Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Set your Sights Higher

Fortunate as Altha and I are to live at the foot of the Santa Cruz Mountains, there is hill close by I can climb when I need a little perspective. My friend John Woodward recently wrote a post entitled, “A Higher View,” in which he poses the question, “Why is it so fascinating to get a higher perspective? Could it be that we get accustomed to the ordinary appearance of our surroundings and lose sight of the larger scene?”

One of the reasons I was put off by the movie (remember, I didn’t read the book) “Heaven is for Real” is that it presented Heaven as a “place”—more than what it is: a higher realm. The closer I get to my last days on earth, the more I take comfort in higher thoughts. (I am just sorry it took so long to get me to this point!) While we are yet living in this lower realm, it is “natural” to get caught up in it (or is it ‘caught down’?). What better person than Paul—who was once caught up to the third heaven—to exhort us, “Set your sight on things above” (Col. 3:2, Jubilee Bible). To do otherwise is to be terribly short-sighted (2 Peter 1:9).


  1. I was reading this morning the devotional for today, May 14th, from "Edges of His Ways" by Amy Carmichael. Since mountain climbling has been the theme of your postings lately, I thought this could be another thought that complements it. It reads as follows:
    "John 14:27: Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you.
    It has come to me afresh that peace and suffering are closely linked together in the New Testament. The Words quoted lead on to Gethsemane and Calvary,
    A letter, which begins with persecution and tribulation, and prays that those who read it might be counted worthy of the Kingdom of God for which they suffer, ends with "Now the Lord of peace Himself give you peace at all times in all ways." 2 Thessalonians 3:16
    We do not know what the Thessalonians had to endure; we only know that it was a thousand times more than anything we have ever experienced, for the New Testament words always contain the most, not the least, possible meaning, so a great scholar has said. Beside this immense trials what are ours? They may seem large to us for the moment, and perhaps no one knows of them. That does not matter, for He Who loves best of all knows all about that, and He says, "My peace I give unto you". His peace is not the easy, natural peace of the level road. It is the peace of the steep and difficult mountain climb.

    Make us Thy mountaineers;...
    That undefeated we may climb the hill
    As seeing Him Who is invisible."

  2. This is the 'word' the Lord gave me today. "My peace I give unto you." John 14:27 and in Malachi 2:5, "I give you a covenant of life and peace."

  3. Greg,

    Perhaps a solution to the issue about heaven is that it is not only a place but a realm. Jesus did not promise to prepare for us a realm, but a place. Yet the Kingdom of God/Heaven is not so much a place but a realm. God lives in both. Our heavenly home is not a realm but a place; yet we can only look forward to our eternal home by identifying ourselves with the King in His realm now while we are here in our temporary home. We prepare our entire life for the life hereafter. Heaven the place is only Heaven because of Who dwells there. Heaven the realm is only Heaven because He rules there.