Monday, April 1, 2013

Who moved the ladder?

Have you ever found yourself piled face first into an unexpected, and even unwanted wall that stood on your path?

Of course you have. Hey, all of us have.

I began this blog on January the 28th of this year and in the post, "God's created Picture of us", I outlined the purpose of this blog as a tool to help you and I climb the walls in our life. I love the concept that the walls that we find placed on our path, are in all actuality steps that have been strategically allowed by God to draw us into a deeper relationship with Him.

(If you are new to the blog, then I would like to invite you to look at the post that really expresses the concept of the man and the wall the best, "You had it all the time".)

I will be the first person to admit that I do not enjoy the wall portion of the steps that I come to, and there have been many times that I have struggled with adopting the concepts that I have used this blog to express.

The times I have struggled with the walls have always been the times when I have mistook the ladder as the source of my help in climbing. I am very thankful for the ladders that God has given me in my climb up the staircase.
Ladders come in many shapes and sizes. Sometimes a ladder may come in the form of a spouse, a co-worker, a pastor, a life coach, a loved one, a Sunday school teacher, or even just a close friend.

God uses people to help us through difficult things.

It is one of the ways that He works in us and through us. The problem comes when we mistake the ladders for the source of our help. If God has provided a very clear ladder in your life that has been of a help to you on your path, by all means you need to be grateful but in that gratitude recognize who it was that placed that ladder where they were placed. 

I have had many ladders in my life, and they have done a tremendous job of remaining firmly planted while they helped my awkward and swaying grapple reach the top of the walls they helped me to climb. I will forever be grateful to them for  the role that they played in relation to me and my wall.

I was reading a very familiar passage of scripture this morning when I noticed something that stood out like a neon sign! I had missed it every other time that I had read it and even recited it.

This is the Shepherds psalm and almost a staple to be read at a funeral.

"The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want." ~Psalms 23:1 

Don't you just love this? I heard a pastor once read this text and preach a sermon on how the pastor is our shepherd. I just looked at my bible and thought, "Umm... I just can't get past the fact that the text is plainly stating THE LORD is my shepherd.

The Lord is our shepherd. Our provision comes from Him every single time! 

"He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters."    ~Psalms 32:2

He brings me to rest, and He leads me to places where I can find nourishment. It is always directed back to Him! His name is not used as a cover in activities, but rather every activity centers itself completely off of man and completely on to Him.

"He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake." ~ Pslams 23:3

He prepares my path! He does not will everything that happens, nor does He condone what happens but He does allow the walls in my path. Free will on my part and upon the part of others will always bear consequences. We seriously miss the mark when we mistake consequences to our free will choices as God's feelings towards us as His children.

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me." ~ Psalms 23:4

I am going to go through some things in this life. The one thing that separates a child of God who goes through things from a person who is not that goes through things is the absence of fear. We do not have to be afraid!           *see "Not just another cliffhanger"

"Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over." ~Psalms 23:5

God is fully capable of feeding us in and through every experience that we have.
                                                                          * See "The prayer that few people pray".

"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever." Psalms 23:6

The word "follow" used here is the same word for "Stalk" or "Hunt with the intention to capture". God's goodness and mercy is hunting us with the intention to capture! Don't look behind you right now, but that breathing you hear in your ear is God's goodness and mercy creeping up on you!

I was reading this passage, and I saw all of the familiar things here that you and I have seen before, then I noticed the new perspective. It is found in verse 3.

"He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake." ~ Pslams 23:3

Did you see it?

Don't feel bad, I missed it too.

"He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake." ~ Pslams 23:3


The word "Restoreth" means to "turn, bring back home"

The word "Soul" is my mind, my will, and my emotions.

When God made us, the bible tells us that God made man a "Living soul". he gave us something that He did not give His other creations. He gave us a Body, a Soul (Mind, Will, and Emotions), and a Spirit.

If you are a born again Child of God, then your Spirit is sealed. That is the part of you that is in union with God and the part of you that will reside in heaven for eternity.

 When you die, your Body will return to dust.

Your soul however determines what your Spirit is able to do with your body here. It is your mind, your will and your emotions.

This is the part that deals with the walls in our life the hardest. This is the part of us that can be the most deeply wounded. The walls that we hit here are the hardest to climb.

I have sat across the desk from people who knew what their wall was, and they knew what it would take to climb the walls, but because their soul was wounded so deeply, that  no amount of ladder repositioning would help them.

Ladders can only stand up against your walls, they cannot make you climb nor can the force you to climb. The fact is, the ladder is just a ladder to us.

He (Father) is the one who does the restoring. No ladder could ever do that. He (Father) is the only one skilled enough to bring our mind, will and emotions back home.

I guess when I saw this it helped to remind me that the ladders He provided were ladders for that wall, but that He was the one that was doing the restoring. It was always Him!

It reminded me to not confuse a ladder with the one who provided the ladder in the first place.

If you are someones ladder this morning, please remember that you are just a ladder and not their source of restoration.

If you are climbing a wall with the help of a ladder, please remember to be grateful for the ladder, but realize that the only restoring that will happen with your soul is from  and through The Restorer, Jesus Christ.

If you are The Restorer, please accept our thanks for the walls/steps and for the ladders that you provide for us to climb with!

Climbing with you,


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