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20 entries from September 2015

Wearing Our Armor—God’s Word

6a00d83451ee9f69e201b8d15b17ab970c-320wiMy friends, I want to share with you today how I “pray on” my armor. And I do this out loud whenever possible. I know that can be awkward at times in our spiritually mismatched places, but I find bathrooms, closets and cars to be good places when needed!

Lord, today I am putting on my armor. 

My belt of truth, which is You, Lord Jesus. You are my way, my truth and my life. In You I live, move and have my being. (John 14:6, Acts 17:28).

My breastplate of righteousness, because I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (2 Cor. 5:21).

My shield of faith for the righteous live by faith and You, Jesus, are the author and perfector of my faith. My shield is strengthened and empowered by the truth of Jesus to deflect the barbs of the enemy. (Rom. 1:17, Heb. 12:2)

My sword of the Spirit, the very word of God that is alive and powerful. Lord, Your promises are my armor and protection (Heb. 4:12, Ps. 91:4).

My helmut of salvation for I am saved and made holy by the blood of Jesus through His salvation (Heb. 9:12-14, Heb. 10:10).

My feet shot in the gospel of peace, because I stand on the Truth of Jesus and He is my foundation (Matt. 7:24-25).

And the glory of the Lord is my rear guard (Isa. 58:11).

In the name of Jesus, amen!

The reason I say to pray this out loud is so that you hear these truths over and over again. Not only are you putting your armor on, you are declaring who you are in Jesus, your identity. And that makes the enemy lose all power over you, my friends. You are literally changing your thinking—transforming your mind with God’s truth (Rom. 12:2)—and building your faith.

Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. — Romans 10:17

These are just the Scriptures I use. Study your Bible and as you find certain Scriptures capture your heart and connect to your identity (and you will, I’m certain of of it), personalize your armor. This isn’t a one size fits all suit, yet then again it is. That is the mystery and fun here, SUMites. We get to take it and personalize it.

I have just one more crazy wild truth to share with you regarding God’s Word. Take a trip with me to Mark 4. Jesus has told the parable of the farmer scattering seed, and it’s the very first parable that Jesus shares, at least according to Mark’s account. 

The disciples ask Jesus what it means. Here’s the beginning of his answer:

Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable? The farmer sows the word.” — Mark 4:13-14

This is astounding to me, my friends. This parable about God’s Word is foundational to understanding all the other parables that Jesus shares. He wants the disciples, and us, to understand the importance of not only growing in God’s Word but the importance of sharing it. As believers in Jesus Christ, everything we are and do starts in God’s Word, because He IS the Word.

We are His farmers! And we are to sow the Word of God into others. Not beat people over the head with it, but pray it over them like we do our pre-believers, live it out in our lives in front of others, and share it when we are led to or see the moment of need. 

And we are to speak the truth in love. 

Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. — Eph. 4:15

Quiet Time Study:

Take the armor prayer I shared and make it uniquely yours, one you can remember no matter where you are or what you may be doing. 

Community Question:

What kind of farmer is God calling you to be and where is He asking you to “sow” His word?

I love you, SUMites, so so much. My heart is for us all to walk in these truths and our families too. As I finished writing this post, my oldest daughter called, upset over a situation she had no control over. I was able to pray with her, speak words of truth for her heart and spirit to hear, and encourage her to study her Bible so that next time she will already know these truths and can speak them out in prayer over herself. My testimony to her was based upon my firm belief that God’s Word is what delivered me from fear, anxiety and depression, because I knew what to pray—God’s truth!

Walking with you in faith, my friends! I can’t wait to hear YOUR testimony.
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THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

SUM Books 4


Under the Umbrella of Our Amor and Identity

6a00d83451ee9f69e201b8d15b17ab970c-320wiMy friends, forgive me if my last post confused you but I promise that as I wrap this up it will all make sense. As the Holy Spirit has revealed more and more of the importance and power God’s Word plays in our lives, I am undone by it. And my prayer is that by the end of this series, you will be too. 

The Full Armor of God is representative of our identity of Christ. We’ve covered the belt (truth), the breastplate (righteousness) and the shield (faith). Let’s move on to the rest.

Our feet are to be “fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace” (Eph. 6:16). This too is built upon all the other pieces of our armor and identity. We are grounded to stand (Paul repeats this word many times in Eph. 6:10-17) in truth, righteousness and faith.

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.” — Matt. 7:24-25

The Greek word for fall, piptō, has enough meanings to make an entire post of its own here. It covers the literal meaning of to physically fall down but also encompasses our salvation (judgement), to be overcome by terror or under attack by evil, to worship and more. This word covers literally and figuratively all ways we could “fall.”

Yet these verses tell us we won’t fall if our foundation is built upon Jesus’ words. He is Truth. He IS the Word—we’ll come back to this shortly, so hang with with me a little longer. And His peace guards our heart and our minds (Phil. 4:7). 

Our helmut of salvation is the covering of our mind. Salvation came through the sacrificial blood of Jesus, so therefore our helmut is that blood covering, cleansing and identification as a Christian. It is through His salvation that we receive His righteousness and become the righteousness of God. See how these truths continue to come full circle? 

But wait…it gets even better. The sword of the Spirit is the only only piece of armor that Paul clearly defines (Eph. 6:17). And he tells us to pray in the Spirit, which many believe has to do with praying in tongues, but I also believe it means we are to pray the Word—speak it out loud in our prayers, back to God. It is His living and breathing Word of God. And hearing it builds our faith.

Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. — Romans 10:17

John 1:1-14 also defines Jesus as the Word and that the Word became flesh.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. — John 1:14

by truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; — 2 Cor. 6:7

If the sword of Spirit is the Word of God and Jesus is that Word, then as we stand on the Word, speak and pray the Word, believe the Word and share the Word, we are living, breathing and being as Jesus. He is in us and we are in Him (1 John 4:13). He is not only our Truth, our Righteousness, our Faith and our Salvation, He has also given us His Spirit. We are inseparable. 

The full armor of God defends and protects us, because it is who we are and reflects Whose we are. This truth comes full circle and keeps going: The Armor of God is our identity which is our armor.

He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. — Psalm 91:4

My friends, I am convinced the first and most important battle we will ever fight against the enemy will be to make time to read God’s Word, because he knows that when we do, we learn who we really are and are set free from his lies. The truth, THE Truth, sets us free (Gal. 5:1). It is our greatest weapon against him. And when we learn the truth, we stay free.

SUMites, the Word of God is the answer to everything we need. It’s not just words on a page. It’s truth. It’s Jesus. It’s the key to being everything we have been created to be and to do. The Word of God will save you, heal you, release you, anoint you, empower you and love you. It will reveal who you are and who you are meant to be—your purpose and calling, divine destiny. 

How is all that possible? Because it’s alive and powerful.

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. — Hebrews 4:12

The Bible is not just a book. It is a dialogue with the God who created you. This is part of the mystery of God, of how His Holy Spirit in us creates the bond and connection to the Father’s heart to know Him, to love Him, to hear Him. All through Jesus, the Word become flesh, the Truth.

Quiet Time Study:

My friends, my prayer right now is that this truth I’ve shared with you today will spark a hunger for God’s Word like never before. If you don’t have a time each day to sit and read your Bible, ask God right now to help you make that time. Tell Him you want to go deeper with Him in His Word. I promise you, He will rush in and answer this prayer if you are willing to do what He asks or shows you. 

Community Question:

Share a moment the Holy Spirit spoke to you directly through God’s Word.

As I said, I believe this is our greatest battle, to make daily time with God reading His Word, but once you “win” this one, SUMites, you will be empowered to win the rest. And as your identity becomes clearer, your armor is stronger. Pretty amazing, huh? On Thursday I will share how I pray my armor on with these truths. There’s a benefit to doing this that I don’t think we don’t realize…

Lord, my prayer today is for every SUMite who reads this to have a greater hunger for Your Word. That You would move time into alignment and opposition out of the way for each one of them to spend time reading their Bible every day. Lord Jesus, You are the Word and You are our Truth and our reality. Meet them on the pages of their Bible and show each one of them a specific truth this week that is from Your heart to theirs. In the name of Jesus, I pray, amen! 

Love you, SUMites!
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P.S. Check out this awesome worship song about who we are!

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Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

SUM Books 4


They Are ALWAYS Listening. Our Authority

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comThis is one of the most important post to read. Please take the time to make it to the bottom. Hugs, Lynn

SUMites, after writing the post, Legal Permissions, that I was originally intended to post today, the Holy Spirit strongly impressed upon me that we need to first consider our authority in Jesus. That post will be shared later in this series.

In the past couple of weeks, Dineen and I have been hitting hard on our identity in Christ. Because it’s out of knowing who we are and whose we are that we then begin to exercise the authority we have been given through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

So let’s look at authority. Turn in your Bible to, Luke 9. If you have been a reader here for a number of years, you may remember that I shared an encounter with a woman I met at a conference named Maria. She said to me, “Lynn, read Luke 9:1&2. That passage is for you.” Those verses change my life, my prayer time, my authority when I pray over others became real. If you want to hear me pray in this context, listen to the short video in the sidebar titled: Praying with the power and authority of Christ….

The Belt of Truth is what girds our loins with power. The truth is this, Jesus gave His disciples power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.  Luke 9:1&2. This authority is also for us and this is how I know. Turn to Matthew 28:20…. teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. See the word everything? That includes passages addressed to the Disciples.

For many years I didn’t understand that when Jesus was speaking to His disciples, that included me, a modern day believer. When I rejected that lie, immediately my prayers began impacting others because I prayed under the direction (intimacy & Holy Spirit) and authority of Christ (Word of God).  I’ve been privileged to pray with many of you over the phone. And even through phone calls, the Lord Jesus shows up and moves with love and power. Can I get an amen?

Okay, are you tracking with me? Truth (Word of God), replaces lies which leads to intimacy and through our intimacy and the Holy Spirit we hear the Lord’s will for our prayer life and receive the authority of Jesus to further His Kingdome here on earth.

Yep, MIND BLOW!

The best way I’ve heard this explained is this way. My daughter went off to college. She was given the privilege to be added to our credit card and received a card in her name. With that privilege came the full credit worthiness and power behind her father and me. We vouch for her and we also take a risk in that she could use this card irresponsibly. However, she retains intimacy and trust with us and always asks if she needs to use it. So when she makes a purchase, we honor her request and she leans on her father and me for the credit authority to use the card. Are you tracking? *

It’s a beautiful Kingdom principle. The Lord trusts us to ask in His authority as His children and within His will and then the spiritual realm must submit! DOUBLE MIND BLOW.

What does it mean to have this kind of authority…. Luke 9:1&2 Baby!!!!!

This scripture (and others) is our authority and it’s also our mandate for life. Our divine calling… To drive out demons, cure diseases, peach the good news and heal the sick! Astonishing isn’t it?

So how do we use our authority? We listen to the Holy Spirit and then we speak. Our WORDS bear great, GREAT power. Proverbs 18:21 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue…. Jesus spent a great amount of time in prayer but when he came face-to-face with the demonic, He didn’t stop to pray. He commanded. He used His Words to speak and command the demonic to leave. (Look up the story of Legion)

The spirit realm is always listening and responds to our words, good or evil.

The Spirit world cannot turn a deaf ear to the commands of God’s servants*. Hallelujah!

Matthew 12:36-27 “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

 

Okay, so let’s put this new knowledge into practice. Let’s start with protection and blessing.

There is great power in proclaiming and speaking (out loud) our declarations of protection as well as blessings upon ourselves, our situations, our homes and upon others.

Here are some examples of speaking protection that I use all the time:

  • It says in Colossians 3 that we are hidden with Christ in God. So in the name of Jesus, I declare myself, my children, my spouse are hidden with Christ in God. The enemy cannot find us, hear us, nor make any plans against us to harm us.
  • I claim that I am protected from harm as I drive today.
  • I am protected from all attacks of the enemy and no demonic power can operate in my home, business, my classroom, my children’s life, my husband’s job, etc…. In JESUS NAME.

I always speak these truths with belief and in the name of Jesus. And I often repeat scripture promises.

Okay, let’s take a look at how we can bless.

In the last year I’ve battled foot pain. It started with Plantar Fasciitis. While on my walk n pray I would say something like this.

I bless my feet in Jesus name. All inflammation and pain must leave right now. I declare my feet healed and whole in the powerful name of Jesus. 

Today my feet are finally pain free. I’m currently speaking a blessing over my vision and eye sight. I want to watch Jesus do a miracle and restore my vision to a perfect 20/20 even though my eyes are older. I BELIEVE and will speak His blessing into my life. AMEN! Thank you Jesus.

Other blessings:

  • Lord, as your child, I speak blessings over my children, their relationships, their futures and ask that they would love you with a full heart.
  • I say that my finances are blessed and abundant. In Jesus name.
  • I declare that my husband will encounter the love of Christ in a life-changing moment.
  • I bless my body it is healthy and immune from disease, bacteria, weakness and I will walk in perfect health.
  • I bless this city where I live. I ask that Your Kingdom stands preeminent in the lives of the people.

I could go on and on. I talk all day to the Lord about situations I face and I speak His love into my life, family and community, especially the SUMite family.

Okay, this week let’s practice and believe. As things begin to change in your world, PLEASE write me. I want to praise Jesus with you. And be patient. This is a life-long journey where we learn how to listen and then speak with the authority of Christ.

Quiet Time Study: (Take these questions to the Lord in your quiet time. Then listen.)

  • Today begin to speak protection and blessing into your world. Make a conscious effort to speak daily. (All day long over your situations)
  • Speak out loud a blessing over your children for their school day, their current struggles, for their protection, joy and hope. Watch their faces. Priceless!!!

Community Questions (answer in the comments):

  • It’s my turn to bless you with the following.

I say that my SUMite brothers/sisters are blessed among millions. We are the living children of the Most High God and will walk in love, power and authority to change our circumstances, our marriages, empower our families and bring hope to thousands with our humble voice of obedience. We will shake the very foundation of satans kingdom and free ourselves and others from depression, illness, anxiety, fear, financial stress and every other assignment of the enemy. We demolish every argument and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God. We will thrive in love and our testimony will bring great glory to our Lord Jesus Christ.

In Jesus name, AMEN 

  • In the comments share “I receive God’s promises”. Also, share with me a specific protection/blessing you are speaking into your life and I will stand with you in belief and prayer.

I love you, SUMite Nation. We are becoming a mighty nation with the love and authority of Christ. We are going to rise up and shatter the darkness and bring God’s goodness and glory to this earth. In Jesus name. AMEN

One more thing, what we are learning will transform your marriage. Hallelujah!!!

*Adapted from I Give You Authority by Charles Kraft.

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

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Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

SUM Books 4


I'm Lonely In My Marriage

On Saturdays we will post relevant articles from our archives that will address common spiritually mismatched issues in marriage. This is a re-post from July 19, 2010 at the Internet Cafe. This post over at the Cafe remains one of the most viewed posts of all time. So many people are lonely. Praying for your heart today. Hugs, Lynn

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I'm Lonely In My Marriage - Internet Cafe by Lynn Donovan

My mother is visiting this week from Colorado. She turned 70 years old earlier this year. She is as sharp as a tack and on Tuesday we went to Disneyland along with my teen daughter and her friend. My Mom jumped on the California Screamin' roller coaster without hesitation and we all shrieked in unison as our train launched from zero to 59 miles per hour in four seconds and sent careening down the track with our hearts racing.

My mother surprises me often. She hasn't let decrepitude (as I call it *grin*) slow her down much. In fact, she completely shocked my sister and I a few weeks back when she announced she "Googled it" when she was searching for information about a medical term.

Mom has discovered the verb, google. Her broad smile of accomplishment was too cute and I hugged her with delight to know she is still living and growing and praying for God's Kingdom. Now I can't get overly excited because she still thinks Twitter is what birds do as they look for seeds in the back yard and Facebook is a photo album I am always working on and My Space is of course, a term you use when you need a break, "Give me my space."

*Grin*

As my mom told me her story about her first Google search it caused me to think about how many times I use a search engine and about the people who search and discover our web ministry, Spiritually Unequal Marriage.

The most common word search, which brings readers to our site, is unequally yoked. However, what astonishes me more is the second word search, which lands people on our site:

Loneliness in marriage.

There is an epidemic of loneliness in our world. And more staggering is the number of people who are married and feel alone. Does it strike you as a strange paradox, to be married and be lonely? How can that happen? How can we live under one roof, share the same bed, live together, and feel utterly alone?

For the spiritually mismatched marriage, this is our one common denominator. We have felt alone or feel alone and are married.

It does not matter how our marriage became mismatched, we all travel this strange path. We begin to grow in our faith and our spouse reacts. Let me give you a scenario:

~ She begins to learn more about Jesus and she stops using swear words.

He thinks she has gone temporarily insane.

*They argue over this development.

~ She starts to attend church on Sunday morning.

He is mad she doesn't sleep in with him anymore.

*They argue, pressing home their disappointment with one another.

~ She is upset he won't go to church with her.

He feels like he didn't sign up for this "religion" thing when he married.

*They argue. Frustration mounts.

~ She is growing in her faith and her life is changing. She wants to share it with her best friend, her husband.

He feels threatened by this invisible "new man" in her life and is almost panicked at the implications.

*They both hide their feelings in an attempt to avoid the fighting. Walls go up. Tears are shed in silence and loneliness sets in.

This is a dangerous time in a marriage but this is also a time where God calls us as the believer in the marriage to live out: commitment. Since the 1980's our societal values towards marriage commitment have vastly changed. Cohabitation along with sexual freedom and multiple lifestyle options eroded away determination to make marriage work more than previous generations.  Marriages, which are supposed to be the source of stability and intimacy, often produce uncertainty and isolation.*

What I want to share with you today are three truths from God's word to apply to this very real issue of living lonely and living married.

1.  As a wife living with an unbeliever, the first truth you need to bury deep in your soul is this:

God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?" Hebrews 13: 4-6 (NIV)

In the lonely years of my marriage, I clung to this promise when I felt abandoned by my spouse. I KNEW without doubt, Jesus would never leave me and He stood at my side through those years of conflict and loneliness. He will do the same for you.

That was my foundation.

2.  Next I had to learn that my calling was to love my husband and not force Jesus upon him. In the early years of our marriage, I was the one in our marriage who placed tremendous pressure on my husband to attend church. I was always the instigator when we would argue over my faith views and I would condemn my spouse's behavior I once thought was okay.

Let's give our men a break. We can't be the Holy Spirit. Let Jesus take his time with our husbands. When we love our husbands like Jesus, it's irresistible. A man can ignore a nagging wife but he can't deny the truth of a transformed life.

When I let go of my need to win arguments about faith. When I surrendered my personal mission to deliver my husband to the foot of the cross. When I recognized and repented of my selfish desires for his salvation and began to pray in earnest for him to meet Christ, that is when the loneliness subsided and we both discovered peace.

Oh my friends, let Jesus be Jesus and you be a wife. This is the truth behind 1Peter 3: 1-6 (NIV)

Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.

3.  And when we live this passage out in real life, look at our reward. Verse 7

Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

This month, get off the roller coaster of emotions, of fear, of loneliness and heartache. Love your husband with the love of Christ and let Jesus handle his salvation. Pray every day for wisdom, discernment, protection and a passion to love the man God has given you. Ask the Lord to help you see your husband through His eyes. Then wave goodbye to loneliness and say hello to a thriving and vibrant friendship with your husband.

I have so much more to share with you. Join me again next month. Please drop me a comment today and let's spur one another on to live, love, and thrive in our marriages. Jesus Christ is honored when we thrive in married love.

BIG hugs, Lynn Donovan

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Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

SUM Books 4


The Belt of Truth

Spiritual warfare Umbrella Statement

Okay, I feel better. Let's get going.....

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comDo you have a Buddha statue in your front yard? How about a stone idol that you worship in your front room?

Ahem, NO!

My friends, the enemy isn’t that obvious. Do you know how he goes about with his deceptions?

He asks a question.

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” —Genesis 3:1

He said to Eve, “Did God really say”……. And vwala, doubt rushes in.

Guess what this looks like today?

Unbelieving spouse says, “You don’t really believe all that stuff do ya? I mean really, the science is irrefutable.”

In an instant a seed of doubt is planted.

This is the main tactic the enemy uses to draw us out from under the umbrella. His most effective weapon is to attack our identity in Christ. Dineen’s posts on identity are spot on and truth. We must stand in our identity and BELIEVE.

We answer the questions of doubt with absolute truth. What is truth? It is an objective standard by which reality is measured. There is a reality that is unchangeable and its origin begins with God the creator. His Word is the truth. Period. The end. Anything that comes up against this fact is deception of the dark Kingdom. So, today, rest in the fact that their is a true reality and then believe. The origin of life, truth and our purpose is fully God. Science cannot explain away this fact. (Side note: Scientific discoveries of recent, are directly pointing to alternate realities, unseen universes and to intelligent design. But alas, that’s a topic for another day.)

Truth is more than a fact or information.

Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. —John 8:32  It’s freedom. Truth is a person, Jesus.

Take out your Bible and turn with me to 2 Corinthians 10:3-5.

SUMites, this is the battle ground. Our thoughts and emotions. We believe a lie (pretension or argument that set up against the knowledge (truth), of God.

Now here is the truth. When we believe a lie, in place of the truth, we have just given a demon permission to move in. And once in, kicking that thing out can become a battle for your very life.

With truth, however, we can take wrong beliefs and our thoughts captive to Christ. We MUST destroy speculations (our ideas) and lofty things (anything that blocks God’s point of view).

Let’s begin to dress in our armor, The Belt of Truth.

What I want to do now is share a video. The kids in it are children of a long-time SUMite. Each morning before school these kids dawn their wardrobe. And my friends, I believe we need to do the same. This became profoundly obvious to me through my recent studies. I came across a story of a pastor who was called to a home by frantic parents. Their teen son and friends were found in the dark in the backyard, cutting themselves and all manner of weirdness was going down.

The pastor arrived went out back and into the drainage ditch where these teens were. He came face to face with one of the teen boys. And out of this normal American kid’s mouth came a voice and accent that was of ancient Asian descent speaking all kinds of vulgar language and cursing. He looked right at this pastor and said, “I want to kill you but I can’t because you are always wearing your armor.”

Say what?

Let’s learn what this armor is and how to wear it every day. Listen in and practice the same this week.

Video is from Debra Alley and her kids. Thanks!!!

 

 

Quiet Time Study: (Take these questions to the Lord in your quiet time. Then listen.)

  • Today I want you to look up a truth that will empower you John 8:31-31. I want you to get paper and pen. Write it out and allow the truth to penetrate your mind and soul.

Community Questions (answer in the comments):

  • Okay, don’t look at the other comments below you just yet. I want you read this scripture and then personalize it in the comments. 

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. —2 Corinthians 10:3-5

 

On Monday we are going to look at other ways the devil creates strongholds, a spiritual thorn you can’t shake, in our lives. There are doors we open and the vermin will walk in. This is called legal permission. Stay tuned. And do not fear. You are a child of The Most High God. You are sheltered under his wing. (Psalm 91) Read it. It’s powerful.

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

Also, for those who need an inspiring story, hop over to Lynndonovan.org where I share: I'm Ashamed That I Prayed So Small.

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Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

SUM Books 4


We are Righteous, Shielded and Unlimited!

6a00d83451ee9f69e201b8d15b17ab970c-320wiMy friends, I heard a speaker once explain that the belt was a crucial part of a Roman soldier’s armor, because it held the rest in place. I find that so symbolic in that it is the first piece of armor that Paul speaks of and because all that we are and do as believers is about who Jesus is and who He says we are. 

Let’s jump in today with our breastplate of righteousness and our shield of faith. These two pieces of our armor are so connected that I’ve had to truly sit and study these Scriptures to take it all in. Again, my goal is to show you how our identity in Christ is our armor. Take your time to study these Scriptures and ask the Holy Spirit to bring this truth home deeply to your heart and mind.

First, let’s look at righteousness. In the Greek translation, the word used is dikaiosynē, which means equity (of character or act); specially (Christian) justification:— righteousness. Further definition: in a broad sense: state of him who is as he ought to be, righteousness, the condition acceptable to God.

In other words, who we are supposed to be as His children. Take a look at these Scriptures. The first one is a “biggie.”

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. — 2 Cor. 5:21 

It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. — 1 Cor. 1:30

If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him. — 1 John 2:29

By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother. — 1 John 3:10

We are the righteousness of God in Christ, my friends. Say this out loud and truly hear it. Christ’s death made you righteous, and our righteousness from Jesus proves who we are. You don’t have to prove it, because He did it!

Now here’s where it gets really interesting. Our righteousness is necessary to our faith and our faith is necessary to our righteousness. They are inseparable.

For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” — Romans 1:17

But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. — Romans 3:21-22

Just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” — Gal. 3:6

and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith — Phil. 3:9

Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ — 2 Pet. 1:1

Plus, our righteousness produces fruit, which includes our children and generations to come!

filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. — Phil. 1:11

He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. — 2 Cor. 9:10

And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.— James 3:18

Now go with me just a little further in this imagery of our armor. Jesus is our truth (our belt), and His truth says were are the righteousness of God (our breastplate) and it is by faith in Christ that we are the righteousness of God (our shield).

Do you see how this all builds upon each other? Do you see how the belt of truth (Jesus) is the starting place? And soon we’ll see He’s our ending place. He is the beginning (Alpha) and the end (Omega) (Rev. 22:13) and our middle (the belt!) that hold us together (Col. 1:17).

It’s a mystery that is overwhelming in beauty, my friends, and boggles the mind. I’m still wrapping my brain around it all. 

Quiet Time Study:

If you’ve identified a fear and the lie behind it, find at least two Scriptures that speak truth. Renounce the lie, in the name of Jesus, and declare these truths out loud. Do this every day until you see your thoughts and your behavior now act according to the truth instead of the lie.

Community Question:

My friends, let’s dream a little here. Sometimes we feel like we could be so much more or do so much more if we were just a little freer. That’s actually another lie from the enemy to keep us ineffective. So, what is that one thing you’ve wanted so much to do that this lie (or any other lie) has kept you from going after it? We’re going to start living by our true identity and not by the lies the enemy has used to limit us. Amen? Amen!

Next week I'll finish up our armor/identity, and then I hope to share with you how I pray on my armor, which is also declaring who I am in Jesus, my identity. 

Lord, I declare today is freedom day for our SUMite community! We are ready to live by truth, righteousness and faith according to who You say we are. No longer will the lies of the world and the enemy dictate our choices, our thoughts, our faith, or our prayers! We are Your children, the righteous of God through Jesus Christ, filled with faith and truth! In the Mighty name of Jesus, amen!

Love you, SUMites! Have an amazing weekend filled with Jesus' peace and love.
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SUM Books 4


Lies, Fear and Armor. Oh my!

6a00d83451ee9f69e201b8d15b17ab970c-320wiOver my next couple posts (possibly more) I want to talk to you about our identity and our armor. I’ve felt the need the last few weeks to pray on my armor every day and as I’ve done so the Holy Spirit has shown me a stunning truth. Our identity in Christ and the Armor of God are the same.

Our identity in Christ is our armor.

My friends, I’m so enthralled by this revelation. Once I understood this truth, suddenly the Scriptures that support it came to life and that is what I’m excited to share with you. Some of it you may find challenging as it will require you to look inward to identify some lies that you may still be operating under, what we’re calling “umbrella crushers” for this series, but I promise you that once you identify a lie, sweet freedom rushes in are you will be changed and charged up!

So, let’s get started with our Belt of Truth (Eph 6:14). First let’s establish that Jesus is our belt. 

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” — John 14:6

He is truth, therefore He is the one who holds us, defines us and protects us.

For “‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, “‘For we are indeed his offspring.’” — Acts 17:28

And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. — Col. 1:17

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. — Ephesians 2:10

The thing is, if we are operating under some lies, we will step out of God’s protective umbrella more easily. For instance, if you don’t trust God to answer your prayer over a matter in which you need leading and grow impatient for the answer, you will be tempted (there’s the opening for the enemy to come in) to take matters into your own hand and wind up making a decision based upon that deception. The story of Abraham and Sarah is a good example of this (Gen. 16). 

And lies create fear. We will feel insecure and unprotected when we put what we fear in a higher place than our belief in God and His Word to help us overcome it. Then our human need for security will propel us to do things to create a sense of security (like taking control) in order to feel safe.

So how do we reveal a lie? First I will used myself as an example. I shared recently that the Holy Spirit showed me that I had believed the enemy’s ability to deceive me was greater than Jesus’ power to lead me (He is our Good Shepherd).

My first clue was that I realized I didn’t feel safe. Though I thought I had overcome my misconception from my youth that the enemy was more powerful than God, I still didn’t feel safe. My second clue was that I constantly prayed for the Holy Spirit to not let me be deceived. That’s when the Holy Spirit helped me identify the lie that I believed the enemy’s ability to deceive me was greater than Jesus’ power to lead me. This lie made me doubt whether I heard God’s voice correctly all the time and kept me from stepping into all that God has for me in many ways.

Truth (and confidence in Him) has since replaced the lie, and I’ve operated under the umbrella of God’s protection and free of fear in this area ever since. Plus I hear God even better!

Now I’m going to use a character from a story I’m working on right now to show you how we can walk through this process and identify a lie. (Yes, writers draw from real life to build our characters. What better way to make them believable, right?) 

I have a character who is operating under a lie. Selah gets her name from her parents who were a major force in the Christian music industry, and she is gifted by God to write anointed music that heals people. Yet she has no desire to work in that industry. 

Why not?

Because she doesn’t want to be like her parents and feels she has to prove herself in a different market. This need has driven her decisions through college and her career.

Why doesn’t she want to be like her parents?

She saw how much they gave to their ministry and God, and that it was while serving in this way that they were tragically killed. Thus serving God with her gift scares her.

Why does it scare her?

Because she blames God for taking her parents away from her and believes this is how God operates. She must overcome this lie with the truth that God is good, that God didn’t take her parents away from her, and that the dream she is pursuing is actually from God and He wants to make it come true, even better than she could imagine. Because where she sees the secular and Christian market as separate, God wants to use her to create a bridge to join them.

Now it’s your turn, my friends. I would not ask this of you had I not discerned that this is God’s heart for you right now. He wants you free of whatever lie you may be operating under so that you can walk in confidence with the Truth, with Jesus, girded around your waist holding you and keeping you safe.

Quiet Time Study:

Sit before God and ask yourself these questions. If you get stuck, then share in the comments (if your comfortable to do so) and let’s help each other find the freedom Jesus has for all of us. Or email me privately.

  • What scares you? Think about what have you been praying against.
  • Why does it scare you?
  • Where do you see God in this situation?
  • What is the truth? 

When you get down to the truth, find Scriptures that support your revelation, write them out and pray them out loud until you truly believe them as your truth. Any time your fear creeps back up, pray them again. My truths are now Psalm 32:7-8, Isa. 41:13, John 10:27-30 and several others about God’s protection.

Community Questions:

  • What lie has misdirected your faith and choices in the past (share as you feel comfortable)?
  • How do you walk in truth in this area now?

On Thursday I will talk about our Breastplate of Righteousness and the Shield of Faith. This is where it gets really interesting my friends. I’m stunned just by what I discovered about these two areas of our identity/armor. 

Holy Spirit, I pray for every SUMite reading this post today that You would come gently to them and reveal any lie they are operating under that hinders their intimacy with You and causes them to be fearful, depressed or anxious. In the name of Jesus, I ask that these lies be broken off them, removed and never allowed to return. Holy Spirit, lead them to the truth in God’s Word so that they can begin healing and living their faith in security and confidence in the truth of who they are in Jesus. Remind us to put on our belt of truth every day! In the truth-filled name of Jesus, amen!

Love and praying for you, my friends!
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SUM Books 4


Are You Stepping Out From Under The Umbrella of God's Protection?

Under the Umbrella series small 400 versionThe response to our series is overwhelmingly enthusiastic. It’s becoming crystal clear that God’s people are yearning to know the truth about whom we battle and how to win. I’m so encouraged by your eagerness and your commitment to the process.

We need to start with understanding the Theater of War of the Kingdom of God.

It’s earth baby!

We are intricately involved in war whether we want to be or not or whether we realize it or not. So it’s WAY past time to put on our armor and recognize that:

Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. —Ephesians 6:12

It’s war. —Move and Countermove

Move: God Created the angelic

Countermove: Lucifer sinned.

Move: God kicked him out of heaven to earth and created people to deal with and subdue the planet and the devil.

Countermove: The serpent deceived Adam and Eve and they forfeited their authority over earth.

Move: Jesus was born. The Godhead came to earth, fully human, to regain the authority for mankind.

Countermove: Satan temps Jesus

Move: Jesus rebukes satan. Satan flees.

Countermove: Satan kills Christ…….

NOW GET THIS!

Move of God: Jesus is resurrected from the dead. Descends to hell and returns with the keys to death and hell (Revelation 1:18) and with the following for all of His followers:

15 He (Jesus) said to them (His followers – US), “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” —Mark 16:15-18

My friends, the resurrection of Christ was the final move. His perfect life sacrificed, broke the spiritual laws that kept people in bondage and returned authority to people through the blood and name of Jesus. We are protected under the umbrella of God’s love, authority and purposes. So you may ask, “Well then, why do I still struggle so much with sin? Why is there such upheaval and pain in my life if this is true?”

The simple answer?

Because most of us step out from under the umbrella of God’s love and protection and out of His Kingdom. We remain clueless as how to remain under His umbrella and we have no idea how to make Mark 16 a reality in our life.

BUT…… That is about to change. (Queue cheering crowd) Hallelujah Jesus!!!

It’s critical to learn first how to stay under the protection of God who is the ruler of the spiritual & physical realms. We also must learn there are spiritual laws in effect just as there are physical, unbreakable and unchangeable laws in effect such as the law of gravity. In all my research, the pundits aren’t able to explain why God set it up that way but He did. And we were created to live and navigate through both the physical and the spiritual.

Let’s start with the first rule of battle: #1 We must acknowledge that we live in two worlds. The visible and invisible.

Battle Rule #2: Everything that we deal with, all that we face, everything that happens to us is first orchestrated, manifest, and/or created in the spiritual realm before it is evident in the physical realm.

Battle Rule #3: We have everything we need to battle and win this war. It was accomplished at the cross. When Jesus said, “It is finished.” We attained everything we will ever need for abundant living. All was accomplished – Past tense, at the cross!  (John 19:30) (John 10:10)

Battle Rule #4: Fight from victory not for victory. Stay under the umbrella of God’s love and operate in the authority of Jesus and through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Quiet Time Study: (Take these questions to the Lord in your quiet time. Then listen.)

  • Lord, do I truly believe these Battle Rules? Help me to understand and believe.
  • Am I willing to do what it takes to live under the umbrella of God's protection and provision even if I don't know what "all it takes" means right now?
  • Pray: Lord, I ask you to give me supernatural courage and wisdom as I walk through this study. Look up Ephesians 1:17 and pray it every day. Look up and write down Ephesians 6:10-17.
  • If you are journalist or taking notes, the scripture verses in this post are crucial. Look them up and write them down. I've provided links to most of them.

Community Questions (answer in the comments):

  • So how do we stay under the umbrella my friends?
  • What can remove us from the protection of the umbrella? 

I’m going to shed more light on the last two questions Friday. SUMites that is when the hard work begins. But it’s so worth it to live continually under the umbrella and not out in the rain where every drop adds to the rust of our armor and to the pain and struggle of our life.

Step out of the rain. Dawn your armor and your wield your sword. IT’S OUR TURN TO DO SOME DAMAGE TO THE DEVIL AND HIS MINIONS. AMEN JESUS. AMEN!!!

Upcoming posts:

  • Umbrella crushers – The truth about our protection (umbrella)
  • The Devils game – Our identity
  • What is legal permission?
  • Authority
  • The Full Armor of God
  • Demonic structure
  • Defeating lies and restoring truth. Truth=freedom
  • Curses, vows, ancestral encroachment
  • And more…. Much more.

Hang on to your hats because it’s about to get real. Real dangerous for the dark king.

In Jesus name. AMEN

Jesus, as we leave today we ask that you would conceal us from the devil. In Colossians 3:3, you say we are hidden with Christ in God. Hide us and our family from all demonic plans and assignments. We ask to be continually under the umbrella, the wings, of the Most High (Psalm 91) Jesus walk with us and teach us how to live out your commands through your name and authority. We ask that you continually speak to us through the Holy Spirit. Be our hope, our peace and our security this day and forever more. In Your powerful name. AMEN

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SUM Books 4


What About Tithing?

I stated earlier in the week that on Saturdays we will post relevant articles from our archives that will address common spiritually mismatched issues in marriage. This is a re-post from April 28, 2009. It remains true, relevant and powerful for the unequally yoked who yearn to tithe. Hugs, Lynn

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For the next several Tuesdays we will be answering the questions left on last week's Open Forum. And we love your questions! So please feel free to ask more.

This week's question is from Amanda:

788824_dollar_bill"I would love to hear how you handle giving (financially) in a SUM. I don't think it would be accurate to say that my husband is an unbeliever exactly, but he is less inclined than I am to dedicate this life to living for God. The biggest struggle we have is regarding tithing and offerings- he generally feels that the 10% is an arbitrary number that has no bearing on modern life. Any thoughts on how to handle this is greatly appreciated!"

 

Lynn's Answer: Tithing: This is a controversial issue in any marriage but this is one area where unequally yoked couples tend to be at odds frequently. What does the Bible say about tithing? Let’s take a look.

Actually the Bible has much to say about money. Jesus taught us to use our money to influence friends.

Luke 16:9 (NIV) I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings. 10"Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. 11So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? 12And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else's property, who will give you property of your own?

He also said, Luke 12:48b (NIV) From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.

There are many scriptures in the Old Testament which address tithing. Look in the first book of the Bible, Genesis: And blessed be God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand." Then Abram gave him (Melchizedek, king of Salem) a tenth of everything. Chapter 14:20.

But I want you to remember, we live in the new Age. The age of grace given to us by Christ Jesus. We are no longer subject to the law.

With that said, the following scripture is what speaks to me about tithing:

2 Corinthians 9:7 (NIV) Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

So how does this play out in real-life with our spouse. From my own marriage I can tell you that my husband can get worked up about tithing. Because of the years of televangelists pleading for money then misappropriating it, my husband has a jaded view of “giving to the church.” Can I get an AMEN?

And honestly, I can understand why he might feel that way. I have been careful not to push tithing as an issue in our marriage. I give a small portion of our income. Very small. So small that it does not create discord in our relationship. Do I feel bad about this or desire to give more? YES! However, I trust God to see my heart. He knows what I would like to do. More importantly He does not want tithing to become one more issue to drive my husband away from Jesus.

So, I give of my time. I volunteer in ministry. A lot! But not so much that I neglect our home, or him or our daughter. God honors this in our life.

What God really wants is not our money. He wants our heart. First and foremost. Period. The End.

Look at the scriptures below and discover what God really wants. Hint, it is not your checkbook. Be Blessed, Lynn

Revelation 19:7 Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.

Psalm 29:2 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness.

Matthew 22:37 Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'

 

Dineen's Answer: Tithing is a very difficult issue to settle clearly, and I think Lynn's advice above is sound and the Scripture references are perfect. What I'm about to share is what worked for me.

About 12 years ago, the tithing issue came up big time in my marriage. I'd just recommitted my life to Christ and had joined a church I adored. And my precious hubby had made the decision for atheism. Talk about a couple going in opposite directions!

The tithing issue weighed heavily on my heart though. I wanted to do our part and worried what it would mean if we didn't. At the time I was reading a book called The Wonderful Spirit Filled Life by Charles Stanley. He tells you do this exercise where you write whatever decision you're grappling with on a note card or piece of paper. Then find a quiet place to pray uninterrupted. Ask God to make you absolutely neutral in this decision. Once you've prayed, tear it up, acknowledging your willingness to become neutral and continue praying until you are convinced you're neutral about it.

I wrote on a card that I would ask my husband what he felt we could tithe each month and that I would accept whatever he said. Once I'd prayed and felt I'd reached this place of neutrality, I went to my husband and asked what we could do. He told me a figure. Amazingly, I was fine with it. And though it was not the 10% I thought we were supposed to give, it was more than I'd hoped for. Every year since, I've asked my husband what he feels we can handle, and that's been the commitment ever since.

No, it's not 10%, but I know I'm honoring God and my husband by doing it this way, and that I can give in other ways as well, like using my graphic design skills and programs to do the church newsletter.

And as time has progressed, I've found that I'm the one tested in this. For example, roughly three years ago I started doing freelance graphic design work again. From the start I made the decision to tithe 10% of the extra money I earned. And my hubby was fine with it.

My income has slowly but steadily increased. When we've needed the money, the work has come in. When God had something more important for me to do, like take care of  my daughter when she was diagnosed with a brain tumor, the work literally stopped until the very last week of her treatment. I was faithful, therefor so was God. And you'll notice this had to do with me, not my husband.

So, Amanda, if we were sitting down with a nice cup of coffee and some girl-talk, I would tell you not to worry about the amount but the heart and motivation behind it. God wants us to tithe our resources happily as a way of giving thanks, and a reminder that we what have—money, skills, resources—are from his hand anyway. Ask your husband what he's comfortable with and honor it. That way he's not grumbling and neither are you. Then let God do the rest.

Praying and believing,
Dineen

 

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SUM Books 4


Under The Umbrella - The Battle For My Life!

Under the Umbrella series small 400 version
Standing Under The Umbrella-

               The Battle For Our Life!

Ephesians 6 Series

Earlier this week I posted a question to our Facebook Reader page the following:

There is a need to write and study through the SUM blog about many practical needs for the spiritually mismatched such as tithing, friendships, sex, attending church alone, prayer at the dinner table, etc. Yet there is also a need to develop our spiritual life because out of that all the rest flows.

Currently I'm feeling the prompt of the Holy Spirit to write about our Spiritual Armor and preparing for spiritual warfare as we deal with these battles in our homes with our spouse, DAILY... So, I'm wondering what would you like to study? Both, at the same time? Tackle one subject on Monday the other on Friday? What other topics do we need to review for all the new readers who are just getting started on their mismatch journey and/or spiritual journey???

Well the response was strong for the Spiritual Warfare study but also we need to feed those who haven’t dealt with common marriage struggles. So after praying this is what I’m sensing from the Spirit.

BOTH.

Dineen and I have been writing since 2006. Our archives are filled with real-life and workable solutions to common challenges for the mismatched. Archives are often difficult to sift through and hard to find. So on Saturdays I’m going to repost some articles that address universal topics. If I think hard and blow up the cobwebs on my brain, I remember that there are really, really great messages, videos, questions and discussion that will help you with the daily and unique aspects in a mismatched marriage. So watch for those on the weekend.

I’m also convinced that NOW, more than ever, the Lord is leading His people into the truth about the spiritual realm and how much it truly impacts our physical and daily life. With that said, I plan to lead us through a study titled: Standing Under the Umbrella – The Fight For Our Life!

SO EXCITED!!!!

I’ve written spiritual warfare series before but this one is different. Why? Because I’ve walked the Biblical truth out in my own life. I’ve studied video series and articles for years and have read numerous books, titles I intend to share, because they will change your life. I have actually experienced praying for people and watching the demons flee. I’ve freed myself, my mother and my sister from ancestral curses and real freedom has come to our family. I’ve prayed for people for their cancer to leave and for depression to depart and Jesus healed those people. Our battles are deeply rooted in the spiritual realm and we must understand how that realm wreaks havoc upon our lives because once we “get” it, we will become free and so will others for whom we pray.

So THIS series will be unlike the priors.

Victory In Spiritual Warfare EvansWe will be referring to the unerring Word of God for this series. Primarily our text will come from Ephesians 6. I’m likely to also tie in the books I’ve studied from time to time. Watch for recommendations to pop up in the sidebar. And I find it fascinating that the current Bible study at my local church is: Victory In Spiritual Warfare by Tony Evans. I guess God wants us to really, REALLY get this message. So I will likely be using some of Pastor Evans information.

I also sensed from the Holy Spirit that at the end of each post I’m to ask 1-3 questions. These questions are for you to take to God. Print them out or write them down. Go into your quiet time and pray them. Ask God the questions and then listen and let the Holy Spirit speak into your heart about the answers.

Finally, before we launch into the teaching I WANT EVERY PERSON TO HEAR THIS: Do NOT be afraid. We are stronger than the dark Kingdom because of Jesus. The devil will do everything possible to keep you from reading this series. He will try to intimidate you and tell you that you aren’t strong enough that you won’t be able to understand or that you should be very afraid. LIES… LIES…. LIES..

The truth is: The devil is terrified right now that you are even reading this post.

Let him quake in his pointed boots because it’s time to kick butt and take names.

My SUMite family, are you ready for true freedom? Are you ready and wanting to understand what the Bible really says about our authority in Christ Jesus?

Let’s get started. Take your Bible and read Ephesians 6:10-19

Quiet Time Study: (Ask these questions of the Lord. Then listen.)

  • Am I equipped for battle in the spiritual realm?
  • Do I employ the tools in Ephesians 6 in my life?
  • Lord, will you walk with me through this and show me where I am allowing the enemy access?

Community Questions (answer in the comments):

  • On a scale of 1-10 what is your awareness of spiritual warfare?
  • Have you ever felt like you’ve engaged in the invisible realm?
  • Pray the following prayer and answer AMEN in the comments. I will pray your name for this series and for your understanding and breakthrough.

Jesus, I am tired of the enemy stealing my joy, my health, my marriage, my kids, my very life. I’m willing to do the hard work and study Your Word so that I will be empowered by your love and authority to discover the deceptions of the demonic realm. I will be brave because You are walking with me. I will absolutely stand for nothing less than full victory in my life and for the Kingdom of God. I am fully committed to battle from victory and not for victory because everything I need was accomplished at the cross.

Thank you Jesus that you are my Savior. Thank you that you love me and that you are opening the door to greatness and victory in Your Kingdom. I pledge my love, my life, my eternity to you. In Your powerful name, Jesus. AMEN

It’s a great season in the Kingdom of God. We are entering the season of amber, orange and red beauty. We have Rosh Hashanah promises this Fall. We are pursuing a life of holiness. So let’s trample of the Kingdom of darkness!

Woo Hoo!!! I can’t wait to see what a group of ordinary believers can bring about in this world!! I love you my friends. So very much. Hugs, Lynn

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SUM Books 4


For Such a Time as Now

Heb11For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.
— Isaiah 43:19

 The Lord replied,  “Look around at the nations; look and be amazed! For I am doing something in your own day, something you wouldn’t believe even if someone told you about it. — Habakkuk 1:5

SUMites, these verses from Isaiah and Habakkuk have consistently shown up around September for the last seven years. I can’t help but think all that has been His way of showing us and preparing us for what is happening right now.

The more I’ve studied the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Old Testament) and Joshua, the more I see a relatable pattern to how God moves us into our Promise Lands—I believe we have more than one, and that they are physical as well as spiritual places. 

As we study the Israelites, we see how God moves them to first “see.” To see this place they haven’t claimed yet as already theirs. I shared that in an earlier post, in how God told Joshua to see Jericho as already conquered despite the physical walls still standing.

This if our first call to faith, to believe what we can’t yet see (Heb. 11:1). With faith we are to move forward and claim our new Promise Land, even before we have moved into this place. 

Then we are called to occupy our Promise Land. This place now becomes a place of authority where we are to grow and navigate. Sometimes the Israelites had to clear the land and manage the animals to make it livable. Other times they literally took over the towns, houses and vineyards of the people they conquered.

Think of areas that you have had breakthrough in. You’ve “cleared the land” and made it good. These places now give you a special authority to pray for others to receive similar breakthroughs. By your example they can learn and understand how to seek God for this. 

God also gives us special giftings and anointings to operate in. We are filled and empowered by the Holy Spirit and are able to do and know things we couldn’t other wise, like having the sudden unction and courage to tell someone that God has ask you to tell them He loves them like crazy! People are desperate for God’s love! 

My friends, from here God desires us to prosper in our Promise Land. We share what we are given and blessed with. And we’ve talked about that in the past as well. That which we are blessed with is not intended just for us. We are to pass the blessing on and share it. This is how we steward our blessings and giftings, my friends. Abba watches what we do with what we are given and gives us more according to what we do with what we are given (Matt. 25:23).

And that is why I say “lands” instead of just “land.” There are many places that we are called to claim, occupy and prosper in. Our relationship with God is the first place. How will you claim, occupy and prosper in this place? This is the key to all that is to follow, SUMites. Success and increase in our marriages, families, jobs and ministries follows, and I’m sure you can see the relationship that builds as we progress from one place to another. 

And we are not leaving one place to go to another either, my friends. We are increasing our territory. 

“Enlarge your house; build an addition.
Spread out your home, and spare no expense!
For you will soon be bursting at the seams.
Your descendants will occupy other nations
and resettle the ruined cities.
“Fear not; you will no longer live in shame.
Don’t be afraid; there is no more disgrace for you.
You will no longer remember the shame of your youth
and the sorrows of widowhood.
For your Creator will be your husband;
the LORD of Heaven’s Armies is his name!
He is your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel,
the God of all the earth.
For the LORD has called you back from your grief—
as though you were a young wife abandoned by her husband,”
says your God. — Isaiah 52:2-6

My friends, I am so, so excited for our community. So many things that Lynn and I have been praying for you are now moving into place. We have longed for, agonized over and rejoiced with you over so many things and places. I simply cannot express my joy to see you, SUMites, overcoming, breaking through, and claiming your Promise Lands. 

This is our time, our season, to walk in the fullness of where God has placed us for such a time as this. I truly believe that time has come and is starting right now! 

Our God is so, so good. Love you!
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SUM Books 4


Seek Him Like Never Before!

Worship…so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. — Ephesians 4:14-16

My friends, I left my post last week with the promise to tell you some stories of how God is equipping and testing me. My most ardent prayer the last year has been to hear Him clearer and to know His voice better. I am stunned at how He has answered that prayer with specific training at a conference a couple weeks ago and the people He has brought into my life to speak new levels of truth and teaching. Let’s just say that Abba turned my world upside down a bit and knocked a few things into place, like bringing my body, soul and spirit into alignment with the Kingdom. I will share more on that soon as the Holy Spirit leads me.

Last week He gave me very specific words to give to people. He’s done this before but not with this clarity or detail. My heart cry along with wanting to hear Him better was so that I can help people more. On my walk and pray one morning I noticed the same woman walking in our neighborhood that I’ve seen before. God gave me a very clear message to share with her. Turned out she was a very strong woman of faith and that was my test, to step out in faith and do what He was asking me, even if it seemed a little over the top. This particular encounter took me way out of my comfort zone, and I realized afterwards He wanted to see what I would do with what He gave me—how I would steward it.

A few nights later I was at a restaurant with my family (my daughter and husband were visiting). A woman from my church, who God previously gave me a specific word for her husband, walked in with her husband. I'd seen her the week before at church but didn't want to disturb them while they were worshiping. So I left it to God to orchestrate another meeting. And He did! Even my mother-in-law commented on how they have lived there for years and never run into people they know, yet I seem to do this frequently.  

And that is what He is accelerating us into right now—orchestrated encounters with key people we need and who need us in order to move into new ministries and territories. God is releasing more spiritual giftings to us and raising us up to new levels in the ones we have already been walking in.

My friends, this is how He wants to reveal Himself to the world, and right now! Seek Him like never before. Ask Him for His heart and what He wants to show you (Jer. 33:3). And if He allows you to share it here, please do! I have listened and watched as so many of you have been released into new places already these last few weeks—new ministries, new levels of intimacy and peace in your marriages and family and even more clarity in your purpose and calling in Jesus. For our SUM community, the Holy Spirit is showing me how we are being lifted up, one by one, into new places and purposes with power, authority and spiritual giftings to move effectively in these places.

Today I fly to Dallas for the American Christian Fiction Writers conference that I attend each year. I have been blessed to man and coordinate the registration for several years now and especially blessed by the divine appointments God sets up during these events. This time, I’m asking Abba for something very specific this year, and I look forward to sharing that with you as well. 

Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. — Hebrews 12:20

What about you, my friends? Where you do sense God is leading you? What has He put on your heart to think about, pray into, and seek Him for? Please share. This is a safe place to share whatever is on your heart. I want to pray with you for this calling, this divine destiny God is revealing to you.

SUMites, I am holding you close in my heart and prayers.
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SUM Books 4


A Holy Fast

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comIn the Jubilee year, the next 12 months, I’m discovering that the Lord is seeking a people who are able to walk in increasing holiness. To raise up a people in faith and spiritual strength to fight against the kingdom of darkness and to walk in His miraculous power and love. But so many of His children aren’t ready.

We are living in a lifestyle of sin. We are slumbering in unforgiveness or bitterness. We haven’t experienced the liberating freedom from a fresh revelation of God’s love. So during our fast today, I ask you to pray about holiness. Ask the Lord about areas of surrender. Ask Him for a fresh revelation of His unending and unconditional love. Let our Papa speak tenderly to your heart. Let Him pull you into His arms and soften the anger, bitterness, the lines of fear upon your face.

Let His love grow in your life and push out selfishness and allow in His Holy Presence. It’s in His holy Presence that we are utterly transformed into a new creation in Christ Jesus.

“Holy, holy, holy,
Lord God Almighty,
Who was and is and is to come!”
—Revelation 4:8

Share with me in the comments what the Lord is showing you today. I'm so anxious to pray along with you and to experience the joy of the Lord with you as He moves and speaks into your heart. I love you, Lynn

PS. After writing this post and during the night the Lord impressed upon me that our SUM Community should also pray for Israel. Pray for peace, protection and for their prosperity.

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SUM Books 4


Community Fast: Monday. It's About Holiness!

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Daytime fast begins Monday.

A Kingdom People Fast:

I’m deeply moved that we should pray beginning this weekend in preparation for our fast together on Monday. The Lord is quickening my spirit to lead us to pray during this three days centered on holiness.

I’m also keenly aware that following Rosh Hashanah we are leading directly into the solemn and holy observance of Yom Kippur. I will share more on that next week.

So this weekend and through Monday’s fast, God is calling His people, specifically to holiness.

Be Holy (NIV)
Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. 14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” —1 Peter 1: 13-15

I love you my family on the web. I truly love you and pray for you often. In His grace, Lynn

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SUM Books 4


The Rapture? And The Devil Must Repay.... So good!

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Don't forget our community fast this Monday, September 14. Rosh Hashanah

SUMite Family:

We are indeed, living in an interesting season. I’ve spoken with my mom at length over the past few months about all of the end time scenarios that are being propagated in the Christian realm. These discussions are always fascinating and they are signs that make you wonder. *grin*

I will share with you some quick thoughts as we approach the end of the Shmita, Elul 29, for those who are following closely. We, all of humanity, may bear witness to some financial disturbances, the stock market, oil prices, and financial turmoil worldwide. We will witness the eclipses and the blood moons in the next three weeks. Yet, I’m convinced in my spirit that this is not quite the end. It may be the beginning of the end and the Lord is possibly positioning events, people and situations for His Last Day. (Now, if we are all raptured next week, you can find me in heaven and tell me I was wrong. *double grin*)

My heart is burdened to help us step out of fear. I’m convinced God is now creating one of the biggest moves of the Holy Spirit to ever be witnessed on earth. So, why in the world would He put an end to all that He has meticulously put into order and placement before the actual revival commences? It just doesn’t make sense. And I think we get all stirred up into fear and false expectation that removes us from love, generosity and the pursuit of intimacy with Christ.

I do believe there will be some turbulence but I also believe in this Jubilee, God will reassign wealth and protect His children. I am convinced and I have witnessed the holy Church rising into new areas of faith, spiritual growth and Kingdom advancement. So this is what I want us to take away today.

It’s going to all be okay!

We are not going to die today.

We have a hope and a future and God want’s our focus on love, holiness and the furthering of His Kingdom purposes.

I also want us to begin to pray into the promise of this Jubilee. Several years ago I wrote a post about the enemy and our rights to repayment from what was stolen. I’m going to repost some of that here because the Lord quickened my spirit that this Jubilee holds a short window to demand repayment from the dark Kingdom. You can read the entire article here:  I Am Taking The devil To Court!

Excerpt: There are so many areas in our lives that satan and his minions have caused us pain. He has literally stolen our family, our health, our homes and more.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. ~John 10:10 NIV

Today let's shine the light of God in this area and reclaim territory that has been lost, even lost for years and years. We are going to seek and receive the justice of our King.

God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you ~ 2 Thessalonians 1:6

I ask you, SUMites, “What has the devil stolen from you?  

God’s heavenly courts are open for us to petition and demand justice. I’m petitioning my Righteous Father to restore to me the years stolen and the pain of loss. I’m asking God to demand restitution for the years stolen from my family and marriage. In Jesus name.

So today, what has the enemy stolen from you? Approach the throne of grace. Begin to petition God about this promise in His holy and powerful Word. Begin to believe you will be made whole, times seven, for what the devil has stolen, killed or destroyed in your life.

Man, I’m certain that the enemy is mad about this post today. I’m asking you to leave me a word in the comments about what you are now declaring restored, sevenfold. I will pray with you.

This moment, this day, this hour the court of the Most High is in session and it’s our day as our loving Father extends His scepter and welcomes us to the mercy seat to make our requests known. And then we only need to stand back, pray with belief, and then watch as our God moves for us.

Woo Hoo. I can’t wait to see what comes from this moment in the SUMite Nation. Lookout devil. Your deceptions are over. We are the ordinary/ extraordinary army of the Most High and we demand this day a return of ALL that you have stolen and it MUST BE RESTORED SEVENFOLD. In Jesus name. AMEN.

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SUM Books 4


He's Getting Us Ready for Our Promise Land

IStock_000008478972XSmallMy friends, through the end of 2013 up to early August of this year I've heard Abba speak of preparation over and over again. I believe we have been in this time of preparation up until now. The Holy Spirit has impressed upon me that we, the SUMites specifically, are now being shifted into a new season of equipping. And I believe He's equipping us to move into and claim our promise lands. 

What I want to share with you is the importance of stewardship, because it is a crucial part to how we move forward. And I'm not talking about money although that will be an important part for many of us as God opens the storehouses of His provision (Deut. 28:12).

What the Holy Spirit has put on my heart to share with you first is that the very first thing God asks us to steward well is His Word. Are we reading it, studying it and speaking it out loud? Are we allowing it to transform our minds and trusting and believing God through His Word more? I believe we are and will continue to grow in this area as long as we are reading our Bibles and seeking God. This is what we have been doing in our time of preparation. 

The second thing He's showing me is stewarding what we are given. This goes beyond our material provision to our spiritual provision and giftings. I didn't fully understand until recently that when we are given a word or revelation, we must steward it by praying into it (1 John 4:1), receiving it and believing it. And then take action. Sometimes the action is believing, like believing the truth of God's love for us above anything the world or even our own families may say of us. Other times, with the affirmation and direction of the Holy Spirit, we must take action and trust God to lead our steps. 

One of the most freeing revelations I have recently received is the exposure of another lie. I'd believed the enemy's ability to deceive me was greater than Jesus' power and presence to lead me. Scripture again is the key here for God's Word says, "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me." (John 10:27) (Read John 10:6-17 and you will see that this is Jesus' build up to His explanation in John 14:6 that He is the Way, the Truth and the Life.) 

At the revelation of this lie, I began affirming the truth, speaking it out and believing it. The result was stunning! My ability to hear God opened to a new level, which then brought my area of spiritual gifting up to a whole new level. This is how we steward and grow in our spiritual gifts. And this is what "equipping" is about right now.  

The third thing we are called to steward is the places He puts us. Our marriages, our homes, our churches, our places of ministry, etc. These are our Promise Lands. And just as the Israelites, we are using our spiritual weapons (our armor of God) to lay claim to the places God is establishing us in right now and moving us into. I have a sense we will be talking about this a lot in the upcoming weeks, and I look forward to sharing more of what the Holy Spirit is teaching me in this area.

So what does all this look like? Right now, look around and take notice of how much in sync the children of God are. Many of us are hearing the same things from the Holy Spirit and are even being led to read the same parts of the Bible. The Holy Spirit planted me in Joshua a couple weeks ago and last week, Ian shared this same nudge to read this book. My friends, follow these leadings. This is your Shepherd showing you the way and giving you revelation.

Lynn spoke of acceleration. Abba has spoken to me about this as well. We are being moved forward more quickly than in the past. As the Holy Spirit told me, I will tell you. Don't be afraid. And don't be afraid of how fast things may start to shift, change and move. Just trust, trust, trust God. My friends, this is not a time to suffer for religion but to delight in God! We are on a great adventure!

I'm stunned at how this is playing out in my own life, my friends. I'm hearing God in ways that I have longed to hear Him for so long. He's explaining things of the past that I see now were key to what is happening now, and He is revealing small bits of what's to come in relation to these areas.

I now understand that my move to Florida was very strategic and part of where He has placed me for this upcoming Jubilee year, even to reminding me that this move placed us back "with our clan" (see Lev. 25:10) and that I turn 50 in just a couple of months. 

He has faithfully lead me every step of the way to what I need (mentors, a church filled with the Holy Spirit, and connections to other believers who are part of this great set-up) and plugged me into the healing rooms here in such a powerful way that I'm stunned beyond words.  

Affirmations and confirmations have come with each step as well. God knew exactly what I would need. 

My friends, this is what He is doing in all of us. Now is a key time to be aware, to take note, to not discount anything but to take everything before God in humility, openness and willingness of heart to learn and do whatever He may ask. And don't be surprised by how He may test you in this.  

Next week I will share some stories with you of how God has been equipping and testing me in these new areas. God is moving in ways I never imagined possible, but just yesterday I was reminded again that nothing is impossible with God as I found out from a friend that He did something she was convinced couldn’t be done. 

Dare to believe, my friends. Ask Jesus to help you believe. He will. Then wait and watch! My friends, share in the comments what you believe God is doing or about to do in your lives. What are you sensing the Holy Spirit telling you? I would love the opportunity to pray with and for you. 

And I am believing great things are in store for each and every one of you. And yes, you as well, my dear one, even you who is thinking this isn’t for you or that God has forgotten you or left you out for some reason to do with your past or present. Let me be the voice to tell you, that’s not true. Ask Him what He has for you right now, my friend. He’s waiting…

Love you so much, my SUM family! 
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SUM Books 4


Superheroes of the Past and Present

SUMHeros
My friends, I have a new nugget to share with you that is so encouraging to me. I’m excited to share it with you.

First, let me set it up. I’ve tended to look at the first disciples and believers in a different way than I see us—modern day believers. I’ve made the assumption that they were more empowered and focused, because many of them actually walked with Jesus during His life, learned from Him directly and had these amazing encounters with Him even after His death and resurrection.

I guess I kind of looked at them as superheroes. (Feel free to laugh.) But as I was reading through first and second Corinthians recently, I came upon this:

We think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters, about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia. We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead. And he did rescue us from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us. And you are helping us by praying for us. Then many people will give thanks because God has graciously answered so many prayers for our safety. — 2 Cor 1:8-11

Paul is open here about what they have suffered, and indeed they faced the very threat of death in persecution. But what I want to focus on is what he says about how they persevered. 

But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead.

My friends, as I read this line, I saw the very same challenge in our own faith journeys today. Though their trial was great, Paul says they learned to stop relying upon themselves and to rely only on God. Don’t we often have to learn this same lesson? More than once most likely. And I think it is a lesson we learn in different areas of our lives as well. We so often have to reach the end of ourselves to grab hold of God.

But Paul goes on to say more about this process.

And he did rescue us from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us.

The result of God’s rescue brought an increase in Paul’s faith and those with them. They now can see their future confidently in God’s protection and trust Him to do it again. Such confidence and trust!

Here’s the equation I see in this:

Relying on and trusting God + God’s rescue = Increased faith and confidence in God to do it again

The disciples and early believers did this and we do too. Paul continues to show the full effect of this outward ripple not only on him and his team, but also how it affected those praying for them.

And you are helping us by praying for us. Then many people will give thanks because God has graciously answered so many prayers for our safety.

Paul is pointing out how all this worked together, that he, those with him and those praying for them were acting together as the body of Christ. It’s a beautiful example of how even our trials when shared can strengthen and unite a body of believers. 

My friends, again, I will say we are an amazing community here. I see our SUM community operating in the same way as Paul and his fellow believers did. And I find that greatly encouraging and inspiring.

And we are continuing the legacy of these early believers even today, my friends. I find that astounding and very powerful. We are more like those early believers than I realized. In a way, they are superheroes in that they inspire us to imitate them as they imitated Jesus (1 Cor. 11:1). 

SUMites, you are superheroes in the faith!

Love you, my friends!
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SUM Books 4


Jubilee Promise

ju·bi·lant
ˈjo͞obələnt/
adjective
1.
showing great joy, satisfaction, or triumph; rejoicing; exultant:
the cheers of the jubilant victors; the jubilant climax of his symphony.
 
Listen in as I describe what I believe is happening right now in the Kingdom as we approach Jubilee! Get ready because we are in for a Holy Mind-blow!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Jubilee - The Restoration Puzzle

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Community Fast together: September 14th: Rosh Hashanah

Part I - the Promise of Jubilee

Don’t you find it interesting that God established a Jubilee year?

I mean really. He knew we would mess up. Make mistakes. Go into debt. Trade our Freedom for bondage. Under the Old Covenant He also established a Family Redeemer who would rescue family members from disaster. Fascinating. I could write an entire series on that alone and how Jesus became the ultimate Family Redeemer for the human race. But, alas that will be another day. *grin*

Onward…. As we leave the year of the Shmita (2014) and head into a year of Jubilee, I think we should understand what Jubilee was intended under the law and then we will ponder what Jubilee is to those of us under grace.

As I mentioned on Monday, Jubilee was a year of restoration. “Where Jewish people were restored their “rights” to their original inheritance. Man, as I write this sentence, my spirit jumps in expectancy. Think about all that you have surrendered in recent years. What was stolen by the enemy? Good grief, I see this year in application to our faith life, in many dimensions. And think about our Kingdom inheritance. Did you know so much of our inheritance we can claim right now on earth?

Restoration & repayment.

Today I want to talk about restoration. Next week we will talk about repayment.

I’m convinced that we will, indeed be a people, who will experience restoration. Restoration can be in relationships, finances, broken dreams, faith, property and so forth.

I am experiencing some of this in my personal life and have sensed this restoration was coming for about a month now. But, I also want to tell you that restoration in the eyes of our Sovereign Lord may not look like what you are imagining right now. Let me explain.

For many of you who have been readers here for a season, you know that my son and family relocated to southern California to live near Mike and I. It’s been almost two years since they moved here. And so much happened in our family in this past two years. A lot of turmoil, warfare, in the spiritual realm. In the physical realm, my son and wife split up, then reunited nine months later.

During that season, I became a full-time caregiver for their little girl who was 18 months old. She and I were ill, physically ill, for six months last year. Colds, flu, virus, fevers, on and on… They lived with us for a year and then move to a house a mile away. Good grief. It’s been a busy few years. Sheesh. And although it's had rough patches, the laughter, joys and family love has been a blessed gift from our Lord to my heart.

Well a month ago due to some changes in their employment situation, they decided to move back to Nevada. Say What? Why God? After years and years of praying, why would you let this happen? Well this is what God told me.

“It is best for them. And I want you back, Lynn.”

Say what again? You see, I’ve been pulled in many directions that have stolen me away from the very intimate and precious relationship I have had with my Savior. *Gulp* It’s true. The illnesses, baby sitting, the turmoil. It truly did change the time and devotion I had with the Lord.

This doesn't look like restoration.

Or is it a restoration? Could the Lord have arranged this change?

Of course, I’m sad they are moving. It’s not what I dreamed. I wanted my grandchildren near. I wanted Sunday dinners at my house with little ones running around. I wanted my son and daughter-in-law to be near. But it is not to be.

This Jubilee year the Lord has decreed for me, peace. He is reestablishing peace in my life. And I am truly at peace with how this change has unfolded. My son and family will truly live better there. And I am at complete peace over all of it. So the Lord is fully behind this restoration. He is returning to me my time. And right now I perceive He is leading me into something new for the year ahead. 

In fact, I believe what He is revealing to me now is His desire for all of His people this Jubilee year. I will share more with you on Monday… If you are tired of the average Christian life and your spirit is wanting more out of your faith,  if you want to know God better and experience miracles and the supernatural, this “something” can change everything in your life. But I'm learning it is a narrow road that we must walk to obtain that Pearl of Great Price.

As we consider our restoration that is immanent, I ask you to ponder what God is restoring in your life. But also, contemplate what God may be removing from your life. Is it a toxic relationship? A bad circumstance, situation? Is He moving you physically or emotionally out of something into the new?

I would like to pray over your restorations and changes. If you are led by the Spirit, share with me what you are sensing the Lord is preparing for your Jubilee year.

And on Monday…. We are going to fully embrace what this Jubilee is for the people of God. He is preparing us for the end times my friends and we must be ready. Have a great weekend. Kiss your children and your spouse. Tell them they are amazing and that you are wild about them. Hugs, Lynn

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SUM Books 4


Guest Post: Lessons Around the Mountain

Dear friends, I'm so happy to have Trish Fuhlendorf back with us today. I love this post she's written for us about control. It's a good word for us, especially right now, because we in no way want to interfere with whatever God wants to do in our pre-believers. Love you! ~Dineen

Lessons Around the Mountain
by Trish Fuhlendorf

Fotolia_87585133_XSI recently took a personality profile called the DISC for my job. It’s referred to as a talent insights report. D-I-S-C breaks down as follows: D=Dominance, I=Influence, S=Steadiness and C=Compliance.

Shocker of all shockers, I am high “I” (Influencer) and high “D” (Dominance). In layman’s terms, my personality can be summarized as controlling.  One of my husband’s most frequently used expressions is, “your greatest strength is your greatest weakness.” True, indeed. My personality is perfect in my profession. As a matter of fact, all of my colleagues on my team who hold the same job are also high “I” and high “D”. I guess we controlling types just naturally gravitate to sales oriented work.

Here in lies the problem with being controlling; it does not work in our relationship with God. Jesus tells us that we are to lay down our cross and follow Him, or in other words, completely surrender. For a high “I,” high “D,” this is my daily battle. As Joyce Meyer once said, “God doesn’t fail us when we stumble. He just says, “Another time around the mountain, my child.”

Flashback to 1998 when God saved me and suddenly I found myself in an unequally yoked marriage with all the heartbreak that this implies. I remember thinking, “my worldview has completely changed; now Stu and I have nothing in common.” In addition to this, we also had to contend with the other huge thorn in our marriage, addiction to alcohol.

So in comes Trish, the bull in the china shop; ready to take charge! “If I can get Stu saved, eventually he will get sober, we will have the same world view, and life will be perfect”. So began my first trip around the mountain. I would leave Christian books on his bedside table. I would post scriptures on the inside of our medicine cabinet (subtle, right?). And last, but not least, I would plot and plan as to how to surround him with godly men that would of course, influence him. I can almost hear God laughing as I write.

As I was putting my plan into action, I continued to study God’s Word. I kept finding scriptures like John 15:16 “You did not choose me, but I chose you” and 1 Corinthians 2:14 ” The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.” I asked myself, “How can I fill Stu with the Holy Spirit, so that he understands?” I can’t. This is something that only God can do.

Initially, these scriptures were upsetting to me because they removed me from the equation. After lots of prayer and reflection I learned that it was all about God’s work in Stu. My job was to fully surrender. My only “control” if you will, was prayer. Although prayers are not intended as a way of controlling God, they are our way of being in relationship with Him; our way to fully surrender our spouses to Him. To know that I no longer needed to orchestrate my husband’s salvation was freeing.

It is exhausting trying to control someone else’s life.  And while I learned an important lesson during this time of my life, still my personality and natural impulse in life is to control. I am a mountain girl after all.

Side Note: I asked Stu what topic he thought I should write on. He said, “Tell everyone what a control freak you were during our unequally yoked years.” No offense taken.

 

Trish headshotTrish Fuhlendorf is first and foremost a lover and follower of Jesus Christ. She is a wife, married 28 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).

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SUM Books 4