The View From Here

Gwen SmithBlog, Christian Living, Devotions, Encouragement, Knowing God by Name 9 Comments



A few years back, my husband, Brad, and I celebrated 20 years of marriage 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! My calves are sore just thinking about it! 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. They’re humbling because they show how small we are in light of this massive earth… and in light of the massive galaxy that echoes the majesty of our Creator.

God is El Elyon, the Lord Most High. The highest of all things high! 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 should knowing this – and knowing Him – 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 the way 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 ourselves 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.

God meets us with mercy because He loves us.

But… we still have challenges and they weigh us down. And our burdens shouldn’t keep us from climbing to high places – to the highest place – but they often do. They keep us from experiencing the mercy and help of God as 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 a better view we climbed. It required 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.


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.



Read Psalm 47 and journal a prayer response. {If you are not the journaling type, then visit my blog to post a prayer response or swing by my Facebook page.}

I hope you know how much I love you!




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Comments 9

  1. I pray that God will continuously keep my mouth praising him and never let it stop praising him, even though everything around me has come Crashing Down, beginning with my family I pray that he will help guide us in our walk with him and that one day we would be United as one make before in Jesus name amen

  2. I am just requesting prayer that God will lead me to the man he has for me as a life partner. I pray for healing and a new start. I also pray that He will provide for my financial needs so I can be the best single mom possible for three teenagers. Thanks.

  3. I have read this one before and, as is always true with biblical truths, it is wonderful to be reminded of what we too often forget. Thank you, Gwen! Before reading your message, I turned to my verse of the day, which is, “Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.” (Ephesians 2:19 NIV). It struck me how simplistic this verse is in what it states; but how incredibly and awesomely deep is it’s message. One that we allow to escape us in the busy-ness of life. Just as we fail to seek and observe from the high places, we fail to grasp the fact that we are “members of the household of God.” How incredible is that? How mind boggling is it to include ourselves with the saints? Yes, sister, Psalm 47 wraps it up in verse 2: “How awesome is the Lord Most High, the great King over all the earth!” Thank you…and Mary & Sharon…for providing daily encouragement that is a joy to share with our own girlfriends in God. Blessings.

  4. Father thank you for renewing me each morning and giving me a new opportunity each day,forgiving my mistakes of yesterday I can start anew. Create in me today a clean heart with you at the core so that in my words and dealings with all people, it is your gentle spirit that emanates through me and not my selfish needs to be correct or justified. Humble me today. Amen

  5. Dear Jesus, Abba, Father, Daddy, Most High, El Elyon, what a word, you have placed on Sis. Gwen’s heart to help us see you above everything else in our lives. Thank you for the gift of joining in with your holy angels to clap in adoration for your goodness and marvelous works. Thank you that though often we are prideful as Jacob, you gladly turn our cries to joy and help us to see beyond our comfort. You are awesome and today we sing from the bottom of our hearts with an illuminating shout for this new year and for all you have in store for us knowing that we can do nothing without you. I ask that your name forever be exalted in our lives and that we never cease to be amazed at your wonders. We thank you for being God and God alone and ask that we may continue to trust in your love and being to sustain us for as long as we live till the day we are greeted in your beloved kingdom singing holy, holy, holy. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

  6. Heavenly Father thank you for being my loving savior and reminding me that you are my God, Lord help me get out of the situations that crowd my life and my heart and help me to be a better person and a true testament to you lord. Thank you for loving this sinner lord. Amen

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