Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2
We realize early in our Christian life that we start on the bottom floor of the staircase. Our main goal is to get up to the top. While first beginning to ascend, the climb seems to go easy and fast. After all, the need for change was evident and our goals for coming to Christ were clear. Who wants to stay on the bottom step? As we keep climbing, sometimes we wonder if we will ever make it to the top. Our muscles ache and our heart pounds at times. We pray for an elevator or escalator to make the climb easier. But God makes sure that we consciously have to make a choice to go each step, and God is not in a rush. He waits patiently, lovingly and relentlessly for us to catch our breath and relax.
At these times of rest, we look down and see what we have had to overcome just to get this high. God does not let us know how far we still have to go. But we still get overwhelmed, thinking about the remaining climb. We gaze at the top, keep looking up, and taking one step at a time. At some levels, the rest is nice with balconies and water fountains. At other times, only by faith do we keep climbing. We know that climbing back down would be a mistake but we think about it sometimes. Other times, we just want to sit right where we are without continuing in the climb, just hang out for a while in one place. We pass those on our way up the stairs who are hanging out in their spot, and then sometimes we step aside to let someone pass by who is heading back down the stairs. Those of us who continue upward know that the temptation to stop is not a valid option because we hear the Lord’s call to go higher. In our heart of hearts, we know that when we finally arrive, we will be so happy we kept climbing. There is no hurry, but no advantage to slowing down either. So we pray for a steady pace, understanding each level and making a conscious decision to move up and onward.
Where are you at today on the staircase to God? Are you hanging out, taking a break, or are you seriously contemplating heading back down? Keep a couple of things in mind: fix your eyes upward towards the top and listen for God’s voice. Not only is the Lord calling you to come, to keep moving, but He is also waiting for you. And the best part of all of it? He is with you in every step you take. So today, lift your head up and get moving. The prize awaits at the end.
~Daily Disciples Devotional~