The Higher Places
Priscilla Van Sutphin
This morning as I awoke, I had a word and picture from the Lord about David hiding in the mountains...how the mountains represent the high places in HIM; a place of ascendancy. Our hiding place is communion with the Lord. Sometimes we feel like when we are going through the fire of testing that we are in a low place but actually these can be the high places of the Lord because we draw nearer to Him in these times, seeking His face, repenting and being purified. I pictured David and his mighty men hidden in the mountains, surrounding Nabal's property and how they protected Nabal's flocks and herds yet Nabal was not appreciative but foolish. And how it was Abigail, when she realized David had been slighted, in not being invited to harvest celebrations, that she went out to confront him when he was set on murdering her husband. She humbled herself, took the blame, and then within 10 days I believe Nabal was dead, and Abigail ended up a wife of David.
This reminded me of how many times those who we pray for as intercessors, for whom we are called to be standard bearers seem to have no appreciation for the work we do . And how in fact many times, we are humiliated by comments about "weirdo intercessors" who do strange things, like cry, or wail. Desperate prayer is a place many of us have been in. Abigail, remained humble and very brave to confront David from murdering her husband, and persuaded David to not have this on his account with the Lord, since he would soon be the king of Israel. And in the process of humility...God undertook for her, and took the life of her drunken husband and she ended up as David's wife. Abigail is a beautiful picture of the intercessor.
Abigail and David are types of the Bride and Christ in this portion of the Word. Abigail as the gentile bride who has a foolish husband, characterized by worldliness and drunkenness, and she humbles herself, and suddenly she is found in the place of being the bride of David. God slays her foolish husbandman; representing the enemy. And marries her to a better husbandman.
Wrestling with powers of darkness is also training in the high places where we are wrestling sometimes with something we don't understand. Where God puts the burden on us, and we forget we are intercessors, not just praying...but interceding; standing in the gap for others, where we are wrestling with complacency for example...because we are praying against it in the church and suddenly we are battling it personally, and can't seem to have a heart for worship or prayer. But we persist, knowing it is more than just a personal battle, but a battle for the life of our church and region. Then God suddenly opens up our understanding to the fact we have been standing for others, not just ourselves, and we breathe a bit easier, knowing it is not personal, but a battle for the corporate anointing.
So sometimes, we get a word about going higher with the Lord and we think of all the visions others have had, but what comes is a dark time, or a time of what we would call wilderness or humbling, and we are stunned. But if we think about it rightly, this can be our time of going higher with Him. For example, enduring and not complaining would be "higher". Spending more time in the word and in worship and prayer with Him is going higher, not just getting visions and words though they are so encouraging and wonderful, and irreplaceable....sometimes it means that we are taken to a higher level of being perfected in Him...in being able to GO THROUGH, in faith, knowing HE is with us. So that our faith is strengthened, and our resolve to follow His ways is more resolute. And our ability to obey Him is stronger. This too is going higher.
Waiting and waiting on Him, and not getting discouraged is a higher place. Delays can be challenging, but also can be a time of sweet intimacy with Him. EVEN if we don't feel Him all the time. Imagine if you were in China, and had to always be aware of your back. Always had to consider your words, and keeping where you were going a secret. Imagine the persecution of others when you feel self-pity for the situation you are in. Can we imagine being taken captive by our own government and being put in work-camps, and not getting medical help we need ? Going into renal failure from lack of good water and food ? Can we imagine being confronted by muslims in a place like Israel, as a Christian, and being beaten, like the clergy in the church of Bethlehem. Being tormented and brutalized , like they have done to women in the Sudan ? Women who have been mutilated and raped, and murdered by muslims, for the sake of Christ Jesus ? God is preparing us for harder times, that we may have greater FAITH to carry out great exploits in His name. But we have to learn how to go through to the other side without complaining like the Israelites in the desert, who forfeited journey into the promised land because of their complaining.
God is faithful, Who promised that He would be with us wherever we are, that He would never leave us or forsake us, and He is about reducing also all OUR CONTROL of things and helping us to be dependent on HIM, instead of ourselves.....rooting out the pride and self-sufficiency. He is committed to our growth more than we are and will use everything He can to get us to the place of absolute obedience in Him without our striving. REST in His arms and it will go more quickly, He says.