Willing to Live in the Low Lands

Your fierceness has deceived you,
The ride of your heart,
O you who dwell in the clefts of the rock,
Who hold the height of the hill!
Though you make your nest as high as the eagle,
I will bring you down from there,” says the
Lord.” Jeremiah 49:16

 Have you ever known someone who seeks so much “holiness” that they seem to put themselves above the every day tasks that this world requires of them? My daughter and I started a book this week called Matilda Bone by Karen Cushman and the main character in this story is one of those sorts. Raised by a priest after the death of her parents and taught piety and self-denial to the point of having no real world experience.  By a sudden change of events right at the beginning of the story, this girl found herself shoved into the real world, needing to live a life of discernment within the context of her piteous learning but unfortunately she found herself very ill equipped.

In reading the story, it is sad but almost comical as to how this young girl, living during the medieval times, thinks living apart from the world and in holy devotion apart from the dire needs of the people around her, makes her better and definitely more pure in the eyes of God. Unfortunately when I look at this fictional character, my thoughts go to real day examples of such people and their stories are anything but laughable.

As I was reading through Jeremiah this morning, the verse I put above really struck me in light of this story I just told you about and another real life example I have watched and prayed about in another person's life who too has been living at the “height of the hill” instead of in the world which God has called her to live. I thought the imagery in this verse was especially captivating as Jeremiah stated that “fierceness” has leads to deception of the heart – likened to a free ride of fury once the train of pride is allowed to leave the station and run loose in the heart. Satan can do a lot when that type of deception takes over and it doesn't take but a moment to get caught up in the ride that seemingly takes one into the heights of godliness over the common matters and everyday people who surround you toil through on a daily basis.

The next part of the verse I thought was the most striking of all  though. “O you who dwell in the clefts of the rock, who hold the height of the hill!” Immediately I pictured a person who was hiding out in the cliffs above the low ground, wanting to seek out God in the heights while fighting tooth and nail to keep from having to live amongst the low lands, even clinging to the rocks with all their might in defiance saying, “I will not live in the common! I must be in the heights of the holy! I must stay away from the every day struggles of people who live in this world!”

To those type of people, the Lord says, “Though you make your nest as high as the eagle,
I will bring you down from there.”
And His ability to bring us down is a promise, not just a mere suggestion for us to consider and then either take or leave. God is the only one who can live in the heights and still have a heart for the plight of the common man. If we let our pride or fear keep us from coming down to live in the low lands where God has asked us to serve and to be a light amongst those who are lost, then we will suffer the discipline of God and His removal of us from where we felt was our privileged place of saintliness.

In lines with all that I have written above, the devotional My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers had some interesting words of truth today and I thought I would end this blog with some of those words for you to ponder on this subject.

A Christian worker has to learn how to be God's noble man or women amid a crowd of ignoble things. Never make this plea – If only I were somewhere else! All God's men are ordinary men made extraordinary by the mater He has given them. Unless we have the right matter in our minds intellectually and in our hearts affectionately, we will be hustled out of usefulness to God...'I have chosen you.' Keep that note of greatness in your creed. It is not that you have got God but that He has got you...Never choose to be a worker, but when God has put His call on you, woe be to you if you turn to the right hand or the left...Let Him have His way.” Oswald Chambers

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