Echoes From the Campfire

He liked people, but he felt there was nothing like being alone in the forest or among the mountains, for it is then you begin to know them.  The wilderness does not share its secrets with the noisy or the talkative; its secrets come to you with silence.”
              –Louis L’Amour  (Callaghen)

    “In His hand are the deep places of the earth; The heights of the hills are His also.”
              –Psalm 95:4 (NKJV)
I’ve had a song going through my mind since the middle of last week.  Since it won’t go away, I’ll share it with you and maybe you’ll have it ringing in your thoughts as well.  It’s a hymn that we would often sing in church when I was growing up, written by Johnson Oatman, Jr.

         “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;
          Tho’ some may dwell where these abound, My prayer, my aim, is higher ground.

          I want to live above the world, Tho’ Satan’s darts at me are hurled;
          For faith has taught the joyful sound, The song of saints on higher ground.

          I want to scale the utmost height, And catch a gleam of glory bright;
          But still I’ll pray till Heav’n I’ve found, ‘Lord, lead me on to higher ground.'”

No matter what people want, no matter how much they dream, the world is not going to get better.  No, that is not pessimism or fatalism, but reality.   “We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.” (1 John 5:19, NKJV)  First of all, get this–we are of God!  Those saved, those purchased by the precious blood of Jesus Christ are of God.  However, the rest of the world is under the sway of the devil.  Other versions use the term, “power” of the evil one.
    Why then be surprised at the turmoil in the world?  Why be shocked over the tremendous use of lies and hatred for we should know where they are coming from.  In 1 John, chapter 4, there is a powerful verse for believers, but immediately following is a description of those that are against Christ and His followers, “They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them.” (4:5, NKJV)  The world hears the words, the lies, of those in the world and believes them.  Why be shocked?  “Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you.” (1 John 3:13, NKJV)
    We live in the world, but we are not of the world.  Perhaps the Lord is releasing His hand upon the earth and allowing the devil to exercise more of his evil and wickedness.  Attacks may come, Satan may seem to bring war against those in the body of Christ, throwing his darts.  But as for me, I’m going to live in the joy of faith.  Others may have fears and live in dismay, but that’s not for me.

          “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!”  (exclamation is mine)