Paul wrote, “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!” And many of the things we try to comprehend and convey about the ways of God are shrouded in mystery. It will always be this way. After all, He is an eternal God with an infinite mind. How can we possibly know ALL of His ways.
It Was All So Clear To Me
But have you ever had something that was so clear to you that you had no question about its relevance to life, and the circumstances with which we contend, but how to explain it is where you struggled with words and examples? This is kind of where I found myself as I worked out the Higher Ground paradigm. It was abundantly clear to me but I wrestled with how to share it with others. In explaining it I feel it helpful to explain how this all came about.
I eventually became wholly dissatisfied with the second diagram that I shared in my last post. The incline diagram depicting a timeline from the point of believing in Jesus to the time that we go to be with Him. It seemed stagnant and sterile. Insufficient. Whereas our walk with Him is increasing but pliable and vibrant. I began to consider new ways of looking at things. I began to wonder if mapping things unseen was even actually possible. After all we are in a real and dynamic relationship with the God of the universe and perhaps a drawing on a page cannot do that kind of experience and relationship justice.
The drawing below is not enough. This is the drawing showing the incline from our last lesson.
Sure, seasons of growth and seasons of rest are present in every life but there is so much more. Too much perhaps to capture in this way. As I said, at one point I nearly threw out the whole idea of mapping a paradigm of the Christian life.
This drawing was much too simple, and others I had seen were much too complicated. I found some very good examples but none were exactly what I was looking for and how I saw God’s deeper work in us. Many of the maps or diagrams only showed things from mankind’s perspective.
There is Much More to The Spirit’s Working in Us
During this time, my beginning Red Letter journey brought me to understand more clearly the ways of the Spirit and I began to consider more the nature of God over against and compared to the nature of man. I began to consider the ways that God works to align our inner man to His heart and mind. I began to think more about how God reaches down to connect with us and continually guides our steps.
The ideas of ‘higher things’ and ‘lower or baser things’ plagued me. God’s higher ways and thoughts as compared to our temporal perspective and often base or carnal thinking. Recognizing that the ways we operate and think are almost always related to ‘self’ and self focused rather than others focused, I explored this. I cannot say exactly when I began to see God’s altogether altruistic ways over against our ego driven ways. I can say this however, it now is so strong and pronounced in my thinking that everything I see is filtered through that lens. God began to weave together for me some very powerful truths from His Word regarding His nature.
We Fellowship With God as we Walk in the Light
The Bible says that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. (1 John 1:5) Furthermore it says, “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”
I began to see the always altruistic ways of God as full of goodness, and grace, and light. And the antithetical ways of man of course as full of self-serving wickedness and darkness. This is why I diagrammed ‘altruism’ as a white box within the golden yellow strip at the top of this diagram. And why the boxes below ‘altruism’ get increasingly darker until you reach the basest and lowest attribute of ‘narcissism’. God said that if we walk in the light as He is in the light then we would have fellowship with Him. I want to walk in the light and be as always altruistic as is humanly possible.
Daniel wrote, “He (God) reveals the deep and secret things: He knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with Him.” (Daniel 2:22) Timothy, speaking of Jesus, said that He dwells in the light that no man can approach unto. (1 Timothy 6:16)
How Can We? We’re So Unlike Him
How do we walk in the light, and have fellowship with Jesus, if Jesus dwells in the light that no man can approach? It is through our walking as He walked, in kindness towards others as I suggested in the first lesson, “Does God care about me – Our care for others.” As I said, I want to be as always altruistic as humanly possible. And yet we cannot be at all altruistic apart from God. Why do I say that? Because we begin to heap glory, or praise, or pride upon ourselves. Even if we do not say anything to anyone about all the nice things we do we become ‘puffed up’ and proud about it. It is because we are bent in our nature in a wholly opposite way than God in His nature.
Think for a minute about the antithetical ways of God and man here for a minute.
I used altruism and narcissism in my diagram but I could have used light and darkness.
I could have used truth and lies. “Let God be true and every man a liar.” As it says in Romans 3:4.
I could have used life and death. Jesus is Life. (John 14:6) And yet Proverbs 16:25 says. “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” There are perhaps other terms I could have used but at every turn the Bible declares that our ways are not only NOT God’s way, but that our ways are completely opposite of His.
You get my point here and I do not feel the need to go any further at the moment. In the next lesson I hope to reconstruct our timeline keeping this in mind. Keeping the antithetical ways of God and man in mind. Keeping God’s desire to draw us into close fellowship with Himself in mind. And keeping the fact that we are all different and the circumstances of our lives differ greatly at times. I hope you’ll join us as we reconstruct the timelines.
If you’re just learning of the Higher Ground study series for the first time I hope you’ll take a peek at the earlier lessons. The drop down box at the Courses of Study menu selection will take you there.
As always I welcome your comments here. Actually your comments here will help me to know if I have to spend more time on one topic or another. Besides the fact that it motivates me to persevere with the task at hand. Will you leave a comment?
At the very least Private Message me and share your thoughts. Will you do that?
Thanks for sticking with me to the end of this lesson. I am trying to make them shorter so as to not tax your time, and because this sort of thing God builds into our thinking one principle at a time, so there is no need for me to go on and on and on. It is His job not mine to solidify these things. That is assuming that these things are aligned with His Word and way. I trust they are.
One last thing. If you haven’t signed up for the lesson updates, using the form at the top of the page, would you consider doing that now. I promise that I will not share or sell your email. And I promise to try my best not to inundate you with updates.
Until next time friend.
Kind regards always.