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20 entries from January 2015

Empowered Living: Romans 8:12-17

Psalm119-1622Happy Saturday, my friends! How are you doing? Feeling more empowered yet? Still soaking in the truths from Romans 8:9-11? I loved your comments on Wednesday, and I love that we’re on this journey together. Please keep sharing your thoughts in the comments. We inspired and encourage one another when we do that. 

Today we’ll dig into Romans 8:12-17. I’m only using the NIV and Voice translations to keep things a little less cumbersome, so pull out your favorite translation and be sure to read it there as well.  

NIV: 12 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. 14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

The Voice: 12 So, my brothers and sisters, you owe the flesh nothing! You do not need to live according to its ways, so abandon its oppressive regime. 13 For if your life is just about satisfying the impulses of your sinful nature, then prepare to die. But if you have invited the Spirit to destroy these selfish desires, you will experience life. 14 If the Spirit of God is leading you, then take comfort in knowing you are His children. 15 You see, you have not received a spirit that returns you to slavery, so you have nothing to fear. The Spirit you have received adopts you and welcomes you into God’s own family. That’s why we call out to Him, “Abba! Father!” as we would address a loving daddy. 16 Through that prayer, God’s Spirit confirms in our spirits that we are His children. 17 If we are God’s children, that means we are His heirs along with the Anointed, set to inherit everything that is His. If we share His sufferings, we know that we will ultimately share in His glory.

In this section of Romans 8, Paul brings us to a conclusion about our relationship to sin—basically that we don’t have one. We have a relationship with the Father, as we are His children. And living as such is truly living. The part I’m still wrapping my brain around completely is in verse thirteen. 

The NIV translation says, “but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.”

But if we look at the Voice translation, this nugget is more fully revealed: “But if you have invited the Spirit to destroy these selfish desires, you will experience life.”

The NIV translation makes it clear that we can’t put a stop to sin in our lives by our own ability, strength, or power. If we could, then the law would still stand and Jesus wouldn’t have needed to come and die for us. We need the help and power of the Holy Spirit. 

The Voice translation brings out an additional nugget of wisdom to this process though. We must invite the Holy Spirit to destroy these selfish desires, sin and strongholds. Sometimes we know exactly where the battle lies. Other times we don’t and we need to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal these areas to us.

And more than likely He will show us one of two things:

  1. We are living in sin. Remember, He will not condemn us, just lovingly convict us and empower us to walk away from this sin and/or ask for help.
  2. It’s a lie that has permeated our thinking and understanding of who we think we are in relationship to who God says we are. This revelation will bring relief and, again, empowerment to overcome.
  3. The issue is actually a demonic influence. Again, this will bring relief and understanding, as well as tools (our authority in Jesus for starters) to rebuke it in the name of Jesus, and to recognize this influence if it tries to come back.

Often times the lie has allowed the enemy a foothold in our lives, or we’ve become entrenched in a lie that the enemy shot at us to begin with. Figuring out which happened first is kind of like the old chicken and egg question—which came first. But you know what, it doesn’t matter. Invite the Holy Spirit to help you identify it and show you how to root and boot it out. 

However, as it is written: 
“What no eye has seen, 
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived” —
the things God has prepared for those who love him—
these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.

The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. — 1 Cor. 2:9-12

That help will come from Scripture and prayer, from the still small voice of our Abba (which is Greek for “Daddy”) telling us the truth, from the Holy Spirit in a clear thought or leading that we know didn’t come from ourselves, and may even come externally in a timely phone call, email, or a book or Bible study that seems to be exactly what we need at that moment.

Just tune in and you’ll see those answers to prayers to be freed from ongoing issues in your lives. Some answers come and the “fix” is immediate. Other times it will take time and we must persevere and remember that verse from 2 Corinthians 12:9 where God tells Paul that His power is made perfect in weakness. We can take comfort and place our hope in this powerful truth, that in our weakness, God’s power is exhibited to it’s full capacity and will bring us to freedom and healing, in His way and His timing.

And finally, there are more promises here, my friends. Take a look:

Vs. 14: The Holy Spirit declares us children of God. We don’t have to prove ourselves to be His children. The Holy Spirit SAYS we are. (i.e. You don’t have to earn God’s acceptance and approval.)

Vs. 15: The Holy Spirit frees us from fear and deepens our relationship with God the Father, “as we would address a loving daddy.” 

Vs. 16: The Holy Spirit confirms to our own spirit that we are God’s children. 

(Do you see in vss. 15 and 16 how the Holy Spirit tirelessly works to bring the Father to us and us to the Father?)

Vs. 17: We are God’s heirs, just like His Son Jesus, with full benefits. We will share some of His sufferings, yes, but we will ultimately share in His glory too. 

Look what He said in John 16:

Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. — John 16:20-21

The analogy of the pain of childbirth becoming joy is a perfect analogy, my friends. Many of us are feeling a bit “pregnant” with promise (I actually noticed I was waddling the other day, the way I did when I carried my girls!) and some of us are struggling to give birth to those promises, but that’s a topic for another day.

My friends, I’ll stop here. Just know that this is all building to what I consider to be two of God’s greatest promises to us near the end of this amazing, truth-packed chapter. 

Let’s chat some more in the comments! 
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Where's My Breakthrough?

Jerimiah 31 3 The Great I AmMy friends, 

Well, I’m here. After a bout with the stomach flu. Sheesh, it’s a mystery. I experience miraculous healing in my wrist yet I continue to fight on this challenging front of colds and flues. Can I just toss this statement out there. 

The Kingdom of God is often times mysterious. 

I want to write more about the mysteries of God and how he answers prayer but today, I feel compelled to speak to all of us about breakthroughs. Last week Dineen and I shared our testimonies of answered prayer and healing and last Friday, Penny, shared her astounding testimony. If you missed it, click here and watch it. I’m still amazed. 

But how do we walk through seasons where everyone is receiving breakthroughs, answers to prayers, even miracles and yet you remain, what appears to be forgotten? Can we talk about that today? Because I know that there are some of us walking in that place right now. 

This has rested heavily on my spirit since last week. And I’ve asked Jesus to teach me about this. I think I have two thoughts I want to share. 

1)    Recently I was listening to a pastor and he asked a question specific to this issue:  “We all can praise the Lord when it’s our turn for blessing. But, can we praise God when He blesses someone else while we are still waiting for ours?”

It’s learning to truly rejoice when another receives that builds our character. Is this easy? NO WAY. Is it possible? Of course. 

I love the honesty of our SUMite Nation as this was some of our conversation last week. Thanks Lynette for saying what many were thinking. She said: “Going to be transparent here and say that while I rejoice in her miracle, part of me is jealous.”

And I love how Jim replied: “It's how you handle that, that positions you for your own breakthrough... If you can simply rejoice with Penny, and give thanks to Papa for what He's done for her, then you are positioning yourself for your own breakthrough - which will be just as wonderful, but almost certain to be different.... Just because He can! Lol!” 

I agree Jim. I agree Lynette. (And Lynette, I know, that I know, in my knower *grin*, your breakthrough is in process and when you begin to see all that God has, you will be utterly astonished. Because it’s better than you could ever dream up or hope for. I absolutely believe this for you, even if you don’t or can’t see it.) I know our Daddy loves you that much. 

2)    Prayer. I’ve been praying, pleading and declaring until I’m blue in the face that I will not be sick again. Yet stomach flu. So badly I woke my husband up crying and begging him to drive me to the doctor. Sheesh. The doctor visit helped a ton! Yet, I’m miraculously healed of an injury that a few months ago required surgery. Say What??? Why does this happen? Healed and yet sick….. 

Was I not praying correctly? Did I do something wrong? Man, I have a lot of questions. And in the last few days I’ve really questioned my many years of praying for my unbelieving spouse. 

So what do I do with all this? Well I do have some thoughts to share that I think will bring hope and light. Stay tuned and we will visit this mystery of heaven… 

… this thing called prayer. 

I love you my friends. Stay kind, in a world that is harsh. Walk in hope, in a world that lives in despair and shine your light, because Jesus is just getting started and we are in for a ride, unsurpassed in HIS-story.

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Empowered Living: Romans 8:9-11

Psalm119-1622Hello, dear friends! Today we will delve a little further into Romans 8. I may need to include less translations so that I can cover more ground and the posts don’t get too long, but for this section of Romans I did want to include more. There’s so much to be gleaned here in verses 9-11.

First of all, these verses say we are not controlled by our sinful nature. We are controlled my the Spirit if we have the Spirit of God living in us. I’m sure you’ve noticed changes in yourself—things you used to do no longer hold any appeal or may even repulse you. I believe it’s also an ongoing process as we learn to be more spirit controlled in our minds and less controlled by our “fleshy” nature. Just as I’m sure you can see this in your pre-believer, we battle with it too at times, but we have the power to overcome! 

NLT: 9 But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.) 10 And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. 11 The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.

NIV: 9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.

The Voice: 9 But you do not live in the flesh. You live in the Spirit, assuming, of course, that the Spirit of God lives inside of you. The truth is that anyone who does not have the Spirit of the Anointed living within does not belong to God. 10 If the Anointed One lives within you, even though the body is as good as dead because of the effects of sin, the Spirit is infusing you with life now that you are right with God. 11 If the Spirit of the One who resurrected Jesus from the dead lives inside of you, then you can be sure that He who raised Him will cast the light of life into your mortal bodies through the life-giving power of the Spirit residing in you.

The Message: 9 But if God himself has taken up residence in your life, you can hardly be thinking more of yourself than of him. Anyone, of course, who has not welcomed this invisible but clearly present God, the Spirit of Christ, won't know what we're talking about. 10 But for you who welcome him, in whom he dwells—even though you still experience all the limitations of sin—you yourself experience life on God's terms. 11 It stands to reason, doesn't it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, he'll do the same thing in you that he did in Jesus, bringing you alive to himself? When God lives and breathes in you (and he does, as surely as he did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With his Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ's! 

Now I ended my last post with a hint at what that power is in us. You probably already know what it is, but what is astounding is the full ramification of it. It’s kind of like this: I know I have an engine in my car, but I couldn’t tell you how powerful it is.

Scripture tells us that the same spirit that raised Christ from the dead is the same spirit that dwells in us. Did you get that? How about this verse from Ephesians: 

I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. — Ephesians 1:19 NLT

And let me broaden this understanding just a bit with another translation:

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places… — Ephesians 1:18-20 NASB

First, understand we are saints, my friends. I remember the first time I said that in the Sunday School I taught years ago—everyone fell silent and looked at me as if I were crazy, but there it is, right in God’s Word. Every single one of us saved by grace is a saint. We are Christ’s inheritance and we are His. And His power, His Holy Spirit, is placed in us in accordance to same degree as was place in Jesus Christ to raise Him from the dead!

So why do we walk around thinking and feeling like we’re powerless? Because we’re deceived by the enemy (and the church, I dare say) into believing this. We are deceived and taught to live by what we see and not by faith. Our unenlightened eyes (see how Paul prays that in the beginning?) are still looking laterally instead of vertically. Look up at your God in Heaven and then measure every challenge and trial by His size, not by your scope of vision.

Now back to Romans 8:11 specifically because the promise there is not to be missed. I’ll use the Message translation to repeat it here:

It stands to reason, doesn't it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, he'll do the same thing in you that he did in Jesus, bringing you alive to himself? When God lives and breathes in you (and he does, as surely as he did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With his Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ's! — Romans 8:11 the Message

I chuckle at the start of this verse in this translation. “Stands to reason…” Yes, we can reason this out and it holds its truth and promise. God lives and breathes in us, empowers us with the Holy Spirit—His Spirit, just as He did to bring Christ back to life and back into Heaven from this place of death. Thus it also “stands to reason” that if we are also in this state of living, we are also seated in the heavenliness with Christ. Yes, we’re back to that verse again, my friends.

And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. — Ephesians 2:6

Even as I am teaching this here to you I am learning as well and am even more convinced that we have barely tapped into the full potential of our supernatural place and position with Jesus. I so want to break down all the barriers that hinder me in this race so as to walk more fully in the promises of my inheritance in Jesus.  

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. — Hebrews 12:1-2

How about you, my friends? What spurs you to keep persevering? What does it mean to your soul and spirit to know that the same Spirit that raised Christ from death lives in and empowers you? And how do we walk more and more in this truth?

I will meet you in the comments! Love you!
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Empowered Living: Romans 8:5-8

Psalm119-1622Welcome back to our study of Romans 8, my dear friends. I am just loving digging into God's Word and reading your comments! That is such a testimony to my heart and spirit of how the Holy Spirit unifies us and reveals the truth of God's Word to each of us as a community. Amazing! Please keep sharing.

Today let's start with Romans 8:5-8. Paul brings out a vital truth in this section that is so foundational to the heart and strength of empowered living—living empowered by and walking with the Holy Spirit.

It starts in our minds, my friends. If I can bring one truth across to you above all else is that in order for us to live empowered lives of faith, we must have transformed minds (Romans 12:2). If you recall, I wrote a seven part series on this last year, sharing my own journey of how I submitted to the Holy Spirit and God's Word to transform my mind. The Holy Spirit revealed lies I didn't even know were there. It wasn't easy—probably the most challenging walk of my faith to date, but I am grateful to King Jesus for what He did and continues to do in my mind and in my heart. 

NLT: 5 Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. 6 So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. 7 For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. 8 That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.

NIV: 5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.

The Voice: 5 If you live your life animated by the flesh—namely, your fallen, corrupt nature—then your mind is focused on the matters of the flesh. But if you live your life animated by the Spirit—namely, God’s indwelling presence—then your focus is on the work of the Spirit. 6 A mind focused on the flesh is doomed to death, but a mind focused on the Spirit will find full life and complete peace. 7 You see, a mind focused on the flesh is declaring war against God; it defies the authority of God’s law and is incapable of following His path. 8 So it is clear that God takes no pleasure in those who live oriented to the flesh.

The Message: 5 Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God's action in them find that God's Spirit is in them—living and breathing God! 6 Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life. 7 Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing. 8 And God isn't pleased at being ignored.

Verse six is a clear statement of our mental state with and without God. Think about this in your own life, how you feel, think and operate when you are more focused on yourself than on God, when you are in a state of worry instead of trusting God, and perhaps even before knowing Christ and the condition of your mind then. 

Now relate this to your pre-believer. We often grow frustrated with our pre-believers for not operating within the realm of having the mind of Christ, but how can they? Their minds are still self obsessed (some to the point of clinical diagnoses) and focused on things about themselves and the world. How can they operate otherwise without the Holy Spirit working in them? And thus why our prayers for their minds, hearts and lives are so important. Gives new meaning to 2 Cor. 7:14 about the believer's faith sanctifying the unbeliever, doesn't it?

For us, as believers, I believe this is an ongoing process that will not end until we are on the other side of the veil with Jesus. We continue to work with the Holy Spirit, submitting to His authority and power to bring this "control"—Godly guidance to revelation, truth, healing, strength and growth. AND, we must also guard our minds against the enemy's attempts to snatch these truths away. That is what he does to us as he prowls around and to our pre-believers as they come closer to the truth. That is when the enemy will fight harder (against God and us) to keep our pre-believers in darkness, and why the battle can grow fiercer right before breakthrough.

But let me remind you (and myself) that we do not do this in our own strength. We have a mighty power within us that transcends anything on this earth. In Romans 8:9-11, I will show you exactly what that power is and it is BIG! I’ll never forget the first time I came across this revelation—I about fell out of my chair. And my heart and goal has been to live from this place of empowerment ever since. I believe it and I want to live it. How about you?

Love you, my friends. Thank you again for going on this journey with me through Romans 8!

Empowered by Him!
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The MOST Astonishing SUMite Testimony. Your Mouth will Drop Open!

This five minutes will leave you speachless and fill you with amazing faith.

It is absolutely worth your time to watch. Dineen and I nearly bawled our eyes out in great joy and hope.

Thank you Penny for sharing your testimony. I pray that all of the SUMites experience our Providential God in miraculous ways such as you did. Hugs, Lynn 

My friends, this video brings great glory to God. PLEASE share it everywhere you can. Let's make it go viral. Hugs.

I cry every time I think of how God planned THAT day. The day I was broken. The day I cried put with nothing. The day that I was read THAT passage. God is so good. He truly is a miracle worker.

God is good.

Penny. :)

Matthew 21:18-22 

Early in the morning, as Jesus was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!”Immediately the tree withered.

When the disciples saw this, they were amazed. “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?” they asked.

Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”

 

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To see it on the PCH channel, click here.

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Another Healing Testimony

“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it." — John 14:12-14

Dear friends, I will resume our study of Romans with my Saturday post. I just felt so compelled by the Holy Spirit to share this with you and follow Lynn's lead in sharing a testimony. I pray you are encouraged and emboldened as I was to first hear testimony and then put it into action. Love you! ~Dineen

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Healing Testimony by Lynn Donovan

There is great power and faith building when we "hear" the words of testimony. I'm about to share my healing testimony with complete faith that those who hear it and are ready for healing will receive it.

Please leave your requests for healing in the comments. I will pray for you for your healing. I love you my friends. Have an amazing week in His Presence. Hugs, Lynn

(Turn on the sound) 

Healing Testimony January 2015 Lynn Donovan from Spiritually Unequal Marriage on Vimeo.

Testimony of the healing power of Jesus Christ. Lynn Donovan. January, 2015

 

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Empowered Living: Romans 8:1-4 (part two)

Psalm119-1622Welcome back to our study of Romans, dear friends. During the night the Holy Spirit pointed out to me that we are not just spiritual beings but supernatural beings. I love that verse that says we are seated in the heavenly realms with Jesus (Eph 2:4-7). The deeper I go in my relationship with Abba Father, King Jesus and Holy Spirit, the more this makes sense. The Word says He is in us and we are in Him. And Jesus is seated in the heavenly realms, thus, so are we. Amazing! That makes us supernatural beings as well.

Now back to Romans 8:3-4… When we go further into verse three, Paul gives more clarification as to why the law had failed. I so appreciate the way the Voice translation brings that understanding to the surface:

NLT: 3 The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. 

NIV: 3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh,

The Voice: 3 God did something the law could never do. You see, human flesh took its toll on God’s law. In and of itself, the law is not weak; but the flesh weakens it. So to condemn the sin that was ruling in the flesh, God sent His own Son, bearing the likeness of sinful flesh, as a sin offering. 

God’s law did and does serve a purpose in that it reveals sin, but it lacks the power to truly free us from the power of sin and death because of our sinful nature. Thus why Jesus says He came not to do away with the law but to fulfill it (Matt. 5:17). He was the empowered solution that would restore the purpose of the law with the heart and love of the Father, that all would be saved (1 Tim 2:4-6).

What amazes me is to think of all the preparation that went into this. Have you every wondered why God chose the time that He did to give Jesus to the world? I believe God wanted to prepare us to receive Jesus in the fullness of our need. And the laws that established the animal sacrifices and brought understanding to the importance of the blood sacrifice were part of this.

As I’ve said in the past, so much of the Bible is about preparation and the Bible itself is our preparation—to understand, learn and grow from experiential stories—those we read about and those we live and learn from in our lives as we walk in faith and trust in God. These are the ones that “stick” with us because we relate to them. By setting the pattern of blood sacrifice and establishing the importance of God’s holiness in it, only then would we be able to understand the full magnitude of Jesus’ sacrifice. Jesus would be and is the final blood sacrifice. 

NLT: 4 He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.

NIV: 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

The Vocie: 4 Now we are able to live up to the justice demanded by the law. But that ability has not come from living by our fallen human nature; it has come because we walk according to the movement of the Spirit in our lives.

The Message: 4 And now what the law code asked for but we couldn't deliver is accomplished as we, instead of redoubling our own efforts, simply embrace what the Spirit is doing in us.

Here is the rest of Paul’s point that there is no more condemnation for us who belong to Jesus. Since Christ sacrificed his life for our sins and was raised to life for our justification(Rom. 4:25-Rom. 5:1), no one, nothing and no-thing can tell us otherwise. This IS the truth, our truth. Anything that brings condemnation is not of God and is therefore of the enemy. 

My friends, the battle is truly in our minds and learning to recognize the difference between the enemy’s condemnation and the Holy Spirit’s loving correction is key. Though we are no longer identified as sinners when we know Jesus, we still sin and will need to confess and make amends as needed. This process, in the hands of the Holy Spirit, brings relief, freedom and empowers us to live godly lives (2 Peter 1:3). 

And that is the rest of verse four that we need to take note of and trust the Holy Spirit to do. He does this in us, we don’t. I find this very freeing indeed to know I don’t have to “fix” myself. Jesus did it with His death and each day the Holy Spirit is helping me to be more and more Christ-like.

The next section of Romans 8 that we’ll study will be verses 5-11. In these Scriptures we will see more insights as to what happens in our minds AND how we can relate this to our pre-believers. I’m looking forward to what the Holy Spirit has for us there!

Holy Spirit, we ask for the spirit of wisdom and revelation to know Jesus more and more. Bring the full power of God’s Word into our hearts and transform our minds. Make us hungrier than ever for more of You and Your Word. In the transforming power of Jesus, we pray and ask all this, amen! 

We are established in Him, SUMites!
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Empowered Living: Romans 8:1-4 (part one)

Psalm119-1622My friends, we're embarking on our study of Romans 8 today, but first, please take a moment and pray over Lynn and her family. Her granddaughter Elise spiked a fever yesterday of a 103 and there are other challenges she is dealing with in her family. Let’s pray a mighty force and hedge of protection around her and her family, for health to reign in the Donovan home and for great wisdom and strength to flow through her and her family to handle these challenges. 

With our prayers and in the mighty name of Jesus, we declare the Donovan home will overcome ALL these challenges by the Spirit of the Lord and with great victory and glory to God. In the mighty and powerful name of Jesus, amen!

Thank you, SUMites!

Now, onward with Empowered Living. Many of your comments to my introduction on Wednesday confirmed that we are following the Holy Spirit's leading here. I so love when He does that. And many of you have already shared insights you’ve gleaned from this chapter. Awesome! So let's continue to follow the Holy Spirit’s leading and also continue to pray for revelations and insights to this powerful part of the Scriptures.

Holy Spirit, You are our Counselor and Friend. Your desire is to lead us into more wisdom and knowledge of Jesus so that we know Him better, know the Father better and walk in the freedom that Jesus so selflessly came to give us. We ask for divine revelations and understanding of God's Holy Word. Breath its truth upon us. In the name of Jesus, amen!

Let's begin with Romans 8:1-4, which work together to create the foundation of this powerful chapter. I will be using multiple translations for this but will indicate each one so you are clear which translation is which. My goal is not to confuse you but to bring even more clarity and understanding to God’s Word, with the help of the Holy Spirit.

NLT: 1 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.

NIV: 1 ​Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,

The Voice: 1 Therefore, now no condemnation awaits those who are living in Jesus the Anointed, the Liberating King,

Verse one of Romans 8 is probably one of the most quoted verses of the Bible and one of our most powerful truths against the enemy, whose mission is to condemn us and destroy our faith by tearing away our identity in Christ. Paul makes this statement after his conclusion in chapter seven where he makes the distinction of between his mind and his flesh, yet states that Jesus Christ is our answer to this dilemma. Romans 8:1 begins with “therefore” and “so now” signaling the explanation to come.

And I want to point out that there is a huge and powerful difference between the enemy's condemnation and the Holy Spirit's conviction. The first places judgement of who we are defined by our sin and without the answer of forgiveness. The latter brings light to a sinful act with the answer of forgiveness, which frees us to learn and grow more Christ-like. When we learn to recognize the difference and reject condemnation and live in grace, the enemy loses power over our minds. We begin to shed bondages and walk in freedom.

That is why verse two is so crucial to our complete understanding of verse one:

NLT: 2 And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. 

NIV: 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.

The Voice: 2 because when you live in the Anointed One, Jesus, a new law takes effect

God implemented a new system or law to help us be who He created us to be—spiritual beings inhabited by the Spirit of God. We could not apply an incomplete system defined by the flesh to lives that would, in the new system, be led by the Spirit and made complete in Christ. It would be like asking the Holy Spirit to function without His power. 

And that is essentially what happens when we live by the law of sin and death (legalism—a spirit of religion that teaches we must earn grace, which then implies we can lose it by our imperfect actions) than by the law of the Spirit (it’s all about Jesus, His life, death and resurrection to bring us grace, a gift that we receive. We do nothing to “save ourselves.”) 

In legalism, we eliminate the presence and power of the Holy Spirit and no longer live empowered by grace. By definition grace and legalism are opposites but the enemy’s tactics to move us from grace to legalism are subtle. This is one way he makes us ineffective and even harmful to those around us.

My friends, I will finish verses three and four tomorrow, so please come back and see how Paul explains why there is no (and can't be) any condemnation for us who belong to Jesus.  Thank you for taking this journey with me, SUMites. I love you all so dearly!
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An Introduction to Empowered Living

Prov119-162My friends, we're already two weeks into 2015. Can you believe it? Our fasting and praying brought us into this new year (our year of freedom, remember?) in a powerful way, and I believe we will continue to see breakthroughs as we are being brought to new levels of faith and living in Christ even now. 

Before Christmas I was feeling led to write a series on Romans 8, a very powerful chapter and one that the Holy Spirit brought me to over and over again in 2014 for understanding of what walking in the Spirit means. I'm still on this journey but want to share with you some of the things I've learned as key to empowered living in Christ Jesus.

But first, I want to start with a key verse in Proverbs. I came across this nugget in my Passion Translation of Proverbs as the Holy Spirit's answer in how I should pray for my "kids" (Rachel, my son-in-love Keith, Leslie and her awesome boyfriend, Brian) in 2015. I am praying for them all to be "lovers of God" who "chase after righteousness.”

Here are both the NIV and Passion translations:

Whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor. — Proverbs 21:21 (NIV)

The lovers of God who chase after righteousness
Will find their dreams come true:
An abundant life drenched with favor, 
And a fountain that overflows with satisfaction.
—Proverbs 21:21 Passion Translation

I really like how the Passion Translation brings more understanding to what the heart of dreams are about and what makes them truly satisfying. That colon indicates that clarification of the promise is coming. The NIV holds this promise as well. Those dreams are rooted in who we are in Christ as children of God who live the abundant life Jesus came to give us “drenched” in God’s favor and overflowing like a fountain with satisfaction.

Here is the mystery revealed: When we make Jesus the focus of our lives with a desire to know and love Him, our dreams wind up shifting and falling in line with God’s heart, purposes and plans for us—His desire to delight us with an abundant life full of God’s favor so that we are fulfilled and satisfied. 

And here’s the mystery revealed for us, SUMites: In this place of fulfillment and satisfaction, which is centered in Jesus, the rest falls into place. We begin to see God work in our marriages and pre-believers to bring His will (which is always for our good) about. And He gives us strength and teaches us to rest in Him in that process.

Now that does not mean an easy life. Easy and comfortable is rarely fulfilling, my friends. Leave that misconception at the door along with the one I used to carry that as I got older, life would get easier. This is not a bad thing, it’s just how it is while we are on this earth. So, my philosophy has shifted from seeking an easier life to seeking God for a more fulfilling life. This is challenging but so worth it.

Why? Because we were never intended to be limited earthly beings. We are supernatural beings, seated in the heavenly realms with Jesus even as we walk this earth. To live in anything less than the supernatural presence and life of Jesus will never satisfy us. 

Naturally (i.e. earthly or of the flesh) the enemy will try to convince us otherwise, try to distract us from this place of truth with the lures of earthly success and satisfaction until we are living more for this life now instead of our heavenly destiny to be like Christ. Which brings me back to Romans 8 and the astounding and empowering truths that lie in this one chapter of Romans. I’m only beginning to peel back the layers of this one chapter and my heart is to share with you these foundational truths that are building blocks to living an empowered life in Christ Jesus, fueled by the Holy Sprit and by the grace of Abba Father.

Want to go on this journey with me? Yes? AWESOME! Then start by studying Romans 8 in your favorite translation and also in one other translation (more if you’re motivated to do so). Push out of the box and stretch your mind. Ask the Holy Spirit for understanding and divine revelation. He loves requests like that about God’s Word! And write down what the Holy Spirit shows you. I hope you’ll share those revelations with us too (as is appropriate). 

My friends, let’s dig into God’s Word as if digging for treasure (Psalm 119:162)!

Holy Spirit, reveal to us the treasures in God’s Word. I pray for every person reading this to know You better, for the Spirit of wisdom and knowledge to fill them so they may know Jesus better and better through the revelations in Your Word. Abba, thank You for Your promises revealed in Your Scriptures. In Jesus’ powerful and holy name, amen!

 With love in Jesus,
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40 Daniel Fast - For Some

Hello Everyone. 

I’m still lingering in awe of our Lord and all that happened in our fast. I believe we are going to see the results of our fast unfold in our lives and the lives of many others in the months ahead. I can’t wait. Please, please share your breakthrough with me and Dineen this year as we want to honor and thank Jesus for His love and care. 

Today’s post will not be for everyone. 

I know many of you want to continue in an extended period of fasting. I know I am going to continue to fast. I’m going to continue a fasting lifestyle that the Lord placed me on since September. 

And I also want to be open and honest about something that tends to be an area where the SUMites struggle. It’s going to be hard to own this truth but let’s just put it out there. 

Many of us are overweight. I am. I have 30 pounds that are fat pounds. I’ve come to discern that because we are in challenging marriages; many of us turn to food as our comfort and friend. I know this was true of me in the early years of my mismatch. On top of that my husband traveled for work extensively. I was often at home alone for weeks on end. Thus television and snacks became my habits. Sheesh. Can anyone relate? So, I wonder if the Lord is going to help many of us to own this truth and then bring us into freedom? I think so. 

So here is what happened to me. 

One night, I think it was in September, or late summer early fall, the Lord awakened me in the middle of the night. He told me to go on a 40 day Daniel fast. At that time in my life, I was battling in deep Spiritual warfare. You might remember I had cold after cold, sicknesses and all sorts of physical infirmities for months. Additionally, what you likely do not know is that all of my close relationships, except my marriage, came under a tremendous, pressure, pain and refining. My word from the fast last year was: Refinement. Man O man, am I glad that 2014 is over. I remained faithful in my relationships and they are all now stronger and blessed. And I have now overcome sickness and I believe with all my heart that my home is now a perfect health zone. Even strangers who enter the doors will be healed. But, alas, that’s a post for another day. 

Back to the Daniel fast. 

What I’m going to share is what God has asked of me. It does not mean this plan is for you. I’m only sharing what God has asked of me. Please pray about what I share and ask the Lord if this is something for your life. 

God said to me, “Lynn, I want you to go on a 40 day Daniel diet and rid your system of antibiotics.” And in that minute I knew that I would give up all food that contained antibiotics. Okay, so I got out of bed and started thinking about what I heard. 

Now here is the crazy part. 

Later that morning I went to have my oil changed in my car. I dropped the car with the attendant and went inside the small lobby area to wait. Now get this. The television was on and within a few minutes as I sat watching, a segment comes on the air. It’s a story of how antibiotics in our food is causing weight gain and specifically women. I sat astonished. Then the attendant brought my car around and I left. I was only there for 15 minutes and the single portion of the “morning Show” that is on TV is about antibiotics in our food.  I’m freaked out! I couldn’t believe it. (I searched for the video and I think I found what I was watching that morning.) 

To say I was stunned…. is an understatement. 

I couldn’t have asked for a stronger confirmation from the Lord. So, I immediately I stopped eating meat. I also subscribed to several blogs who share recipes and tips to eat healthy and vegetarian. And man, there are some great recipes. I haven’t missed the meat. One afternoon my husband strolled into my office and said, “Okay, I’m hungry. What kind of meatless concoction do you have going today in the crockpot?” We both burst out laughing. It’s been adventure for the both of us. 

So here are the guidelines of my diet which I believe is a Daniel diet that the Lord gave me.

  • Veggies, fruits, gains, lentils and some dairy. I’m a very forgiving person, so I’m not ridged on all of this. I’m not a Pharisee. *grin*
  • Very little sugar. Again, not a Pharisee.
  • 1250 calories a day. Join My Fitness Pal. It’s free. It’s awesome and you can track calories on a computer or use the phone app. (I am firm on this.)
  • Exercise 1 hour a day. Walk, run, whatever is fun for you. Just do something. (And firm on this.)
  • Lots of water.
  • If I do eat meat, which I do occasionally, it is absolutely organic, antibiotic free. I know eating organic is more expensive. If you can’t afford it, veggies are delectable and a diet you can be on for the rest of your life. (Most food I buy today is all organic.)
  • A Daily Probiotic. 

A probiotic was a new thing for me. God sent someone to me the next day and told me about them. I went to the store and picked up a bottle. (Get the refrigerated variety.) 

As we enter this New Year, I feel the Lord calling me to surrender even more of my eating habits to Him. This diet was a place to start. 

We all need a place to start.

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Lord, I commit this last stronghold in my life to you. I want my body to reflect your love and glory. Bring my body into complete a perfect alignment with the Kingdom. I ask that my body be perfectly healthy and whole and that I may bring health and healing to others. In Jesus powerful name. Amen.

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Day of Praise and Thanksgiving: The Glory Within

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Dear friends, this has truly been an amazing week of fasting and praying. This community is so beautiful. I just can’t say it enough. We are even more united than ever. And I KNOW that sends the enemy running in fear.

I have to tell you I was bragging about you all Tuesday evening. I went to an evening service at a different church to check it out. This church meets on Tuesday and Saturday evenings because they share a building with another church. The pastor and congregation are believing this year will bring them their own church building. 

We chatted a bit and I shared how our community doesn’t have four walls either, but we are still the church, the body of Christ. Our story of this ministry seemed to encourage him too, praise God!

As I prayed for our community fasting and praying Tuesday morning, the Holy Spirit brought me to this verse:

For you bless the righteous, O Lord; you cover him with favor as with a shield. — Psalm 5:15

As I read this, the Lord reminded me of the Scripture He gave our community last February shortly after our 2014 Praying & Fasting (click here to read that post):

And I myself will be a wall of fire around it,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will be its glory within. — Zech. 2:5

My friends, I believe Abba is reminding us again that He is the wall of fire around this community and our glory within. He is the walls surrounding us and the presence that brings this community together and continues to encourage and ignite our faith to persevere. Wow! What a precious reminder that He is keeping His promises.

The Lord isn't really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. — 2 Peter 3:9, NLT

And what’s even more awe inspiring is we are covered with His favor! Our faithfulness (not perfection) has so pleased God that He’s covering us with His favor as well. Can I get a shouted out chorus of hallelujahs?

Father God, thank You, thank You, thank YOU for Your favor! Reveal Your glory within us. Let our pre-believers see You clearly in us throughout 2015 and be the wall of fire around us that burns away all unbelief and doubt, and sends the enemy running in fear. You are our great shield, our protection, our safety and our refuge. Today we praise and thank You for placing Your glory within us and Your favor upon us. And thank You, Lord Jesus, that You have the final word! Amen!

 All for Him,
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Breakthrough - Disappointment- Thanksgiving and More On Our Final Day Of Fasting

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Hello Sumite Family – Church Without Walls. 

Can you believe it’s already the last day of our fast? Reading through the comments has been amazing. I have prayed for all of you. This has been an amazingly sweet time with our Lord. And as I spoke to Dineen yesterday about this fast, we marveled at all God has done, the tenderness He has displayed and the answers to our petitions. 

Dineen and I paused a moment and we turned our conversation to prayer: Jesus, we sure hope Rosheeda Lee is watching our community from heaven. What she started here years ago, this annual fast, has had lasting impact on us as individuals. Lord, we know that the prayers and declarations spoken during this tender time will bring about great glory for Your name and bring many into Your Kingdom. Lord, Jesus please hug Rosheeda for us. We love and miss her. Amen. 

I know many of us are praying for breakthrough. And I have to share my breakthrough with you. It was quite unexpected. Before I do, however, I want to speak to those of you who haven’t had your breakthrough and those who feel disappointment. Perhaps, like me, breakthrough came in an area your weren’t praying about. For me personally, I received an answer for prayer that I started praying two and half years ago. So, don’t be disappointed. Instead, ask God to show you where He was working in your life this past week. 

On Thursday morning I was sitting in my backyard next to a gentle and warm fire, sipping coffee from my Broncos mug and reading my Bible and praying. All was right with the world. When all of a sudden my husband texts me and asks me if I sold some stock. 

Text Back: No, What is going on? Did someone hack our account? 

I go into full-on panic mode as this is the little bit of money I have saved for my daughter’s college education. The funds are small and only cover another semester so we can’t afford to lose a dime. After they are exhausted I have three more semesters to pay for and I haven’t a clue where the money is going to come from. 

I began praying about our lack of finances for college back when she started school in 2013. I prayed and still pray asking for provision. I trust. I look at my small account. I panic. I pray again. I trust. I mostly lean into trusting God because after all, He arranged her education. 

Well after my panic over my husband’s text, I call my husband and he reminds me that our new “finance” guy is moving things around. However, he wasn’t supposed to touch this account. So, my husband gets off the phone to contact our guy to find out what’s going on. And in THAT SPECIFIC MOMENT the Lord spoke. 

“Lynn, you have asked me to help you provide for college. So I sent you this guy.” 

Now get this. This man works with my husband. He’s absolutely brilliant. The kind of brilliant where he tests out on the IQ Test- Mensa. He works as one of the company leaders in computer technology. On top of that he’s also a Certified Public Accountant. He handles investments for about 10 people, we are one of them. And ON TOP OF THAT…. 

Now get this: He’s an ordained pastor. 

Now when God sends a guy to help you out, He doesn’t fool around. Brilliant, Computer Genius, CPA…. AND A PASTOR…. I think our college funds are in good hands and it’s all okay that he is moving funds about. 

THANK YOU DADDY!!! An answer to prayers from 2 ½ years ago. A Breakthrough. I’ve had another significant event this week but I will share that with you later. 

My friends, our Lord is good. He is lavish. He is a blast and I love Him so much. Hang on to your faith. Persist in prayer. He will work things out for your good and His glory. And don’t give the enemy an inch. I know that ugly snake tries hard to get us to blame God for stuff he is doing to kill, steal and destroy in our lives and family. 

So on our final day, LET’S GIVE THANKS. Let’s thank the Lord for what He has done this week. Share any insights you received this week. Tell me about your time with the Lord. Share answers to prayer and let’s give the Lord thanks. And can you share one other thing. Write along with your comment: Sumite since ___________. Include the month or year or even yesterday if that's when you started reading here.

When we pray, we must believe and then thank Jesus for the work that is in progress. 

This has been an amazing week. I love all of you so much. I have stormed heavens gates for you. I have fought the demonic for you. I have declared and spoken God’s Word, love and hope into your lives. (Even if I didn’t have time to type my prayers out in response to your comments.) 

I can’t wait to praise our Lord with you today. I love you with a full and expectant heart, Lynn, a Sumite since May, 2006.

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PS. yesterday in the comments Teri said this: Today I am asking for a real place to live, a home. To no longer live in my car. 

The minute I read this I knew that I wanted to send her money. If any of you want to do the same, click on the donate button in the sidebar. Thank you. 

Phil 1 4 to 6

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Day 4: Asking Day

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In a SOZO healing session, when we give something over to God, we are directed to ask Jesus what He has in return to us. I confess, the first time I encountered this, my reaction was to wonder if this was offensive to my Lord and Savior. Did I have that right to ask? When I asked, He quickly replied with something He wanted to give me to replace what I had relinquished. Sometimes it was just an affirmation of His love. Other times, He had specific things to give me. There have even been times as I’ve prayed for myself or others that I received the word, “Ask.” Jesus was telling me or the person I was praying for that He was waiting for us to ask Him for something. His Word even tells us this:

Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. — Matthew 7:7

Sometimes we forget to ask, often times, like I did and still do at times, we wonder if we have the right, but if as the children of the Most High God, we are given this right to approach the throne of grace as part of our inheritance in Christ.

So today is “asking day.” Determine one thing that you would like to ask Jesus for. I know this is challenging because you most likely have a list, but this is just for today. We have our whole lives here and beyond to continue asking and seeking.

Write down what you are asking for in your journal, and be sure to date it. Pray over it and believe two things:

One, that God hears you:

I am praying to you because I know you will answer, O God. Bend down and listen as I pray. — Psalm 17:6

And two, believe Him for this. It may not come as you expect, but believe that Jesus will answer this prayer in some way, shape, or form.

For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. — 2 Corinthians 1:20

Yesterday, in the comments, so many of you shared God’s promises and as I read them I was so moved by what God is doing in all of us. We are all hearing the same things, my friends. Think about the sheer impossibility of that by human standards. But we’re talking about our great and mighty God who transcends all that. We have corporate and universal communication going on here! Hallelujah! 

Rose shared this verse and I knew it had to be in today’s post:

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. — John 15:16

My friends, it’s asking day! Ask your Father God for the deepest desire of your heart and watch what He will do. He is telling us today to ASK!!!

Abba Father, we lift our voices up to You with great awe and love. Our hearts are so humbled that You care so much, love us so much, that You even remind us to ask You for what we need, what we long for. Lord, nothing is beyond You. Nothing! So we raise our voices to You and ask for these things and especially, Father God, Lord Jesus, Holy Spirit, we ask for MORE OF YOU! Today, Lord, I am asking for JOY! For me and this beautiful SUM community. In the name of mighty King Jesus, amen!

With great love,
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Day Three - The Promises Fulfilled

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Yesterday we approached the Alter. We surrendered our shame, guilt, our failures, our inadequacies, pain, disappointment, devastation ….. Our brokenness. 

Listening to our Father today, I hear Him say to me, “Lynn, you have stood upon my promises and have remained faithful. I cannot deny my own Word.” 

There have been many years in my past that all I had to grasp were God’s distant promises. But I held on to them. Sometimes shakily. Praying and willing myself to trust God’s promise, I would wake up at night and speak them out loud. I would repeat them over and over to myself. I remember a long season in my past where all I could do was to repeat, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I can do all things… (Phil 4:13) This promise alone push me through many tough hours. 

His promises sustained me in the years of disappointment and disillusionment. What I’ve come to realize is that God wasn’t telling me “no” when it came to fulfilling His promises, He was preparing me to bear the weight of the glory when the promises were fulfilled. God used my struggles and my unequally yoked marriage specifically to mature my faith and develop my character. Why? So that I’m able to walk into more gifts and abundance and yet not steal His glory nor morally fail because of the treasures He has provided and is yet to provide. 

Clearly I heard the Lord say to our community, remind yourselves of who you are. And stand firm against the enemy and firmly on My promises. 

Here are a few promises that have been life-lines to me: 

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. — 2 Timothy 1:7 

I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. — Hebrews 13:5b 

Psalms 91 continues to be powerful for me. 

My friends, the Lord is preparing us for greatness. His Kingdom is rising on earth right now in a manner not seen since the time Jesus walked here. He is growing us, maturing us, loving us into a place where we can walk in wholeness, power and authority so that we can receive more and more of His glory. So that we can be people of God who bring His Kingdom to earth. 

I wonder, what promises from His Word are your life-lines in this season. And what promises are you speaking over yourself for your future? Share them in the comments and when the Lord reads these, it will move His heart. 

We are at the breakthrough part of our fast. Now, more than ever, it’s crucial to speak truth and promises over our lives and into our lives. Let’s let God’s Holy Word spring forth and change us, our homes, our communities and our world. 

My Holy and Blessed Child, 

You have labored hard under a mean and ruthless taskmaster. He has stolen much from you. But today, I am listening still as you claim my promises. I have told you that my Word does not return void. Your faithfulness will be My faithfulness and you will be vindicated, healed, restored and elevated. I am already moving.

Today, my Son Jesus, stands with the Keys to the Kingdom and He is releasing my angels to battle for you as your faithfulness has reached my ears. And I will now exact payment from our enemy and restore what the locus have stolen. There will be a great out-pouring and you, my child, you have faithfully walked with me and are now ready to receive all the grandeur I have prepared for you in advance. 

I will not leave you. I will not forsake you. I will cover you with My wings. Your faithful obedience compels me. I love you. I adore you. I am for you and not against you. I am the Ancient of Days and your vindicator. —The Lord God Almighty

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Day 2: Altar Offerings

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My friends, my heart is so full of love and awe—of you! Reading your comments the last two days…I’m so touched and blown away by your prayers for Lynn and I and for each other! Wow! I can just see Abba nodding His head with pride and pointing out this online community to the heavenly host and saying, “See? This is what the body of Christ really looks like." 

Wow, wow, wow…

And it’s with that full heart that I share today what God spoke to me about our community. On Sunday as I was worshiping at church I was also praying for the words to share this week, for whatever was on Abba's heart for us.

The word "annihilation" came clearly to me. Now that's a pretty strong word and not one I use often. I asked Abba to clarify, to help me understand His heart. And this is what He revealed for our SUMite community:

Annihilation of all fear, doubt and unbelief. I am declaring a "holy war" on all fear, doubt and unbelief. 2015 will be a "Year of Freedom."

I am lifting this community up to a whole new level of strength and belief. In Me. In My Word. In My promises. No more of the old. The New is in place and now I will reveal it. My strength is yours and all you need I have already provided. Your strength is found in Me and Me alone. I am your destiny. I am your hope. I am your future. It is done. 

Believe ME. 

As I wrote this down, my friends, I began to sense that today God is asking us to put an offering on the altar, to release those things we've been holding onto:

  • Fears
  • Doubts
  • Unbelief
  • Willfulness 
  • Pride
  • Unforgiveness
  • Anger
  • Bitterness
  • Offenses
  • Pain and hurts
  • Our pre-believers
  • Our very selves

This is our holy offering, our incense to the Lord. There is significance to the offering and "the burning" (releasing) of that which we place there. This is an act of faith, a choice to let go more than we ever have and to trust God even more, a deeper trust than ever before.

It is an act of love.

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. — Ephesians 5:1-2

Take time today or in the morning to sit quietly and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal what God is asking you to give to Him, to trust Him with. Then make that offering. Write it in your journal, because I believe that later this year Abba will take you back to this moment and show you what He has done with your offering.

My friends, share what you are offering up to the Lord in the comments so that we may pray for each other. As I said, this is an act love, and it's also an act of faith and trust. Not an easy thing to do, but when we make the choice and offering, I believe the Holy Spirit comes to help us walk in trust and faith. We are not required to provide the sacrifice, just to have a willingness to let go and trust, just as Abraham did with his son Isaac. 

And of course, share any breakthroughs you are having and let’s be encouraged together!  

King Jesus, we offer these “things” we've held on to, our selves and our pre-believers to you today as a holy offering, sweet with the aroma of our love and adoration for You. We pray that it pleases You and brings you great glory. We praise You now for what You will do with these offerings—what only YOU can do because You are Holy and Mighty and Faithful! 

Abba Father, we believe YOU. Make us strong and raise us up as You have declared. In the Powerful name of Jesus, amen!

Love you dearly, my friends, and praying for you!
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Day One- A Samaritan

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On our first day of fasting I am compelled to pray for our pre-believing spouses. And to that end I want to share how Jesus reached unbelievers. It a model for all of us on how to attract people to the Kingdom, especially our spouse. 

Turn with me to John 4

This is the story where Jesus meets a Samaritan woman at a water well. (Please, please pause now and go read all of the story. If you do I promise that the Lord is going to enlighten you to some possibilities you haven’t considered.) 

I want to point out quickly some details of this story. 

Vs 4:Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon. 

Vs 7: He asks her for a drink. He is alone and is speaking to a woman. In this culture Jews never spoke to Samaritans and NEVER to women. 

Vs 10: She is there to draw water. Her life was filled with endless trips to the well with a heavy jug on her head. (monotony, hopelessness, struggle, weariness) Jesus speaks to her in terms which she can relate…. Water. He tells her about the Living Water. 

Vs 15: The Samaritan Woman is intrigued now and asks for this living water. 

Vs 17: Jesus perceives into her life and tells her to go call her husband. She replies, “I have no husband.” And then He speaks prophetically revealing truths that only God could know and that the Holy Spirit revealed to Him. 

Vs 19: The woman has no doubt that this man before her is no ordinary man. He is a man of God. She declares, “I can see that you are a prophet.” 

She then deflects her personal marriage predicament and changes the subject to the Jews and Samaritans disputes about where to worship God. Jesus’ response is powerful in the following verses and then he arrives at an important declaration: 

Vs 23: Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” 

And finally in verse 26 Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you —I am He.” (The Messiah (called Christ) 

My friends, as we contemplate our unbeliever, our unsaved family, our friends that don’t know Jesus, and a world that is in pain, suffering and sunk in the bondage of darkness, we can see in this passage the key to their freedom. 

This is the model to reach people. 

The Kingdom and our part we play often arrives when it’s inconvenient. When we are exhausted. When we are hungry or thirsty and all alone. This was Jesus as He sat by the well. 

The people God sends to us are broken and in pain. They have been abused by the world and are confused by religion. This is the Samaritan woman. Five husbands. Five deaths or divorces and her current man refuses to marry her. This woman IS pain. She is confused between the practices of the Jews and the Samaritans. 

Jesus reaches out to her through conversation that she can relate to. Water. He relates to her and speaks her language. Jesus gains her attention and her willingness to listen. 

As the conversation progresses, the Holy Spirit begins to discern the pain and some of the details of this woman’s life. This is usually how it works. I know this has been true for me. Do you remember me sharing how in the middle of an ordinary visit to a restaurant, God started talking to me about the woman behind the counter? (Read that story here.) 

God begins to reveal truth and when spoken to people, they can’t help but respond to His love. This is exactly what happened to the woman when Jesus revealed parts of her life. She then realizes that God loves her… her…. God loves her with all her pain, past, sins, and failures. He loves her enough to send a man to talk with her even when his actions are counter cultural and forbidden by the religious circles. 

And then Jesus speaks such powerful truths that she is delivered of her fears and sins. She discovers that the Father is seeking worshipers who worship in the Spirit and in truth. 

She discovers what Jesus clearly states, “I, the one speaking to you – I… AM….. HE.” 

And you know what happens next. The whole population of the town comes to Jesus. 

SUMites, this is our model of how to speak of our Jesus to the world. And our ability to discern from the Holy Spirit, such as in this story, comes out of our personal relationship and our time alone with the Father (prayer & fasting). Just like Jesus. 

This story isn’t just for Jesus. This is Jesus showing us. Telling us. Encouraging us to meet people where they are. To ignore the conventions of religion and society and to speak their language. To perceive their pain. To speak life and healing into their lives. To bring one person to meet …. I am He, The Messiah. And then a whole population will follow. 

I’m convinced that if we do this, our spouses, children, friends…. Our world will come to The One… Jesus.

Let’s fast and pray that we may step into this story and become the hands and feet of Jesus who brings healing and hope to our world. Let’s pray our spouse is fully saved in 2015. 

I love you Jesus so much. Thank you for showing me how to bring your love and hope to this world. Let me be the one who doesn’t fear what people will think or say. Let me not be held back by religion and culture but let me dare to speak to those who are in pain and who need your love. Lord I ask, and keep on asking, for the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation that I may know you better. Jesus, in Your powerful Name, I seek You. Amen. 

John 4 23 24

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Welcome To The Powerful Fast Of The SUMite Nation

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Good Sunday Morning SUMites: 

Lynn here. I want to greet you and welcome you to our annual week of fasting and prayer. We begin our fast tomorrow morning at sunrise. What is so amazing it that there are people from all over the globe who are fasting and praying in one accord through this week of the SUMite fast. 

I’m convinced when we arrive in heaven we will be permitted to see and understand how our individual fasting and prayers were joined together in the spiritual realm and how we, The Sumites, impacted our world. I truly believe we are that powerful in our love and prayers. 

Today, I want to ask you to consider what word or scripture verse or both God is leading you into for your current season of your life. Write them down in your Bible or somewhere that you can look at these again at the beginning of next year. It’s so important to give thanks to the Lord for the work He did throughout the year. It’s even more important for the building of our faith to realize God heard our prayers and that we actually had influence, through His love, to change circumstances. To fight the demonic and to live in righteous, joy and peace because we prayed. 

I will remind you that prayer and fasting is not a way to spiritually twist the Lord’s arm into giving you what you want. True fasting is humbling yourself, denying yourself of a basic need/desire and pressing into a commitment to know the Lord better. 

All prayer and fasting is about seeking Him first. Out of our time alone with our Father, that is where we then can step into our world, hear His voice, and then watch Him move in our circumstances. 

Tomorrow Dineen or I will post a topic to pray about corporately and a prayer. Each successive day will be the same until we reach the end of our fast Friday evening. 

For today, may I ask that you pray in the comments? You can pray one word. A name of someone for whom you are praying. You can pray a long prayer filled with all of your requests. Pray and let Dineen and I and other SUMites pray with you. Also, come back and pray for someone else and their heart’s requests. 

We will be praying in agreement and my friends…….. that is why I am expectant. 

I’m expectant that heaven will open. Jesus will walk among us. The words we speak put angels into action. And God, our Holy Lord of All, will move in love and power. And the best part???? We get to be part of it all and watch it all unfold. 

We are living in the most exciting time on earth. So much is ahead for those who truly walk in humility and love. 

See you in the comments.

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Let's Get Ready!

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My friends, your comments this week have been so powerful and encouraging! I'm in awe of how God is moving in this community to bring such unity. We ARE the church of Christ, right here and online, of all things. Who would have thought that possible? ALL things are possible with God, AMEN!

I want to share Angie's comment from my Wednesday post. Such a testimony to the miracles that our Abba Father is releasing into our lives to honor our faithfulness. And I agree with Lynn—we will see amazing things happen during this fast and through the rest of the year as a result of our fasting. I BELIEVE! And my friends, after what I have walked though spiritually this year, it feels so good to be able to say that. God didn't let me go and I didn't let go of Him. 

So, if you are still wondering where you are in all this, grab hold of Him and don't let go! He will not fail you.

Here's Angie's amazing testimony:

This year was one of the hardest and best years of my life...my husband left us and our five children shortly after the birth of our fifth child...But God reached down into my pain...and quickly let me know I was not alone and never will be...he was so present in my pain and I had so many breakthroughs and so much needed growth with The Lord..one of the main events this year that brought growth was the Jewish New year dreaming big with God...and the day of attonment fast(my first fast). Shortly after that God sent my husband for a visit...it did not look like anything was happening but God clearly communicated to me he was working...after that visit the communication started increasing...and than it happened my husband told me he did not want to be separated forever...and the very last day of that month My prodigal returned to his family...one of my big dreams with God had already been answered by a faithful God...so many prayers have been answered. I have been a "Christian" my entire life...but I never knew this was what the God of the universe was like...that he is so personally involved. That he cares about every detail...and he loves marriages...he is a God of reconciliation...restoration...and resurrection...my dead marriage was resurrected and God reconciled us and now he is restoring us, but it is not just my marriage that is being restored...Praise God. All glory and honor to him to forever... I am so grateful to this community...

SUMites, let's get ready for next week with prayer...

Abba Father, Your goodness outshines the stars in the sky and exceeds any expectations our limited human minds can perceive. You are the God of ALL possibilities and we declare today, right here in this online community, that You are here, that You are GOOD, and that You withhold no good thing from us, for Your plans for us are good and are for a future and purpose that You have created for us, for our good and for those we love and pray for. Thank You, Abba Father, that Your heart is that none should perish. You never give up on us. Your love is relentless and unending. You ARE love.

King Jesus, as we are in You and You are in us, bring with this week of fasting an abundance of Your supernatural grace. Give us strength, wisdom and discernment each day to hear and see You. Protect each of us and our families from the enemy's attempts to unseat and undo us as we fast and pray. Release the heavenlies to move and interact with us doing this week, to protect and guide us.

Holy Spirit, draw us into a deeper relatioship and awareness of Your presence this week. Restore our health, our strength and our hearts to alignment with You. ALIGNEMENT is prevelent for 2015 as our hearts and wills will be brought into ALIGNMENT with You, LORD.

And ESTABLISHMENT of Your Kingdom here in our very homes as You have established it in the Heavenly realms. The gap will be closed for 2015!

Thank You, LORD! Thank YOU! All praise and glory and honor are Yours! We are Your SUMites! We are Your children! We are YOURS! Our hearts are Yours and Your heart is ours. You are always for us!

Dear and Precious Lord, give us everything we need this week out of Your glorious riches in Heaven to make You proud, Abba! Make our fasting smooth and strong, full of Your grace and presence. Lord Jesus, we plead Your blood over our hearts, our wills, our stomachs, our spirits, our souls, our minds, and our families and prebelievers.

Not by our might but by YOURS!!! In the HOLY and PRECIOUS name of JESUS, amen!

I think I already have my word for 2015—Sanctuary. Abba's slowly revealing His heart to me about this word that holds the promise of deeper intimacy with Him. He loves us that much, my friends. He longs for us to know Him more and more. We were created to know Him! Wow! Can't wait to see what He shares next week!

So grateful we are together, my friends, and I give our Great God thanks for each of you!
Dineen

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Fasting For The Miracles

Hi Everyone, 

I want to share a special story today. Remember that on Monday I shared God is speaking the word expectant over me. And my spirit has been filled with an extra measure of hope. Great hope. Fantastic, miraculous hope. 

This Christmas season the Lord has revealed some unexpected nearly impossible realities. My son and his wife and their hope for reconciliation and then on New Year’s Eve, another miracle. Let me explain. 

A couple of days ago my daughter who is 19 years old, she and I were talking about the unusually cold weather we are having here in Southern California. She said to me, “Mom, I’ve seen snow and played in snow but I’ve never been in a snow storm. I’ve never experienced snowflakes falling around me.” 

I didn’t realize that for all of her life she hasn’t experienced the wonder, beauty and fun of falling snow. My heart clinched in a bit of mommy guilt. Anyhoo, we then went on to talk about other stuff. Yet in that moment a hope, an expectant hope was spoken into the spiritual realm and the voice of a young daughter of the King of Kings was heard in heaven. 

The next morning, I woke and whispered to the Lord as I pulled the covers back, “Lord, it would be really neat if it was snowing this morning.” I passed the bathroom window and looked to my right and low and behold, gentle, large, pristine white flakes were floating down and settling on the fence. Looking at the fence, there rested more than four inches of fresh powder. 

I almost freaked out right there in my PJ’s. I grabbed my robe, slippers and ran to Caitie’s room. “Get up. The Lord answered your heart’s desire. IT’S SNOWING RIGHT NOW.” 

She sprang from bed. Flung on a coat and boots and we charged into the front yard where neighbors were also standing in wonder taking in the beauty. 

A New Year’s Eve delight just for my girl. 

Snow in our area like this does not happen. The last time this much snow amassed was 1964. 

BUT… Today the Lord heard the heart of His girl and sent the impossible. Now many of you may think that God doesn’t work this way. He doesn’t send a giant snow storm for one 19 year-old-girl. But, I BELIEVE. And I know our Papa and He is extreme, extravagant, specific and in every detail. He delights to delight our hearts. 

I’m expectant my friends. 

I’m convinced the fast next week will bring even more breakthroughs, reconciliations, financial independence, intimacy with God, walking in miracles. I’M EXPECTANT. Are you? 

Let’s fast and believe God will send you your heart’s desire. Here is how the fast will work. Beginning Monday at daybreak we will fast through the entire day from all food (medically able). Liquids only. After sundown, you can break your fast with a Daniel meal with your family. Or you can continue to fast all food through the entire five days through sundown on Friday, January 9, 2015. 

Another option is to fast all week and then move into a Daniel Fast for the next 40 days. That is what I will be doing and I will explain more about that in a later post. 

I’m convinced that a food fast is what brings us to a complete place of dependence and humility. Jesus fasted from meals, often praying all night long. Jesus modeled for us food fasting. He understood the power it brings in the spiritual realm. Remember the story of Jesus’ disciples trying, unsuccessfully, to cast out a demon from a boy. Read Mark 9: 26-29 

Then the spirit screamed and threw the boy into another violent convulsion and left him. The boy appeared to be dead. A murmur ran through the crowd as people said, “He’s dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and helped him to his feet, and he stood up. 

Afterward, when Jesus was alone in the house with his disciples, they asked him, “Why couldn’t we cast out that evil spirit?” 

And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting. 

Pray now and ask the Lord for grace to participate in a five-day, daytime fast. And even more grace for some of you to fast the entire five days, completely abstaining from solid food. Then we will move into a 40 day Daniel fast. This fast was given to me in September by the Lord who woke me in the middle of the night and told me to do this. Again, more about this later.

 

If you want to read more about fasting, here are some great links: 

 Fasting Does It Work. There are links at the bottom of this post.

 

SUM Family, let’s be expectant, outrageously, wild, courageous in what we are asking of the Lord. Let’s ask the impossible. Let our hearts be filled with expectant love. Love for our King and for people. Then let’s share as the miracles unfold. 

And now, I want to share a few of the photos from our miracle on Wednesday. I love you my friend. I truly, with all of my heart, love you, Lynn

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 And one more miraculous thing, the large snow fall primarily fell in only in the mountains and for some crazy reason, mainly in this valley where we live. Ahhhhhh, the miraculous love of our Father. Thank you Lord!

 

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