August 20, 2017

Faithful God

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Know therefore that the Lord your God is God.
He is the faithful God,
keeping His covenant of love to a thousand generations
of those who love Him and keep His commands.
Deuteronomy 7:9

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We see God’s choice of Israel was motivated by His love for them. Moreover God promised to faithfully keep His covenant and show mercy to generation after generation of those who would love Him and obey Him.  Not only was God’s love contingent on their response of love and obedience but also they would receive prosperity, good health, and military success (verses 13-16).

It is not because of your righteousness or your integrity
that you are going in to take possession of their land,
but on the account of wickedness of these nations,
the Lord your God will drive them out before you to accomplish
what He swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Deuteronomy 9:5

It shows God’s gracious gift based on His love and mercy for rewarding the Israelites with faithfulness.  Moses warned the Israelites that continued possession of the land would be contingent on their perseverance in faith and in obedience to God.  If the Israelites became wicked like the Canaanites they, too, would be dispossessed of the land.  In other words, His love and mercy in His giving of the land was not unconditional.  If the people turned away from the Lord and forgot His word they, too, would surely perish.

Therefore, brethren, inasmuch as God shows us His faithfulness, let us seek to obey Him the more. For we will get a reward at the end of the race.

Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God
failing to observe His commands, His laws, and His decrees
that I am giving you this day.
Deuteronomy 8:11

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   *

Dear heavenly Father, we thank You for Your faithfulness and Your lovingkindness.  Thank You for Your mercy that is unconditional.  We pray for grace, Lord, to obey Your commands at all times.  Help us to do what You want us to do at the right time and in the right ways.  Direct our paths, Lord; in Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen!!

Gabriel’s Message – Sting

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The angel Gabriel from heaven came
His wings as drifted snow
His eyes as flame
“All hail” said he “thou lowly maiden Mary,
Most highly favored lady,” Gloria!

“For known a blessed mother thou shalt be,
All generations laud and honor thee,
Thy Son shall be Emanuel,
By seers foretold
Most highly favored lady,” Gloria!

Then gentle Mary meekly bowed her head
“To me be as it pleaseth God,” she said,
“My soul shall laud and magnify His holy name.”
Most highly favored lady, Gloria!

Of her Emanuel, the Christ was born
In Bethlehem all on a Christmas morn
And everyone throughout the world forever saved
Most highly favored lady, Gloria!

Gabriel’s Message  ~  Sting

I first heard this song sometime in the ’80s.  Musically depicting the events told to us in Luke  chapter 1 (verses 26-38, 46-55),  I was originally drawn to the description of the Angel Gabriel and what it must have been like to have been visited by a messenger of God!  Now that I am older and in a different place in my walk with God, I am still drawn to this song, although now focusing on Mary and her obedience.

To me be as it pleaseth God.” – that line always brings goose bumps! In Luke 1:38, Mary says more specifically: “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.”  What beautiful humility!  What a servant’s heart! What a willingness to be a vessel (literally) for God. Surely she had to know the risks, the potential to be shunned and humiliated.  What would Joseph think?  What if he left her? She was a “lowly maiden” – what if she was financially unable to take care of herself and her child? What an amazing trust in God to fulfill His promise to her!  In verses 46-55 we see Mary’s beautiful song of praise:

“My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for He has been mindful of the humble state of His servant.  From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me – holy is His name.  His mercy extends to those who fear Him from generation to generation.  He has performed mighty deeds with his arm, He has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.  He has brought down rulers from their throne but has lifted up the humble.  He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty.  He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever, even as He said to our fathers.”

To me be as it pleaseth God.”  Mary’s obedience brought our Savior into the world!  Do I say to the Lord, “May it be to me as you have said”?  May we follow Mary’s example and be as obedient, sisters!  When we do, God uses US as vessels for His divine purpose, and brings blessings to others!

Merry Christmas!

And may God bless you richly with rewards for your obedience to Him!

Esther – Chapter 9:17-32

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1 Corinthians 13:4-8″

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As we read this lengthy section of Scripture, we see the final explanation of this time of salvation and rejoicing for the Jews. The Jews in the provinces killed their enemies on the 13th of Adar and rested on the 14th (Esther 9:17).  But the Jews in Shushan were given permission to stand against their enemies two days, 13th and 14th, and then rested on the 15th (verse 18).  On those days of resting from their enemies, there was a great celebration—gladness, feasting, and exchanging of gifts (verses 22-23).  Esther and Mordecai confirmed that this celebration would become a new holiday for the Jews called Purim (verses 29-30), named after the Pur (lot) that was cast for their destruction was turned on their enemies (verses 24-26).  It is still celebrated every year by faithful Jews.

Darlene Schacht includes a commonly accepted fact that Moses was circumcised on the 13th of Adar. “Circumcision represents the cutting away of the flesh and the putting off of a former life.” The Jews “cut down” their enemies on Adar the 13th.  God provides the way for us to have our old life “cut away” to cleanse us from all sin (Haman), and celebrate new life and freedom (Purim) in Christ.  Darlene and I ask, “Have you exchanged your sinful life for a new life? If not, you can make that decision right now by…asking God to forgive you for your sins and inviting Jesus into your life.”  Now is the time to put your faith in Him.

After the Jews cut down their enemies, they rested (Esther 9:22).  God gives us rest from our enemy, sin, when we allow Jesus to cleanse us and give us His gifts. He gives us:

…a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.

Isaiah 61:3

“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30

This doesn’t mean that we won’t have trials and temptations.  It’s not a “sunny day at the beach ever-after.”  But, James 1:2-5 and 12, encourages us that we will want to “…persevere under trial because, having stood the test, that person (we) will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”

Did you notice that it wasn’t Esther’s position as queen that set her people free from the sentence of death?  It was actually because of the king’s love for her and his generosity (grace) to her people that he provided a way to put them in “right-standing/righteousness” with him.  It was upon his word and his name (Esther 9:25) that Mordecai and Esther were given permission to write the new decree that made the way for the Jews to live and have rest.

The joyous truth of our salvation in Christ is that we are forgiven and are now in right-standing/righteousness with God.  It is not based on our own merit, our position, our own standard of right and wrong, or even on keeping every ‘jot or tittle’ of the old law.  There is no rest in those.  Isaiah 64:6 (KJV) tells us, “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.”  Instead, it is based on His love and His grace.  In His righteousness there is rest.  There is freedom from condemnation, and a blessed assurance that we belong to God.

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.

Romans 8:1, 2

Esther knew that she would find her salvation only in her king, so she came to him in obedience and courageous submission.  When we realize that our salvation can only come from the power, love, and authority of the King of kings, Jesus, we too will want to live in obedience and courageous submission to Him.

This great story of love and salvation of Esther and the Jewish Nation was, and is, to be shared from generation to generation, and in every province (Esther 9:26-32).  The Great Love Story of our salvation given us through Christ Jesus is to be shared in every family from generation to generation and in every “province” until Christ returns for His Bride, the Church.  “…future generations will be told about the Lord. They will proclaim His righteousness to a people yet unborn—for He has done it” (Psalms 22:30-31). “The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the Water of Life” (Revelation 22:17).

Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise His Holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all His benefits—

But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear Him, and His righteousness with their children’s children—with those who keep His covenant and remember to obey His precepts.

Psalms 103:1-2, 17-18

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Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for the rest we find in our salvation that comes only from You, not from our own merit.  Thank You for changing our mourning into joy and our despair into a garment of praise!  We praise You that the joyous truth of our salvation is evidenced in our right-standing before God, our Father.  Help us, O Lord, to live in the beauty of courageous submission to You, our King of kings.  Help us find creative ways to share Your Great Love Story with our families from generation to generation, and in every “province” until You return for Your Bride. In Jesus’ Name.

Amen.

Esther – Chapter 6:10-11

Be honest.   Don’t you just LOVE it when hateful people get what’s coming to them?  Of COURSE you do!  Me too.  This is the part of the Esther story that almost makes me laugh out loud.   We see in verses 10 and 11 that Haman is utterly humiliated –publicly!  Can you imagine what that must have been like for Haman to dress Mordecai in the King’s robe and crown, and then have to parade him around town proclaiming “This is what is done for the man the King delights to honor!” (verse 11).  Haman (the man who, no doubt, made sure to tell anyone who would listen how much he hated Mordecai ) not only had to do this in front of his peers and subjects, Haman obviously was not the man the King delighted to honor!   In the chapter to come we will see the full extent of his downfall.  Take that, you jerk!

But even as I read the scriptures this morning, the Holy Spirit convicted me of my attitude and asked me a couple questionsIs this how you really are supposed to think, Robin?  Did I delight in Haman’s punishment?   

Wk6_Caddell_EstherWhoa. I just got checked by the Holy Spirit.  Time to take that thought captive and make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). Let’s answer the second question first…just so we’re on the same page.  The answer is NO.  Evil will be punished, because God is a just and holy God, and therefore cannot (and will not) tolerate sin.  He does not, however, delight in it.  2 Peter 3:9 says “The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness.  He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”  Do you see what the Scripture says –He wants EVERYONE to come to repentance. Even hateful Haman.  You know those people in your mind that are the worst scum of the Earth, ever?  He wants them, too.  Which brings me back to the first question the Holy Spirit is using to correct me (and perhaps you, too…).

Is this really how I am supposed to think?   Well, sisters, the answer is… no, not really. To know that evil will eventually be no more and that God will even out the score brings a great amount of comfort!  But let’s get back to the focus of this study, shall we?  Submission.  If I want to truly be more like Christ, if I want my will to decrease so that His will can increase in me (John 3:30), then I MUST submit my will, in all things. That includes wanting to get even or to get revenge.

Haven’t we all had a “Haman” in our lives, at some time or another?  Maybe not so drastic that they wanted us dead – but haven’t we all had someone who “got one over on us?”  Perhaps there is someone who makes your life miserable at work.  A “friend” who insists on outdoing everything you do, and rubbing your nose in it. Maybe you have a neighbor that HATES you.  Or maybe someone just cheated you out of something you worked hard for.  It could be something as simple as getting cut off in traffic!  But it could be more heinous – you or your family has been victim of harm or abuse.  The bottom line is, we all have at one time or another wanted to get revenge for an offense made against us.   We definitely haven’t prayed for God’s favor on that person!

But we should.

Romans 12:17-21 presents a challenging passage about love:

Do not repay anyone evil for evil.  Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.  If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.  Do not take revenge, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge, I will repay,” says the Lord.  On the contrary, ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.  In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.’   Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Wow – is that some heavy lifting, or what?  Give your enemy a drink if he’s thirsty?  I know sometimes I would rather hit someone upside the head with a full bucket of water than give that person a drink out of love.  But as I am called to be more like Christ, and as God keeps trying to skim out the garbage in my life to make me more pure, then I MUST  think of any offending person as someone that God desperately wants to reach for his Kingdom.  He doesn’t want ANYONE to perish, remember?  All people are created by God – in His image – and He wants all people to come to Him.  This is not going to be an easy one to master.  But forgiving someone an offense and PRAYING for those who persecute us brings us to such an incredible place of submission and humility that God can work miracles – in our hearts AND in our enemies!

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Let’s pray:

God, thank You for being a just AND loving God!  Thank You for Your forgiveness of my offenses and help me to forgive others as You have forgiven me.   Lord, help me when I want to seek revenge for wrongs done to me and when I would rather wish harm on someone than good.  Pour me out so that YOU can increase in me. Help me to rest assured that my life rests in the palm of Your hand and know that You will avenge any wrong done to me – the daughter of the King!  May my words, thoughts and actions reflect Your love in my life – help me to be more like Your beautiful Son every day.  In His name we pray.

Amen.

 

Esther – Chapter 2:11-15

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Hello again, sisters!

In Esther 2:11-15, we see Esther in a rather exciting, yet anticipatory time in her life. The King is looking for a new queen, and Esther has been chosen out of many beautiful women in her province to be considered for the position. (Almost like the ultimate “Dating Game” – only the ancient royal Persian version!) Before any of the women were presented to the King for his consideration, they underwent an incredible beauty treatment – six months with oil of myrrh and six months with perfumes and cosmetics. Six months for each treatment! (Anyone complain to you about how long it takes you to get ready??  Now that’s high maintenance!)
For those of us who are married, remember when you would get ready for a date with your husband? (Some of us may have to reach back in the memory bank a bit….) For those of you who are single – think about an important date or event that caused a bit of preparation. I remember when I was dating my husband…I wanted just the right outfit, something that made me look good, but not that I was trying too hard; something appropriate for the outing. I needed the right makeup, the right shoes – you get the picture. Sometimes I would shop for something new (even though my oldest shirt would have been new to him!), and I definitely called my Mom, sister, and several friends to get their opinions on how to present myself. On date night I would spend quite some time preparing myself to put my best foot forward.  I would be nervous and excited and would count the minutes until I heard his knock on my door.  Sound familiar to any of you?
Likewise, in our own lives, we are preparing to meet our King—Jesus!  We know that when we are presented as his Bride that we want to be our best.  The wonderful difference in our scenario is that 1) we know that when we belong to Jesus, He has already accepted us, so we need not fear rejection when we meet him; and 2) Jesus is not concerned with how we look on the outside; He looks at our heart (1 Samuel 16:7).  So if Jesus is not looking for our best outfit, but looking for our best “inside person,” how do we get that ready?  What beauty treatments are going to help us make that wonderful presentation of our ultimate selves to the King?
Darlene reminds us of a lovely Scripture.

1 Peter 3:3-5 (NIV)
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes.
Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.
For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands.

Now let me just put this argument to rest …. Does this Scripture say that it is unbiblical to braid your hair, wear jewelry or get dressed up?  NO.  What it says is that your beauty should not be skin deep.  Hair, jewelry, and clothes are all perishable and therefore are undependable.  They aren’t the mark of true beauty, which comes from the inside.  No one and nothing can take away your true beauty!

When the Holy Spirit is your helper (like Hegai helped Esther), and you follow His beauty advice, the result is amazing.  Galatians 5:22 tells us what a beautiful woman looks like, one who is ready to meet her King (you might also know this verse as describing the fruits of the Spirit).

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Our “beauty regimen” should consist of daily cultivation of the fruits of the Spirit.  I say daily cultivation because we don’t just wake up filled with all of the patience or gentleness we will need for the rest of our lives, do we?  Every day situations will present themselves that will require us to practice those fruits.  You want patience? Be careful what you pray for – you will only develop patience when you are placed in a situation that requires you to be patient.  The same for all of the fruits. The same for our lives of submission and obedience to Christ.

Every day we will be presented opportunities to follow, to submit, to obey, and to believe. We will become better followers when we make the choice to fall in behind the leader, and then act accordingly. Not the most submissive wife yesterday? You know what? That’s ok – but be different today. Rebelling against authority figures in your life?  Choose to be different today.  Resistant to the leading of Jesus? Change and be different today!  You can’t do anything about the past except repent of it, ask God to forgive you, and then choose to act differently today!  That is how we get ready for the King.  Daily ask God – “How can You make me more beautiful today?  Holy Spirit, can You show me how to be more like Christ today? Can You show me how to be more submissive…more obedient?”  Ask, and then trust that just like Hegai, the Holy Spirit will show you exactly what is needed today to be gorgeous—a radiant light that shines for the King!

Let’s Pray:

Holy Spirit, thank You for being our ultimate Helper! Help us today to see our beauty not as the world sees it, in the outward woman, but as our Father sees it. Help us in our “beauty regimen”, to make ourselves pure, holy and beautiful for our Lord Jesus.  Forgive us when we are resistant to Your leading.  Thank You for the great example of an obedient spirit in Esther, and help us to develop our own obedient spirit!  Thank You for Your abundant blessings and protection!  In Jesus’ name we pray.

Amen.

“Esther” Chapter 1:10-15

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“But when the attendants delivered the king’s command, Queen Vashti refused to come” (Esther 1:12, NIV).  Here we see the pivotal action that paved the way for Esther to come onto the scene in the next chapter.  Disobedience or a refusal to submit.

I’ll have to admit…for a long time I’ve sided with Queen Vashti!  What was so wrong??  I wouldn’t want to be the only woman in a room full of men that have been drinking for seven days (really, seven days??), would you?  According to some Jewish historians, Vashti was to appear wearing only her crown.  To me, her refusal seemed appropriate, if not a way to protect herself.  I would bet that for any number of women that have read this story, each one would have thought of a reason that the Queen’s actions were justified.  However, Darlene makes a great point, and this is the kicker: “…the scripture doesn’t give us any valid reason she didn’t.  So making excuses for her would be speculation at best” (page 13).  So there it is.  If the Bible wanted the Queen’s actions to be justified, then a valid reason would have been given for her refusal, but we don’t have one.  The simple truth is: Vashti was given a command which she refused.  We see later in the chapter that she is punished – stripped of her role and privileges.

This made me wonder.  How often does God give us a command that we don’t want to obey?  Just like reading about Queen Vashti, we want to justify her disobedience and ours through the filter of our own wishes.  God commands us to submit – to our husbands, to the will of Jesus – and we give reasons (excuses, really) of why we shouldn’t.  I know many of us have difficult husbands! Some of us have husbands that are abusive, indifferent, not in line with the will of God.  Many of us see God as a difficult taskmaster, a commander, one who is angry with us.  It’s hard to willingly allow ourselves to submit to the will of someone who may not have our best interests at heart, isn’t it?  On the other hand, some of us are simply not interested in being submissive!  It feels “archaic,” as if we are supposed to be weak doormats to be walked on, when we are strong, liberated, independent women – right?  I’m my husband’s partner, not his slave.   All justifiable feelings, ladies, but let’s look at the Scripture again.

“But when the attendants delivered the king’s command, Queen Vashti refused to come.”  The King commanded.  She refused.  We really do treat God the same way.  He gives us commandments.  Some we obey…some we flat out refuse.  Can we be honest with ourselves?   If we don’t want to do what God commands, then we don’t do it.  I’m not trying to be harsh, it’s just the truth!   If we want to improve, if we want to become less so that God can become more within us, then we have to start thinking about submission from God’s perspective, and not from the world’s perspective.  Here’s more truth for you – GOD LOVES YOU!!!  All day, every day.  He wants what is best for you. He wants you to have a beautiful, joyful, powerful, abundant life. When you can really wrap your head around the fact that God loves you, then it makes it much easier to submit to His commands – because they are not burdensome (I John 5:3); they are in your best interest!

Consider the ultimate example of submission, Jesus.  He obeyed, even to the point of death (Philippians 2:8)! Would you consider Him a doormat?  Weak?  A slave?  I would think not. Was His life free from conflict?  No.  Did he have to do things He would have preferred not to do?  Yes.  Jesus lived His life as an example for ALL of us – so that we can pattern our lives after His. Submitting our lives to the will of God does not make us weak, mindless puppets – it’s an act of courage and strength!  In fact, when we submit to God, our submission brings us rewards – here and in heaven!  In James 4:6 and 7; James writes: “‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’ Submit yourselves, then, to God.”  (He also says in verse 7 to resist the devil and he will flee from you, further proof that in submission to God you have the power and authority of God residing in you – I’d say that’s a reward, wouldn’t you?)  A heart obedient to the will of God is beautiful!

Let’s vow today to live lives of daily submission.  In areas where it seems difficult (if not impossible!), let’s ask God for strength, courage, and a willingness to do as He asks. Let’s not sit in the seat of the skeptic.  Let’s not view submission like the world does.  Vashti’s disobedience knocked her out of a place of privilege – let’s not follow her example!  We’ll see in the days and weeks to follow how submission to the King brought honor and reward to Esther and how submission to our King (God) will bring honor and reward to us!  Let’s try it today – when the King summons us, let’s throw on our crown and run to His presence – “Here I am!”

May God reward you for your obedience today!

Let’s Pray:

Holy God, thank You for Your abundant love and provision for us.  Thank You for wanting to have a relationship with us, and that You give us direction out of a desire for our well-being.   Holy Spirit, help us to live our lives in submission.  Help us where we are reluctant to obey.  Help us to love, respect, and follow our husbands – and You even more so.

Lord, open our hearts and our minds to a deeper understanding of You.  Help us to receive the teachings and blessings that You want to bountifully bestow upon us.  Guard our minds, protect our families, heal what is broken, and lift us up when we fall.  I thank You, Lord, for every woman taking part in our study – may she feel Your arms wrapped firmly around her today.

Fill us with Your Spirit, Lord; help us to be salt and light.  In the blessed name of Your Son Jesus.

Amen.

Crazy Love: Our Final Week – “Is This What I Want to Be Doing When Christ Comes Back?”

What Will YOU Be Doing

 

My dear friends,

I believe with my whole heart that we are living in the end times. You might agree with me, you might not….  Really, that is not the issue.  I believe it, and I vow to live each day as if I will meet Jesus.

I live intentionally.

I live with purpose.

I live on-purpose.

I believe that revival is coming and that it will begin with our youth; God showed me this and it has been confirmed for me three times. I like to be where God is moving and shaking, what about you?

I will do my part intentionally.

I will encourage with purpose.

I will do my part on-purpose.

God has shown me through this book what I need to do next, and that is to have my own mutiny against excess in my life. I will be starting this journey March 25th and you will be able to follow along with me here:

www.megansmidt.com

This is essentially a 7 month fast and it will not be easy by any means. I know, I know…. It sounds “extreme.”  I hear that a lot.  I think it sounds necessary.  I am being obedient and I pray it stirs something new in me like never before.  I am believing God for great things through this experience.

I will be obedient intentionally.

I will be obedient with purpose.

I will let God mold me on-purpose.

THIS is what I want to be doing when God comes back.

I want to be doing exactly what God asks me to…no matter how crazy it sounds to this world.

I pray that Crazy Love has forever changed you and began a revival with you that will only gain more momentum. I am believing this over you and I am praying for you with my whole heart.

Let’s pray:

Dear Lord, thank You for Your Word and Your Promises. Give us all the fortitude and strength to stand intentionally for Your Kingdom in our everyday lives. We can’t wait for Your return, and we vow to live our best life for Your glory until that day arrives. We have repented of all our ways that are not pleasing to You, and we mark today as the beginning of a new life.  May You get all the glory, Lord!  In Your Son’s matchless name we pray, amen <3

**********

GWS

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Winning Him Without Words: “The Call to Obedience” – “God’s Plan for Your Marriage”

 

What God requires of all covenant relationships, including marriages, is that He be at the center. Whether your husband believes this or not doesn’t matter.  —  Dineen Miller, pg. 85

I cringed a bit when I opened my book and saw that I was writing on obedience this week. I’m sure the Lord got a good laugh at my expense! Obedience is not something that comes naturally to me. In fact, it is downright hard sometimes to live in full obedience to God. The earthly world is constantly pulling me this way and that, making me question my every decision. It is in these times that it becomes even more crucial to draw near to God and to live and breathe the pages of His Word.

But, how do we, as believers, live in obedience to the Lord in a spiritually unequal marriage?

Let me answer that question with another question.

How would your relationship with the Lord be different if you were in a spiritually equal marriage?

I want you to stop reading and really think about that question. Would your relationship with Jesus be different if your spouse were saved?

Mine would. I mean, I could actively live out my faith with my husband. I could talk openly about it. We could pray together. We could read Bible passages together. We could go to church together. It would be amazing!!

Right?!

Right?!?!

Well, let us look back at the question I asked. Would YOUR relationship with Jesus be different if your spouse were saved?

What defines your relationship with Jesus? Is it defined by whether or not your spouse comes to faith? Is it defined by you being able to pray with your spouse or being able to read Bible passages together? Is it defined by going to church with your spouse…or not? Why does my (or your) relationship with our mighty Savior depend on the actions (or inactions) of another sinful, imperfect human?

Dear friends . . . God can only work in your life and in your marriage if you let Him. If you do not let Him in to those dark, secret, hurtful places, things will not change. He wants more than anything in the entire world for you and your husband to have a loving, thriving marriage. And, I’m here to tell you that you can have that. If you let God in. If you let God have control. If you are obedient to what God wants you to do. I am not saying it will be easy, but it will be worth it. And you can do it with an unbelieving spouse by your side. Jesus tells us in His Word that there is one great commandment, which is:

“Master, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said unto him, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.” (Matthew 22:36-40, KJV)

It does not say that we should love God only if our expectations of Him are met first.

It does not say that we should be obedient to God only if he meets our needs first.

God wants our love. He wants to be at the center of our lives.

He wants to be at the center of our marriages, whether our husband believes in Him or not. Since WE believe, WE bring Jesus into our marriage. And that, my dear friends, is powerful. Soak that it. Rest in that truth. Whether you see God in your marriage right now or not, I promise you HE IS THERE and HE IS WORKING.

I had to rely on God to rebuild my marriage according to His design, not my expectations.  —  Dineen Miller, pg. 87

So, if you are struggling in your marriage today, give God the reins. Ask God to show you how to be obedient to Him, when the world is telling you otherwise. Let God transform your marriage. He is able. The question is – Do you believe it?

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Let’s Pray: Father God, we sit at your feet in awe of who you are and just the depth of love that you have for each one of us. Father, please draw near to each person reading this blog today and help them grow in their relationship with you, regardless of where their spouse is spiritually. We know that you want our spouses saved even more than we do, Father. Just help us grow in our walk with you each and every day and not focus on what we do not have. We know you are able to accomplish mighty things, Lord, and we trust you to see that work through to completion. Open our ears, hearts, and minds to hear from you today and show us how to live obediently in Your Presence. In the mighty name of Jesus I pray, Amen!!!!!

Your Assignment: Write out your own prayer below asking God to help you be obedient to Him amidst any turmoil that may be surrounding you in your marriage. Let’s pray over one another today and for all of the marriages in need. Then head over to the secret Facebook group and let’s talk some more about obedience to the Lord.

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For the “Winning Him Without Words” Bible Study, you will need the book, your Bible, pen or pencil, a highlighter and a quiet place. You can order the book right through our website by clicking the “sign-up here” button at the top of our webpage; which is also where you can sign up to participate in this awesome bible study!

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