Further Up and Further In

My favorite moment in all of the Narnia books by C.S. Lewis is the last part of the final book, The Last Battle. The children enter into the “real Narnia” through a narrow door and find that this new Narnia is even more beautiful and more real than the one they had known.

They are constantly invited to come “further up and further in.” At each successive turn, just when they think they had arrived at their destination, they found that something more spectacular was yet beyond and they needed to go even further in to reach it. And so it went, journeying further up and further in, always more elated than the moment before.

From the book:

For them, it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page; now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read, which goes on forever, in which every chapter is better than the on before.

This part of the book really made me long for heaven, because that is what the New Creation (aka “heaven”) will be like. We will be totally fulfilled and joyous and lacking nothing, yet each day will bring greater experiences of that fulfillment in God than the day before. The life we have been living for as many years as we have been alive is merely the title page and cover. Everything you have ever done in your life will amount to little more than a publisher’s stamp in eternity.

So I wrote a song about it and would like to share it with you. We have sung it at my church in Louisville the last couple of weeks and it has gone over pretty well, I think. I hope these lyrics make you long for God in eternity like it does me.

Further Up and Further In
written by Michael Clary and Andy Barlow

Further up and further in
The master bids us come
To see and taste the foreign fruit
The savior’s blood has won

Come and drink your heart’s content
The water without price
Recline and dine, the finest wine;
The blood of sacrifice

Further up and further in
So much deeper than you’ve ever been
Further up and further in
Into the love that washed away our sin

The Bride adorned from those reborn;
Dressed in her proud array
Ascending glories of the Lamb
Are burning new each day

Clothed in linen, pure and bright,
And crowned in righteousness
The bridegroom loves her, his delight
Eternal love to her express

Perfect Eden; perfect rest
God’s dwelling place with man
The work of Christ has been fulfilled
He sits at God’s right hand

A thousand years now distant past
The joys have just begun
Yet further up and further in
The master bids us come!

  1. reading the song without the music is a little different than singing along at church. very cool. it has a little blind boys of alabama feel to it in my head though, contrary to the way it sounds in church. keep writing d.

  2. they’re an old blues gospel group. they’re all blind. you should check them out.

  3. Good post Michael. Found your blog through Technorati. I need to read more Lewis. It seems like God’s call is always in that same vein of ‘further up and further in.’

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