UPWARDS THEN ONWARDS

My spiritual daughter Josephine Ashong, a university student wrote this on her profile today, “Re-launch your life…keep moving forward”. I asked her to give me a little insight about this interesting statement. She explained, “Life has different chapters, and a book isn’t read backwards. As a book is read from front page to the last page, life must be lived forward.” I was very glad to hear this come from her. Her perspective of life at 18 is large enough to prosper this generation, and even generations unborn.

Life must be lived upwards then onwards; this I’m going reveal with the story of Abraham and Lot from Genesis 13. At one point in the life Abraham and Lot, separation became inevitable. The livestock of these two men became great, such that they had to separate. So Abram said to Lot, “Please let there be no strife between you and me, and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen; for we are brethren. Is not the whole land before you? Please separate from me. If you take the left, then I will go to the right; or, if you go to the right, then I will go to the left.”” (8-9) Separation was on the grounds of peace and survival. It was unexpected but the best way to deal with the situation at hand. The wise would agree that avoiding a fight is a mark of honour but it is only fools who insist on quarrelling. Men of honour indeed, did an honourable work to sustain tranquility. This was an onward action towards their destinies.
Lot was given the opportunity to choose first. He chose the best of lands based on his analysis and the fruitfulness of the land. And Lot lifted his eyes and saw all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere (before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah) like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt as you go toward Zoar.” (10 emphases added) Lot lifted his eyes and made his choice. His decision of progress was from his own efforts and ability. Just like many people to-day make choices based on critical thinking, strategic analysis and wisdom strategies. May I humbly submit to you that just as defeat embraced Lot’s destiny, people who rely on their own efforts will remarkably share in Lot’s testimony.
Having said that, let’s consider Abraham. “And the Lord said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him: “Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are — northward, southward, eastward, and westward; for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever.”” (14-15 emphasis added) After this nephew had left God spoke to Abraham. He commanded Abraham to life his eyes. Abraham did not lift up his own eye to see where he was supposed to go but waited for the Lord’s instruction. Because he looked unto God he was instructed on what to do. To move onward it’s imperative to look upward. Upward first, before onward. The other way around is destructive.
All who depend on the instruction of the Lord always succeed for they are blessed. “Blessed is the man whom You instruct, O Lord, and teach out of Your law” (Psa. 94:12) The Word of the Lord is right and the instructions of the Lord are unto expected end. Re-launching your life in order to move forward demands an upward gaze (looking unto God) for instruction on what to do. Life is lived upwards then onwards, not onwards then upwards – the order makes the difference.

Recommended Resources
The menace of religious insanity
The man who carried Jesus’ Cross
Ancestral misfortune – Is it mine too?

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By S. E. Entsua-Mensah. ©2014 Christ for Humanity Outreach 
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