By Margaret D. Mitchell
Week of July 31, 2022
Has anyone else seen the recently-released Elvis movie? My husband and I saw it and I was glad I did. The movie revealed a hardscrabble side of Elvis’ story that many, including myself, didn’t know in detail. At times, it was painful to watch, wondering how anyone could endure such extremes.
Viewing it from a Biblical perspective enabled me to see how the enemy tried relentlessly to work poverty and lack throughout this man’s life to gain ground…to steal, kill and destroy” (John 10:10).
God alone is our Holy Ground, our Solid Rock, our Solid Gold, our Dominion. He owns it all and is above it all. With Him everything He is and wills for us is possible. With Him, we don’t have to do it our way or the world’s way. We don’t have to depend on fools.
God’s truth in Psalm 23:1 TPT tells us that "Yahweh is my best friend and my shepherd. I always have more than enough."
God instructs us in 2 Timothy 2:22 TPT to "Run as fast as you can from all the ambitions and lusts of youth; and chase after all that is pure. Whatever builds up your faith and deepens your love must become your holy pursuit. And live in peace with all those who worship our Lord Jesus with pure hearts."
So, obedience to His instructions is how we can "stand on level ground" as we praise Him in the "great congregation" (Ps 26:12 NIV).
It's only when we distance ourselves, lose sight of Him as our captivation and go our own way to put other things above Him (instead of in submission to Him) that we set ourselves on a trajectory that misses God’s best. Disobedience, even sins of our youth, can cause us to get caught up in enemy snares and miss longevity’s blessings (De 30:19).
If we don’t return to God through heartfelt repentance, we can miss God’s best life for us to the point of sin overtaking us, which always leads to some sort of death, possibly even physical.
This truth can be found in Romans 8:13 TPT, which says that “For when you live controlled by the flesh, you are about to die. But if the life of the Spirit puts to death the corrupt ways of the flesh, we then taste his abundant life.”
On earth, the kind of end God desires for us to come to is the end of ourselves—our selfishness, lusts of the flesh, all else that doesn’t please God.
Because God is with us, we can hit the wall of our wrongdoings and be awakened to new life as He reveals to us the error of our ways. In our moments of true confession, He can meet us with revelation, where we can come to recognize the only good thing in us at all, is Him and His virtue of goodness—nothing of our own.
This is the beginning of our deeper awareness of our greater freedom in Christ. This gracious revelation makes our dependence upon Him clearer and motivates us to be more obedient with a grateful heart.
God’s truth is that He exalts the humble, which are those who live in submission to Him. So, sometimes, our best prayer is, "Lord, fix me. Get me where You desire I be."
Colossians 3:2 NIV warns us to "Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things."
Chapter 3 goes on to advise us to "Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming" (Colossians 3:5-6 NIV)
The NIV study note for verse 6 clarifies that the wrath of God comes "on those who are disobedient."
Still, God will offer us turning points before it’s too late. He may gently work through others before we hit the wall.
Psalm 40:2 TPT reminds us that "He stooped down to lift me out of danger from the desolate pit I was in, out of the muddy mess I had fallen into. Now he’s lifted me up into a firm, secure place and steadied me while I walk along his ascending path."
To be sure, God has a higher life for each of us.
Do you remember the story of the woman caught in adultery (John 8:3)? When Jesus bent over and wrote in the dust on the ground with His finger in John 8:8? The Word “ground” in this scripture means “standing-place” (Strong’s #1093). It is the place where we lay it all at His feet and stand with Him on solid ground. It’s the place where we live out destiny in preparation for eternity.
As Jesus wrote for the woman caught in adultery, He changed her story by giving her a new beginning and a new directive, a true life to be lived—reflective of His mercy and grace—to go and “sin no more” (John 8:11).
She could continue with her new life on God’s ascended way for her, because He gave her directives along with His grace-power to fulfill them. He lifted her out of her low-life stupor without condemnation (1 Corinthians 15:34).
I believe that as this woman was set free by Christ, she came to know Psalm 55:22 TPT, which says, "So here’s what I’ve learned through it all: Leave all your cares and anxieties at the feet of the Lord, and measureless grace will strengthen you."
I wonder whether Elvis ever knew these truths beyond where his talent took him.
When God restores our lives, He restores our dignity, integrity and beauty. Heaviness falls away as we enter His weighty glory. Unchained, we find true answers and walk to a new melody. This is His promise of His grace, without which we would never make it in the land.
Truth always comes as we trust God, and it's best if it comes sooner than later. Let’s not make deals with the devil (1 John 2:16). Let’s take it all to The Lord and follow His lead, so we can keep truly ascending and not get caught in a trap with no way out.
Pray with me if you will…
Thank You for releasing me into Your best plan for me. "See if there is any path of pain I’m walking on, and lead me back to your glorious, everlasting way—the path that brings me back to you" (Ps 139:24 TPT). Help me put my trust in You. Whatever has gotten out of control in my life, help me bring it into submission to You. And "Let my passion for life be restored, tasting joy in every breakthrough you bring to me. Hold me close to you with a willing spirit that obeys whatever you say" (Ps 51:12 TPT).
In Jesus' Mighty Name,
Margaret D. Mitchell is the Founder of God's Love at Work, a marketplace outreach purposed to share God's greatest power source - the love of Christ.
Originally published Sunday, 31 July 2022.