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The Higher Country

Deuteronomy 11:10-11
“For the land that you are entering to take possession of is not like the land of Egypt, from which you have come, where you sowed your seed and irrigated it, like a garden of vegetables. But the land that you are going over to possess is a land of hills and valleys, which drinks water by rain from heaven, a land that the LORD God cares for.”

The life of unbelief isn’t like the life of faith, is it? In many ways, it’s so much smoother and simpler and easier to manage. It’s more level, too, like the difference between spreading seed in already drenched sand with your toes and tilling rocks out of tough ground in the high country. Reflect back on your own testimony, friend. Wasn’t there a mental ease to your ambitions before Christ’s call to take up your cross and follow? Back then, you could do your best to get ahead, to succeed, without needing to worry about putting others first. You could slam the door in an enemy’s face and throw bad bosses under the bus and keep bad blood with family members without feeling the sting of inner conviction. You could punch back when punched, mock when mocked, and add insult to injury, without the weight of God’s Word calling you to turn the other cheek. You could give in to lustful desires and pursue wealth and make a name for yourself and feel philanthropic in the process, without ever recognizing your spiritual destitution. But coming to Christ changed all that, didn’t it?! That’s when beauty in life increased, but so too the sting. The rose blossomed like never before, but then came the thorns. And from that point onward, no longer would you find meaning in sifting vegetables around in the shifting sands with your feet; no longer would life be safe and level and easy going; it would now take hard work, and hard praying, and total dependance on God alone to bring the rains and provide the harvest.

The life of faith is a higher country: a paradoxical place of true rest and extreme toil. But all who’ve tasted the peace that only Christ can offer, all who’ve climbed those green hills and bathed in those rushing rainfalls would never dream of dipping their toes again in Egypt’s stagnant tides.