There is a popular Christian hymn in which we sing in the chorus, “Lord, lift me up and let me stand by grace on heaven’s tableland; a higher plain than I have found, Lord, plant my feet on higher ground”. What is this higher ground? Isn’t it enough to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior? Yes, it is enough for your salvation but Christianity isn’t a one-time commitment; it is a life that begins with your rebirth and, as it is in the natural, grows into maturity. Advancing unto higher ground means exercising your faith and there are several ways by which we can press forward.
One way is to do more than what is expected or required. Jesus in Matthew 5 says his followers are to go the second mile. It sounds simple but how many people do you know who actually do that, without hesitation and asking no additional compensation? The extra mile is an opportunity to witness for Christ.
Similar to this is doing things that don’t earn oneself an immediate payoff. This can include a wide variety of actions from the simple, like Bible reading and memorization, to donating your skills to help someone less fortunate. Some would call this laying up treasures in heaven. If we would think about it, the Bible promises made by Jesus are mostly pledged to be fulfilled in future time, some of them after death. To give of oneself without thought of immediate remuneration is faith in action.
Another way to go after higher ground is to do things for Jesus that takes us out of our comfort zones. Try speaking in front of a group of people or leading a Bible study. Are you willing and are you trusting God to create a blessing for others through you?
God also cherishes humility. Don’t be afraid to ask someone for help if a task before you is too big to handle. It’s a wonderful feeling for others to help someone whom you know needs help, and to be assisted when you really need it. It is a blessing to both give and receive. And remember that living out one’s Christian faith is almost certainly going to clash with the attitudes and morals of the world. One of the lines in the afore-mentioned hymn begins with the words, “I want to live above the world”. Christian faith seems to grow and attain new heights best through challenges and trials.
There are doubtless other ways of obtaining higher ground in a believer’s life but, regardless of the method, we are to “press on toward the goal to win the prize”. (Phil 1:14) For the believer in this life there is always higher ground to ascend. Let us all be diligent about going up.