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Lately, I've been thinking about how much this blog is a museum full of interesting stories. I wonder if any of you find it so? And, within it there are places where God has answered some of those questions we talked about in our last post. That's what I wanted to share today. Hope you can follow me as we take a little walk through the SUM community's story.
Most of us will know this ministry was started by Lynn as just a little blog. Her time of being spiritually mismatched had only just become easier when God nudged her to start writing publicly about this sensitive topic. This was a huge ask: Would her husband mind? Miraculously, Mike said yes, and fourteen years later here we are. Mike's baptism last year brought us full circle. It is truly one of my favorite stories ever.
This blog, for me, is a treasure trove of God stories. It's a living, breathing parable. A record of God's faithfulness. A story of a little one becoming a thousand (Isaiah 60:22). And, a story of a nation that God loves deeply: The SUM nation.
Last year, I decided to read through the SUM nation's story from the very beginning, starting with Lynn’s maiden post on 1 May 2006. With the spiritual equivalent of museum-curator gloves, I read carefully, post by post, turning the events over. It was as if certain threads were like specific exhibits. Hindsight adds extra insight to some of these threads.
I noticed quite a few things. One part I love is that when Dineen joined soon after the blog started, she instantly brought a strong message about Jericho. She wrote about that a lot. It was as if the Marching Around Jericho book and testimony was foreshadowed in some of her posts. God had a story here that he was writing, and we were all along for the ride.
As I scrolled through, I was keen to read any words from the Holy Spirit that had featured in past posts. By that, I mean directly spoken words or visions that God had given to the leaders for this community. But as I read, from 2006 onwards I could not find much. In 2012 that changed. It was only after October 2012, a personal turning point where Lynn and Dineen each had a deep encounter with the Lord, that they began to receive clearer promises from the Holy Spirit for this community. They would pen these words, turning them into posts. As a reader at that time I recall how strengthening those posts were.
Hearing God speak, and then conveying his words to others, is a huge learning curve. Looking at this blog I can see that God used many ways to teach us to hear his voice. He would usually speak in the still, small whisper, a barely-there conviction; but sometimes he would give Dineen a dream, vision, or a picture; or Lynn would hear a phrase drop into her spirit. It was exciting. They grew in hearing God's voice, and so did we.
Paul said we should use these kinds of words as part of our spiritual battle:
"This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare" (1 Timothy 1:18, NKJV)
These words, then -- words from the Holy Spirit -- are powerful tools. They might include promises and/or direction and strategy, and they can completely change our outlook. Importantly, they can also answer some of those questions we have.
So with this in mind, I’m going to dig out some of these prophetic words that are sitting in our archives, some from as early as 2012. They are words of wisdom and/or prophecy (1 Corinthians 12:8-9), and their purpose is to edify, exhort and comfort us (1 Corinthians 14:3). I would describe them as gifts to help us. So, I'd like to dust them off and take a look at them again. Would you be keen? I’ll start with a couple next week, and then will revisit others here and there over the months as time permits.
In the meantime, I'd love to hear your story: How long have you been reading this blog, and what has been your most memorable post, topic, or series of posts?
Lynn here. I'm leading a study of Marching Around Jericho beginning today! Join the PRIVATE Facebbook Group and accelerate your study.
To pray with power and authority you MUST stand upon the two pillars of Intimacy and Identity. This week we are talking about intimacy. What would it be like to all day long ask Jesus questions and He answers you back? How would it change your life if you knew that you knew that you knew in your knower that your good Father in heaven had your back?
You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. John 14:14
This scripture is ours. This promise is NOW. Let's learn from Jesus and see His glorious Word come to life! Hugs, Lynn
Like many of us, I’ve been watching the launch of Lynn’s new book, Marching around Jericho, with interest and am looking forward to cracking open its fresh pages.
Today, I thought I would tell you some of what I’ve seen from the side-lines. I want to attest to this book, as I've come to believe it’s a water-shed book for us, meaning it can mark a change or turning point. I believe it can change a season, and I say that because I’ve had some moments of hearing God about it. One of the things I have heard Him say is this:
A book has the power to change a season.
That's a big statement, and one I'm curious about. But there's more. Two years ago, before the book was even conceived in Lynn's mind, I think God told me about this book as if to say He is in it. It was February 2018, and I woke one morning with these words:
Coming Soon – Lynn Donovan!
These words seemed to be almost my imagination but, nevertheless, I wrote them in my journal with a date beside them. I wrote, “I think maybe this morning I heard Lynn Donovan, coming soon! Maybe?"
What did it mean, I then wondered. Her husband -- Becoming Christian? As per usual, that thought sent me bouncing up and down mentally. I have quite the imagination so I thought, hey, let's believe it. Coming soon - yes.
Well blow me down, 2019 rolled round and he did. He got baptized. But is that what these words were for? I'm sure they were in part, but as soon as Mike got baptized Lynn felt God pulling her to write a book about the seven-year journey that led to that baptism. Year by year, there would be seven sections to the book. It was as if God handed her the structure on a plate and all she had to do was pick up a pen. The book was to be called Marching around Jericho.
Watching from the sidelines, then, I knew she was starting on it. As time passed, she produced a cover design, and then eventually she put an automatic footer on her emails with a photo of said cover. I’ve pasted it here –
As you can see, on the cover were the words Lynn Donovan, Coming Soon! So, every time I got an email from her over the last few months those big words have popped out at me -- Coming soon! It seemed to me that God had given me a heads-up about the book. Why? Perhaps so I could write this blog post.
At the end of the book Lynn describes how the walls of Jericho finally fell before her eyes. I won’t spoil it for you. From an early draft I read, it’s a good scene and the best ending. Lynn has shared a little of the timing -- dates and so on -- and by my reckoning those final events occurred exactly a year after I saw the words Lynn Donovan, Coming Soon.
So now we have this book. I can’t wait to work with it, and I want to say a huge 'well done' to Lynn on behalf of us all. Those who've followed this blog for a while have cheered her on from the sidelines and we’ll continue to do so.
Here's my prayer, then:
May this book be a blessing, and may it bring change to the lives of those who wait for their spouses to believe in Jesus.
Jericho might seem walled up so that no-one can come in or go out, but we see things differently.
Those walls are fragile and the fiery faith of a believing spouse who walks in partnership with Jesus brings power to the impossible.
Perhaps, like me, you'd like to share a prayer or some other thoughts about the book below. We'll chat in the comments.
I can testify that this is the most amazing book!!!
Full of wisdom, hope, miracles, Gods redemptive power of love and healing. I wept, I laughed, I hungered and thirsted for more as I turned the pages. You will rejoice with Lynn at her triumphs and faithfulness, marvel at her amazing relationship with the Lord and know that this is for all of us as she encourages and champions us forward every step of the way!!!!
It isn’t just a read through but a do through activation and empowerment to seek all that we are entitled to as children of God. Jesus lived as a man, suffered and died so we could have all and more. Lynn’s brilliant sharing of her journey is going to change lives up to a thousand generations🙏🏽♥️😭🙌🏽🥳🤗🩸💦👆🏽🎈🙏🏽
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:
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.
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!
Lynn’s news last week was so amazing and today I just feel like speaking from the heart and sharing a little more about last week’s summit.
Our summit was called ‘Hear the Roar’, and our logo for the event was a lion. Well, the 'God winks' began when we arrived at Lynfield School and saw that its logo was a lion. We had fun taking photos of the lions adorning the school’s walls (here are a couple) and I still just keep coming across that word 'ROAR'.
Before I arrived at Lynn’s house, God gave me a picture of a swathe of bright red, fluffy fabric. I didn’t know what that was about but it became clear: SUMite Libby had recorded a video for us, which we watched together in Lynn’s home. Having carried this event in her heart, Libby spoke about the SUM whole. When I saw her video, my jaw dropped: She was wearing the bright red fluffiness I’d seen a couple of days earlier! Believing, then, that her video contained significant words, I'll be revisiting it (here) She also posted about the summit before it happened back in 2018 (here). I think her words speak of the season we are now in.
Lynn’s Mike was at home for the event, and chatted to several of us. On the Friday Lynn needed help with the technology so he was the one who put Libby’s video on. As he did so I thought, “We are actually in ministry with our spouses, we just struggle to see it. Their doubt has been important for the whole.”
God’s goodness everywhere
At the event, I sat down in the front row and my eyes rested on a classroom whiteboard just in front of me. There, written on it, was a scripture that I had recently emailed to Martha. “Martha,” I thought. “You’re part of the whole.”
I then met two SUMites who told me extraordinary stories. One had received a promise that her husband would turn to God; it's now happened. The second had got divorced and then received a promise that her marriage would be restored. She held to it; it happened. In both cases it became clear they were to be at the summit: one had a vision about the summit a year earlier, the other received a free flight to the event. I’m sure their stories were meant to be brought to that day; I won't be forgetting them in a hurry.
In the day's final session I had thought Lynn was going to speak on 2020 but that was not exactly what she had for us. I couldn’t believe my ears when, in the last fifteen minutes, she started to tell us a baptism
had been booked. Having been through so much, my initial reaction was “Oh it won't happen!” But NO! NO. God promised, it happened. And so, in this amazing, life-filled moment, the Father's Name was glorified.
“Father, glorify your Name.” Then a voice came from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.” John 12:28 (NKJV).
In the passage, when that voice came from heaven during Holy Week, some heard it as a thundering roar. I'd say that's what we've heard this week.
Once home, over a cuppa I told my husband about the event. There was a peace in that conversation. We laughed at the fact that the whole point of the event was that spouses 'don't believe' and then one goes and gets baptized. It was the most light-hearted we've been about it.
SUMites, do you catch the sound of the roar? What else are you sensing or seeing happening? There's more I could tell about shifts in my own home, and perhaps I’ll do so in my next post.
Here’s what I hear from God now, in relation to this ROAR:
There are many birth days ahead!
I believe we have days ahead where promises will be birthed in great numbers. I seem to hear that it will be ‘amazing’, and ‘many’. Lynn's testimony fires up my hope and so I'm buckling up for the ride!
Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, begins at sunset on Sunday, October 2nd and ends at nightfall on October 4th and means “head of the year” in Hebrew. The biblical name for this holiday is Yom Teruah, which in Hebrew means day of shouting and blasting and is sometimes translated as the Feast of Trumpets. Thus why the Shofar is a symbol of the holiday (as well as the eating of symbolic foods such as apples dipped in honey to evoke a "sweet new year”) and is blown as part of the celebration.
The significance of this horn is very symbolic as well. Remember the story of Jericho and how the seven priests bore seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the Lord? They were to blow the horns as they marched around the city. Have you heard the sound of a Shofar?
Rosh Hashanah is then followed by Yom Kippur, which is a time reflection, repentance and fasting. So, my friends, next week our very own, Dawn Billesbach, will be leading us each day in community fasting and praying with stories and encouragement of how God has moved in her life through the observance of this Jewish holiday and its traditions.
Lynn and I are so very grateful to have her leadership for this. We’ve already read the first installment, and we both wound up in tears. It is a stunning and ongoing story of God’s goodness and faithfulness to a woman’s prayers and intercession for her for her marriage, her family and even herself.
So, dear SUMites, be prepared to be blessed and encouraged greatly by this wonderful woman of God who’s heart for Jesus is steadfast and faithful. Lynn and I have had the honor and pleasure of standing with her for years in prayer and have witnessed her grow in her faith walk in ways we never imagined. God is so good!
Here’s a little about Dawn:
I live in Broomfield, Co with my 2 girls. I have a teen and a tween and needless to say, lots of gray hair. We enjoy camping and all things outdoors. If I can’t be outside, my 2nd favorite place is in the kitchen. I love feeding people. Food is definitely my love language. I have many accomplishments that I am very proud of, but one my greatest (besides raising 2 amazing kiddos) is learning to back up my pop-up camper. Funny, but true!
I am divorced, but standing in faith for a restoration of my marriage and family. I am in AWE every single day of the faithfulness of God and His promises to work ALL things for our good. As I watch His plans unfold, I can’t help but be absolutely blown away. In recent years, I have learned the difference in knowing God and knowing God. HE has met me on every step of this journey whether I was face down on the floor, immobile from grief or learning to back up a camper so I could take my kids camping. For this, I wouldn’t trade a single tear or heartache.
I joined the SUM community about 4 years ago when my husband and I were first separated. The encouragement has been a lifeline to me since.
Dear friends, here are some links to help you determine how and what kind of fast is best for you. Please consider this next week prayerfully and ask the Holy Spirit to lead you.
SUMites, I’m excited about and expectant of what God is going to do next week. A verse I have prayed for years showed up yesterday, and I knew in my spirit right away this is for us right now.
Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. — Jeremiah 33:3
Lord, we call out to You and wait expectantly for You to answer. Tell us great and hidden things about this next year, Lord, as we ask to know Your heart for ourselves, our spouses and our family. We commit this next week to You and rejoice in knowing that You are always working for our good (Rom. 8:28) and have a future and a hope set in place for us all (Jer. 29:11). We rejoice, Lord! We rejoice in You! For You are our inheritance and we are Yours. In the blessed name of Jesus, amen!
Love you, SUMites!
Hello, SUMite family! Lynn and I decided we should wrap our study up this week, because we have other things we want to move onto next week. Thus we will conclude our Equipping Our Kids in a Contrary Culture on Friday with Lynn’s post about Legacy Kids. I’m sure it will be amazing too!
My last chapter, “Challenging Kids,” that I wrote for Not Alone is one of my favorites. I share more of the story of my daughter’s recovery from cancer and two other stories from SUM moms who dealt with challenging questions and situations. I’ve been praying over what to bring out of this chapter and relate it to equipping our children and the Holy Spirit light bulb went on.
Moms and Dads, here’s where your children’s questions may become part of the challenges in your mismatched home. Your sons and daughters most likely will come home with questions about the new things they’re learning that will open up some controversy for you right in your own home if you and your spouse don’t agree on these issues.
How do we navigate this? How do we keep biblical values in place when the school is teaching the opposite and your spouse agrees with it? How do we continue to stand in faith in our challenging culture.
My friends, we keep doing what we have been doing—trusting God. Yes, the challenges and “playing fields” may seem a little bigger, a little broader, a little more intimidating at times, but none of this is beyond God’s ability or reach. In fact, I believe He is standing ready to move with us, but He wants us to move in agreement and alignment with what He sees even when we can’t see it.
The perfect example of this came as I’ve been reading the book of Joshua this week for very specific reasons, and one of them I believe was intended for this post, for this exact moment in our time and place as a unique community of faith in today’s culture.
Now the gates of Jericho were securely barred because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in.
Then the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in.”
So Joshua son of Nun called the priests and said to them, “Take up the ark of the covenant of the Lord and have seven priests carry trumpets in front of it.” And he ordered the army, “Advance! March around the city, with an armed guard going ahead of the ark of the Lord.” — Joshua 6:1-7
Scripture paints a clear picture for us here that Jericho was a fortified city—the first walled city the Israelites had encountered. And we’re talking about some heavy duty walls here too. This is what Joshua saw, but I believe that when God told Joshua to see, He was opening the man’s eyes to perceive God’s perspective, that the city was already conquered by His hand. It was done and finished.
My friends, let’s not look at the world today and see what the world sees. Let’s look at our schools, our workplaces, the places we shop, and every person we encounter with the eyes of God. Because just as the Israelites carried the ark of the covenant with them, which was the presence of God, we carry His presence with us every where we go.
Let’s carry Him into this world and bring His presence with us every where. Let’s march our prayers around these places and bring God into the picture. Sometimes God will even call us to literally do this and sometimes it won’t make much sense. He told me years ago to march in prayer around my husband, more recently to march in prayer around a nearby park in San Jose for nearly two years, and now He has me doing this at another park where I live now. I can’t tell you why, but I know He’s laying down the groundwork and foundation for whatever is next. He wants to bring down the walls of hopelessness, unbelief, despair, pain, sickness, depression, oppression and even opposition.
SUMites, Scripture tells us over and over to pray for wisdom and knowledge. We can ask God to prepare this way for us and give us eyes to see, ears to hear and words to speak. Trust Him to be there with you when your child comes home with questions that call you to stand in faith and give the reason why you believe what you believe. And if that could potentially create conflict with your pre-believer, ask the Holy Spirit to intervene now, to soften hearts, to give you wisdom and peace about how to navigate it. You both have equal place in your child’s life to teach and influence them. Trust God to make His truth stand out more than what our contrary culture is saying.
Nothing this world reveals surprises God and none of it is beyond His power to change. We are His hands and feet to bring His truth and healing to a hurting and damaged world. And we are empowered and equipped with His presence, His power, His grace and His mercy. Nothing is impossible WITH Him. Let’s live it like we believe it, SUMites. With Him, we CAN!
Question: SUMites, what is your greatest concern for your children right now?
Prayer: Lord, fill every SUMite with more wisdom and knowledge of You. Inspire them with words, creativity and strategies of how to pray and navigate these upcoming challenges WITHOUT ANY fear or anxiety. I pray that they would rise up every morning, convinced and strengthened by the truth of Jesus Christ, that He is with us and will not fail us. I pray that You would fill their minds and hearts with a vision of what You are doing around them and are calling them to partner with You to accomplish. Lord, I pray that Your peace would fill every SUMite home and an impenetrable wall of Your angle armies would surround and protect them. Lord, all things are possible with You! Give us eyes to see, ears to hear and words to speak wherever we go. In the name of Jesus, amen!
Remember, we are in the seven times around. I’m not sure exactly where I am, five, six, seven times around but I’ve come so very far and will never relent. There are promises behind those walls. There are captives to be liberated and plunder to be regained. Everything that was stolen. And there is a devil to be defeated and cast into the lake of fire. We, the saints, are the chosen to defeat the enemy with our worship.
This is who we are. And you know what awaits us?.... The sound of the Shofar...
When the trumpets sounded, the army shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the men gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so everyone charged straight in, and they took the city. —Joshua 6:20
The walls crumbled. Now get this, the walls fell and the People of God didn’t lift a finger to topple this shut-tight fortress. God spoke. The Walls Fell. Period. The end.
But my friends, there remains another blast of the Shofar. It’s the trumpet sound of the Redeemed. God speaks and His Word goes forth with power, reducing the enemy to an impotent and silent foe.
And he will send out his angels with the mighty blast of a trumpet, and they will gather his chosen ones from all over the world—from the farthest ends of the earth and heaven. —Matthew 24:31
The great day of the trumpet blast is ahead. It is a promise we can believe and trust and pursue this promise. In the meantime. We walk. We love. We help others. We love others. We trust. We see the miracles and we train up the generation behind us.
As we conclude this series, I’m moved to ask you again. What is the most important verse or component of this story? Do you remember?
The voice of God. It matters not what lies behind those walls. It pales in comparison the plunder, the victory, the riches, the abundance. At the end of our long journey (our years of wondering in the wilderness) only one thing matters. His Presence.
Everything, all that we do, is in pursuit of His Presence. So consider a few thoughts with me as we continue to walk out this journey:
I love you so much my friends. Share your thoughts, scriptures, prayers in the comments. Our worship silences the enemy. Your sister in the Kingdom, Lynn
Today I want to share some thoughts as we continue our journey toward the Promised Land. Remember we have been talking about seasons. If we can condense the long years and seasons and see them from heaven’s view. this is what our journey truly looks like. And it’s beautiful.
Day two is finished and were back at the camp. But you know what is happening here? With each step it’s a revelation of how to do this journey better, more effective, with confidence. We learn to find the joy as we cross the same territory. We sing to our kids along the way and share stories of hope. We tell them of the glory of God.
On day three, we fall down. We are exhausted, confused and just plain tired. It’s our brother's and sister's turn to come along side of us, pick us up and carry the load. It’s our family, our friends, our neighbors in the tent next door. A stranger. Angels. We don’t have to do this on our own strength. We are carried and loved. Remember the story of friends bringing a man on the mat to Jesus because of their love?
Half way through we are healed because we choose to believe in the voice that spoke. There angels that guide. The strength and truth of Joshua (Jesus) His faithfulness was proven over and again as we traveled years in the wilderness. We become more and more like Jesus.
Day – season- four.. It’s more of the same. The crowd on the walls have grown insolent. Any release or change or surrender from the kingdom behind the walls is unexpected. More of the same. More or the same. It’s along…. Long journey…. Twenty two years and counting for me.
But step by step, we get through the season a little faster. It’s not as devastating. We know who to go to for help, encouragement and love. Just as Joshua leads the Israelites, Jesus leads us. The Father’s love sustains us. We have a promise. We have many, many promises. And we have experienced the faithfulness of our Lord. We know His goodness.
Day five.. We still don’t know the end of the story. We battle up! We fast, we pray. We gather the intercessors… We fight in the spirit. Spiritual Warfare intensifies. Perhaps the enemy camp sent out sentinels in the night and sabotaged our camp… Infected our children??? We pray and pray….
Still nothing. The walls remain…. (But something is happening we just can’t see it yet.)
Day six… more marching. More learning. Leading others. Singing in the camp. Healing in the camp. Worship in the camp. The Presence in the camp. I wonder, have we been in the Promised Land all along?????
Day seven… the hardest of all. Not only walking six times around (six seasons) but on this day, this season we must walk seven times around without stopping. We ask God why didn’t this get easier? The mocking from the inhabitants behind the wall increases. The determination in our will increases because we have experience the Presence. Through the six preceding days we have learned to do this walk well. We have calloused in the right places. We are fortified. Sturdied, made strong because of the walking, the pressure, the training. The we have established faith because we know God is preparing all things according to His perfect plan and purposes.
We are in the seven times around. I’m not sure where I am in this but I’ve come this far and will never relent. There are promises behind those walls. There are captives to be liberated and plunder to be regained. Everything that was stolen. And there is a devil to be defeated and cast into the lake of fire. We, the saints, are the chosen to defeat the enemy with our worship.
This is who we are. And you know what waits us now.... The sound of the Shofar... Stay tuned. That glorious moment is a head in our story. I love you my friends. Have a great week. Hugs, Lynn
I have so much to tell you about what is developing for our Walmart Prayer Day. It’s going to be so much more than I first glimpsed when God whispered this idea to me. I will have an update for you on Friday. But I need a prayer right now.
I have called the store twice, paid a personal visit on Saturday trying to get a date booked on their community calendar. Would you pray that on Monday I am able to speak with Isabel and get this date finalized? Thank you for praying. …. And devil… You are not going to stop this so in the name of Jesus, Lord, please open up heaven above this store and let this date booking happen without further delay. In Jesus name. Amen.
Walking around the walls.
It’s all about seasons. God impressed upon me that this story in the Bible is vital for us today as we begin to see the seasons. The Israelites walked around the walls for seven days. And then on the seventh day, they marched around seven times.
It’s seasons for us. It can be a day, a year or several years (seven). I see each of the times we get up and march together as a season. My first march around the walls that contain Mike Donovan was a season of just figuring out what the heck was going on in my marriage. I had to take each step to understand why my husband was walled up and hostile to my faith. Each step forward was a tiny step of faith and progress to see how God was working in the situation and to understand the enemy’s tactics.
That first season for me was likely to be more than seven years. That’s because I was unyielding and didn’t want to listen to God’s voice. Oh how I was like those stubborn Israelites. I walked slowly around the walls. Practically being dragged by others who were ahead of me, many who were yelling words of encouragement, “Don’t give up. You can do this. Stop being so selfish. See your husband through God’s eyes. Love your husband and listen to God’s voice.”
So I’m thinking that I have walked now six times around, six seasons, each season teaching me how to love this man. Each season leading me to hear the voice of God with clarity. Each season teaching me how to lead my children to follow. Each season, I pick up others along the route who have fallen and can’t get back on track. Each season was a critical time as God personally groomed me to become the person I am today.
I’ve walked a LONG TIME.
So have many of you. Some of you are just getting started. It’s hard work and often grueling, painful, lonely. But let’s remember, when the day is over, we return to the camp and we sit together. We share our stories around the fire (or internet). We encourage one another. We pray with passion for those walls to come tumbling down. We find hope. We encourage one another. And then you know what we do…..
We get up the next day and determine to walk another season.
I’m now walking in the seventh season of this marriage. The walls are still there. I’ve made some progress but do you know what is in the seventh season? I must walk longer than I have ever in the past. This is the final season and it’s seven times longer than any that I’ve conquered before now. It looms scary before me.
I’m so excited I can barely sit still. I’m a seasoned wall walker now. LOOK OUT! There isn’t an arrow of the enemy (words from the walls) that can get me down now. I’ve listened for years to the voice of my Papa. I’ve surrendered stupid expectations and silly little girl dreams. I’m a warrior girl. I am here to give up my selfishness and strive for the lives of those who are trapped behind the lies of the enemy. Behind the enemy gates. There are eternities at stake. Lives at stake and hope is at stake.
I’m a prayer warrior. I will not give up or give in. And as I think about it now, it’s time to restate the anthem of our people:
The Fellowship Of The Unashamed
"I'm part of the fellowship of the unashamed. I have Holy Spirit power. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I am a disciple of His. I won't look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still.
My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, my future is secure. I'm finished and done with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, mundane talking, cheap giving, and dwarfed goals.
I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don't have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean on His presence, walk by patience, lift by prayer, and labor by power.
My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, my Guide is reliable, my mission is clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded, or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of adversity, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity.
I won’t give up, shut up, let up, until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, and preached up for the cause of Christ. I am a disciple of Jesus. I must go 'til He comes, give 'til I drop, preach 'til all know, and work 'til He stops me. And when He comes for His own, He will have no problem recognizing me-my banner of identification with Jesus will be clear."
So…… my friends…. Are you a wall walker? Are you willing to be one of those who is in this rare and glorious fellowship of the unashamed?
Love you, Lynn
Yep, I see this verse as a metaphor. Do you?
Let’s move forward with our story in Joshua.
In chapter six God gives specific instructions to Joshua. Walk around the city, in silence. But I wonder if Joshua explained to the entire population of the Isrelites the entire plan? Sometimes we don’t receive the entire plan for our lives either. So let’s ponder this a bit more.
In verses 6-8 we read:
So Joshua son of Nun called the priests and said to them, “Take up the ark of the covenant of the Lord and have seven priests carry trumpets in front of it.” And he ordered the army, “Advance! March around the city, with an armed guard going ahead of the ark of the Lord.”
When Joshua had spoken to the people, the seven priests carrying the seven trumpets before the Lord went forward, blowing their trumpets, and the ark of the Lord’s covenant followed them. The armed guard marched ahead of the priests who blew the trumpets, and the rear guard followed the ark. All this time the trumpets were sounding. But Joshua had commanded the army, “Do not give a war cry, do not raise your voices, do not say a word until the day I tell you to shout. Then shout!” So he had the ark of the Lord carried around the city, circling it once. Then the army returned to camp and spent the night there. ~Joshua 6:6-8
I fear that because this story has become so familiar to us we miss the vast implications of each passage. Ponder with me now, THIS STORY IS BAZAAR. The people aren’t called to arms. They are called to walk around the city. Every…. single…. person….. Warriors, Priests, Mothers, Fathers, Grannies, babies. The youngest to the oldest.
And they must walk around the city one time and listen to the insults of those on the walls who think they are crazy for “believing a God” will deliver the city into their hands. Oh man oh man, this sounds so familiar to me. And honestly, they do look crazy. I wonder how many times my husband has thought I’m nuts because I tell him I hear God speak to me. I often feel like I’m asked to do crazy things by God. Remember my story about God telling me to cross the street and pray for an old woman with a cane? Yep, I thought to myself, “Oh Lord, I could look like a complete idiot.” (read the lady and cane story here)
But what I’ve also discovered is that when God prompts me, AND I OBEY, I’m never made to feel stupid and at this point in my relationship with Him, I really don’t care if I appear to others as a loon. I’ve seen too much. I’ve experienced too much to ever turn back or doubt when He speaks to me to attempt the “crazy.”
So let’s think about this. What do we do with our feelings and struggles?
The Spiritually Mismatched usually walks around the walls of a spouse and we feel lonely. We feel lost in the crowd at church. Misunderstood and forgotten. We ask ourselves, “Do I really belong here? Am I strong enough to do this?”. We think to ourselves, I won’t do it if I don’t understand exactly what God is asking and what will result. I don’t believe God will do anything and I will look like a fool.
Each step is very difficult. Each day, step by weary step, we struggle in the silence of the crowd. It’s hard. It’s so very hard. And even in the middle of our difficulty we must pick up those who have fallen. We must carry the babies. We must carry the ninety-year-old grannie around the wall with us. We place their arms upon our shoulders and walk for them. Pull them, encourage them even when we need the encouragement….
I’m overwhelmed how this story is so like my own.
Step by determined step… Without knowing what was going to happen… AND IT DIDN’T MAKE SENSE.. Why were they doing this preposterous thing? Why are we doing this preposterous thing???
Let’s get back to Joshua, the Israelites, and those ever present and menacing Walls of Jericho.
I find it interesting as I began to write this series, I was also reading this very story in my Daily Bible this past couple of weeks. There is such a depth and richness in these chapters that I could probably write a book about the parallels to our life today.
But alas. I have too much to do right now. *grin*
Today I want to specifically address something that I think most of us miss in this story. But before I go there I think we need to remember that in several places in this story, the beginning chapters of the Book of Joshua, God calls the people to consecrate themselves. Before crossing the Jordan River (Joshua 3:5) and on this particular day the people witnessed a miracle. Both Dineen and I have written about this very thing. The Priests stepped into the water (faith in action) and the water piled in a heap, up-stream. They crossed the Jordan, a million plus or so, to arrive near Jericho (witnessed the miracle). Which, by the way, completely freaked out their enemies behind the walls. The Bible says: And their hearts melted and they no longer had the courage to face the Israelites (Joshua 5:1).
Again in preparation and consecration, God commands Joshua to circumcise the entire male population (Joshua 5:2). They are set apart as Holy unto the Lord. I often wonder if we also go through a season of circumcision. The cutting away of the worldly in order for God to bring us into His Holiness and Promised Land? Makes a girl ponder, that is for sure.
BUT today, let’s get to something very interesting that I bet most people don’t notice.
Joshua 5: 13 –15
Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, “Are you for us or for our enemies?”
“Neither,” he replied, “but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, “What message does my Lord[e] have for his servant?”
The commander of the Lord’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.
This is the commander of the Lord’s armies. AND this is the second time this angel came to lead the people into the Promised Land.
The Second Time!
Forty years earlier God said:
Exodus 23:21-23 “See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared. Pay attention to him and listen to what he says. Do not rebel against him; he will not forgive your rebellion, since my Name is in him. If you listen carefully to what he says and do all that I say, I will be an enemy to your enemies and will oppose those who oppose you. My angel will go ahead of you and bring you into the land of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hivites and Jebusites, and I will wipe them out.”
I have to stop and dwell on the implications. God prepared an angel at the beginning of the journey to fight for the people. To “go ahead of you” and bring the people into the Promised Land.
The people rebelled. Fear held more power over the people than their faith in God.
The angel waited 40 years to complete the assignment given by the Lord. And on the day that the people were finally ready, the angel and the armies of heaven were present and ready.
We are not that different.
I have to wonder if God sent angels years ago to help me discover my Promises. And because I wasn’t ready to believe those promises, the abundant life that was truly mine to have, the angels have been waiting, waiting, waiting. I wonder what promises were made to my relative of even a few generations ago that God made and He is still waiting to fulfil.
Right now we are in this transition season. The 40 days between Passover and Pentecost. During this season of transition I think it’s our preparation period. Our consecration. Our season to ask God to return the angels that He prepared just for us that we may enter into the battles at hand with absolute assurety that victory is ours. The captives and prisoners will be freed and that the plunder is our reward.
More than anything, I pray this post does what’s it’s designed to do. Mess up your mind and stir your soul.
Have you ever thought about the angels that have been dispatched to fight with us in spiritual warfare? Do you think you have faced the Promised Land before but were too fearful to fight for it? And what do you think or even know are promises that were given to your relatives that they did not see fulfilled in their life time that God is hoping and cheering you on to receive the glory, reward and riches He has been waiting to pour out in abundance.
Wow. This book Joshua is messing with me. I think there is so much God is desperately wanting us to pray and ask for in this season of transition.
My question: Do you have the courage to ask God for the angel armies to storm the walls?
Have a great weekend. I’m looking forward to your thoughts. I love you my friends, Lynn
PS. Thank for your patience during our website down time. My hosting service was hacked but seems to be doing great now. I hope you had a chance to read about Gina’s miracle on Monday.
What is the Promised Land for 2014?
We are standing on the threshold of entering the Promised Land. Let’s pause a minute to contemplate the implications. The similarities of our ancestors, the Israelites, and the implications of entering the Promised Land in our own lives is remarkable.
Consider this: The men, women, and children who were about to cross the Jordan River (Joshua), most of them grew up in the wilderness. These children didn’t see the miracles as the Egyptians threw gold and jewelry at them begging them to leave the city as they departed from slavery forever. (Exodus 12) These children were born in the wilderness and they listened and learned from their mothers and fathers in the campground at night or on the path (how about an automobile ride?) about the power of God and His great love that rescued the Family of Abraham from slavery.
I’m kinda blown away in how I see myself as a mother, continually pointing out, sharing, and encouraging my son and daughter in their faith pursuit in our God. We are similar to the Israelites in that my kids have yet to experience the power and miracles of heaven. My faith, my stories, my love for Christ has been the model that they will lean on when they press into their adult lives. They will rely on my lessons, voice, to give them hope and to propel them into a love relationship with God.
Am I alone in the Holy Mind-blow here????
Well, Anyhoo. Let’s keep going. The Promised Land.
I have to pause and ponder; do they have a clue what they will inherit in the Promised Land? Do WE have a clue about our own Promised Land in 2014? Makes a blonde girl's head ache… hmmmmm
If you remember the Israelites received a glimpse of the Promised Land back in Joshua’s day. The scouts of 40 years earlier shared the reports of the Land of Milk and Honey (Numbers 13:27).
I’ve also glimpsed a tiny bit of our Promised Land of 2014. As I was listening to God during the download for this series, I was given a visual of what our Promised Land looked like. More specifically, what was the plunder behind the Walls of Jericho? Did the people of Israel know what they would find behind the walls? Do we know what is behind the walls once they come down?
Did the Israelites even know what would happen once they began their walk around the walls? Hmmmmmm? Things to wonder???
So here is what I saw in my mind’s eye: As a SUMite, I found myself standing at the bottom of the walls. I’m looking up and I see my husband on the wall. He is glaring down at me. Why? Because he is captive and deceived. You see the walls protect a Kingdom. What’s behind the gates: It’s a Kingdom of darkness with a throne of an absolute heartless and evil master. This creature hates his captives. He wounded the inhabitants with arrows of pain, lies, and doubt and took them captive with his deceit. When you give careful attention you can witness the minions running about relentlessly feeding our loved ones with a toxic brew of fear, pain, anger, lies and the cancer of the soul; bitterness and offense.
I observe further as my husband sits atop the wall throwing insults down at me. His false bravado is stirred up as the enemy provides an endless barrage of lies through his carefully crafted media machine. I can see some of the captives on the wall furiously tapping away on their laptops reading the atheist blogs. They hurl hatred and fear upon those of us below.
Wow! ( I have an active imagination *sheepish grin)
But you know what is also behind the walls? Promises. The promises of God. The many promises of God’s favor and provision for us, His children. Promises of abundance (John 10:10) and of a life and hope a future. I could list at least 100 or more off the top of my head. But alas, I’m already reaching my word count limit today. *grin*
And you know what also is behind the walls? Our loved ones wait. The release of the captives!!! (Luke 4:18)
My friends, we are similar in so many ways to the Israelites. We catch glimpses of glory. We experience some of the Milk and Honey but don’t know with certainty what we will find behind our walls of Jericho. So just as our ancestors began to walk the walls by faith, believing what God will fulfull all of His promises. We also choose by faith to believe in the treasures that await us in this life and the next. It’s worth fighting for. It’s worthy to exert ourselves for those trapped in the Kingdom of darkness.
And I’m beyond excited to see how God is going to move to bring us into the Promised Land. Aren’t you?
Today, examine your heart. What is your Promised Land? What is the petition of your heart? What have you whispered for, cried out for, what is it that for decades you have waited, believing in His promises? What are you praying into and contending for? Be expectant my friends because God is about to show up!
It’s time. It’s time. It’s time.
It’s also scary. God may ask us to do something that appears impossible, preposterous and even embarrassing. There’s no guarantee but there is a God who goes with us and His Promised Land is better that we can conceive in our own feeble thoughts. And THAT’S A PROMISE!
I’m ready to get on with this walking assignment. Are you?
I adore you my family of SUMites. Let’s walk this out together. Have an amazing day in His Presence. Hugs, Lynn
Ephesians 1:17 Keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.
This has been my prayer for the past several weeks. I’ve petitioned the heavinlies for an increase of this part of God’s Spirit because I want to know Him better.
Well this past Saturday I believe I experienced a revelation. It’s as if God pushed the enter button and I received a download of understanding (revelation) that continues to unfold in in multifaceted wisdom. Wow… I didn’t even know I could talk that way…. *grin*
I listened to a message by my friend, Tim Manigault on Friday night. It was inspired and on Saturday morning the heavens opened to expand the meaning and the emphasis upon our community of SUM. So, I have so much to share and I pray that with every post you are also anointed with the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation that you receive understanding about your glorious position in God’s plan, the reasons and the expectations and hope we have for our mismatched marriages and ultimately we are left with three things at the end of this journey. Hope, peace and love. The love of the Father that overcomes all things. And finally, that you may know Him better.
So let’s get started with the story.
Get out your Bibles and let’s turn to Joshua Chapter One.
Joshua 1 After the death of Moses the Lord’s servant, the Lord spoke to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ assistant. He said, 2 “Moses my servant is dead. Therefore, the time has come for you to lead these people, the Israelites, across the Jordan River into the land I am giving them. 3 I promise you what I promised Moses: ‘Wherever you set foot, you will be on land I have given you— 4 from the Negev wilderness in the south to the Lebanon mountains in the north, from the Euphrates River in the east to the Mediterranean Sea[a] in the west, including all the land of the Hittites.’ 5 No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you.
The Israelites have walked through the wilderness for 40 years. And my friends this is where we look into the story and find they are now on the edge of the Promised Land. There are many, many facets of this story that parallel our own. Until today, I didn’t really understand just how powerful and important this story is to those of us who are spiritually mismatched. Let’s get started to walk this journey together and with our ancestors.
In the beginning of the chapter one of the most important things of the entire story occurs. And if you rushed through the verses above, I bet you missed it. You know what is the key to the Jericho wall experience?
Joshua hears the voice of God.
I think so much of our faith journey is learning to hear God. God speaks all the time. ALL THE TIME! It’s often part of our faith training to learn to hear him. I’ve been learning to hear the voice of God over a span of two decades and only feel as though I’m starting to understand and hear how God speaks to me. I hear Him often now. I hear him at times as I read His Word. I can experience His voice as it appears that some of the text will literally jump off the page at me. It looks as though it’s been bolded as well. God speaks His love to me through the delivery of Mylar balloons that arrive on a consistent basis. I hear Him in so many ways and at times, directly as if He is speaking directly to my spirit, such was the revelation of this series and many of the passages in the two books we wrote.
Joshua hears the voice of God.
The crowd of Israelites are bone weary. They have trudged through years of wilderness. I wonder does this sound like all of us. Walking with our unbelieving spouse is lonely. We are fearful about how to proceed, even when we know that God is going before us, just as the Israelites did. We are weary of bearing the burden. We are weary being the only spiritual influence in our homes. We are weary of being the only person to encourage ourselves in our faith. Can I get an amen?
My friends, we are weary. We have experienced the wasteland wondering if we will ever make it to the Promised Land.
BUT, here we are now. On the edge of glory (Yes, rock it Lady Gaga). We are on the edge of glory and our time has arrived. I’m certain of this as God was downloading to me this past Saturday. Many of the dreams we have sacrificed are about to be restored. We will partake in the plunder. We will be the rescuers of many. We will bring hope and freedom to those who are imprisoned by an evil king behind the walls.
So, today, I ask you. Are you ready to take the first step ahead with me on this journey? Are you ready to finally see the Promised Land? Even better, are you willing to hear the voice of God and do exactly what He says to “own” the Promised Land?
We have so much to explore as the Israelites walk. As we walk along with them. And when we conclude this journey together you will see your life, your marriage, your faith journey differently.
You will discover that you are strong and courageous. Right now in 2014. Right now as you live your ordinary life, cooking in the kitchen, working at your job, raising the children. These are the tasks at hand as we march together to victory, to hearing the voice of God, to deliverance of the captives and to receive the riches of God’s glory and favor.
Are you in?
Give a shout and consecrate yourselves. Today, we stand on Holy ground. There is much ahead and it’s going to be hard and it’s going to be a blast. I love you my friends. I love you.
This week read the entire account of Joshua the Israelites and the Walls of Jericho. See you on Friday for what happens next. Hugs, Lynn