Philippians 4:8-9 (ESV)
8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
In the midst of the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln called Vicksburg "the key to the Confederacy", and told his generals, "We do not yet have the key in our pocket!"
Taking Vicksburg was a daunting task for the Union Army because of its strategic position atop high cliffs overlooking the Mississippi River. But whoever controlled Vicksburg also controlled the shipping traffic up and down the Mississippi. Some of the bloodiest fighting took place as the Northern Army mounted bold attacks on Southern strongholds fixed atop the highest points. When the Yankees couldn't drive the Confederate army from the high ground -- they finally laid siege to Vicksburg. After a few months of being under siege they finally surrendered on July 4, 1863. This battle, along with Gettysburg, was the turning point in the American Civil War. While the Southern army controlled the high ground, they controlled the battle and when they couldn't be driven off -- they had to be starved off the high ground, and powerfully illustrates how critical the fight for the high ground can be for determining the outcome!
Throughout history, the same principle appears over and over again – he who holds the high ground wins the battle!
This principle of warfare can also be applied to our lives. When we walk in integrity, honesty, purity, holiness, and love – we are maintaining the high ground. However tempting it may be, this is where we must not give in, compromise, or surrender! Because as soon as we begin giving up the high ground of character, losing the battle for holiness...it won't be long before the war overtakes us too.
Fight to hold your high ground -- strive to reach the top in your pursuit of God! Whatever the cost -- hold that high position, and soon... victory will be yours!
Dear Lord, help us to always strive to reach the top and pursue after the things that You have for us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.