The High Ground
 "Those who trust in the Lord are as secure as Mt. Zion; they will not be defeated but will endure forever.  Just as the mountains surround and protect Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds and protects His people, both now and forever."  Psalm 125:1-2......"If the enemy can get you onto his level, he has beaten you...he must pull you down......he must get you to accept something less than God's full place and mind for you and then he will undo you....(This is what he has done to the church) he has pulled it down to this world level, reduced it to the level of things here....The church that is revealed to us in the New Testament is always on high ground....It is a great power to be on high ground...the enemy can do little with you if you keep up there and refuse to come down.  Nehemiah found that to be so when they said 'Come down and let us confer,' and he said, 'I am doing a great work.  I cannot come down.'  It is a principle operating"  T. Austin-Sparks...."My heart has no desire to stay where doubts arise and fears dismay; though some may dwell where those abound, my prayer my aim is higher ground."  from the hymn Higher Ground
I think we tend to see Psalm 125 in terms of our lives being surrounded by the mountain of God.  He is high and mighty and all around us.  But we see ourselves as living at the foot of that mountain, not at the top, which is where He has called us to be, but so often, not where we are really living.  As a result, as Sparks says, the enemy of our souls is able to have his way with us.  Though we know the mountain of God is all around us, we somehow believe we can live a mountaintop life spiritually while continuing to live in the spiritual lowlands.  Small wonder than that the "doubts and fears" of the hymn assail us endlessly, and, sadly, successfully.  In Philippians 3, Paul spoke of living his life in response to "the upward call of Christ."  He lived on higher ground, so that though the enemy assaulted him constantly through shipwrecks, prison, and eventually death for the cause of Christ, he, like Nehemiah, never came down to the level of his enemy, and so, was never overcome by him.  Try as he might, the devil could not get Paul down to his level, and so, could not defeat him.  In the same way that he failed to do so with the Lord Christ in the desert, in the garden, and on the cross, he could not  with Paul, with Stephen, with Peter, with John, and with all who had and have determined that they would live on the high ground of the Father.  Is this the ground that you and I are standing on today?  

Sparks makes the point that when the Lord led the people of Israel into the land He had given them, He had them build their cities on the mountains.  Their enemies were peoples who possessed iron chariots, which made them unbeatable on the level ground, but the chariots were useless upon the mountains.  So are all of the devils weapons that are "formed against us."  But we'll only know that, see that, from the perspective of higher ground.  Are we living today from that perspective?  Be sure.  Without that perspective, we will surely be overcome by the growing darkness that is everywhere around us today.

When Moses was at the burning bush with God, the Father told him to remove his sandals, for the ground on which he was standing was "holy ground."  Wherever we stand with Him, that ground is holy, and the ground of God is always the high ground. Will we stand there with Him?  
Or, will we settle for the lowlands, and the fear, discouragement, and defeat that come with them? His upward call is upon us.  How do we answer?

Pastor O
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   May 2019   
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