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Monday, February 27, 2017
Psalm 61:1-4 Thought/Prayer: “Higher Ground”. Topics: 2 at end.
“Hear My Cry; Listen to My Prayer
Hear my cry, O God; attend to my prayer.
From the end of the earth will I cry to you, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
For you have been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.
I will abide in your tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of your wings. Selah.” (AKJV) (Read this scripture and more at http://prayerpivot.com)
I’m pressing on the upward way,
New heights I’m gaining every day;
Still praying as I’m onward bound,
Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.
Lord, lift me up and let me stand,
By faith, on Heaven’s tableland,
A higher plane than I have found;
“Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.”
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.
I want to live above the world,
Though Satan’s darts at me are hurled;
For faith has caught the joyful sound,
The song of saints on higher ground.
I want to scale the utmost height
And catch a gleam of glory bright;
But still I’ll pray till heav’n I’ve found,
“Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.”
This old song (public domain) with lyrics by Johnson Oatman, Jr., 1898, and music by Charles H. Gabriel, 1902, still rings true today as an expression of a believer to be on “higher ground” in the Christian walk. But what does it mean, to have feet planted on higher ground? We see that the writer of these verses of Psalm 61 is considering the higher ground of God. He is asking to be taken to the rock that is higher than he is. That rock is Jesus.
Probably many things, to many different folks, in many different circumstances, in many different challenges and battles. But could we not agree that, in a short summary, that the writer of the lyrics is praying to God to be developed in his walk with God, to a place of service that is “higher” than that heretofore experienced? But what does “higher” mean here? Does it mean to be elevated in the eyes of others to sit on a perch in an ivory tower amid adulation and praise for earthly accomplishments? Of course not! We are to serve from a bowed position of humility.
Does it mean that we are to climb ladders of success in our Christian endeavors, working out way up as is often the case in the corporate work life? Do we plan which next step up would be good to try for? Nothing wrong with this in the patterns of success in work (as long, of course, as Christians do not knock someone off of the next step up, so that we can climb higher).
No, this is surely not what is meant by this writer. Maybe a key is found in the words that he is “Still praying as I’m onward bound.” Sounds as though it’s God’s direction he wants, and God’s help to a higher plane. That doesn’t sound like corporate earthly plans.
Mr. Oatman, Jr.’s, lyrics perhaps shine out the desire of all dedicated Christians, that we do not stay at the level of beginning faith, enlightened and active as that may be. It perhaps just asks God to help us grow and grow, and as we grow, to attain better levels of understanding of God and how He wants us to walk our Christian walks.
Yes, Lord, help us to desire the higher ground – not to climb up to You, but to serve You at a higher level of commitment, moment by moment, year by year. We ask this for our work for the human LIFE on Earth that You created. We ask that we may more and more fully be on higher ground to serve you better as we understand more and more the workings of You in our lives.
Topics: Pray for the willingness to week God’s will to serve Him higher and higher as we ask for His guidance.
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