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

SHARE

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!

Ten Tips for The Journey to Become a Godly Wife

In the beginning of this journey to become a godly wife, when you are seeking to allow God to transform your heart, mind, and life I have found the following things may be wise. (This post is specially geared toward wives who realize they have been disrespectful and controlling.) Of course, all of us ultimately need to follow the Spirit’s leading in any situation:

  1. It may be best not to talk to your husband about what you are learning spiritually (unless he specifically asks) for usually the first few months, possibly longer. And if he does ask about what you are learning – it can be wise to keep things brief for a number of reasons.
    • Men don’t tend to respond much to our words about spiritual things, especially if they are hurting because of our sin or they are far from God.
    • Men don’t tend to respond much to our words about spiritual things when they perceive that we are far from God or if they don’t hold us in a lot of respect at the time because of the way we have been treating them.
    • When we are beginning this journey, we tend not to express ourselves very respectfully about what we are learning and we can inadvertently sabotage ourselves if we try to talk about it a lot.
      • “I’m learning I need to be quiet when I think that what you are saying is really stupid.”
      • “I’m going to respect you because God says I have to not because I actually respect you.”
      • “Wow, it is really hard to learn how to genuinely respect you.”
    • Most men would rather not hear all the mechanics of what we are learning. There are some very spiritually mature men who tend to be more verbal who may enjoy hearing some of what we are learning but that would be pretty rare.
  2. Keep the focus on your own heart, sin, and obedience to the Lord:
    • In your private walk with Christ.
      • Focus on repenting of any sin in your life every day. Invite God to expose sinful motives and thoughts.
      • Pray for God to change you.
      • Thank God for your husband and the good things about him.
      • There may be a time where all you do is pray for God to bless your husband and you don’t pray for God to change him if you have been praying that with selfish motives in the past.
      • Take responsibility for your spiritual well-being and growth.
    • In any conversation you believe you need to have with your husband about spiritual things (unless he is involved in serious unrepentant sin against you that simply must be addressed sooner).
    • Yes, he has sins in his life, too.
    • When speaking with other people
      • (although you may need to talk some about your husband’s issues with a godly mentor/counselor, you can still do so very respectfully).
  3. Let him SEE and experience what God is doing in your heart by your change in attitude, countenance, respect, kindness, patience, peace, joy, etc…
  4. You will likely come across a lot of things as you learn and grow that he may need to learn, too, but I suggest refraining from trying to be his spiritual teacher. God can work on his heart in time and reach him in powerful ways you can’t possibly reach him.
    • If you approach him as his spiritual authority, teacher, or preacher, it will probably repel him from you and from the Lord.
    • We are not in a position of spiritual leadership over our husbands. God has chosen to give our husbands that role of headship.
    • It is SO easy to come across as self righteous or prideful if we try to verbally teach our husbands.
    • There will be plenty of things we can humbly share as a fellow traveler on this road later when the marriage has been healed as the Lord may lead – once our husbands are interested and ask for us to share.
    • Our words as wives about spiritual things are a lot less necessary than I ever realized for many years early in our marriage.
  5. As he sees the godly example you set, it will preach a more powerful sermon to him than if you attempt to lecture him, preach at him, or teach him. Again, words are not usually that meaningful to men. They are much more impacted by changed actions and attitudes.
  6. Start a list of all the things you can think of that you respect and admire about your husband. Add to it all throughout each day.
    • Maybe consider mentioning one sentence of something you admire/respect/appreciate about him each day.
  7. If you start thinking about all the things “he should do” – that is often a red flag to refocus on allowing the Lord to transform you first.
    • It may be wise not to read books or sections of books that are about what husband should do if that is a trigger for you.
  8. Don’t be surprised if he is not very supportive of your changes at first. That is pretty common. Yes, it would be awesome if he could be super supportive. If he is not able to be in that spiritual place of strength yet, extend grace to him and continue to allow God to radically transform you to be more like Jesus.
  9. Focus on being a safe place for him emotionally and spiritually.
  10. Find all of your security, peace, joy, and identity in Jesus alone, not in what your husband does or does not do.

 

Don’t be surprised if, as God changes you, your husband gets confused about what on earth is going on. That is pretty normal. I have some posts listed at the bottom that address this issue.

SHARE:

If you have been on this journey for awhile, what are some pearls of wisdom you may feel led to share with our sisters who are just starting?

PRAY WITH ME:

Lord,
Please give us the light we need each step of this journey. We yield ourselves fully to all that You desire to do in our hearts and minds. Cleanse us! Refine us! Purify us! We humble ourselves before You. Expose any sin and anything that is not from You in our souls and lives. Help us get rid of all of that. Help us to embrace Your wisdom and Your Spirit. Let us hear Your voice clearly and follow You wholeheartedly. Make us into the godly women You call us to be for Your glory! Use us to bless our husbands and families and those around us.
Amen!

Much love!

NOTE – There may be exceptions to some of the things I am talking about in extremely toxic, abusive situations. In such cases, seek the Lord’s wisdom and wise, godly, appropriate counsel one-on-one.

RELATED:

My book “The Peaceful Wife – Living in Submission to Christ As Lord”

I was surprised to discover that what my husband needed to feel respected really wasn’t a long list.

She Is Worth Far More Than Rubies

Rough, natural rubies
Rough, natural rubies

Rough rubies, sell for about $900-$7000 for a small bag of them.

A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Proverbs 31:10-12, 28-30

www.naturalunheatedrubies.com
www.naturalunheatedruby.com

A godly woman who has noble character is a rare thing, even among women who profess Christ. You don’t find many women with a gentle, peaceful spirit who totally trust in Christ and are fully submitted to Him. You don’t find many women who are so filled with God’s Spirit that He empowers them to do what is right and who do not give way to fear.

happy girl

Confidence in Christ is so beautiful in a woman! It causes her to light up the whole room.

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear. I Peter 3:3-6

What comes naturally to our sinful nature as women are things like:

  • being afraid
  • freaking out
  • being anxious
  • putting things like romance, beauty, marriage, children or being in control ourselves above Christ in our hearts
  • grabbing for control or power
  • trying to force what we want (selfishness)
  • trusting in our own human wisdom
  • allowing our emotions to rule over us
  • trusting our feelings instead of God’s Word
  • bitterness
  • resentment
  • gossip
  • score-keeping
  • pride
  • self-righteousness, thinking we are better than other people

SPIRITUAL BEAUTY

It is only when we allow Christ to have full control of everything in our lives that He radically transforms us from sinful women to Spirit-filled women. It is only as we allow Him to do open heart surgery on us and we completely trust Him and allow Him to remove our old sinful nature and old sinful heart, crucifying it with Himself on the cross and burying it with Him in the tomb – that we can find freedom from our slavery to sin. He opens the door to our dungeon that has imprisoned us in depression, anxiety, worry, fear, isolation, despair, bitterness, resentment, jealousy and pain. He breaks the shackles from our hands and feet. Jesus invites us to walk with Him out into the glorious freedom and abundant spiritual blessings of the life He has in store for us! Then, because Jesus was resurrected to new life, and we are in Him, He gives us new life, new hearts and His power to live in obedience to His Word.

I CAN BE A PRISONER NOW BY MY CHOICE, BUT THE WAY TO FREEDOM IS ALREADY AVAILABLE

We can choose to stay in the dungeon. We can choose to remain prisoners to our sinful nature and the enemy. We can choose to stay miserable and to enjoy our bitterness and complaints. No one will stop us. It is our choice alone to make. Or, we can now choose to leave these old ways and that old life and old nature behind and receive the spiritual gifts, treasures and blessings Jesus has waiting for all who trust Him and submit to Him as Lord and Master. My feelings don’t have to be my master anymore. I can boss my feelings around when I belong to Christ. They may be helpful to me at times. They may give me some useful information. But they no longer have to be a tyrant to me. I can choose to obey Jesus and walk with Him no matter what my feelings tell me at a given moment. Jesus will reward me with eternal blessings for my obedience to Him as I walk in the power of His Spirit. I don’t have to seek momentary worldly happiness anymore.

I am responsible for this choice myself. I am responsible for my emotions and my spiritual condition. God gives ME this choice to make for my life. My husband cannot make it for me. He cannot make me be content or happy! Only I can find contentment for myself and the only real place to find true satisfaction and fulfillment is in Christ alone.

No other human can make me happy or be responsible for my contentment. I must find my own contentment and be responsible for my own soul. If I am unhappy, it is my job to run to Jesus and take my pain to Him. I CAN choose to receive His gifts of joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, goodness and self-control. I must be willing to die to myself and allow self to be crucified and buried with Christ. Then I can count myself dead to sin and alive to God in Christ. And I can learn to rest in Him and allow Him to produce good in me. It is all His work, none of the good Jesus wants to do in my life originates from me. It is all Him 100%. He died and has provided victory for me. I can choose to accept and receive His gift and learn to live in the power of His Spirit on a daily basis as He conforms my heart, mind and soul to be made to be like Himself.

The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. Romans 8:6

IT IS ALL ABOUT GOD

It is the most amazing thing to watch God change you, change your heart, change your mind, change your desires, change your priorities and to cause you to love what He loves and to hate what He hates. As we fling the door wide open to our lives and allow Him access to everything, He will take the things that are most precious to us – as we allow Him to – and break them. He must see that we are willing to give up ALL for Him and that He is our greatest desire and greatest passion. It is only when we willingly grant Him access to our greatest treasures in this life that He will then give us access to all of Himself. Then we gain access to all of Christ, His mind, His heart, His power, the riches of heaven, the spiritual treasures of God…

Then, we radiate the beauty, holiness, peace, joy divine love and power of God. And we live in contentment in Christ alone. We are unshaken by circumstances. Our faith is firmly planted like a tree beside a stream. We draw all of our strength and nourishment from God and His very Spirit lives in us, controlling our lives as we lovingly, joyfully submit to Him in all things.
This is the beauty God is talking about that He desires His women to have. It is not anything that comes from her that is so beautiful, it is Christ in her that brings all the beauty. This is what is precious in His sight and this kind of Holy Spirit-filled woman is worth far more than rubies to God – and to her husband. This is the kind of beauty I pray for us each to discover and develop in Christ.

cmr414-2_i1
http://www.naturalunheatedruby.com
This is a 4.14 carat African ruby for sale for $68,000 USD