Higher Ground

March 7, 2016

Allen Michael Rea | Pastor
Dunn Memorial Baptist Church, Baxley, GA

Our entire life centers around the choices that we make. Choices are definitive turning points in our lives. There are blessings in obedience and cursings in disobedience (Deuteronomy 28). Choices are also divisive (Joshua 24). Our choices will cut us off from the former ways, and may even cut us off from our family and friends. Difficult circumstances can lead to poor choices. We are foolish if we do not daily seek God’s counsel, because a day will not pass when a choice will be made. One of my favorite poems has always been Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken”. As the writer finds a fork in the road, he realizes that he cannot take both and cannot stare at the choice forever. He must choose. He even doubts he will ever be there again to take the opposite road. The last stanza states: “I shall be telling this with a sigh somewhere ages and ages hence: two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” 

King David’s poetic skills far surpass Frost’s. David once met with a similar circumstance as Frost. David, however, was not so much concerned with the road less traveled as the road ordered by God Himself. In Psalm 61, David writes: “Hear my cry, O God; give heed to my prayer. From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I” (Psalm 61:1-2 NASB). David sought the higher ground. Why? David was crying. David was praying. David was lost. He was exhausted and depressed. He needed the True Foundation. David is confident that the Lord will provide the leadership, direction, and counsel needed to climb to the higher ground. How did David maintain this confidence? He reminded himself of God’s past goodness to him in verses three through five. God had been a refuge, tower, and a shelter to him. David had been gifted by God with “the inheritance of those who fear Your name” (Psalm 61:5 NASB). David understands that God alone can lead Him. David understands that God alone is his need. David understands the need for higher ground. David’s strength, understanding, and perspective are all earthly. He thirsts for a better view of God in a time of vagueness. David could continue to rely on his own strength and tumble farther down, but he knows he needs to go farther up.  As Peter called out to be commanded to walk on the water, so David beacons to God Almighty to guide him to the higher ground.

What about you? You cannot find your own way to the higher ground. Elihu warned Job that “therefore men fear Him; He does not regard any who are wise of heart” (Job 37:24). In a world of immorality and filth we need to maintain the higher ground. In a church culture that is entertained by the very sins that Christ died for, we must maintain the higher ground. You have a choice to make. Let David be your example! Cry! Pray! Admit your faintness of heart! Ask Him for direction. Christian: if you are not being led by the Holy Spirit then you have lost your sense of spiritual direction. Unbeliever: since you have not come to Christ by faith, who Himself is the Rock, then you are spiritually lost (1 Corinthians 10:4). As the hymn we often sing says: “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.” Would you make David’s prayer your own today? “Lead us, oh Lord Jesus, to the rock that is higher than we are! We shall not rest, though we feel faint, until we are fellowshipping with You on the higher ground.” Always remember, beloved, that the higher ground is the holy ground. The higher and holy ground is the place we Christians must always desire to be.