Tending Upward Only

Tending Upward

“And the Lord will make you the head, and not the tail; and you shall tend upward only, and not downward” (Deut. 28:13, RSV).

When I read this promise, I see a bar graph in my head. The arrow is moving gradually to increasingly higher points, showing steady gain over time. In spite of occasional brief dips in the downward direction, the movement as a whole is unmistakably upward.

This is what our progression in spirit looks like as we walk intimately with the Lord. As God has decreed this blessing over us, we tend upward only, and not downward. It is absolutely essential that we receive this revelation in our hearts, so that we do not grow weary or lose heart. We are on the increase!

The enemy of our souls is terrified and devastated by our ever growing advantage. He would like nothing better than to hide the truth from us, convincing us to focus on the small dips downward that dot our path. He puts all of his energy into persuading us that those dips are the main point. They are not. If you have recently experienced a setback, then Holy Spirit wants to encourage you right now. Take a step back and look at the big picture through His eyes. That little dip is extremely temporary. You are actually moving higher and higher in Him!

He also wants to remind us today that He takes responsibility for our progress in Him. What a fantastically heartening guarantee that is! He who began a good work in us will be faithful to move us each day farther in and farther up in Him, masterfully completing what He begun. He will transfer us from one level of glory to the next!

As I was meditating on this principle, a relevant verse in Psalms caught my attention. “He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun” (Ps. 37:6, NIV). Holy Spirit spoke to my heart through these words about what it looks like as He carries our cause forward.

The first half of this Scripture makes reference to the dawn. When the sun is just barely beginning to warm up the morning, we watch as the night sky subtly begins to change in color. Slowly, steadily, surely, the golden orb rises in splendor and chases the darkness away.

However, when day breaks, we are not yet experiencing the entire strength of the sun. Hours will pass before she has completely unleashed her heat and her glory. It’s the noonday sun that reveals to us the full magnitude of her might.

This is another apt and beautiful picture of God’s working in our lives. When the Morning Star rises in our hearts, a new day is born. We begin a journey of increasing illumination. As we press forward in God, every step of the way we see Him a little more clearly than we did the moment before. He causes His revelatory light to shine in our hearts in ever growing strength. We look forward with magnificent anticipation; for noonday is coming, when we will see Him face to face.

So take heart, beloved sojourner. Wherever you are on your travels forward in God, you are surely and steadily moving upward. His light is constantly intensifying in brilliance within you. The adventure will only get more and more glorious from here!

“The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day” (Prov. 4:18, NIV).


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