The Compounding Effect of God

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How do you make a big impact in the kingdom of God?
                       
In Nehemiah, they rebuilt the wall that had been torn down for 150 years. They had actually tried to repair the wall but failed. Have you ever embarked on a really large project that was bigger than you and anything you could have imagined? Did you start working on it, but it ended up being too big for you to overcome?

Well, the only way to accomplish a huge project is to break it down into the smallest of baby steps that anyone could carry out. That’s what Nehemiah did. He had people repair the wall outside of their own homes. 

The city walls are torn down. Repairing the whole thing looks like a huge undertaking. But what if each of us repairs the portion of the wall between his two next-door neighbors, one to the left and one to the right? What if we just work on that bit? That doesn’t seem so bad.

What they found out is the enemy doesn’t like restoration. The enemy doesn’t want us to repair broken-down people or repair and take away strongholds. No, the enemy wants us with our defenses down so we are easy to attack. He wants our neighbors to stay in bondage. To that end, he sends obstacles and threats and all kinds of barriers into our path.

Nehemiah knew they needed to find a way to fight against the enemy who was trying to come in and also keep working at the same time. A lot of times, we are either all throwing down in fighting or all working. We need to do what Nehemiah did. He made sure three hands were holding a weapon and fending off the enemy so the worker could keep busy with his free hand and continue the work (Nehemiah 4:16–18). For every four hands, three hands defended against the enemy, and one hand did the work.

If we want to see the compounding effects of God’s work in our world, we need to have three hands holding swords and one hand doing the work. What that means for us today is in our session praying, those people who are praying continuously are holding back forces of darkness we can’t see in the spirit realm for those doing all the labor. They are clearing the roadway, if you will. Let’s say your car is stopped on an interstate because there’s a major traffic jam, but you can’t actually see what the problem is. That’s like the spirit realm. There’s a traffic jam, and the only way to clear it is through prayer because God’s angels will come and push back that darkness.

When we want to see the compounding effects of God’s work in the things we are doing, we need to assign people who are called, gifted, and equipped with prayer and have them intercede on our behalf while we are doing the work.

My Faith Is Weak—I Need More Faith

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We all have the faith of Jesus Christ. That’s what Scripture says. You cannot come to God without Him. He actually gives you the faith to believe in Him. The faith you have isn’t your own. You didn’t muster it up. You’re not some great person of faith. Yes, sometimes He gives people a spiritual gift of faith, but it’s still from Him. He is the author of it.

If you and I have the same faith because God gave it to us so we could know Him and love Him, then how do we make our faith work more effectually? Some people have more effective faith than I do. I look at them and think, “How is that? How is that possible?” I believe it comes from their relationship with God. They’re seeking Him and pursuing Him. They’re reading His Word, chomping it up, ingesting it, and believing what it says with childlike faith. It stirs them up.

I received a gift from a friend of mine. It’s a candle. I don’t burn candles in my home. I haven’t burned them since I had kids. I don’t want to risk the accidental knocking over and fire or wax in the carpet. It was a gift my friend gave to me, but it’s never really been used. It just sits there. I think that’s what faith is like. God gives it to you, and you either light it and use it, or you don’t and it just sits there.

So how do we light the candle of our faith? I believe the answer is in Hebrews 11:1. It says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (KJV). I believe hope is the fire for your faith. Hope is your part, and faith is God’s part. God gave you the faith; now, can you keep up your hope? Can you keep yourself focused on the promises of God? Can you keep yourself focused on this amazing promise: “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 NIV)?

Jesus also said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled” (John 14:1 NIV). He wouldn’t give you a command you could not keep. I believe that when you let your heart be troubled, you lose your hope, and it’s not there to spark your faith. We need to learn, remember, and put our hope in the promises of God. 

“Listen carefully: I have given you authority [that you now possess] to tread on serpents and scorpions, and [the ability to exercise authority] over all the power of the enemy (Satan); and nothing will [in any way] harm you.” (Luke 10:19 AMP)

I keep my eyes on this truth. It keeps stirring me up. It builds up my hope. It makes my hope grow and become active and alive so it can light the candle of my faith—the faith that God has deposited in me. It’s not really my faith, so I cannot boast in it! I refer to it as my faith, but it’s really not. It was a gift given to me by God. It’s His. He deposited it. When I place my hope in Him, it lights and connects. The faith He has given me ignites, and sparks fly!

Faith comes by hearing the Word of God. Jump into your Bible. As you read, your hope in the Lord will grow and SOAR! 

Love, 
Sheri 

3 Types of Struggles

There are three types of people when they are in the midst of struggling. The first are those who struggle in the public eye. The second are those who struggle all alone. The third are those who struggle amongst their inner circle.

The first are those who tell everyone every detail of what is going on with their life. They can appear to be dramatic. One day they are great, and the next day they are awful. So every person who can peek into their world sees their roller coaster of a life, moment by moment, from day to day.

I have witnessed some people going through trials and tough circumstances in the public eye. They have asked people to pray for life or for their loved one. I have actually heard people who knew of their circumstances pray death over their loved ones—that they would be comforted and it would go quickly. They didn’t actually listen to the heart of their loved one. They listened to their own understanding. That is a con of living in the public eye. 

The pro of this is everyone knows what you are going through and they can throw resources, food, or anything else you need in your direction. They know what is going on, so if you actually lose a battle, you don’t have to explain what was happening behind the scenes that no one knew anything about. They are able to pity you or empathize with you. They are also able to pray with you and pray over you.

When I was pregnant in 2000, I had not told many people yet because my little sister had gotten pregnant at the exact same time. Because this was my second child, I really didn’t want to upstage her. I really wanted her to enjoy the attention of having a baby. So I only told a handful of people. I hadn’t made it public yet. When I miscarried at twelve weeks, right around the time when I was going to make it public, no one knew I had been pregnant. So I didn’t have a crowd of people gather around me to grieve with me; no one understood what I was going through. They couldn’t have empathy or pity, and there was no help.

Second, for the people who are struggling all alone—no one knows their circumstance. They have told no one. It’s all internal. The roller coaster is still happening, but no one has seen it. It’s not outwardly expressed. It is completely inward. No one knows about it. No one knows how you are doing. Outwardly, you look amazing.

These people are so susceptible to suicide because no one knows how they are doing. When I was a teenager going through abuse at home, I didn’t tell my mom. I didn’t tell a single friend. I was too ashamed. Every day was like a mask. There was not a single person who knew what was truly going on in my life. I am positive that the drama I had with all of my friends stemmed from drama at home with my stepdad—and they had no idea.

It’s when you are struggling all alone and there is no one to give you a hand and lift you out that your thoughts become increasingly negative to an extreme perspective, where the negativity can make you take your own life. I cannot think of a single pro to struggling all alone. I can’t think of one.

Third, those who struggle within their inner circle—these are people who aren’t really in the public eye. They don’t tell anyone and everyone. They may share it with some stranger because they may feel their story or testimony can encourage someone. But other than that, they really have a close few who they share it with.

I think I generally fall into this category. I’ve witnessed so many people struggle in the public eye. I’ve witnessed so many people die because they have struggled on their own. For me, I have people in my life who I know will stand firm and fight for me. They will speak boldly to me and speak truth into me. I have known them and respected them long enough to receive it. I know they will be a source of encouragement. I know I can reach out to them at any time, in weakness or in strength, and they will never shame me or discourage me in any way. They hold my feet steady on a rock. 

I am so very grateful to those who hold up my arms like Aaron and Hur. It wasn’t a crowd holding up Moses’ arms. It was two people holding up his arms. Gossip can’t be stirred in amongst the few. Jesus didn’t have a zillion disciples. He chose twelve. He definitely spoke and taught the word to the masses, but He chose twelve who were drawn in and were close with Him all the time.

I am thankful for those of you who are in my circle. You know who you are. I love and appreciate you so much. I praise God for the depth of roots in the truth and your intimate relationship with Him that makes me want to draw close to you, too, because I recognize the Spirit in you.

If you are struggling through something, don’t be discouraged. The Bible says, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 NIV). Struggles will come. It’s not if, it’s when. So when they come, be sure you have people around you who will remind you of the overcoming promises of Jesus, people who won’t try to explain or lean on their own understanding, people who will stand firm with you in Christ. That will be their position, and they won’t change their mind. They will remind you of God’s promises of who He is. 

The last thing I want to hear is someone who is unsettled or unsure of what is coming from the enemy and what is coming from God. I can tell you right now, it will make you toss to and fro and be dramatic, up and down, all over the place. Find some people to help you remain steadfast because in the shelter of the Most High God, we remain stable and fixed, under the shadow of the Almighty. Thank you, Jesus.

Love

I was twenty-four years old before I heard of agape. It was a time of trial in my life. I was driving in the car with a coworker when he started explaining to me the differences among three types of love: erosphilia, and agape.

 

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I had been in church, on and off, for most of my nearly twenty-five years, yet I had never heard of agape. My coworker described agape as unconditional love. It is always there for you no matter how righteous or wicked you are. You cannot do anything to lessen it or increase it; it is the same, steady love day in and day out. This type of love does not keep track of your sins. It does not stifle you or imprison you. It is the kind of love that fills you and frees you. It is the kind of love that changes you.

 

I had spent the last fourteen years deprived of love. I had sought love in every corner. I had pursued passionate love, romantic love, and friendship. I had searched high and low for a love that would make me feel valuable. I yearned for love. I simply wanted to be worthy of someone’s love.

 

You can only be rejected so many times before you start to believe you deserve it. At that time of my life, I felt alone and unlovable. Then my coworker guided me to the truth of unconditional love. I did not fully comprehend the significance of this concept at the time, but I have since come to understand that I am loved. When I felt rejected and worthless, those feelings were not my true identity. In truth, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14 NIV). God Himself “created my inmost being”; He “knit me together in my mother’s womb” (Psalm 139:13 NIV). God set me apart before I was born as one who was and is and always will be loved—by Him.

 

The church needs to wake up and stop constantly fixating on everyone’s flaws. We cannot afford to forget who God is and what He did out of His abundant love for every single one of us. “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8 NIV). We did not and cannot deserve His sacrifice and love for us, yet they are ours to receive. How dare the church allow another child to endure a life of desperately searching for love because no one shared with her the blessing of God’s free gift!

 

Jesus Christ issued His disciples this command: “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34–35 NIV). Will you rise to the challenge and share agape with someone every day this year? In one year, 365 days, I challenge you to convey this message of unconditional love to the people God brings into your life. Tell someone, “You are loved. It is part of your identity. It is etched into your being, and it can never be removed. It is in your very fingerprints—every indelible line testifies that you are loved.”

Greater Works

Have you ever made a list of the miracles Jesus did in the Bible? It is amazing. Jesus was for the people. He was caring and so willing to heal—when it was met with faith.

After all of these incredible miracles, Jesus made this bold statement:

“Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” (John 14:12 NIV)


You will do even GREATER THINGS…”

At the time I saw this verse, I had hardly seen any miracles, much less greater things. My mom was sick, and I wanted her to be well. I prayed. I asked. I begged God to heal my mom.

Its really hard to have faith for God to heal cancer when you havent even begun to trust Him with a headache or a cold. There is all this fear that creeps in when you hear the word cancer. Fear and faith dont make great companions.

How do we see even greater things than the works Jesus did in the Bible?

Start with the little things:

  • Headache
  • Cough
  • Congestion
  • Cramps
  • Earache

Stop trusting in medicine and home remedies and start putting your full trust in the name of Jesus. I am not telling you to get off your medicines. I am challenging you to ask yourself, What tradition am I putting before God?

Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition… (Mark 7:13 KJV)

One tradition can be running to medicine for a headache before you seek God.

In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was afflicted with a disease in his feet. Though his disease was severe, even in his illness he did not seek help from the LORD, but only from the physicians. (2 Chronicles 16:12 NIV)

God wants us to seek Him first, not when He is the last chance for survival.


The greater things begin with trusting God for the little things. As we trust God, not methods or traditions, we will begin to have faith for bigger and bigger things.


What are your methods or traditions that you run to before you go to God? Coffee to wake up in the morning? Food when you have a bad day? The phone to talk to a friend about something thats bothering you? Medicine when you have a headache?


Make a commitment to run to your Father God first in all things.



Help Me with My Unbelief

How do you defeat doubt? I believe faith is on one side and doubt is on the other. Doubt creeps in when we start to think, “Hey, I prayed this prayer, and it didn’t work. God didn’t answer. He didn’t come through for me. I asked Him to do this, but it didn’t happen. Is His word really true or not?” We start looking around and trying to solve this problem. We wonder, “Why didn’t this work? Why didn’t God come through on this promise? If He didn’t come through on this one, then maybe it’s not true at all in any case.” We start to question and doubt the fullness of the truth in the word of God.

On February 6, 2006, I lost my mother to a 31-month battle with cancer. At the time, I believed Jesus died for healing. I believed God was the healer. I knew He was, and I knew He gave me the faith to believe it. Still, I wasn’t quite there yet. I wasn’t completely convinced. I still had doubt because I had never seen anybody live it out. I’d never seen anybody living that way. I hadn’t even heard anyone teaching it before 2003. Actually, before 2003, I didn’t even have a clue that God is as good as He is. Trying to learn all of that quickly in a microwave was very difficult for me because I couldn’t get over the hump that God was mad at me and that He sometimes takes loved ones. “Sometimes He needs them more than we do,” people told me. Those things I heard in the past caused me to have doubt.

How do you overcome doubt? How do you defeat doubt so your faith can fully flourish? The only way I know how to do that is to keep inputting the word of God into your heart and your mind to renew your mind fully. Your mind has to be renewed. You have to take all of those old sayings that people have spoken into your ear and overcome them with the truth. The only way to do that is to hear the word of God again and again and again until it becomes more alive and true in you and to you than anything else anyone has ever said to you. Faith comes by hearing the word of God.

Take a look at Matthew 17:21 and Mark 9:29. It’s the same message in two different gospels. If you really look at these portions of Scripture and read them in context, you find that the disciples were trying to perform a miracle. They were trying to cast out a demon, but it wouldn’t go. It would not obey them. It wouldn’t leave. The people were probably saying things like, “Why can’t your disciples do this? You can do it, Jesus. Why can’t they? What is going on?” Jesus basically told His disciples, “Really? You’ve followed Me all this time. You’ve seen Me do it. You know I have given you the authority. You’ve walked it out. I have given you the great commission. You know this is what you’re called to do, but you’re not doing it. Your faith is so tiny. Your faith is so little.”

Jesus said, “However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting” (Matthew 17:21 NKJV). I have heard many Christians interpret that verse to mean that the only way the demon would flee, that the miracle could happen, was if the disciples stopped to pray and fast. Yet, that’s not what Jesus did. Jesus didn’t stop to pray and fast. He rebuked it, and it left. He said, “Get out,” and it was gone. Boom. It obeyed. So what was Jesus really talking about?

He was talking about your weak faith. How do you defeat doubt? You pray and fast. When you’re not overcoming by God’s word and living the truth of His word, when doubts are defeating you moment by moment and your imagination is spinning out of control in a negative pattern, fast and pray. Many people think fasting and praying moves God and makes Him do what you’ve asked Him to do, like, “Oh, I’m so proud of her. She fasted and prayed. Look how great she is. I’m going to go ahead and answer her prayer and remove this demon.” No, no, no, no, no. No. That is not what happens.

The process of fasting and prayer moves you and me. It moves us. It moves our hearts into alignment with God’s. It moves the doubt we have. It moves the reliance on our flesh and on our self. It moves our efforts out of the way so God’s efforts can flow freely through us. It puts down our carnal nature and picks up the Spirit of God. If you’re fasting and praying or doing the right things or walking around the building seven times to try to get God to move on your behalf, that does not move God. It moves you.

Defeat doubt by picking up God’s word and reading it until you fall madly, deeply in love with Him. God’s word will become more true than how your body feels, than what’s on the TV, than what your friends say to you or what somebody speaks over you. Fast and pray regularly to keep your flesh, your carnal nature, your meatheadedness out of the way of your being freely in God’s presence.

The Name of Jesus


I had a God encounter. I spoke with a woman who loves the Lord with all her heart. We shared testimonies while we did some dishes. It was a random meet for only a moment between women a few generations apart. 


She had lost her husband of thirty years. I began to weep at the thought of even beginning to lose mine. All those little things that I am nagging about—like his socks beside the bed and the protein powder that he sprinkles but never wipes off the counter—started to grow faint. These are minor issues. They’re immaterial, really. Why does this type of thing bother me? Why does it nag me? Why do I have to open my mouth? Shut up. Shut up. I hear it repeating in my head. I would rather have those socks on the floor and the protein powder on my counter than not have him there at all. Who cares about the house? It’s about people. 

She went on to tell me how her last words to him were, “Hey, you aren’t supposed to be doing that.” He was on doctor’s orders not to do certain things because his heart was fragile. She said she had to forgive him for doing things outside of what he was supposed to do because that was who he was. He didn’t want to be someone different. He didn’t want to live a different life. 

I have been thinking about this nonstop. I was thinking that if we knew how to war in the name of Jesus Christ, then the dead would be raised up until they had long lives. When we are given a doctor’s report, we don’t have to receive it. We don’t have to receive the doctor’s report. We have to stand up in the name of Jesus Christ and receive the truth for our medicine, not a fact. I thought to myself, “If that happened to me, I would not only have to forgive my husband, but I would also have to forgive myself for not being the warrior that I was supposed to be, for not being someone so firmly established in the truth that facts don’t faze me.” 

Truth is my fact. The truth should be my reality above everything else in this world. I do live in this world. I live in a body, but the truth is that I am a spirit. I am a spirit with God living in me. The same power that raised Christ from the dead lives in me. It does no good to have that power inside of me if I can’t use it in this world, if I can’t draw on it to help people. It does no good if I just receive all the dark, sick evil in this world. It does no good whatsoever. 

I want to be a woman of God. I want to be a lioness arising, according to Lisa Bevere. I want to be a woman who is standing at the gate with my sword and refusing to let in any stealing, killing, and destroying. The same power that raised Christ from the dead lives in me, and I have been commissioned and called by God and given the authority over darkness in the name of Jesus Christ.

I hope you have a God encounter today and you have a revelation that changes you forever. Stand up, ladies. Stand up, women of God. Stand firmly in the truth, knowing that this is a spiritual battle. It is not a battle in the physical. It is won through the name of Jesus Christ.

Stirring My Expectations

The Fight to Remain Hopeful in Devastating Times

All the power of Jesus flows through me because He deposited it in me through the Holy Spirit. If I speak to a mountain and I have only faith as small as a mustard seed—the tiniest thing on earth—then it will be moved. I have to have that faith, though. Faith has to be there. What is faith? “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1 NKJV).

When God spoke the world into being, He spoke. But who was listening? No one, right? So why did He have to speak if no one was actually listening? He spoke because He took what was invisible and made it visible. That is how He spoke. He spoke the invisible into the visible. When we speak, we are bringing the invisible to the visible. That is how the power works in and through us. 

But we cannot do that unless our imagination can imagine it. We have to be able to imagine it. Our imagination is generally for vain use, thinking of the negatives and the what-ifs. We think, “How will I live with this? How will I live with that?” versus “What can God do here? I can imagine this person healed and walking.” There are two ways of using your imagination: a way that gives God glory and brings miracles to pass or the way of negativity.

God meets you where your faith is. In the Bible, when Jesus was walking around, He met people exactly where they were. The majority of the time, there had to be a point of expectation where they were expecting to receive something from Jesus. They didn’t necessarily have to expect to receive a miracle, but they had to have an expectation. What is expectation? It’s another word for hope. You have to have a hope.

I think, so many times, in all of the trials, we become discouraged and overridden with the inability to have hope. We lose our expectation. We become bitter and burdened. We are not full of hope and seeking, knowing and believing God is going to bring about His promises and make them come to pass. We have to have a point of expectation.

During this issue I have had, I recognized the point of expectation was immediate healing. When that didn’t come to pass, I lost my expectation. I had to go back and say, “Okay, what is my expectation? I have to reestablish my expectation. I have to reignite my hope.” It’s kind of like hope is our part and faith is God’s part. The faith you have is a gift from God. You can’t conjure it up. He gave it to you. It is deposited in you. He gave you the very ability to believe in Him. 

I had to ask myself, “What do I expect? Who is my hope in? Do I really believe Jesus is who He says He is? Do I believe?” He asked His disciples at one point, “This is what everyone else is saying about me. But who do you say I am?” I really had to answer that question. Who do I say God is? Who do I believe Him to be? Even though I haven’t seen this manifested in my own body, do I believe who He says He is?

I began to listen to the Word pour in and realized my fear was limiting my ability to receive from God. It had punched out my expectation and my hope. I started saying, “Do not be afraid. Only believe. Don’t be in fear. Only believe. Believe only; do not fear.” You can only do one or the other. I started quoting these Scriptures. “I will come and heal. I will, and you will be clean.”

I am saying Jesus is willing. Greater is He who is in me than anything else in the world. There is nothing that can come against me that’s greater than the One who is in me. Jesus is willing. He says, “I will.” His will is aligned with God’s will. So if He will, God will. If God wants to, Jesus wants to. God is willing. Jesus has compassion on us. That is His heart’s desire. He does not want to see us hurting. He wants to see us prosper and be in good health.

I realized I have been robbed of my joy, my hope, my thankfulness, and my health. Not only was I robbed of my physical health, I also was robbed of my joy and my hope. I had to start being thankful and start thinking, “God, thank You, Father, that I can walk. Thank You, Father, that my neck isn’t broken. Thank You, Father, that I am awake another day. Thank You that I am seen and not viewed. Thank You, Father, that I am loved. Thank You that I know Your Word. It is deposited in me. Help awaken it.” As I truly started to motivate and keep my hope up, I stopped walking alone.

The thing is, the enemy prowls around like a roaring lion. He wants to separate you from your pack. He wants to make you prey. Really, the only way to get to your prey is to get them away from their pack, where they are safe.

This journey for me has been isolating. It has been isolating physically. I can’t really hug and kiss my children or people in general because I don’t know if they can be as gentle as they need to be. So to protect myself, I’ve had to say, “No, thank you. We can hand hug.” The other thing is this has limited my intimacy with my husband because I can’t fully function physically right now.

Mentally and emotionally, I can’t engage in conversations with people. I just don’t have it in me. I don’t have small talk in me. I’m easily exhausted. I can only take on these little bitty bites of social activity. The thought of being social burdens me so much. I don’t want to be social right now. I don’t want drop-by visitors. I don’t want people to bring me food because I don’t want to have to talk to them. I don’t want to have to engage socially. If they want to leave it on the porch, thank you for blessing me. But it’s not really a blessing for me to have to engage and entertain right now. It hurts my neck to turn and be in conversation. It hurts my eyes to look up to the left and down to the right. It’s just random little things. It’s truly been isolating. I’ve been all alone. I don’t even want to text because it hurts my arm, neck, and eyes to have my phone in front of me. It’s been a silent time.

The truth is I am not alone. I couldn’t be more loved, adored, and surrounded by the Father and the people who are around me. I just don’t want to engage with them right now. But I know they’re my friends. They will be there until the end. They are fighting for me, standing in the gap for me. It’s almost like they remind me I am not alone and that increases my hope.

One of my daughters made me realize I had lost my smile. She made me realize I had given up on joy because the pain was so severe that I had lost my ability to smile and engage in laughter. Other days, I didn’t do as much. I sat around and didn’t speak. I didn’t have anything to say.

That’s enough. It’s not okay to steal my joy because that’s attached to my hope and my health. That is one thing I need to keep. I continue to encourage myself. I tell myself I shouldn’t be afraid and I should believe only. I asked the Father to rid me of doubt. I read the Word and realized God meets you where your faith is.

Remember the woman with the issue of blood? Her faith was, “If I only touch the hem of His garment, then I will be healed.” The centurion would speak the Word only. That was his faith. The guy at the gate called Beautiful wasn’t even expecting to be healed, but he looked at Peter and John with the expectation to receive something. That was his point of faith. Jesus met them there.

I reestablished my point of expectation, just proclaimed it out loud, “I repent for losing my expectation. This is my expectation. This is what I believe.” I had a face to face visit with Jesus. I pictured Him in my mind, and I said, “I don’t want to be like Your disciples, who, even though they saw You, walked with You, and saw Your miracles, were still in awe and shocked by them because they didn’t really know who You were. But I know You. I know who You are. I have walked with You. I know You are willing. I know You are trustworthy. I know You have sent Your Holy Spirit, and greater are You than that which is in me. Father, this is what I expect. I expect that every time I have a symptom, I can speak Your name only and it will be gone in Jesus’ name. I know that every symptom doesn’t mean healing didn’t come. It came two thousand years ago, and healing is present. I believe and expect my body to receive that healing immediately. When a new symptom comes, it is exactly what it is. It is the enemy trying to make the symptoms louder than my knowledge and relationally knowing who God is and what He desires for me. Those new symptoms, I will not let them tear me down in fear. I will rebuke fear in the name of Jesus. Now I pray, Father, that You will set me free from the fear that has entangled me.”

I reestablished my expectation and said, “This is what I expect to happen.” It made me fight before I move. I speak, and I pray. I speak to my mountain, and I expect. I am not just praying and hoping, wishing a wishful hope. I am praying, fully expecting it to happen. I am expecting the visible to submit to the invisible. How awesome is that? And He is doing it.


God’s Promises Are Yes and Amen

The Bible says God’s promises are always yes and amen.
There is no expiration date on the finished work of Jesus Christ. There is no expiration date on His hope. There is no expiration today of the work He did yesterday. It’s not a gallon of milk that in a few days will expire and curdle. It is always there. It’s always fresh, always available, and always quenching.
You can trust God and His Word. You can truly put your hope in it. There is nothing else worth putting your hope in. You can’t put your hope in doctors, medicine, your boss, your employer, or your ability to work hard. All that stuff will pass away. But God’s promises are good and will endure forever.

Self-Protected, Part 2

I want to go back to my high school story.
In high school, I self-protected big time. I didn’t let this cutie, hottie boy know I liked him even a little bit. I thought I wasn’t worthy of him, so I never let it out. I realized recently with my own girls—I have two in high school—that they and their friends self-protect.

In homeschooling and in the Christian community, we sweetly call it “guarding your heart.” We say, “Oh, guard your heart because we don’t want to let just anybody in.” But the truth is that the only way to guard your heart is to give it fully to Jesus and not give it to any man or to what people say or to whether you are accepted or rejected—if you are asked to prom or not, if you are asked to dance or not. There is no way to protect yourself outside of fully surrendering your life to Christ. It is impossible.
I see all these kids and recognize in them that though they didn’t grow up in an abusive home like I did, they are already protecting themselves. If they put themselves out there, they are extremely careful. For instance, they say, “Let’s go to prom as friends.” They are afraid to say, “Hey, I like you a little. If that’s not cool, it’s no big deal. But I do. I like you a little.” 

It’s as if they deny the natural progression of the fact that they are old enough to be married—in biblical terms, not legally, but close enough. They deny transparency. They act like they’re kind-of friends and kind-of not. They skirt around the issue to the point where they are never going to allow themselves the unchained ability to pursue because they’ve put a title on their relationship called “just friends.”
I’m looking at these youth, thinking, “Is this right?” I don’t think there is any reason to go make out and whatever, yet they won’t even say, “Hey, I spend time with you because I like you. Maybe it will be more than just being friends and hanging out.” It’s almost silent, like there’s a curse on saying it. Boys text your daughters and say, “Hey, if you don’t like me like a boyfriend, then I’m not going to text you anymore.” It’s like, “Hey, can we just be friends?” instead of “Hey, I think you’re really pretty.” Let’s be real. These kids are already protecting themselves. I find myself asking the Lord, “Teach me how to teach my girls to be real and trust You with their protection instead of always protecting themselves.

Honestly, I believe every woman’s desire is to have a marriage where she doesn’t have to be the man and she can actually be the wife. The husband is not a pansy. He is not a pushover. He is strong and gentle, kinder to her than anybody else. He would lay down his life. He will protect her. She can rest in his protection because he is a living example of Christ. He has laid down his life, and he is not going to put anything above her. I mean, that is really a woman’s strongest desire. When she feels that protection removed, she immediately starts standing in self-protective mode. Then she loses her sweet, gentle, loving qualities. You miss the best parts of her when she is in self-protecting mode.

I wish we had so much security in Christ that we would be willing to be rejected 490 times to infinity so we could be real and transparent instead of playing a game and not living real lives. Why is it so bad to be rejected if you can go lay your head on the lap of the One who accepts you?