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14 entries from December 2014

Reflecting Back on 2014 and Moving Forward into 2015

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He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it. — 1 Thessalonians 5:24 ESV

The devotional for December 29th in The Listening Heart brought me back to this verse that I'd highlighted earlier in the year. And a sweet moment of revelation entered in with it. I thought back over this year that started out so difficult that I wondered at times how I would endure and what would I look like on the other side, and the full reality of this truth came full circle.

Anything our Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, Wonderful Counselor calls us to co-labor with Him to do, He will surely do it. There can be no doubt there because that begs the question: 

Why would God call us to a place and not complete what He said He would do?

That's not His way, nor His character. Anything He has ever asked you to do, pray, think and believe has been for a reason—to benefit you at the very least and to bless others at the very most.

As I thought of 2014 and where I started to where I sit now, all that Abba spoke to my heart in those dark and light moments have come or is coming to pass. He has and is doing what He has said He would do. I merely chose to believe, to step out a little more boldly in faith, even when it didn't make sense. I chose to quit trying to make sense of it and simply trust God.

Every year I ask Abba Father for a word and Scripture for myself, my husband and daughters. My word for 2014 was "chosen" (now also the title of a book He is calling me to write). This year has been all about deeper intimacy with God, shedding lies and more fully embracing my identity in Christ. Many of us have walked in this place and now I dare to say that this isn't merely a year's goal but in full revelation the high calling to all of God's children—to seek God, to pray continuously, to wait upon Him.

It's all about our relationship with Him. Not to Him, but with Him.

And now we are about to enter 2015. I'm praying for those words and Scriptures as I reflect upon the ones from this year and what God has so faithfully done. 

  • For my oldest daughter Rachel and her husband Keith, their word was "faithfulness," to God and to each other. I've prayed this over them all year and watched their marriage continue to flourish and I even had the chance to talk to my son-in-love about worship this Christmas and what it meant to him. I learned even more about this young man's heart for God and again I am so grateful for God's faithfulness to my prayers for the "right man" to be my daughter's husband.
  • For my youngest daughter Leslie, her journey this year has been about humility and restoration, for "all things to be made new." I've watched this young woman who has endured so much step into her life and begin living it in fullness and independence. Astonishing...to think I wondered in the past if this was even possible for her.
  • For my husband...I still don't understand the full ramifications of what God gave me for him this year, but I've prayed faithfully. I believe in my heart, in my soul and deep in my spirit that 2015 will be the year of "turning" for him. The divine connections I've prayed for him are being revealed through the holes punched in his unbelief. I don't see this yet, I don't see the washing of his eyes "in the pool of Siloam" (John 9:7), but I believe he will soon "return seeing" and believing. And I do see God moving and working around him.

My friends, as we prepare for our week of fasting and praying, I encourage you to look again at all God has done for you in 2014. Ask Him to show you. You most likely will be encouraged, affirmed, and/or astonished. Sometimes we miss things.

And begin asking Him for what He has in store for you for 2015. How God communicates this to you may be very different than He does to others, so be sure to remain open to that. It doesn't have to be a specific word or Scripture. It could be an object, an image, or even an impression. Be assured that He will communicate it in a way to you that is specific to your heart and need. Don't compare to others, just receive what He has for you. It will be so much better that way.

Dear one, God has called you to this place for such a time as this. He will surely do what He has promised you. Trust Him even if you don't completely understand it all and wait on Him to move (Psalm 37:7). He will surely do it. 

For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. — Psalms 62:1 ESV

We are about to embark on an amazing journey for 2015. I feel it so deeply in my spirit that it permeates my physical being with excitement. I believe 2015 will be a great year for each of us individually and as a community. We will be more united that ever and will see breakthroughs, promotions and salvations as we have never seen them before. God is standing at the door of this community as a whole and knocking with one hand as His other is fully loaded with all His goodness, gifts, grace and so much more, ready to give it to us in abundance. 

Our fast next week will be preparation for 2015—what is to come. So let’s get ready. In the comments share what you are sensing and expecting in your spirit, what you are asking Abba Father for, what you want prayer for. And if you have a story to share about how He moved in you and your loved ones through past fasts, please share that as well. More than ever before, God is calling us to share our testimonies. The enemy wants to shut us up, but from this day forward and into all of 2015, it is our time to be heard! 

My precious friends, I’m so excited and joy-filled to be on this adventure with you and with God. I know He’s about to blow us away with all He has in store for us.

Love you all so much,
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SUMite Nation Fasts! Look out Devil. You're Toast!

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Hello SUMite Family: 

I pray that in the midst of all the crazy that can come with the Christmas holiday, you found one or two sweet and precious moments. I also pray you watched the Lord moving in the hearts of some of your family and even better, in your heart. 

I believe in miracles and the Donovan Clan experienced an absolutely astonishing miracle this Christmas. My son’s estranged wife and his two year old daughter came for Christmas. It was amazing and special, precious and priceless. I have much to tell you about all this but I’m still praying into it all right now. 

Which brings me to PRAYER. 

It’s time for our annual community fast and prayer week. If you are new here, let me tell you that this single week of the year can change a life, a marriage, your faith walk and everything else in your life. I will be praying for many things during this week of prayer and fasting and I am expectant

Let’s begin now start to set this week into motion. 

This is how it works. Beginning Monday, January 5, 2015 through Friday evening, January 9th we will fast and pray as a community. 

Every morning we will have a topic, devotion or something to contemplate and pray over posted on the blog. Usually on the first day of the week we join in prayer and fast for the full salvation of our spouse. I always like to see how the Holy Spirit will lead this out. Some years we have focused entirely on our faith walk and some years we pray for our family. 

In my gut, I really want to pray for ourselves this year. I don’t mean that in a selfish way. I want to pray for all of us to experience an intense intimacy with the Father. I want the Holy Spirit to instruct us how to walk in signs and wonders. I want to ask the Lord to allow us to be vessels of healing to others. I want us to learn how to listen to God’s voice and hear Him clearly every time He speaks. I wonder do these topics sound like something you want for your life? 

What you need to do this week is to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to help set next week up for you so you can fast successfully. Ask the Lord to make it easier for you to fast. Talk with your family and let them know you are going to fast so they are supportive and understanding. Ask God for a breakthrough in your prayer life now so that when you begin to fast and pray, the angels jump into action at your words. Awesome… 

On Wednesday, we will share the different ways you can fast. And on Friday, I’m going to tell you what happened to me when God told me to fast back in September. I hope you will be inspired and empowered like I was. 

2015 is going to be a year of breakthroughs. Starting off with a community fast and prayer is powerful. Let me tell you now the devil is scared. He is going to work very hard to stop you from joining the community in this way. DON’T LET HIM STOP YOU. 

There will be eternal advances for you and the Kingdom because you participate in this fast. I promise. Generations will be impacted because you humbled yourself, prayed and fasted to seek the Lord. 

I love you so much my SUM family. I pray for you often and for the salvation of your spouses. I keep hearing the Lord speak to me the word; expectant. So, I’m going to live 2015 expectant of His divine interventions, deliverances, freedoms, miracles and powerful love encounters. I can’t wait to see what word He may have for you. 

See you Wednesday. Hugs, Lynn

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There Once Was a Man Who Didn't Believe in God

6a00d83451ee9f69e20105365c5148970b-piThere was once a man who didn't believe in God, and he didn't hesitate to let others know how he felt about religion and religious holidays, like Christmas. His wife, however, did believe, and she raised their children to also have faith in God and Jesus, despite his disparaging comments.

One snowy Christmas Eve, his wife was taking their children to a Christmas Eve service in the farm community in which they lived. She asked him to come, but he refused.

"That story is nonsense!" he said. "Why would God lower Himself to come to Earth as a man? That's ridiculous!" So she and the children left, and he stayed home.

A while later, the winds grew stronger and the snow turned into a blizzard. As the man looked out the window, all he saw was a blinding snowstorm. He sat down to relax before the fire for the evening. Then he heard a loud thump. Something had hit the window. Then another thump. He looked out, but couldn't see more than a few feet.

When the snow let up a little, he ventured outside to see what could have been beating on his window. In the field near his house he saw a flock of wild geese. Apparently they had been flying south for the winter when they got caught in the snowstorm and couldn't go on. They were lost and stranded on his farm, with no food or shelter. They just flapped their wings and flew around the field in low circles, blindly and aimlessly. A couple of them had flown into his window, it seemed.

The man felt sorry for the geese and wanted to help them. The barn would be a great place for them to stay, he thought. It's warm and safe; surely they could spend the night and wait out the storm. So he walked over to the barn and opened the doors wide, then watched and waited, hoping they would notice the open barn and go inside.

image from unequalmarriage.typepad.comThe geese just fluttered around aimlessly and didn't seem to notice the barn or realize what it could mean for them. The man tried to get their attention, but that just seemed to scare them and they moved further away. He went into the house and came back out with some bread, broke it up, and made a breadcrumbs trail leading to the barn, but they still didn't catch on.

Now he was getting frustrated. He got behind them and tried to shoo them toward the barn, but they only got more scared and scattered in every direction except toward the barn. Nothing he did could get them to go into the barn where they would be warm and safe.

"Why don't they follow me?!" he exclaimed. "Can't they see this is the only place where they can survive the storm?" He thought for a moment and realized that they just wouldn't follow a human.

"If only I were a goose, then I could save them," he said out loud.

Then he had an idea. He went into barn, got one of his own geese, and carried it in his arms as he circled around behind the flock of wild geese. He then released it. His goose flew through the flock and straight into the barn - and one by one the other geese followed it to safety!

He stood silently for a moment as the words he had spoken a few minutes earlier replayed in his mind:

"If only I were a goose, then I could save them!" 

Then he thought about what he had said to his wife earlier. "Why would God want to be like us? That's ridiculous!"

Suddenly it all made sense. That is what God had done. We were like the geese - blind, lost, and perishing. God had His Son become like us so He could show us the way and save us. That was the meaning of Christmas, he realized!

As the winds and blinding snow died down, his soul became quiet and pondered this wonderful thought. Suddenly he understood what Christmas was all about, why Christ had come.

Years of doubt and disbelief vanished like the passing storm. He fell to his knees in the snow, and prayed his first prayer: 

"Thank You, God, for coming in human form to get me out of the storm!" 

~Author Unknown

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The Hope Of The World

Let’s finish this amazing letter to the church of Philadelphia/Sumites. 

11 I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. 12 The one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will they leave it. I will write on them the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on them my new name. 13 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. 

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comOn Friday we discovered Jesus’ heart for all of us who have endured under great pressure and have stood upon our faith and did not deny His name. 

Today, Let’s look at the last portion of this letter. It’s amazing. Truly.

Jesus reminds us that He is coming soon and that we must stay the course. Hold on to what you have. What do we have SUMites? Our faith. Our Lord, our Spiritual gifts, our blessings and our HOPE and the LOVE of Jesus. The Kingdom of God is vast and full. And what awaits is a crown. But even more astonishing than a crown is what Jesus declares next. 

The one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. A pillar is an example of a leader. Leadership in the Kingdom of God. We will never have to leave the temple. 

The next few verses which end this letter are a mind-blow. We will bear His name and that of the New Jerusalem. That means we have citizenship in this prominent city. My friends, I would be happy to just be the keeper of the horses in the new earth, but to have a mansion in the city is a great honor. 

I can only dream what the literal implications of this letter may mean for us. What I do know is this. IT’S GOOD! 

Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. My friends, I’m convinced this letter is for us. Are you listening? 

Jesus sees your struggle.
He knows you have not denied His name.
He will watch as those who have been controlled by Satan come to us and acknowledge that we were right all along to believe in Jesus.
He will set our persecution right by keep us from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world.
Our reward for our perseverance is a crown. Leadership. Citizenry in the New Jerusalem. And we will bear the name of our Lord forever and ever. 

Hallelujah! 

What does this letter mean to you? 

Merry Christmas.

 

And his name will be the hope of all the world —Matthew 12:21

Dieen and I will be taking the rest of this week off to spend with our families. Enjoy your Christmas. Be back here next Monday as we get ready for our community fast. More info then. It's always amazing, powerful and God moves.

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Disparaging Disappointment, Part 2

14511569_sSo glad you're back, my friends. The end of this series is so near and dear to my heart, because it's written with a deep love and desire for you to live in the fullness of Jesus and all He has for us. I believe we will see great tremendous breakthroughs individually and as a community in 2015 and I don't want you to miss any of it. I don't want to miss any of it either!

Now for the final part of this series. Scroll down to part one if you need to catch up. The links for the previous parts are there as well.

As I shared in part one, this journey was so unexpected for me. I had to face some dark places in my heart and mind and allow the Holy Spirit to peel back layers of lies and pain so that He could bring the healing Jesus wanted me to have. And as I faced the additional challenge of being patient in the process, the Holy Spirit gave me this prayer:

Lord, help me to be patient so I can focus on what you're doing right now instead of what You haven't done yet.

And just this week I found this nugget in Romans:

But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.— Romans 8:25 NLT

God's process will entail whatever is necessary to stop the enemy's ultimate plan to destroy our faith by stealing the one thing that he can never attain—hope.

Why am I discouraged?
Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
I will praise him again—
my Savior and my God! —Psalms 42:11 NLT

In a dark moment of despair, David recognized his disappointment and saw that his hope needed to be placed again in God. And with it came his decision to praise and thank God, no matter what the circumstances around him looked like. Sadly, by destroying our hope, the enemy keeps us from being the aroma of Christ to our prebelievers.

Dear friends, we have powerful tools to fight the three Deadly Ds of doubt, disbelief and disappointment and they are:

  • God's Word
  • A thankful heart
  • Praise and worship

These are also keys to kingdom living, to the abundant life, to sustaining our hope, joy and peace.

The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
His mercies never cease.
Great is his faithfulness;
His mercies begin afresh each morning.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance;
therefore, I will hope in him!” — Lamentations 3:22-24 NLT

No matter what, choose every day to read God's Word, to thank Him for everything (even the bad stuff—for the good He Will bring out of it) and praise Him for what He has done, is doing and will do in your life. Jesus will meet your needs in astounding ways as you do this, because you're diving deeper in intimacy with Him.

And when your mind begins to race again with all the doubts, disbelief and disappointment, return to this place of rest and wait patiently for Him to act (Psalm 37:7). You will find yourself entering this place more frequently and easily until one day you will realize that not only have you persevered, you are now stronger than you have every been. You have defeated the enemy. You have moved to a whole new level of faith. God's anointings and gifts for you are growing stronger. You find yourself in situations (divine appointments) to now bring all that you have learned to others.

Just as I am doing right here, my friends, sharing all this with you. For that I give Abba Father, Lord Jesus and Holy Spirit all the praise and glory! As this community prays and waits for our prebelievers to come to faith, my heart and prayer for you, SUMites, is the same as Paul's was for the Philippians:

Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now. And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.

So it is right that I should feel as I do about all of you, for you have a special place in my heart. You share with me the special favor of God, both in my imprisonment and in defending and confirming the truth of the Good News. God knows how much I love you and long for you with the tender compassion of Christ Jesus.

I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God.

— Philippians 1:3-11 NLT

With deepest love and admiration for you in Jesus,
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A Promise For The Unequally Yoked

Matthew 12 21
Good morning my friends: I know this is a crazed time of year. I pray you are getting enough rest and finding the Lord is your strength. 

Let’s pick up on our letter that the Lord has assigned to our community. Revelation 3. Remember we considered the open door that has been swung wide for us which cannot be shut. Now is the last half of verse eight: I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. 

This statement alone can bring tears to my eyes. Perhaps you are like me. There were days in my early years of marriage where it seemed as though it would have been easier to deny my faith in front of my husband than to stand and fight the onslaught of arguments and efforts for me to defend Jesus. 

I remember reading this last year and it was as if Jesus, Himself, stood before me. He reached out to touch my face and speak these words to me. I know that you have little strength, (You feel weak and attacked and uncertain and weary) Yet, Lynn, you have kept my word and have not denied my name. 

Most people don’t understand just how difficult it can be to stand for faith in the face of persecution from your own spouse. Now I know the word persecution pales when we consider what is happening to believers in different parts of the globe who are murdered for their faith. But, it is emotional pain and heartbreak when your best friend on earth persecutes you and your Jesus to your face. 

BUT, Jesus bears witness to “our” faithfulness and the next verse came to me as Christ’s reward for standing for Him in the face of the intimidation. 

Verse 9: I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars—I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you. 

When I read this the Holy Spirit compared these Jews to the unbelievers who have stood against us. Now, I don’t think that our pre-believers belong to the synagogue of satan but let’s be clear. You are living in one camp or the other. If you aren’t a believer in Jesus, by default you fall into the enemy’s camp of bondage. The Holy Spirit impressed me by whispering, “Lynn, one day all of the spouses will fall down at their spouse's feet and acknowledge my name, Jesus and how I has loved you.” 

Our unbelieving spouses will “know” the truth. Do I understand when and how this will happen? I don’t. But it appears important to Jesus that we know this will happen. And that our reward for our faithfulness will impact our spouses. 

To further this reward, Jesus states to us: Verse 10 Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth. 

Whoa! What a promise. My friends, WHAT A PROMISE! 

On Monday, I will finish up with the amazing promises that are written to this church. Sometimes I feel very privileged and special in the Kingdom because I have walked this unique walk of the unequally yoked. 

See you Monday. Merry Christmas. I’m off to work on Christmas Cards. I hope to get them in the mail before Christmas Eve. I love you my family. I’m praying for your miracle this year. Hugs, Lynn

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Disparaging Disappointment

14511569_sMy friends, we’re at the last Deadly D in this series, Disparaging Disappointment. God is so faithful—He answered your prayers for Words with reminders and a special email from one of you (Thanks, Jim!). I truly thought I'd lack words for the last two parts of this series, but quite the opposite has proved true! So many words came that I will breaking this one into two parts, so be sure to come back for part two on Saturday.

In Dubious Doubt, Part One, I talked about how the enemy tries to steal our faith with his fiery darts of doubt, and in Part Two I shared some personal breakthroughs in this area (and even more came after that! God is good!). Then on Wednesday I covered Debilitating Disbelief and shared how the enemy tried to destroy my faith with a spirit of torment and gave you some tools to fight back. Now let’s talk about Disparaging Disappointment.

First, let me say that this journey was so unexpected for me. I thought I was solid in my faith but Abba used this dark night of the soul and year of intimacy to dredge up lies and expose some sandy areas in my foundation. And He has gently and faithfully restored and rebuilt my faith that is now based completely upon Him, not me. In other words, I no longer rely upon my ability to believe Him but now trust God, His Word, His promises and His truth—all this is the foundation of my faith. Not my feelings, not my interpretation and not by my strength (Zech. 4:6).

We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up. — Hebrews 12:2-3

Back to disappointment. Once doubt and disbelief have squatted illegally in our soul, disappointment enters in and taints the atmosphere. We aren’t believing God’s promises and sadly, we’ve lost our trust in Him along the way too. This is the place where we are faced with a pivotal choice—press in and cling to Jesus for the very life and breath of our spirit, regardless of what our soul, mind and heart are telling us. Or walk away, believing that God doesn’t care enough to move in our lives and nothing will change. 

You can imagine where the enemy is in this process—he’s on the sidelines disparaging (belittle, denigrate, deprecate, trivialize, make light of, undervalue, underrate, play down; ridicule, deride, mock, scorn, scoff at, sneer at; run down, defame, discredit, speak badly of, cast aspersions on, impugn, vilify, traduce, criticize, slur) Father God, His Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

This is truly the place we must die to ourselves (let go of everything, even our pain) and take a true leap of faith into the arms of Jesus. And trust me, He will catch you. This is the place where God asked me one day, "Will you trust Me with your pain?" 

For all who have entered into God’s rest have rested from their labors, just as God did after creating the world. So let us do our best to enter that rest. But if we disobey God, as the people of Israel did, we will fall.

For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable. —Hebrews 4:10-13 NLT

A few months back I shared a series on transforming the mind that started out as the battlefield of the mind. And this is truly where the battle is, in our minds. And the enemy will use this against us. That is why it is so crucial, imperative and life saving to study and know God's Word. Without it, our lives are vulnerable to the enemy's tactics. 

Disappointment keeps us from believing and waiting expectantly for God to act (Psalm 37:7).

My friends, let me reassure you that if you are in this place, you are not alone, even if you feel like you are. The most astounding thing I learned through this journey was that I could do nothing to "fix it." God had a plan and purpose in it all along and the only thing He wanted me to do was to submit, rest in Him and trust Him to do what needed to be done.

On Saturday I will share the flip side to this place of disappointment and specific keys that restore our faith and hope. If you are in this place of disappoointment, I do hope you'll leave a comment and share your heart as much as you can. This is a place of encouragement and prayer. I have been astounded over and over again by the love and care shown here.

Until Saturday, dear friends, my heart and prayers are with you. 
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We Have An Open Door. What Do We Do With It?

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comI’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the doors God has opened to me over the past several years and specifically this past year. And as I read this passage once again this December, this open door given to the church of Philadelphia and the SUMite church became specific. 

On the same day I was reading a sermon by Smith Wigglesworth. Here is the excerpt: 

May God give us the hearing of faith that the power may come down like a cloud. Once I saw it (the mighty power of God) might at Stavenger in Norway — it was a great crowded place. God said to me: Ask! And I will give you every soul. It seemed too much. The voice came again. Ask! And I will give you every soul. I dared to ask. The power of God swept the meeting like a might wind. I had never seen anything like it up to that time.

 

It was as though the Spirit of God collided these two messages in my soul that morning. The open door and dare to ask. We are to ask for souls and more souls and believe we shall receive! 

I can’t articulate this better than what Libby wrote in the comments on Friday. It’s Holy Spirit inspired. Libby wrote: 

Thank you so much for this Lynn. So powerful! This has really spoken to me in many ways, I'm going to try and share the best I can. I asked the Holy Spirit what door has God opened for me that cannot be shut and the answer I got wasn't for me but for the whole SUMite community and it seems a little strange but the door that has been opened through our faithfulness is to be able to advance further into the enemy's camp and take action. Through the power of Christ, we are fighting against satan for the salvation of our pre-believers' souls. 

God often speaks to me by giving me words from worship songs and the phrase I kept getting about our SUM community is THERE'S AN ARMY RISING UP! This is from the Jesus Culture song break every chain, check out the lyrics 'There is power In the name of Jesus to break every chain!' Amen!!! EVERY chain that binds and holds us back is broken through His almighty name so we have freedom! But what I didn't realize until I listened again is the verse that talks about gates opening! 

All sufficient sacrifice
So freely given
Such a price
Bought our redemption
Heaven's gates swing wide. 

And God said yep that's what the key does! Opens Heaven's gates not just for us but for our pre-believers. Wow Holy Spirit tingles all through me! I feel like God has opened the door (whatever it may be to each of us) but it is up to us to actually WALK through it. The enemy will lie to us and tell us that door isn't really open or it is open to others but not to you but NO that is a lie. We can walk through that door with confidence and gratitude that God has honored our faithfulness and made a Way for us! 

This really is the season to believe! There is so much power in our prayers for our own and other people’s pre-believers and I really feel that although we may not be seeing the results in the physical world right now, in the spiritual world massive changes are happening and battles for souls are being won!!! This verse has been on my heart for some time for different situations but I feel prompted to share it again: Isaiah 43:19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. 

This is a season of change! It may get worse before it gets better because the enemy knows we are close to breakthrough and our loved ones salvation. But it is coming. Stay faithful. I feel massive anticipation and excitement because I know stories of breakthrough and salvation are going to be flooding these pages soon! Our Lord is so amazing and I am just floored by His unending love and compassion for us! 

Praying for strength, endurance and peace for every praying wife/husband/mother and lifting every name of our pre-believers to our almighty Lord in Jesus name. 

Love to you all, feel so honored to be part of this amazing powerful prayer army! ~Libby

 

Thank you Libby. My friends, right now in this season, let’s dare to ask! In Jesus name.

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Precious Message from a SUMite

Dear friends, our SUM sister, Darby, sent this beautiful and encouraging message this past week. I just love Darby's heart for God and the joy she is finding in her faith walk as she trusts God with her furture and especially for her husband's salvation. She is walking in a place of thriving and freedom! 
 
0420141043 (1)I would like to take a moment to personally thank both of you!  I am a SUMite subscriber, website, daily email and Facebook follower.  I also have your book Winning Him Without Words. I cannot remember when or how I stumbled upon your site over a year ago, but I DO know it has been the biggest blessing in my marriage.
 
I, like many others, have spent time in the past crying out to our Father, "Why wouldn't you want this wonderful man on your side? Why did you bring us together if not for eternity?"  I have asked, cried, prayed and asked again.  All of this took a major turn when I found the two of you, and this very powerful support group!
 
I use the tools you both provide through shared experiences, prayers and your book to march on in this day to day battle in an unequally yoked marriage.  I have a sense of peace as I pray every single day for my loving pre-believing husband first, and other pre-believers in my life after.  I pray expectantly, and gratefully.  I have learned to praise and thank our Daddy for growing and changing me in this process. I am SO grateful!!!  God has given me little glimpses along the way, showing me that things are changing....maybe ever so slightly BUT THEY ARE CHANGING!!!  I absolutely love when He gently reminds me how long it took me to come home to Him.....ahhhhh, these things that used to grow the chip on my shoulder actually set me free today!
 
I have no doubt you all get tons of emails, and I know you have to be so bombarded with words to read.....but as I sit in my quite time this morning preparing to go to church alone again I wanted you both to know how you have softened that hurt for me....I sit knowing that God has my husband in His constant care, and that is the best place he can be.  I also sit knowing that God DID bring us together for eternity, that my prayers are being heard each and every day and just as you say in your book, God is big enough to just snap His fingers and make it happen....key words, "God is big enough".  He's got this....my husband's salvation is up to God....showing him Christ's love, respecting him, cherishing this man God has blessed me with, celebrating Him, listening and obeying God on a daily basis....this is up to me.  
 
Thank you both again so VERY, VERY much!!
Darby
 
Darby, thank you so much for sharing your heart with us!
 
Abba Father, thank You for being the God of the impossible and for astounding us with Your endless and relentless love every day. Lord Jesus, I pray for every SUMite reading this to walk in this place of thriving, freedom and PEACE! Holy Spirit, I ask that You release a wave of faith on this community and that this wave would sweep up EVERY pre-believer that we are contending for. Thank You, King Jesus, that You and You alone are mighty to save! Amen!
 

O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, what joy for those who trust in you. — Psalm 84:12

 
Love you, SUMites!
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Jesus Has Opened A Door For Us, The Unequally Yoked!

Hi SUM Nation: 

Revelation 3 7Almost every time I speak and often here on the web, I talk about my Daily Bible. I know I have recommended it to so many of you as a place to start a daily quiet time with the Lord. Well, if your Daily Bible is in sync with mine, you are going to open to a passage today that I believe is a message specific to us. It’s powerful, amazing and filled with promise. (December 12, 2014) 

I remember reading this very passage last year, overwhelmed and teary, as I heard the Lord whisper to me, “Lynn, this is for you.” And for some reason, I peeked ahead in my reading this morning and read tomorrows passage in Revelation and the powerful implications came flooding back to my memory. And I heard the Lord again say, “Lynn this is for you and this year it is for the SUM community faithful.” 

Wow. 

I want to share it with you and explain how the Holy Spirit has intended these words and their power to our lives, the unequally yoked. It’s very specific to us in our unique marriages. 

Ready? 

Revelation 3:7 (Never in a million years would I have thought I would be teaching from the book of Revelation. But here goes.) 

To the Church in Philadelphia
7 “To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: 

These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. 8 I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. 9 I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars—I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you. 10 Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth. 

11 I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. 12 The one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will they leave it. I will write on them the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on them my new name. 13 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. 

I want to walk you through a few things here. 

Recently I had a dream where I was standing before the Lord and He handed me three keys. They were old keys, skeleton keys of bronze. I remember waking up and wondering what are these keys and what are they for? Several weeks later the Holy Spirit took me to a passage in the bible and I knew immediately what theses keys of the Kingdom were. 

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit —Romans 14:17 

This was a specific response to my dream. And ever since then, I’m fascinated about the Keys to the Kingdom and Keys that are mentioned in the Bible. In fact, I wear three skeleton keys on a long chain with some of my outfits lately. 

If you notice in the first verse another key is referenced. 

These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. 

So what is the Key of David? And even more fascinating what does this key lock or unlock? 

The only other reference is in Isaiah 22:22 I will place on his shoulder the key to the house of David; what he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. 

My research and study guides indicate that this key represents the entrance to the Kingdom. Now think upon this; we have a list of Christ’s character which is holy and true. That is pure and trustworthy and then we discover Jesus hold the political key, absolute rule. And now this is only my supposition, but can you walk with me here a minute. 

Our Savior, Jesus, who is holy, true and powerful stands before us. My friends He holds the key to something and if you read further along….. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. 

I remember feeling overwhelmed at this thought at the sheer power, awe and majesty. And to take this to a Holy mind-blow. Jesus says, “I know your deeds.” Verse 8 

So let me give you the context of what I believe Jesus saw in me and what he sees in the spouses of the unequally yoked. Faithfulness. A relentless praying woman who comes every morning before the throne asking for the salvation of her husband. He sees a spouse who chooses to love even when all of her/his needs are not being met. He sees a man or woman who chooses to forgive over taking offense, even when it’s justified. He sees a wife who chooses grace over anger. A husband who chooses joy instead of frustration. Spouses who are faithful to bring their children to church and to serve the homeless the less fortunate.

Even more than our faithfulness to our spouse, children and people. He sees our growth, our hunger, our faithful obedience. He sees every little deed. 

Faithfulness, my friends

Jesus sees our deeds of faithfulness and it moves his heart. Our love and faith move him to the point where He takes this Key. This powerful Key to the Kingdom and unlocks and opens a door. And what is further astounding is what Jesus does next. Listen in, “See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut.” Verse 8 

Say what????? 

Do you know what this means my SUM family??? Can you comprehend what is happening in our community? And I believe Jesus has opened more than one door for us, The Faithful. 

I have so much more to say on this and I will share it with you on Monday. 

What I want you to do today is read this passage in your own Bible and ask the Lord, “What door have you opened for me Lord that cannot be shut?” 

This passage gets better and better. Stay tuned because it’s amazing. The Word of God is powerful and it NEVER FAILS…. Believe my friends. This is the season to believe. And let’s find out what this open door is all about.

I love you. I really love you.

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The Three Deadly Ds: Disparaging Disbelief

27165685_sDear friends, before Thanksgiving I started a series on the Three Deadly Ds: Dubious Doubt, Debilitating Disbelief and Disparaging Disappointment. In Part One of Dubious Doubt we talked about how the enemy comes in and plants seeds of doubt, as he did with Adam and Eve, and in Part Two I shared some examples of breakthroughs that came as a result of pushing doubt aside and re-establishing God's truth firmly in its rightful place.  

Today, let's talk about Debilitating Disbelief. And that is exactly what the enemy's intention is, to debilitate (weaken, enfeeble, enervate, devitalize, sap, drain, exhaust, weary, fatigue, prostrate; undermine, impair, indispose, incapacitate, cripple, disable, paralyze, immobilize; informal knock out, do in) our faith. Once doubt has come in like a ravaging worm, disbelief moves in to fill those empty places like a fungus or mold. 

  • Your mind is riddled with questions and you may even feel tormented at times.
  • You try to read God's Word but find yourself questioning its truth or thinking it's true for other believers but not for you. 
  • Praise and worship become difficult.
  • Your attitude of gratitude has fled the scene and his unwanted cousin, grumbling negativity, has moved in.
  • Fear subtly increases and can even move into physical manifestations such as anxiety and health issues.
  • Guilt and shame move show up like uninvited guests and make you think you've messed up and that God will never be pleased with you again.
  • You cry out to God but feel like He's abandoned you.

This is why it's so crucial to to seek God in prayer and in His Word, especially in these dark times, and in a mismatched marriage as we don't have a believing spouse to uphold us in prayer and encouragement. And, despite how we feel. The enemy will use your feelings against you to keep you from running to Abba, to our Lord Jesus, for the truth.

But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it. — James 1:22-24

Community becomes even more important because the enemy's final tactic is to isolate you so you'll forget who you are and Whose you are. God's Word and those who carry it are our greatest source of healing, hope and restoration.

My friends, a burden Abba seems to be asking me to carry right now is for those of you whose spouse used to walk in faith with you but has recently walked away. I've received several emails from many of you in this place and have had divine appointments with several dear women who find themselves in this painful position of betrayal. 

Let me say that I get why some walk away. Much of what I've shared today is from my own experience. The enemy tried to destroy me earlier this year and now I understand why someone would walk away, or be tempted to walk away, especially if their faith foundation is shaky or built on sand (Matt. 7:26-27).

Part of my journey to freedom came one night when the demon assigned to torment me finally revealed himself. Amazingly (to me, not God) Abba had prepared me the day before, even though I didn't realize it until after the encounter. He'd shown me more about my authority in Jesus. That night this enemy revealed himself in the darkness, with oppression and hissing. He tried to make me fearful and afraid in my semi asleep/awake state. As soon as I realized what was happening, I rebuked him and went back to sleep! To God be the glory!

What I have learned is that disbelief opens doors to the enemy, who tries to steal our divine destiny and destroy our peace and joy in the Lord. These are the tools that brought me through this dark night of the soul and taught me so much. 

  • Read the Bible every day and write down key Scriptures that speak to your spirit and soul. Go back and reread them later in the day and to start your quiet time the next morning. You’ll be surprised at how much more you receive out of God’s Word by doing this. Our bodies sleep at night but our spirit doesn’t. Give the Holy Spirit a chance to work God’s truth into your heart, soul and mind. Believe His Word—it’s true for you too!
  • Worship and worship more. There are many ways one can worship. With music, by reading Scriptures out loud (the Psalms are great for this), by speaking out praises to God about His character and who He is. Take a walk and praise Him for His creation. Pet your dog and praise Him for putting the fur baby in your life.
  • Invite that attitude of gratitude back home and boot his ungrateful cousin out!
  • Rebuke the spirits of anxiety, fear, oppression, depression and confusion (and any others the Holy Spirit brings to mind). In the name of Jesus, they must go! 
  • Plead the blood of Jesus over your mind, your thoughts and your feelings and speak God’s Word against guilt and shame (no condemnation in Jesus—Romans 8:1).
  • Know, believe, profess and remind yourself that no matter how things seem, God loves you, He always has loved you and He always will love you. His word says He will not abandon you, so believe it. He is with and for you!

I still have much to learn and continue to press forward into more of God (Phil. 3:12). My faith is stronger and I am better equipped to recognize the enemy’s darts. And this translated into helping others to be released from this spirit of torment when I’ve prayed with them in the healing rooms. The places we find freedom and victory will be the places God calls us to pray for and help others find that same freedom and victory (2 Cor. 1:3-7).

My friends, the next and last part of this series will be about disparaging disappointment. I’m waiting on Abba to give me the words and message He wants conveyed for us, His children. Please pray that I hear Him clearly amidst all the hustle and bustle of this move and Christmas. 

Remember, Jesus came to heal, to set the captives free and release prisoners. He is always on our side and always fighting for us. Amen!

And MERRY CHRISTMAS, SUMites! Love you!
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The Great Gifts Of The Unequally Yoked

Hello SUM Nation: 

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comI just wonder…… 

Can you perhaps come to understand the unique and special blessings of the unequally yoked? 

I bet someone just read this and rolled their eyes? Anybody??? 

As a woman who has walked this journey now for more than two decades, I truly understand how very difficult it can be. I have lived through the pain, rejection, fear and confusion. I know that some days it can take everything we have to hold on to hope. Yet as a veteran, I have come to realize the unique and beautiful blessings of this journey of faith. 

If you scroll through the comments from Friday’s post, you too will understand. The intercessors who prayed for this community are amazing. (Thank you Teresa, Merlene and Joanne). 

Family here on the web, you have been brought before the King of Kings by many of us here. We love you and we truly care about your life, family and your faith. Jesus stood with all of us as we brought you individually along with your pre-believer spouse, your children, family members and friends before the Mercy Seat. God listened as we petitioned for you and your loved ones. 

We SUMites have learned to pray. We have gained great faith as well. And our hope in Jesus soars above so many others who are of faith. During this season of miracles, take a minute to reflect on what gifts and goodness have been born out of your difficult marriage. 

I know that I would not have the kind of faith nor the amazing experiences I have with God if I had married a believing spouse. I just know. In fact, it is likely that most of my life I could have leaned on my believing spouse for faith and missed the hard work, perseverance and prayer that are required to move in the gifts of the Spirit that God has honored me with today. 

As I have reflected on this community and the love we have, a story that deeply touched my heart came forward and flooded my soul. So, I want to share it with you again today.

 

This is worth the time to read. 

November, 2013: (Lynn) Today I have a question for you. How many times have you set down in church and looked around the sanctuary at the couples seated together, husband and wife, and felt defeated, disappointed, and pain? 

I know this place of pain existed in my life for many years. And I really didn’t understand why God was ignoring my prayers and my pleas for the salvation of my husband. And why He didn’t see my pain and longing for a “normal” Christian home. 

That was until about two years ago and I heard a woman share her personal story and as I listened it changed everything. Today, I’m sharing this story with you so that you might understand a little more, about the heart of our Father, and His love for us, the unequally yoked. 

Two years ago I was part of the leadership team for our church’s annual women’s retreat. Prior to the retreat, the leadership team would meet once a week for eight weeks on a Wednesday evening and have Bible study together. Every other week, the team welcomed a guest speaker, an ordinary woman from our congregation. 

Well on this particular night, we welcomed Carol Mahaney. And Carol proceeded to tell her story. And it’s likely the rest of the women in the room were moved a bit by her story, but I was leveled to the ground, in my spirit. 

You see, Carol married her high school sweetheart. He was a believer. She was a believer. They attended church together every Sunday. They tithed, they studied the Bible, they prayed together, they were everything I dreamed and hoped and wanted for my own life. They raised two girls to adulthood as Christians. Carol said she had a wonderful life and she leaned on her husband for everything and she utterly adored him. She said she loved her church family she felt absolutely blessed by God. 

But in 2008, Carol’s husband unexpectedly died. She was devastated. Additionally this was the year that the economy crashed and as Carol had never managed her finances before, she was overwhelmed as her finances were in chaos. Devastated by grief and lost in a maze of paperwork, banking decisions and taxes, she hit bottom and there was no longer a husband to save her. 

Carol looked up and said, “That’s when I met Jesus.” 

I looked at Carol astonished. And I sat in my chair as my head reeled. Carol was 63 years old and she admits in front of all of us that she lived the Christian life with a believing husband for 63 years but at age 63 for the first time she met Jesus. 

What is so compelling about Carol story for me is that she had the life I thought I always wanted. She attended church with her husband, raising her kids in church, tithing, all things Christianeese but she really didn’t meet the King of Kings until she turned 63 years of age. She merely “played” church and her husband’s faith was enough for her…….. 

For 63 years….. 

Instantly, God moved my spirit. He made me realize that I could have lived a Christian life with a very shallow faith thinking I was doing all the right things but never truly “knowing” Christ. 

I know walking this unequally yoked journey is very difficult. I still have very difficult days. I struggle with my husband’s media choices, I still miss him by my side at church, etc. BUT I would choose this journey again over the life Carol had until age 63 because I truly know Jesus. 

I grieved for Carol because for 63 years she “lived” the Christian life or so it seemed. But it wasn’t until the death of her spouse and a personal crisis that brought her into of living vibrant relationship with Jesus. 

My friends, our difficulties are what God has given us to push us, pull us, help us to surrender and to seek Him out for rescue, and then to live in His Presence. As I think about Carol’s life and marriage, it isn’t worth it to have a marriage that is easy if it means that I live most of my life without truly knowing Jesus. 

I would sign up again for this unequally yoked thing, over 63 years of playing “church.” 

I’m convinced we will truly see that our challenging marriage is singularly, a divine assignment with generational ramifications, for us and our entire family and more people than we realize. 

1 John 3:1  See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 

I love you so much my friends. Today, don't doubt God loves you and that He has your life in His hands. Ask Him where you need to surrender and ask Him how to love Him more. 

God is good and His ways are always best for His children. Hugs, Lynn

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A Season Of Miracles. A Great and Unexpected Story!

Hello SUMite Nation, 

My friends, it’s the season of miracles. And I have a story for you. 

Luke 2 11

Most of you know that I have been really ill. I have prayed a lot about these weird and frequent illnesses that have plagued myself and my family since August. Remember my daughter had the flu, then pneumonia and then a cold. Little Elise has been ill. My entire house was ill over thanksgiving including my poor mother who came for a visit. She saw the doctor today as well. Bronchitis…  Sheesh and good grief!!!! 

This assignment from the enemy to keep me from ministry and writing ends today. And I have received some amazing prayer support in the last couple of weeks (thank you). I’m praying from this day forward that I will never be ill again. 

And today just to affirm this prayer, God surprised me with something I’d never have expected in a million years. He’s kinda cool that way! 

I have been dealing with an eye infection and it’s been pretty bad. After a couple of weeks it still hasn’t cleared, so it’s off to the doctor’s office again this morning. My regular physician is booked so I see a new doctor. 

He greets me with a smile and a handshake. I start to tell him about this crazy thing going on in my eye. And somehow in that conversation I say, “I’ve been praying for my healing but this ornery thing is persisting. I thought a doctor should have another look at it.” 

“Oh, what church to you attend? He asks and then we launch into the most amazing conversation about faith. He asks about my writing and I tell him about my pre-believer and our book Winning Him Without Words

He tells me that it was the same for him and his wife. She came to faith and he remained and unbeliever. But because she prayed for him, he came to faith. Amen. Praise Jesus. Hallelujah! 

As we finish up our visit and he looks at my eye, then types a prescription into the computer. Then he says, “I want to pray for you now.” 

“Oh yes, Doctor, please do.” 

Dr. Casten stands, walks over to me, places his hand on my shoulder and prays with Holy Spirit power for my physical healing. Then you know what he does? 

He prays for my husband, by name, asking for his salvation! 

Hallelujah and amen! Yes, Lord Jesus. AMEN 

It’s a season for miracles. Never in a million years would I have expected my physician to pray for my healing and also for the salvation of my man. BUT I serve such a fantastic God. He delights me in fantastic and unexpected ways. 

Every day is an adventure with the King! 

And now I feel fantastic. It’s almost like I can feel the curse of sickness has broken and I’m fired up to pray like never before. 

In this season of miracles, Lord Jesus, I’m asking for every single person who leaves a name and names of unsaved loved ones in the comments, I’m asking for not only their complete salvation but that also they receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit which ignites a fire and passion in their heart. 

In the powerful and mighty name above all names. Jesus of Nazareth! AMEN! 

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

SUMites I will write more about the spirit of confusion and more about our season of miracles in the days ahead. The posts may be sporadic and unscheduled but my heart is filled with love for you and a great passion to help many find healing and deliverance. AND I’m especially moved to pray for our pre-believers and all of our family who need Jesus. So just travel along with me. It’s a blast living the believer’s life! 

I love you so much. SO MUCH. Have an amazing day in His Presence. 

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Guest Post from Trish: The Snare of Striving

My friends, striving has been a big issue for me, one that Abba has been dealing with me quite a bit in this year of intimacy (and I can't believe it's almost been a full year too!). And nothing ministers to our hearts more than when we find out other are walking or have walked similar paths. Our soul wants to know we're not alone. And no matter how long or short you've been a part of this community, you know—we know—we are not alone. We have a rich and amazing community here. And I am so glad we get to hear more wisdom and encouragement from Trish Fuhlendorf. Love you all dearly! ~Dineen

The Snare of Striving

6312995_sRecently I was reminded of a not-so-Godly season in my life. As hard as my spiritually mismatched years were; this period in my life actually occurred after God saved my husband.

Our lives went from bad to horrible after Stu became a Christian, but for totally different reasons. I remember I actually made a list as long as my arm of all our troubles. This list included, but was not limited to, a huge debt that required enormous monthly payments (leaving us broke each month), us owning a failing company which ultimately landed us in bankruptcy, my husband’s addiction to alcohol which had reached a new level of destructiveness, and finally the Securities and Exchange Commission was charging Stu with fraud and taking him to trial. I showed the list to my newly Christian husband and informed him that we needed to pray through this list often. We had so many huge problems looming over us that we likened our lives to the arcade game, whack a mole. As we attempted to smack down these problems, more and more would surface.

As a woman who loves Jesus, I pressed into prayer. The answer I received when I asked God to alleviate our problems was “not now.” This was not the answer I wanted, so the striving began.

Now here is the definition of strive (and by the way, before I was a Christian, I thought this was a positive trait):

  1. To exert oneself vigorously
  2. To make strenuous efforts toward any goal
  3. To contend in opposition, battle, or any conflict; compete
  4. To struggle vigorously, as in opposition or resistance
  5. To rival; vie

I figured that God would start whacking the “moles”, if I would pray differently, pray harder, pray more, and fast fervently. I started reading every book I could find on the topic of prayer. I watched Joyce Meyer lessons frequently, thinking that she would give me the pearls of wisdom that I needed in order to get my prayers answered the way I wanted them answered.

After months of this, I cried out to my sister, Anne (there will be more on this faithful sister in future posts). “What is going on? I’m praying, fasting, reading books, listening to Joyce and NOTHING is happening! What am I doing wrong?!?!”

My beautiful sister said firmly, “Trish, you are striving”. The phone went silent as I thought to myself, I thought striving was a good thing. My heart sank as she continued relaying her very constructive criticism.

Now after reading definitions 1 - 5, is striving a positive trait for a person who knows that God is sovereign over every circumstance? For a woman who knows that “all things work together for good, for those that love Him and are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28)?

Who was I to “struggle vigorously in opposition” to God’s plan for my life? Wow. Repentance quickly followed.

How does Romans 8:28 apply now that we are on the other side of those problems? Allow me to share the result of the most difficult and painful struggle we had to face: Stu’s addiction.

The process of Stu getting sober was excruciating. After years of him trying to stop drinking by his own strength, he finally checked in to rehab after a terrifying 5 day bender. After rehab, he was sober for 30 days and then relapsed over and over again before he finally surrendered his addiction to the Lord.

What was the purpose of this long, drawn out nightmare? Well, for one thing, today Stu and I adore addicts. We counsel them (Stu counsels the addict while I encourage the loved ones), we’ve taken them into our home, we offer paid work around our home for those that are maintaining their sobriety, we launched a Celebrate Recovery at our church, and the list goes on. You see, because it was SO hard for Stu to get sober, we have unending compassion, grace, and love for the addicted. “All things work together for good.”

Here is my take away. When your circumstances seem to remain the same, no matter how much praying, fasting, etc. you do; it’s easy to think that God has forgotten you. But, I know firsthand that He is definitely working and in control of your situation. And most importantly, it’s all part of His plan. Hold fast to Romans 8:28. It’s the promise that brings peace, regardless of your circumstances. 

Trish headshotTrish Fuhlendorf is first and foremost a lover and follower of Jesus Christ. She is a wife, married 27 years. God saved her in her mid thirties, then her husband about 10 years later. She is a tireless advocate for the covenant of marriage and has a love and compassion for those in the bondage of addiction. She is a Regional Manager for K-LOVE and Air1, a mother of 2 adult children, loves her home state of Colorado, her 2 big dogs, cooking and exercise (to off-set the cooking).

 

 

 

Copyright: photomak / 123RF Stock Photo

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