~* HIGHER GROUND *~
Johnson Oatman, Jr., 1856-1922

I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:14

How sad it is to observe someone who has never lived up to his real potential. It is tragic to watch an individual who has great ability that is never used simply because he or she lacks the incentive to pursue a worthy goal. Similarly, it is disappointing to see a Christian fail to evidence spiritual growth of any kind. Scripture teaches that Christian maturity or Christlikeness is a process in which we advance from one level to the next, step by faith-filled step. But the secret of such development is to have an intense desire to fulfill the purpose God has for our lives.

"Higher Ground" has been a favorite with many Christians since it was first published in 1898. It expresses so well this desire for a deeper spiritual life, continuing on a higher plane of fellowship with God than we have ever before 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 denomination but never pastored a church. His hymns were always well received, even though he was paid no more than $1 for any of his texts.

Music for "Higher Ground" was composed by Charles H. Gabriel, music editor of the Rodeheaver Publishing Company. He wrote the music and sometimes the texts for more than 8,000 gospel songs, many of which were especially popular in the Billy Sunday-Homer Rodeheaver campaigns from 1910-1920. This song was used often in the great camp meetings of this era and the singing of it would often bring forth shouts of "Glory, hallelujah!"



Iím pressing on the upward way,
New heights Iím gaining every day;
Still praying as Iím onward bound,
ďLord, plant my feet on higher ground.Ē

Lord, lift me up and let me stand,
By faith, on heavenís 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 those abound,
My prayer, my aim, is higher ground.

Lord, lift me up and let me stand,
By faith, on heavenís table land,
A higher plane than I have found;
Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.

I want to live above the world,
Though Satanís darts at me are hurled;
For faith has caught the joyful sound,
The song of saints on higher ground.

Lord, lift me up and let me stand,
By faith, on heavenís table land,
A higher plane than I have found;
Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.

I want to scale the utmost height
And catch a gleam of Glory bright;
But still Iíll pray till Heavín Iíve found,
ďLord, plant my feet on higher ground.Ē

Lord, lift me up and let me stand,
By faith, on heavenís table land,
A higher plane than I have found;
Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.



*For Today*: Matthew 6:33; I Corinthians 9:24-27; Philippians 3:12-16

Reflect on some particular area of life that with God's enablement could be lived on a higher level...for His glory.

Music url: The Cyber Hymnal

Taken from Amazing Grace -- 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions © Copyright 1990 by Kenneth W. Osbeck. Published by Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Return to Hymn Devotionals Index


Caleb's Country Corner *_*

The Christian Counter