Thursday, November 24, 2016

Life on a Higher Plain - Martin Wiles

I pray that you will begin to understand the incredible greatness of his power for us who believe in him. Ephesians 1:19 NLT

Almost without exception, it happened every time we backpacked.

From my late thirties to early forties, my brother, daughter, and I observed a regular routine of backpacking. Several times a year, we would trudge the mountains of the Carolinas, Georgia, and Tennessee. We planned our trips meticulously and looked forward to each one. With one exception—the uphills. 

Camping spots were almost always in a valley which meant an uphill climb was the first thing we faced the next morning. But the strenuous climbs were always worth it. Reaching the tops provided us with vistas never before witnessed. 

Though Paul wasn’t describing a hiking trek or a higher plain, he could have been. Obviously, many of the first-century believers didn’t understand the power they had in Christ. They were dwelling in the valley of satisfaction when there was a higher plain to reach. Understanding the power they had in Christ would propel them to these high peaks. 

Living on a higher plain of understanding allows me to use the power God gives to witness. Sharing my faith can be a frightening thing. I never know how people will react, and I sometimes don’t know the right words to say. Some may just walk away while others might berate or physically attack me. Though I may fumble my words and risk harm to my person, God’s power to witness will enable me to overcome both possibilities. 

Life on a higher plain entails trusting God’s power for life’s trials. No temptation will be greater than His power to help me endure and overcome, nor will any terrible situation be so unbearable that He can’t walk me through it. 

On the higher plain, God also gives me the capacity to touch others in His name. Loving them as I do myself is the second greatest command according to Jesus. God will provide the opportunities and resources if I merely ask.

When living on a higher plain, I’ll experience God’s ability to help me endure to the end. Jesus said the one who does so will be saved. Life can throw some terrible curves that might tempt me to give up, but the Spirit’s power in me is greater than anything the enemy can lob my way. 

Are you living in the valley…or on the higher plain? 

Prayer: Father, help us realize the power You give that enables us to live on the higher plain.

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