Saturday, April 28, 2018

The Ladder of Life

UV 2932/10000 The Ladder of Life
And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.
Genesis 28 v 12

A living dream is what powers a man upwards and forwards. Jacob was given the dream of the ladder to reassure him that though he had cheated his brother Esau of his birth right by deception, God had not yet given up on him. He was re-affirming that his covenant with his grandfather Abraham was still valid for him. God has set up the ladder on earth in the life and work and word of Jesus. This perspective informs us that people are mistaken when they make it their focus to climb the ladder of success, wealth and fame. Jesus is the ladder that connects us with the eternal realm of the kingdom of God. True fulfilment comes only from entering and living in the promised land of the kingdom of God or heaven. Through Jesus, the kingdom of the Father becomes the kingdom of our Father to which we have a birth right as soon as we are born again by faith in Jesus. However, it is not a smooth transition but a constant upward climb, step by step , rung by rung, aided and helped upward by the angels of the Lord and hindered by the fallen angels.
Each rung of the ladder to heaven represents a day in our lives. It also represents a promise of the Lord- an uni-verse. We are to hear from the Lord every day an appropriate promise from the Lord that will power us through each day of our lives. Each of us climbs it on our own in the presence of the Lord. Each day, each hour, each minute brings us closer to the Promised Land of heaven where there are neither sorrows nor tears. Meanwhile, we are to move forward, climb upwards for our suffering in this earth produces endurance. The promise we receive and believe word for word gives us hope that the Lord will relieve, help us bear or end the suffering. The hope fulfilled will produce faith and patience and character in us. As we move upwards and forwards, we will be healed of the deception that entrapped our hearts. Though the ladder represents a linear progression of life, each day, each rung is part of a cyclical process. We can either be involved in such a beneficial cycle of suffering- endurance- faith- hope- patience- joy- character –blessings or the vicious cycle of sinful desire- short term pleasure- long term pain-guilt- curses- judgement-eternal death- eternal suffering.
As we climb the ladder of eternal life, the Lord will give us rest. During these times of rest, we avail the opportunity to thank and praise Him. We have prayers and petitions to deal with issues of life on the way up. The ascending angels take our praises, thanksgiving and petitions to the Lord and the descending angels bring back answers, grace and blessings to us. Whatever we do in this life, He wants us to aim for the TOP- the Tabernacle of Peace He builds for us in heaven to reside and enjoy. The good things we think, speak and do on earth are transferred as treasures in heaven to furnish that mansion on high. Nobody comes into the promised land-including Jacob or Israel while on earth. The promised land and promised home are in heaven on high. Faith in Jesus, the Ladder is living on earth with a purpose that extends far beyond the time and space we are confined to in our lifetime on earth. While climbing a ladder, one carries as little loads of worries, distractions, fears as possible. We can hand over these to the Omni-competent Jesus as we climb rung by rung the ladder of life. While climbing a ladder, one cannot remain at the same rung too long. Our feet should be firmly on the rungs of the ladder as we climb, one foot always moving up and one foot lifting upwards from the last rung. Our hands should firmly grip the Jesus ladder, releasing one hand at a time only to move to the next level.

Prateep V Philip

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