'Each level was wider than the one below it ... A stairway led up from the bottom level through the middle level to the top level. Ezekiel 41:7
It's the beginning of a New Year and with that comes the making of resolutions. Each year we try to better ourselves - lose a bit more weight, read a few more books, try some new recipes. It's good to have new goals or personal targets.
This verse from Ezekiel speaks of new levels. Each new level was wider than the one below it. It is a picture of spiritual growth. As we rise into higher levels of understanding or a fuller commitment to Christ, we come into a wider place. So often people think the Christian life is narrow and restrictive when in fact it's the complete opposite! The higher we climb the greater our freedom and confidence in Christ. In the Psalms David said:
'He brought me forth also into a large place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me.' Psalm 18:19
David had found his way into that large place; a place of freedom and joy. He was no longer restricted by rules but God delighted in him.
The second part of the verse in Ezekiel speaks of a stairway that runs from the bottom level right to the top level. This is indicative of the Cross. The Cross of Christ is the stairway. It runs through all the levels of our faith; from the very beginner's level where we come to the Cross to find forgiveness for our sins and new life in Christ to the high peaks of spiritual revelation and mysticism in our later years. The Cross is in every level of our faith.
So, let's look at the picture this verse creates. Different levels are all connected by the stairway or Cross and each level grows wider the higher we climb.
Could we link our new year resolutions to these levels spiritually? Can we set ourselves to climb onto the next level of our faith; to enjoy the expanse and freedom of each new level in Christ and more importantly to maintain it throughout the year? Surely none of us want to go back or slide down to a narrower lower level but unfortunately we are sometimes foolish enough to do that. Let's be determined this year to climb higher and find ourselves enjoying our spiritual heritage in Christ more than we have ever done.