Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Higher Life

As children of God, filled with His Spirit, we are called to live a different life.  One that is marked by taking God at His Word and trusting Him to take care of everything concerning us.  This is called the HIGHER LIFE, and you can recognise it immediately by the way someone responds to the challenges of life.  

In Matthew 11:28,29 Jesus says, "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.] Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease) for your souls."  When stress comes, and we know it always does, do we choose to come to the Lord and trust Him to take care of the issues that are burdening us?  If we have the attitude that it's our responsibility to battle through the problems in our own strength and wisdom, our pride will lead us to much toil and worry that simply isn't productive or healthy.  In fact, we limit God when we carry the weight of the care on our shoulders.

Jesus pointed out that it takes humility to lay our troubles on Him, because it's a matter of trust.  Do we really trust Him enough to honour His promises and take care of us, better than we can ourselves?  

Psalm 139:23,24 says, "Search me [thoroughly], O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there is any wicked or hurtful way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."   In the previous letter we explored the truth of surrendering our lives to the thorough inspection of the Holy Spirit, yielding to His healing touch.  This certainly requires a tremendous amount of trust doesn't it?  Now, let's go one step further, seeing where this trust leads to.  The Psalm above says that THE LORD Himself WILL LEAD US IN THE WAY EVERLASTING.  

In Luke 4:18, Jesus declares He is anointed to heal the broken hearted.  That word broken refers to something that is not in its correct or perfectly functional state.  So a heart that is troubled, stressed or in a state of dis-ease, is in fact broken and requires the attention of the Healer and Creator to put it back in a state of ease and peace, so that His life can flow unhindered in and through it.  Simply put, Jesus, through the work of the Holy Spirit will lead us in a process to de-stress our hearts, to keep a healthy flow of God's life coursing in and through us. If we trust Him enough to follow His lead.

As much as correcting our wrong thinking by renewing our minds to God's truth is our responsibility, the process is not to be done without the person of the Holy Spirit.  He leads us to the truth of His Word that corrects wrong thinking patterns, and produces peace and faith in the process . 

It usually in our self surrender, that the Holy Spirit helps us IDENTIFY those thoughts that are causing us to lose the correct focus.  He leads us to the truth that must REPLACE them.  That truth is always in line with His Word and in complete harmony with His nature.  As we REJECT any incorrect thought and replace it with God's truth, we immediately begin to feel His flow of peace and life.

Although the Spirit of God resides in us, in full measure, we control the measure of life-flow from Him into every area of our lives.  Being diligent to guard our thoughts, keeps that flow of life strong and healthy.  That's how we live the higher Life, and here's a glimpse of the kind of thought process that resembles it: 2 Timothy 2:8 teaches us to, "Constantly KEEP IN MIND Jesus Christ (the Messiah) [as] risen from the dead,...".  We live the higher life when we CONSTANTLY REMEMBER the VICTORIOUS Spirit of JESUS, Who has overcome the world, IS LIVING INSIDE OF US! 

Hebrews 12:2, says we must always be "LOOKING AWAY [FROM ALL THAT WILL DISTRACT ] TO JESUS, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]."  Do you see it?  Our faith is made perfect and extremely powerful when we stop paying attention to anxious thoughts and keep our focus on Jesus!  Verse 3 puts is perfectly!  It's says,  "JUST THINK OF HIM Who endured....so that you may not grow weary or exhausted, losing heart and relaxing and fainting in your minds." 

Keeping our thoughts on Jesus and His promises, causes us to live in the fullness of life He paid the price for us to enjoy!  But it doesn't happen automatically.  Consistently living in vital union with the Holy Spirit keeps us alert to any dangerous thoughts, and at the ready to combat and replace them before they hinder the flow of life from His Spirit inside us.  That's how we live the Higher Life.

Much love,


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