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Climbing to High Places

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Gwen Smith

January 10, 2014

Blog, Christian Living, Knowing God by Name, Worship

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Look Up!

My husband, Brad, and I celebrated 20 years of marriage last summer by taking a trip to several cities, far away. We planned our days and painstakingly plotted touring strategies in order to see the sites, view the views, eat the foods, experience the local charms and soak in the unfamiliar cultures as best we could. Each city boasted different personalities and attractions, but one thing was consistent about our approach in every location: we climbed to high places.

And we climbed.

We climbed and we climbed… thousands of steps. I kid you not! We climbed up creaky, dusty, windy staircases of old cathedrals and up small steps in tall buildings. We climbed fancy-schmancy staircases in opulent castles, up ancient stone staircases in an arena, up earthen lava trails on the sides of a dormant volcano and up steep, grassy paths on scenic hills.

Every ascent was both an adventure and a challenge. The rewards of each strenuous climb, however, were breath-taking views that gave us a bigger picture of the locations we were visiting. We saw beauty and grandeur. We gained clarity and focus. We got fresh perspectives. It was awesome.

Have you ever looked out an airplane window and seen the world from above the clouds? Have you ever taken in mountain hike views or climbed to the top of a lighthouse? High places are incredible. High places can also be humbling as they show how small we are in light of this massive earth and galaxy in which we live.

God is El Elyon, the Lord Most High. The highest of highs! The psalmist said it this way, “How awesome is the Lord Most High, the great King over all the earth.” (Psalm 47:2) God is all-knowing, all-powerful, glorious and full of splendor. He. Is. Awesome!

So, how can and should who He is affect our day-to-day views? Our perspectives change when we look up and climb to the sacred chambers of the Most High God. Think about how your mindset changes when you get a fresh perspective.

Maybe you have a few heart burdens or disappointments that are keeping you from high views. We all find our place discouraged at times. Psalm 123:1-2 says, “To you I lift up my eyes, O you who are enthroned in the heavens! Behold, as the eyes of servants
look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maidservant to the hand of her mistress,
so our eyes look to the Lord our God, till he has mercy upon us.” (ESV) The Hebrew word for “lift” is nasa’ meaning, “to lift, bear up, carry, take.” So when we look up, bear up, carry up and take up our concerns to God His mercy meets with us. He meets us with mercy because He loves us. (TWEET this!)

But… we still have challenges and they weigh us down. Our burdens shouldn’t keep us from climbing to high places – from the highest place – but often they do. They keep us from experiencing the mercy and help of God and they consume our mind with low and discouraging thoughts.

How can we connect our low or average life places to God’s highest place… to the place of His grace… His power… His provision… His love… His forgiveness… His rest? We can ask God for help. We can be still before Him, confess our sins, remember that He is God and we are not. We can ask Him for the courage we need to move forward in His strength.

When Brad and I wanted to get better views we climbed. It took intentional effort. We took step after step until we reached the top and each climb met us with a beautiful reward. The distance between our low, dim-viewed living and the high places we are invited to experience in Christ will only change if we climb. When we look up, God lifts us up… and the view from the top is always incredible. (Another TWEETABLE!)

Dear Lord, Thank you for reminding me that You are the Most High God! Help me to climb beyond my discouragements and challenges toward Your provision and help. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Turn your speakers on and ALLOW THIS SONG to lead you in RESPONSIVE WORSHIP:

FOR YOUR REFLECTION and RESPONSE: What challenges do YOU need to climb beyond today? Leave a comment or a prayer request below. Encourage one another!

I love doing life with you!

Gwen 

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Looking for a fresh way to experience God? Get the new Girlfriends in God book, Knowing God by Name by Sharon Jaynes, Gwen Smith, & Mary Southerland. This is the perfect book for individual study or for gathering a group of friends in what we call GiG Groups. With impactful devotions, study questions, journal pages, and free on-line video intros, this book is a resource you’ll refer to time-and-time again.

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About Gwen Smith


Gwen Smith

I am an unashamed, imperfect worshiper of Jesus Christ. I cling to His goodness to cover my mess and purpose my days to live out the hope of the Gospel. It is my joy and passion to inspire women to live fully in grace and truth. I write books, devotions and songs. I speak. I sing. I worship. I post, pin and tweet. I am intensely in love with the Word of God and believe, wholeheartedly, that the Bible is divinely inspired truth.

 

38 responses to “Climbing to High Places”

  1. Sherrie Martin says:

    I ask for prayer today as the time is growing near for me to turn myself in to the Federal Prison for doing something stupid and not relying on God. During this time I have come to know God on a more personal level, but still I have fear in where I am going and what is still to come. Please pray for my safety and the safety of me kids and grandkids while I am away, and that I return home quickly. As the word of God states, “he promises to give us shorter days, and as he did for Peter may he opens the prison gates as I grow in him.

  2. Cherylaz says:

    Beautiful song, voice my daughter who lives in PA sends your devotional each morning to several women here in Az. We appreciate each of them….thank you for taking YOUR time to share with us.

  3. Nirva says:

    Pray for my relationship with God to get stronger every day.. Beautiful worship song

  4. alofaIesu says:

    this is so inspiring and i appreciate your heart! keep up the great work for His Kingdom-the prayer in the devotion is mine as well! i am so glad the Lord led me here…God bless

  5. mac says:

    God inhabits the praises of His people….What an awesome song….creating an atmosphere of God’s divine presence and His Presence means Heaven to me. Thank you for sharing this inspiring song to encourage me today of all time. God’s timing is truly perfect. The Author and Finisher of my Faith!!!

  6. Sherlan Mc Knight says:

    Beautiful song…..Thank you for sharing & inspiring us women as we struggle to keep our eyes on God. Believing & trusting Him while trials and circumstance say not too requires Faith & Trust !!

  7. disqus_aqdwTBfOPB says:

    That was Beautiful! Thank you for the great and inspiring devotions from all of you, I love them 🙂 Anyhow, I am a 34 year old women that has always known and Believed in God since as long as I can remember. That has Not changed, However besides living with Anxiety and depression for my whole life without any help.. there is an Unspoken prayer that I have in which I feel is worse then the two put together.. this affects my Whole life.. I honestly would rather die then deal with this.. but I know that’s not right. I struggled for years fighting with the enemy on taking my life but I will not do it. Thing that I have though like I said affects my life but nothing seems to be able to fix it. Went to doctors twice to see if it would change but nothing.. I have a husband but truly is not behind me on Any of this.. I have been praying about this since around 13 maybe?? Nothing changed and has just got worse. I have read online others are going through what I am but there is nothing to help it. I want to live but I tell God how can I living like this.. I have children and this has affected them as well. I don’t want to go any where I don’t go with friends anymore I constantly make excuses for Everything including family.. I know God has his timing and reasoning but this is something that I just can’t understand.. I don’t know what to do anymore. I truly need prayers for this, there is more to me and for me in this world and this stops it. Please and anyone reading this Please pray for me as my prayers are with you as well. Thank you for taking the time to read all of this. Not sure if this is well put in word’s or understanding, I just need the help of others prayers because all these years its only been my own. God Bless.

    • kim says:

      I prayed for you. God loves you. Keep up your strength. Your hope and love for your children should guide you but let God lead the way.

    • Laura Barton says:

      Hi Sister, I sit here for the first time reading your testimony of hurt, hardship, and wondering why you are here. God has every hair numbered, as well as our days. Please don’t shorten His plan for you. It is a wonder that we get up everyday and go through the motions with our children, husband, and even our church family, and no one sees us for who we are. It is a challenge to be with this world, in this world, around this world, because society is so upside down. I believe that you are weeping because nothing has seemed worth the fight since childhood. I must say sister, I am 57, and at 50 years old my life seemed just as yours, until “I DECIDED THAT GOD AND GOD ONY WOULD BE MY SOURCE!” There is no other way one can make it; not with the heart you have. God has given you a special softened heart, that sees differently than most. I pray for you to receive that gift which is not given to many, and recognize that it is not a curse or a depression, It is for prayer and a testimony that no one can make the grade without Jesus. Jesus has stood in intersession for you for many years, join me and we can go together to the throne of grace and receive our mercy, I will not forget you and all these years when you thought you were alone, Jesus was there. Just like He is with me.
      .

    • Friend To Share says:

      Dear disqus — You are tired and sick and miserable, but there is hope. Lift your eyes to skies above; bask in sunshine; feel God’s loving arms that will enfold you in sublime love…more love than you have ever felt before. Trust that God, through his son Jesus, will heal your despair and give you a full, rich life. Seek help from a mental health provider who respects you and your difficulties, and who wants to guide you to a better state of mind. I am praying for you right now. There truly is more for you in this world…something fine and wonderful.

  8. Sandra says:

    Please pray for my anxiety and depression that I suffer with. Help me to trust in God more and have joy and peace again in my life. Thank you.

    • disqus_aqdwTBfOPB says:

      I have been going through that for a long time. I do not use medication just never go in for it. But what I know and what I say is : There is Always going to be a Brighter Day! And it’s soo true. And simply because of God! He Is my Hope and my strength that one day when this life is over we will have a greater one in heaven. We have to bring our own peace and joy with God’s help of course, but we don’t change our day or bring God into it, Anxiety and Depression will linger on in your day. When you feel down put on praise music, it never fails to lift you up and Gwen’s song is a great example of it! My prayers are with you because I Know what you are going through!

      • Shan says:

        ‘I declare victory in Jesus’ name
        I rebuke the work of the enemy in Jesus’ name
        I plead the blood of Jesus upon our lives, family and everything that concerns us, in Jesus’ name
        Thank you Father for your hedge of protection surrounding us this impenetrable ring of fire. ‘

  9. AnnMarie says:

    I am take baby steps getting back to the loving hands of God. Please say a prayer that I fine my way back.

    • Janet says:

      My favorite quote on this issue is from the amazing Elizabeth Elliot who said, “As the Good Shepherd, Jesus is the One responsible to get us to the pastures He has for us. All we have to do is listen for His voice.” That helped me so much in the anxiety of job decisions and life as a single person into my mid-30s and life beyond.

    • Kimbra says:

      we can pray for each other. I also am returning and letting God back in. alot of the hurts and thoughts of the past have came back. i even started getting migraine headaches back! the second time around is so much harder. i pray to get back the relationship with Him, ten times fold, for the both of us. baby steps. Sisters in Christ.

      • Shy says:

        Kimbra you are so right about it being hard when u turn from God then try and go back to walkin in faith. I cry more now then i ever have because im deeply hurt that I lost that connection and intimate relationship with him the first time. So I understand, but im fighting my way back and standing on steadfast.

  10. Deb says:

    Thank you sooo much for the Girlfriends in God. I pass it on to all my friends and family. Beautiful song and voice! I have a prayer request for a 21 year old Granddaughter. She is not healthy right now and a confused young lady. She has a beautiful spirit and needs lots of prayers. Thank you so much for this! Blessings to you!

  11. Julia says:

    Dear Gwen , You are a very inspiring woman of God . I thank you for giving me and everyone the time to share Gods words and the power it comes with. My highest point today is to pray for one another and to pray for my brothers and sisters that one day they will see the light above and reflect on Our Awesome God for help! He has always kept me going and with Him everything is possible. I believe there is no greater adventure in life than when you climb with Our Highest King of Kings El Elyon. You are a blessing to me by praying with me everyday and inspiring me with the Girlfriends in God I look forward to my daily scriptures and thank God for beautiful woman that have a heart of gold.I need the extra help with praying always for family it’s not easy but God always provide us with Miracles … Always sends Angels from His highest to lead and guide us. I am touched to know we are not alone. May God continue to do His work in me Amen.

  12. Bonnie says:

    thank you for the beautiful post and song. very inspirational!

  13. Kathleen says:

    Beautiful song Gwen!! So beautiful.

  14. cindy says:

    I have major financial problems that I can’t overcome on my own,and no one to turn to for help,my esteem is down and I hate to ask my church for help again

    • Janet says:

      I believe that is what your church or other Christians in your life are there for. Maybe someone can help you in more longterm ways with budgeting, or supporting you as you have to make difficult decisions, not only helping with the immediate need. I am praying for you, Cinday, today. God promises He will provide for our needs as we look to Him.

    • Shy says:

      I am going through the same thing right now but I have learned to depend on God to supply my every need as he promise. I know words are better spoken than action but it will get better. I am a witness, the burden will lessen, and God will show you the steps to take . You will begin to see the light at the tunnel until ur completely out. Stay in his face, his word, and dont lose faith or hope. May God bless you in many ways. Stand strong Cindy

  15. Donna says:

    I love your devotions. They speak to my heart. I still feel so lost and pray for Gods guidance daily. I am thankful to my Aunt for sending me the link to yor site. Please say a prayer for me. Thank you.

  16. stepahanie says:

    Hey, Gwen. I just want you to know that I receive so much from your devotions! Thank you for what you do! God speaks to my heart with every one that I read. I would also like to ask you to pray for me today. I don’t normally do anything like this because I’m sort of a private person, but I’ve gained alot of confidence in you and your ministry through your devotions. I’m just very down-hearted today for various reasons, and the enemy is having a hay-day with me! I know that I am a very blessed woman, but there are those days that you just need an extra special touch from the Almighty to remind you – that’s me today!! So, I’m asking you, kindly, to lift me up – daily! – or when you think about it. I know that I can whip this! I have alot of responsibility as Christian leader and I know that the enemy don’t like that. So, join forces with me to keep him at bay!!! 🙂 Thank you so much! I would love to meet you some day!
    Sincerely,
    Stephanie

  17. glimpsedglory says:

    Miss Gwen — I know this was not the focus of your blog today and I did climb to the High Places with you and love the perspective, but the description of the staircases you gave was the thing God used for me. All different types — dusty, opulent, plain, grand — they each served the same purpose exactly where they were. They lifted you to a place where you could see God more clearly. I sometimes struggle with not being a grand, opulent staircase. I’m much more the sturdy, winding, dusty kind. But I pray that I am serving my purpose and lifting others up when I have the opportunity so that they may see God more clearly. Thanks for sharing today. I find your obedience to be awesome!
    Marilyn
    @glimpsedglory

  18. Colleen says:

    Thank you, Gwen, for this song. I needed to hear it. He IS who He says He is and He can do what He says He can do. – Colleen

  19. Lori says:

    What a beautiful and powerful song! May God heal your voice soon so you may continue to touch us all with your music. I am a music girl myself and thi song really touched me. Blessings to you.

  20. Laura says:

    Thank you Gwen for the reminder to look up to God for help. I’ve let my thoughts and discouragement overtake me some again. Some not so nice things happened a few weeks ago. And even though some of the steps to forgiveness came and I was doing fairly well when I got back to the busy life after Christmas break I lost my time to focus on God again. How do you break the vicious cycle of dwelling on the bad parts of the situation. By calling out to God Most High. Praise God He is with me. He knows. He heals. He will bring about his will. In HIs own time. If only I can keep my eyes on Him.

    • Shy says:

      Laura ask God for a deeper, burning, consistent, intimate relationship with him. You are already on your way because you opened this website. God put that move inside you to go forward in his word, no matter how it is given to you. You are being feed his word. Blessing to you Woman of God

  21. Tina says:

    I need to get beyond the fact that my husband has been unfaithful (again)!
    Please pray that I will clearly know God’s will concerning this matter!

    • Lori says:

      Praying now!

    • Janet says:

      Maybe God doesn’t want you to get beyond this issue until your husband does. I pray He will give you wisdom in how to proceed as the radiant daughter of the King who you are, indeed. I pray your husband will understand what He is doing to God and to you in this sin and that you’ll both want to work on climbing to a better marriage to radiate God’s forgiveness and mercy in your lives to those around you.

    • Kimbra says:

      God wants us all to focus on Him. Not the sin or the sinner. With your grace and mercy showing through and forgiveness, your husband will see this. It can be difficult to forgive but you will be set free. Hate the sin not the sinner.

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