“Older women similarly are to be respectful, loving reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor addicted to much wine, teaching what is right and good, so that they may encourage the young women to tenderly love their husbands and their children, to be sensible, pure, makers of a home [where God is honored], good-natured, being subject (respecting) to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.” Titus 2:3-5 AMP personalized
While waiting for my granddaughter to come out of Zoo Camp. God gave me this scripture; He began to speak to me about His design and how we His children have abandoned His Truth. As I sat in my car right in front of me another car parked. A gentleman (the father) and a young woman (the mother) got out of the SUV. The father opened the back, and the mother began organizing their wagon with all the snacks, water bottles and other necessities for a day at the zoo. The couple worked together in harmony, each keenly aware of what needed to be done. The father got their youngest out of his car seat. I was witnessing God’s design right before my eyes…God spoke clearly and said, “This has always been my design”. Keeping an observant eye, the dad and mom watched as more littles poured out of the SUV, there were 3 girls in pink shirts and 2 little boys in orange shirts all matching so dad and mom could quickly identify their children. As the father lovingly held one of the daughter’s hands and pulled the wagon with the youngest riding. Mom was walking alongside with the others. Tears came to my eyes as I thought of how we have corrupted and abandoned this beautiful design of one man and one woman teaching their daughters and sons how to be who God created them to be…
Children today have been abandoned by their parents. Fathers and mothers are consumed with their own lives, selfishly existing, electronic devices, social media has destroyed relationships, sadly the parents look to how many “likes” their TickTok, Instagram, Snap Chat pictures are receiving to find fulfillment. Broken families now Co-parent as if to say, having one Mom and one Dad together is no longer valued. They put their children in a variety of sports and activities that move everyone further away from God’s design for the family. Parents google how to handle everyday life raising children instead of going to their parents or other older adults for wisdom and answers who have already experienced raising a family. These same parents never consider that the answers to raising a family and having a loving, fulfilling marriage is found in God’s Word. The internet has taken the place of Godly instruction, subtly corrupting God’s design.
The principles of teaching our sons to be gentlemen and daughters to be ladies has been abandoned to girls wrestling and playing football. Likewise, boys are not being taught to be gentlemen, leaders, to love and respect girls. Scripture is clear…God knew this time would come, that people would dismiss the importance of training a child in the way that he or she should go, the Bible says…
“Train up a child in the way he should go [teaching him to seek God’s wisdom and will for his abilities and talents], Even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 AMP
The pressure is on for our children to fit in an ever changing and corrupted identity. The Barbie doll image for girls which put pressure on girls to be arm candy for men with no real depth has changed into girls dressing as boys and wanting to be identified as male. How wrong both are for females…God created each of us to be beautiful and unique, God is the “ beholder” and true beauty is through His eyes. The devil has twisted our sexual identity and made it something perverted. Instead of women feeling blessed to be female and cherishing our position as the ones who carry new life as mothers, women believe they are sexually and physically aggressive, one example is serving as combat soldiers in the military. The word “equal” has been twisted, we are not “equal” in this context and should not desire to be. Please don’t miss understand…we need women in the military to serve in many areas, but combat is not one of them. The devil has tried to destroy the distinction between men and woman however complete breakdown will never be achieved because every time we put a female in a position meant for a male we compromise the outcome. A clear example is young girls wrestling against young men. If our young men are being taught (as God planned) to be gentlemen (respect and protect) then grabbing a girl and pinning her on the ground is an uncomfortable task for the young man. Likewise, on the battlefield, if a woman is partnered with a male, in a critical situation the male soldier hesitates as God’s design says protect “her” the female soldier at all cost. I pray you see what I am trying to desperately to explain. Hollywood tries frantically to show women as aggressive and physically equal to men. Humanity and the devil attempt to destroy God’s design for us however since we are spiritual beings placed in our earthly bodies by God deep within us the Truth, God’s Truth is there. We are extremely strong and capable but not in the way world portrays us.
If we read and embrace the Proverbs Woman, our qualities are revealed, she is strong, gifted and capable. Each of us has all of these characteristics in us. God told us here in scripture and throughout the Bible who we are and what a wonderful position we hold in God’s design and kingdom.
So, what am I asking you? Go back to the Titus scripture…stop gossiping, speaking poorly of one another, don’t be corrupted by any substance that distorts your ability to hear God, communicate, think and walk in God’s ways. Love the women around you lifting them up and building confidence. Teaching one another the truth of God and how to be leaders and mothers to the future generations according to God’s design.
Last writing dear sisters I spoke of having a healthy heart. Today I wanted to share with you how living with a heart that has been damaged keeps you from the freedom God is offering all His children. You were created to live a full life with purpose, confidence, love, with the strength…not let the littlest offense send your mind and spirit reeling. Once again I want to remind you of the connect between the mind and spirit or what the Bible refers to as your heart. Your heart is where your true self is revealed, where daily decisions and actions are born. This means each of us must let our spirit be in charge, it is our spirit that is in communication with the Holy Spirit. “For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, you are the daughters of God. For you, my sister have not received a spirit of oppression leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as His daughter by which you cry out, Abba! Father! The Spirit Himself testifies with your spirit that you are a child of God.” Romans 8: 14-16 NASB personalized Remember, your spirit must become bigger than your mind because out of your spirit flows the passion and power of God through the work of the Holy Spirit. A healthy heart grows and flows forth for the purposes of God’s Kingdom and benefits all those God puts in your circle of influence.
There are three types of damaged heart each has its own characteristics however they can work with each other building strongholds in your life that does not allow God’s Truth to reach your spirit. These strongholds reside in you mind and block the work God wants to do within your heart. That is why living with one of these wounds or a combination of them will bring broken relationships and strife into your life. An unhealthy heart will not only devastate the work of God in your life, but it will have an effect on those you love. This is a battleground, the devil works to hold you captive in unforgiveness, bitterness and self-focus, let us look closely at these three hearts and allow the Holy Spirit to identity areas in your heart that need housekeeping and healing.
The Wounded Heart
You will face hurt and disappointment, mistreatment and criticism in life, there is no getting around it. Your past and your ability to forgive plays a huge part in your heart condition. As a woman you were wired to nurture and love, be the strong one emotionally. But many times you find yourself coping in your own strength, suppressing feelings, or denying disappointments even abuse. Emotions that are neglected will resurface, in the form of a wounded heart. If these emotions are left untreated wrong thinking becomes a way for bitterness to form. Bitterness or hidden anger toward someone who has hurt you is compromising your heart health, that hurt will slowly move into hate and will change how you react to situations based on past experiences. “Look after each other so that not one of you will fail to find God’s best blessings. Watch out that no bitterness takes root among you, for as it springs up it causes deep trouble, hurting many in their spiritual lives.” Hebrews 12:15 TLB Neglecting the wound gives the devil entrance remember sin is crouching at the door.
Right now, your saying…I am not wounded, I have forgiven them…yet you live guarded, with your own armor, suspicious of people or the motives behind their actions. Is that you? Do you trust? The wounded heart battles paranoia unable to experience kind efforts from others. Another evidence of a wounded heart is fear or deep anxiety. Unresolved hurt or anger will lead you to expect more of the same. The smallest failure of another individual opens old wounds they hold you captive and unable to move forward. Unresolved pain does not diminish with time, rather strongholds become larger within your heart making a healthy relationship with God and others impossible.
How then can I be free of the hurt I feel, the bitterness and anger I have been holding on to? Carefully choose a woman of God, find a safe place, and let your story be told, let your emotions vent. God cannot heal what we fail to give Him! Yes, God was there, and He saw however we need to share it with Him. Here is where forgiveness comes in, the only true way to move past even the most horrible hurt is through forgiveness. “For if you forgive other people for their offenses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” Matthew 6:14 NASB Only through forgiveness can you stop bitterness and hate from withholding what Jesus did for you on the cross. Jesus gives you the ability to forgive because He forgave those who crucified Him and you as well. This is not up for negotiation…forgiveness of sins and forgiveness of what other have done to you goes hand in hand. The choice is yours and so it takes willingness on your part. Some people like holding on the hurt, it becomes a platform for attention, an excuse to hate. Sadly, the damage caused by holding on keeps you in broken limbo. Your ability to forgive is essential in the healing processing, no matter how difficult you must lay those hurts at Jesus’ feet and forgive those who have hurt you. Ask God to heal your heart and then declare that healing over yourself. When you have a healthy heart, you are not careless or naïve in your view of people, but you are open and able to believe the best about others’ actions and motives. Dwelling on the hurt, reliving the circumstances or experience allows the devil to continue to fuel your wounds. If you find yourself in this situation I strongly suggest reading “Battlefields of the Minds”, by Joyce Meyers.
The Hypocritical Heart
A hypocritical heart is one that fails to achieve honesty in view of itself. It focuses on the faults of others while at the same time ignores their own situation or sin. Luke 6:42 is well known for its description of hypocrisy “How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye.” This heart condition is more concerned with how things appear then what is going on inside. It hides behind a mask, there is a disconnect between what is seen and what is true this leads to a destructive heart condition. Many times, this heart condition attaches itself to a wounded heart, ignoring what is brewing inside, pointing the finger elsewhere. A focus on the failings of others reveals your hypocrisy. The hypocritical heart engages in gossip…spreading less than kind words about others. Jesus suggests that the right response when we witness another’s sin is mourning, not private satisfaction. Heart check right here! Is that you? Something like, “It’s about time Sally got caught with her hand in the cookie jar” said with a smirk. Love does not desire the sin to be magnified or the punishment to be without mercy. The Bible commands us to guard and evaluate our own heart. If you fail to do so or focus greater energy on evaluating others, hypocrisy is in full bloom. One easy way to identify hypocrisy in your own heart is by taking inventory of your life. On Sundays at church, in public, or at home…are you the same person? React the same? Is there a hidden part of you? Ouch! For those of you who are Moms your consistency speaks volumes, if you “put on” an act at church your children will see church, see Jesus as their Savior as nothing more than shallow or unreal. It is your responsibility to represent Jesus to your children with consistency and love in every area of your life.
The first step in healing this heart condition is humility. We must take an honest look at our life; we must humble ourselves and acknowledge our wrongdoings before any process of healing can begin. Repentance is key. Many times, this repentance must be made to those you have hurt or gossiped about. You cannot hold back…those negative words spoken about another must be forgiven. A healthy heart does not allow embarrassment or shame keep it from offering a heartfelt apology. You must adopt a habit of self-evaluation based in God’s Word and let the Holy Spirit work within you to expose wrong thinking.
The Greedy Heart
A greedy heart has the desire for one’s own benefit. Luke 12:15 NASB warns “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed.” As a sister in Jesus Christ, your heart must be void of greed. Another way to describe a greedy heart is to say it is self-focused or selfish. The Bible defines greed as a form of idolatry, revealing a love for things of this world, setting your priorities on self-satisfaction and recognition. The greedy heart focuses on things that cannot truly appease; wealth, popularity and power are illusions as they cannot fill your need to be satisfied. Your temptation to have what others enjoy can be surprising powerful. The greed or your pursuit of self-gratification can quickly become bondage, blocking your ability to be sensitive to God’s purpose for your life. Idolatry is a clear violation of God’s first and most significant commandment. You, my sister must not let anything interfere or hinder your devotion to the One True God, your Heavenly Father. He made this commandment first because it touches every aspect of your life. When your focus becomes inward or upon worldly aspirations God’s position in your life becomes out of focus.
Healing such a heart begins with confession; acknowledging the greed which opens the way for God to remove it. What is important to God must become your guide. When you take the “me” out of a situation and look to honor God it changes your position, there is a shift, a newfound sense of worth. Your true worth in found in God and not in the mirror or acquired goods of this world. God has the right to supreme leadership in the your life and to the unhindered devotion of the your heart. When your devotion is centered on God, He provides safety and protection. God is asking you to make Him first in your life, when your focus, thinking, and desires belong to Him you will be satisfied. Nothing else in the world has the lasting, supernatural power that your devotion to God brings. You were born with a hunger that only is satisfied through your relationship with God.
Expose right now, what is hiding in your heart dear sister. Become sensitive to those things that can bring sickness or destroy your heart. The symptoms of these three heart conditions hide in the dark places of your life, you must expose the negative experiences of your life and allow God to heal them. You have come so far in your relationship with God. He is calling you to go deeper…the Holy Spirit within you is working with your spirit to bring healing. Through God’s Word the Truth is revealed…With God you can face the past, heal the wounds, say no to wrong thinking, close the door on feelings that do not line up with who God says you are…His daughter, the daughter of the Most High King! Today! Proclaim your position…you belong to the One True God, loved, valued, worthy to do the work and live a life full of purpose.
“Create, begin the process in me clean and purify my heart, make it healthy according to Your standard, focused on You God, I ask You My Loving Father to renew and remove, to do the work necessary so that my spirit would be steadfast and positioned to receive all that You have for me so that I am able to serve You and fulfill the purpose You have given me.” Psalm 51:10 personalized
Opinion is at the heart of conflict among believers. These opinions quickly undermine harmony and dull our relationship with God. Unfortunately, many times church doctrine has be written with the same opinions or possibly what I am going to call nearsighted understanding. To have nearsighted understanding means that an individual embraces some of God’s Word and dismisses scriptures that do not line up with their personal opinion. The truth is God’s Word is Truth and we can neither add to nor take away ONE Word found in God’s Word. God speaks through people His inspired and trustworthy Words. Within His Word we find Holy Truth…recorded by God’s chosen disciples, prophets, apostles, or the Words of Jesus Himself documented by those that knew Him, eyewitnesses.
2 Timothy 3:15-17 MSG says “We couldn’t be more sure of what we saw and heard—God’s glory, God’s voice. The prophetic Word was confirmed to us. You will do well to keep focusing on it. It is the one light you have in a dark time as you wait for daybreak and the rising of the Morning Star in your hearts. The main thing to keep in mind here is that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of private opinion. And why? Because it is not something concocted in the human heart. Prophecy resulted when the Holy Spirit prompted men and women to speak God’s Word.”
We must also look at 2 Peter 1:21 TLB, “No true prophecy comes from human initiative but is inspired by the moving of the Holy Spirit upon those who spoke the message that came from God.”
God knows us so well, after all we are His creation. He even knew that we would take His Word of Truth and try to put our own spin on it. In order for all of God’s children to live in harmony we must recognize that each of us are on our own journey with God and that it is God’s desire that we accept one another Romans 15:7.
In Galatians 5:15 MSG, we receive a warning, a critical spirit is dangerous, “It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you do not use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows. For everything we know about God’s Word is summed up in a single sentence: Love others as you love yourself. That is an act of true freedom. If you bite and ravage each other, watch out—in no time at all you will be annihilating each other, and where will your precious freedom be then? ” This freedom is found in God’s Word…His Words not ours…this Love is God’s Love…not ours. We fall short when we try to mix our opinion, worldly belief and love with God’s Way and Truth. It is so important to walk continually checking our eyesight and making sure we are seeing clearly through Jesus’ eyes and not our own. We must embrace all God’s Word not just the scriptures that we like or that bring an answer we want to hear.
No one and no opinion must ever be lifted higher than God and God’s Truth. Three of my life verses come to mind here:
“We are destroying arguments and all arrogance raised against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5 NASB Ask yourself this question daily…does my thinking, opinion, decision making process, belief, and action line up with God?
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if anything, worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8 NASB Where do you find your focus, thoughts, and emotions? Every sinful desire begins in our mind, we must keep our mind in check with God’s Truth.
“For the word of God is living and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, even penetrating as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12 NASB Are you daily allowing God, using His Sword of Truth to separate worldly opinions and attitudes to be surgically removed from you? This takes surrender to God’s Word and His Word alone.
Only when we are surrendered to God can we love one another and be united in God’s Truth, and be the one body, God has called us to be…Ephesians 4:3 tells us “ make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” We also know…”For just as we have many parts in one body and all the body’s parts do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually parts of one another.”
In Romans 14 cultural differences or opinions began to cause conflict among the believers. These opinions were outside of God’s Word, the fundamentals of salvation and behaviors the Bible commands or condemns are not disputable matters. In other words, God’s Word is not to be disputed, you are God’s child, and we MUST embrace ALL of His Word. It is without an expiration date; it is active and living today just as it was when God gave it to us. We MUST NOT let nonessential issues, cultural differences, and personal opinions destroy the fellowship God has given us with one another, love for one another centered in Jesus Christ. That love I am speaking of is not denominational, cultural or tradition…it is embracing God what binds all believers into one body.
“So warmly welcome each other into God’s family, just as Christ has warmly welcomed you; then God will be glorified!” Romans 15:7 TLB personalized
For many years I felt separated from people, friendships, and family. I just did not fit in with my adopted family. In my thirties, my need to belong sent me on a journey to find my birth family, my blood. Fortunately, God left that door wide open and with a little effort and time I was able to meet most of my family. Here I was now amid my birth blood family and relatives and yet that empty, alone feeling was still there. Please do not get me wrong they were very loving and welcoming. It would be several more years before I would put my finger on this deep sense that there is more, to understand why our earth family and relationships do not fill the void.
There is a spiritually longing to belong; as we search and look for answers we discover our true family and identity belongs to God. You will find that many times your spiritual family will be the ones to give good consult or stand with you in a storm with more love and understanding than blood relatives. This is a Biblical truth. Matthew 10:34-35 Jesus plainly teaches, “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to turn a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; God has given you more than enough when you are spiritually born into His family and your desire to belong or fit in are centered in Him.” His Word is a roadmap to knowing your position as His child and that you can journey with Him by your side.
You have a true family name; “See what an incredible quality of love the Father has shown to you, that you would be named and called and counted a God’s child! And so, you are!” 1 John 3:1 AMP personalized
You are part of God’s family and know completely that your true identity is found in God; “God knew what He was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape your life because you love Him along the same lines as the life of His Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity He restored. Embrace the original and intended shape of your life found in Him. After God made that decision of what you, His child should be like, He followed it up by calling you by name. After He called you by name, He set you on a solid foundation with Himself. And then, after getting you established, He by your side to the end, gloriously completes what He had begun.” Romans 8:29 MSG personalized
“and you belong to Christ; and Christ belongs to God.” 1 Corinthians 3:23 AMP
As God’s child you have intimate relationship with your Forever Father; “Through Him (Jesus) you also have access by faith into this remarkable state of grace in which you firmly, safely, and securely stand. Rejoice uninhibited in your hope and the confident assurance of experiencing and enjoying the glory of your Forever Father, God manifested in His excellence and power.” Romans 5:2 AMP personalized
Because you are God’s daughter, you have an inheritance; “Celebrate with praises the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has shown you his extravagant mercy. For His fountain of mercy has given you a new life—you are reborn to experience a living, energetic hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. You the daughter of the Most High King are reborn into a perfect inheritance that can never perish, never be defiled, and never diminish. It is promised and preserved forever in the heavenly realm for you!” 1 Peter1:3-5 TPT personalized
Your membership in God’s family “has its privileges”; “And because you really are His daughter, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into your heart, crying out, “Abba! Father!” Therefore, you are no longer a slave to this world, but a daughter; and if a daughter, then also an heir through the gracious act of God through Christ.” Galatians 4:6-7 AMP personalized
TRUTH: “ Since you are his daughter, everything He has belongs to you, for that is the way God planned.” Galatians 4:7b TLB personalized
There is so much God has given you here on earth your training ground for eternity. I challenge you to seek and experience all God has given you while you await going home. Your spiritual family will also be there with you and so they should be very important to you. Invest in them and they will in you, pouring out the love God has given you not what the world would call love but His Love.
Ephesians 3:14-15 Paul says, “When I think of the wisdom and scope of His plan, I fall down on my knees and pray to the Father of all the great family of God—some of them already in heaven and some down here on earth.”
Let us talk more about the inheritance here on earth…God promises to meet your needs, do you find yourself looking over those needs hoping for worldly, material items? Philippians 4:19 says “My God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Jesus Christ.” If you and I can grasp our spiritual inheritance, then through God all our daily physical needs will be meet as well. Further understanding found in Matthew 6:25-34.
Pastor Rick Warren says in his book, “Purpose Driven Life” that you share in the fortunes of God, here on earth we are given…”the riches of His grace, His kindness and patience, we share in His glory, wisdom and power, lastly and vital… we are able to experience His mercy.”
“So overflowing is His kindness toward you that He took away all your sins through the blood of His Son, by whom you are saved.” Ephesians 1:7 TLB personalized
“Don’t you realize how patient He is being with you? Or do you not care? Can’t you see that He has been waiting all this time without punishing you, to give you time to turn from your sin? His kindness is meant to lead you to repentance.” Romans 2:4 TLB personalized
“And He has a right to take others such as you, who have been made for pouring the riches of His glory into and to be kind to you so that you personally can see how very great His glory is.” Romans 9:23 TLB personalized
“Oh, what a wonderful God, Forever Father you have! How great are His wisdom and knowledge and riches!” Romans 11:33a TLB personalized
“That out of His glorious, unlimited resources He will give you the mighty inner strengthening of His Holy Spirit.” Ephesians 3:16 TLB personalized
“Your life once expressed the evil within you, entertaining wicked thoughts and giving into selfish desire. You started out bad, being born with evil natures, and were under God’s anger just like everyone else. But God is so rich in mercy; He loved you so much that even though you were spiritually dead and doomed by your sins, He gave you back your life again, when He raised Christ from the dead—only by His undeserved favor have you ever been saved.” Ephesians 2:3-5 TLB personalized
You are moving toward and becoming more like Christ everyday as you pursue Christ with all your heart. This change is happening now so that you might experience and walk this earth as His child, bringing God honor and glory. This is why He has given you a helper in the Holy Spirit, so that you might taste and see the goodness of God right now, no waiting. Paul tells us, “Put your heart and soul into every activity you do, as though you are doing it for the Lord himself and not merely for others. For we know that we will receive a reward, an inheritance from the Lord, as we serve the Lord Yahweh, the Anointed One!.” Colossians 3:23-24 TPT
Dream now of how much more you will receive when you step into the presence of God on the day of your homecoming. The Bible says, “And God has reserved for His children the priceless gift of eternal life; it is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay.” 1 Peter 1:4 TLB
I am excited to be in God’s family, to walk beside other believers and watch their faith grow and how your Forever Father uses each of us to bring the lost before Him so that they to can receive the gift of an eternal relationship with Him. I am no longer alone but part of something supernatural, spiritual, and eternal; daily I look and find the blessings He has for me.
Hebrews 2:11 says, “Jesus and the people He makes holy all belong to same family. That is why He isn’t ashamed to call them His brothers and sisters.”
Greetings, in the Name of Jesus! I wanted to quickly get this out to you before the new year. There have been many prophetic words spoken about the coming year. Simply stated in 2021 there will be a reckoning for the church and believers, and there will be those who fall away. So, we must be ready, vigilant and we must not be distracted by the world, our families or others that would tear us from God’s mission.
See Luke 12:51-53, Scripture says that families will be broken apart by God’s truth. People we love will fall and stray even fight against one another. Let God’s truth spoken in His Word be your guide and do not be dismayed. The armies of Gideon were reduced by God several times because God needed the strongest for the battle. He knew that the weaker would drag His chosen away. Deuteronomy 20:8 says “Then the officers shall speak further to the people and say, ‘Who is the man that is afraid and fainthearted? Let him go and return to his house, so that he does not make his brothers’ hearts melt like his heart!’” See a thinning of God’s people is coming.
The more time we spend with God, the easier it becomes to hear His voice. As we spend time, worshipping, study and talk with God, we begin to recognize His voice immediately and we can differentiate between God and the enemy. As we seek Him we are empowered by His truth.
In the movies, books, and animated features “Star Wars” there is a “Force” that the Jedi use to defend the innocent and destroy evil. It is defined in “Wookiepedia” as “The Force is an energy field created by all life that connected everything in the universe and was known by a variety of names throughout galactic history. The Force was created by life, and therefore, resided in all lifeforms. The Force is the basis of various religious organizations such as the Jedi Order and Sith Order, among others.” This fictional story speaks of how all the universe is connected, which is true because it was created by one creator God. We hunger for the unseen and hold on to a truth that is in all of us and for some to be yet revealed. Like the “force” in Star Wars we all are born, connected to something spiritual in nature. The light sabre for me represents the Sword of Truth, it battles to work in us and through us revealing God’s truth and destroying the lies, sinful desire and God’s enemies around us. Hebrew 4:12 tells us “For the word of God is living and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, even penetrating as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
I know you are thinking why is she talking about Star Wars. We all were born to hunger and thirst for God because we are spiritual beings created by Him. Therefore, we are captivated by stories of supernatural beings, supernatural heros and enemies. Star Wars like many other science-fiction, fantasy movies and books address forces bigger even supernatural compared to our human flesh or what we see with our eyes, there is a part of us that is born knowing that our bodies are a tent or vessel carrying our spirit. Writers have been forever trying to put this unseen truth into words when God has already supplied us with all the “stories” and the real truth found in His Holy Word, the Bible.
All the hunger, thirst and longing we are born with should tell us that we do not belong here, therefore we must not be fooled by the distractions of this world.
Genesis 32:24-30 tells us about Jacob spending time alone with God. Jacob got away from everything and everyone to seek the Lord. During that time God visited him. By separating himself He was able to experience God intimately. He wrestled, pondered, meditated, dreamed, and asked for God’s will and blessing. Through those alone times with God Jacob was changed forever physically and spiritually.
“For on the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle; He will hide me in the secret place of His tent; He will lift me up on a rock.” Psalm 27:5 NASB God offers His protection and strength to rest and resist the world.
Ephesians 4:23-24 tells us, “Let the Spirit change your way of thinking and make you into a new person. You were created to be like God, and so you must please Him and be truly holy.”
Many times, as I am ministering I challenge those in attendance with these words, “I guarantee that you will be changed if you study God’s Word in fact, I challenge you to experience God by reading His Word and praying His Word over yourself. If your mind is filling with negative thoughts or memories, dwell or romanticizing your sin, selfish desires, past experiences, or trauma; I further challenge you to carrying your Bible with you everywhere and when you are under attack open your Bible and read His Truth, declare it over yourself until you feel the Holy Spirit cover you with truth, peace, and God’s love. Go further by speaking the Bible out loud and telling the devil his will not destroy what God has for you.” I have witnessed deliverance and miracles over addiction, nightmares, anxiety, and physical ailments by simply carrying His Word with you wherever you go and speaking God’s truth over yourself. There is POWER is God’s Word…
In the World there are many distractions to keep us from experiencing God’s “force” in our life. God has enemies and they want to drag you down, destroy God’s creation made in His own image, that’s you however, God gave us all we need to resist and even war against His enemies.
Ok, now here is where we must confront ourselves, I personally am not very disciplined, in fact, I struggle with authority and it is only through God that surrender is possible, by His Holy Spirit working within me. It’s not easy, discipline is not easy when you have always chosen the path of least resistance or allowed the wrong people or things to have authority over you. Many of you may be so lost to this world that right now you are struggling to even grasp these words. Ask God for help, take responsibility for your life and reach out to women of God for help. Men of God if you are a man.
James 4:7 says, “Submit therefore to God. But resist (oppose) the devil, and he will flee from you.” NASB
Oppose means “disapprove of and attempt to prevent, actively resist or refuse to comply with (a person or a system).”
Examine yourself, it’s time to grow up…”Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.” Ephesians 4:14-15 NLT
Jeremiah 31:21 tells us “Set up signposts to mark your trip home, Get a good map (God’s Holy Word). Study the road conditions. The road out is the road back, come back dear daughter, child of God, come back to the Lord your God.” Personalized NASB Remember, a transformed woman will embrace the transforming God!
Our identity was always meant to be found in Him, not the world, for the world is dying and eternity is calling each of us. 2 Corinthians 5:1 says, “For we know that if the earthly tent (human bodies) which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”
“And so, dear sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let yourself be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him. Do not copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:1-2 personalized NLT
Live ready, be prepared, do not be carried away by this world’s delusions, they belong to Satan…they are dead things, hunger for God’s Living Truth.
Pray with me right now, “Father, I want to do Your will. What do You want for my Life? I have dreams, ideas and I lay them at Your altar, show me God those that line up with Your will. All these dreams and ideas I want to do are for You and Your Kingdom. I thank You for Your perfect timing, I am trusting You God for guidance and I know You are right beside me. Thank you for the sacrifice You made by sending Your Son, Jesus, so that I might encounter You with confidence, knowing my sins are forgiven. I declare my position as Your daughter, the daughter of the Most High King. AMEN”
“We must each fully embrace how much more the blood of Christ cleans up our whole lives, inside and out. Through the Spirit, Christ offered himself as an unblemished sacrifice, freeing us from all those dead-end efforts to make ourselves respectable, so that we can live all out for God.” Hebrews 9:14-15 MSG personalized
Strap yourselves in, this is going to get real, the kind of real that you may have brushed to the side, swept under the rug, voiced an opinion, or harbored strong emotions. Right here I want to say that there will be those of you who stop reading at this point or maybe in one of the next paragraphs, it may get to tough or real however, I encourage you to take this journey of truth with me.
I need to get some statistics out of the way so that we can really see how abortion in the United States is destroying all of us. I was sick to my stomach as I was gathering these numbers from reliable sources. So here we go…
Reported Abortions from 1970-1979 were 7,977,611, the female population ages 15-44 in 1979 was 41,857,686 or 19.06% of the women had abortions during the 70’s.
Reported Abortions from 1980-1989 were 13,283,150, the female population ages 15-44 in 1989 was 58,512,473 or 22.7% of the women had abortions during the 80’s.
Reported Abortions from 1990-1999 were 16,633,105, the female population ages 15-44 in 1999 was 49,554,764 or 33.57% of the women had abortions during the 90’s.
My findings were supplied by the Abortion Surveillance Organization and the National Center for Health Statistics, CDC as well as the population numbers through PopulationPyrimad.net and USGOV.org. Note: A small percentage were women who had multiple abortions or were out of the age range however the numbers do give us a picture.
A further break down of these numbers reveal a greater number of people who have been affected by abortion in the United State during 1970 through 1999. Let me be clear why I choose these years and age groups. These women are you and I today, you and I fall into one of three categories we are the daughters, mothers, or grandmothers. We are the ones who have suffered in silence. But this number is much larger let me explain. For every abortion there are at least five people who are involved not including the pregnant woman or her unborn child. There is the father to consider, the confidant, other family members, the doctor, the nurse, even other staff members. Abortion touches way beyond the woman and the unborn child, it is like a pebble thrown into a pool having numerous ripples carrying a horrible secret and shame. All of that being said can we agree to multiply the number of abortions by six and see how many people have really been affected. Let that sink in…
The Secret…as you shop in the grocery store, sit in your favorite spot at church, attend a movie or sporting event; look around…there is a very strong likelihood that you are very near at that moment to someone who has had an abortion and it’s a secret shrouded in shame. This is an all-consuming situation that is affecting everyone lives.
The woman who had the abortion is the victim (yup! I said “victim” every single one of them), you see behind every abortion is a woman who had to make that decision. Every story and circumstance are unique, yet the bottom line is the woman carries the secret and the shame. The procedure is a violation of her body and the killing of an innocent child, both are a complete defilement of God’s design.
Here are some scriptures to support how every child is by God’s Design…valued, loved, not a mistake and created to live with purpose.
The Old and New Testament confirm why God created the world and us.
Isaiah 45:18 God’s Word Translation (GWT) says “The Lord created the heavens. God formed the earth and made it. He set it up. He did not create it to be empty but formed it to be inhabited.”
Ephesians 1:4 (MSG) explains how the earth was created for us “Long before He laid down earth’s foundations, He had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of His love, to be made whole and holy by His love.”
There are many passages that speak of how God is our Creator and Father, each one of us He set in motion from the very beginning, here are two of my favorites.
Psalm 139:15 in the Message (MSG) translation says “You, God know me inside and out, You know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something.”
Psalm 139:16 in the Living Bible (LB) Translation says “You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe. Every day was recorded in your book!”
Other verses speak of how “He knew the sound of your voice before you were born” and “He (God) breathed life into you.”
No matter where an individual is in their relationship with God, every person knows that we belong to something greater, we embrace the knowledge that every human life matters, every unborn child is more than important, that baby is precious and a gift NO MATTER THE CIRCUMSTANCES. This is why, abortion operates in darkness shrouded in secrets and shame.
The secret causes the victims to display many of the symptoms associated with PTSD. Abortion and PTSD share this description “A soul injury, an overlooked, unassessed wound that separates one from their own sense of self.”
The word secret is defined as “not known or seen or not meant to be known or seen by others; something that is kept or meant to be kept unknown or unseen by others. The skeleton in the closet; a discreditable or embarrassing fact that someone wishes to keep unknown.”
I cannot express to you more clearly how much I am 100% against abortion (the killing of innocent life). It has to STOP! As women we need to create a better, safe place where a woman can come and be encouraged, helped financially, physically, spiritually, and emotionally when they find themselves carrying a beautiful new life unexpectedly.
Now take it back a little farther to the root of the situation…intimacy belongs in the marriage bed between one man and one woman, not before! God has a design for us, a plan and every detail of His plan is found in the Bible. We destroyed His plan when man decided to call it sexual intercourse as if it was a function, sport or game instead of a precious gift to be shared, the “knowing” of someone is one way it is expressed in the Bible, for “two to become one” another. The price of intimacy outside of marriage and the painful results are well documented by God in the Bible. God knew how man would twist this precious gift and that is why He clearly explains His plan to keep intimacy a sacred gift within a covenant created by God.
Right now, I would like to address any unmarried woman as clearly as possible…First, a man who wants intimacy before marriage does not respect you and will never be the man you are looking for. Second, you do not have the “sexual desires” of a man that is a lie made up by men to fulfill their sinful desires. God also explains this plainly in His Word, just read the Song of Solomon.
I know you are probably thinking…who does this person think she is, she does not understand. BUT I do and I will say this…I know on a very personal level every sentence, action, emotion along with the price paid, the life lost to man’s wickedness the idea that it’s permissible for man to murder innocent unborn life. Please stay with me…keep reading.
The shame…let us talk about the symptoms associated with shame and abortion.
I found this statement from the National Library of Medicine. “Many women experience long-term emotional, spiritual, psychological, and interpersonal difficulties following abortion, including complicated grief, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and relationship disturbances. Guilt and shame play important roles in generating and concealing post-abortion symptoms.”
There is a great brokenness physically, spiritually and emotionally when a woman finds herself contemplating abortion, that’s when the secret and shame begin. She does not set the appointment or enter the “clinic” smiling and confident…NO…she is broken, lost, bitter and disappointed in herself that this is where that day is heading. Little girls play with baby dolls for a reason…God wired us to be the one to carry His gift of new life and to raise, nurture those children.
I cried for days after finding out I was carrying a child, unmarried, my mother said these words of encouragement to help “it’s just blood, cells, tissue”, “you are not capable of being a mother”, “this baby is better off not being born”. The shame and guilt overwhelming…my decision…how did I cope, I shoved every emotion, every dream down deep inside…like blowing out a bright candle cutting the wick so short it can never be lit again, my life changed forever…the path was one of self-destruction.
Pro-Choice would say “it’s your body so it’s your choice” that right there puts all the shame and guilt right on the woman. Abortion should never be a choice; should never enter a woman’s mind. Pro-Choice is man’s way of trying to justify their sexual habits and the killing of unborn children.
Those who suffer from post-abortion PTSD experience a disconnection with life. The shame will manifest itself into one or more behaviors, there is NO maybe…we find ourselves self-destructive, suicidal, victims of substance abuse or eating disorders, depression, extreme anxiety, suffering complicated grief, self-loathing, destructive relationships, even anger and violent behavior.
This is true for the Christian and non-Christian alike, each woman must come to grips with her decision, the death of her child at her own hands. There is a natural emotion to grieve the loss of life however in abortion those emotions are suppressed. Women feel they have no right to grieve because they were the ones who made the decision.
The non-Christian woman might be able to bury her decision and death of her child for a period of time. However, the truth is her conscience is built on God’s truth. She will still suffer, there is grief to be dealt with along with shame. She might find temporary excuses, distractions, however, her life will take a different course, who she is, her self-image, self-esteem will be built upon her decision and the death of her child. Anger, resentment, empty self-righteousness, over-achievement, stress, and anxiety, numbness take over, her life will spin out of control. Society will not see it, blame will be laid at her daily commute, finances, disappoint in her career, relationship issues to name a few. She will eventually seek help to cope with life based on man’s acceptable fixes which may or may not address the true root of her physical and emotional state. Self-help books or counseling lead to even a bigger sense of social separation and she reaches to medication eventually substance abuse.
The Christian woman will experience all the above and even more than the woman who does not know Christ. She has the Christian community who unknowing continue to condemn her. She seeks absolution outside of her church family, if she even has the strength to seek. You see, she knows that forgiveness is found in the blood of Jesus but not this…Christians are really good at ranking sin (wrong doing) from one to hundred. Scripture tells us that all sin is equal. She has listened to the lie whispered to her by Satan, possibly for many years, about how her decision and abortion has no forgiveness available. She gathers enough courage to seek out help within her church, unfortunately she witnesses the look of horror and condemnation on the well-meaning Christian she has finally reached out to. This is the hard truth in today’s church.
For me it took over 30 years to gain the courage needed, I had sought forgiveness at the cross after I became a Christian, but the damage done, the shame and guilt remained. The devil had done a work and I had punished myself experiencing most of post-abortion PTSD. So many years lost to self-loathing…
Through the love of some amazing women, I began to embrace God’s truth about forgiveness and sin. I know that God sent them to me when I was ready to forgive myself and accept His forgiveness. It is not an easy journey and I had to stand my ground as Satan tried over and over to destroy. Scripture was so key. My life verses of 2 Corinthians 10:5, Philippians 4:8, Hebrews 4:12 were my go-to every time the devil whisper lies. I had to allow God to cut the damaged flesh thinking vulnerable to Satan’s voice from my inner man, my God given spirit.
Today, I stand with confidence given through God and His forgiveness. I walk in His righteousness, His daughter, restored and free. There is still the pains of guilt a consequence of sin BUT more importantly there is hope that in my forever home my child is waiting. In fact, my story is now His story and He has given me to courage to speak His truth about secrets, shame and abortion from personal experience.
In closing, while researching for this blog, I stumbled onto an article written about women suffering under the weight abortion and how we as a church can help. The article called, ”Post-abortion Counseling” by Julie Ganschow, link can be found below. Here I have included some profound truth which I could not have said better…
Her article written in 2017 opens with this staggering truth…It is estimate that 43 percent of women under the age of forty-five have had an abortion. One is six women in the evangelical church.
Her article ends with these words of hope and our responsibility…
Bringing Gospel Hope. Along with watching the negative things that we say, we also have to actively bring gospel hope to her. Romans 8:1 is very clear that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. So we have to point her to Christ, to the freedom that comes in His forgiveness and His work on the Cross.
We can also turn to passages in the Psalms, particularly ones like Psalm 32:3–5, David’s response to his adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband. David says, “My body wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me” (NASB). What a beautiful illustration of how a post-abortive woman feels. This guilt is weighing on me constantly. He continues, “My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer.” Many of these post-abortive women express this idea that they are so burdened by this that it destroys their strength. It consumes them.
But then David says, “I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I did not hide; I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the LORD.’” And then, here’s the hope: “You forgave the guilt of my sin.” Even with murder and adultery, sexual sin and taking the life of another, his sins were forgiven. God provides restoration, and He provides freedom in Christ. We have to communicate these truths to hurting post-abortive women.
Ultimately, we desire healing through Christ for each post-abortive woman. In our awareness of the very real effects of abortion, as well as the impact of our words on these women, we have the opportunity to love them and point them toward Christ. As pastors and caregivers, we can point them to the One who brings true hope and true healing, but we must do it with grace and compassion rather than judgment or condemnation.
“He Leadeth Me Beside the Still Waters” Psalm 23:2 We get so caught up in the world, our circumstances that we become distracted from the one place we can find the refreshment we are all desperately looking for. David understood that only by the Good Shepherds leading can our emptiness, yearning and spiritual appetite be nourished. The Passion Translation puts it like this…”The Lord is my best friend and my shepherd. I always have more than enough. He offers a resting place for me in his luxurious love. His tracks take me to an oasis of peace, the quiet brook of bliss.” Verses 1-2 That “quiet brook of bliss” is found only in God, no amount of money, career recognition, accolades of physical or mental achievement, will satisfy the void, the empty place in our soul. Instead of going to the source we try drinking from the manmade watering holes of the world only to leave us unsatisfied. You see, the world is full of seemingly delicious delights however they are only a fleeting empty attempt to fill our supernatural spiritual soul.
As look back on my life…I have traveled, shopped, tasted the finest food and drink. These were all wonderful experiences, walking along the Seine in Paris, along many other adventures. Countless hours in the gym, dieting, spending money on my physical appearance believing that would help me surround myself and be regarded by the beautiful people, maybe even accepted and loved. Yet, I still found myself facing the same hollow, empty and unfilled thirst within. Even being a mother…left me aching for something more, oh please believe me I love all my children and my grandchildren however you see when your child reaches an age of spiritual thirst and you are lost to it as well, your ability to guide, love, meet their needs become lost, those once special moments of joy turn to frustration, disappointment, many times dissolution. But I digress from where this blog is leading…
Jeremiah wrote of the result “For My people have committed two evils: They have abandoned Me, the Fountain of Living Waters, to carve out for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns…that do not hold water.” Verse 2:13 In my mind a picture is forming of broken lives, shattered hopes, lost dreams…withered souls…full of empty despair. And so, this hunger becomes broken families, relationships, sordid excesses. Our need to quench this spiritual thirst becomes an entrance for Satan to destroy what only the Good Shepherd can satisfy.
The Good Shepherd is where that thirst can be quenched, where contentment is found. Throughout the Bible God and Jesus are called the Shepherd and for good reason. We are so much like sheep. Let me explain, did you know that if sheep are thirsty and clean, refreshing water is not available they will drink of dirty, parasite infested puddles. You see, a thirst like ours needs the constant guidance of the loving shepherd who goes to great lengths to protect and provide the life giving water for his sheep. Our Good Shepard…leads us through His Word to the living water. This is the ultimate provision…Jesus made it clear that our thirsty souls can only be satisfied, content by drawing on Himself.
Matthew 5:6 AMP says “Blessed [joyful, nourished by God’s goodness] are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness [those who actively seek right standing with God], for they will be [completely] satisfied.” Jesus spoke boldly to those in attendance that last night with His disciples “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.” John 7:37 KJV Jesus knew what we would face, the wanting to satisfy our spiritual soul…He tells us “drink”, “take in”, “to accept” and yes there it is “to believe”. This belief moves from an idea of truth, to confidence in truth to a growing “knowing faith” in who Jesus is and who we are in Him. This restless thirst is sated only in Christ and a personal growing relationship with Him. Our earthly bodies, possessions and relationships are a fleeting part of who we really are, we are spiritual beings, God’s children, chosen, loved and cherish by the One True God, who cared so much for His creation…He sent Jesus, His Son, to lead us to the living water.
Drink Today! Let the Good Shepherd lead you to the “Brook of Bliss”, Worship and be Refreshed…
Further study of Psalm 23
This most powerful Psalm is used so many times at the end of one’s earthly existence, yet I find that it is life giving in so many ways. I have written it out for you here to explore on your own. Please explore for yourself the goodness of God found in these six verses recorded by King David a man by God’s own words who had “God’s Heart”.
1 The Lord is my shepherd, I will not be in need.
Meaning: My identity is found with Him, I belong to Him, I declare that my Shepherd, God Himself supplies me with all I need.
2 He lets me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters.
Meaning: He is the place of rest for my body and spirit, He refreshes and renews my spirit. I have drank of His Living Water so I live without fear.
3 He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For the sake of His name.
Meaning: He brings the spiritual healing needed daily to my inner person. Through His guidance I am made righteous in His sight to live for His purpose and pleasure alone.
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
Meaning: This life on earth is not easy but my Father, my Shepherd is with me always, His continual protection I receive, and I listen for His instruction making my flesh and mind obedient to His Truth. I am quick to repent and seek forgiveness.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows.
Meaning: He is my Hope in every situation, my Provision for my hunger, He fills all emptiness and fights for me, I am His Creation, In His image, and I am sanctified that is set apart, loved, and marked by You God as Your Child. Because of this my joy overflows and my heart is full of Your Love and Mercy.
6 Certainly goodness and faithfulness will follow me all the days of my life, And my dwelling will be in the house of the Lord forever.
Meaning: All this pouring out completes my life, gives me purpose, directs my life, I know Your Love Father, my Good Shepherd and I surrender to live in Your Will FOREVER! AMEN!
There are many ways to explore and soak in these beautiful words, one way might be to find confirming scripture to each verse. Pray these scriptures over yourself and add your name wherever possible. Our God and His Son Jesus our are Good Shepherds together with the Holy Spirit we can live out our lives with wonder and expectation…
I read this uplifting little article somewhere about how our relationship with God is different than that of men. It inspired me to write about our position as women in God’s Kingdom. Sweet Sisters in Jesus Christ we hold such an important position as daughter of the Most High King. We are nurturers who encourage and bring cozy, heartfelt love full of God’s truth to a broken and hurting world. Have you ever noticed how in the scriptures men are always going up into the mountains to commune with the Lord? Yet in the scriptures we hardly ever hear of women going to the mountains.
Why, because these women were too busy keeping life going; they could not abandon… babies, meals, homes, fires, gardens, and a thousand other responsibilities to make the climb into the mountains! We have confidence that God knows exactly what your days are like because He beautifully describes them in Proverbs 31. We daily touch on or see to most of this amazing woman’s life responsibilities in our own homes and workplaces.
Many days I find myself feeling like I am never “free” enough from my responsibilities, there is never in a quiet enough space for me to spend time with my Lord, my King; I find myself just repeating “Yes God” as the moments, days and years go by.
The woman who wrote the original little article put it like this…“That is why God comes to women. Men have to climb the mountain to meet God, but God comes to women wherever they are.”
God is there as we stare into our refrigerator or cupboards scavenging for one more meal to cook for our family before payday. 1 Kings 17:12-16 “But she said, “As the Lord your God lives, I have no food, only a handful of flour in the bowl and a little oil in the jar; and behold, I am gathering a few sticks so that I may go in and prepare it for me and my son, so that we may eat it and die.” However, Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go, do as you have said. Just make me a little bread loaf from it first and bring it out to me, and afterward you may make one for yourself and for your son. For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel says: ‘The bowl of flour shall not be used up, nor shall the jar of oil become empty, until the day that the Lord provides rain on the face of the earth.’”So, she went and did everything in accordance with the word of Elijah, and she and he and her household ate for many days.The bowl of flour was not used up, nor did the jar of oil become empty, in accordance with the word of the Lord which He spoke through Elijah.” I remember as a young mom, asking God to supply food for my children, money for the electric bill, even in my immature understanding of God…He provided.
God is there with us at our love one’s sick or deathbed. Luke 7: 12-15 “Now as He approached the gate of the city, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow; and a sizeable crowd from the city was with her. When the Lord saw her, He felt compassion for her and said to her, “Do not go on weeping.” And He came up and touched the coffin; and the bearers came to a halt. And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise!” And the dead man sat up and began to speak. And Jesus gave him back to his mother.” As women we find ourselves crying out to the Lord, we travail for those we love whether they are ill, lost to the truth of Christ or have passed. Jesus sees every hardship; this woman is already a widow and the loss of her son would bring even a greater difficulty. So as scripture says, “Jesus gave him back to his mother.” Each of you can recount a time when we are lost to our emotions, worry and fear have set in however, as we reach for God’s Word; He is faithful to bring the comfort we need, perfect and just for us. I will never forget when I received the news my son had died; all I could do was go for my Bible and hold it close. Only God could bring the comfort needed to see me through those difficult days.
He hears our cries to have our own children, Hannah asked the Lord for a child in 1 Samuel 1:14-20. “It came about in due time, after Hannah had conceived, that she gave birth to a son; and she named him Samuel, saying, “Because I have asked for him of the Lord.” She wanted nothing more than to be a mom. She suffered for years with infertility, and her desire to have a child of her own was affecting every part of her life. An earlier verse says she was suffering under a despairing spirit. In your circle of influence, you know at least one sister in Christ that as experienced infertility. However, in that same circle you can speak of the goodness of God who heard the cries and spoke “Go in peace and may the God of Israel grant your request that you have asked of .”
Even at the empty tomb, Mary was the first to witness Christ’s resurrection, she was there because she was doing the womanly chore of properly preparing Christ’s body for burial. Matthew 28 recounts the amazing details of that day. There was no mountain climbing, only her desire to serve her King and there He was risen, revealing truth and encouraging her.
God does indeed come to women where they are, when they are doing their ordinary, everyday work. He meets them at the wells as we find in John 4:4-30, where they draw much needed water for their families, homes, for their kitchens and gardens. The Samaritan woman was so important to Jesus, He had a divine appointment to meet her that day. In that encounter her life was forever changed, and her circle of influence was increased as she spread the “Good News” God’s Truth, the salvation message to everyone in her village. She wanted everyone to experience the forgiveness, grace, mercy, and love Jesus was bringing to her that day.
Every woman in the Bible has a journey, unique and challenging; along the way these women of the scriptures found themselves face to face with Jesus. We are like them, we must draw upon their stories and allow God to teach us, refine us.
So, look closely do you see Jesus in the little things, the big things…yes He is there. We need to thank God that He meets us, and we must stop complaining! Who wants to climb a mountain anyway? The fact is you do not have time to spend in the mountains with God. Guess what, He is there in the mountain of dishes or the stained sport uniform that you need to ready for your child’s game tomorrow…sing out, pray, and worship your King right there! Or maybe you need to listen…quietly reflect.
Remember, God comes to women. He knows where we are and the burdens we carry. He sees us, and if we open our eyes and our hearts we will see Him, even in the most ordinary places and things. He lives. And Jesus is using a time such as this to speak to women around the world.
It seems like so many times we talk about being patient, waiting on God. If I am honest I was not really waiting, I had just thought, “Well this is how it is and probably this is the best it will ever be” when it came to my relationship with my brother. God had other plans; they were far beyond what I could ever hope for. Today, I want to share how God’s plan and His goodness collides to restore a family.
What does God say about His promises to restore us? To heal and restore broken relationships and families?
The prophet Joel describes a plague of locusts that have devoured the land, consuming all the crops that the people and their animals depended on. They are in agony because they turned from the Lord.
Joel 2:18 (ESV) says, Then the LORD became jealous for his land and had pity on his people. God responded to their repentance with mercy, something we are used to seeing throughout the Bible. He is a very loving and merciful God. But then God told them something that can often get overlooked.
I (God) will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten… (Joel 2:25, ESV)
God promised to not only deliver the people from this plague and famine, but to give to them all that they would have had during that time—because they chose to come back to the Lord.
My brother Frank and I we grew up in a locust infested home one of dysfunction and abuse. Our parents claimed atheism, well in all honestly, our mother set the tone in all things spiritual and our father either went along or paid a severe price. Looking back, it is clear that our mother had a Jezebel spirit.(See 1 Kings 18) This spirit seeks to control, her insatiable need for power, prestige and wealth lead her to use both mental and physical abuse to control everyone around her. Her jealousy and need to be the center of attention destroyed our family and inhibited us from having healthy relationships as children and adults.
We are called to have patience and never lose faith that God is working. Jesus is moving to bring His kingdom together, that includes the family. God gave His Son for the restoration of the family. An outpouring of the Holy Spirit is building, evidence is seen in relationships restored daily. For my brother and I that restoration has come, we praise God for His outpouring of love on both of us and for the discernment given to heal us.
We must apply the fruit of the spirit in our lives when it comes to family members. It is not always easy, but through God all things are possible. Galatians 5 clearly tells us to treat one another with “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” later in verse 26 we are told “Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.” How clearly this speaks to relationships in our families. God has a plan for families, members are meant to take care of one another, and sacrifice for “us” Galatians 6:2 says “bear one another’s burdens and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.” God calls us to “fight for” our families. I believe it is through the structure of the family God is revealed and when that family is broken many are lost to the truth of God “the Father”, Jesus “the Son” and the Holy Spirit.
One of the weapons we have in fighting for our family is prayer, you can use prayer for strength, unity, forgiving hearts, harmony, and steadfast love. These prayers are powerful because they speak of all the attributes God desires for our families.
Personalize these prayers from scripture for your family, call upon the power and authority given you through Jesus and the Holy Spirit over the darkness. Remember you are the head and not the tail and no evil will prevail against those who belong to God…
For family members…
Heavenly Father…I ask you to help each member of my family (personalize) to be completely humble and gentle in their interactions with each other; and to be patient, bearing with one another’s faults in love…even when we are tried, frustrated, angry, or hurt. Help us Father, to make every effort to remain united by Jesus sacrifice for us individually and as a family. Let the Holy Spirit unite us. Jesus bind us together in peace and love. In Jesus Name AMEN. Ephesians 4:2-3
Father God…help us (personalize) to love each other fervently. Grow our love so that it is able and willing to overcome and forgive a multitude of sins. Give us a spirit of hospitality, warmth and compassion enabling us to share our home with a cheerful heart those who need a meal or a place to stay. God I acknowledge that you have given each of us distinct spiritual gifts. Help us to put those gifts to work for Your Kingdom to serve others. We rely on the strength and energy only You, God, can supply. I pray that everything we do individually and as a family brings You glory. We submit to Your will and timing…thank you God for each member of our family. In Jesus Name AMEN. 1 Peter 4:8-11
Father…you are the One who gives us perseverance and encouragement. In You, we have hope. Heal the broken hearts of our father, mother and siblings…Help our family (personalize) live in complete harmony with each other, as believers in Jesus Christ. Bearing with one another in love, confident that restoration is coming through Jesus Christ. In Jesus Name AMEN. Romans 15:5
For our children…
Jesus have mercy on (name), and bring them to a saving knowledge of Yourself, Jesus. (Name) needs the gospel of your grace. Reveal the truth of who you are in a personal way. Show them how much they need You and show them how much You love them. Keep them restless until they rest in Your complete forgiveness and perfect righteousness. This is our desire for (name) that more than any worldly success we want them to know You. In Jesus Name AMEN Romans 10:1
Jesus, some of us grieve the ways we have made the gospel less than beautiful and believable to our children (name). Forgive us and show Yourself to be the God who’s limited by nothing, including parental self-righteousness. I am confidence that You God are able to transcend the ways we have “blown it.” Give us humility and grace to repent… first before You and then to them. Free us to give our children the gift of our repentance…In Jesus Name AMEN Psalm 32:1
God, I cry out to You! Restore to them(name) the joy of Your salvation. Our confidence is in Your promise, God to bring to completion the good work You have begun in each of us, but Jesus, we cannot afford to be either presumptuous or passive. Work powerfully. Work presently. Work persistently, Jesus! Give us patience with their doubts. Give us forbearance in their struggles. Give us grace to welcome prodigals home. Let us see them through your eyes Jesus. In Jesus Name AMEN Luke 15
For our marriages…
God…I surrender my marriage to you, help my spouse (name) and I to honor our marriage and clearly see how valuable and precious this union really is. As we honor our marriage to one another, and our covenant with You, we cast out any spirits that would cause disharmony and strife between us as you have given us the authority spoken in Matthew 10:1. Holy Spirit fill us with patience towards one another, understanding and a desire to honor God in our relationship with one another as spoken of in Ephesians 5:22-33;
Wife… “My eyes will only be for my husband (name), supportive and tenderly devoted as I am to the Lord, I will look to my husband (name) to provide leadership for our marriage and family, just as Christ does for His church, as the Savior and Reviver of the body. I will live everyday devoted to Jesus Christ and my husband in everything. Jesus, I pray for my husband faith to be accelerated and built upon Your ways, growing in spiritual strength daily. Let my respect and devotion speak to everyone around us as an example of Jesus Christ as the center of our marriage.
Husband… “God help me to demonstrate my love for my wife (name) through adoration and tender devotion just as Christ has demonstrated to us, His bride. For He died for us, sacrificing Himself to make us holy and pure, He has left us His living Word that we maybe washed clean through it. I commit to the washing of my wife (name) as I now read and pray for her in the reading and praying of God’s Holy Word over her, washing her in the Word. So that we as a couple may become a source of praise to Him our Father in Heaven. I fulfill my obligation of loving and caring for my wife (name) in the same way that I love and care for my own body, pampering her, serving and satisfying her needs above my own, just a Christ did for His church. It is for this reason I have left my parents and lovingly hold to my wife (name), as we have become one flesh. Jesus help me to be gracious, courteous, and kind to her daily just as you are with me.
Both… Our marriage is a beautiful design by God, we stand together to make a vivid example of Jesus Christ and the church, which will lead others to the truth of Jesus Christ. Jesus pour out your favor over our marriage and family. I ask all this in Jesus Name. AMEN
I know many of you, my sweet sisters in Jesus Christ are victims of the devils attempts to destroy the family, this brokenness extends to our mothers, fathers, siblings, husbands and our children. Have faith, grow your faith…the time is coming when we will be fully restored and all the damage the locust has caused will be restored by a loving Father.
“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the Word of Christ.” Romans 10:17 NASB
This faith happens as we study the Word of God, “This book of the law (God’s Holy Word) shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.” Joshua 1:8 NASB
It is written… “My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your sight; Keep them in the midst of your heart. For they are life to those who find them and health to all their body.” Proverbs :20-22 NASB
Today, God has restored all the locust destroyed, my brother and I both found Jesus as adults. Through God we have been able to heal our hearts and speak the truth of the abuse and how God desires all families to be restored through His truth. I thank God for my loving Husband, Doug, and his family as they have stood as witnesses to God’s love and desire for the family.