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Ten Tips for The Journey to Become a Godly Wife

In the beginning of this journey to become a godly wife, when you are seeking to allow God to transform your heart, mind, and life I have found the following things may be wise. (This post is specially geared toward wives who realize they have been disrespectful and controlling.) Of course, all of us ultimately need to follow the Spirit’s leading in any situation:

  1. It may be best not to talk to your husband about what you are learning spiritually (unless he specifically asks) for usually the first few months, possibly longer. And if he does ask about what you are learning – it can be wise to keep things brief for a number of reasons.
    • Men don’t tend to respond much to our words about spiritual things, especially if they are hurting because of our sin or they are far from God.
    • Men don’t tend to respond much to our words about spiritual things when they perceive that we are far from God or if they don’t hold us in a lot of respect at the time because of the way we have been treating them.
    • When we are beginning this journey, we tend not to express ourselves very respectfully about what we are learning and we can inadvertently sabotage ourselves if we try to talk about it a lot.
      • “I’m learning I need to be quiet when I think that what you are saying is really stupid.”
      • “I’m going to respect you because God says I have to not because I actually respect you.”
      • “Wow, it is really hard to learn how to genuinely respect you.”
    • Most men would rather not hear all the mechanics of what we are learning. There are some very spiritually mature men who tend to be more verbal who may enjoy hearing some of what we are learning but that would be pretty rare.
  2. Keep the focus on your own heart, sin, and obedience to the Lord:
    • In your private walk with Christ.
      • Focus on repenting of any sin in your life every day. Invite God to expose sinful motives and thoughts.
      • Pray for God to change you.
      • Thank God for your husband and the good things about him.
      • There may be a time where all you do is pray for God to bless your husband and you don’t pray for God to change him if you have been praying that with selfish motives in the past.
      • Take responsibility for your spiritual well-being and growth.
    • In any conversation you believe you need to have with your husband about spiritual things (unless he is involved in serious unrepentant sin against you that simply must be addressed sooner).
    • Yes, he has sins in his life, too.
    • When speaking with other people
      • (although you may need to talk some about your husband’s issues with a godly mentor/counselor, you can still do so very respectfully).
  3. Let him SEE and experience what God is doing in your heart by your change in attitude, countenance, respect, kindness, patience, peace, joy, etc…
  4. You will likely come across a lot of things as you learn and grow that he may need to learn, too, but I suggest refraining from trying to be his spiritual teacher. God can work on his heart in time and reach him in powerful ways you can’t possibly reach him.
    • If you approach him as his spiritual authority, teacher, or preacher, it will probably repel him from you and from the Lord.
    • We are not in a position of spiritual leadership over our husbands. God has chosen to give our husbands that role of headship.
    • It is SO easy to come across as self righteous or prideful if we try to verbally teach our husbands.
    • There will be plenty of things we can humbly share as a fellow traveler on this road later when the marriage has been healed as the Lord may lead – once our husbands are interested and ask for us to share.
    • Our words as wives about spiritual things are a lot less necessary than I ever realized for many years early in our marriage.
  5. As he sees the godly example you set, it will preach a more powerful sermon to him than if you attempt to lecture him, preach at him, or teach him. Again, words are not usually that meaningful to men. They are much more impacted by changed actions and attitudes.
  6. Start a list of all the things you can think of that you respect and admire about your husband. Add to it all throughout each day.
    • Maybe consider mentioning one sentence of something you admire/respect/appreciate about him each day.
  7. If you start thinking about all the things “he should do” – that is often a red flag to refocus on allowing the Lord to transform you first.
    • It may be wise not to read books or sections of books that are about what husband should do if that is a trigger for you.
  8. Don’t be surprised if he is not very supportive of your changes at first. That is pretty common. Yes, it would be awesome if he could be super supportive. If he is not able to be in that spiritual place of strength yet, extend grace to him and continue to allow God to radically transform you to be more like Jesus.
  9. Focus on being a safe place for him emotionally and spiritually.
  10. Find all of your security, peace, joy, and identity in Jesus alone, not in what your husband does or does not do.

 

Don’t be surprised if, as God changes you, your husband gets confused about what on earth is going on. That is pretty normal. I have some posts listed at the bottom that address this issue.

SHARE:

If you have been on this journey for awhile, what are some pearls of wisdom you may feel led to share with our sisters who are just starting?

PRAY WITH ME:

Lord,
Please give us the light we need each step of this journey. We yield ourselves fully to all that You desire to do in our hearts and minds. Cleanse us! Refine us! Purify us! We humble ourselves before You. Expose any sin and anything that is not from You in our souls and lives. Help us get rid of all of that. Help us to embrace Your wisdom and Your Spirit. Let us hear Your voice clearly and follow You wholeheartedly. Make us into the godly women You call us to be for Your glory! Use us to bless our husbands and families and those around us.
Amen!

Much love!

NOTE – There may be exceptions to some of the things I am talking about in extremely toxic, abusive situations. In such cases, seek the Lord’s wisdom and wise, godly, appropriate counsel one-on-one.

RELATED:

My book “The Peaceful Wife – Living in Submission to Christ As Lord”

I was surprised to discover that what my husband needed to feel respected really wasn’t a long list.

Finding Contentment in Christ Alone in Painful Trials

Photo by Tim Foster on Unsplash

Three strong believers share about finding contentment in Christ alone even in very painful, difficult, lonely situations where worldly peace and contentment are completely impossible. I pray their words and stories might bless you and your walk with the Lord richly!

From Sister in Christ #1 

I had to hit rock bottom and surrender everything to the Lord before I found that peace and trust in Him. I had to get to the point where I truly realized that my husband and my marriage had been an idol – that I had been depending on my husband to meet my needs, instead of God. So truthfully, the main reason I was so afraid of losing my husband (in the beginning) was because he was the one that I had been looking to – to take care of me, provide for me, love me, and fill me. I knew the Lord, but I had not been fully relying on God for these things – and I didn’t even realize that until after my husband left!

It took my husband leaving me for me to come to the end of myself and surrender to the Lord. And it took many months (actually over a year) before I FULLY trusted God with my life, my husband, and marriage.

I can assure wives that if they will press into the Lord and give Him total control, that they will get to a place of complete trust and have a peace that passes our human understanding! I’m sure there may be other problems on our spouse’s end, too. But the Lord wants to work on our hearts individually. The change has to start with us! There may be a totally different timetable for what God does in a husband’s heart and in the marriage, but the only time table that we have any control over is what we allow God to do in our hearts right now, even through painful, lonely situations.

I remember people telling me things like that and I would just get angry because I didn’t want to hear that I had no control over anybody but myself.

Control issues are rooted in fear – what do we truly believe about God?

  • Are there false beliefs about God that needed to be uprooted?
  • Do we see Him as being totally sovereign, 100% trustworthy, and that He is exactly who the Bible says He is – and that He can do exactly what the Bible says He can do?

That was another thing that I discovered in this journey, that I had false beliefs about God – I didn’t truly believe He had only the best plans for my life. I had to ask the Father to break many strongholds, and to renew my mind by His word.

I had to start speaking out scripture, and hear myself declare it, until I truly believed it.

 

From Sister in Christ #2

You know what? It would be wonderful to have Christ-centered human companionship always, but so often in life, only the Lord stands with us. For example, in 2 Timothy 4

  • “. . .At my first defense, no one stood with me, but everyone deserted me. . . . But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me. . . . So I was delivered. . .

Ultimately, it is just us and the Lord who have to cross the “Jordan Rivers” of our lives.

God makes all His best people in loneliness. That is so demonstrable. You study the great souls in the Bible, those great souls – they walked alone — alone with God. Just like great eagles that soar, they fly alone.

That loneliness is hard to endure, and impossible to enjoy unless God is really within you. But that’s how you can tell He is really living in your heart. You will enjoy it!

God makes us His, alone. He takes us out to be alone to make us Holy. And Holiness is real Happiness. I believe it is because He knows how dangerous co-dependency is. Faith in Jesus combined with action is the only thing that will bring you contentment. I have to be alone very often because of my work and travel schedule. I was so worried when it all started, now, I can’t wait to get alone with the Lord. That’s how I fully refuel.

My goal is GOD HIMSELF. Not joy, not peace, not even blessing – but HIMSELF. . .my GOD.

I lived for the praise, acceptance, and expectations of those around me. Now, I have an audience of ONE. Also, He is now the only One who gets a vote on my worth and value. Jesus had an audience of ONE, His Father. Only God knows why He takes us along these paths. All we can do is keep seeking God in Christ and let Him direct us. He loves you, you have the greatest value. He gave His life for all your worth!

From a Brother in Christ

Two weeks before our 10th anniversary my spouse walked out of the family home with my two children after engaging in multiple acts of adultery with multiple different people. I am now divorced (not my decision), I have sold that family home, split our assets, moved to a different town and have walked a LONG way through the valley of pain since that day.

When a person whom you believed would meet your emotional needs and create fulfillment within you fails to meet those needs, it creates a deep hole within.

We begin to question so many things!! We feel upset, angry, and fearful. For me fear was the overriding emotion.

  • What will this do to me?
  • What will this do to my children?
  • How will I ever heal from this?

At the point of my anniversary I had NO idea what to do or how to heal. But I came to a place where I genuinely surrendered the situation and the outcome of my life to God.

I did NOT have peace or joy when I surrendered it to God, I still felt the pain and fear but I had made a conscious decision to trust God with the process. It was a time of great trial.

Fast forward to nearly 7 months later and I was still grappling with the separation and pain, but still surrendered to God’s will and plan. At this point I was focused on a Christian book that used Isaiah as a springboard to talk about the healing that we can find in Christ. It talked about the fact that Jesus used these prophetic words to illustrate that He was the one who would bind up our wounds, heal our hearts and set us free. And I wanted that far more than anything else!

God graciously opened my eyes and heart to see that in Christ I was loved and accepted without reservation! That the only one who had any right to reject me actually chose to give His life for me!!!

As I saw this, my heart was set free from needing approval or acceptance from my spouse and I knew SO much joy. I knew that if I never had my spouse again I would be more than ok.

And, I am more than ok.

Nearly 2.5 years after my spouse requested a divorce, I AM divorced and all that I feared DID happen, plus more. The trials were so severe that I could not have imagined them. But I am 100% ok and I am thriving in all aspects of life. I enjoy companionship and the love and presence of God in a tangible, incredible way that I did not think possible before I experienced it. I have experienced answers to prayer, fulfillment, and joy that I had no idea was possible. Truly the treasures of heaven are found in Christ.

God has met my needs emotionally, spiritually and physically in every way I needed.

Interestingly, my prayers for a reconciliation were not answered and I realise now that those prayers were made because I wanted to find my identity in my spouse. God could not allow that, my identity must be in Him. Now, I do not pray for a reconciliation, in fact I am reluctant to consider a reconciliation given the history between us. Now I pray for my ex-spouse’s salvation and for my ex-spouse to experience God’s love, as that is of primary importance.

When we try to find our identity in another person we find ourselves in bondage to that person.

When we receive validation, we feel ok. When we do not receive validation, we feel awful. But, when we receive all that God has for us in Christ we can feel ok whether we receive validation from our spouse or not! The words and actions that our spouse gives can be received as a gift when they are positive, recognised as coming from a wounded heart when they are not positive or used as a springboard for prayerful, personal evaluation if they are suggesting things about an area that we may need to grow in.

I pray that you will be able to see again, or maybe for the first time, just what you are worth to Christ. He gave ALL that He was to purchase you, to have you for His own, He ADORES you and wants to know you and love you in a way that you can not imagine. I pray that you are able to release your fear and hurt to God and enjoy this day with Him.

SHARE:

If you want to share a bit about your story and how you are learning to find contentment in Christ alone, you are welcome to share. If you are struggling in this area and want to talk about it, you are also welcome to share.

Much love!

RELATED:

If you are dealing with a very difficult marriage, please check out the healing that is available to you in Christ at Nina Roesner’s eCourse Becoming a Woman of Strength and Dignity. There are lessons to read and watch. And there is a private forum there for women to heal and encourage each other.

A Big Lightbulb about True Contentment

Roots of  Insecurity

Finding God’s Victory over Fear

My Security Is in Christ Alone

A Lightbulb Moment about Loneliness

FreeinChrist Fights with Heavenly Weapons

Last night, I got to do something that I will remember for the rest of my life as one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had. May it bless you, as well!

FreeinChrist is a friend of mine and has given me permission to share. For more of her story, check out this post.

FreeinChrist is so strong in her walk with the Lord now, that she knows God has good things in store for her life no matter if her husband returns or not. She faces the future with great joy – seeking only to live in the center of God’s will. At this point, it would be infinitely easier for her to continue on without her husband. But she is seeking to be available to work to restore the marriage if that opportunity arises so that she can honor her marriage covenant before the Lord – simply to please Him and keep her vow, if the Lord provides the way. It is her heart’s desire to see her marriage restored if it will honor God.

She is not desperate or despairing. She has emotions to deal with, of course, and pain to hash through at times, but she is completely filled up with God and such a powerhouse of faith. The Lord has provided abundantly every step of the way for every need – housing, jobs, medical care, spiritual needs, everything. She says, “My story for His glory.” Whatever will bring the Lord the most glory, that is what she desires with all her heart, whatever that may be. Most of all, she wants to see her husband find peace with God.  She wants him to experience the healing and abundant life that can be his in Jesus.

Today in just a few minutes is their court date to finalize the divorce that her husband has filed against her.

When the judge asks her if there is any hope for this marriage to be reconciled, she plans to answer, “Yes.”

Last night, she assembled a group of 6 other strong, godly women to pray with her who have been praying and, at times also fasting, with her for quite some time.

  1. First we sang a song of praise together in the parking lot – Resurrecting.  Her reasoning was that when King Jehosephat went out to battle, he sent the worshippers out to sing praises to the Lord before the army went into battle in 2 Chronicles 20. (I LOVE that story! It is a great one to read in your quiet time this week.)
  2. We walked around the county courthouse 7 times – just like Joshua did with Israel around Jericho – another amazing encounter with God’s power and victory for His people. Before each lap around the courthouse, we all read a passage of scripture together out loud in unison. Then we walked around the courthouse and prayed – some silently, some out loud. We received God’s work, His power, His truth, His promises, His Word, and His Spirit to work in this couple’s situation.
    1. Lap 1 – Divorce. We prayed for FreeinChrist and her husband and for all people coming to that county courthouse to get a divorce for healing for their marriages and glory for God.  “For I hate divorce!” says the LORD, the God of Israel. “To divorce your wife is to overwhelm her with cruelty,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. “So guard your heart; do not be unfaithful to your wife.” Mal. 2:16 NLT
    2. Lap 2 – Marriage. We prayed for FreeinChrist and her husband and for all those coming to the courthouse to get a marriage license and for those in our county getting married – that they might honor and understand the significance of a marriage covenant in God’s eyes. “So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Matt. 19:6 NIV
    3. Lap 3 – New things. We prayed and thanked God for the new things He is doing in FreeinChrist and in her husband and prayed for new things for those coming to the court house and in our county – for a great awakening. “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isa. 43:19 NIV
    4. Lap 4 – A new heart. “And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart, and give you a tender, responsive heart.” Eze. 36:26 NLT
    5. Lap 5 – New life. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold the new has come.” 2 Cor. 5:17 ESV
    6. Lap 6 – God’s sovereignty. We thanked and praised God for His sovereignty in FreeinChrist’s life, in her husband’s life, and in their marriage. We thanked and praised Him for His sovereignty in this courthouse and in this county. “Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.'” Isa. 46:9-10 NIV
    7. Lap 7 – God’s sovereignty. “I know that You can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted.” Job 42:2 NIV
  3. After the 7 laps –  we stopped and sang Holy, Holy, Holy together in the parking lot and thanked and praised God.
  4. We walked an 8th lap – a victory lap for new beginnings. And we prayed and received these scriptures:
    1. “‘The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the LORD Almighty. ‘And in this place I will grant peace,’ declares the Lord Almighty.” Hag. 2:9 NIV
    2. Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to Him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen. Eph. 3:20-21
    3. I will restore to you the years that the locusts have eaten. Joel 2:25
  5. We sang Victory in Jesus together at the top of our lungs.

It was amazing to walk behind this precious sister in Christ and to pray with her and to see her faith. She had the biggest smile on her face all evening and was simply totally yielded to the Lord. Praising Him, thanking Him, worshipping Him, trusting Him. She doesn’t know what will happen today. None of us do. But she was radiant with His glory and beauty last night. And we are all confident that the Lord is going to move in this situation. We are excited to see how.

You know something? It hit me that if all of us approached trials in our lives in a manner like this – we would have a VERY different world!

Imagine if every marriage had this kind of prayer. If every lost person had believers praying for him/her like this. If every school, courthouse, city, state, and country had believers bathing them in prayer and faith like this.

FreeinChrist has no need to use earthly weapons or human wisdom and effort. She doesn’t have to try to force her way. She doesn’t have to cry, scream, yell, cuss, or make demands. She doesn’t have to argue or try to convince her husband of anything. She doesn’t even have to communicate with him. Her eyes are on the Lord. His will is going to be done. His glory will be made known through her story. He will do the fighting and all she has to do is to be still and receive the things He will do on her behalf.

Commit your way to the Lord;

trust in Him, and He will do this:

He will make your righteousness shine

like the dawn,

the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.

Be still before the Lord and

wait patiently for Him;

do not fret when men succeed in their ways,

when they carry out their wicked schemes.

Psalm 37:5-7

Please join with me in praying for the Lord’s victory, His greatest glory, and His Name to be exalted in FreeinChrist’s life even now as she is about to enter the courthouse within ten minutes of when I publish this post. And let’s also lift up our other brothers and sisters who have lost spouses and who are facing a spouse going ahead with a divorce. I can’t wait to see all that the Lord will do!

RELATED:

FreeinChrist Stands for Something Way Bigger Than Just Her Marriage

 

Ten Reasons to Consider Fasting

 

Fasting is not a topic we discuss much in some church circles – especially not the ones where I have grown up. We’d rather have a big fellowship supper! But fasting is something I believe we may each want to very prayerfully consider. It is a spiritual discipline that benefits believers and the church, particularly in times of distress and great need. It is a way to show that our hunger for the Lord is our greatest hunger of all.

There are specific times when fasting may be especially important:

  1. When we are repenting from significant sin and grieving over our sin before the Lord. (Joel 2:12)
  2. When we are facing serious temptation to sin and we want to appeal to the Lord for victory and His power. (Matt. 4:1-11)
  3. When we are praying for repentance for our families, our churches, or our country and grieving over these sins, feeling the pain the Lord feels over them. (Daniel 9) Surely this is one of the greatest needs our church and nation has today.
  4. When church leaders are prayerfully deciding on appointing new men to lead in the church, particularly pastors or missionaries. (Acts 14:23)
  5. When we have a very serious prayer request and we want to seek the Lord in a deeper way. (Ezra 8:21-23)
  6. In times of great grief, perhaps during times of national mourning. (2 Sam. 1:12)
  7. When we are praying for significant healing – spiritually, emotionally, relationally, or physically – for ourselves or others. (Psalm 35:13)
  8. When there is a great crisis for the church or the nation and we need God’s intervention – there is threat of war, famine, plague, great persecution, etc… (Jonah 3:5-10Nehemiah 9:1Esther 4:3)
  9. When we are praying for a massive movement of God’s Spirit to bring many into the Kingdom – a new Great Awakening. (Check out this article on revivals and fasting by John Piper)
  10. As a regular voluntary habit or occasional practice to draw nearer to the Lord and to grow in spiritual maturity ourselves. (Luke 2:37)

Verses about fasting:

  • ‘Why have we fasted, and you see it not? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you take no knowledge of it?’ Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure, and oppress all your workers. Behold, you fast only to quarrel and to fight and to hit with a wicked fist. Fasting like yours this day will not make your voice to be heard on high. Is such the fast that I choose, a day for a person to humble himself? Is it to bow down his head like a reed, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Will you call this a fast, and a day acceptable to the Lord? “Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? Isaiah 58:3-7
  • I ate no delicacies, no meat or wine entered my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, for the full three weeks. Daniel 10:3
  • “Yet even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; Joel 2:12
  • “And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. Matthew 6:16-18

 

There are a number of kinds of fasting:  *

  • Standard Fast – Avoid all food for a certain period of time and only drink water.
  • Absolute Fast – Avoid all food and liquids for a certain period of time.
    • Esther and the Jews fasted for 3 days when the Jews were threatened with genocide. (Esther 4:3)
  • Partial Fast – Avoid certain foods but other foods are okay to eat.
  • Intermittent Fast – A fast that is for certain parts of the day.
  • Electronics Fast – Avoid distractions like screens, phones, the internet, and social media, to really concentrate on the Lord and on prayer for a certain period of time.
  • Sexual Fast – husbands and wives may choose to do this only by mutual consent, and only for a limited time, so that they may pray. (1 Cor. 7:5)

Who Initiates Fasting?

  • A Christian may decide to fast in secret for himself/herself.
  • Believers may come together to decide to fast together for a specific reason and time.
  • Church leaders may call the local church or the church in a nation or worldwide to fast and pray.
  • Both spouses must agree to a sexual fast and it must have a specific and limited time period.
  • Political leaders may call a city, state, or nation to fast and pray. (2 Chron. 20:3)

 

NOTE* – If you are pregnant, nursing, diabetic, hypoglycemic, or have significant medical conditions, please check with your doctor or medical professional before prayerfully deciding what type of fast you might want to do.

SHARE:

If you’d like to share resources on fasting or about how fasting has been a blessing in your life, you are welcome to share!

RESOURCES:

www.gotquestions.org has a number of posts about what fasting is and the importance of it.

Types of Fasting – by www.gotquestions.org

John Piper’s articles on fasting

Fasting for Beginners – by David Mathis at www.desiringgod.org

 

The Spiritual Healing Available to Each of Us in Christ – by Radiant

A guest post by a Christian wife and mom who is in her mid forties now. She had received Christ as a 5 year old child and was raised in a Christian home. Her personality and marriage dynamics were rather the opposite of Greg’s and mine. In addition, Radiant was severely spiritually oppressed and physically chronically ill for many years until the Lord miraculously healed her spirit and body about 3 years ago. Her physical illness was so bad that she was almost an invalid many days and couldn’t take care of her children. Sometimes she couldn’t think, walk, or talk. She had severe “brain fog,” confusion, and depression. And then some strong prayer warriors who knew Jesus and His love and power surrounded her and prayed over her. She began to renounce the horrible lies she had believed about herself and God and began to receive good things from God, His Word, His creation, food, and her family. May this post be a great blessing to you today:

Dear friends,

As we come to Jesus today, we come wounded. The vast majority of us have been beaten up and robbed on this battlefield of life. Our joy and peace have been stolen. The crucial truths about Who He is and who we are in Him – stolen, plundered and destroyed in most of the Church for centuries and left in ruins.

Our true identity has been stolen – and much like Edmund when the White Witch tempted him with becoming a prince of Narnia through obedience to her – we have believed lies of the enemy, and slipped into a frozen, dark prison. Bound in fear. Starving for nourishment. Always thirsting. Unable to breathe. Hearts racing. Bearing heavy loads. Harassed and helpless, like sheep without a Shepherd. Thinking we walk in the light (we have the Word!) as we walk in darkness and despair. Expecting ourselves to meet every standard of God’s law in our own strength, and living in constant defeat and condemnation when we don’t.

If you are like I was for so many years, you might be angry at anyone who suggests there could be real hope.

We believe we have tried. We have prayed. We have had elders and family and our church pray. We have done everything possible that we know to do and been to every doctor and tried every oil and diet, researching things to death – and yet we are…

Still stuck.

Still sick.

Still alone.

We have felt like victims. Victims of others’ abuse, of marriage, of politics, of the medical community, of the school system, of the food supply, of the Church. Of our culture. Sometimes we feel like victims of God. We start to believe the best we could get for is for someone to understand our pain – that we have been abandoned by God, the Church, and hope.

But, what was Jesus’ response to the sick, beat up, paralyzed, blind, hungry, poor and dead? If you are ready – let’s start looking at what Jesus really said and did, rather than filtering His healing or deliverance through sermons we have heard, experiences we have or haven’t had, or our current theology.

  • Can we dare to ask Him to open our hearts to Him – the Lover of our souls?
  • Can we invite Him in to heal and free our bodies, minds, spirits, relationships, and hearts?

Our Jesus told of a man who was beat up, robbed, and left for dead on the road; and the Christ-like response was Someone who picked him up, wrapped His own clothes around the wounded man, bound up his wounds, poured salve on his cuts, carried him to a safe place of rest and healing. All paid for by the Christ-like one out of love and compassion.

  • The One whose Cleanness was so contagious, He could touch lepers and they would be made clean.
  • The One whose compassion always moved Him to heal every sick, lame blind, possessed or oppressed person who was brought to Him. Every. Single. One.
  • The One who sings over us and made us His beautiful Bride. He seated us in heavenly places with Him – and He holds us close to His heart.

He draws us into the Throne Room to dance with Him as galaxies spin around Him. He whispers to His shy Bride, “In My throne room, we dance!” He moves His Bride from the shadows of condemnation, to the Light of His love and grace. This is the One who loves us with all of His heart.

We were blind –but He wants us to see. We were dead, but He raised us with His resurrection power in Him. He has moved us from the kingdom of darkness to the Kingdom of Light with Him. He has made us royalty with Him. He placed His Spirit inside us. We have His DNA! He gave us His name. He wants us to proclaim and declare His truth and good news and power over creation – that His Kingdom come and His will be done in every heart, home, marriage, child, neighborhood, church, dark place and nation as it is in heaven.

As we speak out His truth and promises in faith – He accomplishes it!

He and His angel armies are on the edge of their seats, waiting and watching for those of us who will dare to praise Jesus in our trials and speak His will and power and authority into the dark places. The power of life and blessing is in our tongues! He loves to answer!!

He is our Supply. He is our portion. Our inheritance. He is the Initiator who whispers His promises, love, and joy into our hearts – that we get to echo back to Him in faith. He is Good. He fights for us. And He loves us with a pure, holy and infinite love at all times. He does not leave us but holds us close.

No, I don’t understand everything about how suffering, sickness, disease and injuries work.

But as a former ICU and recovery room nurse who has been healed by Jesus of things man couldn’t touch – I see that things are not as clear-cut as I once believed. I can’t neatly divide the body into the digestive system or the nervous system as the obvious root of a problem.

  • I can’t divide life into merely physical versus merely spiritual.

There is no such division as secular or sacred. There are truly emotional, mental, spiritual and physical aspects tied up together in much of life. Things connect. People connect. There are root causes of things that sometimes go back into our history. Words and actions have power for blessing or cursing, for life or death. Jesus says “Choose Life!” “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.”

Jesus has shaken up my worldview. And I am so glad He has!! I see Him calling out to His Bride (His Church), who has been sick, frail, in tremendous pain, weak, wounded, plundered and left for dead.

He says over us, “Dead bones – (your own life, dead families, dead churches) – come together. Be joined and built together.” And there is a rattling sound happening now. Now. Today!

“Bones, be put back into a body with every connection and organ and cell in place working properly. Body of My Bride – be brought together and be made whole.” And the Bride is coming together, being healed and being united. She is being given the strength to stand on the Truth with Jesus.

“Breath of the Spirit – fill my Bride with Life! It is time. Now is the time for her to Live. Arise My Love! The grave no longer has a hold on you! It’s time to dance!! Sing to me as I sing over you, My beautiful one. Praise me and see what I am about to do! The bells of Freedom are ringing over you!”

Holy Spirit,

We invite You in. Open our cold and hard hearts and spirits to You. Help our unbelief. We invite You into our bodies, minds and hearts. Strengthen our spirits to be able to receive revelation of who You really are and Your great love for us.

Open the dusty drawers, dig up old rotting things in our closets. Cleanse, purge, prune us of all that is not of You. Reveal to us the places we are full of unbelief or pride, fear or doubt, anger or bitterness. Root it all out, Jesus. Plow up our hearts to be ready with good soil for all the seeds of Your Word You want to plant in us. Fruitful, beautiful things from You that need dead rotting things to be cast out.

Help us take up the weapons, tools and authority You have given us to take every thought captive for Christ. To reject all that is not of You. To receive everything that is of You, even if it is very different from how we are used to thinking. To the praise of Your glorious grace!

Amen.

You are loved!
Radiant

OTHER POSTS BY RADIANT

I Can’t Ask for Things. I Shouldn’t Have Needs Desires or Emotions

Being a Trophy Wife Is Not the Goal

Cinderella and the Gospel – about receiving the love and gift of Jesus for us with joy rather than rejecting Him with cynicism

Isn’t Loving or Respecting Myself Wrong and Selfish?

For a Wife with a Critical, Perfectionistic Husband

 

A Summer of Healing

This is a pic from the Maroon Bells park area near Aspen, Co from a few weeks ago.

What a summer it has been! I’m so grateful for having a few weeks to unplug from ministry and to really focus on the Lord and on my family. I definitely needed that more than I could have imagined.

I am still on this journey of learning and growing in Christ right along with everyone else.

There is a huge connection between my spiritual life and my health that I am not always aware of and I sure don’t completely understand – but it is there, nonetheless.

My prayer partner encouraged me to speak life in the area of my health, not to speak negatively the way I had been doing. I had been saying things (to myself and to others) like:

  • Life would be so much easier if I didn’t ever have to eat.
  • I can’t eat most things, they will make me sick.
  • If I eat that, I will be in trouble.
  • I have this disease and that disease and they are incurable.

She reminded me that our words are powerful – they have the power of life and death. If I am speaking negatively over areas of my life, I will see negative fruit in those areas. I knew that. I have purged so many areas of my life of negative words and thoughts in the past. But I was convicted that there were several areas where I had been speaking negatively that I hadn’t even noticed – my diet, my health, some things about my son’s school, and some things about pharmacy (which is my job).

  • The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. Prov. 18:21

I also saw that although I had weakly asked God for healing in the past, I didn’t have much faith about it. One of God’s operating principles is that He does things for us in in proportion to the amount of faith we have in Him.

 

I have been reading through the Bible this year and was in 2 Chronicles about three weeks ago when I came across a verse that just jumped out and grabbed me. King Asa had been a godly king. A good king. A king who wanted to please the Lord and who did what was right in God’s eyes so many times. He saw God bless him mightily for many years. But in his later years, he trusted a treaty with another king instead of trusting God – the result of which was that he had war against his kingdom for the rest of his reign instead of the peace that Judah had enjoyed the rest of the time he was king. Then he got sick, very sick.

  •  In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was diseased in his feet, and his disease became severe. Yet even in his disease he did not seek the Lord, but sought help from physicians. 2 Chronicles 16:12.

I thought, “With all of my health issues, where have I looked for help? Have I truly ever sought God wholeheartedly about all of these things? Or have I been primarily trusting in doctors and Western medicine? How much have I relied on my pharmacist training rather than on the Lord over the years? Then when Western medicine didn’t work, I turned my faith to holistic medicine, a holistic doctor, a special diet, and supplements? It helped somewhat, but I have never been set free from all of these diseases. What if God has some lessons for me spiritually in this that I have been missing?”

I decided to lay all of these things before the Lord and invite Him to show me any wrong thinking and any sin in my heart that may be contributing to my sickness in my particular situation.

Note – I don’t believe the Bible is saying that going to a doctor, using medications, or using earthly remedies is necessarily sin. But in my case, my faith was too invested in these earthly means and not invested much at all in the Lord’s power. That was a big problem.

 

“DIVINE HEALING”

Last year, Greg bought a book for me by Andrew Murray, one of my favorite Christian authors, called, “Divine Healing.” I hadn’t read it yet. But I decided that while we were on a family vacation would be the perfect time to dive in – free from distractions.

Andrew Murray lived in the 1800s – early 1900s and was a Christian pastor in South Africa. He is known for his incredibly deep writings, having written over 240 books. Two of his books, “Humility” and “Absolute Surrender,” have been life changing for me. (They are available as free audio books or $0.99 Kindle books on Amazon on the links provided).

“May not a single moment of my life be spent outside the light, love, and joy of God’s presence,” was his prayer. “And not a moment without the entire surrender of myself as a vessel for him to fill full of his Spirit and his love.” – Andrew Murray

Andrew Murray experienced a health crisis that stopped his ministry for two years. They were “the silent years” because his throat was affected and he could not speak. During that time, He pressed into Christ more deeply than ever. And, eventually, he was miraculously healed by the Lord.

Murray has a very scriptural approach, in my view. I do wish he had addressed Paul speaking to Timothy about “taking a little wine” for his stomach because of his frequent illness (1 Timothy 5:23). The topic of healing seems like sometimes it can get a bit crazy these days. So we definitely want to be on guard to check anything any spiritual teacher has to say against scripture. But anything that jives with sound doctrine and scripture, I want to receive! Even if I don’t understand it all. I invite you to check out his book and what the Bible has to say about the topic of healing. Please compare everything Murray or anyone else, including myself, may say and compare it to God’s Word.

SOME CHANGES

I saw that some of my thinking needed to change over the past few weeks as I have been away from ministry and just soaking in the Lord’s presence, in His Word, and in fervent prayer. I am still working through reading through the book a second time and hashing out my thoughts with the Lord in prayer.

I don’t claim to understand everything about this issue. Not by a long shot.

I don’t know what the future will hold. But I have taken some big new steps in faith toward what I believe God desires me to do. I do know I can trust Him. I want to receive absolutely everything that is from the Lord and absolutely nothing that is not of Him in every area of my life. I do know that God is very good and that I want to trust Him more and more and I want to praise Him for the rest of my life and all of eternity!

I decided on July 13, 2017 that I would make some changes by faith:

  • I will stop speaking negatively to myself and others about my health and about food.
  • I’m going to take a fast from my supplements, at least for a time, until I have more direction from the Lord.
  • I will seek to eat relatively healthy things, as a godly steward of my body, but I will not stick religiously to the extremely restricted diet I was on.
  • I want to thank God for my body, for eating, and for healthy food.
  • My purpose is to be fit for God’s service alone, not to be well just so I can do whatever I want to do.
  • My faith must be in the Lord and my focus on Him – not on earthly things or myself.
  • I will praise and thank God for any food set before me and receive it with gratitude and joy.
  • I will ask God to show me if any of the illness I had been experiencing was due to sin and that He might expose that sin and heal me for His glory. (I did see a lot of sin in my heart – faith in other things besides Him, unbelief in Him, worldly thinking, human wisdom, negativity about my health, etc… and I repented.)

I am in the process of figuring out how best to balance my time with God and ministry. Please pray for God’s wisdom for me about that, as well. Thanks so much!

THE PAST FEW WEEKS

I have been utterly amazed at God’s goodness and miracles!

My health issues have been non-existent the past few weeks since I began this new approach.

I have eaten things that I haven’t eaten in over two years. And I haven’t had all the usual reactions. THAT IS AMAZING! I am so excited to share this new thing the Lord is doing in my life and the resource of this book for any who may be interested. Please rejoice and praise God with me at how the Lord has been healing me! May each of us seek to yield ourselves fully to Christ and to receive all of His provision and goodness for His glory!

I also want to thank so many of you who prayed for my healing physically. I truly am completely blown away! Thank You, Lord, for Your goodness and blessing. How can I ever thank You enough for all You have done for me? May You alone be greatly exalted here!

Thank you for being on this journey with me. What a joy!

Much love!

 

RELATED

  • Divine Healing by Andrew Murray (Check it out for yourself. Compare it to scripture. This is a BIG topic, and for many of us, a very unfamiliar topic. Many of our churches do not talk about God’s healing being available to us. Yes, we often pray for the sick. But what do we really know about what the Bible says about physical healing?)
  • Radiant has experienced similar divine healing.  She was almost an invalid and had severe health problems for many years. She was also very spiritually oppressed because she had received many lies about God, herself, and others from the enemy. Check out a bit of her story in this post. I plan to share more from her next week.
  • FreeinChrist had a very significant disease but experienced divine healing from the Lord as she began this journey to become the woman God called her to be. I hope to share her story of healing in the near future.
  • There are a number of reasons for sickness. For more about that, please click on this link and check out the section at the bottom.

 

 A FEW QUOTES FROM “DIVINE HEALING”

 

  • One of the chief benefits, then, of divine healing will be to teach us that our body ought to be set free from the yoke of our own will to become the Lord’s property. God does not grant healing to our prayers until He has attained the end for which He had permitted the sickness. He wills that this discipline should bring us into a more intimate communion with Him.(pg. 43)
  • There is reciprocity in God’s relations with man… If, in His love, He gives Himself full to me, it is in order that I may lovingly give myself fully to Him. In the measure in which I more or less really surrender to Him all my being, in that measure also He gives Himself more really to me… The more our life bears witness that the body is for the Lord, the more also we experience that the Lord is for the body. (pg. 45)
  • When we have recourse to remedies for healing, all the attention of the sick one is upon the body, considering the body, while divine healing calls us to turn our attention away from the body and to abandon ourselves, soul and body, to the Lord’s care, occupying ourselves with Him alone. (pg. 49)
  • Just abide before Him in the simple, utter helplessness of one who knows nothing, and is nothing, and can do nothing. Absolute dependence upon God is the secret of all power in work. (pp. 138-139)
  • With all your hurry and effort in Christ’s work, you never prosper. The first thing you need is to come and rest in your Lord Jesus… If you would be a true branch of Christ, the living Vine, just rest on Him. Let Christ bear the responsibility (of accomplishing the work). (pg. 139)
  • Oh, how many Christians look upon it as a burden, and a tax, and a duty, and a difficulty to get much alone with God! That is a great hindrance to our Christian life everywhere. We need more quiet fellowship with God, and I tell you in the name of the heavenly Vine that you cannot be healthy branches, branches into which the heavenly sap can flow, unless you take plenty of time for communion with God.If you are not willing to sacrifice time to get alone with Him, and give Him time every day to work in you, and to keep up the link of connection between you and Himself, He cannot give you that blessing of His unbroken fellowship. (pg. 143)
  • Oh, we find the Christian life so difficult because we seek for God’s blessing while we live in our own will. We would be glad to live the Christian life according to our own liking. We make our own plans and choose our own work, and then we ask the Lord Jesus to come in and take care that sin shall not conquer us too much, and that we shall not go too far wrong; we ask Him to come in and give us so much of His blessing. But our relations to Jesus ought to be such that we are entirely at His disposal, and every day come to Him humbly and straightforwardly, and say, Lord, is there anything in me that is not according to Thy will, that has not been ordered by Thee or that is not entirely given up to Thee? Oh, if we would wait and wait patiently, there would spring up a relationship between us and Christ so close and so tender that we would afterward be amazed how far distant our intercourse with Him had previously been. (pg. 145)

 

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