Seek The Things That Are Above
By Melissa Edwards
"If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things
that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds
on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died,
and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life
appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory" (Colossians 3:1-4)
I was raised in a Methodist church. I loved God and felt Him speak to me many
times. My favorite Scripture was Psalm 46:10, “Be still and
know that I am God.” However, I did not have good spiritual leadership in
comprehending the Trinity and no understanding of the truth of Jesus Christ’s
Somehow, in the tumult of the late 60’s and early 70’s, I came to think that the
“Jesus” part of the Bible was just a story to teach us about love and
gentleness, and to give us parables to guide our lives.
I married a Jewish man. Unequally yoked, we didn’t go to church for 35 years. We
prayed to God together, but had no direction from a church or any spiritual
counselors. The week after my husband passed away, the Lord led me back into a
Methodist church with a pastor who believes in the absolute truth of the Bible
and who has a healing ministry and healing services. I went to one of the
healing services for prayers for two of my friends who were battling life-ending
stages of cancer. At the service, I heard testimonies of how God heals physical
ailments and diseases. I had had infections and serious wounds on my hands for
Once I lost 16 weeks from work and almost lost a finger with one of the
infectious outbreaks. I began to pray for God to heal my hands. The more I
prayed, the worse the bleeding sores on my hands became.
My hands hurt so when I would pour water on them to wash that I tried some
waterless hand cleaner. I didn’t realize it was 62% alcohol, which felt like I
was opening the wounds and setting them on fire. But I had a new and stronger
faith and I kept praying. One Sunday, as I was praying in church, a gash opened
up between my small finger and my ring finger and blood was spilling out onto a
yellow skirt I was wearing. I still believed God would heal my hands and
continued to pray for that.
On the following Tuesday, as I was washing my hands, filled with cuts and sores,
I suddenly came to the realization it was the devil who was keeping me from
believing God could heal my hands. I said, very loudly, “Satan, in the name of
Christ Jesus, quit messing with my hands.” I was furious at the devil and
grabbed the alcohol-filled hand cleaner, pouring it on my hands, telling Christ
I took Him over the evil one. Suddenly, I was aware that the alcohol felt like
soothing oil and my hands were pain free. It was two days before Thanksgiving,
2005. By Thanksgiving Day my hands were completely healed and my old scars gone.
At once, I knew the power of Jesus’ name, and knowing that power, at once I knew
Jesus was real and alive. The following Sunday I stood up in church with this
story. I asked Jesus to be the Lord of my life, and I have lived for Him ever
since. I want to know Him personally and I want to tell others about Him.
As in all relationships, you will get out of it only what you put into it. God
has fully offered us a relationship; it is up to us to receive the relationship
with God and live from it.
I used to read the Bible in sporadic pieces. Now, aside from concentrated Bible
studies, I read it entirely, over and over, taking in every word.
In her book, "The Happy Intercessor," Beni Johnson
relates that “the Greek word for worship is proskuneo; it
means ‘to kiss.’ It is a feeling or attitude within us that keeps us close to
God. It is not just about coming to church on Sunday and singing songs during
the worship service. Even though that is an important thing that we do together,
it is not the most important thing. Worship comes from within us and goes with
us throughout our day. When we adore God, we are kissing Him.”
My 91-year old mother is now a hospice patient. She’s home with me and the help
of caregivers. A most precious friend who has come into my life is a Christian
caregiver who constantly thanks and praises Jesus as she helps me with
diapering, bathing, and bed wound dressings. I can’t imagine how I would have
coped with the burdens of these tasks without the strength of the Lord she has
plugged us into.
I don’t hear God speak in a loud voice. I haven’t seen a clear vision of Jesus’
face. However, since Christ finally got through to me, and I have sought a
personal closeness to Him, doing all I can to maintain open communication with
Him, I’ve received direction to take action, and in the action I’ve received
clear confirmation that I’m doing His will.
All of these experiences have led me to joy in realizing God is speaking to me,
not in loud words, but directing my life in ways I believe are fulfilling His
will and bringing glory to Him.
That all-loving God I prayed to all my life has given me a dynamic relationship
through His son, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. He’s led me to groups of Christian
brothers and sisters who pray and praise him continually and have shown me the
power to come against the darkness of this world and find tremendous joy in
watching Him work.
I pray for you the prayer Paul prayed for the Ephesians: “…that,
out of his glorious riches, the Lord may strengthen you with power through his
Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through
faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have
power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and
deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that
you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” I pray this
for you in the name of Christ Jesus. Amen.
Especially For You
Friday Study Ministries, Inc.