Seek the things that are above!

“If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:1, 2).

Frederick Langbridge* wrote:
     “Two men look out through the same bars:
       One sees the mud, and one the stars.”

There is much mud, but one must look down to see it. God encourages us to look up, to look up at the stars, to look beyond the stars! We can behold God’s glory when we lift up our eyes, when we lift up our souls, when we lift up our hands, when we lift up our voices, and when we lift up our heads.

Lift up your eyes, and see who has created these things!

It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them out like a tent to dwell in. ... ‘To whom then will you liken Me, or to whom shall I be equal?’ says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high, and see who has created these things, who brings out their host by number; He calls them all by name, by the greatness of His might and the strength of His power; not one is missing” (Isaiah 40:22, 25, 26).

When someone perseveres in unbelief while seeing the glories of creation, he is rejecting clear evidence for God: “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:20).

“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world” (Psalm 19:1-4).

The more an unbeliever learns about the expanse of the universe, the smaller he becomes from his own perspective. Based on his own world view, a materialist is not even a millionth of a speck of dust in the universe.

Belief in the theory of evolution is a form of nature worship. God-like powers are attributed to nature. Evolutionists believe that the forces of nature have created all things, even man from the mud of the earth. This is ridiculous because something like the universe, which had a beginning and will have an end, cannot create itself. As Maria sings in The Sound of Music, “Nothing comes from nothing, nothing ever could.”

The more a believer learns about the expanse of the universe, the more he stands in awe of God, and the greater his gratitude is for what God has given mankind.
Referring to the sun, moon and stars, we read in Genesis 1:17: “God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth.” Thus, the innumerable galaxies with their innumerable stars are not without purpose. They were placed in space and time to enlighten man!

People should not worship the sun, moon and stars because God has given “the sun, the moon, and the stars, all the host of heaven” “to all the peoples under the whole heaven as a heritage” (Deuteronomy 4:19). God splashed the trillions of stars into space as a gift to man, to give us a glimpse of His mighty power and majesty. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts,” says the Lord (Isaiah 55:9). “He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him” (Psalm 103:10, 11).

Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look on the earth beneath. For the heavens will vanish away like smoke, the earth will grow old like a garment, and those who dwell in it will die in like manner; but My salvation will be forever, and My righteousness will not be abolished” (Isaiah 51:6).

That the universe is ‘running down’ and eventually will vanish away is a scientific observation. We observe that matter and intelligence exist. What is the source of intelligence? We observe that intelligence can create and that matter cannot create. Matter cannot even create itself, let alone intelligence.

From these observations it is philosophically and scientifically sound to “understand” that both matter and intelligence had to be created by a higher intelligence.

The expansive, yet finite, material universe and the intricate, yet finite, biosphere on earth had to originate from an intelligence greater than our intelligence as the heavens are higher than the earth.

Man’s amazing, yet limited intelligence could not be auto-created by finite matter, any more than an intricate, yet mindless computer could create itself. Only man, made in the image of God, has sufficient creative power to produce a computer. And computers are a collective creation of mankind. One man can make a hammer by tying a stone to a stick, but the design and construction of something as intricate and complex as a computer requires the collective and co-operative intelligence and work of thousands of men. The intricacy of a computer is child’s play compared to the intricacy of life forms. Matter cannot even create a computer, let alone man and the universe!

God, not matter, is the Creator of all things. This is clearly seen and understood from the things that are made.

I will lift up my eyes to the hills - From whence comes my help? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:1, 2).

Unto You I lift up my eyes, O You who dwell in the heavens” (Psalm 123:1).

Lift up your soul to God!

After lifting up our eyes and seeing the majesty of God in His creation, we lift up our souls to God, we entrust our spiritual well-being to His care.

To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul. O my God, I trust in You; let me not be ashamed; let not my enemies triumph over me. ... Show me Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; on You I wait all the day” (Psalm 25:1, 2, 4, 5).

“Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning, for in You do I trust; cause me to know the way in which I should walk, for I lift up my soul to You” (Psalm 143:8).

“Be merciful to me, O Lord, for I cry to You all day long. Rejoice the soul of Your servant, for to You, O Lord, I lift up my soul. For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You. Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications” (Psalm 86:3-6).

We lift up our souls to God, we entrust our spirits to His keeping. As was prayed by David in a Psalm and by Jesus on the cross: “Into Your hand I commit my spirit; You have redeemed me, O LORD God of truth” (Psalm 31:5).

Lift up your hands in joyful prayers of praise!

“Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You. Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. ... And my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips” (Psalm 63:3, 4, 5).

When we lift up our eyes and see the glories of God’s creation, and then lift up our souls to Him, we also lift up our hands in prayer.

“Hear the voice of my supplications when I cry to You, when I lift up my hands toward Your holy sanctuary” (Psalm 28:2).

Lift up your voice with strength!

“O Zion, you who bring good tidings, get up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, you who bring good tidings, lift up your voice with strength, lift it up, be not afraid; say to the cities of Judah, ‘Behold your God!’” (Isaiah 40:9).

This Messianic prophecy refers to the deity of Christ. Good news of God’s salvation would be preached to all nations beginning at Jerusalem. “Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, ‘Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.’ For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem” (Isaiah 2:2, 3).

We must lift up our eyes and see the peoples of the earth who are in urgent need of salvation. Jesus tells His followers: “Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!” (John 4:35).

“But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest’” (Matthew 9:36-38).

We lift up our eyes and see the glory of God; we lift up our souls to God and place them in His care; we lift up our hands to God in prayer, and we lift up our voices to tell the whole world about the glories of God and salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ.

Look up and lift up your heads!

When Jesus returns most people will be terrified: “And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?’” (Revelation 6:15-17).

God’s little flock, however, will not be afraid, but will rejoice: “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near” (Luke 21:27, 28).

“If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:1, 2).

Let us look beyond the stars! Let us lift up our eyes and see the glory of God in His creation, let us lift up our souls to God and place them in His care, let us lift up our hands in prayer, let us lift up our voices and tell the good news of salvation by Christ to all the world. Then at His appearing to judge the living and the dead, we can lift up our heads and greet Him with joy, then we can be with Him forevermore. Amen.

Roy Davison

The Scripture quotations in this article are from
The New King James Version. ©1979,1980,1982, Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers.
Permission for reference use has been granted.

Published in The Old Paths Archive


* Frederick Langbridge (1849-1923) was a poet, novelist, dramatist and religious writer. He was born at Birmingham, England but was of Irish descent. He was educated at Oxford. He served as rector of St. John’s Cathedral in Limerick, Ireland. This quotation is from ‘A Cluster of Quiet Thoughts’ published by the Religious Tract Society.