Is it possible that our level of joy is a measuring stick for our faith in God? The more I see into the spiritual world, the more I trust the One who controls all things, and the more I trust the One who controls all things, the less I fret and worry about earthly things, and the less I fret and worry about earthly things, the more joy I have!
For those of us who like visuals, my theory looks something like this:
Spiritual sight = knowledge of God = faith in God = trust in God = less worry = more joy!
What we see of God could be the single most important factor in all of life. Our spiritual eye health should be of utmost concern to us. Without a healthy vision of God, we are stuck in the muck and mire of earthiness—yet with it, we can soar to levels high above our worldly existence. Unfortunately, if we never learn to soar, we will continue to dwell far below what Christ made available for believers.
Listen to how the Apostle Paul described what God has given to us: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.”1 Did you get that—blessed in the heavenly realms?
Look at another statement by Paul that describes where believers are: “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in heavenly realms in Christ Jesus….”2 Did you get that—seated in the heavenly realms?
What could this mean? Please understand that God is not teasing us here. It means we can live above the world—above our earthly circumstances. It means we are no longer held in a decaying flesh by sin’s dread sway. Our flesh must submit to our higher order of life.
What are we thinking? Why is it that we submit to our flesh and give it such allegiance when we don’t have to? Why do we allow depression to darken our days; anxiety to hijack our faith; worry to weigh us down with burdens we’re not meant to carry; or fear to stop us dead in our tracks? Why do we bow down to this fleshly nature as if we are frail, helpless creatures? We are not!
It could be time to start thinking out of the box or out of this world. We need only take our rightful position in the heavenly realms beside our Conquering King. And when the enemy of our soul says, “What do you think you’re doing UP there with Jesus?” look down into this earthly pool of accusation, doubt and discouragement, and reply, “I’m up here in the heavenly realms where God put me.”
That should make our joy barometer rise!
It has been said that many Christians live beneath their privileges. But why? I believe we live beneath our privileges, which includes a lack of joy, because we do not truly know our God. We do not know experientially where He has seated us, mostly because do we understand heavenly realms.
So where are you and I? Do we see and understand heavenly things from where we are now? Or is it time for us to reach for a higher spiritual plane where we can see more, understand more, believe more, trust more, and worry less? Is it time for you and me to have more joy?
The writer of the song “Higher Ground” got it right. Read these powerful words:
My heart has no desire to stay | where doubts arise and fears dismay;
‘Tho some may dwell where these abound | My prayer, my aim, is higher ground.
Lord, lift me up and let me stand | By faith on heaven’s table land;
A higher plane than I have found | Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.3
As for me, “I’m pressing on the upward way; new heights I’m gaining every day!” I hope you will come and go with me. ~ Janie Kellogg
1Ephesians 1:3; 2Ephesians 2:6; Higher Ground by Johnson Oatman, Jr.
3 thoughts on “Higher Ground ~ A Recipe for Joy”
As always…your descriptive words and insights has taken me to higher ground! Wow! Your email always comes at the most perfect times! Thanks be to God! It has been a crazy wild week and a half! Dealing with a woman who has lied and betrayed so many and because a friend is a nurse and has dealt with family members who are narcissist. She was clever enough to search for her thru public info and found that she was not a nurse at all. And has a list like a list to Santa. She has said on her FB that she is a nurse and ordained minister. But after searching she got a license the same way Conan OBrien got one for $7.99. There is a utube that shows it. She and her daughter, friend and another friend that she met in prison has sent the 4 of us 99 messages and threats to sue! We have all ministered to her as she told us she has made it thru liver cancer and now has stage 4 cancer and is t doing any treatment so she can keep her grandson while her daughter has total hip replacement. She had lap band surg which is why she lost do much weight and had said she was getting nutrients thru feeding tube. All lies! It would make a great movie but it has been a time waster and sadly this was brought up in a large prayer warrior group that we all belong to because she told the administrator what these 3 friends of mine had done to her which was nothing! The lady who is head of the group said that she would delete the members if they did not apologize. It was a private conversation that this lying lady started. We had to block her from our phones and FB. I’ve learned a lesson in that you have to be very careful with people on social media. And she wants to start a church! She has spread lies about us and my husband and the other girls too. Never have I seen such evilness in someone’s life. We 4 have been so discouraged this last week as she has threatens us that we better apologize or else. And one of the girls put on FB that you could check at this site if you wanted to ever check on someone. As it is public knowledge. And this what started the whole thing! No name was mentioned but a guilty conscience made her angry! The messages she left two of the girls sounds like she is demon possessed! So needless to say, I added their names to my email list of people who love to hear what God is speaking to you! No need to reply sweet friend but so so thankful for you! And I never told you but when you called me Miss Carla, my heart melted as that is how I’ve been known in my former church at FBC Moore and at Emmaus as I taught 4 yr old Mission Friends for 23 yrs. and then when I started helping in preschool. Thanks for blessing me as you had no idea how dear that felt to me when I saw your greeting. You are a treasure to the max! I know you busy but you sure make my day brighter just reading your emails! Bless you for the time you put into your writings. They inspire!!!!
Love you the MOSTEREST! Rom 12:1-2 Carla Young
Thank you Janie. This was so true and where I desire to be.
Jane, I love this one and am joining with you on a higher plane,
Praise the Lord. Love-Gran