The Lodge
 "And the Lord said to Moses, 'Come up to me on the mountain.....So Moses and his assistant Joshua climbed up the mountain of God."  Exodus 24:12-13......"The word mediocre comes from two Latin words and literally means 'halfway to the peak.'  This makes it an apt description of the progress of many Christians.....They are morally above the hardened sinner, but they are spiritually beneath the shining saint...Many have settled down right there.....You are halfway up to the peak, halfway to where you could have been if you had pressed on."  A.W. Tozer
 
I've a friend who likes to compare a believer's journey with the Lord as that of climbing a mountain.  In the beginning, the trail is filled with people pursuing an ever deeper intimacy with Him.  But somewhere in the journey, usually about the half-way point, many, even most, stop at a rest area along the trail.  They never meant it to be permanent, but it has become so.  They never go any further up the mountain of God. They've found their home.  I've been thinking on all of that of late, and Tozer's words had me contemplating on just how that rest area came to be.
 
Obviously, it wasn't there to begin with.  It was and is the Father's intention that our home always be in Him alone.  He is always calling us upward, all the while supplying by His grace all that we need for the journey.  The journey can be a difficult one, taxing the limits of our endurance.  He never said that it wouldn't be.  What He intends for us to discover though is that when we feel we have reached our limit, we then have a limitless God who turns our weakness into strength.  His strength.  It's at this point, the halfway mark, that construction on the rest area began.

At first it was likely just a stopping place.  All who paused intended to get back on the trail, but someone, likely many "someone's" must have noticed how well placed the spot was, and how much "potential" lie there.  What was nothing more than a quiet place with a stream running beside it, slowly became a lodge for people to stay at.  Little more than a cabin at first, it slowly and steadily expanded into a great lodge with many rooms, and there always seemed to be a vacancy for the weary traveler.  Once in the lodge, the traveler felt "blessed" to have such comforts available.  They started to see it as a place provided by God Himself, forgetting, or never even knowing that it was a stopping place created by men, not Him.  In any event, they found that they could do some wonderfully spiritual things there.  Meetings, singing, seminars, conferences, even gifted speakers. They could spend a lot of time talking about God, and all from the comfort of their lodge.  Some, many, began to call it "Church."  It was a great place, but nobody seemed to remember that it was never the destination the Father called them to.  His call was always the upward one.  He did not provide us a lodge along the way.  He provided Himself, and intended that we should know that He was enough.  More than enough.  His call to come up continued, but they'd become so comfortable at the lodge, and so involved in the activities it provided, that they no longer heard that call.  And so, they entered into the halfway life.  Lodge life. "Church life." The question for you and me is, where on the mountain road are we presently found?  In the comfort of the "Lodge" or on the trail with Him, ever moving upward to His fullness?  Hanging out at the lodge, the church as we've created it to be, or ascending the spiritual heights with Him?  A part of the Church, the Body Of Christ, that He, not us, brought into being.

The lodge is inviting, but it's a snare.  All who stay there will never be more than halfway followers of Christ.  So many have been seduced by the attractions of the Lodge.  Are we among them?  Or, do we, by His grace, continue to "come up here" to Him? Finding in our limited strength, the glory and wonder of our unlimited God?  Where is our spiritual destination and home?  At the peak with Him, and those who did and do press on in the face of all that was and is against them?  Or at the Lodge, with all the rest.....who didn't, and won't?

Blessings,
Pastor O

  

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