Oh my legs ache, and I’m so tired. Can’t quit, can’t quit, not now–keep going. The air is thin, I can hardly breathe, but with each step I’m getting higher; closer to the summit. Won’t quit, won’t turn back, going forward–I’ll make it with the help of the Lord. I wonder if these were some of the thoughts when Johnson Oatman, Jr. wrote his great song, “Higher Ground”?
“I’m pressing on the upward way,
New heights I’m gaining every day;
Still praying as I’m onward bound,
‘Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.'”
Sometimes this old world can weary us; work on the mind and soul and get up down. There are troubles, fears and many are dismayed about the future of the country and the world. Then look upward to higher ground. No, this is not escapism. On the contrary this is reality. Our goal is always to move toward 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’ve often said I want to go up to the High Lonesome to get away from the evils and problems that are around me. That is escapism. But in reality we should want to live above the world, especially since we are not of it. It is not a particular place, but a particular state of mind produced by the Holy Spirit. When we have that Spirit taking us above the world in which we live, then we can handle whatever is thrown at us by the devil.
“I want to live above the world,
Tho’ Satan’s darts at me are hurled;
For faith has caught they joyful sound,
The song of saints on higher ground.”
Peter, James, and John saw a glimpse of the glory from heaven. Because of that one, short glimpse they wanted to stay on the mountain. Most of us do not realize, unless you have tried, that climbing a mountain takes stamina and endurance. The higher the altitude, the harder the body must work. Put that in the spiritual world of climbing a mountain. We say we want a glimpse of heaven, but do we have the stamina to climb the mountain? Can we say as Oatman, “Lead me on…”?
“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.'”
“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.”