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Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low.  Isaiah 40:4

Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.  Luke 14:11; 18:14

God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. . . . Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.  James 4:6, 10

It’s all through the Bible – God bringing low the proud and self-justifying but honoring and raising up the meek.  This being so, wherever we are at any given moment, we can expect God to flip us.  If we are high, and okay with that, he will bring us low.  If we are low, and okay with that, he will bring us high.

The only way to face the future is to stay low and surrendered to him with no strings attached, eager to be “fully pleasing to him” (Colossians 1:10).  The One who is high and lifted up dwells in the high and holy place (where we cannot go), and he also dwells with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit (where we can go) (Isaiah 57:15).

The best way – not the only way, but the best way – to steward the historically significant blessing God is giving in our time – this delightful nexus of TGC/T4G/SGM/A29/etc – is to bow down before the Lord, give him thanks humbly, confess our sins honestly, listen to one another carefully, monitor our own hearts constantly for that impulse toward self-exaltation and bring it crashing down immediately in self-rebuke.

The Lord will do all he has promised.


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3 thoughts on “Up down, down up”

  1. Matthew 19:30 But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.
    When we stop looking for rewards and recognition from the world, and relinquish the comforts and status we receive there, He will lift us up into high and heavenly places with Him.

  2. Missy Gaw says:

    Hi Ray, Thanks for this post. There is a great podcast series on this same subject called “The way up is down” by Derek Prince that you might enjoy. You can find it on the DPLR (D Prince Legacy Radio) link on his ministry’s website. I’ve learned a great deal from him – he is a very clear teacher. Missy

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Ray Ortlund


Ray Ortlund is senior pastor of Immanuel Church in Nashville, Tennessee, and serves as a Council member with The Gospel Coalition. You can follow him on Twitter.

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