Crossing New Frontiers
2016 marks 170 years since the Applegate Wagon Train crested the Cascade Mountain Range near Ashland, Oregon and a weary band of pioneers viewed the beautiful Rogue Valley for the first time. These were brave pioneers who accepted a risky invitation to be the first people to take an untested alternate route into the Oregon Territory.
Three years after moving to southern Oregon, I discovered some of my relatives were on that first wagon train, a fact I did not know when Jan and I moved here in 1999. Since then, I have studied the history of the Applegate Wagon Train and the imprint some of my relatives left on the developing history of the Oregon Territory. Each of these early travelers followed the inclinations of a pioneer spirit. They traveled to what was called, "The Frontier." The dictionary describes a frontier as the border of uncharted territory. Crossing a frontier grants a person access to the discovery of a land of promise.
This is a moment in time when God is calling His Church to rise up as pioneers in all fields of human endeavor. Each mountain of culture requires a pioneer spirit to cross its border and unearth its potential. Many in the Church have been parroting existing facts and following the lead of others in discovery for several generations. Our response has been reactionary, not revolutionary. This has produced lives orbiting around the known and familiar. It is time to break this orbit. Join your life to the invitation of God’s Spirit to step where no person has stepped before. Like a spacecraft breaking free from a known orbit to travel the expanse of space toward a new planet, we must be willing to do the same. The season of imitation and repetition is over. Expansion is the nature of God's Kingdom and exploration is the spiritual DNA of His people.
Each new frontier is crossed by someone who was willing to risk the first step of an unfamiliar journey. Engage the risk and take the first step toward what you are seeing with the eyes of faith. The substance of things not yet seen with the natural eye will become the map for your journey. When you finally arrive at the frontier call back to those still living in settlements of predictability and repetition and invite them to break camp and join you at the edge of the frontier. Together, you will cross over into an unimaginable place of discovery.