149 posts categorized "Spiritual Warfare"

The Enemy Cannot Handle This!

Hey SUM family, Tiffany Here!

Sunday, September 29th is the beginning of Rosh Hashanah. We've talked about this Jewish holiday over the years. In fact, the first time I'd ever been made aware of it's significance was because of a blog post from either Lynn or Dineen. For those who are not familiar or are new to this holiday, a simple "Rosh Hashanah" search on this site will provide you with a wealth of information. Feel free to check out the archives!

My prayer for us today is that we will each take away something fresh and new. Holy Spirit, reveal to us the heartbeat of God. Amen!

Rosh Hashanah isn't actually a biblical holiday but a traditional Jewish holiday. The term "Rosh Hashanah" means "head of the year" and is celebrated as the Jewish New Year. This is a two-day celebration that proceeds Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement).

In the beginning of this month, the Lord really pressed upon me to watch Patty Tower's talk that was given at the SUMite Summit this last April. I decided to go back and watch it again. (I will provide a link below so you can revisit that as well. It is absolutely worth a re-watch!)

As I sat down to think about Rosh Hashanah and what I would include in this post, I went back to my notes from Patty's message. There is so much good in this message but I want to point out one theme:

  • Joshua 6 - God gives specific instructions about the destruction and taking of the city of Jericho. In verse 20 we see the result of following God's plan and not their own: "So the people shouted when the priests blew the trumpets. And it happened when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat. Then the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city."
  • Patty called us to march around our house 7 times and shout, declare, pray and praise things into existence. It was in the great shout that the walls fell flat down.

Rosh Hashanah isn't in the Bible; however, the first day of Rosh Hashanah, is. Let's take a look.

Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,  “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation.  You shall do no customary work on it; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord.’ ” - Leviticus 23:23-25

The Hebrew word, Teruah, in Leviticus for blowing trumpets is the same word used in Joshua 6 where they shouted with a great shout. The first day of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Teruah, is a day of blowing trumpets or shouting.

Notice what else it says in Leviticus about this day - you shall have a sabbath-rest. Yom Teruah happens to fall on a Sunday. The day we, as children of God, call our sabbath!

So, why is this important for us? If we are not Jewish, what is the point of celebrating this time of year?

We've already seen in our community some amazing things worth celebrating. Many professions of faith and baptisms with our spouses, children or others we love. Libby gave us a beautiful word about the SUMite community with her picture of the mountain. The SUMite Summit where some gathered in California being at the top and from that trickle, the waters of our faith continued to pool together to create a river at the bottom.

I truly believe something was activated in the heavenlies and we have set off a chain reaction. The enemy has been stirred to anger and we have seen much push back from illness, discord with our spouses and children, financial struggles, backsliding, strongholds etc.

However, I truly believe that God is calling His children deeper. I believe that He is stirring in us a hunger and thirst that can no longer be quenched by fear, pain or opposition tactics from the enemy.  I believe that NOW is the time for us to press in all the more into the God of Miracles. NOW is the time to storm the gates of Heaven for our spouses, children, our complete freedom and healing. I believe that NOW is the time for us to suit up and prepare for battle.

There is a shifting going on right now. As we are in this transition period, it is up to US if we are going to take God at His word - for our destinies, purposes, signs, miracles and wonders. We cannot afford to give up or give in. The future of generations to come hangs in the balance. It sounds intense but don't worry! Greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4).

Patty's talk at the SUMite Summit: https://www.facebook.com/SpirituallyUnequalMarriage/videos/387269661859875/

There is so much more I could say but I've gone on a little long.

As we approach this Jewish New Year, what are the things you are coming to the Throne of Grace for? What do you hope to see in this new season? Shout

Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples! Shout to God with the voice of triumph! -- Psalm 47:1 (Shout here is the root word of teruah ::grin::)

We are going to shake the heavens and the earth with our shouts! In the comments, give a mighty shout to the Lord. Thank Him for the victory you've been praying and waiting for! Decree and declare that these prayers are answered in Jesus' mighty name! Now it is up to you to take Him at His word. Trust. Believe. Wait and see. God is so good. And He is worthy of the wait. Hugs!

 

 


Esther: Special Intelligence

Hi friends, Ann here.Esther

We're now in chapters 4 and 5 of Esther.

As I begin this post, I have this in my head: Know your enemy.

I don’t talk about the enemy much. I deliberately don’t give him airtime. But I do take careful notice of his activities so that I can move appropriately in prayer.

One of my earliest questions as a Christian was whether there really was an enemy of our souls; a being, or beings who were influential in this world. Without going into detail, God did answer that question for me and showed me there is. On a couple of occasions, I’ve even heard a demon, though I’ve never seen one visually. Though I was surprised to hear the thing, it didn’t scare me one bit. It used a lot of F-words, and then spat out what its intentions were. My reaction was “You’re busted! I know what you’re up to.” I guess God allowed me to hear it so that I could pray.

Later, I told a pastor that I’d had this experience. I hadn’t told anyone as it seemed crazy. The pastor nodded, “Yes, they do use F-words, so that would’ve been a demon.” Okayyy… A wild experience.

Why this story? Because chapters 4 and 5 proclaim how we thwart the enemy, and we do it by uncovering hidden things. Esther’s moves are, in essence, spiritual warfare.

The first noticeable move of Esther’s is that she sought out, from Mordecai, Haman’s secret plot. Similarly, for us, beating the enemy involves asking the Holy Spirit to reveal things. If we ask, He will show. Like intelligence agents we can then roll up our sleeves and say, “I’m game! Show me more, Lord!”

Next, came a time of reflection for Esther, helped by fasting. Hearing Mordecai’s wisdom she recognized her own responsibility and the safest way forward. The safest way forward, in fact, involved her saying “If I perish, I perish”. So be it. Lord, so be it. That’s the point we get to, as Christians: “I'm dying to myself now. Let’s go.”

From that strength, she moves. The King extends his sceptre. She touches its top. And in that very move, where she extends her hand and makes physical contact, her favor is established. She will take the territory. I think something similar happens spiritually for us the moment we move forward with faith of a mustard seed. We’ll take the land.

Yet, there is still the process of the feasts. Esther fasts, then feasts. But her feast is not about her eating fun food. Instead, it’s a feast that draws on every ounce of courage. She invites her husband to her table, and it’s a table God has laid for her in the presence of her enemies (Psalm 23:5). Her husband says to her, “What do you want, my darling? You can have half my Kingdom.”

Half his kingdom: Gold. Power. Prestige. No. Esther wants salvation, single-mindedly.

The funny thing is, she doesn’t do this over one feast, she does it over two. That is, instead of leaping forward into her plan at feast #1, she waits and holds another one: feast #2. It’s as if something in her is saying, Not yet. Wait for it. Wait for it. Wait for it.

SUMites: Wait for it. Wait for it. Nearly there.

In between feasts #1 and #2, a critical process happens. The enemy's head expands to the size of a balloon as he soaks in his power among his minions. His wife Zaresh is egging him on; her name means ‘misery’ and ‘strange’. “Build a gallows!” miserable Zaresh cries. “YES!” he roars back. The point is, the wait between feast #1 and feast #2 allows him to expand to the point of defeat. 

If we are waiting for victory, is there a place for process while the enemy builds his own downfall?

I'm currently reading a spiritual memoir* by someone whose own life conveys this very thing. The author’s life was racked with drugs, sex, and dysfunction for the entire time she raised her children to adulthood. What a waste, one might say. Her Christian parents watching, could only grieve. BUT, in her fifties a divine reversal came. She is now a deeply impactful minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. All to His glory.

Friends, hope you enjoyed that.  Do you have any thoughts or comments on these aspects of spiritual warfare?

Till the next post,

Ann

*Haynes, A. (2018). Too many voices: My journey from confusion to clarity. San Diego, CA: Eternal Voice Publishing.


Rainbow Prayers

Hi everyone, Ann here!

We’ve recently been discussing the power of words here and on the Facebook group, and these conversations have brought back something that happened to me three years ago. I thought I would share the story. It was a time when God showed me two alternative scenarios in terms of how I use words: One scenario was awesome, the other sobering. With words being a theme, I'll have a go at telling it. Mum's Rainbow Prayers

I’ll start with the awesome, which is the best bit. It was a bright February day, and God showed me something that gave me warm fuzzies. He gave me a vision of rainbows coming out of a person’s mouth, accompanied by these words:

The prayers of a faithful person are like fountains of rainbows pouring over the one(s) for whom they pray. 

Wow. Rainbows represent God’s goodness, I loved hearing that. What’s even better is that sometime later I came across an article by an author who had had the same picture: Rainbows coming out of mouths, hitting situations with power. 

That Easter I also found the attached drawing, done by my little boy. There's a rainbow across our family and what looks like a fighter to the left with cape and sword. It reminded me of the rainbows and made me think, “This is how I care for my family -- Through prayer.”

However, it seemed God wanted to show me an alternative perspective, one more sobering. This ‘alternative view’ came on another bright morning but it was a less cheery vision. In this vision I saw some Christians who were doing wonderful work, and, consequently, a man in their life was giving them atheist banter. The Christians began to talk about this man. With good hearts, they weren’t talking that badly but, nonetheless, labels were used. As they spoke, a see-through dome formed around him, a barrier from which he could not escape but could see out of. Outside the barrier was a chocolate Easter egg in foil wrapping. Containment words  2

In the spirit of childlike faith, I’ve constructed a visual of this scenario in the attached picture. I couldn’t find an Easter egg so an evil foil-wrapped Easter Bunny will do. We’re God’s kids, and we’re learning, so a childlike depiction seemed fitting. The Easter bunny will be explained in a minute. 

What this vision told me is that words construct barriers and walls. In this vision, unintentional words were keeping the ‘atheist’ contained to the point that all he could see of the Easter message was chocolate and emptiness.

James 3 tell us that the tongue, though seemingly harmless, is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Yikes, that’s strong. Stronger still, though, is the fact God spoke the universe into existence. Made in God’s image but living in a world where light and dark collide, how powerful, exactly, are our words? Scripture shows examples of God encouraging his children to speak impact. Moses, for example, was told to speak to the rock so that water would come out; Ezekiel was told to speak life into dry bones. But, on the flip side, what power Jesus had to limit the fig tree with one apparently harmless sentence:

And seeing a fig tree by the road, He came to it and found nothing on it but leaves, and said to it, “Let no fruit grow on you ever again.” Immediately, the fig tree withered away. Matthew 21:19 (NKJV)

As believers, are we saying about any fig tree, “Let no fruit grow on you ever again?” Who in our life do we refer to regularly, for example, as ‘atheist’? Are we even tearing down places, families, and churches with our words? I’ve been sitting with the thought asking myself what degree of ROAR, as a daughter of God, my tongue holds and whether I'm being wise enough.

Finally, what I like about these two visions is that the arch of the rainbow contrasts with the arch of the dome. It’s as if they are two contrasting choices a Christian has when speaking about another person. For us, as friends, I guess it's one more story for our war-chest.

“Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.” Psalm 141:3 (NKJV)

It'd be interesting to chat about what situations this might apply, keen to hear your thoughts?

In friendship,

Ann


Our Story is His Story: History in the Making

Portugese man o war  SUMWhat does the SUM ministry and the blue-bottle jellyfish have in common?

What a strange question, but it’s one that God gave me back in 2016 while our community was fasting. For those who are new here, we fast each year together and it’s not unheard of to hear a word or two for us all during those times.

Indeed, there I was during that fast, hungry and horizontal, when suddenly a picture of a blue-bottle jellyfish swooshed across my mind -- Flash. It was gone as quickly as it came but I promptly knew it was about the SUMites.   

When something like that happens it’s an invitation to explore, so I went to Google, typed ‘blue bottle jellyfish’ and began to read. The lines progressed and, as they did, I began to link this extraordinary creature with our beloved ministry here. Some three years later I’d like to share it, it makes me smile.

First, the jellyfish itself:

Electric blue, it might look like one organism but is, in fact, a colony. It comprises numerous individuals called zooids that hang together. They need each other, and so they journey as one. In this state they have absolute power in their territory. Their tentacles are long, deep, and especially venomous. With one brush the prey is paralyzed. Predators stay away from this ‘terror of the seas’.

Interesting, but how does it link to the SUMites?

Well, journeying together like this jellyfish, we’re venomous and terrifying to the enemy. Through our situations, spiritual weaponry is a necessity and we become prayer warriors of the strongest kind. It’s what we learn. The way the jellyfish moves, though, is entirely restful. It’s through the momentum of tides and winds with propulsion coming from outside. In the same way, we here move forward through God’s strength alone.

SUM family, I love the analogy of us interconnected as this strong unit, and I might share now a little of my personal experience as an observer and beneficiary of this ministry:

I first came here in 2014, "a half-baked Christian", "crumpled", who "can’t do any of the things that Christians do." I posted these comments and received encouragement back. "You can do it, Ann, keep going!" Well, five years on I’m relieved to report I’m fully uncrumpled and there's nothing half-baked going on here. To be serious, though, the change in my mindset is marked. I’m charging on in faith.

That’s me. But what I like even more is this ministry’s wider story. It speaks to me of God’s intentionality, and it’s a story I believe many of us will be telling: It's a testimony of a whole community and what happened next.

Back in 2006, we saw one woman (Lynn), then two (Lynn and Dineen), and more, choose obedience, with tangible outcomes. Obedience shone through every one of their posts. Like Abraham taking Isaac to Mt Moriah in Genesis 22:2-8, they modeled the deepest sacrifice: “Put your spouse on the altar, risk that they won’t like you anymore, and choose to say yes to Me”. The rest of us have been doing the same. Amidst frequent anguished wails, we've been growing the fruit of the Spirit. What happens when multiple people obey God to this degree and for this long? What does obedience do? It makes the demons stumble. 

Alongside Lynn and Dineen, there is a 13-year story of a community of believers becoming fearsome. It’s a colony that God has built, and a place where the fruit of the Spirit has ripened. From where I sit, there is a visible change in many I have come to know here. It's a story that shouts, ‘COME OVER HERE, TURN IN AND SEE!’ It’s not the salvation of spouses that grabs me the most, though of course we’ve had that! The most noticeable thing, for me, is what’s happened to the SUMites themselves.

We’ve gone from "How are we going to live practically and well in this situation" to "Let’s bring walls CRASHING down!" and, most importantly, "Let’s love God with all of our heart, our soul and our mind". A new book is upon us, and a new season. I'm excited.

Strong and deep as that electric-blue jellyfish, we have a lot to say next and a mutual story to tell. SUMites, I’d be keen to hear your comments. And for now, may we be the most fearsome terror of the seas together!

In friendship,

Ann


A Table Set For Victory

Hey SUM family, Tiffany Here.

I pray that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! This is absolutely my favorite time of year. I love gathering with family, eating fantastic food and reflecting  on all of the favor, mercy, and goodness of Daddy that has happened for the year.

As I was thinking last week about what Holy Spirit wanted me to share, I fingerprinted a man with a business logo on his sweatshirt that said "Stillwater." This prompted me to look up "still water" in the Bible. The main passage that came to mind was in Psalm 23:

 The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Forever.

TABLE BEFORE ENEMIES*Photo credit: Loving Grace Ministries

Reading this familiar passage again I was shocked to see verse 5, "You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies..." I had completely forgotten that this verse was in this Psalm.

That is when Holy Spirit brought to my mind the song Surrounded (Fight My Battles) by Elyssa Smith from UPPERROOM. Forgive me if I've shared this song before. I love it so much. My favorite verses in this song say, "my weapons are praise and thanksgiving, this is how I fight my battles"

I have been seeing Psalm 23 all over the place since I first saw this man's sweatshirt. I know that of the Psalms, this one is so common and well known even in the secular world; however, this particular passage has not been on my radar for quite some time. Each and every time I am seeing a reference to Psalm 23 there is a different verse that is being highlighted. I think I need to dwell here for a while! I was inspired so much so that I committed this passage to memory. This is a first for me to memorize an entire passage. Woot!

I think with all of the apparent darkness and chaos going on in our community (illness, death, financial struggle, marriage breakdown, depression, chronic pain, etc) and in the world today I want us to meditate on this phrase, "I am beginning to see the darkness around me is just the shadow of Your wings." *Note: this is not my phrase, this gets me every time I listen to this song...SO SO GOOD.*

God has gone up with a shout,
The Lord with the sound of a trumpet.
Sing praises to God, sing praises!
Sing praises to our King, sing praises!
For God is the King of all the earth;
Sing praises with understanding. (Psalm 47)

Please know that our Daddy is surrounding you with His love, presence, favor, mercy, and grace. I know we all know this but may we truly rejoice and sing praises with understanding! Understand your are highly favored. Understand you are loved. Understand you are cherished. Understand in your weakness He is strong. Understand that even in the toughest time of your life He is in control. Understand you are seated with Christ Jesus. Understand you have authority. Understand you are the victor. Understand it. Is. Finished!

Let us lift our voices in one accord today:

I don't know about you the Lord uses songs to get me through the darkest days. Share in the comments some songs that see you through tough times. Your suggestions could be healing salve and oil of joy to another. I love you SUM family.


Sexual and Our Soul

MarriageMonday’s article elicited quite a response. I received some amazing emails. And my dear friends, God is in the business of healing.

Today, I want to share what I have learned about the spiritual realm and sex. I’m going to discus only a small portion of my knowledge in this area as our sexuality, sexual practices and beliefs regarding sex have a vast affect on our lives. But today, I want to talk about the union of sex in the spiritual realm.

And as you read this post, PLEASE, DO NOT go into condemnation. This post is your spiritual warfare and your freedom. Once you have awareness, your victory is at hand!!!  Hallelujah!

-----

I wonder if you have taken note of the explicit warnings about sex in the Bible?

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. — Ephesians 5:3

The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. —Galatians 5: 19-20

Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. —Hebrews 13:4

Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men. — 1 Corinthians 6:9

Why do you suppose that God is giving humankind such a punctuated message?

Other sinful practices may pollute the mind or create bitterness in the soul, (unforgiveness). But sexual sin involves a union to another of the body, the mind, AND the spirit.

Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” — 1 Corinthians 6:16

THIS VERSE IS LEGIT!

Let me explain how this works. A man or woman joins in a relationship and they engage in sex, usually intercourse. In this union there is a literal joining of the body, the mind, the emotions and in the spiritual realm, an exchange takes place. A portion of yourself in the spirit is shared with your partner. You give a part of your soul, your emotions, your heart and thoughts over to this person. I’ve come to understand this as a soul-tie. It’s only a name that I use in deliverance prayer. These ties are often Godly and intended to bond a husband and wife together in a special intimacy, a union only shared by two people.

A side note: This union is a reflection of the intimacy that God seeks with His children. It’s the intimacy of complete vulnerability and openness, no secrets and complete transparency. It is holy, sacred and very specially held in the Father’s heart.

You can have Godly ties with your children, friends, and even people within our community. I have ties with so many of you. It is a love bond that flows from my heart and is tied directly into your heart. That is why I’m very vulnerable and hurt when someone in our community is critical or condemning. Thankfully, that rarely happens. That’s because you have a Godly bond with my heart as well.

Isn’t that so cool?

Anyhoo, things go wonky within in a sexual relationship where intimacy, love and commitment aren’t paramount. The sexual tie becomes a bond of ungodliness, dark emotions, and strongholds. And these ungodly soul-ties can become a tool of the devil. Demonic forces will latch themselves onto an unhealthy, ungodly soul-tie to perpetuate an obsession with your partner. They will twist your thoughts about this person and leave you unavailable to seek healthy relationships. That is their goal. They want people to be hung up in a bond to someone even years, decades old, who treats them poorly or who has abandoned them all together. These ties can bind for years because in the spirit realm it clearly states that two shall become one. And if not broken, they grow in deception.

Additionally, within these ungodly sexual ties the demonic with begin to twist sexuality, sexual identity, sexual limits and introduce sexual practices that lead further into debauchery. It’s a wicked circle of shame, dangerous health practices, and it will devastate your life and faith. The eventual goal is to lead a person into perversion. Then the demonic will shame the person with by words like You are sick. Do you realize what you did with your body? You are worthless. No one will ever love a slut like you. Then the cycle will start all over again. The goal is to lead a person through so much shame and the lies of no escape that eventually they become hopeless and suicide becomes the way out.

THESE ARE LIES FROM THE PIT OF HELL!

I'm privileged to pray with many and watch Jesus free them from past sexual issues. And by the way, I’m one of the many. I’ve had to walk this road of reclaiming my sex life, my purity and dealing with past shame. You aren’t alone.

Breaking free from sole-ties is possible. Pray and ask God to break your emotional and all ungodly soul ties with past partners. Sanctify your sexuality and sex life. Talk to your spouse if you are engaged in sex that makes you uncomfortable. It is healthy to set proper boundaries in the bedroom with your spouse. MOSTLY, pray and ask Jesus to bless your sex life with your spouse.

If you need more information about Healing Prayer, visit Three Keys Ministries/Healing Prayer. I'm booked well into November so be patient. It's worth the wait! :)

Thank you for hearing me. Take what I’ve shared to Jesus and ask Him about it all. Ask Him to lead you through healing and purity. Love you, Lynn

Thoughts?

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9


Do You Want The Evidence Or The Truth?

Hey SUM Family,

Tiffany here:

ev·i·dence -  

a : an outward sign : indication

b : something that furnishes proof : testimony; specifically : something legally submitted to a tribunal to ascertain the truth of a matter
(Merriam-Webster online dictionary)

Last post (This Is Just The Pits!) we began to take a look at the life of Joseph. We discovered that there are ten tests we must face in order to fulfill our God-given purpose (I highly suggest you read From Dream to Destiny by Robert Morris for more on this topic). I want us to really dive into the deep end of the pool as we learn more about the pit test.

First, let's continue on in the story of Joseph. At this point he was ambushed by his brothers and thrown into the pit. Changing scenes, we see what happens with his family next:

So [Joseph's brothers] took Joseph's tunic, killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the tunic in blood. Then they sent the tunic of many colors, and they brought it to their father and said, "We  have found this. Do you know whether it is your son's tunic or not?" And he recognized it and said, "It is my son's tunic. A wild beast has devoured him. Without doubt Joseph is torn to pieces" (Genesis 37:31-33).

F.E.A.RJoseph's brothers did not flat out lie and say that Joseph was killed. Jacob came to that conclusion because of their leading question, "Do you know whether it is your son's tunic or not?" This is what we would call fabricated (false) evidence.   Remember evidence is an indication or something that furnishes proof. This evidence in Jacob's mind was proof that his favorite son was dead - to him it was the truth.

For over 20 years, imagine Jacob as he says in v. 35, "For I shall go down into the grave to my son in mourning." Imagine a father so heartbroken that he was not able to be consoled. I don't know for certain but I can imagine countless nights of crying himself to sleep, restlessness, no appetite, deep depression...unable to move on. Not only that but his other sons could have easily freed him from all of it...over 20 years of seeing and living with their father. What callous and prideful hearts!

What about you? What fabricated evidence has been stacked up against you? Your marriage? Your parenting? Your identity in Christ? What lies of the pit have kept you trapped for far too long? 

We live in a sin-hardened world, and we will be tempted by fabricated evidence just as Jacob was. And like Jacob, we will suffer unnecessary grief if we allow the lies of the pit to determine what we believe.

This is very important. If you want to get out of the pit, you must learn to discern the lies of the enemy. Because when you are in the pit, you are especially vulnerable. When you are in the pit, circumstances usually don't look very favorable - and that is exactly when Satan will manipulate those circumstances in order  to deceive you. He will hold up those circumstances before you as evidence that you should believe him rather than have faith in God. But fabricated evidence is not the truth. Joseph's brothers held up a bloody coat as evidence, and that evidence looked pretty convincing. But it was fabricated evidence. It was not the truth. If you want to overcome the lies of the pit, you must learn to focus on what God has said. When you are in the pit, you must remember that nothing is too hard for God, no matter what evidence the enemy might produce...

Yet even worse than his fabricated evidence is Satan's biggest lie: "You've messed up too badly. It's too late for you. You've messed up too badly to ever fulfill God's destiny for your life." Do you realize that the Bible is a book entirely about restoration? The Bible is filled with stories of people who messed up so badly that it seemed even God couldn't do anything about it - and yet He restored every one of them. He wants you to know that nothing is impossible for Him. As long as you have breath, it is never too late to call out to God. It doesn't matter what pit you are in. If you call out to God, He can fix it. And that is the real purpose of the pit. (pp. 38-39, From Dream to Destiny, Robert Morris)

Next time I want to finish up with the hope we have - the light at the end of the tunnel - in times of experiencing the pit test. But for now, let's meet in the comments. Let me speak truth into you and pray with you as we debunk the lies of the pit. Lean into this reality that fabricated evidence, no matter how convincing or real it appears, is NOT the truth. I promise you that this assurance will transform your life and catapult you out of the pit.

You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross.

-- Colossians 2:13-15 (NLT)


Five Smooth Stones

Hi everyone  Somewhere over the rainbow  SUM

As I write, it’s Thursday morning here in New Zealand, and I'm a hungry girl. Each fast I do more than I did before; and yet, this fast, like my others before, has been an imperfect one.

Yesterday, for example, I went to work hungry. By 1pm it was awful. I left my office where I was putting on a cheerful front, shut myself in the toilet cubicle and said to Jesus, “HOW did you do this for 40 days?” It made me realize I hadn’t ever considered Jesus’s 40 days of no food or water.

At 2pm, I freaked, I had a class to teach: “What if I faint in front of the class?” That was it. Seizing control of my situation, I reached for my bag, pulled out a small wrapped bar called ‘one square meal’, and gobbled it up. My hunger disappeared and I missed it instantly – “Oh no, come back!!”

Fasting. What does it do?  I still don’t understand it, but this time round I’m feeling it crash me to my knees – if not physically, in my heart. In my fasting state, there are no first-world problems. I’m hungry, that’s it. I bow my knee to the Father.

“For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named.” Ephesians 3:14, NKJV.

Fasting has got me thinking about the five smooth stones that God gave David to fight with. David knelt in obedience, gathered the stones, and stood up. Then he simply popped a stone into his sling, and - plop! - down went Goliath. Obviously, there were emotions around it, but the fact was he held these precious little stones in his hot hand. They were like secret treasure.  Five smooth stones

These five smooth stones were gentle weapons: small, rounded, easy to pick up, simple to hold. They make me think of fasting, rest, delight, dancing, and worshipping; things that represent a lifestyle of intimacy. Little lightweight stones.

"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30, NKJV.

On Tuesday I woke with a picture of myself and my kids sinking colored pool balls by connecting with the white ball. Plop, plop, plop, went the balls. It made me think, “For victory, you have to get your connection with the white right.”  Similarly, to sink the giants, we seek first – above all else -- our connection with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. That's what I'll teach my kids.

This SUM community is a place I have been learning how to do that. The example of all of you has made me grow. For that I’m enormously grateful.

“My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.

God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.

Glory to God in the church!
Glory to God in the Messiah, in Jesus!
Glory down all the generations!
Glory through all millennia! Oh, yes!”

Ephesians 3:14-21, The Message

Tomorrow I’d love to take communion with you, the SUMites, who I find to be my happy place. So, if you would, come to the blog with bread and wine and we'll eat the best possible meal together.

Love to you all.

Ann


An Honor Lesson Dealt In Cards.

Hello SUM family, Tiffany Here!

Lynn has asked the SUM leadership team to read the book Culture of Honor by Danny Silk for this summer series on honor. I want to share a brief  exerpt and give a real life example from my time in God's classroom. I can't say that it has been easy but I praise God that He hasn't given up on me!

"A spirit of gentleness" is an important phrase. It specifically describes the heart attitude of the one doing the confrontation. Gentleness is the perfect term to describe the attitude we must have with those who have made mistakes or failed somehow. Gentleness does not mean nice, and it doesn't mean polite. The heart of gentleness is the belief that "I do not need to control you."

Mastery of gentleness begins in our belief system. Do we believe that we can control others? Let's review the simple way to test it out. What happens to you when other people do not let you control them? Do you become angry? Do you interpret it as dishonor? Do you find a way to justify punishing them? A yes to any of these questions exposes that you still believe the lie that you can and should control people. Kingdom confrontation requires that you repent of this and begin to allow others to control themselves (p 166).

I love playing games. My grandparents taught Jason and I a card game that has been in their family for decades, several months ago. Jason and I love strategy and so this game is fun for both of us. The other night I pulled out the decks of cards, in trying to keep us disconnected with technology and spend quality time with one another after the kids had gone to bed. The difference between Jason and I is that when he loses, it is not really that big of a deal. When I lose, I get really emotionally involved. In saying this I am sure you can guess the outcome. This wasn't just a losing game for me but an absolute creaming! I was buried with no hope for resurfacing.

Dilley YahtzeeThe goal of this game is to get rid of the cards in your hand. You do this by laying down in front of you a variation of cards depending on the level. I sensed he was about to "go out" and win the current round (and thus further burying me in points against me) so in desperation I said, "Please don't go out!" He did anyway. I couldn't control him - - anger. We decided to go to bed and finish the game another time but my stinky attitude followed me into the next day.

I had failed my husband in showing him God's view of love that does not dishonor others, is not easily angered and always protects (1 Corinthians 13). One of the great things about repentance is that  it "creates an opportunity for true restoration. In fact, it is absolutely necessary in order to heal a relationship that has been hurt by sinful behavior (p. 99)."

The curriculum is far from over in this classroom I am in but I am proud to say that I am gaining victory one step at a time.

Do you struggle with the lies that you can and should control others? If yes, I assure you that I am right there with you. How can I be praying for you in your fight to create a culture of honor in your home?

See you in the comments.

 


Suicide Is Defeated - Read This!

SwordSUMites,

Last week, news feeds displayed faces of two celebrities who committed suicide. When there is a celebrity suicide, such as Robin Williams, the national suicide rates jump 10 %. Well not this time! Upon reading the headlines and then a Facebook friend sharing about his experience, see below, I was compelled by Jesus to share a story with you.

Several years ago, the Lord had me in an advanced classroom where I learned many of the secret weapons the demonic realm employs against us. And one of the things I learned is how the voice of suicide is perpetuated into a person’s life, so much so, that they take their own life.

I am compelled to share this because when someone reads it, they will be immediately set free. It may be challenging to process but ask the Lord to reveal the truth in what I share.

During this season of study, I read a ton of books about our authority, identity, and the workings of demons. I came to a place where I realized that the demon of death and the demon of suicide gains influence and a voice into our conscious in certain circumstances and misaligned beliefs.

In my study, a question was proposed: Have you ever felt, while you were driving, like you just want to run your car into a wall?

Let me be clear. This question spews forth directly from a voice of a demon. It is unholy, filled with hatred and motivated to destroy. Our heavenly Father would NEVER speak such a thing into your mind. At the time my daughter was in high school and really battling on many of fronts in her life. One day while we were driving somewhere, I asked her this question.

She paused before answering but quietly, “Ya, I have.”

“Caitie, this is a voice of a demon.”

Let me explain why she or others who think a thought like this become vulnerable to the devil’s whispers. I asked her another question, “Have you ever in some point of fear or frustration said to yourself, ‘It would just be easier if I died.’”

When a person gives consideration to the voice of the enemy, even once, they are vulnerable to oppression because they have come into agreement with the devil’s primary mission:

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy (John 10:10a)

A person opens a door, through legal rights, for a demon to speak to them. When someone rejects the truth of God; life, love, hope, etc. and embraces a lie of the demonic, they unknowingly subject themselves to oppression and/or torment. In this particular case, torment of ongoing thoughts of death, suicide, and escape through dark means.

When I shared this with Caitie, immediately the voice stopped. In fact, years have passed but recently I asked her again the same question, “No mom. I’ve never heard it again.”

AWARENESS ….. I’m convinced awareness is 75% of our spiritual warfare. The remainder; repentance. And finally, embracing the truth of who we are and Whose we are.

If you have thoughts along these lines. Pray: Father, in the name of Jesus, I repent for coming into agreement with the enemy that death is an answer to my life’s problems. I ask for forgiveness and I receive your forgiveness, covered in the blood of Jesus. Lord, from this day forward I belive what you say about me. That you have life abundant and a hope and future for me. I renounce any influence and silent any voice that is counter to Your truths. In the powerful name of Jesus. AMEN

If you want all of heaven to join you in this battle, you can say AMEN in the comments. There is NO judgement in this House of SUM. There is no condemnation in this House of SUM. There is only love, acceptance and FREEDOM. HALLELUJAH!! We stand with you for you full freedom! I love you, brave SUMites. Our victory is hard fought, but our awareness is at hand and we will be free indeed. Hugs, Lynn


SUMites Summit on the Summit by Libby

When I was paying for the SUM community, Holy Spirit started downloading words and pictures into my soul for us! So, in prayer, I grabbed my pen and sketch pad and let Holy Spirit flow through me. This is the first time I have ever done this, and let me tell you, it was awesome and I want more!!! I really hope that the photo at the end of this post expresses it properly (best viewed on laptop/pc). I pray that God will bless you through it and reveal to you in your heart what He wants you to know :) 

I believe He is calling together an army from across the nations to join forces together against evil. In the spiritual realm we are together and we are kicking up noise! An uproar against satan and his wicked plans. The angels can hear us and they rejoice! The demons can hear us and they flee! Other believers can hear us and they join us! 

Holy Spirit led me to this scripture for the SUMITE ARMY:

"Raise a banner on a bare hilltop, shout to them; beckon to them to enter the gates of the nobles. I have commanded those I prepared for battle; I have summoned my warriors to carry out my wrath — those who rejoice in my triumph. Listen, a noise on the mountains, like that of a great multitude! Listen, an uproar among the kingdoms, like nations massing together! The Lord Almighty is mustering an army for war. They come from faraway lands, from the ends of the heavens — the Lord and the weapons of his wrath — to destroy the whole country." Isaiah 13:2-5

Then, knowing I am a word nerd, He led me to contemplate "Sumite" and how similar it is to "Summit". I got super excited! Look at the dictionary definition of Summit and how it ties in with this scripture! 

1 - The highest point of a hill or mountain. (God is calling the Sumites to the Summit of the mountains/hills)

1.1 - The highest attainable level of achievement. (God is the highest of the highest. We are victors through him)

2 - A meeting between leaders (we are being called to converge at the Sumite Summit on the summit!!!) 

Holy Spirit then blew me away and as I prayed, it was as though He downloaded these prophetic words to me for all the Sumites:

The Sumite army is rising up! This army has been amassed from across the world, and now it is time to join together and wage war! Listen to the sound of the horn calling you! Move forward inch by inch to take back the land that the enemy has stolen! It is our land - it rightfully belongs to us through Christ - and it is time to march forward and reclaim it. We belong to God, He has called us by name, we are His chosen army. Rise up to take back land and free the captives of the enemy (our unsaved loved ones) who will then join the army and be mighty soldiers for God. Who better to make a powerful and effective fighter than one who has been held as a prisoner of war?! 

The battle is the Lord's. He goes before us and fights for us. He sends angelic armies to join forces with us. Trust Him. We fight from a position of victory! He has already overcome the enemy. Wave His banner high over you, blow the shofar, sing praises, dance and worship! The ground will shake and tremble. Mountains will crumble. Chains will be broken. Prison cells will be unlocked. We will spill the enemy's blood. Angelic armies are joining forces with us and fighting for us. Be fierce and forceful in battle, your strength comes from the Lord God Almighty and he has given us every provision we need to win. We are victors, we are overcomers, we are more than conquerors. 

Our battle plan and strategy are given through His word. Remember, put on the full armour - this is essential - and keep your shield of faith high and declare hedges of protection around your families and your households. Use your weapon - the sword of the Spirit, His anointed word, which is sharper than a double-edged sword, the most powerful weapon which no enemy can withstand. Follow Jesus' example when He was attacked and tempted by the devil - He declared the Holy Word and did not enter into negotiation. Know your enemy. Know his deceitful tricks and strategy - knowledge is power. What are your weakest points? Where is he likely to press? Is there anything that could compromise your hedge of protection?  Pray for discernment and wisdom and God will answer you and deliver you. 

We have the organization needed in our ranks: generals, officers, watchmen, gatekeepers and foot soldiers. If you are battle wounded and weary and can't be on the front line right now that is okay. But, pray for the army and you can regain your strength so that you can join the fight on the front lines. The way to stop becoming battle weary is to rest in His love and peace. Worship Him. Draw close to Him. Speak to each other in hymns and prayers. If anyone falls down, then the rest of the army should surround them and encourage them. When the generals and leaders are fatigued, foot soldiers should carry them. When a comrade is injured, tend to them. This battle is real - the Sumites are already experiencing the attacks of the enemy and some are wounded in battle. BUT, the enemy may be able to superficially wound us, but he cannot beat us or kill us and he knows it. We are each sealed by Holy Spirit and stamped through and through as God's child. Do not be afraid. Do not tremble before the enemy. God did not give you a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. He has blessed you with every spiritual blessing. He has given us everything we need. Use it and put the enemy back in his place! 

The enemy is trembling, he knows his time is nearly up and he will now amass all his forces in every last ditch attempt to defeat us. But, we shall not be defeated! Stand guard. Stand firm. Press on. Know we are victors through Christ. Prepare for victory and celebration. God's glory will be sung throughout the land and our victorious cries will resound in heaven!!!

Libby xxx

Libby Finan SUM Army May 2018


The Orphan Spirit and Identity Crisis

Hey there SUM family, Tiffany here! 

In the first post on this new writing journey for the SUM community I talked about the feeling of being a throw-away kid. This operated in my life in many ways. I was plagued by thoughts such as -

I will never be able to do enough.  Pete Scazzero

I am not good enough.

I am just trying to get your attention.

I cannot measure up to your standards.

What more do you want/expect from me?

I can't handle these demands.

I don't deserve it / you.

I honestly haven't realized – until last week during a healing prayer session with Lynn - that these thoughts that have plagued me for years are not only from the enemy but HAVE A NAME. The Orphan Spirit operates in such feelings as abandonment, loneliness, alienation, and rejection. Ouch! Looking back on my life, this has been the major theme! I am so used to a life like this that it almost seems unnatural to operate in freedom from this. (Isn't that truly the enemy's tactic..to turn things upside down and make it seem like “normal?”) The more I look into this topic, the freer I feel. It is almost as if the scales are falling from my eyes! I am not an expert by any means but I intend on digging deeper...I see this as a chapter in Vicarious to Victorious as the Lord leads me to write this book.

Or · phan: a child deprived by death of one or usually both parents; one deprived of some protection or advantage.

I have to say that this journey of freedom has been hard. I have realized that I have to truly fight for victory and the more I gain momentum, the more I have to be on guard. I don't say this to scare anyone. The journey is long but the triumph is so much stronger than anything I have to endure. I read Romans 8 this morning in my quiet time. This is a familiar passage to me and probably for many of you. What really jumped out to me was verse 18,

“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”

Wow, just wow. Today this familiar verse hit me like a ton of bricks. The sufferings that I am presently dealing with – the baggage and destructive mess left by the Orphan Spirit – has taken a toll on my life. My parenting. My marriage. My friendships. Everything!

I have been living with an identity crisis YEARS after trauma from father figures. The Orphan Spirit has left me deprived of protection and advantage. My identity for the longest time has been in productivity, performance, approval. These things have always been fleeting. Even if it seemed as though I was getting what I thought I wanted, said approval, I still couldn't accept it. If I could describe the labels that I allowed the Orphan Spirit to place on my life they would include such things as: worthless, unwanted, unworthy, unloved, ineffective, desperate, needy, clingy, an object not a person.

BUT God!

He has given me a new identity!

Let's look at Galatians 4:4-7:

But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God's child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.

This does not sound like the labels I had placed upon myself at all! Thank you God, You give us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 15:57)!

In digging deeper into God's word, and allowing the Holy Spirit to renew my mind and transform me (Romans 12:1-2) I am seeing more and more that I have the ability to see my TRUE identity. My identity isn't really in crisis at all. In fact God is using the trauma of my past to help me look forward with more confidence than before. I am not who I once was. Instead of those old labels I can rest assured that my identity looks more like: victory, confidence, powerful, effective, fierce, redeemed, helpful, compassionate, empathetic, gracious, artistic and creative, unique, valuable.

Joseph Mattera wrote for Charisma News, “The only way to break this orphan spirit is for people to be filled with a sense of the Father's love for them in Christ, which then enables them to become mature sons who serve God out of knowledge of His undeserved grace instead of trying to earn the Father's love through performance.” (You can read through the entire article by clicking HERE)

I want to close this with a chance to meditate on the newer song from Passion feat. Kristian Stanfill and Melodie Malone – God You're So Good.

As you listen focus on these words:

I am blessed

I am called

I am healed

I am whole

I am saved in Jesus’ name

 

Highly favored

anointed

Filled with Your power

For the glory of Jesus’ name

 

And should this life

Bring suffering

Lord, I will remember

What Calvary

has bought for me

Both now and forever

 

To be continued...

I'll see you in the comments dear ones!

 

In His Marvelous Grace,

Tiffany


The GREAT Power of Our Warfare

Jesus Names of SUMOkay, the last weapon we will cover is the name of Jesus.

His name can launch a war, seal the fate of nations, change the destiny of a thousand generations. His name can cast out legions of devils and free captives from the darkest depression. His name heals the blind and destroys cancer. His name can bring freedom, deliverance, new destinies and fortunes.

For an entire season of my life, I would mumble around whispering the name of Jesus. Over and over, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. His name spoken aloud changes my heart and my home. Can I share something with you that is a peek into my life? Well, ahem, even today when I wake in the night and make a trip to the bathroom, without being aware, the name of Jesus still slips from my lips. “Jesus, I love you. Jesus, you are my King. Jesus, I adore you. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.”

Oh, that we would all have the name of Jesus continually tumbling from our lips.

Everything changed for me when I came to wrap my mind, heart and spirit around three passages of scripture and how Jesus is at the core.

And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. —Ephesians 2: 6-7

To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. — Colossians 1:27

For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. —Colossians 3:3

SUMite Nation, come to the truth and grips with these passages. Let them dwell in you and you in them. We are seated with Christ in heaven. Christ is IN US, the hope of glory. We are hidden in Christ in God.

Who could ever touch us if these are true?

 

Jesus, Prince of Peace
Jesus, Prince of Peace

So I have a simple question for you, are these your truths? If you don’t know for sure, that’s okay. But I ask you to start speaking them frequently and regularly over your life and faith. Ask Jesus to reveal to you what these passages imply and how to draw from them to defeat your challenges, circumstances, struggles and your fears.

 

The weapons of our warfare: The Word of God, Worship, Blood of Jesus, The name of Jesus. And our offensive weapon is our Sword. And to write about the Sword, well that my friends, would take about ten years.

I hope this series encouraged you, equipped you, challenged you and took your further on your journey with Christ. I love you. Lynn

 

Post Script: I wrote this series a month ago and I find it so wonderful that it concludes just a few weeks prior to Easter. The next few weeks I'll be writing thoughts about Easter, Passover and our Beloved, Jesus. :) I would love to read your thoughts about our beloved Jesus. Talk to me in the comments by dearest brothers and sisters. I adore you.


Weapons of Our Warfare

Part I Rev 12 11

Part II

Part III

Part IV

Scripture, Worship are powerful when held in our hands and used to defeat the enemy.

Today let’s look at two more weapons that bring victory over all the devices of the enemy.

THE BLOOD OF JESUS.

I must confide, in the last several months, I feel as though I’ve had several epiphanies regarding the blood of Jesus. I shared some of my revelation during our Fasting week on Friday regarding communion. I will NEVER look at communion the same way again. It’s profound to me now every time I partake. And it’s become so important to me that I ordered little communion cups and I partake in a private communion in my prayer room several days in the week.

The devil is our accuser.

And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. —Revelation 12:10

This passage is legit. I’ve seen it. A story for another day, my visit to the courts of heaven. (Are you interested in hearing about this?)

But the blood of Jesus is the absolute covering for the Saints of God.

Satan the accuser of the Brethren: Lynn said such-n-such to this person and her words grant me authority to…..

Jesus: Yep, covered!

Satan: Well, then Lynn did this and that and hurt this person and her actions grant me authori……

Jesus: Uuh-Hu,  PAID in full. Next.

Satan: Well then, she forgot this and it caused pain in the heart of……. me authority…

Jesus: Shut-Up Satan…. COVERED… Paid in full. Done! Finished!

Jesus: Innocent! Her repentance and by the blood she has applied it to every area of her life!

Jesus: See-ya, Now get out of my courtroom, get out of her life.

Mic drop!

Okay, this is just my rendering of how I hope it goes down in my behalf. But what does transpire here is FULL redemption, restoration and protection because of the blood of Christ that paid the price for my life.

I cannot recommend highly enough to pray for a revelation of heaven regarding the power and purposes of the blood of Christ in the life of a believer. I could probably write a book about it. Learn about it. Learn to apply it. Learn to claim it. Learn to pour it over your past, present and future. The blood buys back all things, covers all things, redeems all things.

I’m nearly flooding with tears to consider the price that Jesus paid for me. His blood changes everything. AMEN

What an amazing gift to receive.

I love you and bless you today with a fresh revelation of the blood of Christ in your life. In Jesus name. AMEN


What Defeats FEAR?

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comChildren And Night Terrors (Series Part III)

Part I

Part II

My friends, in the prior posts of this series, I was directing our considerations to our children and how to assist them in dealing with their fright at night. However, this post is not only for the kids but also for us, grownups. Because if I asked our readership and they were brave enough to respond, half of you as adults also deal with frightening things in the night hours. So, this post is applicable to Mom and Dad and the children. In fact, let me start by sharing my personal experience.

There are four weapons of our warfare that can defeat the devils that work to frighten us. And today I will share two of those. However, before we get there, do you know WHY the enemy works hard to frighten us at night?

The simple answer is fear is the opposite of love. When you are in fear, you are in reality choosing to believe the enemy over the promises of God. I know this sounds harsh and it is difficult to reconcile in our lives that are clouded with uncertainty and fear abounds. But the reality is that God NEVER creates fear. He is pure love, kindness, goodness and all things holy and good.

When the enemy entices us to step into fear, we walk right into his camp and away from the truths of God. Now, please hear me, I understand that we must be cautious and that there are things in this world that are out of our control and cause us to have concern and can lead us to be fearful. But remaining in fear is the devils goal. In fear, we don’t hear God. We make poor decisions. Fear causes physical deteriorations and reactions. And fear locks us in a spiritual prison. The confusion joins in and terror arrives. Ick!

NO WONDER the enemy works in this medium.

BUT….. Hallelujah!  Greater is He that is within me than he that is in the world. (1 John 4:4)

Jesus did not leave us as orphans! (John 14:18) As children of God, we possess major weapons to defeat the devils of fear and teach our children to do the same.

When my daughter, Caitie, was young and my son was in his teens, my husband traveled out of town for business. Every week, out on Monday back on Thursday evening. I was alone in my house for many, many nights as the kids grew up. And it wouldn’t take much in the middle of a dark night, a slight sound outside, something falls off the counter in the kitchen, or some other unexpected and sudden sound that would lurch me straight out of sleep into a panic, heart pounding, fear gripped sweat laying in bed. Covers poised to pull quickly over my head. Anyone????

Well, finally Jesus Himself, told me to memorize 1 Timothy 1:7

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Well, when I was suddenly frightened in the night, I would sit up in bed and begin to say this verse OUT LOUD.

“God, did not give me a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and sound mind. Did you hear that devil? God did NOT give me a spirit of fear… NO, NO, NO… OH NO HE DIDN’T. You know what he gave me devil, a spirit of POWER… More powerful than you. He gave me a spirit of love and a mind that is sound and fixed on Him. Do you hear that devil? God gave me a powerful spirit. I will not be afraid. I command you out, spirit of fear. Get out of my room, out of my house away from me and my kids. I will not be afraid of you. I am filled with a sound mind, and I have a powerful spirit. I will rest in this truth. In Jesus name. AMEN”

Okay, my heart would slow. Something changed in the atmosphere and I went back to blissful sleep. It was over a season that I would sit up and repeat this verse over and over, even with my unbelieving husband in bed next to me. But, look I was DONE with fear. He had to go! and I didn’t care if my husband woke up and heard me barking at the devil. *grin*

SCRIPTURE is a powerful defeat to fear and many other weapons of the demonic world. The WORD of God bends time and space, creates galaxies, knits a child in his mother’s womb. His WORD releases angelic forces and smashed the demonic plots against our life. We MUST have the WORD abiding within.

Read it! It is your life-line to so many challenges of life. Give passages to your kids to have them say when they wake up at night. 2 Tim 1:7 is a good place to start.

Secondly, worship. It kills devils. In fact, I think next week I will continue this series because I want to describe specifically what happens to satan and his minions when we worship.

Stay tuned.

SUMites, please help others out. How has Jesus helped you to defeat fear? Share what you learned in the comments. I would love to share some of your lessons on Facebook. Hugs, Lynn


When Survival Is The ONLY Option...

Psalm 61.2-3First, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to share my heart with you all. I am so blessed and even more grateful for the door that God has opened for me!

The Holy Spirit has  given me many spiritual gifts but there is one that I cherish the most. He has given me the gift of vulnerability. For some of you, vulnerability does not come easy. It may seem scary, impossible and maybe even unnecessary. I used to think it was a curse growing up because in those most delicate places of our heart people can so easily wound.

However, it is also in those most delicate places that Jesus can (and desperately desires to) transform, heal and redeem. Let me assure you that Jesus is so worthy of those intimate places! In these next few posts, I am going to tell you all about myself. I am going to be very vulnerable with you. I am going to talk about some deep wounds that have pierced my heart and soul. Some of you will closely relate to my story, some of you may know someone with a story like mine.

I have to admit that this first post has been hard for me to write. I have so much to say and yet there has been this fog over my mind. Where do I start? How much of me do I share up front? I have allowed fear and pride to keep me from using the gift that I cherish so much.

Even in these moments when you feel like you just cannot find the words to say or how to go about sharing your heart – PRESS IN. I challenge you to be vulnerable with me. I implore you all to allow the Holy Spirit to speak tenderly to your heart. Allow Him to access the deepest recesses of your heart and mind. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom (2 Cor. 3:17). Let’s take this freedom journey together!

I attended a women’s conference this past Saturday. One of the speakers, Jennifer, began to share her story and I found myself really relating to what she was saying. In her life, she had given herself a label “the throw-away kid.” She lived in survival mode because of dysfunction and chaos in her household as a child and this led to a self-destructive mode. This label began to taint her view of herself and the world around her.

As I sat listening to her testimony I thought, “Did she somehow see a movie playing of my life?” I grew up an only child. It was just my mother and I for the longest time. My father was out of the picture before he knew my mom was pregnant. I was probably around 10 or 11 when my mom met Joseph. My mom was currently in a relationship with a man who was physically, emotionally, and mentally abusive to my mom. I won’t go into details, as it would be too lengthy, but at the time Joseph was like the “knight in shining armor.” We moved in with him and things were good for a while. It wasn’t until my mom got pregnant with my sister that things started to go downhill. I am going to talk more about myself in the next post.

I want to touch back on the idea of survival mode. Merriam-Webster defines survive as, “to remain alive or in existence.” I have been there. I can assure you that looking back on my life, I was there for most of it. Survival mode is protection of self – doing ANYTHING possible in order to continue to exist. I want to speak to all of you right now who are in survival mode. The depressed. The anxious. The fearful. The downtrodden. The throw-away kids.

Please hear me. God SEES YOU. He has walked with you your entire life. Through all the suffering and pain. He wants to meet you there. He wants to see you through it. The abundant life that Jesus came to give is INDEED FOR YOU. Hang in there with me. I have so much to share with you! In these next posts I am going to walk you through my life of suffering and healing. It is through the suffering, depression, and loneliness that I found freedom and redemption.

Sweet Jesus, thank You for this SUM community. I praise You God that you brought me here…in this community there is comfort, encouragement, wisdom, and love. May we all feel your presence and joy as we work through our own sorrow, disappointments, and discouragement. Lead us through this darkness into Your wonderful light. Amen.

I look forward to getting to know you my beautiful SUMite family. I will be writing every 4th Wednesday of the month so I'll continue to share my journey in February. I'll see you there!

Can you relate to being the throw-away kid? Maybe you feel like the throw-away kid that became the throw-away Christian. Leave your name in the comments and I want to pray for and with you.

In His Marvelous Grace,

Tiffany


The New Prayer Book -Sample Chapter

Hello, SUMites!

WinningThemWithPrayers-CoverLRBoy howdy, I’ve missed all of you so much. I have so much I want to write about. So much that I’m learning from the Lord. So much that has happened in a short 30-day window. I want to continue our conversation about boundaries and emotional healing. And I also feel as though the Lord is teaching me a great deal about how to cope and walk through weariness, defeats and relationship challenges. So, watch for a few posts about all of this in the weeks ahead.

But today, I’m humbled to share with you a chapter from the new prayer book. I will tell you that about a month ago, I went to lay down one afternoon. While in the quiet the Lord spoke to me a new title for the book and I saw the cover at the same time. Thus, the title of the book is Winning The With Prayer – Prayer Strategies for the Spiritually Mismatched.

I shared the cover design that I saw in my head with Dineen. Did you know that she is a brilliant cover designer? She designed the front and back cover to resemble exactly what I saw in my head. Amazing.

The book will officially launch January 2, 2016. We will be using it in conjunction with our annual fast that will be the week of January 9-13, 2017. Currently, we are in the final phase of production. You will be able to order through Amazon after Christmas and have it in plenty of time for our fast.

What I LOVE about this particular book is that it is a collection from many of us who meet together at SUM. The prayers are beautiful, healing, powerful and honest. I can’t wait for you to read them, pray them, speak them and watch the words change lives. THANK YOU to each of you who contributed. Thank you to each of you who spend your hear-earned dollars to buy a copy.

To read a sample chapter, click here. And below is a sample prayer written by our own Dorothy Fleming:

Praying on the Armor of God for You and Your Spouse!

By Dorothy Fleming

I often “pray on” the Armor of God (Ephesians 6) not just for me but for my husband as well.  It is very powerful to pray God’s Word back to Him, and He reminds us that His word will not return to Him void but will accomplish what He desires in us (Isaiah 55:11) and in our spouses! This is an awesome weapon against the evil one. We cover not only ourselves with God’s Armor, but provide protection for our spouses! How I pray on my armor changes as well as the verses I’m led to pray, depending upon what life circumstances I’m facing. Join me and let’s pray on the armor daily with the Lord’s power, love and protection for ourselves and our spouses!

Belt of Truth: Dear Lord, please help me to remember this day that Your Son Jesus is beside me, and You will uphold me with Your righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10). You go before me and follow me (Psalm 139:5). You will show me the path where I should walk this day. You will point out the right road for me to follow. You will lead me by your truth and teach me, for You are the God who saves me. All day long my hope is in You (Psalm 25:4-5), as I trust in You for (spouse’s) salvation.

Breastplate of Righteousness: I put on the Breastplate of Righteousness to protect my heart, which belongs to Jesus. Please help me to guard my heart above all else, for I know that everything I do flows from it (Proverbs 4:23) and that my mouth will speak what fills my heart. Please help me to be a reflection of the love of Your Son Jesus to (spouse) this day, Oh Lord!

Helmet of Salvation: I pray that the Helmet of Salvation will protect my mind and my thoughts this day. That the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer (Psalm 19:14). Please help me to remember that You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast because they trust in You (Isaiah 26:3). Please help me to trust in You, O Lord, for (spouse’s) salvation.

Feet Fitted with the Gospel of Peace: That I may know and proclaim Your Word to those You place in my path, O Lord, especially (spouse). I pray that the Holy Spirit will be with me and that You will grant me the wisdom to recognize the opportunities placed before me this day and the courage to be obedient to Your commands. Please help me to be the aroma of Christ (2 Corinthians 2:15) to (spouse) and help me to remember that You love (spouse) more than I do. You do not want anyone to perish, for You want everyone, including (spouse), to be saved (2 Peter 3:9). I pray that You will put people of peace in (spouse’s) path today.

Shield of Faith: Please help me, Lord, to use my Shield of Faith to extinguish the flaming arrows that the devil hurls at me and (spouse). Please help me to remember that the devil has no power over me, and that You have not given me a spirit of fear and timidity but of power, love and self-discipline (1 Timothy 1:7)! I pray Your protection on us both, O Lord. Please command Your guardian angels to walk with each of us this day (Psalm 91:11). 

Sword of the Word: For me, Lord, Your word is my most powerful weapon against the devil’s attempts to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). But he has no power over me because I have been redeemed by the blood of Your Son, Christ Jesus. I pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to work in me, creating an ever-burning desire to know Your word and commit it my heart that it may be ever on my lips (Psalm 34:1). Please keep me from becoming weary of doing good, for at the proper time I will reap a harvest if I do not give up (Galatians 6:9)! Please help me, O Lord, to never give up!!! Lord, I ask that You will give (spouse) a heart to know You, and You will be (spouse’s) God, and he will return to You with all his heart (Jeremiah 24:7).

About Dorothy Fleming

I live in Texas with Alan, my loving husband of 27 years! We have a furry, four-legged rescued family. I take our 80-pound dog, Teddy along with our blind cat, Iris, to visit our local nursing home several times a month. I love outdoor activities and also yoga. I love to cross-stitch or crochet while watching old movies with my husband. I have grown in my faith through participating in small church groups and studying God’s Word. In 2012, after reading quite a few books on unequally yoked marriage, I found Winning Him Without Words and have been thankful to call Lynn and Dineen friends ever since!


Defending the Bible

A few days ago, I received a prayer request from a new reader. As I answered her email, I realized that her situation is also similar to many of us. So, I want to share her question/prayer request and my answer.

Let me know if you are in this season of marriage and struggle and I will be so glad to pray for you. Hugs, Lynn

Provers 3  1-6From B:

My husband says he believes but every time that I open my Bible or talk about God he makes me feel like I'm wasting my time and brings up controversial issues in the bible to try to prove it’s not true. It weakens my faith because he makes really good points and it then makes me feel stupid for believing it. I don't want to feel this way and I know it's Satan trying to steal my joy and my faith and he’s using my husband to do it. So, I'm asking my sister's in Christ to be in FERVENT prayer over my husband. Thank you all.

Dear B:

Girl, do I ever know how you feel. Indeed, this was my life as well in the early years of my marriage. I will assure you it’s all real. Jesus is real and the more you grow in your faith the easier it will be for you  to walk in confidence in the truth of the Word. Also, do not feel as though you must defend your faith or the Bible to your husband. It’s impossible to make them see the truths in the Word without the Holy Spirit. It’s not a book of logic. It’s a book of faith. Faith is believing. But right now, I will be the voice to tell you it’s all real. Hold on to those words when the enemy uses your husband to shame you.

Keep walking in joy and hope because you will not be disappointed. You may need to have a conversation with your husband. Pray first for wisdom and timing. Let your husband know that you don't have every answer he is looking for but your experience and the joy in your heart outweighs the questions you have. And over time you will receive answers because God loves to reveal himself to those who are diligently looking for Him.

Ask your husband to just respect your faith because it makes you happy. Ask him not to tear you and your faith down and then promise him you won’t push your faith on him. Prayerful and hopefully this kind of conversation will develop into peace in your marriage.

In the meantime, pray…. Your prayers are utterly powerful. Claim your husband and marriage with 1 Corinthians 7:14. It is our power passage. Read about there here.

I pray for your husband and I bless you with love, a peace that passes all understanding, joy, forgiveness and more faith. In Jesus name. AMEN

Hugs, Lynn

SUMites, have you struggled like this? Do you have any words of encouragement to give to B? See you in the comments. Lynn


The Power of Words

HeavenMy friends, on Monday we talked about our authority and place of power, that we have everything through Christ Jesus and nothing to lose because of His sacrifice for us, and that the enemy has nothing and everything to lose. That's because he's already lost.

With that I want to point to a truth that we sometimes forget to practice, because we do a fair bit of spiritual warfare in our mismatched marriages. Just after Jesus tells us about the authority He's given us, He points out where our focus and rejoicing should truly be focused.

Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” — Luke 10:19-20

We are secure in Heaven! With Him! That's the promise that we have nothing to lose! And when we rest in and live from this place of security, guess what happens? The enemy loses influence, because we are filled with confident hope. That's the light that makes him flee before he can even get near us.

I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. — Romans 15:13 NLT

Now let's talk about the power of words. In Genesis, God spoke the world into existence with words. Much of the Old Testament where it reads God ‘said’ or ‘told,’ those words also mean to decree or to promise in the Hebrew translation. 

In Isaiah 6, Isaiah encounters the Lord and witnessed heaven in action as part of his commissioning as a prophet.

And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. — Isaiah 6:3-4

Did you catch that last line? The praises and worship of the seraphim literally shook the foundations of the thresholds (doorways) and smoke filled the house. I have to say there is something profound that occurs in worship when we sing the word ‘holy’ and the angels know it. That’s because we are declaring the presence and character of God.

Take a look at this passage from Isaiah 11 about the coming of the Messiah, Jesus:

But with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked. Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist, and faithfulness the belt of his loins. — Isaiah 11:4-5

Let’s not forget that Jesus is described as the Word in John 1. The Word—logos—in Hebrew embodies not only the obvious meaning of words spoken, but encompasses decrees, prophecy, mandates, precepts, conception or ideas, and even even addresses the function of the mind in reasoning and our relationship to God. It is a power-packed “word.” 

And even as Jesus spoke healing over people, He spoke more to their hearts—to the person they were created to be (Ecc. 3:11)—than He spoke to the demons themselves. He would simply speak the truth and evil spirits fled—the rod of his mouth and the breath of his lips. Light always removes darkness completely. You turn on the light in a room and the darkness is gone completely. Not part way—all the way.

Truth is the light that makes the darkness flee. Thus why it is important to replace lies with the truth. Keep the room lit with the truth of God’s Word! That is the power of a transformed mind as well, my friends (Romans 12:2).

I have more to share with you about words and it has to do with a story we know well in the Bible. Since this post is long enough already and I want you to absorb what I’ve shared today, I will save that for next week. We have a clear model and example of how we are told to declare truth according to God’s Words and what that transaction does. I am looking forward to sharing that with you, my friends, and I will also share examples of how we can use this model to decree truths over our pre-believers, loved ones and ourselves.

Have an amazing weekend, SUMites. Stand in the truth that you are chosen and dearly loved by Your Papa God. And absolutely nothing can snatch you out of His Son Jesus’ hand (John 10:28).

Love you!
Dineen

 


Change The DATE - Praying The Word

OOPIE!

Yep, Lynn's back and I'm showing my blonde. 

Many of you have already registered for the LIVE online class, Praying The Word of God with me. AWESOMENESS!

However, I gave you the wrong date. The date of both classes is now scheduled for August 16th. Class times at 12:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. PACIFIC. This is the following week on a Tuesday.

If you already registered and cannot make that date, please forgive me. I hope to offer the class again later in the fall.

It's not too late to sign up. To register visit the registration page Praying the Word with Lynn Donovan. The class is FREE.

Let me ask you a few questions. Do you want to pray with power? Do you want to pray and actually know God heard you? Do you want to see the results from your prayers?

This class is intended to instruct you how to activate the angelic realm to respond to your prayers. We will look at several passages and I will teach you how to pray them with power and purposes in your life. One of my power passages is Matthew 18:18. Can't wait to teach you how to pray this with power. In this session we will also cover praying out of our identity and from the place of authority as a Child of our good Papa.

Once again sorry for the date change. Stay tuned because our prayers absolutely are intricate to the salvation and success of our spouse, children and our own lives.

Register today: Praying The Word with Lynn Donovan


Foundations Series: INHERITANCE & IDENTITY

HeartDear friends, in this foundations series we’ve talked about the foundational truths of salvation, love, hope, faith and specifically God’s love. That one seems to be the one I keep coming face to face with. I’ve grappled with the full truth of God’s complete love for us and now God is connecting me to others that need the same truth. As desperate as I was for this truth to come to full bloom in my heart, spirit, soul and mind (something that is still happening even now), I am even more desperate for others to know it and find myself hating the enemy for stealing this truth from us. And I am not one to use the word “hate” lightly. 

SUMites, I honestly didn’t plan to write more on this subject, but it is a very near and dear subject to my heart. Most likely because this was a huge struggle for me, one that nearly made me want to give up on trying to be a Christian. And that is exactly what I’ve had to do—let go of trying to be a Christian and simply live in the truth of who I am in Christ and the truth that God really and truly loves me. It’s a very freeing place to be!

God loves us because that is who He is and He chose us. And all that God has for us comes from His love for us, including Jesus. When we struggle in that truth and continue to believe the lies the enemy throws at us that say, “God is angry with me, I can’t please God no matter what I do, or there is no way God can work through me,” we aren’t living in the truth of God’s love for us. And His love is a foundational truth of our inheritance and our identity, which are intertwined and inseparable—another mystery of God.

So, let’s talk about what these words mean, because I know my journey to understanding required a choice and a question.

  1. I chose to believe the truth of God’s Word that told me He loves me and that nothing can separate His love from me (Romans 8) and to go after the lies and the feelings that told me otherwise. As I did this, intentionally capturing every thought and bringing it before Jesus (2 Cor. 10:5), my thinking changed and the truth that was in my heart finally came to sit on the throne of my intellect. Along with Jesus!
  2. I asked what did this mean for me in terms of identity and inheritance. These are words we see used a lot, but I’m not sure we fully understand their meanings. So that is where I am now with the goal to bring deeper understanding and wisdom of what this truly means for us.

In the Old Testament, the Lord called Israel His inheritance and in Ezekiel 44 God declares that He is the inheritance and possession of the Levitical priests.

whom the Lord of hosts has blessed, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel my inheritance.” — Isaiah 19:25 (ESV)

“This shall be their inheritance: I am their inheritance: and you shall give them no possession in Israel; I am their possession.” — Ezekiel 44:28 (ESV) 

When God spoke to Jeremiah of His plan to restore Israel, He said of their enemies that they “have filled My inheritance with their abominations.” 

Now this I find so fascinating—when we look at inheritance in the New Testament, we see that the saints (that’s us—all believers) are Jesus’ inheritance. The Israelites were symbolic of what was to come—the fulfillment of God’s plan for a people set apart and made holy through the final blood sacrifice of the Messiah, Jesus. And as the Levitical priests were set apart, so too are we set apart as the inheritance of Jesus through salvation.

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. — 1 Peter 2:9 (ESV)

I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance. — Ephesians 1:18 (NLT)

Again, I’m fascinated with the symbolic and prophetic connections between the Old and New Testaments. God intended to build a strong example of legacy and inheritance, because what He had in store for us was the ultimate inheritance in Jesus—our identity as children of God. The Israelites learned about inheritance through the possession of the promised land. We learn about inheritance through our “possession" of the Holy Spirit and the Kingdom of God. Both are given as rights of ownership (co-heirs with Christ) through the love and bequeathal of God.

Okay, my friends, I will stop here for now and let you digest this a bit. On Thursday I will continue this search for understanding of inheritance and identity and how they are so very much inseparable. Until then, be sure to come back tomorrow for a beautiful guest post from a fellow SUMite. 

And please share your thoughts in the comments. What has Jesus shown you about His love and your inheritance and identity in Him? I can’t wait to read your comments. 

Love you!
Dineen


Friday Prayer: The Armor of God

Hey there, SUMites! Here's one of those surprises! On Fridays I will post a prayer through the month of July. God's impressed upon me to share these prayers to help encourage and bless you. So here goes...are you ready? (Turn up your volume if needed. I forgot how allergy season here in Florida makes me lose my voice a bit.)

Praying on Your Armor

Lord, I am putting on the Armor of God. (Eph 6:10-17)

My belt of truth for Jesus is my way, my truth and my life. (John 14:16)

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

My shield of faith for the righteous shall live by faith. (Rom 1:17, Gal 3:11, Heb 10:38)

My sword of the Spirit—the very Word and promises of God which are my shield and protection. (Psalm 91:4)

My feet fitted in the Gospel of Peace for Jesus is my firm foundation. (Luke 6:48-49)

And my helmut of Salvation for I am covered and live in freedom under the sacrificial blood of Jesus. (Heb 10:19, Eph 1:7, Eph 2:13, Rev 1:5)

SUMites, share your favorite armor Scriptures in the comments. And pray this over your children too. Make it like a game and you will implant the truth of God's protection, their identity in Jesus, and truths about their inheritance too!
Love you! ~Dineen


Jesus is fighting for us

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Photo courtesy of pakorn/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It happened again on Saturday.

What you may ask?

My three strikes policy.

Huh? Three strikes policy?

Whenever I’m struck three times by a common theme or thread within a short period of time I ask the Lord for some interpretation.

On Saturday as I scanned my Facebook feed our Lynn made a comment about being under enemy attack. You may have read that update. I prayed immediately for Lynn and saw an image of Lynn dressed all in white wielding a mighty sword and being surrounded by angels who were similarly armed.

Within a matter of minutes I read Revelation 19: 11-16 which describes Jesus riding on a white horse as He sets off on His final quest to bring His kingdom to earth. Do read the passage, as it’s full of incredible imagery.

At this point I was questioning whether it was Lynn I pictured or Jesus.

And then I read Psalm 68: 17-18 (NIV)

“The chariots of God are tens of thousands and thousands of thousands; the Lord has come from Sinai into his sanctuary. 

When you ascended on high, you took many captives; you received gifts from people, even from the rebellious—that you, Lord God, might dwell there.”

Once again, we see Jesus as a victorious leader of armies.

Strike 3.

Okay, okay, Lord. I get it. What’s on your heart?

And I sensed simply the words: “I’m fighting for you.”

I had been asking Him for the past few days what message He’d like me to write for we SUMites. Some ideas were brewing but then I got a strong sense that this was for us.

Jesus is fighting for us.

Alignment

We’ve come off a month celebrating this wonderful ministry and family led by our two pastors (ordained and all! Yes!) Lynn and Dineen. It’s been very special sharing in each other’s messages of how this family has so helped us all grow, irrespective of how long we might have been a part of it.

Last week I was reminded of my “different” situation to the members of my men’s group. We’d heard a panel discussion on married relationships where being aligned in purpose was put out there as being critical to a fruitful marriage.

And immediately I sensed the thrust of the enemy saying well Ian that’s a bit of a problem for you, isn’t it now?

I gave it a second’s thought and then swatted it away. Yes, yes, we have our challenges when it comes to not being aligned with spiritual purpose but as we’ve discussed many times before that doesn’t mean our marriages can’t bear fruit. Far from it.

And it’s because we have Jesus fighting for us. And for our spouses and our marriages. Believe that deep in your heart.

The power of worship

The warfare theme continued into Sunday as our pastor preached on “Speaking the Word of God into our Relationships.” The armor of God in Ephesians 6: 10-18 got a good overview. Fascinating that I’ve rarely looked at the second half of v18: “… be alert and always keep on praying for the Lord’s people.”

That’s us. And we’re doing it! How fantastic is this month of praying for each other’s spouses. I can’t wait to hear how God answers our prayers.

If things are particularly tough at the moment may I encourage you to worship. Worship isn’t simply singing a song, but as my prayer pastor said the other day, it’s the pursuit of Jesus Christ.

Worship Him. Spend time in His presence. Read His Word. Praise His Mighty Name.

And keep on worshipping.

And remember, Jesus is always fighting for our marriages and us.

Grace and peace, my dear friends.


He Became A Believer But It Wasn't What I Expected

SUMite Nation, it appears there is a lot happening in our community. I am so thrilled to share the emails that are arriving and pray they encourage us in our faith. Today, I bring a powerful message from Janet Sommer. Janet has written for us before in the years of her unequally yoked marriage. But today she has a fantastic message that is..... well, unexpected but filled with hope and faith.

And Janet, I LOVE that you call us her at SUM, precious siblings!

-----

Some people have such grace and joy that reflects in their words, actions and face.  The ones who hear God’s power or see it, quickly they begin smiling and praising God.  Not me.  I first have to pick up my lower jaw off the floor, have a few rounds of recovery time and then can join the rest who are applauding God’s amazing power, mercy and grace.  Even a year after my husband encountered God and accepted Jesus as his savior I still regularly am in shock and disbelief.  I am confident the heavens sit back and prepare to enjoy the show my face displays.

Concert Selfie - Tobymac
Concert Selfie - Tobymac

After an exhausting year of relearning marriage and transitioning into an equally yoked marriage, I found myself at a concert with my family.  Not only were we attendees, but my husband and I were volunteers too.  (Cue a face show for the heavenlies!)  It was surreal to stand there this time with my husband.  At a Christian concert.  For a genre that isn’t exactly his first choice.  Trust me, by now the heavens are ordering extra rounds of popcorn. 

The last time I saw the Tobymac it was an answered prayer I wrote about here: God Is In The Details.

And to make it even better, I unexpectedly experienced at that concert, my daughter with hands raised, and dancing the whole night away.  She earned the moniker “Spirit Dancer” as she repeatedly told us she could feel something in her making her body dance. 

Both my husband and I continue to keep the SUMite community in prayer.  (Did you know he even joins the corporate fast? Cue an encore face show for the heavelines!!) As Tobymac performed “Move (Keep Walking)” God spoke greatly to my heart and gave me words for you, the SUMites, whom He sees, hears and knows. 

I am fairly confident this is your battle cry.  Your war anthem He is singing over you.

Another heartbreak day

Feels like you’re miles away

Don’t even need no shade

When your sun don’t shine, shine

 

Too many passin’ dreams

Roll by like limousines

It’s hard to keep believin’

When they pass you by and by

 

I know your heart been broke again

I know your prayers ain’t been answered yet

I know you’re feeling like you got nothing left

Well, lift your head, it ain’t over yet, ain’t over yet so

 

Another Thanksgiving. Another Christmas. Another new year.  Another week of corporate fasting.  And now Easter is on the horizon bringing a holy holiday facing the struggle of finding balance keeping God honored and at the center.   The longing and heartbreak is truly immeasurable as the same prayers are, yet again, expressed with such faith and hope. 

Move, keep walkin’ soldier keep movin’ on

Move, keep walkin’ until the mornin’ comes

Move, keep walkin’ soldier keep movin’ on

And lift your head, it ain’t over yet, ain’t over yet

Day in and day out it is so tiring to keep enduring this walk of an unequal marriage. The Lord does not want you to stop walking.  It’s a trick—a whisper from the enemy manipulating the truth. The real truth is that God is indeed your promised strength, and His strength is made perfect in our weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9) Even the running community even knows if you stop for a rest, you will not finish the race.  

Precious siblings, keep walking.  Keep growing in the Word.  Keep drawing in close to the Lord.  Keep making room for quiet time.   Keep teetering the balance beam of honoring God and your spouse.  I promise He will catch you.

This year has not been the hallmark movie I thought it would be.  Far from it.  My rock solid faith has been tested and shaken.  I stood on days I wanted to crumble.  I had ongoing quiet time when I didn’t want to.  I continued with bible study when I had no desire to learn let alone open the bible.  And many considered me strong in the Lord.

We have and are still facing many challenges—physically, emotionally, financially, and spiritually.  The hardships and persecutions have come with rapid fire. Spiritually battles came as quite a shock to me.  Gifts and manifestations that awed me and left me desiring them, were immediately deposited and displayed in my husband. 

While some may rejoice over this obvious confirmation of transformation, I stood watching him have what I wanted.  As if that didn’t rattle me a bit, daily I heard the enemy whisper to me “Look at that.  You’re not really saved, but he is.” 

I knew God’s character.  I believed and knew Him by many names—translated and Hebrew names.  I knew He was for me. In my wait I saw many miracles and answered prayers.  Yet just as the enemy did to Eve, he crept in and tried every manipulation of doubt targeting my belief of salvation and God’s goodness to me. 

You must move and keep walking because the enemy will come back to steal what has been gained, and even attempt to take above and beyond.  And SUMites, I want nothing more than to see you wear out the enemy with your knowledge, readiness, willingness and His strength.  This time, right now, is your training ground.  This now is where the foundations of faith and truth are built, solidified and tested.  Precious siblings, move…. Keep walking

These lyrics could not be more fitting.  We must choose to lift our head, and keep it lifted, at all times.  There are days it will be a choice and not a feeling.  Anytime we take our focus off Jesus we will sink just like Peter.  It is not over yet.  Do not let your hope get poisoned.  (Proverbs 13:12) I promise it is not over yet.  God promises it is not over yet. 

Hold on, hold on

Lord ain’t finished yet

Hold on, hold on

He’ll get you through this

Hold on, hold on

These are the promises

I never will forget

I never will forget 

He will get you through this.  Just as the Israelites were fed and cared for in miraculous ways, He has miracles placed along this journey for you too.  He has many promises for you.  Never forgot the promises and what He has done for you in the past.  (Deuteronomy 8:2, Psalm 77:11, Psalm 105:5, Psalm 143:5) Remembering the past will be essential to your ability to keep walking, to shield your ears from the deception and lies of the enemy and to keep believing His promises made over 2000 years ago are still very much alive and active for you personally today.

God spoke that some hearts have tremendous hurt.  He knows.  He sees your heart is broken.  He knows your prayers aren’t answered yet.  The Lord gave me a vision of this community locked arm in arm standing in a triangular formation.  And He said, “stay in formation. Do not be distracted by who is ahead, behind or next to you.”

There are these “suddenlies” in scripture and our lives.  Suddenly an earthquake shakes the prison doors loose for Paul and Silas (Acts 16:25-26). Suddenly an angel appears and gives Mary a message.  Suddenly Joseph is given a message.  Suddenly a cloud covered and the glory of the LORD appeared. (Numbers 16:42) Suddenly Jesus met them.  “Greetings” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. (Matthew 28:9)  And suddenly your spouse is a believer.  Suddenly.  Suddenly you’re catapulted to the front lines.  Those of us ahead of you, as well as Lynn and Dineen, will gladly hold your arms up to win this war.  (Exodus 17:11-12) 

Fight bravely and solider on, warrior. 

As we continue to pray for you in great anticipation of your suddenly, please pray for us too. ~ Janet

JanetJanet resides on the East Coast with her high school sweetheart turned husband and their three daughters. She begins and ends her day with God and strives to still be in constant dialogue with Him between. 

 

 

 


The Sword Of The Spirit

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comGang,

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

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

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

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

The WORD:

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

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

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

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

So what does this look like practically?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Guess what happened? The devil left him.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I love you deeply. Hugs, Lynn

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com