Saturday, October 1, 2016

to those of us still trying to justify our {ski pants}


This summer we had an already-hilarious-camper who bought ski pants online intending to use them for our 8-day backpacking trip into the woods of Alabama. Mind you it was on average 95 degrees fahrenheit and humid, with no chance of grace pouring down from the blazing hot sun. As soon as she came to camp, she pulled out her bright pink ski pants, laughing as she showed her mistaken purchase to each member of our tribe. "But they had a mountain on them!", she insisted, pleading her case. We all laughed and immediately claimed it as a new inside-joke. Anyone she told her story to would laugh heartily, immediately recognising how ridiculous it was to bring hot pink, heavy ski pants (from China) on a summer hiking trip in the South.

Unfortunately, all too often, I think this is how we approach our walk with the Lord. We either flippantly skip through the Scriptures in a rush or we ignore them. We treat the Word of God the same way a sixteen-year-old treats a packing list. We dissect it, justifying why we really don't need that one thing. We find substitutes, assuming our cheapened version will suffice and supposing we won't actually need every item on the list. We doubt it, check it off, and yet we wonder why we often feel so unprepared for every trial that comes our way.

So put away your ski pants - all those good-intentioned-yet-equally-flawed things you've been supplementing that just don't match what the Lord has instructed. And put on the whole armour of God. Tie truth around your frail body. Let righteousness guard your heart. Let your feet be adorned with readiness. When the evil one sends temptations and trials your way, let faith be your shield. Guard your mind with salvation. Let the Word of God fight that which you cannot. And be faithful in prayer (Ephesians 6:10-20).

The Lord is guiding us on a journey much more frightening and dangerous and altogether wonderful than the trails of Pisgah, Alabama. He has given us all we need, so why not trust Him? The day will come when you face the flaming arrows of Satan - in temptation, in trial, in affliction, in depression, in doubt, in a hardened heart. The evil one knows the distractions of the human soul. But the Good Shepherd knows His flock, and He knew that in the hour of temptation and oppression, we would need Him. And so He has given us "everything we need for a godly life through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness" (2 Peter 1:30).

So leave your ski pants behind and take heart. The Lord has overcome the world and He has not left you to battle on your own. You don't have to go out and buy the most expensive gear, you don't even have to borrow any gear for this journey. He has given you everything - you need only to follow.

Life on the Trails - Lesson One
Session 3