Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you, for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets.
I have personally noted that those who lavish praise on you, who always are complimenting you, and who are “elevating” you (pun intended throughout this post) as a wonderful person are probably seeking their own interests. They are elevators looking out for “Number One” – themselves.
It is just human nature.
This is very evident in politics where many men and women make tremendous promises, shake your hands and kiss your babies in order to get your vote. Once in office, you will soon notice that they begin to fall short of your expectations. You become disappointed in them and later vote against them.
Elevators will bring you up, but in the end will let you down.
I have seen these elevators in churches where some members, not many, who seek to be “promoted” in the church will overly warm up to pastors who later assign them to leadership positions in the congregation. Is this wrong per se? I do not think so. I believe the pastor can decide to overlook this human frailty of these individuals and look for actual qualities they may possess for service.
But the point I am making is that many people who give accolades toward you and elevate you before others may not be so admiring toward you or the congregation when circumstances later on are not going their way. They will fall short and let you down; disappoint you when the moment comes when you and the church need their help or support the most.
I remember the church where I was a member, the pastor created an advisory council to help him be accountable to the congregation instead of only to his superiors. The church had never had one locally. The council leaders were chosen by the congregation. A president was chosen for this council to direct the meetings. I was chosen to be the vice president and back up the president to run the meetings if he ever were absent. Well, in the course of time, the president of the council left the congregation for another church. A vacancy was then left to be filled by a congregational election. What did I do? I campaigned for the office. I advertised myself on how I will help the congregation grow, help the pastor, provide new ideas. I shudder as I look back over this. The church, to me at that time, became a political entity rather than the body of Christ. Yes, I know some of you may disagree, but that is how I view my motives as I look back. I was seeking power. I was raising myself up. Yes, I was eventually voted in as president of the council, but God did not bless it. A new pastor came in and God led His sheep in a different direction. Nothing was accomplished by me while I was in that office. The council was soon disbanded. At that point in time, I believe, it was a let down from me toward God and the church.
Elevators will rise up and let you down.
One day, Jesus Christ entered Jerusalem riding on a mule (John 12:12-16). He did not elevate Himself onto a white stallion or rode in a dazzling chariot. Yet, the citizens of the city began bestowing praises on Him waving palm leaves before Him. The crowd was elevating Christ as their champion and king but was condemning Him to be crucified for treason against Rome and against God a few days later.
Elevators will lift you up and let you down.
This elevation process also occurred when the serpent, in the Garden of Eden, told Eve she would not die if she ate the forbidden fruit. Adam and Eve ate of it thus elevating themselves at that moment and letting their descendants – the human race – down the path of death.
Therefore, why do you think God allows trials and suffering in our lives, especially among Christians? I believe it is because He does not want us to be elevators. He does not want us being proud of our own works, of our own abilities nor of our own accomplishments. Instead, God wants us to always look to Him as provider, sustainer and promoter of our wellbeing.
God wants us to be humble for His name’s sake, not for our sake; for His glory’s sake. Why does He want this to be? Well look at what mankind has done throughout history. Because man is an elevator, one who has elevated himself above the Creator, the world has been let down to the zero ground level of disbelief in God which has led to needless pain, suffering, and death.
The Bible account of the Tower of Babel symbolically illustrates this elevator as being the world (Genesis 11:1-10). Man wanted to reach God the wrong way. He wanted to meet God in his own terms. He had created his own idols of God. Mankind wanted to go up and down (pun intended) this tower at will. But what man actually wanted was to be completely “free” from God. That would have been the result had that tower in Babel been successfully completed. It would have led to an early disaster, a let down, of the human race.
What are other elevators of this world, this Babylon, that are not from God and that will let you down? Elevators are seen in other forms:
Drugs: Will shoot you up to high altitudes of awareness, but in the end will let you down to addictions of the worse kind.
Pornography: Will raise your fantasies to titilating horizons of pleasure but will lower your senses and passions to that of animals.
Alcoholism: Will whisk y ou to dizzying levels of experience, but descend you to the basement floor of dependency and debauchery.