Book study

Journey To The High Places: The Invitation (Week 1)


My first impression of Much-Afraid is that she is, in fact, much afraid.  Her sole focus is on her disfiguring disabilities, and the fact that she has been tormented and controlled her entire life by those in her own family.  This has caused her to shrink back from pursing a life of freedom and joy.  She lacks self esteem, nor does she believe that there is anyone in the world who loves her for who she is.  She longs to escape the clutches of her relatives, but fears her short comings would only set her back.

The Shepherd has been waiting a long time to hear Much-Afraid finally express her desire to go with Him to the High Places.  However, even after admitting her desire, Much-Afraid again focused on her limitations, fearing she could never make it.

The Shepherd was willing to do everything He could to move her from fear and immobilization to leaping freely upon the High Places.

Only she had to be changed completely, from the inside out, never to be the same again. It would cost her everything in return.

She must be willing to endure the hurt and pain associated with loving and being loved.

“The seed (of love) looks very sharp,” she said shrinkingly.  “Won’t it hurt if You put it into my heart?”

He answered gently, “It is so sharp that it slips in very quickly. But Much-Afraid, I have already warned you that Love and pain go together, for a time at least.  If you would know Love, you must know pain too.”

The Shepherd waited until she was ready, until she asked for the seed of love to be planted into her heart.  He will never force His love on us.  He waits until we long for Him, until we beckon for Him to come.

Once her plan to go with Him to the High Places was solidified, He asked her to not tell anyone, because a journey to the High Places needs to be a secret matter.

She fell asleep, dreaming of running away with Him to the High Places.

Devotional Reflection

Going from the known to the unknown is often very frightening.  The idea of being changed though difficulty and danger can make us tremble. However, God promises that He will help us and that His Word will make the necessary provisions in our hearts so we can walk the way He chooses for us.

Behold God, my salvation!  I will trust and not be afraid, for the Lord God is my strength and song; yes, He has become my salvation.” (Isaiah 12:2 AMP)


I do want to serve You, precious Lord. Still my trembling heart in Your loving hand.  Quiet any anger when things don’t go my way.  Enlarge my heart to embrace Your choices, knowing Your love paves the way.

Thoughts To Ponder

What can you identify with most about Much-Afraid?  Have you had to count the cost of the pain of love?  How have you allowed yourself to surrender to God’s will and leave fear behind?

mountains meadowThis is Week 1 of a devotional study of Hinds Feet on High Places.  I have received the author’s permission to quote larger portions of text for purposes of this study.  All of the posts in this study can be found here.

18 thoughts on “Journey To The High Places: The Invitation (Week 1)”

  1. Mary says:

    Hi Barbie, I am not reading this book, but I like your thoughts here and I LOVE this “Still my trembling heart in Your loving hand.” there are things that are making my heart tremble these days and I truly need Him to still my heart.

    Have a wonderful week friend!
    Mary recently posted..When you feel like you don’t belong.

    1. Barbie says:

      Oh yes, I can relate. Praying you have a beautiful week. Thanks for stopping by Mary!

  2. Debbie G. says:

    Hi Barbie! I did not feel led to read the book along with you, but to continue on with the current book and Bible study that I’m in the middle of. However, I LOVE what you have shared here and can’t wait for your thoughts and insights next week. God has spoken to my heart through your words. Be blessed my friend!

    1. Barbie says:

      Debbie, i so appreciate you stopping by! Hugs!

  3. Mary Geisen says:

    Barbie-I’m so glad you are doing this study. I love the way this book is making me think. More importantly it sucked me in immediately because on many levels I can relate to Much-Afraid. There have been times in my life that I have felt exactly like her. Any act of surrender will have heartache as well. Blessings, my friend!
    Mary Geisen recently posted..God’s Beautiful Garden-Vol. 2

    1. Barbie says:

      You are so right Mary. Every step I take toward surrender breaks my heart a little, but brings me so much closer to Him. Hugs!

  4. Chris Malkemes says:

    This book is in my library and has had a special place since 1982. I recorded the entire book on cassette tape and sent it to my dying father. I only hope he heard the powerful words of encouragement and painful truth…He works, weaves and cuts away the “self” we hold so close even as that “self” hisses and claws to have her own way. You will be blessed as you read it. I am blessed again in what you’ve shared. I never realized that it was 1982 He began to work in my “much-afraid” heart. Was it then He planted the seed of love? I think so. blessings, my dear friend. ~ Chris
    Chris Malkemes recently posted..These Are The Words

    1. Barbie says:

      Chris, what a gift you were able to give to your father. I pray that those words penetrated His heart in ways he had never known before. Thanks for following along.

  5. Amy Jung says:

    I liked this first chapter so much that I went on to the next chapter! This first chapter was very comforting to me. At first I identified with Much Afraid in regards to when I first started walking with the Lord. I was reminded of how the Lord gently and sweetly wood me like the Shepherd. Then I began to realize that I am still very much like Much Afraid and the Shepherd is STILL the same way with me. I was reminded of the Shepherd’s love for me and ways he has graciously dealt with me over the years.This moved me to thankfulness and times of refreshing this past week. You’ve summed the chapter up beautifully and I’m looking forward to next week!
    Amy Jung recently posted..Extravagant Grace For When You Feel Messy

    1. Barbie says:

      His love for us never changes, does it Amy? So thankful you are long for this journey.

  6. Claudia says:

    I just finished reading the first chapter and I was wrecked! I identified with Much-Afraid in so many ways, especially with her definition of love, ha ha! Barbie, I sent a request to join the group on FB I am wondering if you’ve had a chance to accept it? 🙂

    Also, I purchased the ebook version of Hinds Feet and the ebook version doesn’t seem to have page numbers. So upon skimming through the reading schedule, I began to am wonder if the schedule is divided into chapters? For example, are pages 16-41 all Chapter 1?
    Claudia recently posted..The Snack & Hawk Show | Episode No. 06 {The Release}

    1. Barbie says:

      Claudia, I am so thankful to have you along on this journey. I am having trouble with the Facebook group, in that it’s not telling me when people are requesting to join. If you send me a link to your personal FB page, I will invite you. And yes, the book is pretty much divided up within chapters. Blessings!

  7. Candace says:

    This looks like a great study, Barbie. I can relate to fear. I truly live in a worried state far too often. Changing through difficulty is frightening, as you said, but it has always brought me the greatest growth. I’m looking forward to following along with your journey through this devotional!
    Candace recently posted..On Writing: A Blog Hop

    1. Barbie says:

      Thanks Candace! Glad to have you.

  8. Natasha says:

    Barbie, this is such a wonderful study and I am so grateful that the Lord put it on your heart to do this with all of us. For many years I suffered from very low self-esteem ,always trying to please others in order to be accepted. I thought because I was overweight that I was ugly and worthless.
    Last year when I decided to surrender my all to Him (although I have been a Christian for so many years) and allowed Him to cleanse me from deep within (which is a very painful procedure) I began to see myself through the Shepherd’s eyes of Love and I started to understand that i am precious in His sight!
    This journey to the “High Places” is an ongoing daily journey. The more I yearn for Him and put my will down and accept His will the more I am tranformed from and “ugly duckling” to a “beautiful swan”. He truly is all I need!!! Blessings to you my dear friend! Looking forward for your next post!!! Love to you!!!
    Natasha recently posted..Brief update on my life’s journey this past month….

    1. Barbie says:

      I still struggle with self esteem, which is why it was a battle to finally allow God to open this door. So thankful you have you along for the journey.

  9. Denise says:

    Hi Barbie! 🙂
    First; thank YOU so much for your gift of time and compassion for this devotional-it is truly going to be a blessing! Second; I loved week one devotional! So excited to begin using and applying to my personal goals and setbacks. ♥ Too many times, we judge our efforts by the results. And not only how it turns out, but how it’s perceived by others. We worry about our appearances, and pleasing others. Often we (and I am speaking for myself!) are afraid to stand up for God. What we should be doing is singing and baking and writing our hearts out for Our Father with faith and trust, ready to follow Him to the high places whenever He calls!
    Already excited for week two! 🙂
    Love you dear friend! ♥
    Denise recently posted..It’s My Party!

    1. Barbie says:

      Denise, excited to have you joining. If you haven’t already, head over to our Facebook group page and join in discussion there. I will have something fresh there this evening.

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