The Arrow that Flies Downward
The arrow of the Good News flies downward, to the earth. The religions of the world try to climb up to God (or to some idea of Perfection). They recognize that God is great and exalted. They reason that, to reach God, they must climb up to Him on some sort of spiritual ladder. This ladder has many rungs, that is, many rules and good works to be kept. Thus people try to make themselves “good enough” to come into God’s presence. These ladders have two problems.
Sure, we humans can build our religious ladders. We can make up rules and rituals. But here’s the problem: Does God want our ladders? As the prophet Isaiah wrote,
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9).
God is a mystery, far greater than we can imagine. Isn’t it better to know God as He reveals Himself? As you read the Bible, be open to surprising discoveries about God and yourself.
Another problem is falling. The ladder is so high that sooner or later even skilled climbers slip and fall. They keep breaking rungs (that is, breaking rules). They keep trying… and falling. Since we all fall short of perfection, this kind of religion leaves all its climbers feeling sad, guilty and far from God. Such a way to God never works. Try a simple test: Grab your feet and lift yourself off the ground. Impossible? Then how will you lift yourself all the way to God’s highest home, heaven?