- Renée Coventry
Ascending to God: Thoughts on the Word to Come Up
Throughout Scripture we see consistent interaction between God and man, as God comes down and man goes up. Please note that God first created a place where He could descend to walk in the cool of the day with His created ones. It is at God's initiative and because of His great love that it started and continues today.
Consider for a moment: Walter and I recently moved to Florida, approximately twenty-five minutes from my parents. Naturally, we desire to host them in our home because we love them. However, how much love would they feel emanating from us if, over time, we only asked them to come to us and refused ever to drive over to see them? Probably not much. Consider, too, if we went to their home but never followed the directives they have set for their home? Would they feel loved and respected or that we had taken advantage of them by dishonoring their wishes?
Contemplating the invitation from the Lord to "come up," do so understanding that He loves to welcome you into His presence, the place of His abode. That place, though, is holy. It requires something when we ascend as a guest of God. How often do we willfully dishonor Him by blatant hypocrisy? Or is our response one in which we bow in humble adoration before the Lord Almighty? Can we stand in the glory of His majesty and awesome holiness, exposed and bare? So many desire the Spirit of God to descend and enter their situations, and God is so gracious to come at our invitation. Will we graciously and wisely do the same at His invitation?
That being said, as Christians, we often feel unworthy to approach the throne of grace because the enemy bombards us with guilt and condemnation. As a result, we do not draw near with boldness but withdraw from the presence of our Almighty God, who, with expectation, invites us into His presence. Rather than ascending to the throne room, we descend further into the sin that so easily ensnares us and find ourselves in a hell of our own creation. Let me encourage you that there is redemption in your darkness. David said in Psalm 139:7-8, "Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there."
We've all heard the phrase, "You made your bed, now lie in it." However, for those who call on the Name of the Lord, we are not called to remain in a defeated posture.
Listen to what Paul wrote while imprisoned:
"Therefore it says, 'When He ascended on high, He led captive a host of captives, and He gave gifts to men.' (Now this expression, 'He ascended,' what does it mean except that He also descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens so that He might fill all things.)." Eph. 4:8-10
Jesus descended and then ascended so that you, also, could rise from the depths of hell into the very presence of Almighty God! Remember, we don't do so lightly; however, our privilege as His children is to approach our Loving Father boldly. We don't have to remain enslaved to past sin but can walk gloriously into the light, knowing Christ breaks every chain the enemy would use to shackle us in our condemnation. The Lord Himself has initiated your deliverance and invited you up! Don't wait any longer! Call on the Name of the Lord and walk into perfect freedom. "Whoever calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved," and "If the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed!" Rom. 10:13, John 8:36