Very recently, the news of ministers of God and prominent Christians, either abandoning their profession or dabbling into things people have come to know as opposed to the ideas and ideology of the Christian Faith have been rampant.
This, no doubt, has led to some unanswered questions, both posed and those left latent in so many of us, young believers especially.
I want to say that being on the move is often desirable as it most times portray progress.
However, motion is described by its magnitude and direction, classifying them in two – vector and scalar
As a result, the direction of one’s motion must, of necessity, be ascertained before making such a proclamation of progress.
For a change in position to take place, movement must have occurred, in upward or forward direction or otherwise.
It can be said then that only a journey headed in the upward or forward direction is desirable, and the reverse, unenviable.
Notwithstanding, as undesirable as the backward or downward journey might seem, we have found people embark on such, and even now, countless others continue to do so.
This vivid characterization of a journey is not limited to only the physical, it is capable of being applied in the spiritual sense too in relation to our movement with, and in, God.
As there is a spiritual growth of a believer in Christ, there is also a growth in the direct opposite of it.
A believer’s growth can be stalled, retarded, or retrograding – moving in the downward, backward direction.
This journey is what is described as the downward journey, the ‘foundation class’ for most going astray.
The man Jonah, in a bid to escape from God and His instructions, the Bible recorded that he “…WENT DOWN to Joppa.” (Jonah 1:3).
I need you to observe that anytime the Bible uses that capitalized phrase to describe the physical journey of a man, such narration ended in tragedy.
And Jonah’s experience was no difference, he found himself in the belly of a fish, what an adventure that must have been for him!
The journey of Abraham at a time when the land of Canaan was experiencing famine was also in the same line as he “…WENT DOWN into Egypt” (Genesis 12:10) in a bid to save himself and his home from the famine that had ravaged the land. We all know how that ended with him.
In addition to this is the case of the ‘mighty’ Samson, a man anointed to destroy the enemies of the people of God.
His journey into Timnath brought him in alliance of marriage with the enemy he was to destroy.
It was a waste of his effort and ministerial anointing.
The downward, retrogressive journey might seem enjoyable as it was to Samson, Abraham, Jonah and a host of others who have embarked on it as it promises little effort and great results, but it leaves nothing to be desired as it leads to:
- A waste and loss of fortune and spiritual advantage. The example of Samson’s loss of his anointing, sight, freedom, and ultimately, his life should be enough for us this regard.
- Outright deviation from the will and purpose of God. From all indications, Abraham was to be in Canaan, but due to the famine in the land, he took off without consulting God, and that took him off from the will of God, but for the mercy of God.
- A way of want. The prodigal son left for a far country with so much, but soon “…began to be in want.” (Luke 12:14).
- A way of insanity and servitude. It would bring the believer in subjection to the things he left behind, the things, sin inclusive, he once dominated would have dominion over him. The prodigal son never returned to his father until he ‘returned to himself’. That was a needless servitude as his father possessed all things in abundance.
The downward journey takes a believer from the way of blessing to be numbered among sinners. Abraham was to be a blessing, but when he went down, he ceased being one. It is even a way of death.
It is often said that those who fail to learn anything from the past stand in danger of repeating the mistakes of the past.
My dear reader, I want you to beware when God’s instructions, commands and laws becomes too bitter a pill to swallow you’d rather throw it out; that was the way of Jonah.
It is a clear road sign giving direction to the downward road. When watchfulness is mocked and trampled underfoot before you. When the way of the godless interests you in contravention of God’s laws (Psalm 1:1), you need to activate the alert button at such a time and really seek God more than you have ever done.
As much as spiritual progress is desired and welcomed, there is the possibility for a believer to stall his spiritual journey.
And at that point start a reverse journey, a journey to drifting away.
Many have embarked on such ‘adventures’ and have either returned with bitter stories, or have been completely lost, untraceable.
It is important we are rooted and grounded in Christ so we shoot up fruits unto life everlasting.
May God help us not to be caught in the web of travelling downward, but found one fully taking root in God.
“And the remnant that is escaped of the house of Judah shall yet again take root downward, and bear fruit upward.” (2Kings 19:30).
Thanks for reading this far.
Hope you were blessed?
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© 2020. Emmanuel F. Olaofe
Image credit: flat desert road