On Faithful Fathering’s summer adventures – the Father/Daughter Hiking & Father/Son Backpacking in the San Juan Mountains or Men/Young Men Camping on High Country in Central Colorado, the promise is to push participants physically, emotionally and spiritually. The prayer is that hearts will be opened to a new level of relationship with the Heavenly Father and those on the trip. Of course, as my son told a group on the backpacking trip, we can only control one of those dimensions – the physical. Thus, the significance of going hiking.
The mountains have a way of humbling a person. On several occasions, I have witnessed a man who thought the physical fitness that served him well at home would allow him to outpace others on the mountain trail. Then, almost as if the Lord uses His creation to allow pride to show its ugly head, the mountains can bring on physical exhaustion and dehydration. Then He introduces some emotional frustration and the spiritual realization that man must submit to an authority beyond himself.
Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic utterances. But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil. – 1Thessalonians 5:16-22. Pride will quench the Spirit and tune out the prophetic utterances His creation provides – “His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20). In contrast, humility opens the door to examine everything carefully; hold fast to what is good; and abstain from what is evil. Oswald Chambers puts it this way in My Utmost for His Highest – “The checks of the Spirit come in the most extraordinarily gentle ways, and if you are not sensitive enough to detect His voice, you will quench it, and your personal spiritual life will be impaired.” Wilderness adventures can bring scripture alive in a powerful way, sensitize us to His voice and invigorate the personal spiritual life.
These trips provide a unique opportunity to tune out the noise of the world for a window of time and tune in to loved ones. A good guide will encourage slow, steady steps on a mountain trail with regular breaks for some water and energy snacks. As hikers submit to the guide and to the authority of God’s creation, the Lord always shows up through the Spirit and His voice, the prophetic utterances can be enjoyed to the full on the journey.
Prayer guide: Lord, thank You for Your creation where You are clearly seen and understood. Too often I am prideful and quench the Spirit through my drive to be in control. Forgive me. I praise You for the glimpses of Your glory provided in the eyes of those on these wilderness journeys. I pray for the participants and for Faithful Fathering as we return from our mountain top experiences. Equip all to glorify You and raise the bar for fathering in our churches and other circles of influence. Help us live under the Spirit, hold fast to all that is good and abstain from every form of evil. Amen.
A faithful father lives under the Spirit, holds on to good and abstains from evil.