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Thank you SUM family. Together we are a strong family who loves one another as we march toward victory in our faith and marriage. Hugs, Lynn
And get ready because I'm about to burst as we learn how to receive a Revelation of Love. We will start this fantastic journey with the Lord on March 20th.
Look up Zephaniah 3:17. I know this and Zachariah 12 will become powerful in our faith and lives. I'm fasting this week and praying for you to receive this revelation of love..... It changes everything. I love you, Lynn
Hello, SUMites! Can you believe we’re already in March? Time seems to keep speeding up on me, so I’ve made the decision to look forward to Christmas all year long. If this most precious season is going to keep fleeting by on me, I’m going to make the most of it the rest of the year.
Are you laughing at me? LOL! That’s fine if you are. But on a deeper note, I believe this is actually part of the journey God has me walking to know more joy and delight, especially delight in Him.
Which brings me back to Isaiah. Who would have, at first glance, thought that the book of Isaiah is one we can delight in? But it is. It is the book that holds the most prophetic words about the Messiah coming and who He would be to the Israelites. And to us…
That’s the delightfully stunning part, my friends. As this book was inspired, our Papa God was even thinking of us—you and me…and our spouses. Isaiah is a book about God’s ardent love for His people and His desire and plan for our redemption and restoration to Him.
In fact, the name Isaiah means “the Lord is salvation.” That right there makes my heart go ka-thunk. To think our Heavenly Father’s plans and love for us span from the very beginning to the very end, well, that’s just a stunning picture of how great His love is. We truly are rooted and established in love—His love.
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. — Eph. 3:16-19 (NIV)
Read those same verses in the Passion Translation:
And I pray that he would pour out over you the unlimited riches of his glory and favor until supernatural strength floods your innermost being with his divine might and explosive power.
Then, by constantly using your faith, the life of Christ will be released deep inside you, and the resting place of his love will become the very source and root of your life, providing you with a secure foundation that grows and grows.
18-19Then, as your spiritual strength increases, you will be empowered to discover what every holy one experiences—the great magnitude of the astonishing love of Christ in all its dimensions. How deeply intimate and far-reaching is his love! How enduring and inclusive it is! Endless love beyond measurement, beyond academic knowledge—this extravagant love pours into you until you are filled to overflowing with the fullness of God! — Eph. 3:16-19 (TPT)
SUMites, this is what is blowing my mind this morning as I write this. And this is what I feel the Holy Spirit is impressing upon me right now. The entire book of Isaiah is a passionate declaration of God’s jealousy over His people and His great love for them. And it is a book that applied to the Israelites in their current times and spans all the way to us and beyond because of the promises it holds. It was the decree of the Messiah to come and a declaration of Who our Savior Jesus is today, for us.
This is the clarity the Holy Spirit has brought to my heart for two weeks now to understand how I can—we can—apply and pray these Scriptures over ourselves and especially over our spouses. This is the clarity He brought as He showed me Isaiah 12 and placed a knowledge and understanding in my spirit of how to pray it for my husband. And this is the clarity I feel He is telling me to share with you. I’m excited to share it with you, my SUM family.
In that day you will say:
“I will praise you, Lord.
Although you were angry with me,
your anger has turned away
and you have comforted me.
Surely God is my salvation;
I will trust and not be afraid.
The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense;
he has become my salvation.”
With joy you will draw water
from the wells of salvation.
In that day you will say:
“Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name;
make known among the nations what he has done,
and proclaim that his name is exalted.
Sing to the Lord, for he has done glorious things;
let this be known to all the world.
Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion,
for great is the Holy One of Israel among you.” — Isaiah 12:1-6 (NIV)
This is how the Holy Spirit led me to pray/declare it:
On the day of your salvation, Michael, you will say:
“I will praise you, Lord.
Although your pleasure could not rest upon me,
You turned away your displeasure to pursue and love me.
I declare God is my salvation!
I will trust Him and not be afraid.
The Lord, the Lord Himself, is my strength and defense;
He has become my salvation.”
And on that day, Michael will say:
“I give praise to the Lord and proclaim His name;
I will make it known among the nations what He has done for me,
and proclaim that His name is exalted.
I sing to the Lord, for He has done glorious things in me;
let this be known to all the world.
Shout aloud and sing for joy, people!
For great is the Holy One of Israel, the Almighty God, among us!
In the saving name of Jesus, amen!
My friends, I encourage you to not only do this with Isaiah 12, but with any piece of Scripture that seems to grab you, because, I promise you, that is the Holy Spirit revealing something to you. Ask Him what it is, speak it out, mediated on it, journal it, declare it and rest in it until He tells you to move on.
And never forgot the promise of Jeremiah 1:12, that God watches over His Word to perform it. Speak it, then trust Him for the time and place for it’s fulfillment. He is faithful to His Word. SUMites, if you've prayed this for your spouse, put his or name in your comment with an amen. I want to pray in agreement with you.
I love you, my friends, and I pray that the revelation of God’s Word is astounding in your heart, your life, your marriage and to those around you. In the mighty name of Jesus, amen!
My friends, I have something very special to share with you today. It’s something I was unsure about sharing at first, but a phone convo with Lynn helped me see I should indeed share it with you. And since then, God has revealed a bit more and connected more dots.
In early 2014 God told me to pray for California. This was before our move to Florida. II was sitting on my porch one morning with my favorite mug full of coffee and my Bible. As I read and prayed, God told me to “pray a wave a faith over California.” I didn’t quite understand what that would look like, but I did what He asked and began praying this obediently for months.
Fast forward to the Spring of 2015. We’d moved part time to Florida but still spent several months in California and still owned our home there. The Holy Spirit led me to read the book of Isaiah.
One particular morning, I reached Isaiah 55 and the Holy Spirit began to point out parts that had to do with the land and water over the next several chapters. I knew in my spirit this had to do with the drought in California. I continued to read, wondering why He would even show such things to me.
Now let me preface this to say that the He’d first set me up the day before with Isaiah 52:6. I underlined it, recognizing that as new covenant believers, this was connected to the promise of the Messiah to come. And we know the name of Jesus is powerful and thus why we pray it.
Therefore my people will know my name; therefore in that day they will know that it is I who foretold it. Yes, it is I.” — Isaiah 52:6 (NIV)
So the next day when He stopped me at Isaiah 59:19, I already had this reference to connect to. As you can see in the picture, I dated my notation April 28, 2015. I suspected this was related to the Holy Spirit’s instructions to pray a wave of faith over California and that this also spoke of the end of the drought. In fact, that is what I heard in my spirit, that God was decreeing an end to the drought.
Within weeks of this revelation, several other Christian leaders in California began to say the same thing. I knew God was revealing His heart and plans for the state of California, and now we are seeing the full revelation of this.
What was predicted to take years—the return of the rains to refill the reservoirs—is happening in weeks. We are seeing God move faster than we ever have before, my friends. And He is moving in new and stunning ways. Right now it’s very important that we keep alert to these new ways and be willing to let go of the old. I believe this is also part of what He meant when He told me things wouldn’t look the way we expect and that He wants to do things differently. These are things I shared with you last year.
Now there is more to this moment in time, my friends, and it includes us. On that same day, the Holy Spirit stopped me at Isaiah 60:22. See the picture below with SUM written next to the Scripture.
SUMites, we have grown from a small family and a tiny group to a mighty nation of over 2,000. I believe we are symbolic of what God is doing all over the world. He is bring up communities like ours to operate the way the church did in Acts 2. We are the new church He is bringing into place.
Last July, I shared in a video message what I felt God was speaking about His church, that “His heart is to establish a new and holy church—not fix the old one.”
That doesn’t mean we are to abandon our churches, dear friends, it simply means God is transforming us to function in greater unity and love if we will allow Him to come in and do this in our places of worship, no matter where they are. Our church will no longer be limited and defined by physical walls and building. We will be the unified body of Christ, His bride made pure. Connections and partnerships (bridges) are being formed between churches in communities even now to work together to have greater impact in communities and cities.
My friends, I believe this also means God is working in new and significant ways in our marriages and in the hearts of our spouses. This is part of our salvation word from last year, which continues to be the seed planted that the Holy Spirit is watering.
Let me share some of my observations and what I am seeing:
I believe the rain we are seeing in California and the overflow is symbolic of God’s glory pouring over His children and our loved ones (that they shall be saved too! Acts 16:31). I know it looks messy, but remember what I said in one of my previous messages about God’s favor. It can look messy at first (remember how God favored Mary to carry Jesus), but we can trust God to bring His plans and purposed to a good completion for His ways are always good (Rom. 8:28)
I believe we are going to see significant shifts in our homes and in our spouses, SUMites. Many of you already are. As Lynn has shared in the emotional healing series, we need to be healed so we can help those coming to faith to walk in wholeness as well. Part of the video message I shared last year was about God’s “harvest time” and the “fruit” (remember the figs), which are the many souls being called in. (Some of you may even remember the harvest dream I shared in 2013.)
I believe we are entering this time at a new level. We are stepping out of the old and into the new. We will see things happen in ways we never expected or anticipated. We will see God move faster than we thought possible. And we will see our faith increased to new levels as we step into our promises and new opportunities.
My friends, I will stop there. I have something else from Isaiah that God is showing me to pray for my husband that I may share on Friday. I'm asking the Holy Spirit for wisdom on that first and for any more insights He wants to reveal for us. Be assured I will share as the Holy Spirit leads me. I don't know why the Holy Spirit uses the book of Isaiah like this to reveal things to me, but it is fascinating to say the least.
SUMites, we are living in exciting times! Reading this may very well bring things to mind and connect some dots for you. Please share you're thoughts and what you believe God is showing you. I can't wait to hear your hearts!
Love you, my mighty friends! You are greater in Him than you know!
Hello SUMites! On Monday I said I would talk more about God’s perception of us, how He sees us, but first I want to share a story about this picture.
Last week as I went for a walk to pray and worship, I looked up and saw this in the sky. It reminded me of the cross (in the lower left side), but it had these two lines coming out from it that seemed to just go on and on. The Holy Spirit used this image to impress upon me once again that the cross took care of the past, and its effects/benefits continue to span across our present and future.
And the Greek word for salvation (sozo) holds more meanings then I believe we realize or even claim as part of what we’ve been give.
Sozo — save, make whole, heal, preserve, well, deliver, protect
Now think of Paul’s advice to the Philippians:
Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. — Phil. 2:12-13 (NIV)
Paul is telling the Philippians (and us) that salvation is a process. Transferring our permanent residence to heaven is only the beginning. And as Paul says, it is God who is working us to accomplish all this in us—being made whole, protection, healing.
Our salvation not only states where we are (seated in heavenly realms), but also comes packed with our identity—who we are in Jesus, all God created us to be, and where He is taking us in this glorious adventure!
So here is where I want to touch on today. God doesn’t see us according to our circumstances or even how we are dealing with them. He sees us from the completed work that He created us to be, our destiny.
Imagine you are on one end of this journey of discovery and the path is lit just enough to show you the way to go for today. Along that path is everything—and I mean everything—you will ever need to reach the end of that journey. And God is right there with you in the present (His Spirit lives in us), along the way making sure we stay on the path (He is a light to our feet. He makes our way straight), and at the end cheering us on.
And he also said, "It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega - the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life.” — Revelation 21:6 (NLT)
My friends, what I’m learning to understand (and embrace) is that we already have everything we need for the journey. And as we stand in a place of trust in who God is and belief in who He created us to be, I believe we will see more and more blessings, resources, provisions and miracles.
And why not? That is God’s heart for us. He’s already given us everything, thanks to Jesus who died for us and continues to intercede for us (Rom. 8:34).
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. — Eph. 1:3
SUMites, God has set us up for success (victory), and He is continually working from the blueprint He created for each of us before we were even born, even conceived. And it’s a fail proof plan too. We may hit some bumps along the way, get off track, or find ourselves lost at times, but none of that changes who God created us to be and what He designed us to do.
That, my dear friends, is freedom. I pray from the depths of my heart and spirit that we walk in this freedom more and more each day as the Holy Spirit continually teaches us who we are and Who God is. In the name of Jesus, amen!
What has God promised you, my friends? That is the place I want to start today, because I’ve discovered there is a very definitive process that occurs between the promise given and the reality (or manifestation) of that promise. And it’s in the in between time that we can get confused or even lose sight of our promise.
No, I will not break my covenant; I will not take back a single word I said. — Psalm 89:34 (NLT)
I believe as a community we are on this journey right now together. As I shared last week during our prayer and fasting, this is a Year of Promises. As I walk in this place of waiting and the challenges I’ve faced, I’m finding that God’s promises are designed to bring us from one point and place in time to another and it’s very much to do with our growth as believers.
We’ve talked in the past about preparation and that is part of this promise package. God always sees us according to His plan for us—who He created us to be. He sees us from our future and therefore partners with us to direct our path accordingly. Our promises are part of that future becoming our present reality. So, in everything, God is working for our good to according to that picture.
Yes, we do have an enemy that will do whatever he can to hinder and delay that path, but ultimately, as we continue to seek God and say yes to Him, we are assured of victory, as God’s Word says. He already sees us as victorious, therefore we are. That’s an important place to walk in faith and perseverance (Romans 8).
As God cheers us on He also works in us so that we can walk in the fullness of our callings (destiny) and many times that means we need healing. We live in the reality of good verses evil and the imperfections of this world, so it is inevitable.
This past week God worked this in my life in a stunning way. As I mentioned God revealed some things to me, of which one part was a deep need for emotional healing. I find it so very interesting that as Lynn is about to begin this series on emotional healing, God walks me through that very thing.
So, my dear SUMites, I want to encourage you to walk this journey with us, because it is part of the revelation of your promises this year. To fully receive what these promises are we often must grow in some way to be able to walk in them. This is part of God’s upgrade or promotion process. He wants us to benefit fully from His promises.
Think of it in a way as professional training or learning a skill. In order to function as a lawyer in a court or as a teacher in a classroom, we have to learn things in order to fully function in those places. Our “training” or teaching can be very specialized too.
I believe that God is doing much of this in us for many reasons. For me, this means I am more emotionally healthy for two reasons. One, to walk in the broader places He is taking me in ministry and to be ready for where He is taking my husband to one day be in ministry together. Yes, He has to get me ready (prepared) for what that means. Oh boy…
And sometimes it can seem messy and painful, but as we’ve used the analogy before, a wound must be cleaned for it to heal well and without infection. Think of the lies, hurts, rejections and grudges we carry as infections, that once dealt with, our emotional wounds can be healed.
The wonderful thing about this process is that it ripples out. So often we want to fix what we see on the outside, but God works from the inside out and that is what those around us begin to see as we are healed. Those places we often struggle with externally could very well be the reflection of something inside in need of healing. This applies to our spouses too, my friends. We have the benefit of the Great Physician at work in us to help us heal, yet those who don’t know Jesus yet can only rely on their own resources or that which the world offers.
My friends, whatever God did in me this week broke and released things I have carried for years. I feel lighter, stronger, and more peaceful. And I am excited to walk in this new freedom and am expectant of the ways it will show up more in my life. I’m excited to see what God does next, and I am looking forward to what He does in all of us through Lynn’s series.
It’s going to be good. How do I know that? God told me. Since last weekend, His still soft voice has whispered over and over to me these words.
“Watch what I do.”
And He has expanded those words for our community. This is what I feel I hear Him saying for us:
Watch what I do.
In your homes and in your marriages,
Watch what I do.
In your lives and in your government,
Watch what I do.
In your nation and in your communities,
Watch what I do.
In your minds and in your hearts,
Watch what I do.
SUMites, the choice is always ours. God loves us no matter what. He is always for us and always, always, always, working for our good. So if you feel this is something you want, then I encourage you to pray something like this in your own words:
Lord, I want everything You have written on the pages of my book in heaven to become a reality in my life. I want to let go of the pain and hurts and be healed of the emotional traumas in my heart and soul. Whatever that takes and whatever that looks like, Lord, I say yes. I am ready. I trust You. I love you and I am so grateful that You love me with such a relentless and perfect love. Lord, I am watching to see what You do! In the name of Jesus, amen!
For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” And through Christ, our “Amen” (which means “Yes”) ascends to God for his glory. — 2 Cor. 1:20 (NLT)
I love you, my SUM family. I’m so blessed to walk this journey with you and stand with you in prayer.
SUMites, we’ve just come out of our week of prayer & fasting. I must say I am blown away at how powerful this year’s fast seemed to be in our community. Abba is really taking us to new levels and places this year, my friends.
Don’t be surprised if things continue to be revealed, shift and unfold over the next several weeks. We’ve set the stage for 2017 in a powerful way and God does not disappoint.
Over the week, God revealed some truths in Scripture and connected some dots for me. One I’d like to share with you today, because it’s a new prayer strategy for me. And in light of some of the things God showed me this week and Lynn’s upcoming series on emotional healing, I believe it is timely.
We’ve studied this verse before. In fact, Lynn has a video about it over there in the sidebar.
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 Cor. 10:5
Standing on the truth of 1 Cor. 7:14 (chapter eight in our prayer book) and combining it with Jer. 24:7, this is how the Holy Spirit led me to pray it for my husband (and children):
Lord Jesus, I stand before you in my authority as the believing wife who sanctifies her husband through her faith and repent for Mike for his unbelief, doubt and choice of atheism. And in my authority I demolish these arguments of unbelief, doubt and atheism that have set themselves up against the knowledge of God and I take captive every thought bombarding or residing in him that perpetuates or agrees with these lies and make them obedient to the truth of Jesus Christ. And I declare he is a holy man of God, has received a heart that knows God, is now therefore a son of God and will return to God wholeheartedly. In the saving name of Jesus, amen!
In the name of Jesus Christ, I destroy every argument and every pretension raised against the knowledge of God that resides in my heart, my mind and/or in my life in any way and declare them gone and done. Demolished! And I take captive every thought, doubt, or insecurity and make it obedient to the truth of Jesus. I am a child of God, empowered by the Holy Spirit, blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ, welcomed before the throne of grace and anointed by God to proclaim and speak truth. In the mighty name of Jesus, amen!
Anytime we remove an untruth (lie), it is important to replace it with truth. And based upon what I experienced last week and am sensing the Holy Spirit saying now, God has set something into motion and that which He has placed in us during our time of prayer and fasting will become powerful tools over the weeks and months ahead. Thus we must defend and protect those truths and not allow the enemy to take them away (make us forget) or muddle the truths with his lies (confusion, doubting if you truly heard God, etc.).
On Friday I will share a bit more of what God revealed to me over the week as He connects more of the dots for me. And boy, do I need a lot more dots connected. LOL!
Love you, SUMites! Share in the comments whatever the Holy Spirit lays on your heart.
We arrived. Hallelujah!
My fast went fairly decent. Wasn’t perfect but fasted mostly for five days, (I still have today to go). I lost four pounds and gained new awe in my heart for our Father.
I feel almost melancholy that our fast is ending. This week has brought tears to my eyes, laughter to my heart to read what happened in your lives through the book and the fast. I’m humbled and in awe that our Lord is so powerful on the move to bring breakthrough to our SUM House of believers.
Today, is a special day because chapter 13 is a gift. I wrote it following a powerful prayer session. And what I received, God says is for everyone who contends for an unsaved spouse. So I pass it along to you.
Pray and release.
Don’t carry the burdens you are not to carry. Jesus died to bring us into a life of peace. And peace is His gift. Release your spouse and your worry to the King of Kings.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. —John 14:27
Read chapter thirteen and the conclusion on page 139. Also, there are more prayers in this book than I was able to connect to the chapters. READ ALL OF THEM.
Today, I ask that if you are a SUMite that you take five minutes to stop in and leave a prayer of peace in the comments. Pray peace over yourself, your family, your marriage, whatever the Spirit leads.
I will start. Jesus you said that you came to leave us peace. I know peace is only something that comes from You. I receive it. I receive peace into my home, my marriage. I speak peace over my son, Brad, daughter, Caitie, and grandchildren. I speak a new peace over my husband, Michael. I will not be troubled or afraid. You have proven your faithfulness to me year after year. Thank you for peace that surpasses all understanding. I am utterly grateful for everything you lavishly provide year after year. I love you with all of my heart, mind, soul and strength. I am yours forever. I pray now for peace to reign, love to win, hate to fail, and for Your Kingdom to be made known to a lost and desperate world. In Your Powerful Name, Jesus. AMEN
You can add your prayer and include the names of those who you are praying for. I will pray along with you. Or copy my prayer, add name and then type: AMEN
Pray in the comments. Share what has happened this week in the comments. Did you struggle? Was there breakthrough? Let me know if you experienced something new in your time with God and let’s celebrate this fact: God is good!
I love you. Lynn
*THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart to those who contributed to Winning Them With Prayer. Your love of our Savior shines bright in these pages. Well done good and faithful servants!
Ian, Tara, Heather, Martha, Christi, Lynette, Jim, Dorothy, Ramona, Flavia, Joanne, Heather, Dee, Taylor, Patty, Barb, Evie, Maira, Gillian. I heart you! And Dineen, I adore you. Your design and layout efforts made this book a reality. One a saw a long time ago in my mind. You made it come alive!!
Stay tuned as we start our next series on January 23rd: Emotional Healing: How Jesus heals shame, guilt, wounding and pain.
My friends, we are already on day three of our prayer and fasting. Please share what God is showing and/or telling you. Your testimony may be the very piece another SUMite needs to help her or him connect the dots of what God is revealing. I’m finding myself in that place again where God is connecting dots again and revealing answers to prayers. I’m so very encouraged especially for my children and hope to share more soon on what’s happening.
Plus, our first night of fasting from television turned out to be such a precious time for my hubby and I. We played games and didn’t miss watching it at all. I am amazed by that, my friends. I know the Holy Spirit gave me grace for that. Plus I had time to spend in His presence later in the evening too. So so good…
And I will say I’m finally seeing breakthrough in a place I’ve been praying over for more than two years now. This and answers to prayers I received on Sunday are like cool, fresh water to my thirsty spirit. Boy howdie, my spirit was thirstier than I realized. How about you?
My friends, let’s continue to press in and contend for what God is giving us this week. Even if you aren’t seeing anything shift yet, don’t despair and don’t compare. Every breakthrough and promise from God is unique and comes in His packaging, not our expectations. Remember chapters two and three…pray, believe…
Read chapters seven through nine in Winning Them With Prayer. Lynn’s prayer using 1 Cor. 7:14 is so powerful! Our power-passage! This is our place of authority and brings power to our prayers. Remember that your prayers for your spouse sanctify them, which according to the Greek translation of that word means that God has laid a claim upon them to be set apart for Him. That is what your prayers do for spouse and loved ones, SUMites!
And now I want to leave you with a verse that has become HUGE in my life. Several weeks ago one of our directors at the healing rooms I work at gave me this verse with the instructions, “God wants you to meditate on it.”
It’s a powerful verse, my friends. That same day God told me what He wanted me to know regarding it and just yesterday, He confirmed it in a very unexpected way. Now I would like you to meditate upon it, SUMites.
It shall come to pass in that day
That his burden will be taken away from your shoulder,
And his yoke from your neck,
And the yoke will be destroyed because of the anointing oil. — Isaiah 10:27
I love you, SUMites! I pray your week is filled with new revelations and promises from the Lord. I pray your fasting becomes joyful and a delight as you press closer to God. I pray that this week sets the stage for an entire year of breakthroughs for you, your family and this entire community.
And Lord, I pray that very SUMite would be freshly anointed in Your holy oil. In the mighty and powerful name of Jesus, amen!
Love and hugs!
My friends, we are on day two of our fast. I’ve chosen to fast from sun-up to sun-down each day. I also sought the Holy Spirit’s guidance on anything else I should fast from, to honor the Lord. He’s impressed upon my heart to fast from television. Not that I watch that much, but it is a routine thing for hubby and I in the evenings to relax and watch old reruns. I find this time very cathartic.
But God told me He wants to do something different so maybe this is part of it. The unexpected part of it is when I told my husband I was “considering” doing this, I asked him what he thought and if he’d like to join me.
He said yes! So, Mike is joining me in a fast from television this week. I’m fascinated to see what God does with that, my friends. Really and truly, the Lord is so surprising!
Our assignment yesterday was to read the first three chapters in Winning Them With Prayer and write down our prayers. Also to read and personalize the SUMite prayer listed at the end of each chapter. I hope you are greatly encouraged, my friends, to see and know we are all pressing in together for God’s heart and Words for our lives. I find that so comforting too.
Chapters two and three speak of belief and praying God’s Word. These are vital keys to our faith walk! I know at times we battle doubt and fear—I know I do—but I continually find the answer in God’s Word and the power His spoken Word holds. I will never tire of Jeremiah 1:12:
The Lord said to me, “You have seen correctly, for I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled.” — Jer. 1:12
To know our Lord watches over His Word to perform it is so powerfully reassuring in my life, SUMites. I pray that’s true for you too. Believe it! Believe Him!
I shared some words the Lord spoke to me last Friday and mentioned there was more. What God shared with me just after the New Year is that 2017 will be A Year of Promises. And it’s two fold:
- The revelation of promises already given.
- New promises to be given and released
My friends, I am especially excited about this because I received some prophetic words from my church family on Sunday that confirmed and answered three cries of my heart and this word God gave me about A Year of Promises. Amazingly, they were given to me by four different people at different moments who had no knowledge of any my prayers or what God had been showing me.
That is how wonderful our Lord is, and how much He loves us. So I encourage you to keep pressing deeper into His presence and love. Be like the widow who goes before the judge and continually asks (Luke 18). I have been doing this for weeks to counter some heavy spiritual warfare and finally the answers came. I am a bit weary from it, but very relieved to know God’s heart, my friends. It was the confirmation and affirmation I desperately needed. Our Father God cares so much for us and though we don’t understand His ways, He is very present and active in answering our prayers.
Let’s continue our prayer and fasting today with chapters four through six in Winning Them With Prayer. As I said, God wants to do something different in 2017. With an open heart ask Him what that means for you and your family. I do so hope you’ll share too. I’ve no doubt God will speak to and through each of us astonishing ways!
I love you, SUMites! Your heart for God and love for each other are two of the most beautiful things I have witnessed in this lifetime. And if that’s how I feel, can you imagine how our Lord Jesus feels to behold this amazing family?
Yes, I am in awe. Of Him…and you.
My time with my family over Christmas and New Years was very sweet and precious. I am so grateful for it as we only get to spend Christmas together every other year now. So thank you, my SUM family, for your prayers and blessings over my time with my daughters and son-in-love. As you can imagine, I miss them greatly. Our Papa God has comforted my melancholy heart every time I’ve run to Him. He’s so good.
But I am ready to walk into 2017 with new expectations and new clarity for direction. And I'm "expecting" next week's prayer and fasting will be key to that. I believe many of you are too. I've loved reading your comments and praying with you about your hopes and expectations. You guys write some awesome stuff!
Many of you shared a word God has given you for the new year. I too have been seeking God for what He has for me and my family, and what He wants to be for us in 2017. He's not only given me a word for 2017, He's challenged me.
This word pushes me way out of my comfort zone, my friends. Why? Because it challenges me to step out further in faith and trust Him more. It's risky. I will be honest and share that I've grappled with some disappointments this last year that I'm coming to realize are more to do with my impatience than anything else. God's timing is, well, God's timing.
But this pushes me to think and dream even further out than I ever have before. This year my word is "Envision." And with it have come some pretty big possibilities—ones I can't even begin to figure out how God will accomplish them. But He is the God of possibilities, and I've learned that His ways are absolutely astonishing and so very unexpected.
So, yes, I am challenged this year to leave the comfortable places of my thinking and allow Him to take me places I can't even imagine. I am excited and a bit anxious all at once!
SUMites, God has given me some words for us here too that I look forward to sharing during our prayer and fasting next week. They are full of hope and promise, my friends. God has so much in store for us. Yes, we will be challenged in new ways, but let's remember that God has prepared us for this time and season. We are fully equipped and complete in Him. Amen!
Here are some links to help you with types of fasts and how to fast. If fasting from food isn't an option, please don't discount yourself from participating. There are other avenues you can take and other ways to fast. Such as fasting from sweets, or one particular food item you tend to gravitate toward. Or fasting from television or social media.
The best course here is to ask the Holy Spirit to impress upon your heart what kind of fast is best for this time and will honor and please God. Just as faith as small as a mustard seed delights our Papa God, He views even our smallest efforts with pleasure when the intent in our heart is great. He is always more interested in our hearts than results.
And now, SUM family, I want to share the words He gave me in November. They are so encouraging and uplifting. I for one am longing to go deeper with the Lord this year than ever before. I'm still learning to hear and listen to Him in this new way He's teaching me. I'm still learning to focus on Him and the journey instead of the end result. I have so much to learn!
I am establishing My kingdom as never before in the believer's heart. And it is a kingdom about My love. A Kingdom of Love.
The enemy's scare tactics are desperate—like a toddler pitching a fit over not getting his way—a last ditch attempt to wreak havoc. But he won't succeed as long as you don't acknowledge him. He is harmless.
My intentions are clear. My heart is known and true. Listen for My pulse. Listen to My heart. I am true and I am truth. With Me you will not fail. In Me you are a true victor. A true champion, for My cause.
And My cause is you, every one of My children! I am raising you up higher than ever before, My dread champions, and I am calling you forth. You carry the weapons of love, joy and peace. Wield them freely. Walk in love, walk in peace, be strengthened in My abundant joy. I am with You all the way!
Thank You, Father God! Thank You, Lord Jesus! Thank You, Holy Spirit! We are so grateful for Your great love and good intentions for us. Lord, I pray for every one of us in this SUM family, that the eyes of our hearts will be enlightened next week in order that we may know more fully the hope to which You have called us, the riches of Your glorious inheritance in the saints, and Your incomparably great power for us who believe (Eph. 1:18-19).
In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, I bless this church without walls with the oil of joy. I bless every SUMite with greater peace than she or he has ever known. And I bless every one of us with a greater capacity to love than we have ever imagined. Lord, let us walk in the love You pour out upon us and share it with everyone we encounter. Make each of us a reflection and representation of Your Kingdom of Love. Amen!
I love you, SUMites! See you next week!
Last year my Word for the year was “DELIGHT”. I so enjoyed delighting and figured there was so much more for me to experience that I was expecting I would stick with the same word for 2017.
As I prayed and meditated on it last week I stumbled across a line in a prayer I read:
“If I’m going to be in a hurry about one thing this year, may it be to linger longer in Your Presence. Everything else will fall into place.”1
I stopped. Re-read this line a few more times as I prayed and then I had a new Word for 2017. Can you guess what it is?
It’s a great word. How much do we enjoy lingering on a great cup of coffee or fabulous dessert or a piece of music? But how much time do we spend simply lingering in the Lord’s Presence to savor Him? Not what He can give us but Him, His face, His person.
Those who lingered
As I reflected more on that line above, people in the Bible who spent time lingering in His Presence came to mind.
“And it came to pass, when Moses entered the tabernacle, that the pillar of cloud descended and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the Lord talked with Moses. All the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the tabernacle door, and all the people rose and worshiped, each man in his tent door. So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. And he would return to the camp, but his servant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, did not depart from the tabernacle.” (Exodus 33:9-11 NKJV)
Joshua lingered in the tabernacle (nee: tent). Even when Moses, his mentor, left it. It changed him. So much so it was Joshua, and not Moses, who received the honour of leading the Israelites into the Promised Land.
“Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity; and this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years,[a] who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem.” (Luke 2:36-38 NKJV)
These are the only three verses in the Bible about Anna. She was a woman who lingered in the temple. And served God with fasting and praying. The Lord honoured her by allowing her to see Jesus, the infant.
Mary of Bethany
“Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word.” (Luke 10: 38-39 NKJV)
Mary lingered at Jesus’ feet and heard His word.
How can we linger in His Presence?
As we come to next week’s annual New Year prayer and fast what can we do to linger a little longer in His Presence next week and beyond? No doubt you have some ideas but here are a couple:
- When the hunger pangs strike, pray. Even if it’s as simple as saying “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.” Allow His name to change the atmosphere around you so you “forget” your hunger.
- Turn up every morning (or lunchtime or evening) – come often as your mind enjoys the habit of consistency.
- Be silent – I know this can be extremely hard for those of you with kiddies and busy households. But I hope you’re able to find a spot where you can escape for a few moments and simply be quiet. Might be in the car after the school drop-off. Take one or two deep breaths and then quietly say “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus” or similar and allow yourself to linger with your Creator. The one who loves you more than anyone.
- Start small. If this is new to you a few minutes of lingering is good. Don’t feel you need to speak. Simply ask Jesus what’s on His heart. And listen.
Stay in the tent. And enjoy Him.
Let me pray for us all.
Dear Jesus, we love you, we adore you. We consecrate this new year of 2017 to you. We consecrate ourselves, our partners, our marriages and families to you. We consecrate this week of fasting and prayer to You. Let Your kingdom come in our marriages and in our homes – let Your will be done, Lord Jesus. Help us to linger longer in Your Presence and to enjoy the fruits of Your tenderness. We pray this year will be the year our partners come to know you. We love you and love being your sons and daughters. In Your Mighty Name we pray. Amen.
Grace and peace, dear friends. I so look forward to sharing next week with you all and savouring our Lord together. I love reading of other people's Word's of the year and/or verses if you adopt such a practice. Share them in the comments so we can encourage you in your endeavours for 2017.
Notes: 1. “Everyday Prayers”, Scotty Smith, Baker Books, 2011. Pg377.
My friends, The New Year fast is going to be different than in years past. I am compelled by the Holy Spirit to walk all of us through a season of healing. One of the ways believers encounter healing is upon our discovery of our divine purpose and calling.
DISCOVER YOUR DIVINE CALLING - FAST 2017
Day one you can expect a few questions that you will take with you into your prayer time. And as your hunger grows throughout the day, I’m convinced that the answers will flow from the Throne of Grace and Mercy.
We will also be using the prayer book as a prompt and it will also become a record of our fast and so much more. It’s not too late to order you copy. However, we are sold out. Every book that Dineen and I order has been purchased and shipped. We have more on the way and hope to offer them again through our SUM Shop.
1/5/2017 You can now order through The Sum Shop.
I can see so many of you holding this book in your hand alongside your Bible. I see the Lord speaking to you and teaching you new strategies of prayer that are powerful to intercede for your family and marriage. This book will become a blessed heirloom to your family, to one day look at your notes in the book, the prayers you wrote and the dates and finally…. How the Lord moved upon your utterances. Neat.
Today, I want you to pray and pray every day leading up to January 9th for supernatural faith, discipline, self-control and desire to walk through this fast faithfully. Pray that the plans the Lord has for you in 2017 are revealed. Ask Jesus to teach you to walk in these prayer strategies and that the prayers will manifest the Kingdom in your life. In Jesus name. AMEN
In the comments, tell me what is something you are hoping will come from your time of prayer and fasting. See you there. Hugs, Lynn
IF YOU CAN’T FAST WITH US. THAT’S OKAY. BUT PLAN TO PRAY ALONG WITH US BECAUSE OUR GOD IS IN A GOOD MOOD AND YOU WILL RECEIVE SOMETHING FROM THIS TIME OF PRAYER AS WELL!
Hello, SUM Family! Life at the new Miller Home has been crazy busy and hectic to say the least. We’re mostly settled in with just a few boxes here and there.My daughters and son-in-love will soon arrive to spend Christmas with us—our first Christmas in our new home. Needless to say hubby and I have been busy little bees getting things put in place and finishing some projects ourselves like towel bars and and a few light fixtures.
Then, of course, decorating the house for Christmas, gift shopping, social events…my list is growing, my friends. How about yours? I think we all share this common challenge of managing the business of the season while trying not to lose the heart and hope of what it truly means.
Christmas is all about promise. Our Messiah Jesus was/is the greatest promise given to us. The Old Testament is all about that promise. God moves and weaves Himself into the lives of His people with great care, often giving us just a glimpse into a picture too large for us to fully comprehend. But every story points to His faithfulness to His promises.
Here’s are two translations of a verse that captured my heart this week:
This is why I wait upon you, expecting your breakthrough, for your word brings me hope. — Psalm 130:5 (TPT)
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; — Psalm 130:5 (ESV)
The first version from the Passion Translation brings to light the position of waiting, to wait expectantly for God to bring breakthrough. Sometimes we can get tired in this place of waiting and give up right before that breakthrough comes. The key here, my friends, is to be tenacious and one of the best ways to do this is to have a support system. This is one reason why having a church home, small group or prayer partner is vital.
Last Sunday I went to church weary from a lot of spiritual warfare. The enemy targeted my daughters and family to try to undermine my choice to stand in a place of peace. I went up for prayer at the end of the service. A friend spoke wise words to my heart, “to speak what I know, not what I see.”
In other words, I could speak the trouble and chaos I was witnessing in my children’s lives, or I would speak the truth of God’s Word and promises into the situations and into their lives.
Both of these translations also contain “word,” which means promise. The Bible is God’s promise to us, and Jesus is the manifestation of those promises as He is the Word become flesh (John 1). That kind of blows me away, SUMites. That’s a huge promise and God fulfilled it. Nothing is impossible with Him.
My friends, like you there are promises that I have prayed into all year long (like my daughter’s health and restoration so she can work again) that I’m still waiting to see manifest. Those are the ones that put our faith to the test. Will we continue to contend for what God has promised us no matter how long it takes? These are the waiting places that require us to guard our hearts from doubt and encourage ourselves in the Lord. His love conquers everything!
As Ian shared in his beautiful post Wednesday, we are a people who wait. We know this position well, my friends. SUMites, we are all standing and praying for the promise of salvation for our spouses—a promise God spoke to my heart specifically for this community at the beginning of the year. I know He continues to work in our spouses in ways we can’t even see yet. Seeds are being planted and divine appointments put in place. I believe God is “setting-up” our spouses to walk into belief in ways we can’t even imagine right now. I am contending for this for my own spouse and yours. And I have been asking God for testimonies.
Well, I have a story to share with you that I think will strengthen your faith and reenergize your prayers. Last week we received a testimony from Jamie about her marriage and her husband. This is a stunning story of God working in the most unexpected ways. All evidence pointed to this marriage ending in divorce, my friends, BUT GOD… It’s powerful, awe-inspiring and beautiful. All things are possible with God.
Read ‘God Saved Our Marriage…and My Husband’ here. I pray it encourages you and ignites a new hope in your spirit. That is the promise we hold within, the hope of Jesus, and it’s the focus of this first week of Advent.
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. — Romans 5:1-5
SUMites, I bless you with a fresh anointing of hope that will ignite your faith to a whole new level as we close this year well.
I love you all so much,
At The SUM Shop you will find books, one of which is the new SUM community book, Winning Them With Prayer. (Formerly titled Praying for Your Unsaved Spouse—we’ve redesigned a bit. Lynn will tell you all the details tomorrow.) When you check out the shop you’ll see you can pre-order this book now.
You’ll also find teaching videos and materials, gifts items and more. More as in more is coming. We are so excited to offer this now as a way to provide more resources designed to your needs, and all the proceeds from The SUM Shop are poured back into this ministry to advance the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.
So check out The SUM Shop, SUMites, and let us know what you think. We’ll be adding new items soon and will keep you posted on every new addition. We love creating and designing every single item with you in mind. You’re our family and we love you.
Dineen and Lynn
Hi prayer family, Christy Edney here!
As I think about our community, one phrase continues to bounce around in my head. That phrase is authentic friendships. Many of you have accepted the invitation to form prayer partnerships and you have shared how God is working through those bonds. It's not too late to receive a prayer partner! If you would like a partner then please send me an email by clicking this link: Sumite Prayer Partners
Today I want to share a quick story from Sumites Melissa and Anne. They are prayer partners that can actually meet in person because Melissa used the Community Map to look up her hometown and noticed another Sumite in her area. I want to encourage you to do the same thing! Click on the Community Map, add a dot to your location and email Lynn or Dineen if you see another dot in your area. This is a fabulous way to build authentic friendships and maybe even community within your own city!
Father, I am so encouraged by this community's courage and obedience to Your call. It takes courage to reach out to a stranger and trust them with our hearts. It takes faith to believe your promise that the Holy Spirit will be with us whenever we gather in your name. I hold up these men and women and ask you to bless them with friendships that would bring glory to your name. Lord, we look to our leaders and ask you to cover them with your holy protection, give them feet to run from temptation and a heart filled with love for our savior, Jesus Christ. May your supernatural peace flood our lives like a crisp fall breeze. I ask all of these things in the mighty name of our king, the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!
My friends, I pray this video encourages you. As I suggested, read Ezra and this amazing story of how God used King Cyrus, the leaders of the Trans Eurphrates, King Artaxerxes and King Darius to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem. The very people and plans to stop this wound up revealing the original edict by Cyrus to rebuild the Temple. God loves to turn things on end and surprise us, SUMites. Remember, things won't look the way you expect. This is not a time of either or. It's a time of yes and both and AMEN!
So let's be in prayer together for our loved ones.
When the servant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. And the servant said, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” He said, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. — 2 Kings 6:15-17
Lord Jesus, open the eyes of our spouses and loved ones that they me see YOU! In the name of Jesus, amen!
I love you so much, SUMites! You are amazing!
A few days ago, I received a prayer request from a new reader. As I answered her email, I realized that her situation is also similar to many of us. So, I want to share her question/prayer request and my answer.
Let me know if you are in this season of marriage and struggle and I will be so glad to pray for you. Hugs, Lynn
My husband says he believes but every time that I open my Bible or talk about God he makes me feel like I'm wasting my time and brings up controversial issues in the bible to try to prove it’s not true. It weakens my faith because he makes really good points and it then makes me feel stupid for believing it. I don't want to feel this way and I know it's Satan trying to steal my joy and my faith and he’s using my husband to do it. So, I'm asking my sister's in Christ to be in FERVENT prayer over my husband. Thank you all.
Girl, do I ever know how you feel. Indeed, this was my life as well in the early years of my marriage. I will assure you it’s all real. Jesus is real and the more you grow in your faith the easier it will be for you to walk in confidence in the truth of the Word. Also, do not feel as though you must defend your faith or the Bible to your husband. It’s impossible to make them see the truths in the Word without the Holy Spirit. It’s not a book of logic. It’s a book of faith. Faith is believing. But right now, I will be the voice to tell you it’s all real. Hold on to those words when the enemy uses your husband to shame you.
Keep walking in joy and hope because you will not be disappointed. You may need to have a conversation with your husband. Pray first for wisdom and timing. Let your husband know that you don't have every answer he is looking for but your experience and the joy in your heart outweighs the questions you have. And over time you will receive answers because God loves to reveal himself to those who are diligently looking for Him.
Ask your husband to just respect your faith because it makes you happy. Ask him not to tear you and your faith down and then promise him you won’t push your faith on him. Prayerful and hopefully this kind of conversation will develop into peace in your marriage.
In the meantime, pray…. Your prayers are utterly powerful. Claim your husband and marriage with 1 Corinthians 7:14. It is our power passage. Read about there here.
I pray for your husband and I bless you with love, a peace that passes all understanding, joy, forgiveness and more faith. In Jesus name. AMEN
SUMites, have you struggled like this? Do you have any words of encouragement to give to B? See you in the comments. Lynn
My friends, Mike and I are getting settled into our home. There are still boxes to be unpacked and things to be put away, but I am loving the process. And the promise. There is so much promise coming…
I shared on our Facebook page recently a verse that the Holy Spirit kept bringing to my attention over and over again. I honestly have never had a verse “dog” me this much.
The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you. — Romans 16:20
I didn’t fully understand the full “breath” of this word at first until I was in a moment of worship and God overwhelmed me with not just His love but a hope so great it brought me to tears of joy. It’s huge! And then I understood that our Papa God is about to release a greater hope into this world than we have seen before. His promises are true and just—our enemy is destined to be crushed under our feet. That’s where we stand, my friends, for Jesus, and the enemy is crushed.
And this great hope will accompany His love as never before. It’s absolutely huge. We will be stunned, awestruck and swept over by intense gratitude as it appears and transforms us in ways I can’t even imagine at the moment. I am so full (pregnant?) with expectation.
My friends, will you dream with me? I believe God is about to do some amazing things right in this SUM community. I’m asking Him personally for something I never could have thought of without His loving inspiration and this budding hope working in me. It’s just not something I would have thought of asking on my own. And when the words first left my lips I was shocked to hear them.
I’m asking that Abba move in my daughter Leslie to want to be baptized. I’m asking Him to put this on her heart and that she’ll ask me to baptize her in our pool in our new home while she is here for Christmas. I believe God will move in this, and it may not happen as soon as I’m asking, but I believe it will happen.
Why? Because I believe this dream is from Him. And why would He give me a dream He didn’t plan to fulfill?
So, SUM family, it’s dreaming day. What are you dreaming of? Here’s one I want to ask God for now, with your agreement, dear friends.
Lord, we are dreaming of homes that are spiritually matched! We ask that our House of SUM become a House of SEM—Spiritually Equal Marriages! In the name of Jesus, amen!
I love you so much, my friends! I can’t wait to read about your dreams, to bless them and pray with you.
A few more of the Scriptures written on the beams...XOXO!
My friends, I pray you are still discovering sweet revelations and blessings from last week's fasting and praying for Rosh Hashanah. Dawn did an amazing job leading us. Thank you, my friend! We love you so much!
And my friends, your comments were moving and inspiring. If you didn't read Ann's comment about her revelation dream for us that she posted on Thursday, please go read it in the comments. It's very encouraging and confirmed many things for me. In fact, God used her comment and Dawn's story about her house to show me what I was to share with you next.
Can I just say, I love our Father's heart for us and our spouses? He is so passionate about us, my friends! I'm overwhelmed by His love and heart for us.
Now about our house...we are just 16 days away from closing. We have watched our house transform from a cement slab and framed walls to a nearly completed home full of details—cabinets, counters, painted walls and landscaping. My husband and I are so excited that we go by our house about twice a day just to see what new things have been done that day.
Now something happened early on in this process that came full circle just a week ago and God has show me it's a word for us. But first, I need to tell you a story of how this all began.
Back in 2004...
My husband and I decided it was time to buy a house. We'd moved back to the U.S. (to California) from Switzerland two years prior and had rented a house so we could get acquainted with the area and figure out where we wanted to settle. However, as you may or may not know, the housing prices in California were/are quite high. And the houses that were in our budget sold fast, usually through bidding wars.
One Sunday I went to church full of despair. We'd not found a house and had decided we would continue renting. I asked my Sunday school group to pray for us. We planned to check one more area that afternoon, but if that didn't pan out, we'd call our landlord and negotiate another lease.
That afternoon we drove to the area a friend had suggested but didn't find it. We had a fairly small area to work in because of our oldest daughter's high school district. When we reached that outer street, we resigned ourselves to just go home.
Just a few blocks down, we saw an open house sign on a house that was just renovated and hadn't even been officially listed yet. We debated stopping and finally did.
My friends, I kid you not, as I walked into that house and barely saw more than just the front living area, I said to my husband, "This is our house."
We contacted our realtor, who was (is) a believer and told her to make an offer. And then we went to war. Several offers came in for that house. We'd offered the full asking price but knew the chances were slim to get it. Mike and discussed offering more and decided we'd take the risk. Our budget would be stretched, and we weren't sure how we'd do it, but my ever-optimist husband said we'd figure out a way.
I called our realtor and asked if we should offer more. She asked for a little time to pray about it. A half hour later she called and agreed it was a good plan. Then we waited.
The next day my husband came home with a story of his own. He'd received an unexpected raise that day, and it was exactly what we would need to afford the higher price mortgage.
We got the house. SUMites, every time I looked at our house after that, all I saw in my mind was this big red bow around it, because it was a gift from God. We walked through a lot in that house (including the miracles of my daughter’s cancer recovery) and God us blessed us richly, even in the sale of the home to a sweet family with a little boy.
Now, fast forward to our house we are building now. As I shared in my post in July, God showed me this new house is a also a gift from His hand and that I was to rejoice in it.
On September 8th, God led me to the book of Haggai.
"'The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former, says the Lord of hosts. And in this place I will give peace, declares the Lord of hosts.’” — Haggai 2:9 ESV
As I read this, I began to tremble, my friends. That may sound crazy, but I knew that God had spoken something very deep to my spirit. And He reminded me of two other times this Word was spoken over me in the last year and half. Now He was affirming that the house He was giving us ow and all that He has planned and purposed for it (which He's given me just a glimpse of His kingdom plans there and let me just say, "WOW!") will be greater than our former house.
SUMites, as I have shared in this past, this new house has become a monument of God's presence, provision and plans for this community. Our SUM family.
This word, that our latter "home" will be greater than our former one is for all of us. Ann's comment last week confirmed this for me. And showed me now was the time to share it as we near the completion of this home.
But God has given me another specific word, my friends. One that starts with an event that would require me to forgive someone connected to the completion of this home for lying and breaking our trust. It's a crazy story of God's unexpected justice and protection of His provision and plans. You will be utterly amazed.
Please be sure to come back for the rest of this story on Friday and to hear God's heart for us right now. This is a message you don’t want to miss, straight from the Father’s heart.
We are on the precipice, my friends. I know it's challenging to be on the mountain top with an assuredness and determination to pray into what God reveals to us, then to wait and pray, wait and pray, wait and pray and not see any visible change. But let me be the voice of truth to you and reassure you that our God is working diligently to bring forth His promise in reply to our prayers.
Today I'm asking you to make a new declaration in the comments that you trust the Lord for all that He has promised you because He is your God.
But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.” — Psalms 31:14
Declare what you are trusting Him for too, my friends. Let's speak out into the natural what God is setting into place in the heavens! (Heb. 11:3)
I love you, SUM family. Please know that I am faithfully praying Jer. 24:7 and the Scriptures you sent me over you and your spouse. God is faithful to His Word!
“If I told you my story
You would hear Hope that wouldn't let go
And if I told you my story
You would hear Love that never gave up
If I should speak then let it be
Of the grace that is greater than all my sin
Of when justice was served and where mercy wins
Of the kindness of Jesus that draws me in
Oh to tell you my story is to tell of Him”
Lyrics from “My Story” Big Daddy Weave
The words to that song are the words to my song – my story. And to tell you my story is to tell of Him. My story of the last year is one filled with hope, love, victory and abundance. It has been a jubilee year indeed and it all started with the Rosh Hashanah community fast here in our Sum Community.
It was Monday, September 14th. I had not fasted in a quite a while and I was actually at a very stagnant, even stale, place in my prayer life. I was disappointed with God for not moving in my timeline, I was stressed out from the contentious relationship with my ex-husband and I was doing this fast because I just needed to feel that closeness with the Lord that I had not felt in a very long time. And the thought of a Jubilee year on the heels of one of the hardest 3 years of my life sounded very appealing too. While it was not my driving force, a breakthrough would definitely have been welcome.
It would be very hard to fit an entire year of blessings into a blog post, so I will start with that day. On that day, everything with my ex-husband (for whom I have been standing for over 4 years with no hope in sight) turned on a dime. It started with him calling me about his sick grandfather (shocking in itself) and since that conversation we have become friends, gone on family outings, helped each other out and even attended church together on Easter Sunday– ALL a result of that one day of fasting when everything turned around. And I believe that every day since then has brought us closer to restoration – no minor miracle, my friends!
For our first day of fasting, I will tell you of one other amazing story to bookend this past Jubilee year. It ended as grand (grand as only God can do) as it started. As you are reading this, I am moving into a house I purchased for me and my girls. I had been renting a house for the last 4 years, but my daughter was starting high school and wanted to attend a particular school in a different area. I decided I needed to go ahead and buy a house in that district. So we started praying back in March for a ranch style house (just a personal preference), within our budget and with a school bus for both girls.
The housing market in Denver is just crazy, so after getting outbid on every house we liked, I decided a new build was the only way to go. Upon inquiring about new builds, I found out ranch style houses are VERY popular and there were none of those models available. Apparently they were the first to sell. So I settled on a 2 story house, significantly out of my comfortable price point and decided this was just the way it was meant to be. At least both girls would have a bus to and from school.
Fast forward to Sunday June 19th… I got a call from the sales office saying that our house completion had been pushed back to next year instead of the original Oct/Nov date I had been told. Oh – and did I mention my lease was up in July and we had moved into my sister’s basement for what we assumed would be a short amount of time? This news was devastating, BUT GOD! As I am in tears with the poor sales lady, she says “We do have a ranch that is available and finished. The family who originally intended to buy it was transferred out of state. If you’d like to come see it, we’d be willing to work with you on the price and transfer your earnest money.”
The girls and I went to see it that day. It was everything we wanted and we fell in love with it immediately. It even had the same finishes (white cabinets, gray quartz countertops) that we had picked out for the other house. We closed on September 30 and best of all; the price they gave us was well within the budget I had prayed for. Wow – don’t you just LOVE how God rolls!?!
The kind of fast I am choosing to do this week is solid food from sun up to sun down Monday – Friday. The breakthrough(s) I am particularly praying for are the usual ones I’ve been praying for years – that J will come to know the love of Christ first hand and know true unconditional love for the first time in his life and that my marriage and our family would be restored. I would love to hear the breakthroughs you are all fasting for so we can pray for each other during this special time. What mountains do you want to see moved as a result of your fast this week?
I am absolutely thrilled and honored to be leading this fast and doing it with all of you. Tomorrow I’ll be talking about obstacles to fasting and how we can stand strong against them. “See” you then!
Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, begins at sunset on Sunday, October 2nd and ends at nightfall on October 4th and means “head of the year” in Hebrew. The biblical name for this holiday is Yom Teruah, which in Hebrew means day of shouting and blasting and is sometimes translated as the Feast of Trumpets. Thus why the Shofar is a symbol of the holiday (as well as the eating of symbolic foods such as apples dipped in honey to evoke a "sweet new year”) and is blown as part of the celebration.
The significance of this horn is very symbolic as well. Remember the story of Jericho and how the seven priests bore seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the Lord? They were to blow the horns as they marched around the city. Have you heard the sound of a Shofar?
Rosh Hashanah is then followed by Yom Kippur, which is a time reflection, repentance and fasting. So, my friends, next week our very own, Dawn Billesbach, will be leading us each day in community fasting and praying with stories and encouragement of how God has moved in her life through the observance of this Jewish holiday and its traditions.
Lynn and I are so very grateful to have her leadership for this. We’ve already read the first installment, and we both wound up in tears. It is a stunning and ongoing story of God’s goodness and faithfulness to a woman’s prayers and intercession for her for her marriage, her family and even herself.
So, dear SUMites, be prepared to be blessed and encouraged greatly by this wonderful woman of God who’s heart for Jesus is steadfast and faithful. Lynn and I have had the honor and pleasure of standing with her for years in prayer and have witnessed her grow in her faith walk in ways we never imagined. God is so good!
Here’s a little about Dawn:
I live in Broomfield, Co with my 2 girls. I have a teen and a tween and needless to say, lots of gray hair. We enjoy camping and all things outdoors. If I can’t be outside, my 2nd favorite place is in the kitchen. I love feeding people. Food is definitely my love language. I have many accomplishments that I am very proud of, but one my greatest (besides raising 2 amazing kiddos) is learning to back up my pop-up camper. Funny, but true!
I am divorced, but standing in faith for a restoration of my marriage and family. I am in AWE every single day of the faithfulness of God and His promises to work ALL things for our good. As I watch His plans unfold, I can’t help but be absolutely blown away. In recent years, I have learned the difference in knowing God and knowing God. HE has met me on every step of this journey whether I was face down on the floor, immobile from grief or learning to back up a camper so I could take my kids camping. For this, I wouldn’t trade a single tear or heartache.
I joined the SUM community about 4 years ago when my husband and I were first separated. The encouragement has been a lifeline to me since.
Dear friends, here are some links to help you determine how and what kind of fast is best for you. Please consider this next week prayerfully and ask the Holy Spirit to lead you.
SUMites, I’m excited about and expectant of what God is going to do next week. A verse I have prayed for years showed up yesterday, and I knew in my spirit right away this is for us right now.
Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. — Jeremiah 33:3
Lord, we call out to You and wait expectantly for You to answer. Tell us great and hidden things about this next year, Lord, as we ask to know Your heart for ourselves, our spouses and our family. We commit this next week to You and rejoice in knowing that You are always working for our good (Rom. 8:28) and have a future and a hope set in place for us all (Jer. 29:11). We rejoice, Lord! We rejoice in You! For You are our inheritance and we are Yours. In the blessed name of Jesus, amen!
Love you, SUMites!
My friends, I don’t know if you remember me sharing in June of 2013 a dream God gave me, which I believe was a precursor to our salvation word this year and what’s to come. There are several pieces to this that the Holy Spirit is showing me, and I am excited to share with you. So let’s start with a refresher of that dream and then pray in this harvest!
May 2013 (date of dream)
I was half awake, half asleep, but the dream was very vivid. I stood before a tall cornfield—taller than me. Jesus stood next to me.
He gestured to the crop and said, "This is the Great Harvest.”
I said, "Lord, I can't see past this, can you show me more?”
Suddenly I was up higher and could see tall mountains in the far distance. The crop spanned all the way to the mountains!
At the time I found it very curious that I saw corn in this dream as opposed to wheat. With some investigation and research, I discovered that the Bible references to grain can mean either corn or wheat and are often connected with oil and wine.
“From the dew of heaven and the richness of the earth, may God always give you abundant harvests of grain and bountiful new wine. — Genesis 27:28
Isaac said to Esau, “I have made Jacob your master and have declared that all his brothers will be his servants. I have guaranteed him an abundance of grain and wine—what is left for me to give you, my son?” — Genesis 27:37
“If you carefully obey all the commands I am giving you today, and if you love the Lord your God and serve him with all your heart and soul, then he will send the rains in their proper seasons—the early and late rains—so you can bring in your harvests of grain, new wine, and olive oil. He will give you lush pastureland for your livestock, and you yourselves will have all you want to eat. — Deut. 11:13-15
Look at this Scripture from Joel, which is part of God’s promise of restoration:
The threshing floors will again be piled high with grain, and the presses will overflow with new wine and olive oil. — Joel 2:24
Grain and wine were such integral parts of the Israelites lives and culture that it makes complete sense that Jesus would use bread and wine to bring such powerful symbolism, connection and power to what we practice today as communion.
And harvest time is always about prosperity, provisions and promise—of abundant life. The Old Testament displayed this in the physical sense first through manna and then provision from the promised land. Jesus took this provision of physical sustenance and connected it to our spiritual need as well.
Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. — John 6:35
Now recently several SUMites have shared stories of how their spouses have walked away from their faith either on this blog or on our 1Peter3Living Yahoo group. My friends, I can’t tell you how deeply this grieved me. These are the stories that break my heart and bring me to tears before God.
And that is what I did one day last week. It made no sense to me in light of the promises God has been sharing with me—with all of us. I went to Him in tears and asked, “Lord, what is going on? You’ve promised us salvation and even shown me this is coming. Have I missed something, not prayed enough? Is the enemy winning this battle?”
I saw only two possibilities, but our God of the impossible replied with His, “I’m revealing the greater glory.”
Dear friends, my tears turned to laughter as the Holy Spirit whispered this to my heart, “The prodigals are being called back and the unbelievers are being drawn in.”
Our Papa God is so good! He’s bringing our loved ones to His Son just as Jesus said He would.
“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.” — John 6:44
SUMites, I believe this with all my heart, soul, mind and spirit! Will you pray with me?
We praise You, Mighty Lord Jesus, for You are the bread and wine to our lives, our souls and our spirits. Thank You for giving this provision to our spouses too! Lord, send the workers needed for this Great Harvest. Send people into our midst to reveal Your presence and love to our pre-believers. Reveal and show that love to them through us, for we are Your workers too, Lord!
Lord Jesus, there is Resurrection Life in all You do. We ask for this resurrection life to be released over our pre-believers, our lives, our marriages, our children and every place in our lives where dry bones need to be called back to life. Breathe Your breath of life over all of us. We call these dry places to life, in the Saving and Life-Resurrecting Name of Jesus.
Lord Jesus, we ask for vengeance against the enemy and the demonic for all they have stolen from us, the SUMites, from our pre-believers, from our children and even from our ancestors. We ask for full recompense and restoration of what has been lost and stolen (Isa. 35).
Lord, call in the harvest of our pre-believers and prodigals. Bring them to You, Lord, every single one of them. Lord Jesus, when You walked this earth, every person who came to You was healed. We present our prodigals and pre-believers to You like the man lowered through the roof and ask that every single one be saved and healed. In the Mighty Name of Jesus, amen!
Love you, SUMites!
God's love is complete. Jesus made sure of that at the cross. So if God did that in order to love us that way, why would He be angry with us or withhold His goodness from us? Something to think about. The truth always turns the lie upside down.
Love you, my friends!