“I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil 3:14).
This verse from Philippians has been my life Scripture, the passion of my life. This is what the Higher Christian Life is all about. Jonathan Oatman’s classic 19th century song “Higher Ground” was the theme song of the Higher Life Movement, expressing this desire yearning for the heavenly life, the throne life.
I’m pressing on the upward way
New heights I’m gaining every day
Still praying as I onward bound
“Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.”
So often we press on to new heights, only to have setbacks or failures. The Higher Life does not mean that we never have lows, that we are always successful. What it means is that in spite of the troubles of life, we keep our eyes, not on ourselves or our problems or on those who have hurt us, but fixed forward and upward upon the goal of Jesus Himself. We are onward bound regardless of what tries to stop us or blow us over. We are still praying, still depending upon Jesus, still pursuing higher ground.
My heart has no desire to stay
Where doubts arise and fears dismay
Tho’ some may dwell where these abound
My prayer, my aim is higher ground.
Our attitude determines our altitude. We determine not to dwell in the “lowlands of bondage,” as Spurgeon puts it. No mediocrity, no pity parties, no complacency, no plateaus, no little thinking. We are always aiming for something more, something higher.
I dream of the day when the entire church of Jesus Christ would catch the vision of the highest Christian life. It would transform and unite the church. When everyone dies to self and exalts Jesus, denominational divisions and theological debates fade away as everyone looks to the throne and lives Throne Life. It is a message the whole church needs. For this purpose I have written this blog. This is my heart, to bring to maturity and fullness in Christ every believer and every church. Let us pray with all our heart:
I want to scale the utmost height
And catch a gleam of glory bright
But still I’ll pray till heaven I’ve found
“Lord, lead me on to higher ground.”
Lord, lift me up and let me stand
By faith on heaven’s table land
A higher plane than I have found
Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.