Everything seemed so small from such a high vantage point. We were transported by a lift to a mountaintop 1,800 feet above sea level at the SkyLift in Gatlinburg. And at such a great height, even the tallest towers in town appeared smaller than a child’s plastic building blocks. The lights that blazed below seemed to flicker like a match from high above. Everything that was mighty and remarkable became puny and small simply because of a change in perspective.
Likewise, the frivolous cares of this world may seem enormous when we are earthly-minded. Making headway in this world, achieving ambitious goals, and fattening our bank account all seem like towering buildings worth beautifying when our head is stuck below the clouds. However, the Lord calls us to scale higher ground. We need to become heavenly-minded, and stand atop Scripture’s mountain of truth in order to see earthly things as they truly are: puny. As Paul commanded, “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth” (Col. 3:1-2).
The value of man’s verdicts and opinions shrinks when you climb the mountain of biblical truth on the subject of judgment, for you will realize that the only judgment that counts is God’s: “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God” (Rom. 14:12). The merit of “living life to the fullest” shrivels when you ascend the hill of the Bible’s teaching on eternity, because it teaches that soul-preparation is what ultimately matters. As Jesus said, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?” (Matt. 16:26). The profit of amassing wealth and possessions wanes when you journey to the summit of the Bible’s warnings about temporal things, because it says, “For we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world” (1 Tim. 6:7). Even your greatest tribulations will deflate when you reach the pinnacle of the Scripture’s promises about heavenly rest, one of which says, “For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison” (2 Cor. 4:17).
How would climbing “higher ground” affect your perspective of earthly things?
“I’m pressing on the upward way,
New heights I’m gaining ev’ry day;
Still praying as I’m onward bound,
“Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.”
My heart has no desire to stay
Where doubts arise and fears dismay;
Though some may dwell where these abound,
My prayer, my aim, is higher ground.
Lord, lift me up, and let me stand
By faith, on heaven’s tableland;
A higher plane than I have found,Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.” —Johnson Oatman Jr. (1856-1922), “Higher Ground.”
Bible Gleanings is a widely-read weekend devotional column, written for the Murray Ledger & Times in Calloway County, Kentucky.
Brandon is the founder and main contributor to Brandon’s Desk, the blog with biblical resources from his ministry. He is proud to be the pastor of the family of believers at Locust Grove Baptist Church in Murray, Kentucky. He and his wife Dakota live there with their three dogs, Susie (Jack Russell), Aries (English Shepherd), and Dot (Bluetick Beagle).
For more devotional entries like this, check out Brandon’s latest book, Bible Gleanings Volume II, which features 100 daily devotionals gleaned from God’s word: