Come Up Higher – Bobby Conner – March 22, 2011

The devastating earthquakes and tsunami in Japan—leaving unparalleled death and destruction—have shaken and stunned the entire world.

Every nation is watching as temperatures of damaged nuclear reactors climb toward meltdown levels. The possibility of a disaster greater than Chernobyl looms large.

Who can deny that the world is experiencing disasters of epic, catastrophic proportions? Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides, record-setting blizzards and heat waves, droughts and floods, hailstorms and tornados wreak havoc on every continent.

On February 22, a 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck six miles from the beautiful city of Christchurch, New Zealand—with Scripture possibly being fulfilled before our eyes, that judgment begins in “Christ’s church,“ the House of God.

Floods in Queensland, Australia, beginning in December 2010, set record levels, impacting more than 200,000 people. Texas has also experienced devastating floods, as have other parts of the United States.

On the political front—in Iran, Libya, North Korea—demonic mad men hold seats of power.

Who can deny that the foundations of earth are being shaken? Scripture warns us of the times at hand, stating, “The hearts of men failing because of the events coming upon the earth” (Luke 21:26).

Where will we find peace and clear direction?

Fervent prayer is needed. In the midst of these planetary upheavals, we are invited to pray for wisdom, as James 1:5 encourages us to do:

“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all [men] liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”

In John 10:27, the Lord promises guidance to His sheep: “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”

If we have trouble hearing His voice, we can earnestly pray and petition God to remove anything andeverything hindering us from clearly hearing His voice. Having ears to hear the voice of the Lord is crucial, more crucial now than ever before. Claim the promise found in Matthew 13:16: “…blessed [are] your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.”

In following the Word of the Lord, we encounter Christ Jesus as our “Prince Of Peace.” He is the Author and Giver of Peace.

And once you hear Him, follow the Lamb wherever He leads (Revelation 14:4). The Word of God will be a lamp to your feet and a light to your path (Psalm 119:105, 130). The Christian life is not lived stumbling in the darkness but walking in the light (1 John 1:5–10).

Beloved, know that the world will increase in darkness, but for the true children of God, the light of the Lord will shine brighter and brighter (Isaiah 60:1–3).

We are living in unprecedented times: never before has there been such an opportunity for advancement in the revelation of the love, joy and peace of God. The Church truly stands at an open door and the Lord has extended His invitation for us to come up higher (Revelation 4:1–4).

Notice these verses in Isaiah 21:11–12:

“Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night?” The watchman said, “The morning comes, and also the night…”

Just as the prophet reported about the night and the light appearing at the same time, these days also will be days of great contrast: joy and sorrow, jubilation and depression, life and death, peace and anarchy.

Only—, only—as we place our very life, wholly and radically, in the care and keeping of our beloved Christ the King, yielding to Him moment by moment, will we experience increasing light during these days of world chaos.

Only as we guard our hearts from fear by the promises of God’s Word—perfect love casting out fear (I John 4:18) will we experience true stability.

Perfect love casts out fear. What does it mean to cast out? To cast out means to pour out, to let go of, not giving a second thought to its source. We can’t think any thoughts that are fear-based when we put on the mind of Christ—for His mind doesn’t contain one thought that is fearful.

Only as we keep our thoughts focused upon the Living Word will we experience lasting peace, as we are promised in Isaiah 26:3:

“Thou wilt keep [him] in perfect peace, [whose] mind [is] stayed [on thee]: because he trusts in thee. .”

The Importance of Praise

O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and give praise, even with my glory. Awake, lute and harp! I will awaken the dawn. I will praise You, O LORD, among the peoples, And I will sing praises to You, among the nations. For Your mercy is great above the heavens, And Your truth reaches to the clouds.

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens, And Your glory above all the earth; That Your beloved may be delivered, Save with your right hand, and hear me…

Give us help from trouble, For the help of man is useless. Through God we will do valiantly, For it is He who shall tread down our enemies. Psalm 108:1–6, 12–13

Here is the secret of peace and joy: as we praise the Lord and extol His holy name, immense, immediate help is released directly from the Kingdom of God within us.

The last statement of this Psalm is key as the foundations of earth are shaken: “Through God we will do valiantly, For it is He who shall tread down our enemies.”

The Importance of Being Spiritually Minded

How will these challenging times affect our lives? We have a choice in the matter:

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Sprit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spirituality minded is life and peace.

When we set our “mindset”—our mind, will and emotion—on the Word of God, we will experience “joy unspeakable and full of glory” (1 Peter 1:8) as He overcomes in and through us.

Our walk with Jesus Christ will make all the difference. Grace will be released to us if we turn to Christ with a desperate heart, full of His faith. And even when we doubt and fear, His grace is still efficacious, always sufficient.

If we choose unbelief, perhaps even rebellion, our deception will now be judged. The judgement of the Lord is His mercy, a corrective device of His grace, through which He shows us His “straight stick,” His Shepherd’s Rod, placed next to our crooked ways to help us return to love.

In Acts 5, we read how the Lord’s judgment came quickly to Ananias and Sapphira. What was their sin? Lying about their hearts’ devotion to the Lord. May it never be!

This type of deception will now also be judged. The Lord is seeking to draw us into the purity of His heart so we can become the dispensers of His deeds, desires and redeeming, unconditional love and mercy, in a world where the hearts of many have grown cold.

These are days when the battle for our minds will rage like never before. Our enemy will try to cause us to divert our eyes from the Lord and focus on the events occurring on earth rather than on His victory won at the Cross: He conquered sin, death and the grave at Calvary.

Now is the time to give earnest heed to Romans 8:5–6:

“For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.”

For to be carnally minded [is] death; but to be spiritually minded [is] life and peace.

Let these words sink deeply into your soul, for they will be life and peace to those who will hear and obey. Meditate on the precious promises of God as you drive, as you work, as you play with your children or talk to your spouse. Become a doer of the Word—casting ALL your care on Him—and not just a hearer (James 1:22).

How do we “do” the Word? The Scriptures instruct us to set our minds “on things above” (Colossians 3:2) and think on things that are pure and honest and good (Philippians 4:8). This is how we become a “doer” of the Word.

Truly, the most urgent battle is not for our 401k accounts or mortgages—but for our minds. Proverbs 23:7 informs us, “For as he [a person] thinks in his heart, so is he.” We must keep our minds focused and stayed on the Lord (Isaiah 26:3). What we set our minds on will determine how we live.

May the Spirit of God open the eyes of our understanding to give us wisdom and direction during these apocalyptic, dark days!

Let us return to God with all our heart, yielding to Him in every area of our life—because He is a very present help in the times of trouble. His love is real and His plans are for our good, not harm (Jeremiah 29:11).

Pray for the people in these devastated areas and seek to help them practically as the Lord leads.

God bless you and your loved ones!

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