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Higher Ground

Philemon 1:6 “I pray that the faith you share may make you understand every blessing we have in Christ.”

You have probably been told when the waters are rising, get yourself to higher ground. Maybe when looking for a house you've looked for one on higher ground instead of the valley. What about when playing games with friends with water balloons or water guns, maybe paintball or tag. Usually, you look for higher ground to win the game.

We know water goes to the valley so seeking higher ground gives us the advantage of a little more safety from the water reaching us. As for games against your friends, why seek the higher ground? This has probably been learned from our soldiers when in battle. There is an advantage of the higher ground. One being, you can see more around you, finding where your enemies are hiding. And I would assume going uphill versus downhill is a disadvantage. I find walking up an incline more strenuous and difficult.

I believe there is a greater lesson we can learn about higher ground that doesn't include safety or advantages. Mark 6:46 tells us Jesus went up on a hillside to pray. John 6:3 find Jesus on a hillside with his disciples. Moses met God in a burning Bush on the hillside. Jesus taught on the hillside, Matthew 5-7. we are a light to the world, a city on a hill, Matthew 5:14. our faith can move mountains. Micah 4:1 “In the last days the mountain on which the Lord’s Temple stands will become the most important of all mountains. It will be raised above the hills, and people from other nations will come streaming to it.” Psalm 121:1 “I look up to the hills, but where does my help come from?” Jesus ascended to heaven on a mountain, Matthew 17:1-5. Jesus commissioned us to make disciples on a mountain.

So, why hillsides and mountains? We can see multiple times in scripture where great things happened when God and Jesus were involved. Many also feel that when they are in the mountains, they are closer to God. Like I have said for myself, I spent years visiting the mountains in Colorado as a child and a few times as an adult. My husband and I have traveled the hills and mountains south of our home state. For me, the mountains are peaceful, it's a nice break from the everyday business of our daily lives and things around our home. The quietness of the mountains can be great for prayer, healing, revelation, and hearing the voice of God more closely as He commissions us. There is truth to the saying, we can receive a mountaintop experience where God can change our lives, before sending us back into the chaos of the world called life.

We are not meant to keep this to ourselves. We are instructed in Mark 16:15 “Jesus says, ‘Go everywhere in the world and tell the Good News to everyone.” What better way than to bring them to the mountains.

This next part was shared by our friend and it brings the whole mountain top experience into a new light. We need to take our friends to the mountains.

- Mount Moriah -there was a substitute for life.

Take others to the mountain where there is a substitute for them.

- Mount Sinai -where God gave the 10 commandments.

Take others to the mountain and teach them what the word of God says. How it is to be obedient to the Lord and the blessings that come.

- Mount Ararat -time of destruction and troubles.

Take others to the mountain for safety to avoid the destruction that's coming to this earth.

- Mount Carmel -choice of two opinions.

Take others and ask if God be God, then serve Him.

- Mount Calvary

Take others with us to Mount Calvary so they can be at the feet of Jesus, in the spirit of forgiveness and blessing can be poured out.

We don't need to go to the mountains alone. We need to be witnessing and taking others to the mountain with us. Because on higher ground is where we can meet Jesus and have the advantage over our enemies. When we plant our feet on higher ground (in Jesus) victories will be won and we will be safe from the rising waters of sin. Let's not forget to go to God in the valley too. Wherever we are let's just remember to seek Jesus, trust Jesus, and witness for Jesus. God meets us in our hearts whether on the hillside or in our daily life, wherever we are. He will carry us to higher ground when we invite Him into our lives.

I hope you were able to find some time to further your studies as we opened the book of 1 John. Today we will continue with lesson 2 and read 1 John 1:5–7; 2:3–6; 3:7–10

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