When it comes to the Higher Christian Life, what we are striving for is a deeper, more intimate relationship with the Lord. We want to grow closer to Him and experience Him in ways we never have before. We want to enter into uncharted fellowship and communion with Him. In essence, we want to “know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death” (Phil 3:10). Literally, as this verse states, we want to “have the mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:16), which means to know everything about Him, the good and bad, His resurrection and His sufferings and His death, and to experience them in fellowship with Him in ways we never have. We want all that comes with our life with Christ, and we are willing to sacrifice whatever is necessary to achieve true intimate fellowship with the Lord (Rom. 12:1-2).
The life I have just described, the abundant life Jesus promised (John 10:10), all begins with and is fed by faith. But it is the object and intensity of that faith that moves us from a life of apathy and lukewarmness to a point where we are able to experience all the joy and blessings that come with the Higher Christian Life.
But how is that accomplished? And how can we have the faith to say “no” to our flesh and the cares of our life in this fallen world, and “yes” to Him and His kingdom and all He promises to those who follow Him?
What holds many back from a life of total surrender, or reckless abandon, or complete salvation, or to “let go and let God,” is a fear God will somehow not honor our commitment, nor do His part, nor meet us in the middle, and will leave us hanging and disappointed, as orphans, because of some unholy or undesirable or unlikable or unforgivable trait or sin or flaw in us. We see ourselves through our own lens of failure and broken promises and then assume God does the same. And because we esteem ourselves so little in our own eyes (since we know what we are like on the inside), we assume God also does and rightly withholds His blessings because He doesn’t really like us that much.
So why would He keep His promise to someone as unworthy as me? I know I wouldn’t.
Why would He go out of His way to answer a prayer from someone as disappointing as I must be to Him? Why would He even care?
I know if I was God, I wouldn’t give a flip about me. So maybe He doesn’t either.
What we assume is humility and a right view of ourselves is really nothing more than an opportunity to impugn and discredit the name and character of our loving God by believing the worst about Him. We believe, rightly so, He is sovereign and loving and can do anything He wants at any time He wants. Yet, for some flaw in His character, He chooses not to bless us, or answer our prayers, or reveal Himself to us because He has favorites, those He loves more than others, and we are not included in that crowd.
So when we look at the promises of God, we inevitably believe they are meant for someone else, but not us. Others get to eat with Him at His table, as His children, but not us. We have to eat leftovers alone, in the kitchen, after everyone else has finished. We know that God can, but we just don’t think He will, for us. Maybe for others more worthy— but not for us.
But nothing could be further from the truth.
The way faith is grown is to put it to use and have it tested. If you look at Hebrews 11, every one of those listed did something with their faith. Their faith in God was not passive or sterile or academic. It was active and was tested and, therefore, grew. The same is true for each of us.
God has many times in His Word given us promises and said He is well able to fulfill His promises to us. But if we only believe God is able, and not willing, then we forfeit the blessings He wants to give us, and our faith in Him flounders. Plus, it makes God petty and vindictive and almost abusive in loving and favoring some of His children more than He does others. What kind of father does that? Again, nothing could be further from the truth. Ask yourself this, does this promise apply to you?
But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him” – 2 Corinthians 2:9.
Do you love Him? If so, this promise is for you. You cannot imagine, in the deepest recesses of your heart, the wondrous things God has prepared for you. Not just others, but for you. Once you firmly settle this in your mind you come to see that believing anything other than this makes God less of a father than you would want for your own children. So settle it today! God is not a liar. He keeps His promises, even to you!
Make it personal. God can and He is able to fulfill all His promises to me— regardless of how unworthy I am or what I think about myself. And not only is God able, but He is willing, joyfully willing, to do “exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power (Holy Spirit) that works in us” (Eph. 3:20). And do you know why? Because that’s what a good father does. And God is a good God and a wonderful Father.
So rest in this today, and next time we will begin to unpack the three truths that will help you experience the Higher Christian Life.
Until He Comes,