We have all heard the phrase, “taking the higher ground”. This phrase carries many different meanings and applies to many different contexts. Without being certain, I believe the origin of the phrase is one of battle. In battle the higher ground gives the occupants of such ground the advantage towards victory. This phrase is used in other areas of life where the advantage is being explained. Not to long ago a friend of mine who is also one of the people God has placed in my life to teach me some important lessons, used this phrase do describe where we were as Christians when engaging in the mission God has given us. We occupy “the higher ground”.
What is that advantage? Well, the advantage is not a what, but a Who. It is “He who is in you” that is “greater than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4) It breaks my heart to know that there were many missed opportunities to be the witness that the Lord calls me to be because of fear or a lack of confidence in myself to effectively bring the message of Jesus to a person or group of people who are in desperate need of a savior. My confidence is not in my own ability, but in His ability through me. When Jesus said that all things were possible with God, He meant ALL things! The book of Acts shows that there are no boundaries, no barriers, no limitations for the message that we carry. Was in not Christ, the One whom we follow, who said that He will build His church and nothing, not even the gates of Hell would be able to stop Him from doing so? That is where our confidence lies, that is the ground on which we must stand when engaging in the battle that we have been recruited and equipped to fight. Paul tells Timothy that the Spirit is not one that allows us to shy back and fear, but one who gives us power and boldness in order to accomplish the mission.
When considering the group of young people who God has, in spite of me, put under my care, a natural sense of fear and lack of confidence to lead and protect them sets in. However, when this fear sets in the Lord is faithful to remind me that I am starting from “the higher ground.” How can I fail, well I want to say that I can’t, but that just would not be true. I can fail, and will if I forget that I stand strong in Christ and that in Him there are no boundaries or limitations.
My fear is that we have, as a general whole, forgotten that we are equipped with the power of the Spirit in order to fulfill the mission to which God has called all of His Church.
My prayer is simple. I pray that the Lord remind me of this, as I approach the lives of young people with the gospel, as I speak the truth to those I work with and for, and as I enter into battle with the dark world I live in. I also pray that the Lord will remind you of the same, that if you are in Christ, you too occupy the high ground.