Why Are You Running by Larry W Peebles

Why Are You Running   by Larry W. Peebles   February 24, 2017   17.06

From the time I was a small boy, I loved to run.  My two favorite games involved running.  The kids in my neighborhood would play chase in the evenings until we had to come inside for dinner, homework, or bedtime.  We played over a large area of several city blocks.  The kids all gathered at an agreed “home base”.  Someone was selected to be “it”.  That person hid their eyes while everyone else ran off to hide.  The person who was “it” then had to run all through the neighborhood looking for the kids who were hiding, and when he spotted one, the race was on to beat them back to the “base”.  The loser of that race became “it”, and the game continued with all players looking for new hiding places.  It seemed like we ran non-stop for hours on end.

My second favorite game was something I could do alone, or with another friend.  We would just see how fast we could run.  This could be a two or three person race to a finish line, complete with all the usual arguing over whether or not we got a fair start, and who made it to the finish first.  The arguing almost always resulted in running the race again, which no one minded.  If I was alone, I would just run as fast as I could, then see if I could not run even faster–“hit another gear”, so to speak.  If I felt I had hit the additional speed, then I would attempt to run even faster.  This went on until the point of exhaustion.  After a rest, I would start over running through all the gears again at increasingly faster speeds.

I think I was born with this love to run.  My brothers are all taller than me; they got their height from Mom’s side of the family.  My Dad was shorter than Mom, but he had speed in high school football and track.  I think I inherited his speed.  I ran junior high and high school track and cross country.  Upon graduation I received a scholarship to run track at the community college level.  I continued to run for fitness and conditioning for most of my adult life because I liked it.  It became my time alone with God.  I could run and pray.  Early morning running became early morning prayer-time.  I cannot count the times I found strength, courage and solutions to the day’s problem in those early morning prayers while running.

The Bible compares the process of building and growing our faith to running a race.  I love the story of Elijah in 1 Kings 18.  By the word of God, Elijah had told King Ahab (who “had done more to provoke the Lord than any king before him”) there would be a drought in the land.  Three years later, after Elijah had called down fire from Heaven on Mt Carmel and killed the 450 false prophets of Baal, Elijah prophesied the rain would come to break the drought.  He told Ahab “Hitch up your chariot and go down [from Mt. Carmel] before the rain stops you.” [Insert mine.]  Then the Bible says in 1 Kings 18:46—“The power of the Lord came upon Elijah, and tucking his cloak into his belt, he ran ahead of Ahab all the way to Jezreel.”  God gave Elijah the speed and endurance to outrun a horse-drawn chariot.  God will give us the strength to complete the Christian race laid out before us.

The following scriptures present a clear comparison of our faith challenge and running.  I have grouped them into three categories.

  1. We run for perseverance. Hebrews 12:1 says—“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”  Training, conditioning, and then persevering through the race builds confidence we can succeed.  Hebrews 10:35-36 says—“So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.  You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised.”  In Romans 5: 2-5, Paul writes —“We rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.  Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”
  2. Run to finish. While I was blessed with speed, I definitely learned many more life lessons from training/running a long distance marathon.  The objective was to finish the run after having tested yourself physically and mentally in every way imaginable over the 26-mile course.  2 Timothy 4:7 says—“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”  Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 9: 25—“Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training.  They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.”  Finally, consider Philippians 2: 15-16—“…in a crooked and deprived generation, …you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life-in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing.”  We must finish what we start as we bring Jesus, the very word of life, to a deprived world.
  3. Run to win the prize. Check out these four scriptures that relate the Christian life to running.  First, from Philippians 3: 13-14—“One thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”  Paul also writes in 1 Corinthian 9: 24—“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize?  Run in such a way as to get the prize.”  Then, 2 Timothy 4: 8 says—“Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award me on that day-and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.”  Finally, from James 1: 12—“blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”

The Bible is very clear that the Christian faith-walk is not without its trials.  This is where we trust in, cling to, and rely upon God for everything needed in our lives.  It is similar to a sports competition where training to overcome fatigue, perseverance, stamina, dedication to the cause, and an eye on the finish or prize is necessary.  The goal must occupy the forefront of our heart and mind.  The resistance or opposition is overcome spiritually, physically, and mentally.

We are all running.  I am convinced there is no middle ground–we are either running toward/with God, or away from Him.  There is no standing still.  I heard a pastor say that when we mess up, we tend to run away from God.  He strongly encouraged when we mess up, that is the very time to run toward God–as fast as we can, and say “I messed up, please forgive me”.  God will forgive, take us back and help us.  It so important to get back in the race quickly when we take a wrong turn on the course, or need a break to take water or tend to an injury.  While He loves us unconditionally, our daddy God loves for us to make the effort to run and chase Him.  Unlike the game I played as a child, He allows us to catch Him.  This is why we run.

The Test Of Faith Kay Keith Peebles

Kay K. Peebles

I have often been amazed at the testimonies of people who walked in great faith.  My first introduction to faith in action came when I read Corrie ten Boom’s book “The Hiding Place”.  She was Dutch, and very blessed to grow up in a strong Christian family.  Her life was much like the story of Ann Frank.   Corrie’s family hid several Jewish people from the Nazis during World War II when they invaded her homeland.  Her mother had died a few years before they were discovered by the SS.  In 1944 Corrie age 52, her father age 82, and sister Betsie age 59 were arrested for protecting many Jewish people.  Once arrested, Corrie and her sister were separated from her father.  Corrie and Betsie were eventually sent to Vught concentration camp.  Corrie’s older sister died while living in the camp.  Corrie survived the horrors of a Nazi concentration prison, but she did not come out of that death camp bitter.  She was full of the love of God and still possessed a strong faith in Him.  She spent the rest of her life as a missionary traveling from country to country.  Many of the nations she visited were under strong communist control, but she would testify of Jesus’ love wherever she went.  Years after her rescue, Corrie was ministering at a church in Munich Germany.  A man came up to Corrie at the end of the service “as the church was emptying”.  Although he was much older since Corrie had last seen the man, she recognized his hardened and deeply lined face.  He was one of the SS guards at the Nazi processing center at Ravensbruck where she, her father and Betsie had been processed.  He was in charge of overseeing them and had stood over them mocking them as they had showered.  He had been in the service and heard her message of forgiveness.  He came up to shake her hand not knowing who she was, but Corrie recognized him. A rush of feelings swelled up inside her, pictures flooded her mind.  She walked slowly toward the man she had hated and extended her hand. Instead of the hatred she felt inside, God’s love and forgiveness met him and welcomed him into the family.  The greatest miracle of her faith in God was the fact that she remained faithful to God, and loved Him even more, having gone through so much pain and suffering!   Her book is her testimony of His great love for her and how He carried her through that horrific trial.

The teachings of Jesus challenge us to walk by faith.  Faith is the seed that produces miracles.   The book of Matthew quotes Jesus’ analogy of a grain of mustard seed to describe mountain moving faith.  The story begins soon after Jesus was transfigured on Mount Tabor.  Jesus and His disciples came off the mountain and approached a multitude of people that had gathered nearby.  Among the people assembled, there was a man with his young son.  The son was bound by a demon that threw him into the fire and into water.  He was terribly tormented by this overpowering demon who wanted to kill him.  The man explained he had asked Jesus’ disciples to pray for his son to be set free, but nothing happened.  Jesus’ rebuked his disciples and delivered the young man.  (See Matthew 17:14-20).  The disciples asked Jesus why they were unable to cast out the demon.  Jesus responded to their question, “because of the littleness of your faith [that is, your lack of firmly relying trust].  For truly I say to you, if you have faith [that is living] like a grain of mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, Move from here to yonder place, and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.”  Matthew 17:20.

Jesus was ministering to the Jewish people in Israel who were religious, but they were so out of touch with Jehovah God, they didn’t recognize their Messiah when Jesus spoke to them.  Wherever Jesus went, miracles abounded.  The Jewish leaders witnessed the miracles Jesus accomplished, and yet they still did not believe.  Jesus’ disciples had been with Him for almost three years at the time of this story.  He was preparing them for His death and resurrection which would soon take place.  Jesus would shortly be leaving to His disciples the preaching of the Gospel of the Kingdom.   Those who received the Holy Spirit and fire at Pentecost had witnessed His death and resurrection.  Even Thomas finally got victory over his doubts.

One only needs to go to a developing country on a mission trip to realize the world is still in need of healing and deliverance from demons.  There are many nations in the world that have inadequate hospitals, people living with unclean water, extreme poverty and improper diets.  I have also witnessed several victims of witchcraft.  Curses witchdoctors placed upon them caused some to fall unconscious into trances.  Other demonic manifestations such as sickness or fear tormented their lives regularly.  Their only help and hope was Jesus.  I saw a man in Cuba writhing on the floor in an epileptic seizure rise up healed by the power of God.  I heard the people praying for him.  They knew the same Jesus in the Bible was there to help that man in his hour of need.  Their prayers of faith were placed in Jesus’ power and His name.  The encounter with God that man experienced changed his life.  He was instantly set free and he gave his heart to Jesus.  While in Kenya we saw a man who was like the man from Gerasenes.  He was out of his mind, he mumbled unintelligible words and his hair was filthy and matted from a lack of cleanliness.  He was delivered of demon possession and restored to a sound mind by the power of Jesus’ name.  (See Luke 8:27-36).  I could fill a book with testimonies of Jesus still healing and delivering people today, but the Bible is more than enough for us to believe!

What does it take to walk in faith that moves mountains?  I believe much of what we call faith is merely head knowledge.  Faith is not something we can conjure up, it is simply believing what Jesus said and did.  When we believe, we will act upon that belief and that is faith.  It only takes one powerful answer to our prayer for us to begin to see He means what He said.  Over time, when God answers our prayers more consistently, it propels our faith to another level.  One doesn’t necessarily have faith for everything.  More often, our faith grows in the area where we have personally received healing and breakthrough.  Our testimony then becomes anointed with faith so that others can receive from the Lord as we did.

Our faith is only as strong as our knowledge of Him.  With every new revelation of God, more faith is endowed to the seeker.  Faith is a gift from the Lord but it comes through hearing His word.  “So faith comes from hearing [what is told], and what is heard comes by the [preaching of the] message concerning Christ”.  Romans 10:17.  The Bible tells us that creation speaks to us the glory of God.  The Bible itself speaks to us and so does the Holy Spirit.  Preachers speak to us as do friends, leaders and acquaintances.  We can research our questions about God on the internet or in books, but it is our responsibility to know the Word of God so that we can discern His truth for ourselves.

True faith is deposited in the heart, which is the throne of our belief system.  We can hear a Bible truth and accept it in our intellect, but it does not become faith until it drops into our heart.  I have experienced personally and witnessed someone hear a word of truth and instantly the Holy Spirit quickened that word into faith!  More often, faith grows as we read the Bible, pray and seek the Lord on a regular basis.  I read the Bible daily and I will go through the entire Bible in less than a year.  I can’t even count how many times I have read through the Bible in the 37 years I have been a Christian, but the Lord is still illuminating  scriptures to me so that I understand as I never had before.  Faith begins to take off at that moment.  When a truth becomes faith in our heart, it has the anointing and power of God to manifest in our lives.  “Now faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality—faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses].”  Hebrews 11:1.

Wherever we have a weakness in our belief system, we can turn head knowledge into faith by concentrating our Bible study to target those areas.  Over time, when our faith is put into practice, we will begin to experience our faith in Him manifesting as we pray and believe.  The more we practice, the greater the results.  Faith internally was meant to translate outwardly through results!  Jesus freely gave away everything He had and so must we.  That which the Lord places in us is also meant to be shared with others.

Below are some principles of faith which have helped me over the years.

Facts (information including scripture) can be simply head knowledge.

Faith comes from knowledge/understanding in the heart when the Holy Spirit reveals truth to us.

Faith grows with our knowledge/understanding of the Lord and His ways.

Faith must have application through works to manifest:  through prayer, declarations, preaching or the laying on of hands ministry.

Faith will not be permanent unless it is fed regularly through study and applied practice.  It is like every other gift or ability, if it isn’t used, it will fade away.

Our passion to know God propels us to consistently seek the Lord, making our pursuit of Him our highest priority.  Years ago as a young mother, I struggled to protect my time with the Lord.  Many things were vying for my attention.  He made it very clear in a gracious way if I wanted to be a better wife, mother or friend I needed to spend time with Him daily.  Each area of my life became more loving and understanding as I changed through spending time in His presence.  The words the Lord spoke to me were a graceful warning of how easily we can become complacent if we do not consciously and daily seek the Lord.  It is through that discipline that my faith has grown.

Faith confronts doubt at the threshold of our heart by motivating us to seek and continue seeking Him with excitement and full expectation that we will find Him.  We will never fully know Him while on earth, but every revelation He gives us draws us closer to Him as we become more like Him.  Faith is a gift from God. When we ask for it, He will gladly give it and when He asks us to step out it faith, we will pass the test!

Dig A Well by Larry W. Peebles

Dig A Well   by   Larry W Peebles   February 10, 2017   17.04

There are many things we take for granted.  Clean water on demand at the hydrant is one of them.  Many people in this world do not have that necessity.  As a result, a very large percentage of the world’s diseases and infant deaths are related to the absence of clean water and sanitation.

I remember as a boy drinking water from my grandpa’s well on his farm.  My grandpa’s father (my great grandfather) legally migrated to the U.S. from Germany, bought that farm, and lived and raised a family on it.  He dug that well. My grandpa was born on that farm, lived his whole life there, and ultimately died there.  I remember drinking the water from the well–it was cool and clear, and tasted sweet.  I also remember the wooden bucket from the well, the hand pump, and the sound of my echo when I shouted down the well.  There was a wash stand and bowl on the back porch of the house where the well water was used to wash up after chores on the farm.  Grandma used the well water in cooking, and her washtub was filled from the well for washing clothes and bathing kids.  At one point, Grandpa dug a new well, wired an electric pump, and piped the water into the house.  He put a sink with running water in the kitchen, and built a bathroom in the house.  Grandma eventually bought a washing machine.  The water did not taste the same, but it was much more convenient to use.  Life on that farm would have been impossible without water.  In fact, all living things require water.  Humans can only live about three days without water.

The U.S. based ministry I traveled with to India had helped sponsor the digging of two wells by the local ministry we had gone to serve.  We were asked to attend the dedication of the two wells.  The first was a location next to a highway which ran through a small town.  The well was placed in proximity to where the highway crossed a river.  The river provided a source of water during the rainy season, but could also be dry other times of the year.  The well tapped into the deep water in the area.  Given its location, it could be easily found and accessed by all who passed by.  We were told there were 100 families who lived in the surrounding area outside the town who had no water supply at all.  Although they would have to walk some distance, they now had a water supply.  Many came to the well dedication, and we were showered with flower petals upon our arrival.  There were no restrictions on the water usage.  All religions, all sects, and all who were thirsty could use the well.  We only asked that all would join together to keep the well protected from those who might sabotage it.

The second well was located in the interior of a small village that had no water source except a distant river.  We arrived after dark to dedicate that well.  There was no light.  When we arrived and piled out of our vehicles in the dark, we saw candles being lit one by one.  The people of the village had lined the path to the well, and each lit a candle and passed the fire to the person next to them.  Great singing and shouting was accompanied by the beating of drums, and we walked the candle-lit path to the well.  As we walked, the crowd fell in behind until all were gathered at the well.  We were again showered by flowers.  This village also had about one hundred families who for the first time had a reliable source for clean water.  The whole experience was so humbling, as it was about appreciation for something we take for granted—clean water readily available.

Even as I write this article, ministry friends are digging a well in a small village near Emali in southeastern Kenya.  After months of planning and fund raising, days of waiting for the arrival of the drilling rig, and hours of drilling, they hit an underground river that gushed water.  They sent pictures of the dancing and rejoicing, with everyone laughing and getting wet.  The most telling picture might be that of two girls from the village who will now be able to go to school instead of hauling water long distance every day for their families.  Their lives, and those of the whole village, will be changed forever once they encountered their own source of life-giving water.

This is not an all-inclusive discussion, but here are four things water does:

  1. Water quenches thirst. Thirst is a protective body response originating in the brain that signals cells (and eventually organs) are starting to cry out for moisture to replenish the water lost in the functioning of the body.  Thirst is a signal that something vital is missing.  Without water for three to seven days, the organs of the body will begin to shut down, resulting in death.  Jesus, by whom and for whom all things were created (Colossians 1:16) describes Himself as “living water” in John 4:10, and says in John 4:13-14—“Everyone who drinks this water [mere well water] will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst.  Indeed the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” [Emphasis mine.]
  2. Water refreshes. Water refreshes the cells of the body, as described above, but it also refreshes by applying to the skin.  Warm water opens the pores of the skin, cold water closes the pores.  Warm water might cause the muscles of the body to relax and bring sleep if that is the type of refreshing needed; cold water might force the body to come awake to generate needed heat, and that feeling of general alertness can be refreshing.  Isaiah 44:3 says—“For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessings on your descendants.”  Jeremiah 31:25 says—“I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.”  Finally, Revelation 22:17 says—“The Spirit and the bride say ‘Come’, and let him who hears say ‘Come”.  Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.”  The refreshing that the living water Jesus brings is free.
  3. Water cleanses. Water is the number one cleansing agent in the world.  Think of how many things can be cleaned using only water.  It literally washes away dirt and contaminants.  Soaps and detergents used in conjunction with water might do a better job, clean faster, or leave a fragrant smell.  However, when soap is not available, water alone will often do the job.  Ezekiel 36: 25, 26 says—“I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities, and from your idols.  I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”  Paul writes in Ephesians 5: 25-27–“Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.”
  4. Water provides power. Water seeks its own level.  Specifically, it responds to the pull of gravity downhill to seek sea level.  Water also carries weight, so depending on the volume, the movement toward sea level can generate considerable force or power.  It has the power to save according to Acts 22:16—“And now why do you wait?  Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on His name.”  It has the power to protect God’s children, or destroy His enemies.  After God parted the Red Sea so His children could cross to escape the pursuing Egyptians, He instructed Moses to stretch out his hand so the Sea would flow back over the Egyptian chariots and horsemen.  “Not one of them survived.”  (Exodus 14: 21-28).  Moses was quite familiar with the power of water to save, as he had been floated to safety as a child, protected from Pharaoh’s edict to kill the Hebrew male children.  The same water that destroyed all mankind in Noah’s generation also saved Noah and his family, allowing the righteous to replenish the earth.  Peter writes of the water that saved Noah in 1 Peter 3: 20, 21, and compares it to the water of baptism by saying “this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also-not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God.  It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ…”

Jesus encourages us to provide water for the thirsty to drink, along with food, clothing and shelter to those who do not have it.  But the supernatural living water He provides is as essential to our eternal life as the natural water we drink daily to sustain our life on this earth.  Just as we can supply natural water for the thirsty to drink, Jesus also encourages us to believe that once we have received His living water, we can be a source of it, a provider, to those who need that spiritual and eternal benefit.  John 7:38 says—“He that believes in me, as the scriptures have said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.”  How does one become that source of living water, that well unto salvation?  One must receive it by faith, and look for it, just as one would look before digging a well.  Before my great grandfather dug that well, and before my missionary friends dug in India and Kenya, they sought wisdom and advice on where to dig.  So it is with living water.  Jeremiah 29:13 says—“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all of your heart.”  I encourage you to seek the Lord and become a well of living water.  It is both life- changing and life- saving.

“Come Up Higher” Kay Keith Peebles

 

Kay K. Peebles

My youngest grandson is 5 years old.  He is active and alert and wants to be a part of everything.  His two siblings are 15 and 12 and he loves getting involved in all the action when it is age appropriate.

We often plan a fun event like going to the zoo.  The crowds tower over our 5-year-old grandson blocking his view.  His dad will pick him up when he is unable to see and set him on his shoulders.  He is then able to have a bird’s eye view of the activities.  At this higher vantage point, he towers above everyone else and he can clearly see what’s going on.

It is much like standing on the tallest peak in a mountain range.  One can easily see the valleys and mountains for miles.  Looking from a mountaintop allows us to see details which are not visible from any other perspective.

God gave the Apostle John a vision or “Revelation” of the future while he was exiled on the Isle of Patmos, after the death and resurrection of Jesus.  Revelation 4:1-2 records, “After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven, And the first voice which I had heard addressing me like [the calling of] a war trumpet said, ‘Come up here, and I will show you what must take place in the future.’  At once I came under the [Holy] Spirit’s power, and behold a throne stood in heaven with One seated on the throne!”  (See also Ezekiel 1:26).

John had the eyesight and insight to see what was going on around him.  He had seen Jesus’ ministry up close and personal for the three years He ministered on earth.  He also witnessed the crucifixion of Jesus standing with His mother Mary at the foot of the cross.  He had witnessed the birth of the Church.  He also saw the transformation of Saul of Tarsus who persecuted and killed the new believers.  Through Jesus’ intervention, he became the beloved Apostle Paul who wrote the majority of the New Testament.  Exiled for his faith, John was unable to see or hear from others what had been happening since he was re-located to a deserted island.  God wanted John to see far beyond his generation and the Holy Spirit of God beckoned him to come up higher.  He was invited to see everything from God’s vantagepoint.  He saw God’s throne in the highest heaven “with One seated on the throne” like Ezekiel had seen centuries before.

Earth is a warzone between good and evil.  Viewing the battlefield on the earth’s level obscures our ability to be perfectly objective.  It clouds our capability to clearly discern how the battle is going and sometimes hides information that would be pertinent to our day to day activities.  We can become so embroiled in the battle that we forget the Lord has called us to come up higher to get His perspective and His battle plan.

It is the earthly realm where Satan afflicts mankind, working diligently to defeat the people of God through discouragement, sickness, doubt and fear.  He is a predator who stalks his enemy and when he has weakened him through oppression, he charges his victim to make the kill.  Fear is our greatest enemy.  Fear that is entertained in the mind minimizes God and magnifies the power of the enemy.  Fear keeps us fighting our foe on his ground, the earthly realm instead of using the weapons God has given us for victory.  God has given us weapons which come from the heavenly realm:  the throne of all power and might upon which the Lord God is seated.  We waste our time fighting with emotions, past memories of failures and condemning thoughts which weaken our resolve.  Fear is a door that gives more ability to the enemy than to God.  Fear is also a sign that we are in battle.  The enemy speaks his fearful prognosis for our lives but it is not God’s plan for us!  Fear is the feeling attached to the enemies’ words.  We must not accept His plan for our lives pulling down his words and replacing them with God’s.

When we begin to magnify God, placing him in the Highest Place where He rules and reigns, the enemy begins to shrink before our eyes.  Perceiving God’s throne in the highest parts of heaven above all principalities and powers builds our faith in Him.  Ephesians 1:18-21 “By having the eyes of your heart flooded with light, so that you can know and understand the hope to which He has called you, and how rich is His glorious inheritance in the saints (His set-apart ones).  And [so that you can know and understand] what is the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His power in and for us who believe, as demonstrated in the working of His mighty strength, Which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His [own] right hand in the heavenly [places], Far above all rule and authority and power and dominion and every name that is named [above every title that can be conferred], not only in this age and in this world, but also in the age and the world which are to come.”

Knowing God is for us, our faith rises and we can see the battle from a strategic and advantageous position.  Romans 8:31 promises us, “What then shall we say to [all] this?  If God is for us, who [can be] against us?  [Who can be our foe, if God is on our side?  Psalm 118:6 David declares, “The Lord is on my side; I will not fear.  What can man do to me?”

God has given us weapons which will render victory to the saints (God’s people) when used correctly.  Our weapons are His blood, His word, faith, prayer and declarations of His word/will, etc.  One of our most powerful yet overlooked weapon is His invitation to be seated with Him in heavenly places next to Jesus.  Through His Throne of Grace we are invited to come boldly to God.  Hebrews 4:16 “Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favor to us sinners) that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it].

Our Daddy God has invited us to “Come Up Higher” to gain His perspective over our battles.  We are not weak when we place our trust in Him.  We are strong when we reject the lies and plans of the enemy for our lives and proclaim the Word of God and declare God’s will for His children.  By placing God Higher, seated upon His throne above all that can possibly come against us, our faith increases and when we pray according to His will in His name, it is done!

We are defeated when we pay attention to the devil and look only at our abilities.  We become victors when we see God on the Highest Throne where He rules in absolute power and might, trusting Him for our victory.  There is no need to fight our battles at the earthly realm where we cannot win.  God is calling us to “Come Up Higher”!  There, as if we are perched upon His shoulders, we can see the battle clearly and use His spiritual weapons which He has given us.  Seated with Christ in the place of authority we then become more than conquerors through Christ Jesus.