In less than twenty-four hours God put the word JOY in front of me almost a dozen times. (Yes, I counted.) In two devos, the first name of a woman who requested to be friends on Facebook, the wrapper on a candy cane from last Christmas that my daughter found in the cookie jar, several Scriptures emailed to me from various places, as I ready my Bible...
I think you see what I mean. Abba wants us to be joy-filled!
And yesterday, as I prayed for Him to tell me what He wanted us to have for today, so many things went through my mind as I prayed for our community. What did we need most? First Abba reminded me of the truths in 1 John 4. Read that chapter and note specifically this verse:
We love because he first loved us. — 1 John 4:19
We are believers because God loved us first (and let that supernatural love be your “spa soak” today). He loves our pre-believers exactly the same way too. We can trust God for their salvation, and He is in pursuit of our spouses just like He pursued us.
As I stood under the shade of a tree praying for our community, God spoke this to my heart:
“Tell them to give Me their husbands.”
(For our male readers, insert wives as I believe this is for you too.)
Sumites, my heart constricted and tears sprang to my eyes, and even as I type this I am so moved by this. Because it’s not just about the obvious part—salvation. It’s about God’s heart for us to be free. Free from the worry, free from a burden we are not intended to carry, and free to love in our mismatched places without fear because we choose to trust God.
So today we are going to do two things. It may seem a little out there but this is what God showed me. Get a piece of bread and some grape juice, because communion will be part of this.
Find a quiet time and place, even a closet if you need to. Take your bread and juice with you. If you’re able, get on your knees and tell God that you release your spouse completely into His hands. That you want to trust Abba with your spouse’s future completely as well as your own, and if needed, ask Jesus for forgiveness if you sense you have made an idol of your spouse and/or his or her salvation. This is about you finding freedom and not about praying for your spouse’s salvation.
Try to visualize yourself literally placing your spouse on Abba’s altar and leave him or her there. Stay in this place as long as you need and end with taking an intimate communion with Jesus. As the Holy Spirit releases you, take note of the level of freedom you now sense in your heart. And peace.
Here’s the second part. Last week I found my trust in Abba waning a bit in one area, because my family and I walking through a very difficult time and even though I know this is more about my husband than me, I’m struggling at times. God sent me this verse last week:
But I am trusting you, O Lord, saying, "You are my God!" ~ Psalm 31:14, NLT
I prayed that verse out loud and continued to pray it anytime I felt my joy slipping or worry and fear creeping in. That was it, and I am newly convinced again at the power of God’s Word when spoken out loud over ourselves. My trust grew again as did my joy.
So pray this verse over yourself anytime you feel your focus slipping away from Abba and onto whatever conflict you are facing. You will feel your trust grow and strengthen.
I am trusting You, Lord, because You are my God!
I want to encourage you to write down your impressions and experiences in your journal this week. I know you will want to go back and read them time and again.
My precious friends, I am standing in the gap this week praying for breakthroughs, encounters with Jesus and for the Holy Spirit to increase in us. Don't forget that tomorrow we are fasting from sunrise to sundown. I have a feeling you will hear God very specifically during this time, especially after this time of prayer and communion with Jesus.
Love you like crazy, my sisters and brothers in Jesus!
Image credit: jillbattaglia / 123RF Stock Photo