Pressing On

Saturday, April 2, 2022
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Higher Ground"1 (Lyrics)

"No turning back; no turning back!" I cheerfully sang these lyrics while tossing a pile of mementos into the wastebasket. I had extracted some old papers from my filing cabinet: a "Food Handler Certificate" granted 22 years ago from Public Health, my "Certificate of Appreciation" to honour a former Board of Directors role, cards, letters, bulletins, programs, and so forth. These items represented a rich versatile past. But since there's no returning, I can let that all go, for I'm pressing on toward my God-given calling — the calling for all of believers:

Philippians 3:13b-14 – Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (NIV)

Indeed, I must press on toward my heavenward goal. This is not merely about a future time and place. It's about now, too. Only a robust heavenward vision can adequately infuse my life with daily purpose, provide a steady focus through trials and temptations, and enrich me with continual blessings in the heavenly realms. My heavenward goal is the exalted Christ Himself — my destiny — my prize!

Because the heavenward vision embraces an eternal, infinite prize, it will never fizzle out. It will continue to grow within, like an inner flame always providing an upward momentum.

Here are some inspiring thoughts which may help you press on in your own heavenward pursuit.

From Scriptures:
"Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you." (Psalm 73:25 NIV)

"But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ." (Philippians 3:20 NIV)

"For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling." (2 Corinthians 5:2 ESV)

From literature: "Heaven was in him before he was in heaven." (said about a Puritan leader, Richard Sibbes)

From a friend: "At the end of the day, all that matters is that I've been faithful to God and hear Him say, "Well done, good and faithful servant." (Matthew 25:21 ESV)

From a hymnHigher Ground by Johnson Oatman Jr.:

    I'm pressing on the upward way,
    New heights I'm gaining every day;
    Still praying as I'm onward bound,
    "Lord, plant my feet on higher ground."

    Refrain:
    Lord, lift me up and let me stand,
    By faith, on heaven's tableland,
    A higher plane than I have found;
    Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.

    I want to scale the utmost height
    And catch a gleam of glory bright;
    But still I'll pray till heav'n I've found,
    "Lord, plant my feet on higher ground."

Prayer: Lord, plant my feet on higher ground! Lord, You know that I'm prone to wander from my heavenward goal, from the God I love. Lord, here's my heart, O take and seal it; seal it for Thy courts above. Amen.

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About the author:

Diane Eaton <d.eaton@bmts.com>
Paisley, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you.


    Very helpful and inspiring today, Diane.


    Thanks for the encouraging words, Diane.


    Beautiful prayer and I so relate to it. Thank you.


    Diane, what a rich blessing you provided this morning.


    Thank you, Diane. Great and encouraging message.
    (ON)


    Yes indeed, Diane. Thank you. Glad you are writing again! Blessings on your day!


    Dianne, thank you for focusing our thoughts on God’s higher ground!
    Blessings.


    Many thanks Diane for another of your very special and inspiring devotionals. Yes, we truly have a great event to look forward to when we are called heavenward. Blessings for these writings you do.


    I needed to read this. This morning I was going through so much of the past and how it hurts me. But after reading this am ready to let go.
    Beautiful devotion always good to read your inspiring words.


    Thank you, Diane, for including one of the good, old hymns in your devotion! How I miss their melodies, harmonies, and lyrics! These times are coming to an end, and so we must press ever onward to higher ground. I appreciate your encouragement.


    Well, Diane, your devotional today was perfect for me as I have been doing the same sort of “cleaning,” including also a food handlers’ certificate! The Higher Ground is the goal.
    Thank you,
    (Texas)


    Thank you, Diane, for your inspiration, and especially “Higher Ground.”
    I loved it and haven’t heard it in years. The newly written praise choruses have literally shut out the hymns. The hymn books have totally disappeared at church as well as other traditions. At least the Bible is still alive. God bless us as we give of our best.
    (Cal.)


    Hello Diane, thank you for your devotional. Yes, we must keep pressing on, though days are very fiery trials at present, not just the world stage, but aging is not so kind sometimes. I am pushing 90 now. This year I lost my last brother, that was tough. I can’t give up, I must press on, I am the sole survivor in my family of 9. I still think God has something special in my mind for me, as I am still here, after many narrow escapes. I know He loves, and I love him, so that keeps me pressing on the upward way. Blessing to you and your family. I love that old hymn “Higher Ground”.


    Good morning Diane,
    Thank you so much for sharing your story “Pressing On” in the PresbyCan Daily Devotional.
    Since my parents passed away, I still hang on to many of their things as memories along with many of my own items of the past. I regularly go through it to determine if I really need to keep it all. As my Dad always reminded me, “you can’t take it with you”. When we moved, we ended up buying storage units for the basement to store all the things we don’t need to get at on a regular basis. Just writing this makes me laugh. Three years ago I made the courageous decision to do exactly what you did, got rid of things that I will probably never look at again. They’re wonderful memories of times spent, but like you said there comes a time you need to “press on”. Recently I made the decision to finally donate away many, many items of clothing that I will just never fit into again when there are so many people that could benefit from them.
    Your story is a huge encouragement for me as I will be embarking on more purging this spring and you just gave me the push I needed – to be reminded that the only thing important is the path forward to Jesus Christ. With the clutter gone, no matter how memorable those items are, it creates a clarity. This reminds me of the story about the “cup being full”, no more will go in; you need to empty the cup to fill with the new. We need to clear our clouded minds, we need to clear the clutter and make room to be filled with the Spirit to press on.
    Thank you sincerely.

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