When we were young we had a burning desire to walk up an escalator that was going down. Of course neither the store nor our parents would give their permission so we had to wait until we were alone and the store was not crowded. Getting started was a challenge since the steps disappeared into the floor just as we tried to mount them but once under way it was easy unless we stopped to catch our breath and then everything that had been gained was quickly lost again. Looking back on it, it wasn’t all that hard but it was fun.

In a sense we as Christ’s brethren are all trying to climb a down escalator. The world in which we are living is all going down to oblivion and we are trying to go against the stream of humanity up towards God’s kingdom. If we stop to rest a minute our course is immediately reversed and we find ourselves traveling downhill along with the world around us. While we are busy climbing up we find almost everyone else quite content to go the other way. The more crowded it is the harder to go up when all the rest want to go down. All the effort we have put forth to climb up is quickly lost if we stop and we can go all the way from the very top of the stairs back to the bottom if we have not made that final push to step off the escalator at the very top. Surely many have spent years in the Truth only to stop near the end and lose all that had been gained over a lifetime. Solomon who was so wise fell, for Nehemiah tells us that he “was beloved of his God, and God made him king over all Israel: nevertheless even him did outlandish women cause to sin”.

Ezekiel explains how important it is to keep on keeping on for he tells us that “when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committed iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man does, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.”

There is a famous Broadway play entitled “Stop the world, I want to get off”. The world isn’t stopping and we can’t get off; all we can do is climb above those who are going down. There is very little traffic going our way but all the world would hinder our climb, if we let them. We need to know where we are going and steadily climb each day towards the Kingdom. We have to be going the opposite way from the rest of the world for Jesus has told us plainly that only a few will be saved. He tells us to “… enter (ye) in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”

Jesus gives us encouragement saying, “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” We too can overcome but we won’t do it standing still. We have to be on the move onward and upward, for as Paul exhorts us, “be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.”

Just remember that the world is represented by the escalator going down but we are the climbers going up and we can’t stop the world and get off. We have to be in the world but not of it by overcoming, for Jesus has promised “to him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father on His throne”.