VERSE: “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place…” Revelation 4:1
OSWALD: “If you live up to the highest and best that you know in the outer level of your life, God will continually say to you, ‘Friend, come up even higher’ …Both God and Satan use the strategy of elevation, but Satan uses it in temptation, and the effect is quite different. When the devil elevates you to a certain place, he causes you to fasten your idea of what your idea of what holiness is far beyond what flesh and blood could ever bear or achieve. Your life becomes a spiritual acrobatic performance high atop a steeple. You cling to it, trying to maintain your balance and daring not to move. But when God elevates you by His grace into heavenly places, you find a vast plateau where you can move about with ease.” – (March 27th)
MY THOUGHT: Do you ever fear messing up and missing God’s will? I know I do, though I must say, the longer I walk with the Lord, the less I’m tormented by such thoughts. However, there are still times when the enemy attacks with fear causing me to turn to spiritual contortionism rather than resting in God’s grace.
What do I mean by spiritual contortions? It’s that “high-steeple” balancing act that makes us believe that if we find the right spiritual formula we can assure God’s blessings. “If I’m just good enough, just holy enough,” we think, “then God will have to bless me.” So we spend our lives trying to find the sweet spot, the right combination of spiritual activities that will connect us to heaven and thus, to God.
Much like the contortions I go through in order to find cell phone reception at a friend’s cabin I often write at. Sitting high atop a mountain, cell coverage is limited and varies daily. You have to find the right location, but you also have to hold your body just right to maintain it. The most effective position requires leaning slightly to the left, elevating your right leg and holding your mouth just right as you talk.
Oswald likens the lengths we use to connect with God as the “acrobatic performance” required to “balance atop a high steeple.” And that’s exactly what the enemy of our soul wants us to do. For he knows that if we spend our time trying to perform for God, we’ll never discover the joy of resting in God. We’ll get stuck in one spot, fearful of failing, and thus failing to move at all.
“But when God elevates you by His grace into heavenly places,” Oswald reminds us, “you find a vast plateau where you can move about with ease.”
For it is “in him we live, and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). If we’ll place our hand in His, we will find God’s will. For Jesus will lead us where we need to go.
And we won’t have to do cartwheels and backflips in order to get there.