“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)
Over the years, Christians have used many hymns to enhance the study of Scripture. Consider one such hymn, “Higher Ground,” as an impetus to our own study. Its refrain encapsulates the desire of many Christians.
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.
Many Christians live on a “plateau,” enjoying the Christian life around them, but inwardly they yearn for something more, something deeper and more lasting. They long to make a difference in the lives of their friends, lost or unlost. They want to live in victory over sin. They want more fruitfulness from their witness. They desire a deeper walk with God and to live by faith, living in a way that pleases God.
No longer satisfied with the accustomed “plateau,” they pray for God to grant them a “tableland” or “higher ground.” But this high ground is not one from which simply to minister. It is to know God in His entirety. We desire the same as Paul: “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death” (Philippians 3:10).
This may be the most lasting message we can take from this song. We want to know God more fully and serve as more effective Christians. We are encouraged to plant our feet on higher ground and be eternally more abundant as Christians. JDM