Ask Donnell - "What Does God Mean By Come Up Higher?"

Ask Donnell - "What Does It Mean To Come Higher With God?"

We received the following question from Dannie;

"When God wants you to come up higher with Him what exactly does that mean? Does it mean to spend more alone time with Him?"

Dannie, this is a great question. If you've been a Christian for some time it's easy to become religious and make assumptions about God's heart. However, the only way to find out what God means by anything He says is by His Spirit.

1 Corinthians 2:11(NKJV) - For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.

Yesterday, at The Body Church we studied the role of The Holy Spirit in giving life to the scriptures. Without Him, even if we locate answers in The Bible we wouldn't know what to do with them. Therefore, before we go any further let's humble ourselves and ask The Holy Ghost to guide us through this process. We don't just want the right answer but we want the right answer for you. Let's get some context first, then it will be easier to understand.

Revelation 1:10-13(NKJV) - I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.” Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band.

In order to write The Book of Revelation, Apostle John was in The Spirit. While in that state, he received a visitation from Jesus. As the last surviving member of the original twelve disciples, John knew Jesus firsthand. However, even though John had walked the earth with Jesus in human form for three years this encounter recorded in Revelation 1 was on a whole new level. Since Jesus showed up in His glorified form, John had to be in The Spirit to engage in this supernatural encounter.

Why is this so important? Being in the Spirit is the master key to engaging God in His glory and hearing His voice. However, this is just the beginning. There are different dimensions of The Spirit and Apostle John was only in the dimension that allowed him to receive a visitation from Jesus. To many of us, that's the highest level we can imagine. How many of us dream of an encounter with Jesus like this one? Nonetheless, three chapters later, God was ready for John to enter the next dimension. This is where we get the answer to today's question.

Revelation 4:1-2(NKJV) - After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.” Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne.

Pay close attention to what's happening here. Wasn't Apostle John already in the Spirit since the beginning of his encounter with Jesus in Revelation 1? Yes, he was. However, God wanted him to come up higher. He had already received a visit from Jesus on earth but it was time for him to leave earth and enter heaven to see the future. For this to happen, God called him into a deeper dimension of the Spirit. So let's summarize the three dimensions of the spiritual journey of Apostle John. In Dimension One, he walked the earth with Jesus in His earthly form. In Dimension Two, he received a holy visitation from the glorified Jesus. In Dimension Three, he was invited to heaven to see the future. Now, let's bring this home to your situation.

2 Corinthians 12:1-10(NLT) - This boasting will do no good, but I must go on. I will reluctantly tell about visions and revelations from the Lord. 2 I was caught up to the third heaven fourteen years ago. Whether I was in my body or out of my body, I don’t know—only God knows. 3 Yes, only God knows whether I was in my body or outside my body. But I do know 4 that I was caught up to paradise and heard things so astounding that they cannot be expressed in words, things no human is allowed to tell. 5 That experience is worth boasting about, but I’m not going to do it. I will boast only about my weaknesses. 6 If I wanted to boast, I would be no fool in doing so, because I would be telling the truth. But I won’t do it, because I don’t want anyone to give me credit beyond what they can see in my life or hear in my message, 7 even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud. 8 Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. 9 Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

God's calling you to the next dimension of the Spirit. Where you are right now might be better than where you used to be but you've been there too long. One of the worst things that could ever happen to a Christian is stagnation. Complacency is the enemy of progress. When you no longer desire a deeper walk with The Lord you're stuck. God wants to show you things you've never seen before and tell you things you've never heard before. If you've walked with him before He's ready to visit you. If He's visited you already in His glory He's ready to invite you to heaven.

Now that you understand what God desires of you, this comes with a warning. As you go deeper into the Spirit remain humble. It's your humility that got you this far and it's your humility that will keep you going in the right direction. Two nights ago I was at a meeting in Atlanta hosted by Pastor Benny Hinn and he talked about this same thing. He referenced recent historical accounts of great men and women of God who experienced such advanced encounters with the Spirit that they walked in the power to change nature. He also talked about men of God in The Bible who entered deep spiritual dimensions and struggled to handle it.

Therefore, when God asks you to come up higher, like Apostle Paul, your weaknesses are going to be exposed. The trials and tribulations you will face will only allow you to see how helpless you are without the mighty hand of God on your life. It's this call to a deeper walk with The Lord that should trigger an intense desire in your heart for purity, humility and spiritual sobriety. Regardless, this is nothing to be afraid of. Your response to God's invitation should be a resounding yes. Prepare your heart for the ride of your life.

Last, but not least. What does The Bible mean by being "in the spirit"? In short, it means letting The Spirit direct your life. In other words, you see things according to what you see with your spiritual eyes, you hear things according to what you hear with your spiritual ears and you only say what The Spirit says. For example, in 1 Corinthians 14:2,14-15 and Ephesians 6:18, praying "in the spirit" means praying in tongues which is simply allowing The Holy Spirit to direct the words that come out of your mouth. In Ezekiel 37:1, the prophet carried in the spirit to the valley of dry bones to prophesy. What does that mean? He was led by The Holy Spirit and his spiritual eyes were opened so that He could see the reality of the spirit realm.

Romans 8:9(KJV) - But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

You can experience The Spirit during a time of worship or prayer. You can sense the Spirit while studying God's Word. However, you can only be in The Spirit when the Spirit of God dwells in you and takes control of your entire life. It's time for you to come up higher and be in a whole new dimension of The Spirit. God's extended the invitation so respond.

Psalm 27:8(NLT) - My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.”
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