HTBB: Principle #12 “Rise to the Higher Ground”

What will MULTIPLY your blessings!!

Today’s lesson is short but very powerful. In my notes, I had one principle that I was excited to share with you AND this may also be the most important principle that far surpasses any other principle in the area of gaining blessings in our lives.

Begin to PRAISE and WORSHIP in the MIDST of the FLAMES of affliction—when any attack hits from anyone and anywhere.

This ONE principle, if used, will prove to be one of the most powerful tools for victory over anyone and anything— and personally, I believe it is one of the greatest privileges that we, as believers of our blessed Savior have as our strongest advantage!

This ONE principle is also one of the most neglected principles being used. Instead, Believers respond in the very same way that non-believers do. And if anything, they may think that “holding in” their true negative feelings is enough. Yet, when what will actually unleash the power is simply to PRAISE and WORSHIP Him in the MIDST of the FLAMES of affliction!

We are all at war, whether you realize it or not. Then, sadly and foolishly, we tend to focus on the war itself. We instinctively begin to “wrestle with flesh and blood,” because we can see and hear the war raging. But there is a greater war that rages, and it is the one that God tells us really matters.

One of my greatest wars is against this sinful flesh of mine.

A few weeks ago I shared my heart’s desire to gain a greater intimacy with our precious Lord. Of course, when I cry out for more of Him, I completely forget that in fulfilling this cry of my heart it will mean that more of ME will need to go so that I can have more of HIM.

Burning flesh is a painful and a stinky experience. But this week as my flesh began to burn, I chose to focus on a picture of those who were truly martyred for the sake of Christ. Joyfully they burned while being chained to a stake. Some even kissed the stake that would hold them. Remarkably, each embraced the very thing that would hold them still while their flesh burned.

This vision and realization brought me to the understanding of why I struggle so while my “flesh” burns, and it is due to one thing—because I failed to “embrace” what He chose to hold me still. I instead loathe it and struggle to get free; such as praying for Him to remove it.

It reminds me of young children who won’t lie still or sit still while the doctor or nurse is trying to clean a wound or give them an injection. Am I any different if I struggle to get away from the Great Physician who is trying to heal me? Heal me deep in my soul?

Yet, the greatest martyrs were those who sang songs in the midst of the flames, giving glory to God. I am not satisfied with merely “sitting still” while the Lord does heart surgery, peeling away layers of hardness that need to go. I want and need to enter the flames singing. Why? Because I have a KNOWING that this is where I will have the opportunity to walk with Jesus—in the midst of the flames!

Remember the 3 youths who walked into the flames, willingly? It said there was a 4th, Jesus, and while they were walking with Him, they were “loosed” of what had them tied up, and later, came out not even smelling of smoke. And as a result, these youths changed the heart of the person who ordered them to be thrown in AND as a result, these youths were promoted in their world to have a greater impact on a nation. (Read Daniel 3:20-30)

For a few months now I’ve been reading and meditating on a verse, Isaiah 43:2, which tells me that He will be with me in the deep waters, in the raging river, in the midst of the flames (and that I would not be burned). So I didn’t run away, I didn’t scream, but alas, I also did not SING to the Lord.

Thankfully, God is not done with me. What He began, He will complete. There will be many opportunities to “sing in the flames,” and rather than panic, to instead enjoy the warmth, to embrace what holds me still, so that I may glorify my Savior singing praises to Him and to His name.

It took me a day to remember to sing —”better late than never” so the saying goes.

And this is just another reason I remain in awe of the “faithfulness of God” and His precious love towards me. Even though I rejoice in Him throughout every single day, mainly because He is always faithful to give us what we really want. He also goes beyond giving me what I want and He also gives me what I really need—which is often painful or doused in suffering, in the midst of darkness or under heavy clouds. And when it is darkness or pain is when I always seem to forget the yearning of my heart; all those times I have asked Him to help me to be closer and become more intimate in my relationship with the Love of my Life. So being forgetful of what I really want, I forget He’s simply fulfilling my heart’s desire, which means I fail to work with Him and easily miss the blessings that come from PRAISE and WORSHIPPING Him in the MIDST of the FLAMES of affliction—and what He is faithfully going to bring me through.

So, let us, together (this week and forever), remind each other to lift our voices up in song to our Savior, our Deliverer, our True Love. Joyfully, let us kiss the stake that holds us firm in our faith in order to complete the work of burning this wretched flesh of ours.

Less of us means more of Him.

More of Him in us means that not only are we more joyful and living a more abundant life that He died to give us, but we will be greater ambassadors for Him, in order to bring the lost, hurting, and hopeless to the Great and Mighty Physician.

Sing!

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