Take the High Road, Part 2

Dan Lovaglia, Camp Pastor, Camp Paradise | November 22, 2023

So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!  No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
1 Corinthians 10:12-13

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
James 1:2

For most of my life, my grandparents lived on the other side of Old Priest Grade Road. It’s an infamous, historic mountain pass on the way to Yosemite National Park that has tested people’s nerves since the days of the Gold Rush. If you’ve never driven it, imagine traveling nearly 2 miles up 1,600 feet of elevation through hairpin turns next to 100-foot sheer drop off cliffs for 10 minutes. (Eek!) The short journey is a nail-biter. It’s exhilarating and terrifying, and I’ve taken it countless times. There is an alternate route, New Priest Grade Road, but it’s twice as long and makes my stomach queasy. Call me crazy, but taking the high road via Old Priest Grade is a faithful solution that’s good for my soul.

Surrendering to Jesus and following Him leads to sure footing whether the terrain is safe or not. You and I need to be on the lookout for faithful solutions, not unfaithful shortcuts as believers. Our most faithful way through trials and temptations may end up being long or short with varying degrees of danger, but God can always be honored. In 1 Corinthians 10:12-13, we’re told to be on alert, to stand firm and not fall, to sustain faithfulness that’s trustworthy rather than falter. The original imagery in verse 13 of “a way out” refers to an army of soldiers on a mountain pass discovering an escape route after being surrounded and near defeat. We will encounter tenuous situations and universal temptations throughout life—likely before today ends. Yet, God faithfully provides an alternate path, a way to take the high ground that brings Him glory and steers us closer to Him.

Navigating mountain roads like Old and New Priest Grade reminds me that stress and success work together. Both paths put me on high alert to not fall. It’s never stress-free to take the high ground, and every route provides opportunities to persevere successfully in God’s eyes. When we’re strongly tempted to give up ground or give in to the enemy, the Lord provides an honorable way out. You and I can depend on God’s faithfulness to send us a faithful solution that reroutes us away from an unfaithful shortcut every time.

Next Steps   

What challenges are you facing at home, school, work, or even at church today? On your own or with a friend/team, invite God’s Spirit to present a faithful solution that will honor Him and everyone involved.