Step 1 —Look Upward

woman in a corn maze

In my last post, “It’s Time for You to Become the Woman God Created You to Be!” I shared a simple, yet profoundly important plan that can get you from where you are now—frustrated, lonely, insecure, and maybe feeling unloved— to where you really want to be spiritually, emotionally, and relationally in life.

We all want to be secure, fully known, completely loved, and empowered to be the very best version of ourselves we can be.

Every woman starts out on this journey unsure, weak, afraid, and in need of help.

Then, she meets a mentor who understands her plight and has been there and who can show her the way and give her a plan that can help her achieve success and avoid failure.

There is a specific path you will need to take if you want to become all you are meant to be.

The secret is Jesus. He is the One who can safely guide us on which way we should go. He has the plan. And not only that, He can give us the power we need to carry out His plan for us.

When women are whole in Christ, they are empowered by God to have divine relationship skills that greatly bless their marriages and other relationships.

There is a more detailed refresher of the 4-Step Peace Plan in the last post in case you didn’t get to see it, but here is the bare-bones version:

  1. Look upward.
  2. Look inward.
  3. Look outward.
  4. Look forward.

Most of us are used to looking at others, our circumstances, and ourselves. We are fixated on space and time. It’s kind of like we are mice in a maze. All we notice is what is horizontally in front of us at the moment. The walls, the openings, and the other mice right around us.

But what a different perspective we could have if we looked upward!

God is not inside of the maze of space and time like we are. He is not limited to each snapshot of a moment. He can see every day in the history of the earth as clearly as He can see today and He can see every future day equally all the time.

He is far above the noise and clamor of this world, but He knows everything that is going on. He can see the entire maze. He knows the beginning. He knows the dead ends. He knows the pitfalls and traps. He knows the enemy’s every thought, action, and strategy to thwart us. He also knows the way out. He did design life, time, and space, after all.

And He can see it from a much more strategic vantage point, which makes Him the perfect Guide for us.

We wear ourselves out running around the maze like crazy trying to figure it all out. But we keep getting frustrated and running into dead ends in our relationships and problems.

Why do we trust ourselves? None of us can see the whole picture!

Yet, if we would stop, be still, and look up, we would see Jesus, high and lifted up in the throne room of heaven reigning in majesty, glory, and authority over the entire universe. We would see myriads of angels praising Him continually. We would see a vast crowd of saints singing to Him and worshipping Him.

He is not a mouse like we are. But He knows our needs and He loves us and wants to provide well for us. He came and lived as a “mouse” on our behalf. He was fully man and fully God all at the same time. He lived in the same circumstances, the same maze. And yet, He made no wrong turns and He conquered the whole thing on our behalf, if only we will trust Him.

Now, He lives in all of His divine glory in the highest heavens with all authority.

Here is the picture we should have of Jesus as He is today—stop and focus completely on these words and imagine every detail in your mind’s eye:


Among the lampstands was someone like a son of man, dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire.  His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters.  In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword.His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.
When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last.  I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.

Rev. 1:13-18

Imagine that you were standing in front of Jesus and you saw Him like this and that you collapsed in awe and holy fear and reverence. Imagine that He put His hand on your shoulder and said these words directly to you that He spoke to John.

  • How important would His words be to you in that moment?
  • How significant would your problems on earth appear?
  • How difficult would it be to put your faith and trust in Him if you could experience His holiness so tangibly?
  • Would you have any doubt that His wisdom is greater than your own if you could see Him in all of His glory and understand who He is?

As we focus on Him and we see Him in His proper place then we also understand rightly our identity and who we are in Him. There is no room for pride here! No telling God what He better do. Only true humility and thankfulness.

We willingly, gratefully allow Him to be the rightful Good Shepherd of our souls.

We can also begin to see and hear His communication with us about the way we need to go each moment through His Word, through prayer, through circumstances, and through the prompting of the Holy Spirit, as we are sensitive to His voice.

We may not understand why He wants us to take a certain path at the time, but He is looking ahead to the end. He wants what is best for us in light of eternity and what is best for the kingdom. He, alone, is omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent. What an incredibly Good Father He is for us if we will simply look up in total faith and surrender.

We can trust Him completely.

What if you lived every moment with the knowledge of His presence in your mind and heart like this? What if you received all of Himself that He is offering to you and if you surrendered all of yourself to Him, keeping your gaze always on Him in your spirit?

I want you to get to experience Him, His love, His presence, and His provision more and more every day of your life. There is no greater Gift. There is no greater Love!

He is the Pearl of Greatest Price.

He is worth giving up all else for and sacrificing everything here on earth for so that we can have Him close to us now and forever!

HOW DO YOU LOOK UPWARD?

  1. See who He really is. Examine His character and attributes. Build your entire understanding of God from the truth of the Bible and reject any caricature you may have developed of him in your mind.
  2. Repent from everything that grieves His heart. Turn away from your wisdom, your sin, and anything/anyone else you put on the throne of your life to try to meet your deepest needs for security, identity, fulfillment, love, and empowerment.
  3. Yield completely to His Lordship in faith from this moment on for the rest of your life. Leave everything else behind in your heart and mind and follow Him wholeheartedly with love.
  4. Respond with a life of worship— joyful reverence, awe, love, praise, faith, thanksgiving, and holy fear.

Then— His heart will be filled with joy! He loves to have close fellowship with you! He gave up all of Himself for you. Now you give all of yourself to Him.

You will be blessed to abide in His presence, love, grace, mercy, glory, and beauty. Being close to Him is the best place to be in all existence.

When you look upward like this:

  • God changes your perspective to be more and more like His eternal perspective.
  • God transforms your mind to become more like Jesus.
  • God gives you a new heart, nature, and Spirit.
  • God opens your eyes to see your problems, your trials, other people, and yourself in divine ways.

Problems, trials, and painful things begin to look so tiny and small as you see how big, strong, and mighty He is.

Like the old hymn says,

“Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.”

When you look upward, as a child of God, you avoid so many toxic things.

When you keep your gaze on Jesus in worship, love, and surrender, you can’t be filled with fear, worry, anxiety, despair, depression, or frustration.

When you look upward:

  • His perfect love casts out all fear. (1 John 4:18)
  • There is no need for worry, anxiety, or frustration when you know who God is and you know who you are in Jesus. (John 15:9)
  • There is no place for despair because you serve a sovereign Lord who has all power, all wisdom, and whose every motive toward you is love! (Phil. 4:6-7)
  • There is no room for discouragement because His promises to you are all true in Christ. (2 Cor. 1:20)
  • You know that there is no condemnation for you (Rom. 8:1).
  • You know that nothing can separate you from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus, our Lord! (Rom. 8:1, 38)
  • You know that He will use all of the problems and difficult things in life, as well as all of the good things, to conform you to the image of Christ and for your ultimate spiritual good and His ultimate glory. So you can’t lose. No matter what happens in this life, when you are in Jesus Christ, you win! (Rom. 8:28-29)

You can choose to have a saving relationship with Jesus today to begin finding life-changing spiritual healing and hope. 

You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You.

Isaiah 26:3

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What is the Lord speaking to you today about this topic?

Why do you think looking upward is a critical first step for a hero to take in her journey?

Do you have a word of encouragement for others?

We’d love to hear your thoughts!

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God’s Incredible Plan for You!

It’s Time for You to Become the Woman God Created You to Be!

woman in gray dress in front of a building

Let me invite you into a story that is all about you. It is about your hopes, fears, dreams, and frustrations. It is about where you are right now and how to get from where you are to where you really want to go.

As a woman, you probably long for several core things:

  • Security—You want to know you are safe emotionally, physically, financially, mentally, and in every way. You want to know your identity is firm and that your life is built on something unshakeable no matter what storms may come.
  • To Be Known—You want intimacy with someone who deeply understands you, fully knows you, and accepts you. You want to have strong, healthy, vibrant relationships— with your husband, with your children, with God, and even with yourself.
  • Unconditional Love—You want to know that you are cherished, important, special, and loved just because you are you, no matter what happens.
  • Empowerment—You want to be the best version of yourself. You want to be an incredible blessing on your husband, your family, coworkers, friends, and neighbors. You want to make a huge impact on the world for good and leave a wonderful legacy that will matter forever. You want to be an important part of a bigger story.
Photo by Eric Ward on Unsplash

THE PROBLEM

Perhaps you feel insecure, misunderstood, unloved, and like you have no idea which way to go to make things better. Maybe you believe other people are the real cause of your pain. You have been depending on someone to meet your needs, maybe even your husband, and that person has failed you in some way.

The truth is, life can be really difficult. Relationships and marriage can be harder than we ever imagined they could be.

You feel like you have tried so hard to make things work, but you don’t know what to do. You’ve read books. You’ve talked to girl friends. You may have even tried a counselor or mentor. And you are still disappointed.

Some people will tell you to wait on your husband—or other people— to change first. But…

A real hero knows that she can’t afford to wait on someone else.

Time is short. There is a crisis. Someone has to step up and be courageous and strong—now.

Of course, you may not see yourself as a hero… yet. You may be filled with self-doubt, fears, anxiety, and a feeling that you are just not very well-equipped for the whole marriage thing, or even for life, in general.

You may have come to the humbling place where you realize you can’t fix or save anyone else. And you can’t even fix or save yourself.

What are you supposed to do with that?!?

Photo by Lacie Slezak on Unsplash

YOUR ENEMY

You may be tempted to think that your enemy is your husband, your in-laws, that hateful coworker, or some other person. But the Bible shows us that people are not actually our enemies. Our primary enemies are unseen in the spiritual realm.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Eph. 6:10

There really is someone who is trying to destroy your life and your family. He hides himself pretty well in our culture, but his work is evident all around us.

He has been covertly feeding us toxic lies through other people, books, media, our culture, and even our own fallen nature about God, marriage, masculinity, femininity, and ourselves. Many of us have inadvertently built our core beliefs on these lies and we don’t know why our lives are so painful and dysfunctional.

We don’t realize that we built our marriages and our lives on a shaky foundation and that is why when the storms of life pound us, things fall apart.

I’VE GOT JUST THE PLAN YOU NEED

Every hero needs a boost, of course. We all need someone who has been in the trenches where we are and has overcome adversity and who understands the baby steps it takes to get to victory. We need someone with a solid plan to show us the way we should go.

It’s good that we get to the place we realize we need help desperately, that we can’t do this whole life or marriage thing on our own. This humility and brokenness is the door that opens our hearts to the narrow path that God has prepared for us.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

John 14:6

I want to see your life of frustration, isolation, loneliness, helplessness, and pain transform to one of confidence, contentment, empowerment in Christ, peace, joy, and all the spiritual abundance God has prepared for you.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

John 10:10

If you are ready to be a hero in your own real-life adventure story, I’d love to show you the way.

The 4-Step Peace Plan

This plan is a simple pathway to show you how you can enter into the heroic life God has for you and experience real peace with God, with others (as far as it depends on you), and with yourself.

  1. Look upward—Set your gaze on Jesus Christ in total awe and yield yourself fully to His Lordship in faith. Step down off of the throne of your life and let the Prince of Peace, Jesus, rule your heart and mind.
  2. Look inward— Invite God to help you crucify your old sinful nature with Jesus and give you a new identity, His Spirit, His love, and new Life.
  3. Look outward—Receive Jesus’ eyes and heart for others to love them with His divine love and power and to speak His life and blessing into their lives, including in your marriage.
  4. Look forward—Watch Jesus turn your pain, trials, and difficult relationships into beauty for your ultimate good, a blessing for others, and His greatest glory. And look forward most of all to eternity in heaven with Him and everyone who loves Him forever!

You can choose to have a saving relationship with Jesus today to begin finding life-changing spiritual healing  and hope.

You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You.

Isaiah 26:3

YOUR DEEPEST NEEDS ARE SATISFIED IN CHRIST ALONE

When you build your thinking, your heart, your core beliefs, and your identity on Jesus, He fills you up with all you were lacking. He, alone, can truly give you the things you desire so deeply in an intimate, personal, spiritual relationship with Him.

In Jesus, you are completely secure and unshakeable. You are fully known and completely loved unconditionally. And you are empowered with a new nature, a new life, and a new Spirit to become the very best version of yourself that God created you to be.

He meets the deepest needs of your heart that no human can ever meet. He is the only one who can truly complete us and heal us to the core.

THEN IT’S YOUR TURN TO BE A HERO FOR OTHERS

Jesus will even empower you to be an instrumental part of His heroic plan to help set many other miserable captives free so that they can come into His kingdom, as well! What an incredible honor to be part of His work and miracles in other people’s lives!

In coming posts, I plan to share more details about each step of this plan and how you can grow like crazy in the Lord.

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The Peaceful Wife—Living in Submission to Christ As Lord – God’s design for us as wives and women that I wish I understood 25 years ago when Greg and I first got married.

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