Visiting people in various hospitals requires me to travel frequently on elevators. This form of transportation can be both convenient and frustrating. It saves time and energy when traveling from the lobby to the ninth floor. It requires patience when the doors open and close at every floor in between the starting point and the destination. Elevators have a number of interesting characteristics. Like a train or bus, an elevator is shared transportation. I’m not in this thing alone. Secondly, even though we choose by button what floor to which we’re traveling, the container is under the control of people who own/lease the building in which it dwells. Thirdly, elevators have limited space and capacity for both people and weight. I notice this when employees are moving things from floor to floor. We can’t all fit in together, and someone may need to take the next elevator. Fourthly, there are a finite number of destinations one may travel to while on an elevator. In my automobile the options seem unlimited, but inside the elevator shaft are a stated number of locations for arrival.
Similar characteristics appear in God’s Word in the book of Genesis. When Abram traveled from Haran to Canaan he was experiencing shared transportation. Sarai, Lot, and a number of servants all traveled together. The journey was not under Abram’s control, but under the control of God. The capacity for dwelling together was exceeded, forcing Abram and Lot to separate from one another. The land God had prepared for Abram and his descendants was marked off with boundaries. It was a finite space for an unlimited time. Israel would live in this specific region for thousands of years. But it was God’s choice.
Throughout the Bible we discover that to follow God is to be on a journey. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6) Modern thought might suggest that God provides the G.P.S. that we must refer to moment by moment. Our own sense of direction will let us down.
Our Lord referred to the righteous road we follow in this way, “‘But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.’” (Matthew 7:14) Jesus asked people to follow Him, not simply believe in Him. “Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.’” (Matthew 16:24) At times it may be a challenging journey. This requires faith. Martin Luther King Jr. once said,“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase. Just take the first step.” It gets easier to see as we follow the Lord. Jesus said, “‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’” (John 8:12)
Some people are wandering aimlessly with no sense of direction, no willingness to sacrifice and no semblance of faith. We’re to point them to the words of Jesus. “‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’” (John 14:6) Jesus is the one and only form of transportation to heaven. He’s the elevator, and there’s no limit to how many people can share this form of transportation. Going up? Yes! Let’s make sure that others are joining us!
Pastor Ken Atchison
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com.