Summary: Confidence in God’s promises.

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The following was taken from registration sheets and comment cards returned to the staff of the Bridger Wilderness Area in Wyoming in 1996:

1. Trails need to be wider so people can walk holding hands.

2. Trails need to be reconstructed. Please avoid building trails that go uphill.

3. Too many bugs and leeches and spiders and spider webs. Please spray the wilderness to rid the area of these pests.

4. Please pave the trails so they can be plowed of snow during the winter.

5. Chairlifts need to be in some places so that we can get to wonderful views without having to hike to them.

6. The coyotes made too much noise last night and kept me awake. Please eradicate these annoying animals.

7. A small deer came into my camp and stole my jar of pickles. Is there a way I can get reimbursed?

8. Reflectors need to be placed on trees every 50 feet so people can hike at night with flashlights.

9. Escalators would help on steep uphill sections.

10. A McDonald’s would be nice at the trailhead.

11. The places where trails do not exist are not well marked.

A few years back I climbed to Camp Muir which is at the 10,180 ft level of Mt Rainier.

Anyone every been that far from sea level without the benefit of an airplane?

The starting point is Paradise at 5,400 ft.

Climbing to the top of a mountain gives you a different perspective on the mountain and everything around it. For the first little while there are beautiful flowers and greenery. Then it gets a little steeper and rockier. As you go higher on the mountain, the air gets thinner and more attention is necessary to where you’re walking.

For the last couple of thousand feet, you move onto the snowfield. I remember walking in footsteps of the people who have gone before me. Exactly putting my foot in the holes that were made by those who had already made the climb. I remember considering stepping out and making new footprints, but I didn’t have the energy, it was all I could do to take one step at a time.

The same principle applies to our spiritual walk up the mountain of life into God’s holiness.

Psalm 37:1-8, 23-24, 29-31

So, we’re not to fret but Trust God to Ordain our steps.

Trust God in His promises that joy and blessings are at the top of the climb.

You all know that. What I’de like to address tonight is Head knowledge vs. Heart knowledge.

With head knowledge you can intellectualize how big the mountain is (or how Holy and faithful God is), but only by approaching it and putting your feet on the mountain (or walking in God’s ways) do you really experience the size of the mountain and the truth of the scripture.

Head knowledge is a kind of a passive knowledge which doesn’t reach the stage of passion in your life. Heart knowledge is ignited by the truth of experience and faith. Heart knowledge is the passion by which our testimony receives power. Heart knowledge can’t sit still.

Going up requires effort and determination. It’s a glorious journey and the view at the top is breathtaking. Every day we’re presented with choices as to where we will place our next step.

Always choose to step up, the direction of Aliyah (going up).

Have you ever noticed that when people in scripture went to Jerusalem they went "up to Jerusalem"?

Even when coming south, Jesus went "up to Jerusalem." Jerusalem is high in the Judean hills, and just as you never go down to God, you always go up to Jerusalem (His Holy city). Going Up to Jerusalem was given a special name - Aliyah (going up).

This is the term used for Jewish people returning to live in Israel, they are making Aliyah.

Aliyah is also the term used in the Synagogue for coming to the raised platform (Bema) to read from the Torah.

If you’re a born again believer, you’re a child of Abraham and your life is to be an Aliyah. The direction of your life is not east or west, toward money or worldly success. The direction of your life is Aliyah, going up- growing in holiness pleasing to God.

He has not called us to a life on a flat plane, but to a life of highest good and kingdom purposes.

The climb up Rainier got monotonous. The snowfield seemed to go on for miles. That’s called the "long middle".

How do we keep going when there seems to be no foreseeable relief from the "long middle"?

TRUST. Confidence in God’s promises.

The scripture is full of overwhelming evidence of his trustworthiness. You life is full of testimonies of His trustworthiness.

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