Lowest Cost for the Most High God?
Not counting air travel, how high was the highest point you've ever experienced?
I was 12 or 13 when I stood on the observation deck of the Empire State Building. (You can read more about that day here in Stop Looking at the Fence) But there's some interesting thoughts about being high above things: 1. The view is unobstructed; 2. It's a place typically reserved for those in authority or power. (Think penthouse suites and the protocol that, if the king is standing, no one sits).
The most High - What's our cost?
A. Praise. That's all it costs us to enter God's presence. Jesus paid for everything else. And God, El Elyon, means [The God Most High]. Ps. 97:9 tells us, "For You, LORD, are Most High above all the earth; You are exalted far above all gods."
Jesus is the Son of the Most High. We know this because the angel who told Mary of His coming spells it out in Luke 1:32, "He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High." Even Nebuchadnezzar got it right after seeing a 4th person walking about in the fire with 3 God-followers he'd thrown in. "...Shadrach, Meshach, and AbedNego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and come here."
We are the children of the Most High. Luke 6:35-36, "But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. Therefore be merciful, just as your Father is merciful." It's a tall order to give to others without any expectation of return. But it is what the Most High asks of us.
B. Thanks. Psalm 92:1-2 says, "It is good to give thanks to the LORD, and to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; to declare Your lovingkindness in the morning and Your faithfulness at night." Morning and night. Are you bookending your days with both praise and thanksgiving? After a year like 2020, it's even more important to put this into practice in 2021!
Reward? Simply put: Protection from the Most High, a Loving Father. Psalm 91:1-6, 9-10 tells us,
1 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”
3 Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler
And from the perilous pestilence.
4 He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
5 You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
6 Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.
9 Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
10 No evil shall befall you,
Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling"
Living in the shadow of the Almighty God? Well, you have to be close to someone to exist in His shadow. Stay close to the Most High!
Prayer - using 4 Aspects of Prayer
Adore - You, El Elyon, are supreme above all gods. You keep the flames of daily life from us. You shelter us beneath Your wings and under Your shadow.
Admit - My failure to praise You shames me. So many times I just slip into bed, mindless of all You've done for me. Forgive me that I don't begin and end my days with praise for You. You know me inside and out. Forgive me when I take You for granted.
Ask - Help us, O God Most High. Show us how best to demonstrate that You ARE Most High to us on a daily basis.
Acknowledge - You are faithful to us, and Your plans are the best - even when we don't understand. Thank You for Your Unobstructed view of our future and Your love and compassion for us to have only the best.