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20 entries from January 2013

Where the Enemy Attacks Us

6a00d83451ee9f69e2017ee7581a53970d-320wiMy friends, how has your week been? Did God speak to your heart about who you are to Him? Did you discover more lies the enemy has craftily embedded into your life? That last week I have sense God’s plans for this SUM community more strongly than ever before.

He is getting us ready, the next step is coming and He wants us ready, willing and able! Our Great Redeemer is equipping us for victory and it is so exciting to watch and see how is working in all of us!

This week I want you to see where the enemy attacks us and the truth that sets and keeps us free. Be sure to read to the end because I have something special for you to do. I promise, it’s really cool and so very much the heart of God for you.

1.Our Body (Physically and our Emotions): Food is a huge issue today. Look at how much time we spend on diets, on changing our appearance, and generally being dissatisfied with how we look. I know this has been a huge area of grief, distraction and bondage for me for years. Food has almost taken on a god-like persona in our world and in our lives, as has an obsession with how we look and how others perceive us. This even goes back to the Garden of Eden, the very first temptation used under the guise of food. And only after they’d sinned did they become aware of their appearance (nakedness).

But the Lord said to Samuel, Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. — 1 Samuel 16:7

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. — Proverbs 4:23

2.Our Mind (Mentally): The enemy wants us to question our beliefs and create doubt—doubt in our faith, our salvation and the truth. If we are uncertain of what and why we believe, then we lack confidence to speak God’s truth for own benefit and the benefit of others.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. — Romans 12:2

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. — 1 Peter 3:15-16

3.Our Trust (Spiritually): Again and especially to doubt who God is. That He is good and always works for our good. To doubt God’s provision for us, even when His Word says He is our provider.

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. — Philippians 4:19

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. — Romans 8:28

In his book Spirit Wars, Kris Vallotton points out five places that the enemy attacks:

  1. Identity (who we are)
  2. Motives (why we serve God. Notice how satan tries to tempt Jesus with power by appealing to His pride. The enemy does this to us, then condemns us for our pride.)
  3. Our relationship with God (Do we even have one? Does God even want one with us? The enemy loves to make you think you are unworthy to stand before God. But you are because you now wear the righteousness of Christ. This is your birthright!)
  4. Our ability to accomplish our mission (Our calling)
  5. Our quality of life and ministry (Our testimony and message)

Kris also makes two great points. One, when we are in the wilderness, the enemy and God wants us there but they have different reasons. The enemy wants us there to destroy us. God wants us there so we can destroy the works of the enemy (Woohoo!). And two, when we know who we are and whose we are, we’ve won the battle (Woohoo again!).

Remember the Belt of Truth?
We’ve talked in the past about our armor, but God showed me something last week that just tickled me beyond words (for just a moment). Ephesians is a powerful book that is so much about who we are in Christ. In Paul’s desire to show both Jews and Gentiles that in Christ they are no different, he clearly points out over and over again who we are in Jesus, and there are not boundaries there. Only unity for the body of Christ.

I often wondered how he got to the end and brought out this analogy of armor. Notice how he starts with the belt of truth? That’s because this is the very first piece of armor that Roman soldiers put on. Why? Because it supports all the other pieces of armor. Look at what the Expositor’s Bible Commentary says:

First, the "belt" tied tightly around the waist indicated that the soldier was prepared for action. A soldier slackened his belt only when he went off duty. It served to gather in the short tunic and helped keep the breastplate in place when the latter was fitted on. From it hung the scabbard in which the sword was sheathed (v. 17).

In Isa 11: 5 the Messiah is depicted as wearing the belt of righteousness around his waist and faithfulness as the sash around his body. Here "truth" is said to be the soldier's belt. "Truth" is to be interpreted both objectively as the truth of the gospel (1: 13; 4: 15) and subjectively as truth in one's inward being. Because Christians have accepted the truth of revelation and are now indwelt by the risen Lord, who is himself the truth, their lives have truth as its basis, and they display the consistency of character that springs from it.

Our belt of truth is our identity in Christ! How we believe (faith), how we understand the Bible (our sword—did you notice that it hangs from the belt?), our helmet (our understanding of our salvation), feet shod in the gospel (how we share or even have courage to share)—all starts with our identity in Christ.

My friends, we've run out of time and blog space again. I have so much more to share with you, but it would make this post twice as long. Lynn has graciously given me her day, Friday, to put up the next part of this post. PLEASE don't miss it. I have something very special to share with you and something specific that I want you to do—something that is very precious between you and God, and is part of your identity in Christ. 

Until Friday, remember WHO YOU ARE and WHOSE YOU ARE and the battle is yours! We are, day-by-day, becoming more confident and competant in our Lord God Almighty! (2 Cor. 3:3-6) 

Amen? Amen!
Love you with the passion of Jesus!
Dineen 

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

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It's Safe Inside of "This" House

Hi Everyone, 

I have so much to share with you that I feel like I’m going to bust open. Firstly, those of you who have already registered for the conference and those who are considering going and have written to me, I’m just doing the Snoopy Dance to know that I will meet you face-to-face, this side of heaven. This conference is going to be so filled with God’s presence that I’m expecting healing of hearts, marriages, and physical bodies. Dineen and I are committed to lay our hands on you and pray with you if that is what you want and need. Even if we stay up all night long in order to do so. If you have registered, email me so I know you are attending. 

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comSecond, do you remember Maria who I met at the conference at Bethel. She and I spent 15 minutes talking that day and it utterly changed so much about my faith and how I pray (read that story here see the video here).

Well on Friday I had lunch with Maria. We met at noon and three hours past like it was 10 minutes. My friends, we talked about our Great God, His Kingdom, our authority and some astonishing stories of deliverance… You may remember that Maria has a ministry where she works with women emerging out of the porn industry into faith. Maria said to me that many of these women are demon possessed. Much of what Maria does is deliverance. She shared a story with me that gave me shivers. Hope to tell it here soon. But after all of our discussion two things came up over and again.

Rejection! Maria and I talked a great deal about rejection and how our rejection by others is at the core of much of our spiritual bondage. Rejection by our earthly fathers profoundly impacts the way we view God (Our heavenly Father). Rejection by parents, friends, spouses…… So much pain and at the utter core is this: Identity

We misplace, crush, disbelieve and surrender our God-given identity as an heir, a child, a prince or princess of the King of the Universe. It is our lost identity due to rejection which empowers satan and his demons. We don’t know who we are so we listen to the liar. We agree with the lies and hand over our power to him.

What I’ve come to understand and even “feel in my soul” is my identity in Christ is my power. I absolutely believe what the Bible tells me about who I am. NOW THAT terrorizes the devil.

Understanding who I am in Christ has profoundly affected for the positive my mismatched marriage, my parenting and every relationship that I have. So as I sat in church Sunday morning, God spoke to me and I was overwhelmed by the words I’m about to share with you. I believe that God was speaking to every single person in this community. I don’t know much about prophetic words and such but my friends, I think this could be exactly that for all of us. Prophetic! So, grab a cup of coffee and take these words in. They were spoken to me and now to you from the Lord our God.

Child,

You are mine. I know the pain of your rejection and the lies born out of that fear and hurt. But hear me now, YOU ARE ADOPTED.

Child I will tell you every day that I love you. You are my family. And I have given you a community. You belong. You are adopted and loved. THIS DAY, I declare for you New Beginnings. You will be strengthened, the road before you will be smoothed out. I have prepared riches for you and a life of the divine. I am your joy in what could be sorrow. I’ve called you out of the ordinary to experience the supernatural. Your home in this place is a community of healing, restoration and wholeness. I now place my identity in you. Do not despise small beginnings because your foundation will sustain you.

This house was a secret but today it is open for the orphan. It is ready for the outpouring. The rain, the Holy rain is falling upon this house and upon my children. I’m strengthening your home, your marriage, your family and your individual ministries. So come into this house, let it rain – for my hand is upon you and my Presence rests within you.

Step into your royalty and stay the course. The road ahead is filled with triumph, miracles, signs, wonders, healing and salvations. The best is yet to come.

My friends, I don’t know who needed these words today from our Abba, Father but I know I was to share them. You are fully His and when we KNOW this at our core, the devil can’t touch us.

With all of this said on Friday, I have a few stories to share about warfare. So get your Royalty on because you will need it.

We are Kingdom people destined to live in His Presence, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. I love you all so much. I can’t wait to look deeply into your eyes and thank God for you. Love, Lynn

Identity in Christ PDF. Follow the directions in this exercise and let your freedom shine forth.

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

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Why The Tormentors Come

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comWell it’s been a riveting series so far. I have prayed for all of you who left your lies at the foot of the cross on Monday. Thank you for your courage and for defeating the enemy’s power in your life. Stay diligent and work to place God’s truth into your lives, hearts and minds. 

The demons are relentless and will try to come back. Take every thought captive immediately. Say out loud again, I reject that lie in the name of Jesus. I believe I am a child of the Most High God. His truth is my truth. I will obey Him. I will trust Him. I know I am loved, valued, and I have authority over all demons, their works and effects. In Jesus name and by His blood. Amen 

Okay there’s another area where believers can sign over their authority and become captives. This is also an area where not only can you become a prisoner, the tormentors come. 

Are you ready? 

Unforgivness. 

Kris writes: Unforgiveness imprisons our souls and opens the door to evil spirits in us. In my experience, unforgiveness is the number one reason why Christians are oppressed. 

Unforgiveness and its cousin, bitterness wields a great power over our lives. You can be consumed by these two. And for our community here at SUM, some of us here have endured marriages that are not kind, but hurtful, even harmful, we are so utterly vulnerable to this area of torment. 

I remember reading a story that Kris shared in one of his books about a woman who was at church. She was wreathing on the ground as people were praying over her for deliverance. Kris was summoned and as he got down to pray for her, he sensed unforgivness was her captor. This woman was in bondage to hatred. She was raped as a child by her father. She spewed out, “I will not forgive him. I hate him. I want him to burn in hell.” 

Kris responded, “I can’t help you then.” He began to walk away. She lay in the floor with the demon continuing to torment her. 

She screamed to him, “Okay, I will forgive him. Just help me.” They prayed and worked through her deliverance and she became free. Free indeed. (Paraphrased) 

My friends, living in this kind of bitterness will destroy you, your relationship, your life…. Your very soul. Was this woman perhaps justified in her hatred? Maybe. But her hatred ONLY served to empower the devil. 

One other area that the enemy works like magic is unforgiveness of our Self. I will share one more story with you of Kris’ dealing with a young girl who lived in shame and utter torment. She appeared before Kris scratching at herself. He began to pray but realized this wasn’t going to be an easy one. They prayed and began working through her shame. She lost her virginity to a man who left her ashamed, alone and abandoned. The thought of her ex-boyfriend would send her into a rage. Unable to escape the shame she began to punish herself by having sex with other men. Self-hatred, self-loathing and unforgiveness had become her closest friends. She was a powerless prisoner of her own demise. 

Kris walked her through a process of forgiving herself. And the theology of what Christ did on the cross. She said to him, “I want the punishment to go away. I can’t stop punishing myself,” she cried. 

He took her by the hands and had her repeat, “I love myself. I love myself.” 

These stories are brief recounts. My friends, if you are struggling in any of these areas or you know someone who is, you need to read the entire book. The examples are real. They have truth and power and offer understanding of the spiritual realm without fear. Buy it. Spirit Wars by Kris Vallotton. (See the sidebar) 

Are you asking me why we must go through this basic training? 

It’s crucial to understand how the enemy gains captives and prisoners. Through sin, unforgivenss, and lies. When we understand this and obtain our own freedom then we can help our spouse and our children. It’s vital that we find our freedom first. 

So I ask you, do you have unforgiveness, bitterness or self-hatred in your heart. Can you share with me who you need to forgive? Can you begin this day to say to yourself every single day, I love myself? Let me and Dineen and this entire community walk together toward healing. We will all pray for one another. And if you need counseling, search today for a counselor, a pastor, Celebrate Recovery group that can walk you through this healing. 

Okay, we are nearing the end of our boot camp. But we still have ground to cover and then this terrorist training camp of Spirit filled believers is going to let loose on the devil and his minions. With all authority and in the name of love, in the name of Jesus. Amen. 

The world is looking for something worth dying for so that they have something really worth living for. ~Kris Vallotton. 

I love you. I really love you. Lynn

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

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You Are Invited - Conference Announcement

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IntentionalLifeLogoIt's coming. 

Something that will transform your life. Something that will transform your marriage.
 Something we only dreamed about and only God could do. 

 Join us, Lynn and Dineen, for this very special event! 

 Saturday, April 6th from 9 am to 3 pm

Friday Evening Meet & Greet  April 5th 6:30- 8:30 pm
Christ the King Lutheran Church • 3803 W. Lake Houston Pkwy. • Kingwood, Texas

Click here for more information.

We are expecting God to show up and show off. We are praying for transformed marriages, healing of hearts, freedom for the captives and to step together into this amazing journey of living in His fathomless love, joy and peace and His amazing grace.

Expects some laughs, a ton of friendship, meaningful teaching and the power of the Holy Spirit to be received in your life.

We can't wait to hug necks, to see you face-to-face and to finally embrace you, the community of Spiritually Unequal Marriage. Woo Hoo!!!!

We love you, our SUM family, so dearly and hope we are blessed to see many of you there!
Lynn & Dineen

If you need hotel information please email me, Lynn. Register today, make your flight or driving arrangements and then let me know you will be there.

(Scroll down to read today's post.)

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

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How the Enemy Targets Us

6a00d83451ee9f69e2017ee7581a53970d-320wiMy dear friends, I want you to know that I am praying for you all through this series. I truly sense God is moving us to new places, to take new territories in our lives and regain territories we have lost too.

Last week I talked about the enemy’s tactics, namely his attempts to keep us fearful and ineffective. Lynn’s post on Monday brilliantly showed us how the enemy uses lies to keep us in these places of defeat. Again, it’s all lies!

This week I want to show you how the enemy targets us. Let’s go back to Matthew 4 and read the first eleven verses. I’ve bolded some key areas that I want you to pay attention to:

1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

The very first thing I want to point out will probably be the most difficult for you to understand and accept. Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness. God was in control of this time of testing just as He’s in control of our times of trial and testing. I reference the book of Job last week as a good example of this.

Please understand that we live in a world with good and evil. The stage was set right in the Garden of Eden. So think of it this way. God gave man and woman the power of choice. They chose poorly and now God is working in all of it to bring the ultimate good to all humanity. That means He takes what evil intends to harm and brings good from it (read the story of Joseph starting with Genesis 37). This is also our promise in Romans 8:28.

God also designed us to have purpose in our lives, just as He gave Adam his purpose to maintain the Garden. As Rick Warren often says, God is more concerned about our character than our comfort. Cushy and easy lives do not build our character. And the only way our spirit will bear fruit (Galatians 5:22-23) is by exercising our spiritual muscles.

I’ve heard a saying that I think is dead on: God either delivers us from trials or through trials. Some trials He will remove because they don’t serve His purpose and calling for us. Others He walks us through them because there is something to be gained—these can be blessings, freedoms, spiritual gifts, etc., with the ultimate goal of deepening our understanding of who we are in Christ, our relationship with God and our trust in Him.

2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.

Remember what I said last week that the enemy attacks us in our weakness. What he hopes is that we will forget that in our weakness God is strong (2 Cor. 12:9)! Jesus fasted to prepare Himself for this time of temptation. I find that the times I’ve fasted because God is calling me too, I become clearer in my thoughts and understanding, and I often hear God much clearer. So Jesus may have appeared weak physically but spiritually, He was more powerful than ever!

The key here that Jesus prepared. That time set aside each day to spend with God is part of that preparation. Reading the Bible, praying, listening to praise music, going to church, etc.—it’s all preparation to make us strong in our weakness.

3 The tempter came to him and said, If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.

If you look at the line I bolded, you’ll see a subtle question there. The very first thing the enemy attacks is our identity—who we are in Christ. Notice how the enemy says, “If you are the Son of God.” Some translations lose this intonation but the original Greek has it. It’s a subtle plant of doubt that the enemy uses to make us doubt our salvation and place in God’s Kingdom. This by far is the first and most crucial place that we must pay close attention to.

Remember the story in Matthew 7 about the wise builder? The wise builder is the one who built his house on rock instead of sand. When the storms (trials, tests, temptations, etc.) came, the house didn’t fall. This rock foundation is our identity in Christ. Read Ephesians 1 and notice words like adopted, accepted, blessed, chosen, forgiven, lavished, predestined and redeemed. Our inheritance in Jesus is WHO WE ARE.

Don’t confuse your calling or ministry or service as who you are. Those are things you do. They come from your identity in Christ. All that we do to serve must be held loosely because we really don’t know the full picture of where God plans to take us next. We can’t identify ourselves by things that have the potential to change. Jesus never changes. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. That’s a foundation of rock that will never fail you! And remember, our identity in Christ is where our power and authority come from. When we build our identity on things that change, fail, shift or disappoint, we risk losing our power and giving our authority to the enemy.

4 Jesus answered, It is written: Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.
5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 
6 If you are the Son of God, he said, throw yourself down. For it is written: He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
7 Jesus answered him, It is also written: Do not put the Lord your God to the test. (and see how Jesus counters him with God’s Word too? With the truth.)
8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor.
9 All this I will give you, he said, if you will bow down and worship me.
10 Jesus said to him, Away from me, Satan! For it is written: Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.
11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

Study these lines and notice how one, Jesus counters each attempt of the enemy to implant a lie with the truth of God’s Word. Satan even uses God’s Word (don’t think he hasn’t studied it well and will use it against us—legalism is a good example of that.) in a direct quote from Psalm 91:11 to try and convince Jesus to hand over His authority. This is why it is so important to know God’s Word. One, because we need to know the truth, and know it clearly—not just what someone else has told us. And two, so that we can counter the enemy with the truth so we don’t allow these lies into our lives—that’s when we make contracts with our enemy and hand over our authority.

Okay, I'm going to stop here for now. Next week I will show where the enemy targets us and how to counter those lies with God's truth. Until then, I want you to ask God to tell you who are to Him. Ask Him to show you whatever lie or lies have taken the place of His truth for you, because He loves you, my friend, with a passion and a fervency that goes beyond comprehension. This has been a HUGE area of healing for me and I want you, my precious friends, to walk in that same freedom!

Here are two downloads for you to take advantage of. Read them and speak them out loud!

Identity in Christ
Who I am in Christ

Share in the comments so this amazing community can rally around and pray for you! Or share how God speaks to your heart so that others can be encouraged too.

God is here! God is HERE. GOD IS HERE! Let's walk forward in confidence together knowing who we are.

Hugging you all tight with love and prayers!
Dineen 

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

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Can A Christian Be Oppressed?

It started in a garden… 

Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” 

People were given authority over the entire planet. And when Adam and Eve sinned they literally gave away their authority. They believed another master and surrendered their authority. It took Jesus and his death on the cross to take back this authority for mankind. 

Matthew 28:18-19 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. 

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comMy friends, ALL AUTHORITY. Jesus has all authority and the devil has none and we who are in Christ now carry His authority in everything in our lives (Luke 9:1-2). The only way that satan has authority is when we give it to him. That is why he works so hard to get us to empower him through lies and sin. 

Christians can’t be possessed by the devil but we do allow him, give him authority, to oppress and to torment. Let me share the story Kris Valloton shares in Spirit Wars on Pages 152-153. 

                Paraphrased: Kris was walking in the sanctuary of Bethel where he was gently touching people and blessings them. He went to touch an elderly couple who had been attending their church for 30 years. As he touched he woman, Martha, Kris sensed the word, suicide. He whispered to Martha, “Martha, by any chance are you dealing with suicidal thoughts?” 

                “I’ve been plagued that I should kill myself for nearly two months. I’m a stable happy person, so I don’t know why I’m having these horrible thoughts.” 

                “Martha, did you go through something painful recently and entertain the thought that you could just die and all the grief would be gone? 

                “Yes, I was so desperate and hurt about a family situation that I said to myself, I could just die in peace and this would all be over.” 

                “Did the terrible sense that you wanted to take your own life start right after that?” 

                “Yes.” 

                “Martha, when you chose to embrace death to bring peace, you made a covenant with the spirit of suicide to comfort you. The devil’s ministry is to steal, kill and destroy. Whenever we embrace one of these three elements, we invite demonic spirits to oppress us.” 

                “How do I get free?” 

                “Repeat this prayer after me. Jesus, forgive me for making a covenant with the devil by inviting death to comfort me. Thank you that You gave me the Holy Spirit, who is my comforter and friend. Now, repeat this: You spirit of suicide, I break my agreement with you. I no longer want you in my life. I command you to leave me now in Jesus name.” 

It was gone. 

Okay, I hope Kris is not too angry that I shared this story here but it needs to be told. Buy the book and read the entire story and the one that precedes it in the book which is absolutely powerful

My friends, when we believe the lies of the enemy, we come into agreement with him and we handover our authority. 

Let me share some lies that I have earnestly believed in my past. These lies have held me captive, oppressed my spirit and left me in bitter pain for years. 

  • My husband will never change.
  • I can’t serve in ministry if my husband is not a Christian.
  • I will never experience Jesus like she (some other Godly woman) does.
  • I’m not a writer.
  • I will never be happy, content or live in the joy of the Lord until my husband comes to Christ.
  • My kids are more vulnerable to deception because of their father’s lack of faith. 

I can tell you that every one of the preceding sentences is a lie. Let me share the lie I recognized just this past two weeks. 

For my entire marriage, I have believed that if and when my husband comes to faith, he will likely not change very much. That he is still going to be Mike. He will continue to dislike church, he won’t read the Bible, nor have any kind or real passion for his faith. I’ve even written that here on this blog. 

Well several weeks ago God was really ticked with me because I have believed this for so long and it is an outright lie. A lie straight from the pit of hell. And this is how I know. God had some sharp words for me during one of my walk-n-prays. “Lynn, how can you put me in a box? How could you limit my power? How can you believe that I am unable to transform Mike completely into a Jesus freak-zealot if that is what I want?” 

Yikes, I don’t like it when I’ve discovered I put God in a box. I felt like a puppy with my tail between my legs. But you know our Great God. His scandalous grace and love. He said to me, “Now don’t believe that lie anymore and start to pray for a complete transformation.” 

So I did. I started praying. And within a couple of weeks it’s as if God wanted to punctuate the error in my thinking and belief. So here’s what happened.

Let me set the stage. My husband is a computer geek. He is kinda nerdy and loves everything technology. (Just so you know, I love nerds *grin*) Like a lot of geeky guys, exercise and physical work is unappreciated. What I’m trying to say is that he hates exercise. He has never liked to exercise. In fact, he has never done any kind of exercise (ever) and even hates, HATES, yard work. 

You may know where this is going. Yep, two weeks ago my husband goes to the store. Purchases several workout pants and shirts and running shoes. Then the guy goes out the next morning, walks three miles. The next day, walks five. The next day he starts to jog…… 

SAY WHAT????? 

I about fell over. Never in a million years would I have expected this kind of 180 turn around. And as soon as I said that to myself I heard the Holy Spirit speak to me, “See Lynn, I can transform and change your husband and this is just a glimpse.” 

I’m expecting a transformation one day that will freak me out. I absolutely believe in my God, His power and perfect timing. Amen, period, the end. 

Now my friends, here is where it gets difficult. What are the lies you believe? Where have you given your Holy authority over to the devil? The enemy is so clever and deceptive that you may believe something you don’t even know is a lie. Think about an area where you are feeling compelled to thoughts or feelings that are absolutely contrary to who you are and your beliefs. Get to the beginning, the root of when and where those thoughts began. Reject them OUT LOUD. 

I literally pray out loud and I say, “(       )That is a lie from the pit of hell and I reject that lie. It no longer holds power or influence over me. Jesus you are my truth. You are my freedom. Forgive me for coming into agreement with your enemy and handing over my authority. I take my full authority back and I choose to trust in the Lord. In Jesus name Amen.                

Our freedom is at hand. In the comments share the lies you have believed and are now free. Or state the lies in the comments that you are breaking this day and I will say them aloud with you. In Jesus name. 

Let’s fill the comments with your freedom. I want to see more than 100 renounced lies and also the truths that are our freedom and authority. I love you my friends. But our Abba Father, His son, Jesus and the Sprit that binds us all loves you with more grace and goodness and compassion than we can comprehend. Hugging you tight today. Today is our freedom day. Love, Lynn

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Weekend Worship — Walking in Freedom

My friends, this last week has been amazing! If you haven't read the posts and comments, please take the time to read and pray and soak in what God is doing right here in this amazing community of believers! The words and prayers are so precious and encouraging. 

God has big plans for us, dear ones. I just sense that deep in my heart and in my spirit. He sees our willing hearts and hunger for Him and He's honoring us in ways we have yet to even see. I'm so excited over this and what He's doing and putting together. Prepare to be blown away!

And as we've talked about this week, our enemy wants to undo us, especially as we seek God more passionately and walk with Him more closely. But as Chris Thomlin sings in this song below, whom shall we fear? Nothing planned against us will stand because Jesus is our friend and his angel armies surround us, fight for us and protect us. Woohooo!

No fear, no fear, no fear! 

Love you with the passion of Jesus, my friends!
Dineen 

Thank you for sharing this song with us, Missie! Hugs!

*****

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Terrorist Training Boot Camp

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comWelcome to the training ground my friends. Today we are getting started with basic training. The fundamentals. And we are working our way up to an exercise that will blow your mind and bring about freedom. 

Let’s get started.

Isaiah 61:1 

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
   because the Lord has anointed me
   to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
   to proclaim freedom for the captives
   and release from darkness for the prisoners.

How do we know who is a captive and who is a prisoner??? 

I wonder if you are like me. I’ve been in conversations where for some crazy reason we get into the discussion about demons and ultimately there is a debate over this question. “Can a Christian be demon possessed?” Well, I think that’s entirely the wrong question. And I can tell you that the enemy loves it when we debate over this because he just continues his work on people as we debate and never get to a solution nor take any kind of action. So, let’s look for some truth and discover real steps we can take to bring freedom to the captives and the prisoners. 

Who are the prisons and who are the captives? For the first time I feel like I have a grasp on this. Let me share with you what Kris Vallotton shares in Spirit Wars: 

Prisoners are people who have invited a demonic oppression into their lives through a lifestyle of sin. The demons know they have permission to wreak havoc on these prisoners’ souls until the prisoners repent. 

Captives are people who have been captured in battle and held as POWs. These people do not have lifestyle sin issues in their hearts. Instead, they are bound by lies they have believed. 

Okay, can I just say, “WHOA.” 

I think we need to start here and let this just sink in for a moment. Now I can already hear the rumbling. “But Lynn, when you are saved you receive the Holy Spirit and therefore you can’t become a captive or a prisoner.” 

Let me assure you that is true. When you accept Jesus as your Savior, you are released from sin and as a prisoner you are set free. But what often happens is that we believe in Jesus but it’s REPENTANCE that keeps us free. Now, I’m not a theologian. I don’t have all the answers but I have graduated from the school of hard knocks and have learned over years and years of practical experience that this rings true. And this truth has become glaringly evident in my life recently. Lasting and real freedom is born out of radical obedience. 

I’ve personally lived in this place of partial repentance. I know God has loved me through some of my long-term sin habits. I have watched him give me healing and freedom several times and like an idiot, I’ve returned to some of those habits. But it’s when we truly abandon all of ourselves to God, jump into obedience, that is where we discover a lifetime of freedom. Will God still love us when we are in the prison cell? Absolutely. Does he continue to offer rescue, time and time again? Of course. Will he give us every resource to help us conquer it? He does. He will. Always. 

It’s a struggle of freewill, pride and add in there laziness and or comfort. 

I know this because I’m talking about myself. 

Ridding our lives of habitual sin is excruciating. I know. I still fight these battles just like you. But I’ve also tasted sweet victory and the “freedom” the Bible talks about. 

For me, fighting this battle and winning gave me something I didn’t know I was missing. The Dove. My friends after our visit to Bethel I came home healed from a habitual sin for which I received prayer. I arrived at my home with something very precious and yet very fragile. It was a fresh anointing of God’s presence and it sat upon my right shoulder. I’ve never felt so full of God’ grace, his love and his power as that Dove rested upon my shoulder. But, a few weeks after returning and settling into my life again, sin comes around and hits me in the face. I’ve grieved the Spirit and that sweet Presence grows a little more distant and is no longer on my shoulder. 

Once you have walked with this Dove, you will go to great lengths to keep it sitting on your shoulder. 

Now this is only one area where the enemy gains entrance or gains territory in our lives and certainly the lives of unbelievers. On Monday we are going to look at how we are held captive by lies. Oh and it gets really good. We need to have a grasp of these basics to understand the complexities of how the enemy uses these areas to keep us as captives or prisoners. Once we wrap our arms around the basics then we can see how our freedom is born. Once our freedom is born then we can help free others. Our children, our spouse, the world who is continually terrorized by the enemy. 

Okay, here is where it gets hard. It’s time to face your reality. It’s the hour where you ask yourself the really hard and revealing question. Do I have habitual sin in my life? My friends, if you do, you already likely know what it is. Because God is not silent about this kind of stuff. He will point it out to you over and over through scripture, through teaching, through studies, through people he strategically places in your life. 

Ask God in an honest and open way, “Daddy, is there deep sin in my life that I have not faced or dealt with that is keeping me from living in your Presence?” 

Then let the answer come. Some of the answers might be pornography, alcohol, television choices, infidelity, gossip, anger. How about these: 

The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. Gal 5:19-21 

My friends, it’s okay. All of us have wrestled with more than one of these and still do. But, here is our God and his son, Jesus. They are here among us and they are shouting…… 

“I’m here to release you. Let me love your through your healing. Let me lavish my forgiveness upon you. Let my scandalous grace delight you. Living in my freedom is so much better than what you have settled for. Trust me.” 

This post is meant to mess you up. I hope it did. I hope it causes you to see your reality. I hope it pushes you to take steps toward healing. And for those of us who have experience our healing, let us fall on our face giving thanks. Let us love those on the path of healing. They need encouragement without judgment. 

My friends, there is a battle raging. We MUST bring healing to our lives before we can help others. So get on this train because at the end, I can see this community of SUM touching hundreds of prisoners that are all around us with the truth that sets people free. 

If you want healing and prayer, take courage to share it with me and our community so we can pray for you. Pray in the comments. If you have been healed, share what God has done so that the words of your testimony gives God glory and brings healing to someone else. 

And on Monday….. Oh, my friend, ON MONDAY… It gets even better.. I love you. I love you. I love you. Hugs, Lynn

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Know Your Enemy's Tactics

6a00d83451ee9f69e2017ee7581a53970d-320wiBefore we dive into the deeper waters of spiritual warfare, I feel led (and have for weeks for this series) to help you have a better understanding of what spiritual warfare is and what place is has in our lives.

For years I lived in a place of fear in regards to the enemy. I’d dabbled with some of the occult as a teen without a Christian upbringing or someone to explain to me that God is bigger and more powerful and always will be.

As I stepped into faith I began to learn and understand this truth, to understand that God is in complete control, even of satan and the extent of his evil plans (i.e. what he’s allowed to do. The book of Job is a good example), but I still worked and prayed from a place of fear in dealing with the enemy.

One of the biggest lessons I took away from Kris Valloton’s book, Spirit Wars, and his sermon by the same title (you can buy the video at iBethel.com) is that the enemy is only a threat if we let him. We give him way too much credit and influence in our lives. So here’s the understanding that God has given me.

Growing old is a part of life, right? We can either pretend we will never grow old and live like there’s no tomorrow, or we do things proactively to age well. Like exercise, eating healthy foods, going to the doctor to keep tabs on how our body is functioning, taking vitamins, etc. Without these measures we can wind up feeling sluggish, sick and out of shape. Especially the older we get. You get the picture.

Much like aging, spiritual warfare is a fact of our spiritual life. It’s inevitable—a part of our faith just like aging is part of our bodily progression. We can either walk through our faith, pretending the enemy won’t try to threaten our spiritual wellness (much like pretending that Big Mac habit isn’t going to mess with your cholesterol level) or we can be prepared, alert and proactive so that we walk in victory, no matter what stage we are at. Victories come in all shapes and sizes, my friends. Don’t forget that.

We don’t need to fear aging though we might not like it. Nor do we need to fear spiritual warfare. In fact, when we come at if from a place of fear, we are ineffective. Jesus didn’t not give us a spirit of fear, dear ones. He gave us a spirit of power, love and a sound mind. Second Timothy 1:7 tells us that very clearly in Paul’s instructions for Timothy to live faithfully and boldly in his gifts and calling.

And now I’m reminding you of this truth. We are the ones with power AND authority. The enemy holds no important place in your life and is more like an annoying fly on your wall. Smack him away and give him no purchase, place, or hold in your life!

There’s one other thought I want to pass on to you, something I took away from Bethel that freed me to try things and not be so concerned about doing things “right” every time. We aren’t teaching you to look for a demon in every corner nor are we saying every situation or trial involves an evil spirit. Sometimes it’s clear but other times it’s not. The thing is, it never hurts to pray. If you think an evil spirit might be involved, pray against it. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, then ask God for wisdom and guidance on to approach the issue differently. Nothing wrong with covering your bases.

Now, let’s take a walk into the wilderness—as observers, not participants. Go to Matthew 4:1-2 with me and let’s look at the testing of Jesus. If you look at the sequence of events, you will discover some key details here.

  1. Jesus knew the tempter would come. He was not surprised by His enemy. Jesus expected this time of testing and knew it was part of His preparation for what was to come. We needed a Savior who understood us completely, even to our temptations.
  2. Jesus fasted before he was tempted. Again, Jesus is aware of what He would face so He prepared himself for the confrontation. I love what Kris Vallotton says about fasting—that he fasts to bring God near, not to fight the enemy. He even refers to Psalm 23 where it says, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.” We fast for God, we feast before our enemy. That is the victory that comes from the battle!
  3. Jesus expected His enemy to come in His time of weakness. Here again, Jesus prepared for this because He knew the enemy would attack at His weakest time—when He was hungry, tired and weak. Sound familiar? My friends, the enemy is a coward and will attack you in your weak spots. It’s important to know your weaknesses, identify them and prepare ahead of time (read and memorize Scripture, pray, ask for prayers, etc.) so that you can recognize when you’re just having a bad day or if the enemy has decided you are his target practice. Then you can recognize the enemy’s hand and win the battles when they come. Or even better, avoid them! Remember 1 Cor. 10:13.

In the next part of this series, I will show you three areas that the enemy tempted Jesus and how these are critical “hot spots” for us to understand how the enemy tempts us. There’s more to these stories than just the testimony of Jesus’ temptation and perseverance. They reveal the deepest areas that the enemy targets in us to take away our authority and victory in Jesus by making us think we are ineffective and powerless.

My friends, many of you are in this place already. I was for a long time too, but God has brought me from that place, and now I get to share that with you. We are on this journey together to gain ground, regain ground and step into the full inheritance we have in Jesus. With that, I leave you with this powerful piece of truth:

For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. — Philippians 2:9-11 (emphasis mine)

Even our enemy knows his limitations and Who he is answerable to—to Jesus. Even he has to bow down to Jesus and fear the name of our Lord and Savior. And you are a coheir with Christ (Rom. 8:17). Now think about that for a while.

I can’t wait until next time to share more of these truths right from God’s precious Word! You will be empowered and equipped!

Love you so very much, my precious friends! I am praying for you—for your victory!
Dineen

*****

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Welcome To The Terrorist Training Camp

On this bright and crisp Monday morning where it is colder here in Temecula (So California) than Chicago, I WELCOME YOU. I also welcome the FBI who likely will be reading this series because their computers have just detected a blog using the words “Terrorist Training Camp.” Hi Guys!!! 

Yep, that’s us. 

Spiritual Warfare 2013For the next few weeks, as long as God leads, we are jumping into some serious warfare training. I am so tired of the devil and his minions terrorizing the children of God. Fed Up! 

It’s time for the children of God to take back their authority and it’s our time to be doing the terrorizing. 

We, the believers, are NOT going to live in fear of the enemy. God’s word is filled, filled -I tell you, with every good word and truth to expose the enemy, to release us from fear, give us deliverance, and power over the accuser. So it’s time to reveal the lies and render the enemy of our soul powerless and send him running for cover. And by that I mean it’s time to cast this ugly dragon back into the pit of hell. 

Are you with me?? 

A few things before we get started. I know that there are seasons in our faith life. Seasons when we are up for the battles and also when we are at peace. There are seasons when we are bruised and weak. I know there are times when we aren’t feeling the warrior instinct, I get it. So, if you are not exactly in this season where you are all-fired up to fight the beast, I understand. I know that you likely need a word of empathy and compassion and that you need someone who understands to just hold you while you cry. I understand. 

I can promise you that we will be writing about our brokenness and healing of our hearts in the future as well. So, hang tight and read along with us. Because one day, you WILL, be up for the fight and I want you to have the knowledge and the power to fight for your soul, your children and your marriage. I want you to have courage and not fear the enemy. Please hear me now, I love you and I will fight for you when you are weak. And one day when I’m weak, you will be there to fight for me. I love you with such a furious love that God is moved to touch your brokenness. Write me and let me know how to pray for you. email me

Okay, onward my warrior friends. ONWARD… (I can hear that old hymn, Onward Christian Soldiers….) Yikes, dating myself. 

Here are some areas we are going to cover in the next few weeks: Isaiah 61.1, Kingdom authority, fear, agreement with the lies, names of spirits, generation curses, rules of engagement…. And this is just some of the things I want to talk about. 

For the first time in a very long time I read a book about warfare that actually gave me real tools to deal with the spiritual realm. I recommend that if you want to really understand more on the invisible battle, you buy this book, Spirit Wars, by Kris Vallotton. Kris is a senior pastor at Bethel church. 

I will be sharing some of Kris’s insights as well as my own study and experiences throughout this series. You can find a link to the book in the sidebar and at the end of this post. 

So let’s get started. 

What I think I need to share with you first is that the subject matter of the invisible spiritual realm is difficult to tackle. It’s difficult because so many Christians don’t really believe it exists. I know I’ve mentioned some supernatural incidents to church leadership at my home church and I received, in a very polite way, the proverbial eye-roll. So, it makes it all the more difficult to write about and to help people. When people have an unexplainable/supernatural experience they often go to their church leadership who will send them to a psychiatrist because they just don’t believe what the Bible tells them. 

So I ask you to travel this path with me with your Bible WIDE OPEN. We will study encounter after encounter where Jesus deals with the realm of the supernatural. Why would we expect anything different in a believer’s life than what Jesus has modeled for us? So, step with me into understanding, read your Bible for yourself, read commentary of trusted writers on the subject. Because when we finally start believing ALL the Bible teaches us in this area, THAT is when we start to see things change in our lives. THAT is when we will gain the victories, healing and wholeness. THAT is when we will finally arrive at peace, joy and thriving. And then we can begin to help our children, our spouse and others. 

The natural world and the supernatural overlap. And that is where it can get weird. 

Today, I want to share two scriptures. Isaiah 61:1 

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
   because the Lord has anointed me
   to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
   to proclaim freedom for the captives
   and release from darkness for the prisoners. 

This passage says so much more when we really think about it. We are called as believers to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from the darkness the prisoners. But, how do we know who is a captive and who is a prisoner??? Ahhhhh, now that is a fantastic question. And there is a difference between the two.

My friends, I’ve probably lost all of you since this post has gone on way too long. On Friday, we are going to discover the difference between a captive and a prisoner and let me tell you this, Christians can be one of them. We are going to explore with courage these questions, reveal truth and decimate the lies of the enemy. 

Today, all this week, if you don’t do anything else, memorize the scripture below. It is imperative that we have this truth firmly in our hearts and minds. 

Romans 8:37-39

In all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

This is our truth. This is our power and we must know this in our bones. 

Okay, I’m curious, what do you want to know about spiritual warfare? Ask your questions in the comments and let do some real work for the Kingdom. 

Real love is a secret weapon that our enemy has no answer for. When we roll it out on the battlefield, Satan falls like lightning. ~Kris Vallotton

 

I love you my friends. I really love you. Lynn

 

I've written about spiritual warfare before. Read my story about my husband here. Spiritual Warfare and My Unbelieving Husband

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Weekend Worship — Thank You, Rosheeda!

My friends, many of us spent this last week fasting and praying under the guidance of our dear friend, Rosheeda Lee. Ro has led this yearly fast for four years now and each year is different and phenomenal! If you didn't get to participate, don't worry! We plan to do this again in the next several months. I know I'm looking forward to that as well since I didn't get to do the whole week. And once a year just isn't enough.

So today, ask God for blessings for Ro. She has been part of our community from almost the very start and is now an integral part of this ministry. Ro also manages our Twitter page, something we desperately needed help with. Love how God put that together. I prayed for help and she emailed asking, "God said I need to help. What can I do?"

Seriously! I kid you not!

And Ro is always praying for Lynn and I and the SUM community. She's prayed for many of us this past week in detail too! 

Ro, thank you so much for all you have done this last week. It's been inspiring, uplifting and beautiful! We love you so much!

Father God, rain your blessings down upon Ro. Show Your deep pleasure with what she has done to serve You this week. Holy Spirit, please continue to increase in Ro so that every day increases her awareness of You and what You're doing around her. Lord Jesus, thank You for Ro's precious heart and for sending her to us. We are so thankful for her. In your powerful name, Jesus, amen!

NEXT WEEK: Be sure to come back on Monday as Lynn and I begin our spiritual warfare series. We have so much to share with you that we know will bless and empower you! 

And now, let's worship!
Love you all dearly, my friends!
Dineen 

 

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What Will You Take With You From This Fast?

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Receive the Holy Spirit

***Before we get to what God has for us today, I just want you to know intensely special this week has been for me. I cherish the opportunity to serve this ministry in this way every year. I know the power and might of the God we serve for myself and it is my greatest passion that others know it too. My heart has cried out as I completed today's post because I KNOW how hard it is to keep going. I KNOW how hard it is to trust God and to really truly take Him at His word when everything and everyone - including my own self - says to just let go and walk away. I have seen God start keeping promises this week that I have been praying for ten years. I have seen His faithfulness start to manifest in such a way that burdens that have brought me to my knees up until very recently have been lifted. I have been challenged with you to give more of myself and to receive more of my LORD. Please know that this year's fast has been intensely personal for me and that I carry you in my hearts and sisters (and brothers), warriors, and friends. I love you. Ro***

Acts 2:38-39  Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.”

This is the last post of our fast, gang! I have wrestled with this one all week, because I wasn't sure what the Lord would have me share. And in all honesty, I struggled to pick just ONE verse from Acts 2 because the whole thing is just so poignant. But the part that in red, that's the part that has rested with me since Sunday.

Receive the Holy Spirit.

When I read the chapter, I thought of all the signs and wonders and of God pouring His Spirit out on all flesh, but then I kept reading and low and behold, as I read, another word came to mind: BELIEVE.

That's really what it's all about. You can fast, you can pray, you can give away all your possessions, you can even be privy to some amazing miraculous displays. But if you don't believe, if you don't allow your heart to open up and welcome the gift of the Holy Spirit - if you refuse to accept the greatness and the grandeur of the God who loves you enough to save your soul, then how will you ever really know the depths of His love for you?

The day of Pentecost came and people began speaking in tongues. But at the end of the day, even after such a display of power and greatness, some called them drunkards. Peter preached a sermon, explaining what was happening, inviting them into relationship - not only salvation, but sanctification. And he even gave them a promise at the end, for their children and themselves and all those who God plans to call to Himself! (Which, by the way, is also His promise to you and to me!)

I daresay that some of them STILL were willing to write it all off as just a little too much wine.

That makes me sad. It grieves me in my spirit to think that after all the work, all the buildup, all the display, we could be those who refuse to just believe.

The Lord spoke to me once a few years ago, when the fire was the hottest and I was at my weakest point: 'You have obeyed Me. Now I want you to believe Me.'

I am asking you now, having given of yourself and given up your own wants - having obeyed scripture to fast and pray, would you throw it all away by not believing the One who holds the power of life and death in His hands?

Tonight at 7pm, your sacrifice will be made complete. Don't let your week be wasted, don't let your sacrifice be in vain. Today's prayer is very simple:

Abba Father,

Help me to believe.

In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Gang, I really love you.

Ro

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Day Four - The Power and Humility of A Fast

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I Give You My Life

Romans 6:4-5 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection,


When we accepted salvation, we accepted the call to die. The kind of death that would allow God to live in and shine through us. The kind of death that would give us new life. REAL life. We accepted death understanding that through our death to ourselves, we would also find a re-birth as glorious as the one Christ experienced when he was resurrected.

I know it's daunting, this thing of dying, but really ya'll. Membership has its privileges. The cost is great, but the destination is worth the journey.


Father God,
I come before Your throne and I humble myself at Your feet. I bow my spirit before You and I surrender all that I am and all that I have to you. Master, I come to you lowering myself in total submission to Your Lordship, Your Headship, Your Authority in my life. My life is not my own, but Yours to do with as You desire. I die to myself right now, today, that I might find resurrection life in You.

In Jesus' Name.
Amen.

Ro

(Please share with us how you fast is going and what the Lord is revealing to you, Hugs, Rosheeda, Lynn and Dineen.)

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Day Three - The Call

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Lord, I Accept Your Call

2 Samuel 5:1-2 Then all the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and said, “Behold, we are your bone and your flesh. Previously, when Saul was king over us, you were the one who led Israel out and in. And the Lord said to you, ‘You will shepherd My people Israel, and you will be a ruler over Israel.’”


There is so much here... God called David to leadership, and had him walking in that call even before the throne was free for him to be seated. He was leading those God called him to shepherd even before Saul was dethroned. The Lord spoke to David even before it came to pass, 'You will shepherd My people Israel, and you will be a ruler over Israel.'

God asked David to accept the call even before the people that he was called to lead were free to accept it. David took all that he had learned from shepherding and intimacy with God and led a people whose following of him was not necessarily an intentional thing in the beginning, but more an instinct. And in the end, when they were free of Saul's rule, they came to David willingly - because they trusted his leadership and his heart for them - and declared themselves one with the new king.

Israel gave to David what David gave to God.

As believers, our initial following of God is more instinct and convenience than anything. Over time and as He proves Himself, that instinct becomes an intentional act of submission and love, borne of great trust and confidence in who the Lord is to us personally. We align ourselves with our King. We become one with Him because we can trust His vision.

We accept His call, just as King David did. David led because God asked Him to, not because that was the position that someone had given him. He understood and was humble enough to simply say 'Yes Lord' and to do the job set before him, trusting God for the outcome.

Adonai,
I come to you and I simply say 'yes Lord'. I will accept Your call. I will take all that I have learned, all that I am learning even now, and I will do the job You have set before me. I will trust You for the outcome.

Help me to align myself with You, help me to allow myself to become one with You as I learn to embrace Your vision. May I be a leader worthy of the call.

In Your Son's Name, Amen.

Ro

(Please share with us how you fast is going and what the Lord is revealing to you, Hugs, Rosheeda, Lynn and Dineen.)

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Community Fast - Day Two

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Lord, I Surrender The Rules

2 Corinthians 3:6 ...who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

When I read it here's how my heart interpreted it: God you have done a new thing and You have made me someone you call worthy to be part of it. It's not about keeping the rules, it's about knowing Your heart; the rules rob us of truth, but the heart gives us life because it gives us real intimacy with You.

So much power and such a confidence booster! Ya'll, God doesn't want us to be rule-followers. He wants us to be Abba-Seekers, lovers of Him.

He picked us! He made us worthy to go the distance with Him. There need be no fear, no worry. Not if we will just choose Him. Not if we would just be willing to grow in intimacy.

It's really all about knowing the One who makes the rules.

Father, I don't want to be a rule-keeper. I want to be a heart-seeker. I want to know you. I give up my rules Lord. I give up my ideas of the way I THINK You should work and I ask You to show me how to really embrace the truth of the work that You choose to do in, through, for, and around me.

I will trust You to show Me how to honor your statutes in the way that truly honors You.

You chose me. You called me worthy. I want life, so Father I surrender my worship of the letter [of the law] and I will wait expectantly as I learn to be led by Your Spirit.

All things in Christ's name.
Amen.

Ro

(Please share with us how you fast is going and what the Lord is revealing to you, Hugs, Rosheeda, Lynn and Dineen.)

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

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Day One of a Fasting Community

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I Surrender My Will, Oh Lord

Psalms 119:5  Oh that my ways may be established to keep Your statutes! 

So much in such a short verse. I read it and was so stunned at how directly it spoke to my heart and what I believe is the Father's heart for us ultimately in this journey. 

In my mind, I translate it this way: I want the way that I live my life to reflect true obedience to Your Word.

That really is the prayer of my heart, for myself and for you. 

This surrender is the first step in being prepared for what lies ahead. Begin today to give up your will for the greater will of the One who loves you endlessly. It will open your heart to accept what He wants to reveal to you. 

 

Oh Abba,

How we worship You. We adore You, Holy One. We love You. Oh Father, please forgive us for neglecting You. Please forgive us for not keeping Your statutes. Give us a heart this day, this week, this year and beyond to dwell in and experience real intimacy - true intimacy with You. You are holy. We need You. We love You. We seek Your face, Lord. Not only Your hand, but Your face more than anything. 

You say in Your Word that if we love You, we will keep Your commands. Lord, teach us to love You. Teach us to keep Your commands so that our lives are a reflection of the Psalm that cries out that our ways might be established to keep Your statutes. 

Reveal to us the places where we have become our own god. Reveal to us the areas in our hearts, mind, and lives that we have kept from You because of fear, doubt, pride or shame. Free us of the sin that so easily entangles us and move us to a place of such deep surrender  that we want You far more than our own way. 

Oh Father, let the way that we live our lives reflect true obedience to Your Word. 

We ask it all and we will seek it diligently. We will wait expectantly on You to reveal the hidden things. We are Yours to do with as You will. 

All in Christ's Holy Name.
Amen.

Ro

(Please share with us how you fast is going and what the Lord is revealing to you, Hugs, Rosheeda, Lynn and Dineen.)

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

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A Week of Preparation

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A Week of Preparation 

The word that God has given me for this week is 'prepare'. When I first heard it in my spirit, I thought, "Ok Lord. What are you trying to tell me?" 

Well, He didn't answer the way I expected but that one word just kept resting in my spirit. Prepare. So I started meditating and asking for clarity and looking for scripture. Lemme just tell you, the thoughts that came to my heart were so unexpected and so pertinent - especially for this community of believers at this time. 

That's what I want to share with you today. 

To 'prepare'. To make ready in advance. That says to me that we are to be looking forward to what lies ahead and to position ourselves (or allow ourselves to be positioned) to navigate the new territory that's comin' our way. 

In all my reading, two passages of scripture just jumped stood out for me. The first is this one: 

Matthew 4:1-3 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry. 3 And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” 

I've read this several times before but this time what stood out to me is the WHEN of the temptation. It hit me like a ton of bricks that the whole point of taking Christ to the wilderness was to tempt him BUT THE TEMPTATION DIDN'T COME UNTIL HE WAS MADE READY to face it head-on. He was tempted AFTER he fasted. The purpose of his 40-day isolation was to make him ready to be victorious in battle when his tempter came upon him. 

This should let us know a couple things: fasting is most likely going to INVITE the battle, not calm it. But fasting will also help you, if you are willing to submit to the Spirit's leadership to confront the enemy courageously and confidently instead of running from them. It positions you to act from what may SEEM to be a position of weakness, but what really is a position of great strength. 

But that's not it. There is one more verse that was just as profound to me: 

Romans 5:8  But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 

Again. Seen it before and was moved by what a selfless act of love... but this time... oh this time... here's the nugget: 

Christ acted IN ADVANCE to give us life - even before we knew  we needed it or were in any way ready to receive it. 

When I read this, I immediately thought of our community. How much we are to live life with respect to the needs of our loved ones, how vigilant we are called to be so that, when they're ready, the road is already paved. We can't save our families, but we can live in such a way that when they're ready, we're ready for them. 

Think on this ya'll. Really spend some time with God today. Let Him make you ready. Let Him give you HIS heart for your family. Let Him teach you how to walk in such a way that when the ones you love most answer His call, you'll be ready to walk with them down the road of new life.

I love you and I'll see you tomorrow! 

Ro

Rosheeda LeeBio: I've been on this unorthodox road with God for 7 years this year and I've seen Him blow my mind. I'm living the life He has for me with a passion and a boldness I never imagined. I'm learning daily to love the man that God has chosen for me, growing every day in my ability to love him and to let him love me.

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Weekend Worship — His Glory Appears

This song from Hillsong brings me to tears at it's tenderness and truth. It's hauntingly beautfiul. And it's the perfect way to begin worshiping our sweet Jesus this weekend as we get ready for our week of fasting and praying. Be sure to come back tomorrow and read Rosheeda's post to get us ready for next week. It's AWESOME! You really don't want to miss this one! 

My friends, I love you with the heart and passion of Jesus! I'm so incredibly grateful to be on this journey (especially this week!) with you!
Dineen

 

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

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Self-Love And The Battle At Hand

As we leap into 2013 and prepare for the series on Spiritual Warfare, I want to set the tone for that study. In December we spent some time talking about the love of God. We talked about moving our relationship into deep intimacy. (Read Can You Pray "Good Morning Daddy?”)

What I have come to understand is that to move with effectiveness in the spiritual realms requires confidence. We must have confidence in who we are in the eyes of Christ. We must love ourselves. We must “like” ourselves and love who we are and view our lives as God sees us.

Now I know that is easy to type, “Grasp who you are in Christ and live it.” But how do we move past our past, get over our hurts and insecurities to see ourselves as royalty instead of a pauper? That is the question.

I know for some of you, you just need some truth to defy the lies. I have been reading an amazing book about this very subject. Most of you know that Dineen and I attended a conference at Bethel Church in Redding in October. Those three days changed everything in how we perceive ourselves. And from that conference we have both been hungry, seeking to move out of our fears and into our victory. It has been a fantastic journey. And I have a lot more to share with you about all that later in the month.

But to move into the realms of the enemy and to experience the kind of victories we are going to share with you later, you MUST come to a place to accept who you are in Christ and live in His love. The book I am reading is written by the two lead pastors of Bethel, Bill Johnson and Kris Vallotton. The title: The Supernatural Ways of Royalty.

If you are struggling with self-love, a pauper mentality or need to grasp firmly who you are in Christ, I recommend you pick up this book and read it now before we launch into the series on spiritual warfare. There is a link below.

Here is an excerpt from page 51: On the other hand, agreeing with God empowers us. If frees us from the power of a lie and enables us to live according to the will of God. This empowerment is not independent of God; it is empowerment because of God. When we agree with God we step into the power of truth, the momentum of the Cross. The truth is already in our favor because King Jesus died in our place. He not only die for us, He died as us. Our agreement with God, which is always the focus and activity of faith, enables us to reap the fruit of truth. Ant that fruit is freedom! Faith grows by agreeing with God from the heart.

I have been practicing this kind of agreement since returning from Bethel. My friends, MY FRIENDS, do I have some astonishing stories to tell you about how our faith and agreement with God and NOT the enemy can profoundly impact our world. I can’t wait to tell you the story about praying for my daughter. I still can’t believe all that happened. Neither can she!!!!!!

So, I leave you this week, asking you to grab this book if you struggle in this area. I also want to encourage you to fast with us beginning Monday – Friday. Each year during our fast we experience profound movement by God in our midst because we humble ourselves and pray. To read more about how to fast, click here.

I am so excited for everything this New Year holds. The enemy is scared out of his mind and he has made a serious mistake to mess with this 5’4” blonde girl. How about you?I love you my friends.

I really love you. See you Monday for the fast. Hugs, Lynn

 

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

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Welcome to 2013!

IStock_000022174079XSmallFor the last month I've started praying for words for myself and my family and specific Scriptures to go with them. In the past my words for the year have come in the quietness of my prayers and in the tenderizing of my heart by God's gracious hand.

But this year's word has shown up like a horn blasting loud and long into the darkness, my friends, and I truly believe it's not just for me. God has big plans for us this year and is calling us to walk with Him on a journey to know Him more deeply and more powerfully in our lives.

That word blasting in my heart and mind is WORSHIP.

I type it in all caps because that is how I "see" it. It is bold and large and loud—a call for us to seek God as never before. I am not saying this should be your word for the year as well (though I dare say I am not the only one who is hearing God in this area—I look forward to reading your comments!), but pray and seek God for how He is calling you to expand this area of your life. We are all called to worship God and as I've shared in the past, when I asked God how I could draw closer to Him, He spoke very clearly, "You will find Me in worship."

And worship is so much more than just praising Him in our prayers and singing worship songs. Every moment of our lives can be acts of worship when we live them with an intentional awareness of His presence.

God wants our hearts, my friends. Totally and completely. I've felt led to start my mornings each day on my knees however briefly with the phrase, "Your day, Lord. Your way." These words have become my daily motto and almost a chant in my heart and mind. I know this is the work of the Holy Spirit to make my daily life one that worships God and equips me to walk in my God-given power and authority.

Now I want to hear from you. I sense deeply God is speaking to so many of us. If you are unsure of what you are hearing, let this be the place you can share and let this amazing community of believers come beside and assist you. I dare say many of us are hearing things from God in our hearts, in our thoughts and in our dreams for He is increasing His presence and His works in us, through us and around us, my friends.

Now is the time to pray boldly, wait expectantly and submit to Him completely. God has so much to show us this year!

Standing with you!
Dineen

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

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