ON HIGHER GROUND

SCRIPTURE:   “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind…..I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”   Philippians 3:13, 14 (NKJV)
   A young woman in her early thirties was asked to say a few words at a wake, in tribute to her uncle who had just died.  She got up and shared a heart-felt poem that she had written upon learning of his death.  The poem, filled with words of how the uncle’s Christ-filled life had influenced her own, prompted  the oldest son of the deceased to remind her at the end of the wake of a time when she was about eighteen or so, when she’d given him some choice expletives close to sundown on the street near her apartment. The young woman, failing to immediately recognize her cousin during that near-dusk  encounter, assumed that he was some pesty flirt, trying to annoy her. Upon recognizing his face, with much chagrin she apologized profusely!  Fast-forward about sixteen years, when the woman was in her early thirties --  I forgot what her exact response was to his confrontation at the wake all those years ago; but I believe it was simply that the incident of which he so eagerly reminded her occurred long ago, and that she was new in Christ. (2 Cor. 5:17) That young woman was “yours truly.”  That cousin is now in eternity;  sadly he died about three years after his father, at the tender age of thirty-seven.
  
      I’m sure that many of us have encountered people who knew us in our “B.C.” days—BEFORE CHRIST found us, and their response to our new identity may not have always been exactly edifying.  The Christ in us may have made them feel uncomfortable; they may have felt more at ease around our previous, more worldly (i.e., spiritually-dead) persona or identity.  There have always been people who will hastily remind you and I of our past; but don’t you dare camp out there, dear friend! 
      Refuse to allow the enemy of your soul to reshackle you to past memories of the old you. That identity was buried and stripped of power to accuse you and me.  Never cooperate with the Accuser or any of his emissaries, whose sole mission is to hinder your spiritual progress in Christ!  We have been instructed to “PRESS on,” because we have a God-given GOAL—a prize for which God HAS called, IS calling, and SHALL call us HEAVENWARD in CHRIST JESUS!

PRAYER:  Dear Abba, thank You for seeing me through the divine lens known as “the blood of Christ,” and not as people may see me presently, or did see me in days gone by!  You have deemed me a saint, because of Your imputed righteousness!  Your great name be praised!  Amen!
    
By Denise Diggs

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