10 posts categorized "Ephesians Chapter 6"

We Stand for Jesus

1415366_heart_cross_2A week ago I shared in my post the things I am standing for. I sensed then Holy Spirit might be leading me to share a story that began in 2013 that had to do with the word and command in the Bible, to “stand.” Jesus presented it to me as a question, but its full meaning wouldn’t become clearer until almost a year later. 

Will you stand for Me?

The question came as I worshiped with over a thousand others at a faith based conference.

Will you stand for Me?

So unexpected and suddenly there. Often I would hear something and wonder, “Is that me or is that you, Lord?” This time I knew it was Jesus. 

I went to my knees. Yes, Lord, I will stand for you.

That was at the end of 2013 and before I understood that this question was the beginning of what was to come—a very challenging time that would transform my mind and restore my soul.

Months later I would come to understand that this question was part of His preparation, and a year later, He would show me a connection in His Word that brought all the pieces together.

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. — Matthew 16:24 ESV

This verse showed up in my email inbox—twice in one day. I’ve learned to pay heed to such things, so I mined this verse for the nuggets it held. I’ve always wondered about and wanted to understand exactly what Jesus meant by “taking up our cross.” So I looked up the Greek translation of this word, “cross” — stauros

I found the expected definitions: a stake or post, a pole or cross, figuratively, exposure to death, i.e. self-denial, etc. But I noticed it had a root word as well, so I followed the trail to yet another word, one I recognized from another verse. Histēmi, which means “to stand.”

My heart quickened and my fingers dashed over my iPad to Ephesians 6—the armor of God:

Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. — Ephesians 6:11-15 ESV

And there it was. The same word, histēmi. To bear our cross for Jesus meant to stand for Him. That was the cross He’d asked me to carry, to stand for Him through a difficult time He knew had to come but I didn’t. And as I stood (though wobbly and grateful for the prayer warriors holding up my arms), He fought for me. He never left. He never forsook me, never rejected me, never judged me. Just loved me with a relentless passion that would calm, claim and heal my fractured heart.

My friends, Jesus does this for you too. He stands with us as we stand for our spouses, our marriages, our children, our family and for each other. He is our Savior, our Friend, our Advocate, our Healer. He is the source of our strength and joy.

Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. — Psalm 51:12 NIV

Lord Jesus, I stand with my SUMite sisters and brothers and ask that You restore the joy of Your salvation to each one and give each of them a willing spirit to sustain them in all areas of their lives. Let their hearts be comforted and filled with Your peace. Thank You, Lord Jesus, our Prince of Peace, amen!

Love you, my friends!
SignatureGraphic2

 

*****

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-

Footer w drop shadow


The Sword Of The Spirit

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comGang,

Can you believe it? Today, is my last post in my Spiritual Warfare series. I truly hope that you were empowered and found yourself with more armor, more protection and greater understanding of the real battle that is at hand every day and every moment of our life.

We have talked about the Word of God, or the Sword, as our truth and it ties into all the other pieces of armament in Ephesians chapter six. My friends, the Word is our offensive weapon. It is double edged, in that when we swing it, speak it, read it, love it, believe it, follow it. Two things happen. It slices one way, upward, as it pierces into the heavenly realms to open up more of God’s favor and revelation. (Faith and belief comes by hearing the Word of God) and it also slices downward at the same time, cutting off the attacks of the dark kingdom.

And you will need the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit—which is the Word of God. —Ephesians 6:17

In the last month I’ve come to understand the Word of God in an expanding knowledge.

The WORD:

Graphe (Greek) means: Writtings. 66 books that compose the cannon of scripture.

Logos (Greek) means: The Message of the writings. When you read a passage and you understand it, you have just experienced the Logos, the message.

Rhema (Greek) means: Utterance. The spoken or declared Word of God. The spokeness of the logos (message) that you received from the graphe.

The rhema is the spirit and the power of God’s presence with you!

So what does this look like practically?

Jesus used the Word to defeat Satan during His 40 days of fasting in the wilderness – where he went to be tempted by the devil.

Devil: If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.

Jesus: It is written: Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.

In Matthew chapter four, Jesus uses scripture to defeat satan twice. The above passage was in Deuteronomy chapter eight. And the second passage I find interesting is that the devil quotes God’s word to Jesus from Psalm 91. The devil knows scripture. Thus he clearly understands our authority as well as our lack of knowledge, that gives him power in our lives by default.

Devil: He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.

Jesus: It is also written: Do no put the Lord your God to the test.

Followed by Jesus telling the devil: Away from me, Satan! For it is written: Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.

Guess what happened? The devil left him.

Gang, if Jesus is quoting the Word of God to the devil, I think that it would be a very good idea for us to do the same. And we need to say more often and OUT LOUD: Away from me satan!

The devil will always tempt us with a legitimate need, just as he did in this passage with Jesus. But our defense and our offensive weapons are so powerful that we need only speak the Word to the situation and then watch as satan must flee and our Lord will take over and provide.

After this encounter angels came and attended him (Matthew 4:11) My friends, I could stand to use a few angels attending me. How about you?

I want to share a personal observation with you now. This is from my heart and from my experience in these many years of walking with God. So often, the Lord is looking for us to just take a tiny step of faith. He is watching the entire human race to see who will believe Him. He waits on the edge of His seat to see how we will respond to promptings of the Rhema as it moves in our life. His watchful eye is upon us to see if we will take one step out in courage to pray for a stranger, to share our faith with our spouse, to give to someone in need without anyone else’s knowledge, to show ourselves vulnerable but in absolute trust that God has got our back.

When I have followed God’s suggestions to go pray for a stranger or to give them the words I am hearing from the Holy Spirit, NEVER have I been left hanging in embarrassment. It IS a RISK to follow the Rhema and the prompting of the Spirit but each time that I choose to trust, I’m overwhelmed with the love of God. The great privilege is watching the love of Jesus flow into a heart and free them from fear. To be present as the Holy Spirit gently pours peace upon them and to see their countenance change. Even the shape of their face can change when they become free of the chains of fear and oppression.

THAT my friends, is worth any chance of being embarrassed. For me, I will risk it. I choose to RISK for the Kingdom because I have picked up the Rhema, the living Word, and have “experienced” Him.

John 1:1 New International Version (NIV)
The Word Became Flesh
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

God has given us everything we need to THRIVE in life. His blueprint for victorious living is in our hands. The Word, Christ Jesus and His shed blood. The living Word that heals, saves, elevates, and restores. Reading His Word is the gateway to the most glorious, fun-filled, adventurous, and triumphant life. Today, fall in love with the Word of God. Read it every day and ask God to open up the truths it holds because only good can come from its pages.

I know we could spend years in this lane of study of spiritual warfare, but for now, we have finished our tour of Ephesians chapter six. As we enter into the late fall season with Thanksgiving near and Christmas around the corner, I want us to reflect on our blessings. And we are indeed, rich!

Dineen and I have been thinking about a new series that you will love, beginning in January after our week of fasting. Until that time, we are going to be sharing what the Spirit of God leads through the holiday season.

I would love to hear any suggestions of areas in your marriage, faith-walk, raising kids, etc that you would like us to address. Leave a note in the comments.

I know that many of you have found freedom though this series. If you would, please share with me what you learned and how it’s encouraged you, healed you or how you grew in faith with me in the comments.

I love you deeply. Hugs, Lynn

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

*****

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-

Footer w drop shadow


The MIGHTY Shield Of Faith

 

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comPick up the Shield of Faith

  • Raise the shield when our marriage is hanging by a thread.
  • Raise the shield when the bottom of our finances drop out.
  • Raise the shield when that prodigal child goes from bad to worse.
  • Raise the shield when you’ve said to yourself, I can’t take one more thing.
  • Raise the shield when life doesn’t make sense
  • Raise the shield even when you don’t feel like it.

SUMers, up until now the garments of Ephesians 6 are the armor pieces that every believer dawns and wears every day. But the next few portions of this armament, they are to be picked up as life circumstances demand.

In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. —Ephesians 6:16

When all hell breaks loose in your life, it is the day of evil and we can surely count on the arrows flying our direction and toward those whom we love. So we step into faith. But let me ask you this. Do you know what faith really is?

I’m convinced it is two things. First, belief. We believe what God is saying is truth. Even when it appears to be otherwise in our circumstances. We believe even when we don’t feel like it.

At some place in our faith walk we will come to a very interesting juncture. This place on our faith journey will come at different times in a person’s journey and sometimes more than once. But one day, you will ask yourself this question: Do I believe the Bible is true? And at some point in your growing faith, you will be able to answer something like this:

I don’t understand everything in the Word. At times there seems to be uncertainties and passages that are unexplainable and some that simply don’t makes sense. But today, I’m crossing that line and I choose to believe that God’s Word, is in fact, true. I will trust God to explain what I need as time goes by and trust that His Word is all that it says it is. I will believe it and my life will reflect this belief.

Secondly, faith is also a risk. Once we believe that God’s Word is true, you can bet that the Lord will orchestrate opportunities to prove it…. (not Him) but to yourself. God will set up circumstances where you will be required to take a risk, to step out in faith and believe for the promised outcome of His Word.

Faith is activated by a step of action, often a risk.

Read Hebrews 11 for the “actions” of faith. These men of old picked up the shield of faith and believed.

They acted on truth regardless of their circumstances or feelings. Wow!!! And guess what happened. God moved!

The enemy has an arsenal of arrows of lies. These missiles are strategic and pinpointed to our weakest areas of life. This is our spiritual warfare. But our faith, our alignment with the teaching of the Word, will protect us from great harm and eventually the devils get weary because they know they can’t get past our shield of faith.

My friends, the demons love it when we get our truth and faith from any place other than God. They love it when we tune into Oprah to hear what she has to say about a matter. They dance with glee when we say, well that’s not how my mama raised me. The demons wickedly laugh when we ask our friends for marriage advice or tune into the latest Today show or talk show host. They have nothing to fear because they know we will remain defenseless and they can shoot the arrows all. day. Long.

But when we are tuned in, dialed up, Bible reading, fire breathing scripture quoting people of God, they shiver in terror and run for cover.

For some of you, today may be your point of no return. You are standing at the juncture of faith and you realize there is a cost. You are trying to decide if you truly want this kind of belief. But you wonder what your husband will do. You worry what people might think, if you become a Jesus freak. You know that others will judge you because you are crazy for God. You dread someone naming you as a zealot, Bible thumper, crazy Christian.

But, I ask you this. Aren’t you tired of fighting the battles and losing? Aren’t you weary of the worry, anxiety and fear? Are you done with powerless faith?

If you are, then today is one of the greatest days of your life.

You are going to step out on the path of real faith and never look back. You are going to join the “crazies,” that would be Dineen and I, and many other SUMites who have discovered that living for Jesus is the best thing that will ever happened to us.

Is Jesus calling you to deeper faith this minute? Step over the line. There’s no going back but the rewards are…… OUT OF THIS WORLD!

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

*****

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-

Footer w drop shadow


The Shoes of the Gospel of Peace

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comHello SUMites,

My friends, fall is in the air and in some places it’s already winter! Wacky weather! But I LOVE this time of year and I am especially fond of my pumpkin flavored coffee. Yum and eee!

Weather is a perfect metaphor of our lives. Our circumstances will and often change drastically, unexpectedly and even violently.

Loss of a job.
Divorce.
Wayward children.
Financial crisis.
Health.
Weather disasters too.

How do we walk through these life events that are often unchangeable? How do we keep ourselves from crippling fear? How do we handle life’s great challenges as believers?

SUMite Nation, we put on the SHOES!

Kingdom Shoes. We shod our feet with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace! (Ephesians 6:15)

What does this mean? How do we do this and how does this part of our armor serve in spiritual warfare?

The shoes are our steadiness for standing against the schemes of the devil. The ability to stand in what most people would consider fearful circumstances comes down to our maturity. And our maturity comes from time with God, knowing His Word and TRUSTING in Him!

And out of trust in the Lord, our peace is born. Shalom – which is completeness, wholeness and inner resting of the soul that does not fluctuate because of outside circumstances.

Let me tell you how I experienced this first hand.

Some of you may remember that my husband lost his job in January of 2009. Along with millions of others, he began to hit the employment boards, complete applications and look for work. Of course, this was a shock to us at first but I can tell you that I walked in a supernatural peace.

I prayed with conviction and earnestness, asking the Lord to give my husband a job. I considered returning to Corporate America to support our family. During this early prayer season, the Lord arranged a phone call. I received a call from a former business collogue and was offered a job over the phone. Now you would think that I would have jumped at this opportunity – out of fear. But through my prayer time, the Lord said to me, “Lynn, I can get you a job anytime. Thus the offer. I just wanted to show you that I could. Do not return to work. Let me walk this out with Mike.”

SO I TRUSTED! Even when it didn’t make sense. AND I had peace. I knew, that I knew, that I knew, in my knower that God truly had our financial situation in His hands.

I prayed.

Mike thought it would be easy to get another job as he is highly qualified, yet after six months – nothing.

I prayed.
I trusted.

Mike worried. He was completely rocked because he remained unemployed going into month nine.

I will admit in late October I was a little nervous but I remained prayerful.

Finally, almost a year later, my husband was offered a new job.

Through this experience I found I was living out this scripture: And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. —Philippians 4:7

What I can’t explain is that our year of unemployment didn’t impact our financial condition. Somehow we paid off the credit card we were using within the year. Never had to touch our 401K. And I didn’t return to work.

Honestly, I cannot explain how this happened. I have vague recollections of checks arriving and there always seemed to be provision for what we needed. I learned to budget extremely well and shop frugally, which I still do today. My daughter learned to buy her own school clothes. We became an aware family of our waste, the needs of others, and thankfulness became profoundly significant in my life.

This was the year I learned to walk in trust and peace through thankfulness. And SUMites, when you wear the shoes of the readiness of the Gospel (peace & trust in Jesus), you are no longer on the defensive but on the offensive in the spirit realm.

Ephesians 6 15The shoes of peace are our stability that even Satan can’t undo!

Peace can’t be separate from trust in God. I believed God for my circumstance and I trusted Him, every day and at times every hour. I chose to believe God rather than my changing circumstances.

Meditate of the Word. KNOW God’s heart for you. Really come to believe that our Papa, God is good. All the time, good and has good gifts for us, His children. And remember it’s the devil that comes to steal, kill and destroy but Jesus came to give us the abundant life (John 10:10).

Don’t step out from under His umbrella. Trust and peace are His gifts in the midst of any scary season of life.

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

  • What are the situations that are sealing your peace?
  • Ask the Lord for His supernatural peace.
  • Pray: I say to these troubled waters of _________________. Peace be still. 

Jesus still can part the sea, calm the wind and waves and set us on a firm foundation. Let’s wear the shoes of heaven my friends because it’s the Lord’s will that we live in peace that surpasses all understanding. 

  • Community Questions (answer in the comments):
  • Can you share a moment where you experienced the supernatural peace of Christ in crazy circumstances? I know your story will encourage someone else who is struggling right now.

I love you SUMites. We are nearing the end of our wardrobe restyle. A few more items remain and then we will be released to be Holy Spirit-filled-terrorists that decimate the darkness. Hallelujah! Amen!

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

*****

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-

Footer w drop shadow


Authority - The Believer's Responsibility

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comLast Monday we took a look at authority. The central message of this post is to clearly establish through scripture that Jesus passed His authority to His disciples, including modern day disciples. That would be us. We are commanded to follow in His teachings and to fulfil the purposes of the Kingdom of God. The Great Commission, healing, deliverance, support the poor, etc. (Luke 9:1&2)

Also we reviewed the power of our spoken words and the supporting scriptures. What I didn’t have time to share was that authority and power that the Lord shares with His people on earth can vary. And there are limitations, significant responsibilities and great expectations God places on His people with regard to authority. So let’s take a quick look at what these are.

Prayer Life/Intimacy: Nothing is available from the Heavenly Kingdom without a personal relationship with the Lord. Intimacy and prayer are central to walking in authority. In our war rooms (prayer rooms) is where we learn to discern the promptings of the Spirit. We often are led in specifics on how and whom we are to pray. And then during our prayers, we release the power of God into lives and circumstances.

We have the ability to pray and challenge the demonic in Jesus name through His resurrection. That becomes our legal right.

Authority Is Gods to share: We must steward all gifts from our Father well. Especially authority in the spiritual realm. It should never be thought of a way to manipulate or command something that is not specifically spoken to us by God and confirmed in scriptures. We must use it for the purpose that it was given.

We must remain always aware that God can give authority and remove it and that we only possess His authority because we are walking in intimacy with Christ. We cannot become prideful because we received spiritual gifts.

We are accountable to God and to others for the word we speak. And EVERYTHING we do within our spiritual warfare is to be drenched in love. And our accountability can be measured through the fruit our ministry produces.

Fear God: Great reverence for His purposes and will in our lives as we speak words to one another.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
—Proverbs 9:10 KJV

Our authority in Christ grows over time as we grow in our love for God and people. Also when our compassion for others expands as does our understanding of the Word of God, our anointing and gifts expand. It’s true in many areas of our life as we grow in our understanding of God’s will, we grow in our freedom, joy, peace and all the gifts of the spirit.

Understanding our inheritance as a child of God in the area of authority is crucial because next week we are going to look how the devil deceives us. He will come in like the rats with the trash and set up house. He walks in through open doors. So we will take a look next Monday at the gates the enemy uses to have access to our lives.  

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

  • This week I want you to take spiritual authority over your home. Walk through the house and bless the rooms and speak words of prayer for the people who inhabit the rooms. Command any unclean spirit to leave and go to Jesus, never to return or retaliate. (Name it if the Lord brings it to mind. Such as a spirit of hate, violence, pornography, addiction, perversion, etc.) Release a blessing of love, peace, joy and hope in Jesus. Change the atmosphere of your home. People will notice. I know this is true. Within the last week I’ve had a guest in my house. This young woman commented, “I love your house. There is something warm about it.” Others have said, “It’s so peaceful here.”

Community Questions (answer in the comments):

  • Can anyone share with me any changes in their lives and in the spiritual realm of your warfare? Be bold because someone out there needs to know that he/she can truly walk in the authority of Christ. They need to know that cleaning out the demonic is possible.

Love you my friends. I will be traveling to the Open Heavens Conference this week. I hope to bring back another astonishing set of encounters to share.

Hugs, Lynn

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

Footer w drop shadow


Let's Talk Trash!

Under The Umbrella Series IIThe Shield of Righteousness

Hello Nation of Amazing Believers!

You are conquerors. Overcomers, sealed by the blood of Jesus. You are destined for GREATNESS. You are filled with the love our Sovereign God and blessed with the power of the Holy Spirit. You are people who live in a standard of truth and righteousness. You are victorious in battle. You bring holiness into your home and sanctify your spouse and children. The promises of God are for you. Our Lord is our shield and our strong tower. AND NO WEAPON FORMED AGAINST US WILL PROSPER!!

Woo Hoo! Hallelujah! AMEN!

These are the promises of God which you claimed on Monday. Lord, open up the floodgates and teach us to walk fully in all of these truths and promises. In Jesus name. Amen

Gang,

We are going to dawn a new part of our wardrobe today. The Breastplate of Righteousness. Before we get started I want to let you know that I will have a few more words about our authority in Christ on Monday. Continue to speak scriptures over your life and words of hope and promise in Jesus. I’ve already heard from some of you via email about what God is already accomplishing in your life. It’s astonishing, liberating and FREEDOM. Dineen and I are humbled that you choose to share your victories with us. We praise God for every…. single…. one. AMEN

Okay, let’s talk trash!   *grin*

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

This is what it’s all about. Our heart. The heart is a physical truth and a spiritual truth. From out of our heart pumps life-blood to nourish and sustain our physical body. Also from our soul, our spiritual heart, pumps what it contains into our spirit as well as our body. Our heart is the core of our being and thus must be protected by the shield, the breastplate of righteousness.

What is righteousness? The best way I remember the definition is to think of it as: right living. And that right living is defined by God’s truth. Last week we dawned the belt of truth. Truth is the Word, it is a person Jesus and it is our identity in Him.

Righteousness is a standard. The application of God’s truth in my life. This appears fairly simple. However, in reality many of us continue to struggle with doubt, insecurity, worry and fear.

Well that’s where the trash resides.

Each summer in hot southern California I will go to the curb to retrieve my garbage cans and return them to the backyard after they are emptied. And it never fails that as I look into the black bin which held the stinky garbage, I will spot movement. Yep, maggots. Squirming by the thousands all over the inside of the can. After a shriek loud enough to wake the dead, my heart calms down and I begin the disgusting task of washing those repulsive critters from the can with the hose. Yep, summer fun at the Donovan house!

Trash attracts the maggots, the rats and the roaches. It’s the trash in our lives/hearts that attracts the demonic. For many Christians we know this is true, yet purging ourselves of the trash is difficult and we don’t know how to go about the disposal. And that’s when we move into trash management. It’s a form of godliness, but having denied the power. —2 Timothy 3:5

We sweep our stuff into a closet so when the women’s Bible study meets so they won’t see it. We hide trash in the dark and pretend it isn’t back there calling to us. And it resides in our heart at times and continues to pollute our heart which pumps it throughout our body and into our life. Yikes.

BUT my friends, here is the remedy. We take that Belt of Truth and gird our loins. We speak it over us. We meditate on the Word of God. We memorize truths and pray them back to God in our prayer time. We rehearse the truth, the unchanging & powerful truth of God into our heart/soul….. And that practice replaces worry. Worry and sin is the trash that is replaced by truth and we become transformed.

Transformation occurs when the truth of God is meditated on and righteousness is released into our spirit, our heart.

Transformation is our release of trash and washing away the maggots. Hallelujah…

The result… FREEDOM.

Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. —John 8:32

Ephesians 6:14  —Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place.

Let’s take out the trash and shut the open doors to the demonic. Dawn the belt of truth and shield your heart with right living. And then look out world because God will use an ordinary believer who is walking in his/her Godly wardroom to do GREAT things!

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

  • I want you to consider three issues in life and ask yourself is there trash here that God is asking you to dispose? If there is, pray and ask for His Holy Spirit power for transformation for victory.
    • Food
    • Finances
    • Sex

Community Questions (answer in the comments):

My friends, this post is not intended to cast condemnation but bring freedom. And so I’m not going to post a community question. Just pray and continue to press into truth and through your journey you will find that it becomes easier and easier to pitch the trash and then finally, the day will dawn where you are forever free from it. In Jesus name. AMEN.

I do have a fun and silly question for you. What is a funny even icky trash story from your life? Now don’t get too gross on me. But a little levity in our community today seemed like a good idea. Okay, share away? Anyone have skunks in their trash? Or has your dog eaten the trash? Other surprises in your trash cans? I CAN’T wait to hear your story? Love you a ton. Lynn

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

*****

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-

Footer w drop shadow


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.
SignatureGraphic2

*****

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-

Footer w drop shadow


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.

*****

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-

Footer w drop shadow


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!
SignatureGraphic2

 

*****

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-

Footer w drop shadow


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

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

*****

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-

Footer w drop shadow