THE CHALLENGES OF COMING UP HIGHER
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. 13 And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; 14 And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. 15 And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of. 16 And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not.
The Redeemed Christian Church has just finished her annual Convention with the Theme “Come up higher” While I will not border myself repeating so many things that have been said and preached on the theme I will like to discus with you what the Holy Spirit laid to my heart while I was meditating on all that I have been opportune to listen to on the subject.
As we are all well aware that coming up higher is not just going to be another kind of fanfare. For anyone to come up higher he must be ready for some climbing the rungs or the staircase that will lead upward. May I just discus with you briefly some of the challenges to face while going up higher
Coming up Higher is not going to be easy at all. It is true that we have all learnt how to walk briskly on the floor but walking on the ladder is another thing entirely. The first difficulty is how to learn walking on the ladder or rungs that leads to the top. It is one step after the other and with all carefulness and calculation. The brain and the legs must be synchronised to know the distance between the rungs of the ladder. You have to learn walking on it as it is with a new growing up child trying to go up the stairs for the first time. There are times you will fall and there are times you miss your steps and sprain your joints.
2. Expending more energy.
I remember those days when I used to go the National Stadium in Lagos for physical exercises. We would run around the stadium about ten times every morning and then you will come back with some sort of contentment. Until a day I met a person who asked me to partner him in the exercise. He took me right into the main bow of the stadium and we were climbing the seats from the floor to the top from the covered section round the main bow and back to where we started. As a matter of fact I almost fainted because I had expended more energy than envisaged. If you are willing to come up higher you must also be willing to use more energy, your shirt shall be drenched with your sweat and your bones will ache.
On the way to the top are all kinds of discouragement that will tell you to go back downstairs. You are likely going to meet people who are stronger than you calling it off and saying it is not worth the trouble. You are likely to see people who have obtained what you are searching for at the top without reaching the top. I remember teaching some secondary school children right inside their home when their Father a very rich man came inside and said you are too hard on my kids and i don’t think that education is worth all the trouble. He told the children that all he had was a primary school living certificate and he is rich and builded six flats. I thank God that his kids did not listen to him because today one is a layer and the other an accountant in the U.K. Therefore as you are climbing keep your ears away from hearing the words of discouragement and your eyes away from seeing the vision of discouragement.
4. Little gains and greater work
The gains attained may not be commensurate with The energy expended.
The gains of coming up higher are not the types that happen suddenly just as climbing a tree does not get you the fruit immediately you step on it. You have to reach where the fruits are on the top of the tree. Each step you take may not be commensurate with the labour and the time you are putting into it. A student may read for all day throughout the month and does not get paid for reading nor get a mark until he sat for and pass the examination. So many people have turned back from coming up higher because they could not see the immediate gains for their labour. Matt. 19:27. Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? Even the disciples of Jesus almost turn back for the reason that the gains were not so forthcoming.
5. Attention Diversions
There are temptations to divert you from your purpose and goals, money, quick rewards through shortcuts, pride and arrogance.
On the way to the top there are things that may divert your attention and yet are not the purpose that you have in mind when you begin that climbing. Women loves men that are the top and you will meet some of them as you climb that are going to let you know that they are the main reason for your climbing. Men love women that are exceptional and they will come closer to change your focus. Money is not the reason for going higher the love of money which is the root of all evil will try to confuse you. You were very humble when you began but now you seems to be getting taller than anyone around and pride will set in to your life. Pride is the forerunner of destruction.
6. Maggots inside a bow of salt.
There are people you are looking on as great leaders that you will discover doing contrary to what they preach.
Finally as you go to the top a time comes when you can now see everything clearly from the top just as anyone in the aircraft can see the ground very clearly with nothing hidden. As you go up you will see the leaders that you have great respect for living in iniquity contrary to what they have preached to you. I read how the Great German Reformer Martin Luther went to Rome and discovered that the Pope was being served on the table by naked girls. There are so many church leaders today who are thieves, fornicator, wife beaters, liars, adulterers and idol worshipers who used Satanic power to deceive their congregation. After you have seen them they will invite you to join them and be like them. When you reach this level that you are able to see maggots in salt bow of leadership please never think that the promised land God told you is no longer real, just ignore them and climb upward because you are almost there.
God bless you.