Tuesday, September 18, 2012

It’s All Downhill From Here…Oh No!

“The path of life leads uphill for the wise to keep him from going down to the grave.” Proverbs 15:24
The popular phrase “It’s all downhill from here” sometimes means the hardest part is finished, going forward will be easier.  Many years ago an often used way of share one’s faith in Jesus subtly inferred this idea. “Come to Jesus, He has a wonderful plan for your life” is a statement of truth. Many times the implied and unspoken impression given was, “It’s all downhill from here.” Jesus’ wonderful plan included a stress and problem free life. That’s absolutely untrue. In reality, life’s hard with a target painted on you. Satan hates defectors from his camp; they are threats to his “success”. He purposes to destroy everyone and everything that God created. Life’s warfare, but there’s nothing to fear; believers have the power and weapons to send him packing.
This proverb reminds us that life for wise people is an uphill climb. Bummer, I prefer gravity working for and not against me. Life continues to present challenges. We can coast downhill but the end result is the grave or in the original Hebrew, hell, which isn’t a viable option.
Recently my husband Joe, and I visited Amicolola Falls outside of Atlanta. I remembered the beauty of the falls and conveniently forgot the steepness of their incline. I walk and workout on a regular basis. “Piece of cake”, I thought as we headed for the top. I made it all the way without difficulty, however, two days later despite my exercise regime, my calf muscles screamed in pain.
Walking by faith is also an uphill climb. While we do have times to pause and catch our breath the trek always involves scaling to new heights. Specific situations stretch our faith muscles beyond normal use, the same way my calf muscles bore the brunt of the hike. Later we feel the strenuous level of the test. As faith develops we take on and conquer newer, harder challenges. David experienced this when he faced Goliath.
This Philistine warrior was not David’s first life threatening encounter. To him, Goliath was a target too big to miss. His response to the giant’s threat was, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of the Philistine” (1 Samuel 17:37). With God’s help David prevailed in previous dangerous situations and this one wouldn’t be any different.
            The point; David did not start out killing giants. Smaller scaled tests prepared him for the showdown with Goliath. The successful defeat of Israel’s enemy wasn’t the pinnacle of his faith walk. For David, “it wasn’t all downhill” from there. In short order he tackled another faith mountain believing he would live to see God’s anointing as Israel’s future king come to pass. Even his ascent to the throne brought more opportunities to keep climbing higher, developing greater faith and trust in his Lord.
            God is looking for mountain climbers, willing to believe where He leads is the best and safest place to be. He cheers on those eager to scale uncharted heights. The journey will tax every muscle and take our breath away. Reaching the top, enjoying the view, relishing the accomplishment spurs us on. The end result is always more glorious than we envision. Continue on, never give up, resist the temptation to say, “It’s too hard, I can’t do this.” If someone points you in another direction and tells you, “Go that way, it’s all downhill from there”, don’t listen. Keep climbing toward your goal moving onward and upward.

1 comment:

  1. So good Mary. We were just sitting around the table after dinner talking about goals and the plans God has for us. We discussed commitment and endurance ----- never give up on what God has given you a vision for ----whether short term or long term or both at once. God is PRO-vision and is our provision. Encouraging blog --- thanks!