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Singing Psalm 61 you learn the hope behind taking it higher

Singing Psalm 61 you ponder what taking it higher means when it all depends on you

The concept of taking it higher can be loaded with pressure, angst, and depression over the very real prospect of failure when you are where the buck stops. If it all depends on you and you fail, there is no hope. You mark yourself a failure. You paste on a confidence front just to go on. But it is torture inside.

You might shut down when you are misunderstood rather than work to clarify or eat when you’re sad rather than cry out for comfort.

Self-preoccupation and anxiety will threaten to choke out your heart when taking it higher depends on you in the midst of trials, pain, and loss.

Disappointment, discouragement, and the slow drip draining of your vitality will describe your moments and days at even the thought of taking it higher when it depends on you.

When it all depends on you, insecurity prevails since, if you are honest when you look within, you can see that your life is fragile and tenuous. Rest and sleep evade you as you take on a load you were not created to carry.

When it comes to children or anyone you are caring for, you have a choice. Rely on yourself which means your mood dictates how you communicate, or rely on God asking specifically for him to help them each day. Depending on yourself, you might find that though you desire taking it higher, you alternate between being emotionally labile or emotionally stunted.

You might find that your emotions are either whipping you around mercilessly or stopping you up so that you are unable to feel with others appropriately. The constructive displeasure of mercy where sorrow restores a heart of love even in the face of torment can override anger’s hot impulse to lash out in words or in actions.

Emotions are a gift from God to use whenever it makes sense as tools in your hand that you control, not to be controlled by them.

Deciding what to think, feel, and do whether life is going as you wish or you are walking through the valley of the shadow of death is a matter of collaboration with Jesus.

How can you cry out to God genuinely unless you are aware of what you are thinking or feeling or have some understanding of the motives underneath what you do? This is not something you manufacture, but he gently dislodges your masks one-by-one and gives you sincerity as you seek his face.

Instead of going it on your own, you can attach yourself to the one who is higher than you, who knows what it means to live life to the full while at the same time being a man of sorrows. He relinquished his supreme power to become lower than the angels so that you could fathom a union with him and now has all authority in heaven and on earth that your hope would be secured.

Singing Psalm 61 you ponder what taking it higher means when it all depends on the one who is higher than you

“There is a lot you can do to make a difference after you have prayed. But there is really nothing you can do to make a difference until you have prayed.” ~ H.B. Charles Jr.

If it all depends, not on you, but on the one who cares for you, who is higher than you, and who never fails, then when you fail, you know that it is part of his higher purpose.

Maybe you learn something that you use to succeed later. Maybe you learn compassion for others when you feel the steely, cold knife of conviction pierce your conscience as you reflect on a time when you rejected another and had no pity.

Aware of the battle for your emotions, you cry out to him for help to manage each one, to feel each one richly, to see how it was given, tailor-made to you for his higher purpose, a purpose that you might not ever know.

You trust that he knows when your eyes are on him, the one who is higher than you. He brings about the victory at just the right time as you trust him in your ongoing battles.

“The minute you start seeing your obstacles as things that are made for you, to give you what you need, then life starts to get fun, right? You start surfing on top of your problems instead of living underneath them,” Ashton Kutcher said of his recent illness that affected his ability to walk, see, and hear.

What you know, remember, or experience takes on a lesser significance when you compare them to who you know, who you remember, and with whom you experience each moment.

Even waiting takes on new meaning as it is a huge component of the Lord’s higher purpose. What do you think and who do you think about as you wait at home, in line, or in traffic? Asking the one who is higher than you for help while you wait is a large part of taking it higher. When this practice is continual, moment-by-moment and day-by-day, the Lord transports you from drowning in your anger or anxiety to taking it higher in hope and endurance.

The Lord helps you plan for times to be present mentally and emotionally for others. He helps you think about the time needed to prepare meals, to get laundry done, or to do that dreaded task at work.

He gave you a conscience so you can know when you are putting things before people, or putting people before God. That little tug on your heart clues you in to lay before him all that you are thinking, feeling, and doing, so that he can help you put it all in order.

In fact, what if many of the things called disorders are actually your conscience reminding you to lay everything before the one who is higher than you? What if he made you that way so that you actually are in good order when you aren’t pursuing independence but rather are dependent on him?

Maybe the disorder is in thinking that you need to be independent and able to function on your own without the Lord’s help or without anyone’s help. What if your idea of taking it higher is exactly the opposite of what is true? What if what seems upside down is actually right side up? What if taking it higher is lowering yourself to become poor in spirit, coming to Jesus to shoulder your burden and give you rest?

Singing Psalm 61 helps you to consider these questions. Instead of hiding from the Lord, you can run to him and hide taking shelter under his wings from your anger or fear.

Jesus often asked people, “What do you want?” or “What do you want me to do for you?” If what you want is to see him, be close to him, especially if it is hidden from the view of others so that it is not a matter of position or prestige you are after, but only to be with him, he will not refuse you!

The times that you lose sight of the one who is higher than you will become fewer and farther between. You find that even when you fall, he’s the one who picks you back up, dusts you off, and leads you on the path where you should go.

Your vows in your committed covenant relationship to the triune God were paid at the cross. Your inheritance has been secured by Jesus. Your allegiance to him is unrivaled. You worship him together with those who also love him and revere him with undivided devotion. What building ever stood whose stones were disconnected?

“For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by[the Spirit.” ~ Ephesians 2:18-22

“As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” ~ 1 Peter 2:4-5

When you consider that he is taking it higher for each one of his people, moment-by-moment, each and every day, you stand in awe of his infinite care and ability.

You realize he is not just higher than you, he is so much higher than you that he is other than you. You fall down and worship him because of his majesty and you wonder at it all. You are taking it higher in amazement and wonder at him, the great, matchless, triune God who you can only begin to know and will be ever captivated by as you will be learning him for all eternity.

You look up and enjoy the clouds. Maybe you even imagine the type of cloud on which the Lord Jesus will be riding when he comes to take you home.

“Hear my cry, O God,

listen to my prayer;

from the end of the earth I call to you

when my heart is faint.

Lead me to the rock

that is higher than I,

for you have been my refuge,

a strong tower against the enemy.

“Let me dwell in your tent forever!

Let me take refuge under the shelter of your wings! Selah

For you, O God, have heard my vows;

you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.” ~ Psalm 61:1-5

August 9-12, 2022

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