SCRIPTURE TEXT: “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” -Philippians 3: 14
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 table-land, A higher plane than I have found: Lord, plant my feet on higher ground
My heart has no desire to stay Where doubts arise and fears dismay; Though some may dwell where these abound, My prayer, my aim is higher ground.
I want to live above the world, Though satan’s darts at me are hurled; For faith has caught the joyful sound, The song of saints on higher ground.
This hymn ha been a favorite with many Christians since it was first published in 1898. It expresses so well this universal desire for a deeper spiritual life, continuing on a higher plane of fellowship with God than we have ever experienced. The author of this stirring text was Johnson Oatman, Jr., a businessman who wrote 3,000 gospel songs in his leisure time. Oatman was ordained by the Methodist Episcopal denomination but never pastored a church. His Hymns were always well received, even though he was paid no more than $1.00 for each of his texts.
I am pressing on the upward way is a hymn of encouragement for me. It is a hymn that tells me to put behind my past glory and failure and press on for the ultimate prize. To all those who are discouraged for doing good, this hymn is a wake up call to scale to the utmost height and ask God to lead you to the higher ground. Fears, affliction, temptation and sometimes failure may come your way but keep on pressing higher.
Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord shall deliver us out of them all. (Psalm 34:19) Yea, and all who shall live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. (2 Timothy 3: 12) Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. (1 Peter 4: 12-13) And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we are incorruptible. (1 Corinthians 9: 25) I press toward the mark, for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3: 14)
Prayer point: Pray and ask for strength to not relax until you reach the apex of every good things.
SOURCE: INSPIRING STORIES BEHIND OUR BEST-LOVED HYMNS