August 13, 2018

Time for a Raise!

“Friend, come up higher.” Luke 14:10 (Wuest NT)

“Friend, come up higher.” What a gracious invitation Jesus offers every Christ follower! Picture a wedding banquet where a guest may take a lesser seat, only to be noticed by the host and invited to move up to the head table as the guest of honor!

How often do we enter the presence of God, whether it be in solitude or at a church worship service, only to feel so unsure of ourselves and unworthy that we slip to the back of the room to remain unnoticed? For fear of being humiliated, we take the lesser seat, not wanting to presume on the kindness of God. But, then, the God we worship sees us hiding in the back and says, “What are you doing back there friend? Come up higher! I want you to sit with Me! I want you to enjoy My presence! I love you!”

Have you had that kind of experience? Instantly, you feel valued! You feel special to the one who recognizes you and appreciates you. The New Living Translation puts it like this, 

“Friend, move up to a better place.” 

What an awesome thing to know that God invites you to come up higher, to move up to a better place than where you are in life right now. You should never be satisfied with where you simply began your walk with Christ. The walk of faith assumes progression. It’s a walk. It’s dynamic, never static! Don’t just stand in one place, move up to a better place! Friend, come up higher! That’s both a gracious invitation and an awesome challenge! God has so much more for us than when we first began in our journey with Him! One of my favorite verses is in Romans 5:10.

“For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life!” (NIV)

I love the phrase much more! There is more, much more, to our experience with God than we could ever imagine! In fact, the closer Paul became to Christ, he said,

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9 (NLT)   

While that passage has been used so often at funerals to illustrate the wonders of Heaven, it was written for those who are living on Earth today that respond to the invitation of God to come up higher! It’s like God is offering you a raise!  He wants to raise you to victory over sin and self and Satan!  No longer a victim of circumstances, God raises you to be the victor, an overcomer in Christ!  To the Ephesians, Paul put it like this,

“Now glory be to God, who by His mighty power at work within us is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of—infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes.” Ephesians 3:20 (LB)

God offers you immeasurably more than you could even ask or dream! The choice is yours. You can remain where you are or come up higher! If you’re in a bad place now, hear the invitation of your Heavenly Father saying, “Friend, come up higher!” Move up to a better place! He’s waiting for you to come. Accept the raise and say thanks! Take the first step today in prayer saying,

Yes, LORD! I am coming! I desire all that You have for me! I want to be all that You made me to be and do all You’ve called me to do! I want to live each day in the fullness of Your Spirit and experience that quality of life that has no other explanation but Christ in me! Thank You, Blessed Father, for raising me up to be seated in the heavenlies with Jesus Christ!   

Yes, it is because we are a part of Christ Jesus that God raised us from death and seated us together with Him in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 2:6 (ETRV)

“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.” Colossians 3:1 (NIV)