for me, but it’s still a long way from one million!
Would you help me reach this goal? It’ll be a faith walk for you too. Go to www.skillsforfollowingjesus.com and “Accept the BIG Challenge” to disciple someone else while mutually being discipled by them.
Second, please purchase two copies of the little book, The Simplicity of Disciple-Making and 7 Ways We’ve Complicated It! Keep one copy for yourself and give the other one to the person you will enter into a discipling relationship with. This short book shows you exactly how to disciple someone while being discipled yourself.
As we enter this new year, there’s a lot of uncertainty out there. But God is faithful, and His Word is true. Let’s embark on our faith-walk together in 2020!