Thursday, September 7, 2006

Steps to Higher Ground

by Donna L. Watkins

Do you condemn yourself when you do something wrong? God does not, why should you? We are much too hard on ourselves and I believe that's a learned behavior. Many people growing up did not receive any positive encouragement and from that, in our immaturity, we began to believe that we were bad.

Romans 8: 31-33 says, "What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all - how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen?"

We can be our own worst enemy. With the thoughts that some of us play through our minds all day long, who needs enemies?! Have you considered it sin to think badly of yourself. You are a child of God and He created you in goodness. Somewhere along life's path you found Christ and accepted Him as your Savior. You are now born again. You are a child of God and it doesn't matter what was or wasn't said when you were a child.

You can come to grips with your past - all of its failures, losses - but then you must grip the larger fact of God's power, His understanding, and His forgiveness. That power is available to you and so is His protection.

Who can bring a charge against you? Nobody in God's eyes. People may try and your mind may agree, but you have a choice on what you want to believe. Like the song goes, "Who's report will you believe? I will believe the report of the Lord!"

Changing your belief is the basis for changing who you are and it changes others around you. If you are busy trying to change your family, or husband or children, stop now and focus on yourself. Like people who want to do a home improvement project. They want examples and to see the "how-to" of it all. People around you may want to change as much as you want them to, but they need to see an example and then get the "how to" of it all from you.
Smith Wigglesworth says, "Every trial is to bring you to a greater position in God. The trial that tries your faith will take you on to the place where you will know that the faith of God will be forthcoming in the next test...... If you are sure of your ground, if you are counting on the presence of the living Christ within, you can laugh when you see things getting worse. God wants you to be settled and grounded in Christ and to become steadfast and unmoveable in Him."

I admit I have rarely looked at a trial as a step to higher ground in Christ. And there have been few times when I've had the faith to laugh at troubles. Looking back, I saw circumstances as iron doors blocking my chosen path or desire. My stubborn, headstrong will to run my own life prevents me from getting to higher ground very quickly. I tend to wallow in the flood for a bit hoping that a knight in shining armor will whisk me away to fulfillment of my desired goal with a retreat at the castle. Usually this is what I expect of God. The Knight granting my every wish.

Can you imagine what kind of life a child would have if he were given his every wish and desire? We do not know what we ask and certainly don't know the consequences of our choices until it's too late to choose differently, so let's thank God, our Heavenly and perfect Father who is willing to do the choosing for us. But more than mentally thanking Him, let's begin to shout THANK YOU when all around us crumbles. When I have caught a glimpse of doing that, all of life is magical. It's all about what we choose to believe.

If God is for us .... then anything that comes into our lives He will use for good and it will take us to higher and higher ground.

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