What Defeats FEAR?

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comChildren And Night Terrors (Series Part III)

Part I

Part II

My friends, in the prior posts of this series, I was directing our considerations to our children and how to assist them in dealing with their fright at night. However, this post is not only for the kids but also for us, grownups. Because if I asked our readership and they were brave enough to respond, half of you as adults also deal with frightening things in the night hours. So, this post is applicable to Mom and Dad and the children. In fact, let me start by sharing my personal experience.

There are four weapons of our warfare that can defeat the devils that work to frighten us. And today I will share two of those. However, before we get there, do you know WHY the enemy works hard to frighten us at night?

The simple answer is fear is the opposite of love. When you are in fear, you are in reality choosing to believe the enemy over the promises of God. I know this sounds harsh and it is difficult to reconcile in our lives that are clouded with uncertainty and fear abounds. But the reality is that God NEVER creates fear. He is pure love, kindness, goodness and all things holy and good.

When the enemy entices us to step into fear, we walk right into his camp and away from the truths of God. Now, please hear me, I understand that we must be cautious and that there are things in this world that are out of our control and cause us to have concern and can lead us to be fearful. But remaining in fear is the devils goal. In fear, we don’t hear God. We make poor decisions. Fear causes physical deteriorations and reactions. And fear locks us in a spiritual prison. The confusion joins in and terror arrives. Ick!

NO WONDER the enemy works in this medium.

BUT….. Hallelujah!  Greater is He that is within me than he that is in the world. (1 John 4:4)

Jesus did not leave us as orphans! (John 14:18) As children of God, we possess major weapons to defeat the devils of fear and teach our children to do the same.

When my daughter, Caitie, was young and my son was in his teens, my husband traveled out of town for business. Every week, out on Monday back on Thursday evening. I was alone in my house for many, many nights as the kids grew up. And it wouldn’t take much in the middle of a dark night, a slight sound outside, something falls off the counter in the kitchen, or some other unexpected and sudden sound that would lurch me straight out of sleep into a panic, heart pounding, fear gripped sweat laying in bed. Covers poised to pull quickly over my head. Anyone????

Well, finally Jesus Himself, told me to memorize 1 Timothy 1:7

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Well, when I was suddenly frightened in the night, I would sit up in bed and begin to say this verse OUT LOUD.

“God, did not give me a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and sound mind. Did you hear that devil? God did NOT give me a spirit of fear… NO, NO, NO… OH NO HE DIDN’T. You know what he gave me devil, a spirit of POWER… More powerful than you. He gave me a spirit of love and a mind that is sound and fixed on Him. Do you hear that devil? God gave me a powerful spirit. I will not be afraid. I command you out, spirit of fear. Get out of my room, out of my house away from me and my kids. I will not be afraid of you. I am filled with a sound mind, and I have a powerful spirit. I will rest in this truth. In Jesus name. AMEN”

Okay, my heart would slow. Something changed in the atmosphere and I went back to blissful sleep. It was over a season that I would sit up and repeat this verse over and over, even with my unbelieving husband in bed next to me. But, look I was DONE with fear. He had to go! and I didn’t care if my husband woke up and heard me barking at the devil. *grin*

SCRIPTURE is a powerful defeat to fear and many other weapons of the demonic world. The WORD of God bends time and space, creates galaxies, knits a child in his mother’s womb. His WORD releases angelic forces and smashed the demonic plots against our life. We MUST have the WORD abiding within.

Read it! It is your life-line to so many challenges of life. Give passages to your kids to have them say when they wake up at night. 2 Tim 1:7 is a good place to start.

Secondly, worship. It kills devils. In fact, I think next week I will continue this series because I want to describe specifically what happens to satan and his minions when we worship.

Stay tuned.

SUMites, please help others out. How has Jesus helped you to defeat fear? Share what you learned in the comments. I would love to share some of your lessons on Facebook. Hugs, Lynn

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

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God Changed My Lens

 

By Ann Hutchison

“It’s excruciating”, I murmured to myself, munching on my toast and staring out the window. As usual, I was mulling over the fact that my husband and I had found ourselves in this … 'horrible' … spiritually mismatched situation. 

It happened to us late in life.  There we were hitting forty, and life had been going according to plan. Then, one day, God landed in our home – through me.  It shook us to the core. 

My husband is a good planner, so this one blindsided him. “I'm not the one who changed and this is not what I married!” He sounded almost angry. 

I couldn't blame him; I was the one who'd changed. I felt so bad.   Open

Bad, that was, until God nudged me differently. Don’t, Ann. However it looks and whatever the hiccups, this conversion will only cause home improvement (Proverbs 31:10-12). 


Ok, I really wasn’t seeing said improvement, but I took the nudge and did something symbolic: I left Proverbs 31 open on my kitchen bench and walked past it as I pottered – back and forth, back and forth. I peeked at the promises occasionally. It’s good that I changed. It's good.

That was helpful. But one night soon after, things took a terrible turn. I came back from a church event and told my husband how very up for God I was – very up for God! I wasn’t prepared for his response: “I don’t know you anymore!” he despaired, putting his head in his hands. 

That night neither of us slept. The next morning, I was resolved, and it wasn't in the right direction. “God help me,” I thought, “I need that man in my bed and I’m not going to lose him for anything.”  And so I shut myself in the bathroom, and crumpled on the floor: “God, I can’t follow you. It’s too hard. I’m out.” 

Ouch. That was an awful day. 

The problem was, I couldn't opt out that easily for I knew by then that God was real. Once you know, where else can you go? Soon after, I took a lone car journey. It gave me the chance to talk to God. As the countryside sped by, my tears flowed, and I whimpered: “I don’t really feel I have much choice here but to say yes to You. But will Bryce leave me?” To my amazement, He answered, and this is what He said:

“Your faith brushes against him like a feather.”  

Wow. I started to think about what a feather feels like: soft, gentle and nice.  And then, slowly I cracked a smile. But there was more:

“The more you love Jesus, the more your husband will love you.” 

Wow again. This was not what I saw but I could choose to trust it (Prov 3:5). 

I wish I could say my choice to follow Jesus was settled then, but it wasn’t. Soon afterwards a fiery battle hit my mind. I began to feel tormented by the fact I was ‘one’ with other Christians (1 Cor 12:27; Psalm 16:3) and with my husband (Mark 10:8). I suppose I felt like I was having an affair with a whole group of other people and that my husband would hate it. I tried repeatedly to run away from the pull of church, the pull of His body, and the pull of Jesus. That was when the Holy Spirit cut through my mess:

“Your husband doesn’t need to feel threatened by My Body.” 

BAM!  Those words came like a shot. Once again, it was a choice to trust what seemed utterly counter-intuitive: His truth. 

As I trusted those particular truths, the battle disappeared. It took a couple of years, but victory came. Those truths were ultimately a sword to my heart – they plunged deep, killing the old me. It was as if God gave me my way out, my victory (Rom 8:37). All I had to do was receive His lens. Now that I look back I don't just crack a feeble smile, I beam from ear to ear. And my husband is coping perfectly well too. My faith was not the marriage disaster I feared it would be. In fact, it's been quite the opposite.

So, that's my story. If yours is similar to mine and you would like prayer, please share in the comments or get in touch -- I'll gladly pray, as will others. 

In friendship,

Ann

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

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A Ride in the Night

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Hello to all my SUMite friends: Martha Bush

I jolted straight up in bed out of a sound sleep. I looked at the clock - 2 A.M. I sat on the side of the bed, trembling, as my thoughts started screaming out to the Lord, "I cannot teach the Bible study course with Carol next week. None of the promises You have made me have come to pass; I have nothing to offer anyone!"

A few years ago, Carol, my friend and neighbor, had asked me to co-teach a class with her in her home. Carol and I were "Sidekicks," as we referred to one another, doting on the Word, and talking about the Lord for hours. We giggled like school girls with the thought, "We are going to have a New Testament Church in Carol's living room."

However, things were not quite as "spiritual," shall we say, at my home as they were at Carol's. From my kitchen window on Sunday mornings, I could see her ride off to church with her husband, Jim. He was even a member of the Sunday School class Carol taught. Jim had issued an invitation to my husband to join the group Carol and I would be teaching. After all, he insisted, "You can walk across the street without dressing up in your Sunday best." To put it mildly, my husband was NOT interested.

And so, at 2 A.M., the spiritual condition of my home and the thought of ministering to others came pounding down on me. I decided I had to get out of the house and get some things settled with the Lord.

I slipped out of bed quietly, so as to not wake up my husband, tip-toed to my car, and went for a ride in the night! Up and down the dark country roads I rode screaming out, "Where are you, Lord? What about your promises to me? None of them have come to pass! How do you expect me to help someone else?"

As daylight approached, I slipped back into my house. Thankfully, my husband was still asleep. (Whew) Once he left for work, I still felt the urge to get away, so I drove to a park where I had walked and prayed many times. I parked my car, walked out to a picnic table several feet into the woods, and sat down with my Bible. "Okay, Lord, we need to get some things straight BEFORE I help teach a class!"

All of a sudden, a man drove up in front of my car and started beckoning me to come to him. Fear gripped me. I couldn't run to my car - he had it blocked - nor could I run deeper in the woods for fear he might chase after me. I looked around and there were no other people in the park.

And so, my talk with the Lord changed its tune: "He that dwells in the secret place of the most high shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord; He is my refuge and my fortress: my God, in Him will I trust. He shall give His angels charge over me."

Over and over I recited Psalm 91 while keeping one eye on the man. What seemed like eternity, he drove away.

Once back home, I finally came to my senses. I could have wrecked my car driving on the dark country roads, crying big crocodile tears while screaming at the Lord, or gotten raped in the park if God had not dispatched a host of angels to protect me.

As I became quite, I begin to hear the Lord talk to me from Acts 1. "When I was ascending into heaven, the disciples asked me, 'When are You going to restore Israel?'" I replied to them, "Never mind when I am going to do what I have promised you; it's not for you to know the time. You are delaying the work I have called you to do! Get a move on!"  (Paraphrased)

And so it was, several people testified of receiving healing from past hurts as my "Sidekick" and I taught the Word at our New Testament church on Rosewood Drive, Orange, Texas. And just for the record, I have never taken another ride in the night - one in a lifetime is enough!

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Is there anything delaying the work God has called you to do?

  • Are you waiting for your spouse to get saved?
  • Are you waiting for promises to be fulfilled?
  • Are you waiting on the approval of others?
  • Do you have feelings of inadequacies?
  • Have you discovered your passion and spiritual gifts?
  • Other?

I encourage you to get a move on! Someone needs to be blessed by you and the calling God has upon your life.

Blessings to you and your family.

 

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

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Children And Night Terrors (Series Part II)

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comChildren and Night Terrors, Part I

SUMites, Lynn here. Let’s pick up from our last post: Honor your child and take a posture to monitor what their exposure to frightful images and sounds. Children under the age of seven are unable to distinguish what is real and what’s not.

What does it mean to honor your child’s fears?

Don’t dismiss their fears as insignificant, ridiculous, or dumb.

Your kid is afraid. Bend down and say, “Baby girl, tell mama what has scared you?”

Listen intently and don’t make facial responses that bring them shame or show exasperation. They are truly afraid and only have you, mom and dad, to help them process their fear and come out of it in wholeness.

Okay we’ve reached the place where Mom and Dad, we need to talk. You can’t assure your child about anything until you understand that some of the stuff your kids see at night, IS NOT IMAGINARY!

Gather yourselves because we need to have a straight talk, a real talk.

Ready?

The demonic world is real. The angelic is real. And often children are very sensitive to see and perceive both. They haven’t been fed a regular diet of doubt and religion to convince them it’s not real. Now I’m not trying to frighten anyone because there are times kids are perceiving something as real when it is not. But the more I speak with parents and through my own experiences with my kids, there are times our kids are dealing with something truly frightening and we are ill equipped to help.

BUT not any longer.

I want to share a conversation I had with Caitie, who at the time was very young. I think she was under six-years-old. And I’m giving you my best recollection of this event. And it was very real. My daughter and I have spoken about it several times throughout her growing up years. If you asked her today, she would affirm what I’m about to share.

When she was small she would be frightened and sometimes in the night she would run to our room to climb in bed with mom and dad. I believe we should comfort our kids and there are occasions when they run into your room and you invite them to stay and then there are times to face their fears with them.

My memory of this particular night was followed by conversation the next day. I asked Caitie what did you see that scared you? She replied that she could see red eyes glowing at her from within her stuffed animals. Now gang, here is where it becomes challenging. Are you brave enough to believe what your kid is seeing is a legitimate “something” in the room?

In that moment, I chose to believe her. I’ve seen enough of the spirit realm, even back then, to understand there are spirit beings, angels and demons that are in and among us. It’s in the Bible. Read it….

I immediately assured her that she wasn’t wrong to be afraid but instead of dismissing her fears and telling her that it’s imaginary, I affirmed and THEN EQUIPED her to conquer her fears. And better than that, I taught her how to evict any scary spirit from her room.

“Caitie, when you see something like those eyes or hear something that scares you, I want you to speak out loud; ‘In Jesus name, I command you to leave my room right now.’ Keep saying it and because you have Jesus in your heart, it will eventually go. It must go because you are strong in Jesus. Be persistent.”

I also would bless her room before she sent to sleep as I was tucking her in. I would pray, out loud, so she could hear me and anything else that might be lurking, that this room was off limits. I would instruct angels to stand guard at her door and window with swords drawn and ready than then pray that she had good dreams from Jesus.

These efforts, over time, equipped her to stop living terrified in fear and to start sleeping at night. And she used them!

In my next post I want to share the four weapons we have available to equip our children to fight off the demonic realm. And you can teach your kids to use them. And by-the-way, you are equipping them to become powerful adults with this knowledge.

So, how many of you have heard similar stories from your kids? What did you tell them? Is this topic helpful to anyone? Talk to me in the comments. Be blessed, Lynn

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

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Sumite Prayer Partnerships

6a00d83451ee9f69e201bb09b03350970dHello Sumite sisters and brothers, Christy Edney here! Today, I'd like to direct our attention to the parable of the lost sheep in Matthew 18:12-14. 

“If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them wanders away, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others on the hills and go out to search for the one that is lost? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he will rejoice over it more than over the ninety-nine that didn’t wander away! In the same way, it is not my heavenly Father’s will that even one of these little ones should perish."

I don't know about you, but this is a very familiar verse for me. I felt like I had learned all there was to learn from it, until I heard it in a song. After hearing the song, I began to wonder about the ninety-nine that he had left behind, how would they be protected as he searched for the one? Then I was reminded that Jesus IS the good shepherd and he would never leave the flock alone and without hope. So, how would the flock stay safe while he was away? Forgive me for taking some creative license but I believe the answer is safety in numbers. During the last quarter of 2017, I was reminded of how vulnerable I am when I step away from  my community. Peter reminds us that the enemy is prowling like a lion looking for someone to devour. When we separate ourselves from the flock we become an easy target. I want to encourage you to find your flock of believers. Our community offers several ways to get connected, through the Community Map, Prayer Partnerships, the Facebook page or the conversations following every blog post. If this community isn't the right fit for you then find a church and commit to involvement beyond the worship hour. I'm a Sumite just like you and I know how hard it is to find community but I believe it's absolutely vital. We are better together! Let's pray;

Mighty God, we look to you in every moment of our lives. We give you our highest praise and adoration. Today we are reminded that humans are built for relationship. We are vulnerable to attack when left alone but when bound in friendship we become stronger than a triple braided cord. Lord, thank you for the way that you have designed us, thank you for the provision and protection that you provide through a fellowship of believers. I ask you to provide all of us with such a fellowship. Push us from the comfort zone of isolation into the unknown. Let your spirit move freely through us and accomplish your will in every passing second. I pray in the matchless name of the Lord Jesus Christ, high priest and king of our lives, amen!

More information on our Sumite Prayer Partnerships can be found by clicking this link: Sumite Prayer Partners

f you are ready to receive a prayer partner then please send me an email using this link: Email Christy Edney In your email, please provide your name and your geographic location. 

If you and your partner are experiencing difficulty or you would like prayer then please email me using this link: Email Christy Edney 

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Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

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