151 posts categorized "Fasting"

Day 4: Asking Day

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

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

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

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

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

One, that God hears you:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

With great love,
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Day Three - The Promises Fulfilled

  image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Psalms 91 continues to be powerful for me. 

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

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

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

My Holy and Blessed Child, 

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

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

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


Day 2: Altar Offerings

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

Wow, wow, wow…

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

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

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

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

Believe ME. 

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

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

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

It is an act of love.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

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

Turn with me to John 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is the model to reach people. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com


Welcome To The Powerful Fast Of The SUMite Nation

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Good Sunday Morning SUMites: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See you in the comments.

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com


Let's Get Ready!

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

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

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

Here's Angie's amazing testimony:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Fasting For The Miracles

Hi Everyone, 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’m expectant my friends. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

 


Reflecting Back on 2014 and Moving Forward into 2015

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He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it. — 1 Thessalonians 5:24 ESV

The devotional for December 29th in The Listening Heart brought me back to this verse that I'd highlighted earlier in the year. And a sweet moment of revelation entered in with it. I thought back over this year that started out so difficult that I wondered at times how I would endure and what would I look like on the other side, and the full reality of this truth came full circle.

Anything our Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, Wonderful Counselor calls us to co-labor with Him to do, He will surely do it. There can be no doubt there because that begs the question: 

Why would God call us to a place and not complete what He said He would do?

That's not His way, nor His character. Anything He has ever asked you to do, pray, think and believe has been for a reason—to benefit you at the very least and to bless others at the very most.

As I thought of 2014 and where I started to where I sit now, all that Abba spoke to my heart in those dark and light moments have come or is coming to pass. He has and is doing what He has said He would do. I merely chose to believe, to step out a little more boldly in faith, even when it didn't make sense. I chose to quit trying to make sense of it and simply trust God.

Every year I ask Abba Father for a word and Scripture for myself, my husband and daughters. My word for 2014 was "chosen" (now also the title of a book He is calling me to write). This year has been all about deeper intimacy with God, shedding lies and more fully embracing my identity in Christ. Many of us have walked in this place and now I dare to say that this isn't merely a year's goal but in full revelation the high calling to all of God's children—to seek God, to pray continuously, to wait upon Him.

It's all about our relationship with Him. Not to Him, but with Him.

And now we are about to enter 2015. I'm praying for those words and Scriptures as I reflect upon the ones from this year and what God has so faithfully done. 

  • For my oldest daughter Rachel and her husband Keith, their word was "faithfulness," to God and to each other. I've prayed this over them all year and watched their marriage continue to flourish and I even had the chance to talk to my son-in-love about worship this Christmas and what it meant to him. I learned even more about this young man's heart for God and again I am so grateful for God's faithfulness to my prayers for the "right man" to be my daughter's husband.
  • For my youngest daughter Leslie, her journey this year has been about humility and restoration, for "all things to be made new." I've watched this young woman who has endured so much step into her life and begin living it in fullness and independence. Astonishing...to think I wondered in the past if this was even possible for her.
  • For my husband...I still don't understand the full ramifications of what God gave me for him this year, but I've prayed faithfully. I believe in my heart, in my soul and deep in my spirit that 2015 will be the year of "turning" for him. The divine connections I've prayed for him are being revealed through the holes punched in his unbelief. I don't see this yet, I don't see the washing of his eyes "in the pool of Siloam" (John 9:7), but I believe he will soon "return seeing" and believing. And I do see God moving and working around him.

My friends, as we prepare for our week of fasting and praying, I encourage you to look again at all God has done for you in 2014. Ask Him to show you. You most likely will be encouraged, affirmed, and/or astonished. Sometimes we miss things.

And begin asking Him for what He has in store for you for 2015. How God communicates this to you may be very different than He does to others, so be sure to remain open to that. It doesn't have to be a specific word or Scripture. It could be an object, an image, or even an impression. Be assured that He will communicate it in a way to you that is specific to your heart and need. Don't compare to others, just receive what He has for you. It will be so much better that way.

Dear one, God has called you to this place for such a time as this. He will surely do what He has promised you. Trust Him even if you don't completely understand it all and wait on Him to move (Psalm 37:7). He will surely do it. 

For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. — Psalms 62:1 ESV

We are about to embark on an amazing journey for 2015. I feel it so deeply in my spirit that it permeates my physical being with excitement. I believe 2015 will be a great year for each of us individually and as a community. We will be more united that ever and will see breakthroughs, promotions and salvations as we have never seen them before. God is standing at the door of this community as a whole and knocking with one hand as His other is fully loaded with all His goodness, gifts, grace and so much more, ready to give it to us in abundance. 

Our fast next week will be preparation for 2015—what is to come. So let’s get ready. In the comments share what you are sensing and expecting in your spirit, what you are asking Abba Father for, what you want prayer for. And if you have a story to share about how He moved in you and your loved ones through past fasts, please share that as well. More than ever before, God is calling us to share our testimonies. The enemy wants to shut us up, but from this day forward and into all of 2015, it is our time to be heard! 

My precious friends, I’m so excited and joy-filled to be on this adventure with you and with God. I know He’s about to blow us away with all He has in store for us.

Love you all so much,
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SUMite Nation Fasts! Look out Devil. You're Toast!

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

Hello SUMite Family: 

I pray that in the midst of all the crazy that can come with the Christmas holiday, you found one or two sweet and precious moments. I also pray you watched the Lord moving in the hearts of some of your family and even better, in your heart. 

I believe in miracles and the Donovan Clan experienced an absolutely astonishing miracle this Christmas. My son’s estranged wife and his two year old daughter came for Christmas. It was amazing and special, precious and priceless. I have much to tell you about all this but I’m still praying into it all right now. 

Which brings me to PRAYER. 

It’s time for our annual community fast and prayer week. If you are new here, let me tell you that this single week of the year can change a life, a marriage, your faith walk and everything else in your life. I will be praying for many things during this week of prayer and fasting and I am expectant

Let’s begin now start to set this week into motion. 

This is how it works. Beginning Monday, January 5, 2015 through Friday evening, January 9th we will fast and pray as a community. 

Every morning we will have a topic, devotion or something to contemplate and pray over posted on the blog. Usually on the first day of the week we join in prayer and fast for the full salvation of our spouse. I always like to see how the Holy Spirit will lead this out. Some years we have focused entirely on our faith walk and some years we pray for our family. 

In my gut, I really want to pray for ourselves this year. I don’t mean that in a selfish way. I want to pray for all of us to experience an intense intimacy with the Father. I want the Holy Spirit to instruct us how to walk in signs and wonders. I want to ask the Lord to allow us to be vessels of healing to others. I want us to learn how to listen to God’s voice and hear Him clearly every time He speaks. I wonder do these topics sound like something you want for your life? 

What you need to do this week is to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to help set next week up for you so you can fast successfully. Ask the Lord to make it easier for you to fast. Talk with your family and let them know you are going to fast so they are supportive and understanding. Ask God for a breakthrough in your prayer life now so that when you begin to fast and pray, the angels jump into action at your words. Awesome… 

On Wednesday, we will share the different ways you can fast. And on Friday, I’m going to tell you what happened to me when God told me to fast back in September. I hope you will be inspired and empowered like I was. 

2015 is going to be a year of breakthroughs. Starting off with a community fast and prayer is powerful. Let me tell you now the devil is scared. He is going to work very hard to stop you from joining the community in this way. DON’T LET HIM STOP YOU. 

There will be eternal advances for you and the Kingdom because you participate in this fast. I promise. Generations will be impacted because you humbled yourself, prayed and fasted to seek the Lord. 

I love you so much my SUM family. I pray for you often and for the salvation of your spouses. I keep hearing the Lord speak to me the word; expectant. So, I’m going to live 2015 expectant of His divine interventions, deliverances, freedoms, miracles and powerful love encounters. I can’t wait to see what word He may have for you. 

See you Wednesday. Hugs, Lynn

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com


A Fast Finish

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Untitled3And now we come to the last day of our SUMite community fast for 2014. For whatever degree you were able to participate, congratulations. I hope that this has been a good experience for you.

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: — 2 Timothy 4:7

But we have an even greater finish to celebrate. We believers are living in the glorious knowledge that Christ redeemed us.

When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. — John 19:30

It is finished!

Your sins are gone.

God’s indignation at our sins – past, present, and future – has been satisfied. We believers are reconciled with Him.

God tore the veil of the temple from top to bottom, exposing the Holy Place. Everyone may come into God’s presence freely. It’s an open house. All are invited.

You’re free! You’re free! The victory is won.

Woo! Hoo! Jesus paid it all. There is no more work for us to do.

Let’s celebrate. (Now, where is that chocolate that I got for Christmas?)

Conversation

In the comments below, summarize your experience with this fast or share a closing comment. Are you willing to share an insight? Is there a special meal that you are hungry for?

Prayer

Abba, Father, we praise You for sending Your Son. Help us completely trust that He did finish the job for us. Help us get our minds and hearts around that. Let us accept the gift. Let us live in the freedom You provided for us. We thank You for making Yourself accessible to us. We can come to You at any time and with any petition.  Thank You for the special time this week during our community fast and pray. We remain humbly in Your presence. Amen.

Communion

And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”

In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. — Luke 22:19-20

{Dineen} Many of you were led to take communion during this fast. I know I was. Even before we started the fast, I woke one night and Abba said we were to close our week of fasting with communion. So to read your comments confirmed how Abba is working in all of us not just individually, but also as a community. A family. And His promises always seem to include family and the generations (children) to come. Did you notice that?

So to close our fast, at dusk set before you a small piece of bread and a little bit of grape juice. Let our prayers be united and be a fragrant and beautiful offering of love and gratitude for what our King Jesus has done this week in all of us—even if you aren't sure at this point, keep watching in the days to come for more revelations and realizations.

Lord Jesus, we break this bread together to remember that You gave your body for us so that we can constantly be in communion with You. You dwell in us now, because Your desire always was and always is to be with us. (Take the bread.)

And now, we take this cup that represents the new covenant, Your precious blood shed for us so that we are new creations, made new. Cover us with Your saving and healing blood, Lord Jesus, and keep our hearts pure and dedicated to You. (Take the juice.)

Lord Jesus, all praise and glory belong to You! We are holding onto You and Your great promises for us. We are stepping out in greater faith for 2014 and BELIEVING You for all things. In Your Mighty Name, Jesus, amen!


Fast Forward

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Untitled2Are you experiencing a special closeness to the Lord at this point in the fast? Are you gaining insight through contemplation? Have you picked one word to focus on this year (See the post from Monday.) Take notes of any insights so you can reflect on them later this year. Savor this experience.

As Christians, we are told to deny ourselves (Luke 9:23). Praying and fasting is a very tangible way to do that. After our SUMite community fast ends tomorrow, some of you may want to plan to fast independently in the future.

Recently, I have done partial fasts a couple of times a week. This schedule works for me. Many people fast on Sunday mornings so that their first meal is Communion. I think that is a lovely practice. Some may fast on rare occasions when the Spirit calls them to it.

If you are finding a particular benefit through fasting, you may be tempted to take this practice to an extreme. God does not want us to deny ourselves good nutrition. And we can’t “earn” our way into Spirituality by fasting “harder.” Jesus spoke often against legalism. Here are a couple of relevant scriptures.

Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules: “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility  and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence. — Colossians 2:20-23

They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. — 1 Timothy 4:3

We are under grace, not under the law. (Romans 6:14) therefore, we don’t have to live under a set of rules. We follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. God loves to hear from us in prayer. And He loves us whether or not we are fasting.

If fasting becomes for you a show of personal will power, then stop and refocus on the Lord. If you are at the church building every time the doors are open, but your family feels neglected, then reconsider. You don’t have to prove anything to yourself or others. God wants our hearts. God loves you – period.

Keep these passages in mind as you contemplate whether to fast again in the near future. 

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. — Ephesians 2:8-9

Conversation

Do you plan to fast again later this year?

What are some legalistic practices that are common today so that we can be aware of them?

Prayer

Dear Lord. Thank you for the time we spend in Your presence. How we love you. Let us accept your grace. Let us rest in You and not pressure ourselves to prove ourselves as Spiritual. You are our Sabbath rest. Amen.


Holding Fast

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UntitledHow are you feeling on day 3 of our SUMite community fast? Are you a little shaky? Hang in there. In fact (please forgive the pun), hold fast to the Lord.

If you carefully observe all these commands I am giving you to follow – to love the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways and to hold fast to him – then the Lord will drive out all these nations before you, and you will dispossess nations larger and stronger than you. — Deuteronomy 11:22-23

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens – Jesus the Son of God – let us hold fast to the confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tested in every way as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us at the proper time. — Hebrews 4:14-16

Jesus knows our hearts. The Sprit intercedes and He knows our every thought. He understands our situations and has been tempted as we are tempted. (Matthew 4 tells about Him being tempted after a long fast when He was physically weak. So, let’s be on the alert in case Satan tries to take advantage of our hunger this week.)  

We can trust Him. We can trust Him with our problems. We can trust Him to give us good advice. We can trust Him to give us strength.

Whatever we you are praying about during this fast, He hears you. The scripture above tells us that we can ask anything of Him. There have been times that I have not even known what to ask for… the situation was too overwhelming for me to get my head around.  You know what I did? I just took the whole situation to Him. I didn’t even ask for anything. I was too tired. I just held onto Him. (OK. I cried a lot first.) Then, I prayed something like this, “Here it is. It’s ugly. I don’t know what to do. It is tearing me up.” Our King is mighty. He has a better idea of how to handle things than I do.  Do you know what happened? The situation changed favorably in ways that I could not have imagined. Oh, what a great God we have.

Hold fast to the Lord. Think about this as we fast and pray this week. Christ also prayed for us.

I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world, so I have sent them into the world. — John 17:15-18

Don’t you love knowing that Christ prays for us? And, as we mentioned yesterday with Psalm 23, He calls us to be in the world. We are sprinkled among pre-believers like lights on a Christmas tree. We just have to stay “plugged in” to the Word and God’s power.

Conversation

Please add a comment below. What helps you to hold fast to the Lord? Is this different during times of difficulty vs times that seem ordinary and routine?

What do you think about our calling to be in the world, although we are separate from it?

Prayer

Abba, Father, we praise you. Thank You for showing us such great love. Thank You for sending Christ to not only die as a sacrifice for our sins, but also as an example of how to live on this earth. Thank You for Your constant presence. We can reach out to You with a prayer at any time. This gives us such great comfort, strength, and confidence. Prepare our hearts for eternity. Help us each day to live as a shining example of Your love so that our pre-believers come to know you. 


A Feast During Our Fast

Feast

Wasn’t it cruel of me to choose a photo of a feast during our fast? Ha. I really don’t intend to aggravate your hunger. This table, laid out with a holiday feast, relates to scriptures I want to share. Fasting from food does lead my mind to passages about food. Which of these do you relate to the most at this point in your spiritual walk?

Haggai 1:6 (NIV)

6 You have planted much, but harvested little.  You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.

This verse was written by the prophet Haggai in a passage calling on the people to be productive. They worked and worked and had nothing to show for it. They felt like they were throwing money away. They were not satisfied; they felt empty inside… and perhaps a bit ungrateful. Have you ever felt like that?

We, in the U.S., live in such a prosperous country. Yet, we still complain. We have reliable cars and complain about traffic. Our phone is 6 months old and out of date. We are employed and work hard, but feel slighted if passed over for a promotion. I complained over the holidays that I felt stuffed from too much food and chocolate. This type of complaint focuses on serving our selves. What are WE getting out of our labor?  Sure. We deserve a fair wage and God likes to delight us. Yet, it is off-balance to think that everything is about us.

The feelings of frustration and emptiness can be amplified for many in mismatched marriages, where the stakes are higher than cars, phones or promotions at our job. A different type of emptiness can creep in, although you strive to walk with the Lord. You try to raise your kids to love God, but they hear contrary messages from your spouse. Perhaps your loved one is held captive by addiction. You pray and you pray, but don’t see a change in the situation. It can grow wearisome to live by faith alone. We hunger for relief from our situation… or at least a sign.

A benefit of our fast, is that we can refocus away from ourselves and toward God. Let’s be thankful for whatever blessings that he gives us. Let’s spend time in the Word, soaking in His promises. Whatever your situation, there is a verse that can speak to you. Trust God with our burdens. Trust Him. When we can’t see a happy outcome with our human eyes, trust that God does. The Psalms can be comforting when we feel empty. So many of them start with an ache, so like our own, and lead us to praise and thanksgiving by the end of the passage. This is one way that God walks along side of us, leading us to a better place.

If we are full of spiritual food, then we will truly be full and satisfied.

Psalm 23:5 (NIV)

5 You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows

Ah! This verse sounds so much more victorious than the first one doesn’t it?  This is where I want to be. There is a tone of celebration in it. The “table before me” is a feast of good things. It is something to celebrate. But notice that He doesn’t take us to some private Christian-only retreat to enjoy it. Our table is in “the presence of my enemies.” We are here in the real world. Do non-Christians look at us and see us enjoying God’s blessings? Do our pre-believers see joy in our lives?

The banquet table also alludes to the communion table. If the world beats you down or you feel that you need to be closer to God, then come to the Lord ’s Table. He will remind you that you are loved and fully reconciled with Him. You do not even have to wait until Sunday services to have communion. Consider having your own private communion service. Non-leavened bread and fruit of the vine are fairly easy to find at your grocery. Or your minister may be willing to help supply you. This is just a suggestion, but I know people who find great meaning in a private communion service.

Conversation

Please add a comment below and let us know how the fast is going for you. Can you relate to one of the scriptures above? Are you feeling empty or blessed? Please share your thoughts.  ~Teresa

Prayer

Dear Father, thank you for Your Word to guide us, comfort us and encourage us. No matter where we are in our spiritual life, You provided words that speak into our hearts. Thank You for establishing the Communion Table to remind us of Your great love and the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. For us, Lord. You did it all for us. Let us hunger and thirst after righteousness rather than food or earthly rewards. Let us be thankful for our many blessings. May the joy in our lives be a testimony to others. Amen.


Prayer & Fasting - A Day of Reflection

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FastingstartDid you start the fast today? I usually find that day one or two is the most difficult. If you forgot about it over the weekend, I invite you to join us starting tomorrow. Read more about our SUMite community fast here.

The beginning of the year and the beginning of our week-long fast is a good time for some reflection. Think and consider where you are. 

This time of reflection will take you deeper into My plans and purposes for you and will reveal the places where you got off course.  You will see yourself more clearly in relationship to Me and your level of dedication in establishing My kingdom in your place on the earth.  You can now make decisions that will have far-reaching consequences, says the Lord.   

Proverbs 27:19 As in water face reflects face, so a man's heart reveals the man. 

  • Ponder an aspect of God. What is one specific characteristic of Him that you love? How do you experience Him in your life? To have a relationship with Him, we have to get to know Him personally. Pause and spend some time thinking about and praising Him. Go beyond “God is great.” How specifically is He great?
  • Ponder an aspect of yourself. Is there a strength that you would like to develop further? Is there a rough edge that you would like to soften? Is there a specific aspect of your life in which you hope God will work? Instead of making a resolution this year, consider choosing one area to concentrate upon in 2014. Choose one single word that you would like to focus upon for the year. Or listen and allow God to reveal His Word for you. When you have your word, make yourself notes and reminders that you will see often. Focus on this word throughout the year. You may be tempted to work on many things, but pray for a single word upon which you can truly focus. Expect mighty changes.
    • To learn more about this approach, I recommend the book, “My One Word: Change Your Life With Just One Word” Mike Ashcraft and Rachel Olsen

While we are reflecting, I thought you would enjoy this short video that highlights of our journey in 2013. 

Turn on the sound.

 

Conversation

In the comments below, please share an attribute of God. If you are willing, share an appropriate verse and let us know how you personally experience this attribute.

Also let us know how you are feeling. Was today difficult for you? How did you overcome any challenges?

Prayer

Lord, you are almighty. We love you. Thank You for revealing yourself to us in Your word and in our lives. We raise our hands in praise and celebrate You. Thanks for adopting us and making us holy. If I have strengths, talents, or experiences that I should use in your service, lead me to do so. If I am holding on to a sinful practice, help me to overcome it. Thank You for your grace and patience with us. As we enter this new  year, let us rededicate ourselves to serving You. Let us share Your love with those around us. Amen.

 

{Lynn} Thank you Teresa for a great video. Dineen and I were teary-eyed. We love you and we love every SUMite.

 

{Lynn} On Monday afternoon Pacific Time I will be leading us through a spiritual exercise on our Facebook Page. I have an actual activation I want to release into our community. Please stop in there to be part of that. I expect what we do together will have signifcant impact on our spirit. SUM Facebook.


What Happened in 2013?

17430183_sMy friends, as we draw closer to our fast next week, I think it’s important that we look back and see what happened over the year. I love to look back at what I wrote in January before during our 2013 fast and see what promises and words Abba gave me came to fruition. And this year, I truly needed it.

Much has happened in my own personal faith walk. Abba gave me the word “worship” last year not just for me for our community too. Thus was born our Weekend Worship segments and worship has become a vital part of my faith walk this year.

But I felt like nothing had really changed in my family. Until I went back and read what Abba spoke to me last January. Two things stood out. The first one was about the word Abba gave me for husband—something He hadn’t done before.

That word was "prosperity" and came with a verse (Proverbs 11:25) that popped up many times over the year and even shifted in its relevance for us.

Let me tell you there were many times over the last year where I wondered if I’d heard right. We went through our roughest financial trial to date, and we are still recovering and will be for months. But to look back showed me that Abba did move and provide in stunning ways (even to sending the $80 I needed for medications) and opened a door for my husband professionally what will continue to open more and more over the next three years. It’s a slow process, which is exactly how it should be as we learn more and more about stewardship. Abba told me my husband would be blessed through me and that is exactly what has happened as I contended for my family this past year.

The second one my daughter Leslie helped me see. Abba told me in January that her verse for 2013 was Joshua 1:9 and that He would give her courage and strength. From my perspective, I hadn’t seen much of a change in her and have even despaired over it. Yet last week she did something stunning. She ran to Target the day after Christmas to exchange something—by herself. That may seem like a little thing but for my girl who struggles with anxiety, that was huge!

When I told her how proud I was of her, she told me she hadn’t had an anxiety attack all year long. Wow. Abba did give her the strength and courage SHE needed, not what mom thought she needed. And on New Years Day, she wanted to run to Walgreens and asked if anyone wanted to go with her. Tired lot that we were, all declined. She still went on her own and enjoyed her outing. Wow!

My friends, what about you? How has Abba moved in your life this year? And if you haven’t already, begin seeking Abba for what He wants for you in 2014. Write it down so you can go back next year and see it. Write down! I love doing this and even begin praying for my word in December so I am ready to hear it during our fast. This year before I could even finish my prayer, Abba rushed in and spoke it clearly to me.

Chosen.

Chosen, as it says in Ephesians 1, that we are chosen. When I heard this, my mind accepted it as I always have, that I am chosen by Jesus, just as you are. But Jesus wanted me to understand that there is more to this word than I thought.

I’ve always seen it as a broad word that applies to all of us across the board. But He said no, “this is not a one size fits all, Dineen. I chose you just as I created you—specifically.”

And then He impressed upon my heart that this is true for each and every one of us. True for all yet individually specific to each of us in the how, why and purpose.

So seek Jesus, my friends, for what He chose for you. Not just what you are to do to serve, but for your life and who you are. He also told me this would be a “Year of Intimacy.” I can’t wait!

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Tomorrow our very own Teresa T. will introduce us to our fast and has an amazing word for us each day next week. I’ve had the privilege to take a sneak peak and I promise you will be amazed at what Teresa has written for us. On day one she has a special gift for us that will bring you to tears so have a tissue handy. I bawled like a baby!

Get ready to be encouraged, inspired and loved by Jesus. Because He chose you. He CHOSE you.

My precious and dear friends, I can’t wait to meet you in the comments next week as we fast. I am already praying for you in many ways specific to what you have requested already and to what Abba has laid upon my heart. His love and passion for us is so deep and true and wide (Eph. 3:18).

Love you all so much!
Dineensig

 

 

Image credit: lenm / 123RF Stock Photo


A Letter From Heaven

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My Beloved Child,

I have longed for this week ahead for many years. I’ve known that this consecrated and intensive time you have planned to spend with Me will bring about the answers to prayers you have uttered for many years. You have come to a place where you have released your desires and your control over your life and circumstances to truly allow me to be the LORD of your life. 

This is a surrendered life.
This is a life I will honor.
This is a life I will bless. 

A life-journey with Me is not for the faint of heart. It is not a life that is predictable. Often living in my Presence will stretch you and challenge you in ways and with people you thought not possible. But this journey is the BEST THING that will ever happen to you. I can be scary but I am always good. My calling and direction can bring about uncertainty. But hear Me today, My child. I am your sure foundation. I will NEVER leave you nor forsake you. If you step away from Me and then remember to turn back to My face, please know that I stand assuredly beside you and will catch you if you fall. That is my promise. 

I delight in you. I sing over you in the morning. I dance above your head when you choose love over fear. ~Life over death. ~My Son over the lies of the enemy. I sit at your feet as you sleep and I whisper words of love and care into your dreams at night. I have sent blessings of provision when you didn’t know it was Me. I have opened your heart to love. I have allowed you glimpses of the supernatural and I have much, much more to give to you. I am the God who releases showers of riches, blessing, delights and mercies. 

Pray with faith and see if My Word proves true. 

I know you have toiled in long, laborious prayer for those who are lost and don’t know My love. I have listened to your words and have extended My Scepter of grace to you. You have walked in difficult relationships and yet you have not relented. Your words are a balm of oil that loosens the chains of the deceiver and opens the doors to broken and lost hearts. 

Don’t ever stop praying for them. I am at work in hundreds of ways you can’t conceive today. But, one day you will see everything I am doing to save your loved ones. It will bring tears of joy to your eyes. 

This next year is filled with promise. Make time for Me every day and allow Me to astonish you and leave you breathless. I have giant store rooms in heaven with gifts just for you. You hold the key to unlock the rooms. You have full access when you walk with Me and my Son. This year learn how to open the storehouses and discover the wealth, the healing, the laughter, the joy and the life that is the abundant life, a life lived in My Presence. 

I adore you. I sit on the edge of my seat cheering you on. I send angels to watch over you and to care for you and your family. My Son, the Glorified Prince, is your reward for a life well lived. 

So live the “real” life. It is an adventure unparalleled. You have My heart. I am eager to spend time with you this next week and reveal My work in your life. Seek the breakthroughs, relentlessly ask for more of Me and you will find….. all that you need. 

I love you with an eternal love,
Your LORD, The Almighty, The Great I Am. ~Your Papa

 

Matthew 7:7 Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you."For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.…

Isaiah 33:6: Isaiah 50:4;Psalm 37:4 John 10:10; Deuteronomy 31:8

****In preperation for our fast, stop in on Sunday for our preperation post. Hugs, Lynn

 

In the comments below, write out your response to our LORD.

 

 


Take The Key To The Door

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com
Good Monday morning SUMites, 

It looks like our 2014, fast is gonna be the biggest one yet. Thank you everyone for adding your prayer requests and your “I’m in” comments to my post on Friday. 

***If you know someone who needs to be part of this fast, email them, message them, send fire signals, whatever it takes, right now and invite them to join us. I’m contending that God is positioned to answer prayer like never before. I believe we are going to see the unexpected, the miraculous and we are going to experience His love at a heart level that will change everything. AWESOMENESS!!  So send that email now. *grin* 

Today, I keep hearing the Lord just pound into my head, over and over….. 

Fire falls on sacrifice. 

It’s as if God is on the edge of His throne (seat), crossing His fingers, hoping that we, His children, will just take a step of faith and see if He proves true to His word…. He’s asking us to sacrifice food and in response to our gesture of refraining from food, He will send His Holy fire to bring about the very thing(s) we need most. 

I truly believe this. I am convinced that my week long fast will jettison my faith walk up a level. I’m expecting to hear His voice. I’m expecting to see angels. I’m expecting my healing anointing to grow in power and effectiveness. I’m expecting to be given His heart. That is what I want from this fast. More of Him. 

The fire of “favor” falls on sacrifice. 

So as we move into this time of fasting, I want to share a letter that Judy Gordon Morrow received from the Father. It’s from her book, The Listening Heart. I asked Judy if I could share it with the SUMites. She said, “I would be absolutely honored if you were to use anything you like from The Listening Heart. The book has been God's from the beginning, and I pray it will reach every heart he has in mind.” 

Please read it… All the way through. It’s the key for the door of fasting and prayer. If you take this letter into your heart, you will be ready for what God has prepared for you. 

January 24, 2011 

It’s easier to dismiss Me than to obey Me. Thus, My children are ambivalent about hearing Me. It’s easier not to listen than to pay attention. It’s easier to question if it is Me talking than to be receptive to My voice. For if they should allow themselves to actually hear Me and acknowledge Me, then their hearing of Me would require a response -a response of faith, a response of belief, a response of surrender -each one being a response of obedience. 

It is easier not to listen and instead shroud the beauty of commuting with Me under the clouds of doubt and mystery. To acknowledge Me and My voice requires the next step: obedience. It is easier to ignore Me and claim that My voice can’t really be known. This saddens Me, My child, when all I long to do is to convey My best to My children. 

Yet fear of obedience becomes the very obstacle to their obtaining My best. Instead, they follow their plans and then wonder why things didn’t turn out better. I desire first place, not last- when I am only sought in the midst of an emergency or crisis. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. 

Give Me, your Father, your first fruits, and I will multiply your harvest. The very first fruit is a heart surrendered to Me for My purposes. Every other first follows that one.

 

If you need some guidance on prayer and fasting, please visit this post from our fasting season last year:

Fasting: Does It Work? There are links at the bottom that will help you.

 

See you on Friday with a Word that will help launch us into a week of power, love and intimacy. Hugs, Lynn


2014 Community Fast

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

Good Friday morning to you, SUMites! 

I sure do enjoy Christmas. It’s a gentle time of year, filled with hope, peace and family. And as I write this post today, I’ve just said goodbye to my husband’s family and they are headed home. December is a neat month where people seem to be just a little less hard and a little more kind. Our random act of kindness -miracle project in this month was amazing. I have received stories from you that I will share here or on Facebook in the future. There are some amazing believers that are part of this community. I’m undone by your love for God and for people and the generosity that flows from your heart. 

But just as much as I like Christmas, I love the New Year. I’m actually feeling pumped up about all that this body, this community of SUMites, can accomplish as we pray together in the New Year. 

If you are new to our community this year, we welcome you to join us as we fast pray the first week of January, We fast and pray the first full week of every January. This year we will be fasting from January 6-10. This is a Monday through Friday fast. And I encourage you, if at all possible to commit to some kind of a food fast where you refrain from eating food in some way such as from one meal a day, or fast the entire day or fast through the whole week. (I’m committed to fasting completely, only liquids the entire week. I am EXPECTING  a giant breakthrough.) 

God’s Word is filled with instructions regarding fasting. And I haven’t quite figured it out yet but fasting profoundly affects our prayer life and it draws us closer to God. So today, I want you to ask God about how you should participate in this fast. More than anything I truly want every SUMite to experience a breakthrough in their life in 2014. I also want every one of us to grow into a deeper, more intimate, relationship with Jesus. 

Beginning Monday, I will share some information about how to fast and how to do it successfully. For today, just leave me a note in the comments that you are “in.” Also, add in the comments what breakthrough you need because Dineen and I will pray and contend with you for your breakthrough along with our own. 

I’m truly expecting the God of the universe to show up and do amazing things in our lives. Astonishing, life-altering, miracles in our lives personally and those of our family. Let’s truly put this fasting thing before God, and watch him honor his word as it relates to fasting and prayer. 

Are you IN? 

I love you. Get ready for a week of change that will redirect your future. And following the week of fasting, I’m burning to start writing about spiritual warfare. I already have a few articles written about how to help our children fight in the unseen realm. It’s going to be soooo good. I can’t wait to see how ordinary, humble men and women, kick the devils butt out of our lives, away from our children, and how our prayers help to set our spouses free. SO GOOD!!! 

Get ready because I’m convinced 2014 is going to be OUR Year of the Lord! Woo Hoo. I love you. I love Jesus. Let’s bring His Kingdom to earth this next year. WOO HOOOOOOO! Love and hugs, Lynn

 

Matthew 6:25 “I tell you, do not worry. Don’t worry about your life and what you will eat or drink. And don’t worry about your body and what you will wear. Isn’t there more to life than eating?


Weekend Worship — What did Jesus do?

Jesus answered, “Can you make the friends of the bridegroom fast while he is with them? But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; in those days they will fast." — Luke 5:34 (NIV)

My friends, I hope this week has been pivotal to you. I just want to reassure you that even if you didn't feel or see anything "earthshaking" that doesn't mean nothing happened. I believe that much of the outcome of these special times of prayer and fasting culminate and are revealed days, weeks, months and even years later. One day something will show up and you will know that this week is where the seed was planted, the miracle was placed, or the healing began. Just trust Jesus and believe.

Because we are doing the very things He told us to do—fast and pray. Why would He tell us these things and not respond to them? Okay, as Kris Vallotton says, that was a good word! I heard it in my heart as I typed it. Woohoo! Wow, is Our Lord God Almighty amazing or what?!?!

On our forums we have an areas for testimonies now and there is one specifically for sharing about this week. If you feel led to share, please do so! Our testimonies are powerful (Rev. 12:11) and when shared they release the power of the Holy Spirit in others because it increases our faith. Isn't that awesome? That's just how Jesus works. That's why He told the stories He did. He revealed the possibilities in impossible situations. 

Okay, whoa! There's another good word from the Holy Spirit. I personally love the clarity I get when I fast. It's an amazing time of revelation. So go over share your testimony here:

Testimonies from Our Spiritual Spa Week and Rosh Hashanah Fast

As we end our week, reflect on all that God has done this week. Write it down in your journal or Bible so you go back and remind yourself of what God spoke to you this week. And praise and thank Him for His relentless and abundant love. 

It has been my joy and honor to pray for you this week, SUMites! I want you to walk in all that Abba has for you!
Love you so very much,
Dineen 


Rosh Hashana - Sanctified

  • א׳ בְּתִּשְׁרֵי תשע״ד

Today is the first of Tishrei 5774. 

SUM Prayer and Fasting
That is today's date on the Jewish calendar. It is also the Jewish High Holy Day of Rosh Hashana. 

I don’t know about you but I’m fascinated by the Jewish culture ancient and current. And for some reason Rosh Hashana, The New Year, has a draw on my soul and pulls me into learning more about my Jewish heritage. And I am of Jewish heritage. Jesus, my family redeemer, was born into the line of Abraham, Isaac and Joseph. And by the way, Jesus is your family redeemer too! 

So as I ponder our Papa, the Lord of All, I wonder how He views this New Year. I like to ponder about God. I recall that the Jewish people believe this is a time of accounting of mankind. That people pass before the Lord and He takes an account of their life over the past year and He also sets in order certain things for the coming year. Now I don’t know much about that but it’s still fascinating to consider. God is God of the Jews and the Gentiles and I wonder, does he make an account of our lives once a year? 

Fascinating. 

On my walk n pray yesterday, I asked God about this holiday and the fasting we are doing as a community and He said to me, “Lynn, for you and this community, I desire for you to become Sanctified. You are to become sanctified for two reasons. One, you are the harvesters and you are the seed planters. I give seed and you plant it into the hearts of many. And two, you have great favor and I want to give you gifts of bread. You are my sons and daughters and I want to live in the details of your life and delight you.” 

Whoa! My friends. 

So today, let’s take this journey with our God and discover what it means to become sanctified and have the favor of God. And the favor of God is precious as God loves everyone the same but He favors those who are sanctified. 

And why does God want us to be sanctified? To receive His favor and to bring our families into this realm of sanctification. 

So who is Jehovah-Qadesh? The Lord your sanctifier Lev. 20:8 

In Hebrew, the word for sanctified is qadesh, and many scholars submit that it originates from another word that means "to cut." When you combine the word qadesh with the divine name Jehovah, it opens our eyes to yet another aspect of His nature. Jehovah-qadesh, or "the Lord who sanctifies you," speaks of God's divine influence upon His people. It speaks of the manner in which He takes those who are His and purifies and sanctifies them, or separates them, from the world they were once a part of. 

God calls us to be different than those of the world. After all, if we as followers of Christ aren’t different, why would anyone want to follow Christ? People hunger for the powerful Christ of the Bible. And those of us with God’s favor, bring Him into the world. 

That is the seed planting. 

But my friends, the bread... It's is a glorious gift from a Father who loves us. And eating of the bread, what is that? Well it's living every day in the favor of God and this is what it looks like in an average day of my life. My story may seem silly but God just loves to spned time with me, delight me and He shows up every day in so many ways and He blows my mind. Here is an example. 

As you know I walk n pray every morning out in the wine country near my home. On rare occasions I am confronted, even charged, by domestic dogs that scare the crap out of me *ahem.* Anyhoo, there is a certain place these dogs like to linger to chase squirrels and it’s a hidden area around a bend in the road. They are rarely there but the last time I enjoyed one of these confrontations *sarcasm* was on an early Sunday morning. So last Sunday, as I’m walking and I start around this bend in the road, my anxiety rises a bit because I don’t know what or how many barking dogs might be ahead. So I pray, “Dad, I would really like it if there weren't any dogs ahead. Can you send angels to makes sure they aren’t there. And then Dad, could you just send someone who is also on a walk down the road toward me, so I know there aren’t any dogs ahead?” 

I kid you NOT. As soon as the words crossed my lips, I see an older couple walking a tiny dog coming down the road in front of me. I knew immediately that the road ahead was safe as these people weren’t rattled and the little dog was walking right beside them with his tiny feet shuffling along the road. 

God favors those who choose to believe Him. He favors those who believe His word and follow hard after Him. He favors those who pray and who love people. God favors those who love Him more than themselves. And God favors those who live in a spiritually mismatched home. 

This next year is going to be the most amazing, supernatural, and life-changing year for this community yet. Release yourself into the tender, loving arms of our Daddy and become sanctified. Because God, our Father who is always good greatly desires to give His children good things. He desires to be part of our everyday, our ordinary and make our life extraordinary.

Matthew 7:11b how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.

Today, look up the following passages and pray them back to God. Ask Him to fully sanctify you , your marriage, your family and ask Him if there is anything in your heart that is not sanctified and that needs to go so God can pour more into your life.

John 17:13-19

1 Corinthians 7:14

So, today as you fast. Ask for God's favor. Ask for more of Him. Ask for an increase of His Holy spirit. Ask for wisdom and revelation. Ask for a fresh anointing of the Spirit. Ask for His Holy Fire of Sanctification.

Let me know today if you are fasting. Leave your name in the comments and one thing you are asking of God in this new year. I will pray with you.

We are walking today on Holy ground. Remove your shoes, fast, pray and watch the breakthroughs come. In King Jesus name. Amen.

Hugs, Lynn


A Sacrifice for Freedom

6036911_sMy friends, I have to tell you that God is doing more than I expected in this week so far. (Tamara, thank you again for suggesting we do a week like this.)

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!
Dineen

Image credit: jillbattaglia / 123RF Stock Photo


Preparing For Breakthrough

IMG_1093[1]It’s Monday. The Labor Day holiday here in America so many of you are away from your home and computer. But when you check in on Tuesday, I don’t want you to be out of the loop. Beginning tomorrow, our community is going to have a week of prayer and a day of fasting (fast is on Thursday). Tuesday through Friday with our week culminating on Saturday in worship. 

But for the next four days we are going to pray specifically for ourselves. This is not a typical prayer focus as we are Prayer Warriors so often for others. Our spouse, children, our church, neighbors, the world. However, starting tomorrow we will spend time specifically focused on praying for our needs and our soul. We will spend time just soaking in God’s Presence. 

My sincere hope for this week is that we experience a fresh anointing of the Holy Spirit’s power, authority and His lavish love. And secondly that we have a breakthrough in some personal area where we struggle. I know for me, I have a GIANT thorn in my life; I’m specifically seeking healing and deliverance. 

This community will be fasting on Thursday. A daytime fast. Sunrise to Sunset. To seek God and achieve that breakthrough. This Thursday is Rosh Hashanah and I will be talking about why that is significant in our evangelical faith. (Look up the sunrise and sunset times in your area)

Get ready. Fall is approaching. Kids are back in school. The holidays will be here before we know what hit us. This week is the beginning of a beautiful season and a time when we can grow personally in our love relationship with Jesus and with others. 

Lord, anoint this time. Give us a fresh Holy Spirit fire in our hearts. Help us to pray with passion for our personal breakthroughs and pray for our personal healing and to seek Your Heart with new passion. Lord, teach us to pray so that when we speak, the heavens rattle in reply and activity because we asked for action on this earth. Lord, let us be those who bring Your Kingdom to earth. Let our prayers this week change the atmosphere in our homes, workplaces and everywhere. Let people who are around us perceive we are different and give us courage to share with them, why we are different. 

Fill us to overflowing with love so we love You more and love people. In your Son’s name, our King Jesus. Amen. 

Also, every Monday, Dineen and I will have a new blog post up at Mismatched & Thriving. And if you haven’t checked out the forums, you are missing some great stuff. Join the conversations. 

I love you. I really love you and deeply care for your heart, your spirit, your marriage and family. Hugs, Lynn

PS. For those of you who are new to SUM, this is a taste of our week of prayer and fasting that we have every year in January. There are so many wonderful things about our community and this is one of my favorites. *smile*

Weekend Worship — We are Perfected!

My friends, I just can't say enough about how beautiful this community is. You have ministered to each in the comments and several of you are even planning to fast together on Monday (check out the last 10 comments on part three of my Nehemiah posts if you'd like to join the fast as well.)

I want to share a really cool insight I heard from a pastor last week. First take a look at these Scriptures:

"The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me." — John 17:22-23
And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me." — 2 Cor. 12:9

In both of these Scriptures, the Greek words used for "perfected" come from the same root word, which means to finish, to complete, fulfillment, goal and outcome. The point this pastor brought out was that it has nothing to do with us being perfect—without flow. It is about Jesus working in us to accomplish, complete and finish all that He desires to do in and through us. 

In my heart and mind, that gives me a better understanding of that second verse too. In our weakness, God's power completes, accomplishes and finishes whatever challenge we are facing. How cool is that? God thinks of everything, doesn't He?

SUMites, have an amazing moment with Jesus as you savor these truths and praise Him for praying so long ago (in our timeline) that we would be perfected in unity too. Because that is exactly what He's doing right here in this community. 

Lord Jesus, we give You all the glory and praise, because You are worthy and deserve it all. We stand in awe of Your great plan and we adore You! In Your holy name, amen!

Have an amazing weekend, my precious friends. Love you!
Dineen


Shore Up the Walls—Nehemiah, Part One

NehemiahWallA couple weeks ago I kept hearing "shore up the walls." The Holy Spirit led me to read the book of Nehemiah. As I read, specific pieces of Scripture jumped out at me. I began to make a list, praying also to understand what God was showing me. This process has taken nearly two weeks as I prayed for understanding, clarity and timing.

My friends, I pray this blesses and encourages you to keep praying and BELIEVE that God is acting upon your prayers. Know that He is, because one of His promises is that whatever we ask in His will, we will receive.

This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him. — 1 John 5:14-15
This wound up being a long "letter" of Scripture and prayers so I will break it into three parts. And don't hesitate to pray in the comments, no matter how many you may see or even if you see the same thing mentioned. All of our voices matter. God is moving on our behalf!

As I prayed over the Scriptures, this is what the Holy Spirit told me: God sees the crumbling walls of our marriages. The enemy squats at the broken gates taking glee at his destruction. But the hand of The Lord God Almighty is upon us. His anger is great against the enemy for he has attacked that which is dear to the King's heart.

God is calling us to shore up the walls of our marriages and our lives. New territory awaits us, but first we must rebuild and restore the walls and gates as they did in Nehemiah. This is part of God's preparation that I've spoken of in the past. (Click here for that post.) We are being strengthened for what's coming next. And my friends, it is going to be glorious and beyond our expectations. For some it will be the salvation of loved ones, for others new anointings and clear callings to serve God in new ways. Take note of any new desires or passions you find yourself thinking and dreaming about. He is placing these in our hearts as indicators of where He wants to take us.

The following are pieces of Nehemiah that I felt the Holy Spirit telling me to highlight. In between are prayers. Let's pray these together, my friends, and pray even beyond the words here. Let the Holy Spirit guide you and release His words into you. As you walk through these Scriptures and prayers take note of any area that rings true. I firmly believe the Spirit will guide you to see those specific areas that need prayers for restoration. You may even feel led to fast for those places too. Any place where things like resentment, unforgiveness, unbelief, or sin have been allowed to grow are open places in our walls of faith that the enemy is able to enter.

Your prayers may simply be to pray for protection over your marriage more regularly or to take a step of faith that God is showing you. Ask God for these insights. I have every confidence that He will show you specific places to pray about. Get a journal and write down whatever impressions and promises you receive, because you will want to go back and reread them in the future.

Then the king said to me, “What would you request?” So I prayed to the God of heaven. — Nehemiah 2:4
(Now is the time to ask God for the deepest desires of your heart.)

Lord, we petition You for our marriages and our unbelievers. Bring restoration to our marriages and belief to those who don't believe. Shore up the walls of our marriages with Your great compassion and our prayers. Abba, we ask that You not give the enemy access to our marriages and our families as we rebuild. Hear the desires of our heart and bring them into full clarity and alignment with Your perfect and good plans for us. Release in us new gifts, new provisions, more revelations and more wisdom!

and a letter to Asaph the keeper of the king’s forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the fortress which is by the temple, for the wall of the city and for the house to which I will go.” And the king granted them to me because the good hand of my God was on me. — Nehemiah 2:8
Abba, thank You for Your favor. We ask humbly for more that we would walk in this great favor and new anointing in our marriages and our lives. We pray that the evidence of Your favor would be so great that our families will be able to see it and that everywhere we go, even strangers will look at us and see Your presence upon us.
Next to him Shallum the son of Hallohesh, the official of half the district of Jerusalem, made repairs, he and his daughters. — Nehemiah 3:12

Lord Jesus, bring purpose and faith even to our children and show them how they are part of the rebuilding. We pray for our adult children as well, that the walls of their marriages be restored and strengthened. Bring unity to our families and let them be cities on hills to proclaim Your presence and restoration to this nation. Let a legacy of faith begin to grow as part of your Great Harvest so that the next generation and the next will already walk in great faith and go beyond what You've called us to do.

My friends, I will stop here. Be sure to come back Friday for Part 2 and Monday for Part 3 on. I spent this past Monday praying and fasting for many of you specifically and for this community. During this time the Holy Spirit told me breakthroughs are coming! This is our time to ask God for the things we've been praying for. Be bold! Ask! Be specific! And believe. If you need prayers for your request, leave a comment. Like the Israelites, we are a community working to help each other shore up our walls. We are the SUMites! Let's pray for each other and shore up our walls! 

Love each and every one of you dearly!
Dineen 


Know Your Enemy's Tactics

6a00d83451ee9f69e2017ee7581a53970d-320wiBefore we dive into the deeper waters of spiritual warfare, I feel led (and have for weeks for this series) to help you have a better understanding of what spiritual warfare is and what place is has in our lives.

For years I lived in a place of fear in regards to the enemy. I’d dabbled with some of the occult as a teen without a Christian upbringing or someone to explain to me that God is bigger and more powerful and always will be.

As I stepped into faith I began to learn and understand this truth, to understand that God is in complete control, even of satan and the extent of his evil plans (i.e. what he’s allowed to do. The book of Job is a good example), but I still worked and prayed from a place of fear in dealing with the enemy.

One of the biggest lessons I took away from Kris Valloton’s book, Spirit Wars, and his sermon by the same title (you can buy the video at iBethel.com) is that the enemy is only a threat if we let him. We give him way too much credit and influence in our lives. So here’s the understanding that God has given me.

Growing old is a part of life, right? We can either pretend we will never grow old and live like there’s no tomorrow, or we do things proactively to age well. Like exercise, eating healthy foods, going to the doctor to keep tabs on how our body is functioning, taking vitamins, etc. Without these measures we can wind up feeling sluggish, sick and out of shape. Especially the older we get. You get the picture.

Much like aging, spiritual warfare is a fact of our spiritual life. It’s inevitable—a part of our faith just like aging is part of our bodily progression. We can either walk through our faith, pretending the enemy won’t try to threaten our spiritual wellness (much like pretending that Big Mac habit isn’t going to mess with your cholesterol level) or we can be prepared, alert and proactive so that we walk in victory, no matter what stage we are at. Victories come in all shapes and sizes, my friends. Don’t forget that.

We don’t need to fear aging though we might not like it. Nor do we need to fear spiritual warfare. In fact, when we come at if from a place of fear, we are ineffective. Jesus didn’t not give us a spirit of fear, dear ones. He gave us a spirit of power, love and a sound mind. Second Timothy 1:7 tells us that very clearly in Paul’s instructions for Timothy to live faithfully and boldly in his gifts and calling.

And now I’m reminding you of this truth. We are the ones with power AND authority. The enemy holds no important place in your life and is more like an annoying fly on your wall. Smack him away and give him no purchase, place, or hold in your life!

There’s one other thought I want to pass on to you, something I took away from Bethel that freed me to try things and not be so concerned about doing things “right” every time. We aren’t teaching you to look for a demon in every corner nor are we saying every situation or trial involves an evil spirit. Sometimes it’s clear but other times it’s not. The thing is, it never hurts to pray. If you think an evil spirit might be involved, pray against it. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, then ask God for wisdom and guidance on to approach the issue differently. Nothing wrong with covering your bases.

Now, let’s take a walk into the wilderness—as observers, not participants. Go to Matthew 4:1-2 with me and let’s look at the testing of Jesus. If you look at the sequence of events, you will discover some key details here.

  1. Jesus knew the tempter would come. He was not surprised by His enemy. Jesus expected this time of testing and knew it was part of His preparation for what was to come. We needed a Savior who understood us completely, even to our temptations.
  2. Jesus fasted before he was tempted. Again, Jesus is aware of what He would face so He prepared himself for the confrontation. I love what Kris Vallotton says about fasting—that he fasts to bring God near, not to fight the enemy. He even refers to Psalm 23 where it says, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.” We fast for God, we feast before our enemy. That is the victory that comes from the battle!
  3. Jesus expected His enemy to come in His time of weakness. Here again, Jesus prepared for this because He knew the enemy would attack at His weakest time—when He was hungry, tired and weak. Sound familiar? My friends, the enemy is a coward and will attack you in your weak spots. It’s important to know your weaknesses, identify them and prepare ahead of time (read and memorize Scripture, pray, ask for prayers, etc.) so that you can recognize when you’re just having a bad day or if the enemy has decided you are his target practice. Then you can recognize the enemy’s hand and win the battles when they come. Or even better, avoid them! Remember 1 Cor. 10:13.

In the next part of this series, I will show you three areas that the enemy tempted Jesus and how these are critical “hot spots” for us to understand how the enemy tempts us. There’s more to these stories than just the testimony of Jesus’ temptation and perseverance. They reveal the deepest areas that the enemy targets in us to take away our authority and victory in Jesus by making us think we are ineffective and powerless.

My friends, many of you are in this place already. I was for a long time too, but God has brought me from that place, and now I get to share that with you. We are on this journey together to gain ground, regain ground and step into the full inheritance we have in Jesus. With that, I leave you with this powerful piece of truth:

For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. — Philippians 2:9-11 (emphasis mine)

Even our enemy knows his limitations and Who he is answerable to—to Jesus. Even he has to bow down to Jesus and fear the name of our Lord and Savior. And you are a coheir with Christ (Rom. 8:17). Now think about that for a while.

I can’t wait until next time to share more of these truths right from God’s precious Word! You will be empowered and equipped!

Love you so very much, my precious friends! I am praying for you—for your victory!
Dineen