Peter extends God’s invitation to us to come up higher.
Come up Higher
I was sat in a meeting, head bowed, eyes closed, in prayerful thought when I had the sense of looking down on myself from a raised elevation. The thought then came as an invitation to “Come up higher” and look at things from God’s perspective rather than my limited horizontal view!
Jill and I were invited to a wedding in Exeter Cathedral. We sat in seats near the front but were shortly approached by an usher to verify that we were family. We were then invited to sit in some reserved seats. A few minutes later a second usher enquired if Jill was the bride’s cousin. To her “Yes” he then invited us to seats reserved for us even ‘higher’ up (in the choir stalls!)!
I was reminded of Luke 14.10-11. ‘… the one who invited you will say to you “Friend, move up higher….”’
A Repeated invitation
I have recently become conscious of the challenge to “Come up higher!”
In Matthew 17.1-8 we read of the occasion when Jesus went up the mountain and took with him Peter, James and John.
In Exodus 3.1-3 God gained the attention of Moses the shepherd, by the bush that was engulfed in flames but didn’t burn up!
In Exodus 33.18-23 we read of Moses’ conversation with God when he asked to see God’s awesome glory. “Look, stand near me on this rock….” …… and you will see……(21-23)
In 1Kings 19: 11-13 we read of God’s invitation to an emotionally battered Elijah: “Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” …., the LORD passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the LORD was not in the wind …. until … there was the sound of a gentle whisper.
A few points I hope will help us understand how we come up higher!
1. Come into God’s presence
God’s invitation is always to enter a greater level of intimacy with him. It’s less about DOING and more about BEING. True intimacy is more about ‘being’ together than ‘doing’ together. Spending “quality” time in a person’s presence is so important: without agenda, routine, nor list of things to do or discuss but just being together!
2. Know when it is NOT God speaking
Who knew it was so important to distinguish between the awesome and the majestic, to hear beyond the noise for the tender, to ignore the dynamic, for the gentlest whisper?
I love the fact that Elijah was able to listen until he caught the slightest whisper of God’s voice. How many times am I staggered by some amazing testimony but ignore (or dismiss) the ‘voice of gentle stillness’ that speaks of God’s personal presence and tender encouragement?
3. Wait until God speaks
How often we give up too soon or like the disciples we fall asleep (Lk 22.45-46) when we should pray through to victory. There are times when we need to pray and continue to pray until you have a breakthrough and things are changed.
How precious are the times when you receive an inner ‘knowing’, an unshakeable peace deep within that says, ‘all is well’ (even though nothing yet changes externally).
Is God inviting us into a greater awareness of His presence and a closer relationship with Him?
The challenge is not to do more but to use the time you have more profitably – to sit in God’s presence as you consider His love and grace.
You may, like me, be surprised at how quickly you sense Him come near!
Be blessed and become a blessing!
Video: Lean Back
Thank you Peter