FRIEND COME UP HIGHER
It is so wonderful to sometimes just stop the business of life and its demands and deadlines and focus on the reality of where we are seated in Christ! This gives us such an incredible perspective to the reality of the high level of living our lives have in the throne room where God seated us together in Christ Jesus.
You cannot get any higher than where you are already seated. When Jesus died, He went into the lowest regions of human darkness. He then elevated us with Him to the throne room of God, His Father, in His triumph. While we were still dead in our sins we were raised up together with Christ.
This did not happen through our theology or our doctrine or religious enterprise, but through the boldness of God’s faith - it is God’s intention, His will and His purpose! We are dealing with the overwhelming evidence of God’s perfect plan which He evidenced in Christ when He raised Him from the dead.
We are raised in Christ in reality: as He is so are we in this world! The highest place in God is not a destination - it is the reality of the gospel! So often we have been taught that in order to get to another level in God we need to fast, pray and be holy and become even more holy. Religion keeps us striving to get better so that we self-qualify to go to higher levels. The simplicity of the gospel is very clear: Jesus has fully qualified us to be one in Him, even as He is one in His Father.
Years ago I was staying on Victoria Island just out of Lagos, Nigeria. I had a day open in my ministry schedule and asked to go see the sights and do some souvenir shopping. When the driver came to pick me up, he informed me that at a large church nearby there was a cultural wedding with several thousand guests and would I like to attend. I told him I was dressed more for “sightseeing” but would love to witness how a “cultural wedding” in Nigeria went, so please take me and we could sit in the back of the church.
We entered the building and sat near the back and within a few minutes someone came to me and said, “Friend, come up higher.” We were escorted to the very front and on the way I was informed that the pastor who was to perform the wedding had been delayed in his flight from London that morning and I was needed to handle the wedding ceremony. I was handed the ceremony and led to the highest seat of honor in the auditorium.
Being dressed for sightseeing in a room filled with men in handsome suits and women in beautiful African attire with head dresses and matching bustles, I felt very underdressed. Although I had performed many wedding ceremonies, I had never been to an African cultural wedding; yet now I am to handle this very large one. Grace qualified me, friendship qualified me, Jesus qualified me.
From the back of the room where I was first seated, the view and the perspective was very different from the front of the room facing the congregation and directing the ceremony. Even from back there, I was trying to blend in with the crowd so that I would not be noticed. Yet soon I found myself seated in the seat of highest honor. This was not a destination - I was seated in the highest place of authority in the room.
The perspective from that position was brilliant. I was, of course, coached by some of the ministry team as I watched this beautiful cultural wedding and was so privileged to be a part of this event.
After the ceremony, I was in the back of the room once again having a Coke and getting my composure as the announcer was calling special guests to the “High Seats” on a platform that was about two meters high. He was calling Chief so and so from this tribe, Governor so and so from different districts. I was just sitting back drinking my Coke and relaxing when suddenly I hear a big introduction with my name attached to it. All the other guests had danced all the way up to their seat and since my feet have very little dance in them, I walked up with wide eyes of unbelief! Again they seated me in the highest seat of honor.
You may be looking at your circumstances and where you believe you are in your “spiritual level.” Perhaps you feel unworthy or a little unrighteous. Maybe you don’t believe you’re holy enough. But it is time to focus your mind on throne-room realities - you are seated in the highest possible seat of authority and honor in Christ; not based on getting yourself ready or qualified. Grace qualified you, friendship qualified you, the blood of Jesus qualified you.
Colossians 3:1 If you then be risen with Christ (Since you are already risen with Christ) seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God.
Life has so many natural realities and voices that pull our attention away from the throne room realities of where we are. This is not some life-long journey where we continually strive to attain a higher position. When life confronts us with accusations that we’re not qualified or our natural reality seems to contradict where we are already located in Christ, that is when we relocate our minds and hear the voice of the Spirit “Friend Come Up Higher” to those throne room realities and receive abundance of grace to reign in this life.
Ephesians 2:6 And has (already) raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus
This reality is now, not in the future! What gives us altitude in our spiritual and natural life, what gives volume to our life is simply this: realizing that God has already elevated us in Christ to the highest possible level. We are seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so we join in His victory. In fact, we are the prized possession of His grace! We are the righteousness of God in Christ seated in the highest possible place.