Higher Ground

Have you ever had a song to snuggle up and breathe new life into your flagging spirit? No? Well, maybe it just happens to me. 🙂

When a song enters my heart and mind there’s no getting away from it until I read it, sing it, and study it. Past experience has taught me that somewhere in the lyrics is the inspiration for my next steps.

For the past three months, I’ve had a head full of songs. The one I want to share with you today is an oldie but goodie. Written by Johnson Oatman Jr. in 1898 “Higher Ground” has been a favorite for many generations.

Higher Ground

I'm pressing on the upward way, 
New heights I'm gaining ev'ry day;  
Still praying as I onward bound,  
"Lord, plant my feet on higher ground."
Refrain- 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.

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:13-14 KJV).

2-My heart has no desire to stay 
Where doubts arise and fears dismay 
Though some may dwell where these abound 
My prayer, my aim is higher ground.

From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I (Psalm 61:2).

3-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.

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us (Hebrews 12:1 KJV).

4-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."

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God (Colossians 3:1 KJV).

One of my favorite people in the Bible is Caleb. After fighting for forty years, he stood before Joshua, a man of eighty, and asked for his mountain (Joshua 14:10-13). Judges 1:20 tells us that he took that mountain.

Take heart, fellow sojourner. We are created for higher ground. His plan and purpose make it possible for us to scale the “utmost heights” of this life. Many have gone on before us with the Lord’s help. And he will lead us to higher ground if only we have the heart and courage to follow.

Photos courtesy of Pixabay

Great Things

The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad (Psalm 126:3).

After two months of changes, I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. I’m so thankful for the peace of autumn mornings.

This past weekend I prayed for strength. You know what? The Lord answered my prayer. He filled me with His joy. I can see the colors of autumn as they are meant to be seen. With a heart full of thanksgiving.

To celebrate all the good things (Not circumstances.) the Lord has done for us, I made a loaf of banana bread and a batch of apple butter.

How are you celebrating the goodness of God in your life? What do you see when looking at the seasonal changes? Take time to relax, let go, and celebrate. The Lord has done great things. Just look around you!

Recall to Mind

And I said, My strength and my hope

Is perished from the LORD:

Remembering mine affliction and my misery,

The wormwood and the gall.

My soul hath them still in remembrance,

And is humbled in me.

This I recall to my mind,

Therefore have I hope.

It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed,

Because his compassions fail not.

They are new every morning:

Great is thy faithfulness.

The LORD is my portion, saith my soul:

Therefore will I hope in him.

Jeremiah 3:18-24

Still in remembrance

We have no trouble remembering hard times. A memorial of the incident leaps to mind when something terrible happens, bringing back all the emotions we experienced at that time. This is like… I remember when…

Jeremiah remembered his hard times.

But then, something happens. He writes, “This I recall to my mind.”

Recall to Mind

The word recall is a synonym for remembering. Now, I’m no expert, but these two words work differently in my thinking, especially in the spiritual context.

To recall is an intentional act. We mentally run through our files, pulling out the needed memory to bolster our failing hope.

Jeremiah intentionally focused on God and his mercies. His compassions. His faithfulness.

We can’t erase the hard times or the memories that come with them. But we can intentionally recall God’s unfailing love and His faithfulness to us.

On the other hand, the antonym for recall is forget. How easily we forget God’s faithfulness and His blessings during stormy seasons. The writer of Hebrews encourages us not to forget, but to recall!

Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering: (for he is faithful that promised;) Hebrews 10:23

Great Is Thy Faithfulness

Most people know the first verse and the chorus to the following song. I want to share the last two verses with you. And if you have the time, the video is well worth the listen. CeCe Winans is one of my all-time favorite gospel singers.

2. Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,

Sun, moon, and stars in their courses above,

Join with all nature in manifold witness

To thy great faithfulness, mercy, and love.

3. Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,

Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide,

Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,

Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

Thomas O. Chisholm

Public Domain

Photo by Free-Photos on Pixabay