A monthly column by farmer, preacher and writer for Jesus, Angus Buchan
Psalm 121:1-8 (KJV) — “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.”
The Hebrew word for ascent, or going up is “Aliyah”. It is the word that is used today for the returning of the Jews to Jerusalem — the upward journey.
This journey goes uphill and is not easy. The Lord says that the road to eternal life is narrow, steep and there are few who will travel on it. However, the road that leads to eternal damnation is wide and there are multitudes who will travel on it.
Choose the higher ground
We as believers need to understand that our entire journey is “Aliyah”. We are climbing higher every single day, but in order to do so, we have to make choices which are quite simple; either we are going to climb higher, or we are going to travel lower. We need to choose the higher ground, even if it is so much harder. There is no shortcut to Heaven and the Lord Jesus never promised us a bed of roses when we got saved. He never said once that He would take us out of the fire, but He did promise us that He would take us through the fire just like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who were in the fiery furnace. The Bible tells us there was a fourth man in the fire with them, who had a likeness unto the Son of God. Jesus was in the fire with them. However, when they came out of the furnace not one of them even had the smell of fire on their clothes.
Therefore, my dear pilgrim, do not be surprised when the going gets tough, and there are not many on the same road as you.
I remember very clearly, as a young Christian taking groups of students up the Drakensburg Mountains and at the bottom at the car park the road was very wide and it was quite gentle, but when we went up on to the plateau, the road started getting narrower and became a narrow path. Then we started climbing the actual final ascent and the path literally disappeared. There were cairns of stones, which marked the route until we got to the summit. Why? Because there are not many people who walk the last part of the climb and so it is in our faith walk.
If you are going through a tough time today, do not despair, or wonder whether the Lord has abandoned you, because He says He will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5). Once we get to the summit of our life, and we see the glory of God, it will be more than worth it. So, persevere! Galatians 6:9 (NKJV) says very clearly “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”
I am very excited for the times that we are living in, especially in South Africa. I believe we are on the verge of a great breakthrough and a glorious revival, but remember it is costly! It cost Jesus Christ His own life and therefore we shouldn’t expect anything less, because no servant is greater than His master.
May God bless you, as you continue with your “Aliyah” (going up).