Tag Archive | Christian walk

The Higher Life

Set Affections Above

Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

Colossians 3:2

Our Lord, Jesus Christ, calls the Christian to live a “higher” life.  This higher life is not some mystical experience, but a seeking of the things of Christ.  Our Lord always calls us to this higher place – away from earthly things, away from fleshly desires, away from our own way – to His way.

Isaiah 55:8-9 teaches us that our thoughts and our ways are not His thoughts and His ways.  He declares that as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are His ways and thoughts higher than ours.  Even in our feeble attempts to do good or to follow His law, we find that His ways are so much higher.  That higher place to which we are called cannot be produced by human effort.  Listen to the words of Jesus:  For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:20).

Take time to read Matthew 5:21-48 and you will see this truth demonstrated.  As Jesus teaches, He addresses more than the external.  He addresses the heart.  As we read through this passage, we get a glimpse of the higher life – with a mind set on things above.

Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:  But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment:  and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire (Matthew 5:21-22). The external act is that of murder.  The higher life focuses on the anger that is in the heart that produced the deed.

Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:  But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart (Matthew 5:27-28).  The external act is that of adultery.  The higher life focuses on the lust in the heart that produced that deed.

Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.  But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you (Matthew 5:43-44).  The human way is to love those who are “loveable.”  The higher life focuses on loving the “unlovable.” A full reading of chapters 5, 6, and 7 of Matthew will continue to reveal the higher life.

You can also see these truths addressed by the Apostle Paul as he calls believers to put off the old man, which is corrupt according to deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind … that ye put on the new man which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness (Ephesians 4:22-24).

In actuality, that is what the higher life is about – righteousness and true holiness.

Take time to read Ephesians 4:25-32. The higher life is about more than not lying – it is about speaking the truth with your neighbor.  It is about more than not stealing – it is about giving to him that is in need.  It is about more than not speaking corrupt words – it is about speaking words that help and minister grace.  It is about more than our angry, bitter feelings – it is about kindness, tenderheartedness, and forgiveness.

The higher life is about the Lord Himself.  It is about His ways, His thoughts, and His righteousness.

Perhaps you are wondering, “How can I live in that way?  Where do I even begin?”  First, it is important to realize that the higher life is truly about heavenly things.  Jesus said:  … For without Me you can do nothing (John 15:5).  It is an impossibility to live a spiritual life without Him!

Secondly, we must be renewed in the spirit of our minds.  By nature, we have our own thoughts.  We were born with them; we awaken each day to our own thoughts; our thoughts are influenced by others and by the world.  Have you come to realize what your “self” sounds like?  It is, therefore, necessary for our minds and thoughts to be renewed, and there is only one place where we can find God’s thoughts – in the Word of God.  For that reason, it is imperative that we read and study the Word of God, for it is there alone where our minds will be renewed.

Next, God has given the wonderful privilege of prayer.  The Christian can actually come before the throne of God and lay all of her cares and concerns at His feet.  And, as we are still and quiet before Him, He will bring Scripture to our minds.  Then, as we walk in His Word, we walk in His ways.

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.   Colossians 3:1 

Also, we must not forget the precious Holy Spirit.  He teaches, leads, guides, and brings to remembrance God’s Word as we need it.  Learn to be sensitive to Him!

And, of course, God has given the church – the body of Christ – to edify, build up, and encourage us all.

Indeed, God calls us to a higher life – to a life of righteousness and true holiness.  We cannot get there apart from Him, but by Him we are able to die to ourselves and live unto Him.

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above,

where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God

Colossians 3:1 


Lord, help us to desire You and Your ways above ourselves and our ways.  Help us to seek, from the heart, the things that are pleasing to You.  Help us to be wives and mothers that reflect Your ways and bring glory to Your name.   Truly, help us to set our affection on things above and not on things of the earth.

Some of the Better Things

imageI was wondering what we consider to be the better things in life? For most, the list would contain material things – lots of money and lots of things that money can buy!

Prompted by a Scripture that came to mind, I took a brief stroll through the Proverbs.  Here is what I found:

For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it. Proverbs 8:11

Better is little with the fear of The Lord than great treasure and trouble therewith.  Proverbs 15:16

Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith. Proverbs 15:17

Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right.  Proverbs 16:8

How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!  Proverbs 16:16

Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.  Proverbs 16:19

He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.  Proverbs 16:32

Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than a house full of sacrifices with strife.  Proverbs 17:1

It is better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house.  Proverbs 21:9

It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.  Proverbs 21:19

So, what are the better things?

A life with God … walking in wisdom and understanding … living in righteousness and integrity … having love and humility … in a home with peace and harmony.

Yes, Lord, I am persuaded that these are the better things.

What Is a Meek and Quiet Spirit?

image … whose adorning … let it be the hidden man of the heart

even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit,

which is in the sight of God of great price.

1 Peter 3:3-4


We hear much of the Christian woman having a meek and quiet spirit.  Many loudly object.  Others rigidly attempt to conform.  But what is a meek and quiet spirit?  Do we really understand the meaning of that phrase?  Or – have we taken someone else’s meaning, or – have we even invented a meaning of our own?

Let’s look at those words in the Scripture to understand, first of all, what a meek and quiet spirit is, and then, how that kind of a heart will affect the whole of our lives.

Meekness is not a word that just describes what a woman is to be.  The word, in actuality, describes what every Christian should be.

  • Moses was described as a very meek man, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth (Numbers 12:3).
  • Jesus said of Himself:  I am meek and lowly in heart (Matthew 11:29).
  • In His teachings, Jesus Himself declared: Blessed are the meek:  for they shall inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5).
  • The wise man who is endued with knowledge is described as a man whose behavior demonstrates the meekness of wisdom (James 3:13).

We can readily see, then, that meekness is a quality that should be possessed by all Christians.

What, then, does this word meekness include?  Meekness is referred to in 1 Peter 3:4 as being in the hidden man of the heart.  It is an inward quality – something hidden – hidden deep within the Christian heart.

The heart of meekness knows of a certainty that God’s dealings with us are good.  The Scripture declares:  If God be for us, who can be against us (Romans 8:31)?  Therefore, meekness does not resist, meekness does not fret, meekness does not worry, and meekness does not dispute.  It is a heart that is settled upon both the goodness and the power of God, upon both the love and the might of God.  It simply trusts God to do as He wills, according to His good pleasure.  This quality of meekness should be evident in all of God’s people.

Quietness will, of a necessity, accompany meekness.  Because meekness dwells in the hidden man of the heart, quietness will result in that life.

Does this mean that the meek person will never speak?  Although meekness will certainly affect the way that one speaks and the extent to which one speaks, the primary meaning of this word does not deal so much with speaking as with the demeanor of one’s life.  With a heart that is settled and resting in God’s goodness and His control of every situation, a calm assurance will be exhibited in any and all situations.  To grasp an understanding of the word quietness, we will again return to the Scriptures.  (Note: The word that is underlined in each reference is the same word translated as quietness.)

  • We are instructed to pray for leaders and those in authority so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty (1 Timothy 2:2).
  • We are commanded and exhorted by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work and eat their own bread (2 Thessalonians 3:12).
  • Again, we are exhorted to study to be quiet (1 Thessalonians 4:11).  This verse has the meaning of:  Make it your aim to exhibit this calm, undisturbed demeanor.
  • Listen to the same word used in Acts 21:14:  And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, “The will of the Lord be done.”  One can hear the heart resting in God’s will.
  • Again, listen to this same word used, though translated in a different way: And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment (Luke 23:56).

The word quietness seems to carry with it a meaning of:  undisturbed, peaceful, calm rest.  Think back to the word meekness.  Can you see how easily these two words go together?

As we join the meaning of these two words, we find a meek and quiet spirit to be that inward heart attitude that is assured of God’s love and control and rests peacefully in Him, no matter the circumstances.

As we look back to 1 Peter 3:1-6, we find the context of this passage to be for the woman who has a husband that does not obey the Word.  What is to be her heart attitude?  Should we see a fretting heart, a resisting heart, or a complaining spirit?  According to the truth of the Word of God, no.

On the contrary, we should see a woman who, by her pure and chaste behavior, adorns the doctrine of Christ so that her Lord may be seen in her life.  From that meekness and quietness that is within, comes a calm outward demeanor, fully trusting in her God.

Did you notice that 1 Peter 3 began with the word likewise?  That word is saying that just like what has been previously described, she should exhibit the same attitude.

Look back into 1 Peter 2:18-20.  Wouldn’t a servant with a harsh master also have to possess a meek and quiet spirit to respond in a godly manner?

Then read on – in verses 21-24, we see the wonderful example of that meek and quiet spirit demonstrated by Christ Himself as He entrusted Himself to Him who judges righteously.

And for our final thought – Do not think that meekness and quietness will only be exhibited in the husband and wife relationship.  In all circumstances of life, and in every situation that arises, the Christian woman should find her heart resting in the goodness and the power of God.

From this meek heart will flow an undisturbed peace and calm that will be exhibited in her life.

Truly a meek and quiet spirit is an adornment that is precious in the sight of God!

It is evidence of simple faith, trusting in the Faithful One.

The above post was first printed in Dawning Light © 2002.

About My Father’s Business

imageDid you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?

Luke 2:49

 In Luke 2:41-52, Scripture reveals an account of Jesus’ life here on earth when, at the age of twelve, he stayed behind in Jerusalem at the time of the feast of the Passover.  When His parents discovered that He was not among those traveling with them, they returned, fervently searching for their missing son.  Days later, they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, hearing them and asking them questions.  All were amazed at the understanding and answers of this twelve-year-old boy.  Upon finding Him, His mother questioned Him as to why He had stayed behind and caused them such concern.  In His reply came this piercing question: Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?  It seemed that there should have been an expectation that this was what His life would be about.

What is it that your life is about? Are you a Christian?  Is your life about bringing glory to the Father?  Do you have that heart desire that says:  I must be about my Father’s business?

For your life to be about the Father’s business, there are several things which will necessarily be so.  First, you must be about His business, and not your own.  In many places in the Scriptures, Jesus said:  … The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father do:  for what things soever He doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise (John 5:19), and I can of mine own self do nothing:  as I hear, I judge:  and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me (John 5:30).  Listen again to Jesus:  For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent Me, He gave Me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak (John 12:49).  Jesus was not about Himself; He was not about doing His own will.  He was not about lifting Himself up, nor about bringing glory to Himself.  He spoke what the Father spoke.  He did what the Father commanded.  He was about His Father’s business.

Secondly, to be about the Father’s business, you must not allow the expectations of others to dictate to you.  In Mark 1:35-39 and in Luke 4:42-44, as well as in other Scriptures, we find the multitudes expecting certain actions of Jesus – because He had taught them, preached to them, healed them, fed them, etc.  However, we always find Him move, not according to their expectations, but according to His Father.  It is interesting to note that in many of these instances He had come directly from that place of solitude and prayer.  No matter how they begged Him to stay, He was about His Father’s business, and it was to other cities that He went to preach.  For us to be about the Father’s business, we must know that to which He has called us.  We must not be distracted by the expectations of others.  We must humbly walk forward, determined to be about the Father’s business.

Thirdly, to be about the Father’s business, we must rightly divide the Word of truth.  We must understand the Spirit of the law, rather than just the letter of the law.  How many times in Jesus’ life on earth did the Pharisees condemn Him because they said He was walking in opposition to the law!  But no, Jesus, who was without sin, understood the Spirit of the law and walked in full obedience to that law, even in the midst of accusations and condemnation.  Examples of this are many:  the plucking of the ears of corn on the Sabbath (Mark 2:23-28), eating with unwashed hands (Mark 7), the woman caught in the act of adultery (John 8), and so on and so on.  Jesus knew, understood, and taught that all of the law was summed up in loving the Lord God and loving your neighbor (Matthew 22:34-40, Galatians 5:14).

What, then, does it take to be about the Father’s business?  Certainly, first, one must be His child.  One must have been born of God, that spiritual birth that takes place at the time of salvation, when one becomes His child.  Next, we must grow in the grace and knowledge of Him.  We must learn to hear His voice and humbly follow.  Be sure – one cannot be about the Father’s business and about her own business at the same time.  It is not possible – for the Father’s business is so much higher than our own (Isaiah 55:8-9).  Also be sure, if we still seek to please men, we are not the servants of Christ (Galatians 1:9).

And do you know what amazing things result from being about the Father’s business?  It is in that place where our lives bring glory to Him.  We are, then, not about ourselves.  We are about those things which are pleasing to Him.  As we do those things that He directs, we reflect Him and not ourselves.  As we say those things which He speaks, we reflect Him and not ourselves.  Interestingly enough, there is a wonderful blessing that we receive when we are in that place of the Father’s business.  It is there, and only there, where we experience peace and joy.  When we find these elements missing from our lives, in all likelihood, it is because we are not about the Father’s business.

One further thought of contemplation for the Christian woman: Do you know why God created the woman (Genesis 2:18)?  If you are married, being about the Father’s business will reflect His purpose in creating you.  Being about the Father’s business will be directly connected to your husband.  Being about the Father’s business will not be about yourself – it will be about the life that the Father has chosen for you.

May we come to that place in our lives that when we are questioned about why we are doing what we are doing, we may humbly, but confidently, reply – did you not know that I have a Heavenly Father? I must be about His business!