Joined: 20 Jul 2006
|Posted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 12:47 am Post subject: Moving To Higher Ground
|Moving To Higher Ground
What do you do when you know that you have earnestly and sincerely tried to help someone? When they have come to you to help them when nobody else would? When you have gone out on faith and taken a risk to support them. In turn you have been slandered, lied on, cheated, talked about and mistreated. It has been very disheartening to know what great lengths that others will go to and band together, just in order to discredit you. What do you do? You go to “Higher Ground,” and take it to the Lord. They will sink even lower to convince others of something that is simply not true. They will even dredge up false witnesses, really, all because you would not continue to succumb to their desires. Your good intentions have now been undermined and misconstrued. What do you do? You plant your feet on “Higher Ground” and again, you simply take it to the Lord! Jesus knows just how you feel. Despite everything they have done, did you know that you have really gained a lot? You know that the Lord knows better. Your faith and trust in Him has deepened and you are steadily moving towards “Higher Ground.”
To some degree you must just grin and bear it. You must hold on to the fact that if the truth would really be told you know that they would not know how to tell it. There is a saying that “The truth can go all around the world. But a lie just has to walk across the street.” There is something so seductive about lies that some people will believe anything but the truth. But really they have been deceived. I am sure you have heard the old adage, “give them and inch and they will take a mile.” There is so much spiritual warfare on the horizon. You must learn to guard your heart. Know the Lord’s Word for yourself so you will not be so easily swayed just by how things appear. There is much contentment knowing God knows the Truth! God’s Word is so exhilarating! Remember what it also says about itching ears? It says; “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine, Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry…….” Timothy 4:3-5. That time is now! Sometimes standing up for what is right means to simply sit down.
When I read the writings of Paul I can identify with many of the things that he encountered. Paul was even bitten by a snake. Yet, Paul managed to remain faithful despite the things that were going on about Him. He knew that they distorted his every move. Yet he continued to live for the Lord. He was not looking for them to support Him he knew that the Lord did. Paul was persecuted for preaching the Gospel. Paul’s methods were unorthodox yet he was quite creative, steadfast and unmovable abounding in his work for the Lord. He is an excellent example of what to do when there is much chaos about you. One must learn to keep your focus on the Lord. Learn to bridle your tongue in the process. James tells us that this will also bring about much discipline. Commence to steadily move towards”Higher Ground.”
We live in the 21st century where some of everything is going on. Yet, there is nothing new under the sun. Rest assured that the scriptures are being fulfilled. In this technological age you can literally go all over the world today without even leaving your seat. You can virtually communicate with both Christians and non Christians, from a multiplicity of colors, within the various denominations, all over the world. God is so awesome! He truly is Omnipresent! He has given us so many examples of who He is and what He is all about. “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it……..” God does not change! His principles remain the same. You can invite Jesus into your heart wherever you are! Do you know that you can only come to the Lord unless He draws you anyway? “Jesus is the way the Truth and the life.” He really does set you free! Free to live for Him! Just know that there will always be those who will throw rocks and hide their hands. But don’t worry you know who made the hands. Nothing gets by God.
As each day passes I realize that I have somewhat become disenchanted with a lot of the “stuff on the church scene.” I have also come across many who share my sentiments. There is no question whether they love the Lord! But simply have opted out, not to get involved in the man induced messiness. Although, I have submitted somewhat to its timely ordinances, traditional rudimentary disciplines and doctrines, I have gradually weaned away from its constraints that quench my spirit. I openly admit that I have over the years gradually learned to comfortably take somewhat of a back seat position within the arena. I can thankfully and vividly recall what it felt like actually standing with my husband and our group in the Coliseum in Rome Italy where they physically killed the Christians for sport. That memory is forever etched in my soul. (Here they simply try and murder you with their tongue.) Hallelujah anyhow! I have literally become some what of a contented bench warmer when it comes to the expected systematic functions from a birds eye view. But from a shore line perspective I have launched into deep waters, knowing that my deeply planted roots in His Word will sustain me. I know that I can praise Him anywhere at any time. I know that “the earth is His and the fullness thereof…..” It is so important to know the Word of God for yourself. On a personal level, I find my love for the Lord’s abiding presence in my life is ever increasing.
I have seen an innumerable amount of leadership styles change and fluctuate outrageously within the church. Robert Rules of Order often suspended right alongside with broken commitments and biblical principles. Discipline and morality are all too often tossed aside like a garden variety salad. Then dressed up with a salad dressing of pickled “unconditional love” garnished with hot sassy tempers. What do you do when you know that something has gone awry? Should you just go along with the majority to be accepted within the group? No, you seek the Lord’s direction. You know that His Church is not made by hands. We the people are His true Church! He will make a way. God’s Word really does have cleansing power. “All scripture is God breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so the man of God can be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” When applied it really works! To be accepted you must often do anything but stand up for what’s right. If you don’t conform, you risk being accused of being unfriendly and considered unloving. To put it simply you are downright labeled evil, and oh by the way, you just don’t like people. The Lord says that we should “not conform but be transformed by the renewing of our minds.” I love the Lord and all that His Church really stands for! I cannot count the times that I have been told by so many that I now just go and do my duty and leave……… I can literally stay in a good Spirit filled worship service all day and night. I am really thankful that I know a few places of worship where I can retreat to that God truly is worshipped “in Spirit and in Truth.” I Thank God for His bishops, ministers, minstrels, elders, teachers and pastors who really realize that He is worthy of the honor and preeminence.
I stay in the loop just enough to stay abreast of how things are progressing. I applaud those who continue to jockey for the inside positions. But with those who say they are my brothers and sisters I simply refuse to continue to fight. It never ceases to amaze me what they will fight over. Things such as what to wear and when. Should we dress formally or informally, depending on who or what we are celebrating? I thought it was all about who? Jesus of course! Well, John’s attire was made from camel’s hair. Do you know what a camel’s hair coat cost? How much does some of the designer jeans cost? Who gets to stand out front and lead sing? Who gets to preach and sit in the “high chairs” or sit on the front row? How much money does such and such a person have or give or don’t give? Whose uncle or father is in charge or whose mother teaches Sunday school? Where does the piano go? Whose family is in charge and on and on………………..What does it matter? If it matters so much that we look alike as far as our facial colors, and that we are from the same denomination? How does that all fit into God’s plan? The great commission includes everyone. Lord help us! The point I am trying to make is; I’m out of the ring but not out of His presence. Back sliding is not even an option! I have spent too much time within the walls. Let me out! You see it does not matter what you say; I know who I belong to! I encourage you to really get to know the Lord for yourself! This way you will not be tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine. I am moving towards “Higher Ground”
Jesus lived, died and arose so we could live differently. He freely gave us the precious eternal gift of salvation! We have been given the gift of having His Holy Spirit residing within us! It has been sealed with a promise! He has also promised to supply “all of our needs.” That means the needs of His Church as well. He will and can make a way out of no way. He is the ultimate Way Maker! The great commission described in Matthew simply says; “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20. I thank God for freeing us to go beyond the walls. It has allowed us to really step out on FAITH and launch out in the deep and cast my line beyond the shallow shore. God is so deep! I am thankful of my position in Christ as His child! Although it is quite liberating, to the unknowing surface onlookers it appears as though I have become aloof. “Man looks on the outside, God looks at the heart.” He not only looks but knows what is in your heart. It really does go beyond the walls. Jesus really is coming back for a Church not made by hands. The victory is in the praise! As a matter of fact; new heights I am gaining every day. I have found a higher place. My aim and my goal is; I am reaching towards “Higher Ground.”
About the Author:
DeBorrah K. Ogans is a licensed Pastoral Counselor and ordained minister. She is certified through the Sarasota Academy of Christian Counseling in Creation Therapy and holds a Master’s Degree in Biblical Clinical Counseling. DeBorrah is a Co-Founder along with her husband Randall of "Alpha 7 Ministries". DeBorrah has written extensively and her many columns are widely published. She is the author of a pre-marital guide “How Do I Love Thee: Things You Need To Know Before You Say I Do”, and has released her second book "Holy Matrimony: Now That You're Married".