Summary: Ladders are useful tools in our daily life. However, if you haven’t learned the “Ladder Lessons”, then you won’t take advantage of their ability to take us to new heights.
I know ladders are not uncommon or awe inspiring. They are simply an everyday tool that we use to reach heights that we would otherwise be unable to reach. So, there is nothing really mind blowing about that. However, because they are so common and because most of you have used a ladder at some point in your life it would seem that it would be unnecessary to talk about ladder lessons. But then this . . .
I won't tell you who did this, but I will tell you that his name starts with an An and ends in a Drew. Pastor Andrew has been grounded for life . . . literally. He has been grounded by me and more importantly by Jess. 7 days before a wedding. It is a blessing from God that Drew is as tall as he is because if he wasn't, then he would never be able to reach anything because he is not allowed to even look at a ladder longingly! Out of this experience I mentioned last week that we need to learn to cling on to God so that He will cling on to us. However, I want us to go a little further, but we need to ask this question . . . How do we cling tighter so that we won’t fall?
The duty of the Levites was to help Aaron’s descendants in the service of the temple of the Lord: to be in charge of the courtyards, the side rooms, the purification of all sacred things and the performance of other duties at the house of God. They were in charge of the bread set out on the table, the special flour for the grain offerings, the thin loaves made without yeast, the baking and the mixing, and all measurements of quantity and size. They were also to stand every morning to thank and praise the Lord. They were to do the same in the evening and whenever burnt offerings were presented to the Lord on the Sabbaths, at the New Moon feasts and at the appointed festivals. They were to serve before the Lord regularly in the proper number and in the way prescribed for them.
And now you have become living building-stones for God’s use in building his house. What’s more, you are his holy priests; so come to him—you who are acceptable to him because of Jesus Christ—and offer to God those things that please him.
Let us consider how to inspire each other to greater love and to righteous deeds, not forgetting to gather as a community, as some have forgotten, but encouraging each other, especially as the day of His return approaches.
I know those seem to be odd passages of scripture to read as it relates to ladders but stick with me just a few seconds. The goal isn’t just to climb the ladder. If you just climb the ladder but can’t stay on the ladder, then gained height only increases the damage when you fall. So, my assignment is to not only help you go up, but to stay up. So, before we dive into the lesson today to keep you on the ladder, we must retreat back to Andrew’s fall for just a few second because his fall reveals the lesson to keep us on the ladder. The ladder was capable of holding Andrew. The problem is that he got higher than the ability of his points of contact to sustain his balance. Andrew had to let go of the ladder with his hands so that he could adjust the projector. If he had had both hands on the ladder, then chances are he would not have fallen. Bottom line … he violated one of the cardinal and time proven ladder lessons and it caused his fall that if followed helps you maintain height.
Ladder Lesson 3: You are safe when you maintain multiple points of contact.
The safety protocol for ladders is that you need to maintain 3 points of contact to be safe. So, the more points of contact you are the more likely you are to be able to hold to the ladder.
This Ladder Lesson can be perfectly illustrated in how it works spiritually by several biblical accounts.
The parable of the man who built his house on the rock in Matthew 7 for instance. This man didn’t fear storms, and not only did he not fear the storm he survived the storm because his foundation or points of contact were strong enough to withstand the blow. The only one that had issues and injuries from the storm was the one who didn’t have a foundation strong enough to hold him. Another example is Peter and his denial of Christ. This occurred because rather than walking next to Jesus, tight with Jesus the Bible says he followed from afar. As distance developed his points of contacts diminished and so too did his ability to stand strong in his relationship with Jesus when challenged. However, the best example is probably Judas. Here was a man that was attached to Jesus, but not connected. He was around Him. He travelled with Jesus. He ate meals with Jesus. He attended services. He attended prayer meetings. He witnessed miracles at the words and hands of Jesus. But as you know Judas shows us that attached isn’t the same thing as connected. He had some contact, but he couldn’t withstand the impact of temptation. Therefore, because he didn’t have enough points of contact, he falls.