Are You Willing to Climb the Ladder?

Posted by

Psalm 29

[1] Ascribe to the LORD, O heavenly beings,
ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.
[2] Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name;
worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness.

A man buys a ladder so he can get up on his roof to clean his gutters. When he buys the ladder he sits there and marvels at the greatness of the ladder. He even tells his friends that his ladder is the best. It’s very sturdy, and will probably work better than any other ladder on the market. But there’s just one problem……

The man never uses or gets up on the ladder.

This is a very good way to describe how we live our life with God. We, as Christians, can be so good at talking about how great God is…especially with other Christians. We say things like, “God is powerful,” “God’s got this,” “he’s in control.” We even talk about the beauty, goodness, and holiness of God. Yet, very often these words fall flat because they are just that. Words! Why?

Because they end up having very little real life application in our lives.

We say so many things about who God is, and yet we don’t live as if these things are true. We tell others how powerful he is, while living as if he isn’t working in our situations. We say that God is sovereign and in control, but we live in fear, worry, and doubt. We say that God is holy and yet we choose to defame his name by living in sin. We say that God is better than anything else while choosing to put our hope and fulfillment in the things of this world.

In this way we become like the people that Jesus describes in Matthew 7:21 when he says:

[21] Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

We call him Lord; however, we are unwilling to trust and do the will of our Heavenly Father.

Now think of the psalmist David. In Psalm 29 he is ascribing or attributing honor and renown (glory), power (strength), and perfection (holiness) to God. He then goes on in the psalm to describe these realities of God when he says, “The voice of the LORD is over the waters; the God of glory thunders…” (V. 3). “The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars; the LORD breaks the cedars of Lebanon” (V. 5). “The voice of the LORD makes the deer give birth and strips the forests bare” (V. 9). “The LORD sits enthroned over the flood; the LORD sits enthroned as king forever” (V. 10).

If we knew nothing about David it would be easy to assume, like most of us, that this was just some dude giving lip service to God. But when we think of the life of David these words begin to come alive. David endured a ruthless king who tried for years to kill him. When he became king he had to fight many wars, and even had to flee Jerusalem because his own son tried to overthrow his kingdom. And through all of this he put his full trust in God, and lived as if his power, glory, and holiness were real.

Does this mean that David was perfect? No, in fact he had some very significant sin issues. But it does mean that despite the hard that he was facing he put his hope and trust in Yahweh and not in himself. As a result, God blessed him and not only provided for him in his earthly life, but he also gave him and prepared him for an eternal forever life. The words of Christ echo true for David when he says in Matthew 25:23:

[23] His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’

So what about us?

We are currently facing the worst national and global crisis of my lifetime. The Coronavirus has infected many, killed many, and has put thousands upon thousands in critical condition. We are experiencing the fear of the continued spread of this global pandemic and we the fear and worry as it relates to our economy and its ability to endure this catastrophe. How will we respond as Christians?

Will we sit in our homes and fret over whether or not we will get the virus? Will we sit and worry about our jobs, 401K, or the ability to get all the normal goods and services that we utilize? Will we adopt an apocalypse type attitude where we begin to hoard all sorts of good because we need to be sure that we make it through this world ending tragedy?

Or…

Will we believe that God is powerful, sovereign, and holy? Will we believe that he is the king of the universe who is powerfully working and in control of this situation? And will we believe that he is currently working, even in the hard for the good of his people and the building of his kingdom?

I would encourage us, as Christians to take this approach. Let’s be a people of God who do more than offer lip service to him. Let’s become a people who not only talk of God’s power, sovereignty, glory, and holiness, but let’s become a people who live as if these things are real. And I believe that once we stop talking about the ladder and actually get on it that we will begin to see God miraculously and powerfully working through us and for us.

We will see him working for the building of his kingdom, and for our earthly good. Lastly, he will put within us a heavenly and forever hope that cannot be taken from us and will be ours until he returns.

Leave a Reply