Friday, September 25, 2009

In Temptation, Go Higher...

It was Oswald Chambers who said, “The golden rule in temptation is—Go higher.”[1] He says that both God and Satan do take us higher; the difference? Satan makes us think we are clinging on in higher glory—a place and position we could never sustain; God makes it expansively comfortable to remain there—a roomy table-land we find it easy to move about in!

“God has to hide from us [personally] what He does until by personal character we get to the place where He can [safely, for us] reveal it.”[2]

It is implied here that the “insight of our character” is something hidden from us… perhaps it is the spiritual part of our being, and the personal part is the flesh—the flesh that is greedy for growth; that wants to take growth.

I love the quote out of Habakkuk 2:3b (NLT): “If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed.” Even though this speaks of end times I believe it has a theological relevance in other areas, such as growth in life as we enjoin our faith expectantly of good.

We always look back over ourselves a year ago as ‘having come so far’ since those heady days. We have grown most of the time. And this is how we notice growth; it’s upon the glory of reflection of a distally past time—yet a safe distance back to view things in the reality of God’s light, not our own.

To journey us safely to that higher table-land God does so in deliberate and careful ways knowing how sensitive we are to light, greed, waste and attrition. He treats us gracefully for our own protection. He takes us to the better place not before time.

It is our task to be patient. Yet again, when we’re tempted for more, we come directly to God. We seek his throne and pray to hear him say, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this,” in relevance to our own lives. (Revelation 4:1b TNIV)

At all times we run with God, not ahead of him. “Come near to God and he will come near to you.” –James 4:8 (TNIV).

© 2009, S. J. Wickham.

[1] Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Discovery House, 1935, 1993), p. March 27.

[2] Chambers, Ibid.

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