Heartbeat AT

For those who seek fellowship 
with the wilderness, . . . 
"Be still and know that I am God." 
Psalm 46:10

The Purposeful Summit

It is unlikely that anyone accidentally completes a thru hike.  It seems obvious to even a casual observer that, for northbound hikers, the summit of Katahdin happens because someone sets their mind on the goal and takes the necessary steps (pardon the pun) to prepare and execute a plan, overcoming the obstacles along the way.  The plan doesn't always go as expected and as the hike unfolds, plans B, C, D, and beyond become part of the story.

Not so with God.  He never has to regroup and execute Plan B.  The "thru hike", if you will, for Christ from heaven to earth and back was executed in every part according to Plan A.  

"Christ Jesus who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."  (Philippians 2:6-11)

God's plan included the lowest of lows, the shame of the cross, and the highest exaltation.  Christ "for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God" (Hebrews 12:2).  The cross was, in addition to a form of execution, a form of humiliation.  The right hand of God is the place of adoration and power.

The purposeful humiliation and summit of Christ to the right hand of God accomplished many things.  Dozens of articles could be written on that topic alone.  But, as you begin to execute a thru hike plan, consider one of the many purposes accomplished by God's Plan A.  The word "Gospel" means good news, in part, because plan A included his humiliation as a sin-bearer on the cross for you.  He rose again for you, and is now exalted in heaven, preparing a place for you, if you belong to Him.  For those who are His, Heaven will be the ultimate summit!

Richard Ward
Managing Editor