“I find this very freeing indeed to know I don’t have to “fix” myself. Jesus did it with His death and each day the Holy Spirit is helping me to be more and more Christlike.” pg. 16 #youarelovedcoloringbiblestudy goo.gl/qG9HBT
“I find this very freeing indeed to know I don’t have to “fix” myself. Jesus did it with His death and each day the Holy Spirit is helping me to be more and more Christlike.” pg. 16 #youarelovedcoloringbiblestudy goo.gl/qG9HBT
Dear friends, I'd love it if you'd post a quick review on Amazon. We so appreciate that. Every sale benefits this ministry and pays our bills. And reviews help us tremendously. Thank you! Love you! ~Dineen
Tweet this!: “So my philosophy has shifted from seeking an easier life to seeking God for a more fulfilling life.” pg. 9 #youarelovedcoloringbiblestudy
I’m fascinated by how often we allow sweeping generalizations to satisfy us. One area we often use them is in comparing the sexes. How often do we hear the statements of the ilk, “Women are more relational,” and “Men need time in their caves”? I know I’ve been guilty of believing and saying the first one. I heard the second one in a sermon yesterday; however, I’m not a great believer in it as I think the cave notion for men is often a form of escape. Positive, yes. But not always.
A Relational God
The more I read the Word and especially spend time in Genesis understanding the ramifications of the Fall I’m amazed how relational God is. The mystery of the trinity in its most basic form is relational: 3-in-1. And how God walked in the garden communing with Adam and Eve is such a wonderful picture to imagine.
Being created in His image; He breathed His life force into us (Genesis 2:7) and so we all were made relational beings.
Men are often silent. How often, ladies, is the simple question to your hubby at the end of the day, “How was you day, dear?” answered with “Fine”? I know I’ve used that response many times. And been brought to account the majority of times for using it. However, its only as I’ve grown older that I’ve been able to better understand the state of my feelings and be able to provide a better response.
I read recently that the word “male” in Hebrew is “zakar” and one of its meanings is “to remember.”
“It means first that we have something important to remember; second, it suggests we have a reason to remember.”1
Crabb goes on to state: “We are the remembering ones. We are created to remember the words of God and the works of God.”2
I think we’re all familiar with the notion that it was Adam who received the specific instruction from God not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The crafty enemy chose to tempt Eve, but Adam was “with her” and elected to do nothing. He chose to forget God’s instruction. He chose the passive option of silence.
Some commentators believe this was the beginning of man’s willingness to choose silence over remembering God.
The Lord’s Supper
Perhaps the most well known statement of remembrance in the Bible is when, on the night before He was crucified, Jesus institutes the Lord’s supper. On breaking the bread and sharing it with each of the disciples, He says “… do this in remembrance of Me.” (Luke 22:19 NKJV)
We have a sacramental ceremony of remembrance. I love communion for this reason: I cannot not think about what Jesus did for us.
Fascinating how only hours after sharing such an intimate moment with Jesus, the disciples chose to forget and abandoned him, terrified that they too would meet the same fate.
Sinful choices are a choice to ‘not remember’ how much God loves us and is enough. Choosing to remember helps to resist temptation when it strikes. This is why I find memorization of Scripture so powerful; it helps me remember. It helps us to “walk in the Spirit” rather than choosing to “walk in the flesh.”
Knowledge empowers us
The more we know the Word, the greater understanding we gain of God, His mission and how we can participate. It also opens our eyes to “stuff” that we may have accepted as being “normal” and the way God made us when in fact it may be more a reflection of how we have evolved as humans.
“But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.” (2 Peter 1:5-7 NKJV)
Further, look at the attribute that comes immediately after knowledge: self-control. Knowing God and His Word helps us to exercise self-control so we can resist temptation to sin.
Grace and peace, dear friends.
Notes: 1. The Silence of Adam. Dr Larry Crabb with Don Hudson and Al Andrews; Zondervan, 1995, pg 79. 2. Ibid, pg 81
You Are Loved Coloring Book Study Schedule
Video: Introduction of You Are Loved
Decorate, Delight & Discover!: You Are Loved and The Mystery Revealed (pages 5-11)
Aug 4: (Share pages!)
Video: You Are Loved—The Mystery Revealed
Decorate, Delight & Discover!: Who Is Jesus to Us? (pages 13-17)
Aug 7: (Share pages!)
Video: Who Is Jesus to Us?
Decorate, Delight & Discover!: How Do We Live Empowered Lives? (pages 19-23)
Aug 9: Bonus Coloring Page Download
Aug 11: (Share pages!)
Video: How Do We Live Empowered Lives?
Decorate, Delight & Discover!: Who’s Really in Control? (pages 25-29)
Aug 14: (Share pages!)
Video: Who’s Really in Control?
Decorate, Delight & Discover!: How Do We Live Free? (pages 31-35)
Aug 18: (Share pages!)
Video: How Do We Live Free?
Decorate, Delight & Discover!: Why Do We Wait and Hope? (pages 37-41)
Aug 21: (Share pages!)
Video: Why Do We Wait and Hope?
Decorate, Delight & Discover!: Is God Good? (pages 43-48)
Aug 9: Bonus Coloring Page Download
Aug 25: (Share pages!)
Video: Is God Good?
Decorate, Delight & Discover!: How Much Does God Love Us? (pages 49-53)
Aug 28: (Share pages!)
Video: How Much Does God Love Us?
My friends, I had a message planned for today, but as I prayed, asking the Holy Spirit what was on His heart for us, He inspired me to make this a day of celebration. He pointed out the encouragement received through my testimony on Monday and led me to have you do the very same thing.
So I declare this to be a day to share whatever you see God doing in your life and those you love and pray for. Even if it's the smallest of things (maybe only to you...), share it. It could very well be the catalyst to greater hope and faith for someone reading here today. You just never know what God will use through us to help someone else. He LOVES to do that. He LOVES to partner with us in helping others. He LOVES to work all things out for a GOOD and GREAT REPORT!
And as Revelations 12:10-11 tells us, this is how we truly defeat the enemy, by speaking out those great reports—large and small—which are declaring we are overcomers, more than conquerers, and the power-of-God-filled, children of God! The enemy is already defeated, and continues to be every time you confess who you are.
SUMites, share in the comments and let's celebrate each other and praise God for what He is doing in our lives. If you're not sure what to share, read the comments and watch how the Holy Spirit will inspire and show you what He's doing for and in you. I have a feeling many of you will be delightfully surprised!
Holy Spirit, give each of us fresh eyes and perspective to see the things of God operating and working in our lives and those we love, that are the evidence of Christ Jesus and the Goodness of God at work. In the mighty name of Jesus, and by His shed blood, we declare today that we ARE more than conquerers and the world shall know it by the word of our testimony. AMEN!!!
Love you, dear friends! Rejoicing with you!
Hello, my friends! Just a reminder that we start our summer Bible study, You Are Loved, on Monday. Be sure to order your book this week so you can join in.
If you want to know more, check out my video post here about the study. Lots of fun and a few surprises! I'll be doing video posts for this study, my friends, which will make it even more fun!
My friends, I have something exciting and wonderful to share with you. I’ve been holding it close for several months, only because it was something I was waiting to share with my husband first. And that time recently came.
In the past I’ve mentioned a health condition I’ve had to live with for over 15 years, which required two medications so that I wouldn’t be in constant pain and discomfort. Interstitial Cystitis is something there really isn’t a cure for as they’re not entirely sure what causes it. I just was thankful to have positive results with the medications.
Yet it’s been on my heart for a while now to be healed of this. I began asking for prayer and getting prayer for it at the first Bethel conference Lynn and I attended in 2012. And since I’ve been part of the healing rooms here in Florida, I’ve been contending for my healing there along with my wonderful sisters and brothers in Christ that I’m privileged to work with there.
So this is what happened on April 18th. As we were in our worship time at the healing rooms, I felt something “unusual” go down my back. I can only explain it as powerful and somewhat electric in sensation. As one who doesn’t easily feel things like this when it comes to God’s presence, I take very special note when I do!
As this happened I heard God speak to me in my spirit, “I have healed you.”
I confess, my first thought was, “Of what?” (I hope you’re laughing.) Why? Because there are things that I had been asking for healing for too, more to do with some past hurts and things I needed to let go of.
But in my heart, I wanted it to be for this health issue. I wanted to be medication free. I wanted to be free of the discomfort and the threat of infection that sometimes came with it. I’d continually declared divine health over my body, and I truly believed at some point, my healing would come.
My friends, so often the battle for healing has to start in our minds first, before the physical healing comes into alignment. It’s not a test of faith but a building up of our faith so that when our healing comes, we can keep it.
You see, Christ finished it all—and I mean ALL—on the cross. Our salvation not only covers our spiritual healing and restoration but our physical one as well. The Greek meaning of this word encompasses all of it.
Salvation: sōtēria; rescue or safety (physically or morally): — deliver, health, salvation, save, saving.
My friends, I am completely and totally healed. My symptoms did try to come back a few times that first month, but I continued to declare the truth of my healing so that my body and the enemy would be reminded. That is how we fight to attain and keep what God has for us.
God does not take away something He’s given us. We play a part—a partnership—with Him in stewarding and keeping every truth and promise He gives us. This comes through our growing faith, our minds being transformed, and standing in the truth of our authority over the enemy and the things of this world.
More and more, the Holy Spirit is showing me the truth of Ephesians 2:4-7 and Psalm 139:13-14:
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. — Ephesians 2:4-7
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. — Psalm 139:13-14
We are the rooms (remember John 14:2) that hold the Spirit of God (the Holy Spirit) and we are seated in the heavens with Jesus. My friends, that means we carry the Kingdom of God and the Bible is clear that disease does not exist in heaven and the enemy is now allowed!
And if by God’s design we are fearfully and wonderfully made, nothing truly has the power to change that—declare that as the truth for your body. Remind your body and soul (as it says in Ps 139:14) that you are FEARFULLY and WONDERFULLY made.
So that is my testimony, dear friends. I am healed. Free of all medications. Something I could never do in the past—yes, I tried and could only manage it for a few days, yet here I am three months later and doing fine.
As I mentioned earlier, I wanted to share this with my husband first. And I did. I’m sure you’re wondering what he thought. I asked him that actually, what did he think of what I told him? He believes my body just got better.
But I know a seed has been planted. I prophetic word given me not long before my healing had to do with him and the healing of this condition—that it would be a catalyst to him coming to belief. This person didn’t even know I was in a mismatched marriage.
And I know the truth. I. Am. Healed. That is my truth now and the glory is all God’s! I thank Him almost every day for healing and restoring my body to His original design, in the name of Jesus!
What’s next? I wish you could see my smile. I can’t wait to tell my doctor!
Love you, SUMites!
My friends, a few weeks back several of you left comments about wanting to know how I study the Bible and dig out the truths and revelations. I want to share that with you today so you can start digging deeper and seeking to know God more intimately too!
First and foremost, understand that this is how the Holy Spirit and I operate together. He leads, I follow, and He reveals truth. First, let’s start with the tools I use:
In this Bible app, I have multiple translations (11 to be exact) of the Bible, several of which include the Strong’s Numbers that give you the Greek and Hebrew words and definitions. I also have three commentaries, study notes for two translations, and a cross reference.
For example, here is a screen shot of my Bible app as I looked up the Greek word for ‘rooms’ in John 14:2, using the ESV Bible with Strong’s. By simply touching the word I want to know more about, a second window appears with the definitions and cross references for that word.
This is where my interaction with the Holy Spirit is key. As I study the words, He makes the connections to the meanings and brings additional revelation and understanding to the meaning and intention of the words being used.
When we dig a little deeper like this, we discover that there are multiple Greek words that are translated into one single word in the English language. The words love and healing are good examples of this. We have one word for love, but the Greek has four. This is when the intention of the word can open up the full meaning of the Scriptures. And this is where I have a lot of fun as the Holy Spirit brings the Word to life and knocks my socks off with fuller revelations and understanding of the truths in the Bible.
Also, understanding additional definitions to the word brings the fuller meaning and intention of the Words to life as well. An amplified translation is very good at doing this as well.
What gets really fascinating is when you start to recognize words from other areas of the Bible. This is why I journal the meanings in my journal Bible (see the picture above) and can flip quickly back to them and compare. I could make notes right in the Bible app, but I’m a visual person and can remember visually easier where I’ve written certain notes. That works much better for me.
So, my friends, I hope this helps you figure out ways to study the Bible more deeply that work for you. Ask the Holy Spirit for His inspiration and leading to show you how He wants to do this with you. He’s quite brilliant at it and loves doing it with us! That’s His job after all, to reveal Who Jesus is and His truth to us.
And now, my dear friends, I will pray the prayer over you that I have prayed over myself for years, each day as I sit down to study my Bible.
Holy Spirit, give every person reading this the wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Jesus Christ, to know Him better through His Word. I ask that eyes of their hearts be enlightened, that they would know more deeply the hope You have called them to and the understanding that as saints, we are the inheritance of our Lord Jesus Christ. In the name of Jesus, amen! (Eph 1:17-18)
Now I pass on one finally piece of wisdom in your pursuit of God’s truths in His Word. Have fun studying your Bible. God once told me, “Don’t make Me a duty.” He wants us to seek Him joyfully and know the fullness of His delight in us. Remember, as you seek to understand the Bible better, you are actually growing closer to the Lord!
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. — John 1:14
I love you, my friends!
Hello brothers and sisters, Christy Edney here! Today I would like to pray from Psalm 46:10 "Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world."
Oh mighty God, this world is so extremely loud, we struggle to drown out the noise and focus on your still small voice. We are bombarded with endless distractions, obligations and duties. But, you knew that we would become overwhelmed by this pressure so you planned ahead with eight words. "Be still and know that I am God!" Father, thank you for these written words, for this command to stop and focus our hearts on you. Your word promises to flood our souls with the peace of your presence if we would only focus on you. Father, bless every Sumite with this peace, giving us an intentional focus on the person of Jesus Christ. Placing our love and pursuit of him over all other people or situations. Lord, now I look to our leaders. Please provide Lynn and Dineen with a mighty band of angels to fight the spiritual battles raging all around them. Fill these women with a renewed love for you and for their husbands. Please provide many moments of love and laughter in the coming days. Mighty king, we worship you and long to walk in your presence. Thank you for being Lord of our lives. We pray these things in the perfect name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, amen
More information on our prayer partnerships can be found by clicking this link: Sumite Prayer Partnerships
I am here to support you in your prayer partnership. If you and your partner have run into a roadblock then please feel free to send me an email by clicking this link: Email Request
Gang, I’m so psyched for the Summer Study that is ahead. It’s going to be so cool. But, alas, I will have to watch from afar.
Mike and I are taking a few weeks to travel and to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. It was actually in March but we are taking time now when the weather is warm. So, Dineen is holding down the fort and she is going to blow your mind with powerful teaching and the breaking of lies…
I return and the next day start driving to Indiana to drop my daughter at Purdue University. So, I will be back and checking in late August.
Love one another well. Love your spouse. Pray HARD and live LARGE for the Kingdom of God. I love you. See you soon. Lynn
PS. To any trolls out there. I have several people staying at my home, dogs and a few weapons about. Don't even think about it.... grin... Besides the angels will kick your butt if you even come near. *double grin*
My friends, your orders are coming in and books are being shipped out. Thank you! As you receive your book, look it over and take note of the many places to journal as well and places to created your own doodles as well!
If you haven't ordered your book yet, order your copy from the SUM Shop (inside the U.S.) or Amazon (outside the U.S.) by July 17th to get your book in time for our start date (July 31st). My friends, we're going to share our hearts and our pictures during this summer adventure. I can't wait to see your pages and hear your hearts! And I have some surprises in store for you too!
(If you live in the U.S. and prefer to order though Amazon, please feel free to do so.)
Dear friends, I hope you'll join me in this wonderful, new study. I've had a blast writing and illustrating it, and I know we will have a great time together as we study the truths of God's love in Romans 8.
Order your copy of You Are Loved, A Coloring Study of the Truths of Romans 8 from the SUM Shop (inside the U.S.) or Amazon (outside the U.S.) by July 17th, and you'll get your book in time for our start date, July 31st. For our financial supporters, you can expect a book in the mail as our way of saying thank you for your support of this ministry.
So order your copy and then grab some colored pencils or markers. Maybe your kiddos will let you borrow theirs and even join you! Let's decorate, delight, and discover together just how much God loves us!
Ya, wow. I know.
This is what I’m sensing. See if this resonates in your heart.
This entire past season, year, from Rosh Hashanah and the beginning of 2017, I have been walking and talking about God bringing forth breakthrough in our lives. I’m convinced that indeed, there has been angelic assistance for breakthroughs. And I sense these are personal breakthroughs in our lives and our faith. I know for me, I experienced a breakthrough during Easter week that I had been praying into for more than a decade.
I sense that these breakthroughs are available for us but the devil has done everything he can to cause a delay. So, today, this is a two-fold post. One, I want to encourage you to remain steadfast in seeking your breakthroughs. Two, I want to share with you how the devil creates delay and why.
Delay is one of the most effective and widely used tactics of the demonic realm. Let me give you some Biblical examples:
As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a thick and dreadful darkness came over him. Then the Lord said to him, “Know for certain that for four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own and that they will be enslaved and mistreated there. —Genesis 15: 12-13
It is clear that God intended for the family of Abram to be in bondage for 400 years. However, reading on in Exodus, we discover:
Now the length of time the Israelite people lived in Egypt was 430 years. At the end of the 430 years, to the very day, all the Lord’s divisions left Egypt. —Exodus 12:41
Here is another example that occurred not long after this:
The Lord said to Moses, “Send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites.” —Numbers 13:1
Now look at what happened just a few verses later:
But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. —Numbers 13: 31-32
This was a 40-year delay where the people of God remained in the wilderness and did not walk in abundance.
My friends, let’s think about this. God ordained a 400-year period for the Israelites to live in Egypt. Yet they actually were there 430. You may think, well NO BIG DEAL. What’s 30 years? Well, what if this was your life? In bitter slavery, it would be a big deal. Thirty years in Biblical time was half of a life span. Many of God's people spent half of their life in slavery that weren’t supposed to.
Again, over and over there are delays to God’s timeline. And before we move further. Every moment of time, all that we are to accomplish on this earth has already been established, written and determined. We each have books in heaven that hold all of this information (Psalm 139:16). So, if the devil can delay the fulfillment of our destinies, our purposes, our callings and accomplishments, he has thwarted the timeline of God. He has decimated our timeline and these delays can be catastrophic.
How do I know the devil delays people? Well it happened to the Apostle Paul.
For we wanted to come to you--certainly I, Paul, did, again and again--but Satan blocked our way. —1 Thessalonians 2:18
Guess what is at the end of all the books about our world? (Read the book of Revelation) Satan is defeated and thrown into the Lake of Fire.
And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.—Revelation 20:10
Every, single, moment of delay is a delay of satan’s demise.
My friends, I want you to think about the delays the devil has brought about in your life and timeline. Did he tempt you into years of wandering in the Prodigal badlands? Did he place you in an unfruitful friendship, work environment, or living arrangement?
His delays are deliberate. They are demonically inspired and intentional. So, gain the understanding and in your prayer time, pray to stop all delay of God’s purposes and timeline. Then you must bring your life into obedience. If God is calling you to obedience in an area, be quick to do it. It’s likely that lingering in the disobedience is actually a cloak to cover the tactics of delay of the enemy.
Today, in the comments, tell me what comes to mind that was a delay. Then pray it free or redeemed by the blood of Jesus.
Love you, Lynn
Mid-year is a big time for our church as we have a celebration dinner where all our campuses around the city come together and break bread together. It’s a night where we reflect on the good things the body has contributed across various activities both locally and overseas. Plus we look forward to the next year and share a vision for how and where the church can contribute. It’s called our Vision Builders dinner.
During the course of the week leading up to the event, I had been reading Exodus 33 where Moses on being commanded to leave Sinai demanded of God that he wouldn’t go anywhere without His presence. Let’s have a look at the passage:
“Then Moses said to the Lord, “See, You say to me, ‘Bring up this people.’ But You have not let me know whom You will send with me. Yet You have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found grace in My sight.’ Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight. And consider that this nation is Your people.”
And He said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
Then he said to Him, “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here. For how then will it be known that Your people and I have found grace in Your sight, except You go with us? So we shall be separate, Your people and I, from all the people who are upon the face of the earth.” (Exodus 33: 12-15 NKJV)
Who do we rely upon?
Many commentators believe the favour of God on Moses increased the very moment he said yes and only if God would go with Him. God wants us to be people who do not depend on our own ability, but upon Him.
So often we can set a vision and seek to realise it through our own efforts. Similarly, we can do likewise with the vision we have for our marriages and dealing with the struggles we mismatched ones experience. Many of us love to fix issues quickly, to resolve the struggle, to end the stress of disagreement. It’s natural: who enjoys walking around a house thinking we’re stepping on eggshells or hopping into bed grumpy/angry with our loved one. It’s a lousy feeling, isn’t it?
Even though we sometimes struggle to appreciate it usually there is a lot of stuff going on inside our partner (and ourselves) that we don’t necessarily appreciate. There’s a lifetime of “stuff” that has had an impact, positively and not-so-positively. Yes, girls your husbands who are the quiet, less communicative types still have lots going on inside. (they may not even be aware of it)
And this adds to the complexity and challenge of marriage. And as we all know we then add our “spiritually unmatched” bit and the degree of challenge just goes up.
But the Lord knows what’s going on in each of us. He knows why we are who we are. He understands how being spiritually mismatched adds another challenge to marriage.
That’s why like Moses we need to the Lord’s presence to go with us at all times in our homes and wherever else life takes us. It’s too hard otherwise.
“To be a Christian is to be like Christ.” (Brennan Manning)
The more I study the Gospels the more I appreciate how Jesus didn’t do stuff in his own strength.
“Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.” (John 5:19 NKJV)
But the longer I walk this journey with the Lord the more I realise it’s all about doing it with Him. When we spend time with Him both in the secret place (Matthew 6:6) and throughout our days we can both enjoy His presence and be guided by Him.
Does this mean our marriage struggles will suddenly dissolve? No. But in revealing more of His heart for our partners and us we can step out with more confidence (shaky at first) in loving them.
“It is the relationship and intimacy that grows out of remaining in Him that allows you to know His heart …” (Heidi Baker)
If you’re going through a particularly tough time at present may I encourage you to be as bold as Moses and ask the Lord to go with you. To invade your home and heart. And when He says yes, enjoy spending time getting to know His heart for you, your partner and family.
As we know there’s power in our sharing we each other. I encourage you to share in the comments (or if you prefer the FB group) how we can pray specifically for you and your marriage.
Grace and peace, dear SUMites.
Hello, dear friends! So good to be back with you this week! I couldn't wait to share this beautiful revelation from John 14. God's Word is so very present and for us now. I pray this insight brings that home to your hearts in an astounding way.
The words I am referencing:
Rooms: monē — a staying, abode, mansion, abiding, dwelling, metaphor of the God the Holy Spirit indwelling believers
(comes from menō — to stay (in a given place, state, relation or expectancy): — abide, continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand, tarry (for), thine own, live, not to depart.
House: oikia — a house, an inhabited edifice, a dwelling
Way: hodos — way, journey, metaphorically a way (i.e. manner) of thinking, feeling, deciding.
And I hope this prayer blessed you and your marriage as you wait in expectancy for God to fill the "room" of our spouse's heart with the love of Jesus. Amen!
I am truly bereft in my soul.
Last week my friend, Lysa TerKeurst of Proverbs 31 Ministries, posted on her blog that her nearly 25-year marriage is ending in divorce. Eight months ago, my dear friend, Courtney Joseph, of Women Living Well, also found her family torn apart by divorce.
The woman who runs Momastrey, who until recently, wielded vast influence and a large readership in the Christian arena. She also divorced her husband following, ironically, her book release of how their marriage was healed. She is now in a spiritually mismatched marriage with another woman.
This is a hard post to write but one of reality. Within the last nine months, three, high-profile, Christian bloggers with a large number of readers, have experienced divorce. I know Lysa and Courtney personally and they are my friends. My heart and prayers are full of compassion, love and prayers for each of them and their families.
But, it's weirdly unusual these breakups are happening in such short succession.
So, in my prayer time, I asked the Lord, “What is going on in the spiritual realm? Why is this happening to these prominent and influential leaders?”
Immediately, I heard the Lord’s reply, “Witchcraft.”
When God speaks to me often I hear a single word. And immediately what comes with that words is what I can only describe as a “knowing.” It’s as though the Holy Spirit provides the answers or information and usually multiple scripture verses in response. I received a “knowing” when I asked the Lord about what is going on right now in the spiritual realm and as to why this is happening to these high-profile leaders in the Christian world.
Along with the word witchcraft, I sensed that the Lord as telling me that for the last nine months there is a specific demonic assignment on Christian leaders and it is explicit to those who write about marriage. And I believe the enemy is marching against pastors and ministry leaders and their spouses as well.
This demonic assignment is initiated and called forth from the dark realms by occult witchcraft, witches and warlocks, who are speaking incantations, spells and more to destroy Godly marriages and mar the beauty of a union of a man and woman in the holy relationship of marriage. I also sensed the Lord tell me that as believers, we need not fear BUT PRAY. We will defeat this assignment of Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes. (2 Corinthians 2:11)
Just recognizing that there is an active assignment, decimates the enemy’s power. AND our prayers can completely demolish the works of the devil in this area.
I believe the Lord has brought this to light for three reasons. One, the SUMites can destroy these demonic assignments. Wow, did you know we can do that? We can! As believers, we have this kind of power through the name of Jesus and by the blood of Jesus…. And it’s also our calling and purpose to further the work of Christ and destroy the works of the devil. (The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the work of the devil. —1 John 3:8)
Two, this blog is a marriage ministry. We need prayer covering. The leadership here and every marriage represented by a believing spouse who is part of our community needs prayer covering. YOU need prayer covering. Three, we need to pray for the marriages of those in our sphere of influence who are our ministerial leaders. Our pastors, Bible study leaders, worship leaders and those we listen to online or through other media platforms. If you have a relationship with a Christian leader, their marriage needs a prayer covering of protection.
SUMites, we can create this covering. AND we need to ask other believers with whom we have influence to pray as well.
The person who keeps on sinning belongs to the devil. The devil has sinned from the beginning. But the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil.— 1 John 3:8
In the name of Jesus, I stand upon the promises of the WORD of God. I speak forth John 14:14, You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. So Lord, in Jesus name, I pray and stand against any and all forms of witchcraft that is spoken in my realm of influence. It is canceled, dissolved and impotent. It must fall to the ground…. POWERLESS. In Jesus name. And instead of cursing, I release blessing (Romans 12:14). I bless the marriages, every marriage relationship, here on SUM and those of my pastor and all my church leaders. I bless them with never ending love and compassion. I bless them and my own marriage to be sealed, unbreakable, in the heavenly realms. I bless marriages and my own with commmitment, service, intimacy, monogamy, commitment, and with the love of Christ as a covering. Sealed by the blood of Jesus.
We stand against the schemes of the devil. All evil plans and efforts are powerless in our world. We pray the devil is rebuked and silenced by You, LORD. Lies must cease in marriage unions and truth and sacrifice reign supreme. We bless each marriage now with Your love and protection, Father. In the name of Jesus, the Christ, who purchased our lives with His own. Who gave us the Holy Spirit and angels, we speak forth Your purposes, protection, and favor into this world. In Jesus name. AMEN
As a side note, I fully believe my friends Lysa and Courtney did absolutely everything they could to restore their marriages. I believe they prayed and that God is carrying them forward. They were not unaware of the devil's schemes but were in fact praying and trusting. Many of you have or are also facing divorce. You have done more than God ever asked of you to reconcile. There are just times that a spouse's free will and the enemy's advances can destroy. This post is NOT condemnation but my hope is to raise awareness of the plans of the enemy, and THUS DEFEAT HIM!! (Please be kind in the comments as there are many in this painful season who need love from their brothers and sisters in Christ and not condemnation, guilt and words of hurt.)
PRAYING IN FULL FAITH AND POWER, Lynn
“For it became Him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.” — Hebrews 2:10
When you think of a wilderness, what is the first picture that pops into your mind? Perhaps a tree-thick forest, or a breathtaking landscape of a mountain terrain, or even the soft extending sands of desert dunes? What about a wasteland? Desolation? Emptiness? Solitude? This is the biblical description for wilderness, or eremos, the place where Jesus was driven immediately following His Baptism. The Spirit of God descended upon Him and promptly began His work…launching His Son into the arid wilderness to be tested and tempted in every way for 40 days.
The first temptation of man took place in a plush garden with gorgeous scenery, fresh crisp air, warm comforting breezes, surrounded by the musical sounds of life. The first temptation of Jesus occurred in the dry desolate wilderness that resembled death, with the air thick, heavy and dry as the scorching heat of the sun beat down amid the deafening sounds of stillness.
Adam’s human hunger was always completely satisfied. Jesus went without food day after day for well over a month. Adam was not alone. Jesus was in solitude. Both were sinless, yet the temptations brought drastically different results. Adam had everything, even the God of all creation walking along side of him, but succumbed to wanting more. Jesus gave up everything, intentionally experiencing the sufferings of sinful man, overcoming every temptation, and defeating evil at the height of its strength. The first catapulted us into darkness, while the second transports us into His great light. The first a defeat. The second a victory.
In order to serve His suffering people, Jesus had to experience for Himself the human condition where suffering became a reality. From it He can deeply sympathize with His followers in every way. “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering…stricken by God…pierced for our transgressions …crushed for our iniquities…and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:3-6) As we suffer through our hardships and trials, we begin to see our true selves and our helpless state, turning to our Captain who’s been there and can bring us through it! Accordingly, we can be there for others as well.
We cannot plead for our own cause. But, for all who believe and rely on His sacrifice, and based upon the accomplishments of His death, we have a Captain, a High Priest, who has purchased for us the Spirit and grace of God, removing the crushing weight of our own depravity upon the soul. His power bestows that same endless spiritual life, keeping us secure, while His intercession continuously presents before the Father the very reason why we should be saved. Herein lies our hope for the souls of our spouses. “But because Jesus lives forever, He has a permanent priesthood. Therefore, He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them. Such a High Priest truly meets our need – one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens.” — Hebrews 7:24-26
The 19th century poet Walt Whitman composed the poem “O Captain! My Captain!” following Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. Within its stanzas, Whitman expresses the great relief following the treacheries of the Civil War, battling the storms to abolish slavery, receiving the prize of peace in the nation, and celebrating all the Captain (Lincoln) had accomplished. A Captain whose sorrow was compounded with every hardship experienced by his nation. Whitman’s Captain unexpectedly passed away to death. Our Captain purposely passed from death into life! Our Captain leads us through the battles of this life, experiencing every sorrow we endure. When the temptations come, whether in a lush garden or the darkest wasteland, His power is made available to overcome sin’s strongest hold, setting the captives free. We celebrate all that our Captain has accomplished on His cross, and what He continues to accomplish daily in us. He never leaves us to ourselves or we would surely fall. We are kept by His power and His prayer, fortified by His grace, which is sufficient as He lovingly walks us through this life and into the next. Oh, Captain…Our Captain! “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” — 2 Corinthians 12:9
Lynn here. Last week I received a wonderful email from Tamara Hari, who is a long-time reader and lives in Switzerland. It is beautiful and filled with truth. Thank you Tamara.
Mine is so full of wonderful surprises and sometimes a bit of holes too. I am always so positive, and God has spoken so clearly in my husband’s life, sadly, once again, when it comes to repent: regret and turn around, he has chosen the wrong way.
So now I am licking my disappointment wounds, and God gave me this amazing sermon to listen to this morning – that is why I am writing – not sure if this is worth posting but it touched my heart so deeply, I felt led to share:
We all know the story of the prodigal son, who went his own ways, and when it went bad, he turned to God, his father. His father didn’t put him down, or give him a bad conscious or turn him away or treat him less than his beloved son. No, he took him into his arms and reconciled with him. Because the son repented, turned around and came back, the Father was able to embrace his son again, in love, in forgiveness and in freedom.
This part we all know........................now to show a picture:
You have parked your car in a parking space where you shouldn’t have. The meter-maid comes and gives you a ticket. The ticket is under your wiper. When you go to take the ticket, frustrated that you got another ticket = fine, you see, (here in Switzerland it is always Sfr. 40.00 ) 40 francs in cash. There is a note attached: your fine = sin has been paid – Jesus has paid for your fine = sin. He will go to court for you, pay the fine, work the hours needed to earn the 40 francs. You don’t have to do anything, He will pay. Will you accept this gift?
- you are not able to pay the fine, Jesus is.
- You are not able to “right your wrong”, Jesus is.
- You are not without fault, Jesus is.
- Jesus is willing to pay for your fine in full.
- Jesus is willing to suffer for your fine.
- Jesus will free you of any debts in that he pays for your fine.
- In paying for your fine, He will suffer, not you.
- In that He suffers for you, you realize how much He loves you.
- His suffering for you, is where you get healed.
- In that you get healed, you are free.
- When you are free, you are in His love, saved, His child.
This morning, I am newly touched by Jesus, through the Holy Spirit. Jesus showed me once again, that He is suffering for each and every one of us that have to suffer pain. We think we suffer, we hurt, we are disappointed, which is true to a point. But we forget sometimes, I know I do, that JESUS CHRIST, our Saviour, has already seen it, suffered for us and paid the price and we are now without any debt.
We must take responsibility that we parked the car in the wrong place = that some of us walked away from the Lord and now have living conditions that are a result of those prodigal years, some of us didn’t know the Lord before marrying and now must stand alone in faith.
WHATEVER the reason is that we suffer, it really doesn’t matter – because Jesus already knows about it, has suffered for us!!! Paid the fine, and set us free!! We are healed, we are free, because of Him!
I know this sounds really “normal” and not too astounding, and yet, for me this morning this was amazing! Each and every time we feel pain, Jesus has felt it already, has suffered for us, and said: I will take your pain and carry it for you, I will pay the fine, that you may be set free, you may be healed, you are DEBT-FREE!!!
This morning, I am set free, once again, and in the future, again and again. So, sisters and brothers in faith, don’t ever forget: when you endure suffering, pain, hurt, run to the Lord. He knows about it, He has already suffered, He is crying with you, and He shall heal you. Time and time again the Lord has paid, is paying and will pay for you .......until you don’t need healing anymore, when we reach heaven. I am so deeply touched this morning, I felt how much my Saviour has suffered for me, for my spouse’s blindness. Jesus is without sin, and yet, He pays for all our debt and the debt that others do unto us. So, next time you are hurting, remember, Jesus is hurting with you, wants to carry your pain (pay the fine) and heal you and set you free!!
Do you want to let go of your pain to Jesus?
Do you want Jesus to carry your pain?
This means, forgiving and letting go of the pain the person did unto you?
Do you want to be healed and be free?
I hope for all of us, that we never stop running to the Lord for forgiveness, healing and freedom and we never begin to believe satan’s lies that Jesus “can’t or won’t” do everything He has promised in the bible.
Be richly blessed my dear friends,
Tamara Hari-Mueller, 53 years old, married to Jakob Hari since 1995, three children: twins Franziska and Friedrich 21 years old, Hans Jakob 17 years old. I was born and raised in an evangelical and baptist family, walked away from the faith at 21 years old and moved to Switzerland to discover my roots. My father immigrated to the states in 1939. I was awakened from by Lord in 1999 in a church service I attended. I didn’t expect anything because I believed I lived my life correctly and God was happy with me. I don’t remember what the preacher said, I only remember the preacher and I remember the pain in my heart:
BANG. I was in shock!
I realized, I am not saved. I then started a two year search for a church where I could have a church family. I was led to the Salvation Army Church. Since 2001, I am a child of God, follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, a listener of the Holy Spirit. With every season more that I get to live with Jesus, I wonder.........why didn’t I do it earlier? That is my passion: to encourage others not to wait. You shall never regret trusting the Lord with your life, you will only regret not doing it earlier. All our children are followers of Christ, my husband is still outside....looking in the window.
Dear friends, I am on "vacation" this week. It's actually my oldest daughter, Rachel, who is on vacation and spending the week with Mike and I. We won't get to see her at Christmas this year so I am making the most of this week with my girl. I'll be back next next week.
In the meantime, this testimony from Alissa is so beautiful and powerful, of how God met her, reassured her, and even gave her revelation and insight to understand what was really at the heart of her husband's choice to be an agnostic. When I asked her if I could share her testimony here, this is what she said:
Absolutely you can use this. One thing I learned on my missions trip was the power of testimony. We learned that the word testimony, literally means 'God do it again'. So if my testimony can give someone else hope and encouragement that is really the ultimate goal, God do it again!
Thank you, Alissa!
Be encouraged, SUMites. God has you and your spouse, right in the palm of His hand. He never lets go. Hugs! ~Dineen
How God Spoke to My Heart About My Husband
by Alissa Berglund
I humbly ask for contentment. – to be happy, satisfied and grateful for who I am, where I am and what I own. Contentment with my accomplishments and peace over my failings, faults and perceived lack.
I give You, LORD, permission to re-write my thoughts, hopes and dreams. Write into my life, daily awareness of Your Presence. Stir my heart moment-by-moment to ponder your goodness and notice the beauty which surrounds me on all sides. Turn my eyes and ears from the lies of the enemy’s camp that I am entitled to more. That I am missing out and left out and that God loves others more than me.
In the garden of Your Presence, I have everything.
My heart is renewed. My soul filled afresh. I’m washed in the blood and cleansed by the water of Your Word. You are my contentment, Father. Jesus You are every perfect relationship. Spirit, You lead me by the still waters and there I will THRIVE. I love you.
My friends, I feel as though I want to ask for prayer requests today. And I want you to pray for others in the comments. I am traveling a lot this week but I promise to read them and pray for you. Have an amazing week. I love you. Lynn
These are the Greek words from John 10 that I'm speaking about:
Know: ginōskō; a prolonged form of a primary verb; to “know” (absolutely) in a great variety of applications and with many implications (as follow, with others not thus clearly expressed): — allow, be aware (of), feel, (have) know(-ledge), perceived, be resolved, can speak, be sure, understand.
Name: onoma; from a presumed derivative of the base of ginōskō; a “name” (literally or figuratively) (authority, character): — called, (+ sur-)name(-d).
Truly: amēn; of Hebrew origin; properly, firm, i.e. (figuratively) trustworthy; adverbially, surely (often as interjection, so be it): — amen, verily.
(The word "amen" is a most remarkable word. It was transliterated directly from the Hebrew into the Greek of the New Testament, then into Latin and into English and many other languages, so that it is practically a universal word. It has been called the best known word in human speech. The word is directly related -- in fact, almost identical -- to the Hebrew word for "believe" (amam), or faithful. Thus, it came to mean "sure" or "truly", an expression of absolute trust and confidence. -- HMM)
Thanks for listening, my friends!
I thought I heard from God that my spouse’s salvation was supposed to come last year. When God told me to be more specific with my prayers, I was more specific with my questions. I asked when, Lord, when?? I heard two years.
Well, those two years came to pass…nothing.
I waited a couple weeks. A couple weeks turned to two months, and two months turned into eight months.
The thing was…I did not give up on God’s promise – but I did give up my fight. I was in a stage of utter disappointment.
“Well, God! If you told me it’s going to happen, it will and I’m just going to trust it! I’m DONE praying! Done! I’m tired of being the only spiritual leader in my household. I’m tired of being the only one spiritually guiding my child! It’s not supposed to be me! I’m tired of leading! I don’t get it Lord! Whatever, it’s on You now. When it happens, it happens. After all, it’s YOUR TIMING.”
That was my justification with the Lord. I was justifying why I should stop praying.
If this is you. I urge you…DON’T stop PRAYING.
The endurance we go through praying for our spouse, the dry seasons we go through with the Lord…it’s for His glory. It’s for us to recognize the hole in our faith where we need to glean from His Strength.
The spiritual shield I once had, turned in to a cloak. I felt defeated.
Yes, it feels like a lonely battle. Yes, I have envisioned seeing my husband and I worshipping in the pews together. Yes, I want my husband to pray for me for once!
The thing is…we are not defeated. Remember if God is for us, then who can be against us?
Knowing my bitter heart, God sent me someone to tell me not to GIVE UP. This woman gave me her testimony of living through affairs, long fights, and drunkenness in her marriage. And who am I to lament or complain? The battle is not over!
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9
My God, I repented. I repented for my bitter heart. I praised Him for healing that hole in my heart.
I was in a place of losing hope! What would it be like if God lost hope in us? What would it be like if our spouses stopped fighting for us? I can’t explain the why, but I do know YOU are instrumental to your household.
They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved--you and your household." Acts 16:31
If we lost hope, we wouldn’t have a reason to live. Hope is what keeps us sustained.
Are you in a season where you’re on your spiritual shield is dropping? What is helping you get by?
Sumite, Patty Tower
Patty Tower resides in Seattle, WA with her husband and 2.5-year-old son. She loves Jesus and aspires to help women thrive in their Godly lifestyle. She ministers to women of all walks of life, and helps them learn their prophetic gifting by leading a women’s prayer group. She is a blogger of pattytower.com.
My friends, as you can see from the title, we tackling a very difficult and painful topic today. It’s one I think we should address as it’s something many of you are living out. And one of you even asked for this subject to be addressed on our recent survey.
Please. Please talk about spouses leaving the faith. — Kelly
So, let me first say to Kelly and all those SUMites out there in this same position that I am so sorry. The closest I can come to relate to this kind of situation is how I felt when my husband made the choice of atheism. He’d recently bought a Bible, and I was convinced he would soon join me in this faith journey. Needless to say I was devastated.
But God helped me let go of my expectations and to trust Him to bring my marriage through to a place of peace. I had a lot to learn and as the believing spouse, God started with healing my heart first.
My friends, I’ve prayerfully sought the Holy Spirit’s council on what to write and how to help those of you in this position. Though I don’t have first hand experience with this, I can imagine the pain, rejection and betrayal that rushes in to fill the gap once occupied by a united faith. And that is the place that we should start to address this kind of situation, because until all of the pain, heartache and betrayal is brought to God and addressed, the marriage is hindered and healing can’t easily begin.
Forgiveness Is a Daily Choice
As I shared from my own story, I had to let go of my expectations of what I thought my marriage would be like. That also meant I had to release my husband from those expectations. For many of you, this will mean forgiving your spouse for their choice to walk away from God and from a life of shared faith. Release them from the debt you may hold against them as well—for not meeting your expectation.
When you’ve made these decisions, make the choice not to go back into unforgiveness. That will most likely be your greatest challenge as you continue to walk in a mismatched marriage. Remind yourself that you made the choice to forgive and that you are trusting God to mend your broken heart as He promises to do (Ps. 147:3) and remind the enemy too.
Also, realize that their choice is not against you, though it may very well feel that way. That is not your burden to carry. Give that to God as well. And you didn’t cause this. You are not responsible for your spouse’s decision. God gave us each a free will to choose—or not to choose—Him.
Then move forward. Your relationship with God is your own. Continue to pursue your faith with all the fire and passion He has placed in you.
Understanding the Situation and Applying Truth
First, remember that even though your spouse stopped believing (or think they do) in God, God never stops believing in them. They may walk away for a time but God does not leave them.
If we are faithless, he remains faithful—for he cannot deny himself. — 2Tim 2:13 (ESV)
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.— Romans 8:38-39 (ESV)
Not even your spouse’s choice to walk away from God will separate God’s love from him or her. God’s love is not based upon us—how we act, believe, succeed, etc. It is completely based upon Who He is. He loved us first—not in response to our love. He is love and that is His character.
So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love. — 1 John 4:16a (ESV)
We love because he first loved us. — 1John 4:18 (ESV)
Second, don’t make assumptions. The biggest pitfall I can foresee here is false assumptions as to the “why” behind your spouse’s decision. Most of the time, when I delve a little deeper, seeking better understanding from the person or God (or both), I discover details I never would have known otherwise. And those specifics can make a huge difference in how you relate to your spouse.
I know this will be difficult, but ask your spouse to help you understand where they are coming from. This is where I suggest you pray first, asking God to prepare your heart and your spouse’s for this conversation. What you find out may very well surprise you. Be prepared to bring what he or she shares to God also. You are now being called to intercede for your spouse at a whole new level.
Their reasons may include things like:
I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. — John 10:10b-11
SUMites, these reasons may very well be what keeps your spouse from even considering Christianity, church and all they believe comes with it. God has been so misrepresented by the ones who are supposed to represent Him best. But don’t lose hope. God always has a plan.
When Restoration Comes
And it will. Believe God for that. Stand for it. But most of all, don’t carry your expectations from the past into this new place. God is all about the new (Isa. 43:19), and He has a new plan of action for the both of you that way exceeds those old expectations. Don’t limit Him. Don’t limit what He can do in and through you—both of you—no matter where you are in this process. God completes everything He starts. Everything.
And He doesn’t move backwards. Even though you may feel you’ve lost ground or have been knocked off your feet, His plans for restoration always include more. He’s not going to make you start all over. Everything He set into place for you is still there and He will help you step back into it. No matter how long it takes. He’s on your side. Always.
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. — Psalm 34:18-19 (ESV)
The Lord redeems the life of his servants. — Psalm 34:22a (ESV)
Yes, God not only redeems us, He redeems our lives and everything in them. He’s so good!
My friends, I’m sure there is much more to this topic than what I’ve covered here. If you are in such a place and walking this challenging road, please share what you’ve learned that has helped you move forward in faith in your marriage. I’ve no doubt your words of encouragement will reach a heart in need.
SUMites, you are amazing people of God! I love you!