The feelings associated with being told to “take a hike” by one’s employer, soon-to-be former friends, or persons with whom we shared personal relationships with, can be a very painful and lingering experience.
Although the devil and different groups within the Christian Community would have us think otherwise, born-again, Church Age, believers can take God at His word when He says, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you (Heb. 13: 5 NASB)," and that, “… there is now NO condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8: 1 NASB).”
Even when He disciplines (1) us, it is for the purpose of getting His people back on the straight and narrow path.
One is born-again once and for all of eternity in a single moment of time, if and when he or she chooses to believe in a presentation of the unadulterated Gospel Message. This can take place at any time and in any place that God the Holy Spirit chooses.
It is His pre-salvation function to make the Gospel Message understandable, affording the individual soul the opportunity to be saved.
The moment one believes, he or she becomes born-again (2); a recipient of eternal life (3), a recipient of a regenerated spirit (4), and is forever sealed (5) as a child of God.
At that moment, His or her name is written down in a book in heaven (6) with the blood of Christ that can never be erased. Failing to have one’s name written down in this book has eternal consequences (7).
With the issues of salvation being forever settled, every born-again believer is then invited to take a hike with (not from) God.
Unlike salvation, that involves a single act taking place once at a point in time, the hike associated with the post salvation spiritual life is an ongoing, personal, intimate with God.
Some born again believers never respond to the call to discipleship. Others start out down that path, but do not finish. Those who do finish, participate in the Great Commission (8), being used by God to evangelize and or to edify others.
Success or failure in the realm of post salvation discipleship neither increases nor decreases the status of one’s salvation, but will impact how one will experience eternity future (9).
Many hiking trails have “YOU ARE HERE” signs posted along the way.
Born-again believers can read the YOU ARE HERE signs posted in Mark 4: 15 – 20 that tell where he or she presently is in his or her walk with the Lord.
As any hiker in the natural realm can tell you, there are some things that a hiker would not leave home without. Among these things are good footgear, water, a guide, a map, a flashlight, a whistle, a first-aid kit, and the means of communication.
In the spiritual realm, God (10) supplies His hikers with such things as good footgear (11); a map (12); water (13); a Guide (14); a flashlight (15); a compass (16); a first-aid kit (17); and the means of communication (18).
God has the same mission (19) and destination (20) in mind for all hikers, but places them in diverse locations and circumstances.
By doing so, God provides them with the opportunity to be His ambassador. God arranges these differences so that His ambassadors are where they are in order to proclaim the unadulterated Gospel Message and Bible doctrine to OTHERS (21), often times sharing the same overt activity.
As (if) one spiritually matures, his or her hike with the Lord will become more and more intimate. One’s interest will be more and more in the things of God and less and less in what this world has to offer.
His hikers will experience both the mountain top moments of inspiration and the challenges when navigating through the deepest and darkest valleys that God sends or allows to come our way (22).
(1) Heb. 12: 6 (2) John 3: 5, 7 (3) John 3: 16 (4) Titus 3: 5 (5) Eph. 4: 30 (6) Luke 10: 20 (7) Rev. 20: 15 (8) Matt. 28: 19, 20 (9) 1Cor. 3: 14, 15 (10) Phil. 4: 19 (11) Eph. 6: 15 (12) Heb. 4: 12 (13) John 4: 14 (14) 1Cor. 3: 16/Matt. 7: 24 (15) Psalms 119: 105 (16) Eccl. 10: 15 (17) 1John 1: 9 (18) Phil. 4: 6 (19) Matt. 28: 19, 20 (20) 2Cor. 5: 8 (21) 1Cor. 12: 7 (22) Job 2:10