I’m posting over at The Writer’s Alley today about hearing God speak through fiction. Stop by share!
Have you thought about the power in the name of Jesus? The name Jesus spoken out loud can cause demons to flee and peace to enter. It has the power to summon angels and demolish strongholds. Jesus truly is the answer for life’s hurts, trials, and temptations.
I just got back from a Youth Revival at a small little town in west Texas. The preaching was powerful, Spirit-filled and challenging. And while at a campsite in the middle of a state park, a spiritual battle was waged. I don’t know how you feel about spiritual warfare, but I have always relegated it to Biblical times or really pagan areas where witch doctors and witchcraft abound. But after what happened at that park, I’m convinced there is a battle being waged right here under our noses.
A young adult presented symptoms of being overcome by a demon and friends brought him out to the campsite to be prayed over. This person was strong, lashed out, bit, scratched, spit, and raged. Then it would subside and a fearful voice would emerge begging for help…to get rid of “it”, to make “it” leave.
The youth present went farther down the trail and sang praises to God and prayed while the adults prayed and proclaimed over the overcome person for 3 hours. It wasn’t until this person was able to speak the name of Jesus himself that there was relief. The person didn’t want to speak the name of Jesus. He fought against it, but when he did, there was a change. There was a settling. There was a peace.
All because of the name of Jesus.
There is such power behind the name of Jesus. Jesus is one with the Father and the Holy Spirit. There is power in just speaking His holy name. When you proclaim Jesus as your lord, demons flee and peace comes.
When we truly believe in Jesus and emulate his life and teaching, we become little Jesuses in this word. We live in the power He brings. We are His hands, His feet, His heart. We bring peace to the world around us…and this world needs the peace of Jesus. Boy, does it need peace!
Are you speaking the name of Jesus on a daily basis? Are you living in the power of Him and His calling on your life? Are you fighting the war against the evil one, proclaiming the lordship of Jesus?
Try it. Speak the name of Jesus. Trust in Him to empower you to wage the war against the evil one. As it is written in Ephesians6:11-13:
11 Put on the full armor of God, <sup class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(A)”>so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, <sup class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(B)”>but against the rulers, against the authorities, <sup class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(C)”>against the powers <sup class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(D)”>of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. <sup class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(E)”>13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, <sup class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(F)”>so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
After we have stood our ground…after we have done everything…we will stand in the power of the Name of Jesus. Speak it. Live it!
|Photo by anankkml @freedigitalphotos.net|
Hearing God speak is such weird thing. When I hear others talking about hearing from God, my first thought is “What did He sound like?” I always think of God talking in an audible voice. And while I have had God speak to me in a dream, I have never heard an actual voice when I am wide awake. It’s more of an impression. A feeling. An overwhelming sensation gripping my heart, making my body come alive with awareness…an awareness of God’s unmistakable presence.
God spoke to me last weekend and I was overcome.
I’d been wrestling with my writing, not being able to focus, not being able to hear my characters talk or see their futures in my head. I’ve also felt a guilt about not being more involved in my church. Sure, I go to our church worship gathering every Sunday. I sing on the Praise Team. I teach children’s Bible Class every now and then. But what am I doing to help my husband in his work? What am I doing to further God’s mission in this world through our church? I haven’t been using my gift of hospitality. I haven’t been serving others…just myself and my writing.
All of these things were on my heart last weekend, and Sunday morning I prayed that God would speak to me so that I would know His will for me. I told Him I was expecting Him to speak in a way that brooked no argument. And He did.
The whole church service spoke, from the songs to the sermon, God whispered to my heart. What was so cool is my husband, who I had not shared any of this with, got up and spoke words throughout his sermon that blew God’s breath over me. He said (paraphrased), “In the story of the prodigal son, it’s not just the wayward sinners who end up in the pig pen. It’s us. We get in a place where we put our wants and desires before God. We lose our focus. He wants more for us. He has more for us. But what does God want from you? Has He been speaking to you?“
Well, yes, He has! God spoke to my soul, and He has told me to give up my writing for publication to focus on Him and His mission. I don’t believe He wants me to give it up forever, but I know He has asked me to set it aside for a time to revel in His presence and rediscover my love and passion for Him.
So while I am not writing for publication at this point in my journey, I will continue to post in my blog what God is teaching me, what great books I am reading, and what fun things I am up to.
And oh, how I love to have fun!
So has God been whispering to you?
I rented Machine Gun Preacher last night and was left with a disquieting question. (disclaimer: this movie is rated R for violence and language) Am I doing enough for God? Now, as a life-long believer, I know that is such a terrible question to ask. The Christian walk is not about doing…it is about a relationship with Jesus. But is my relationship deep enough to where I am actively pursuing His work around me?
If God is all about His mission in this world – to bring people into relationship with Him – then how am I participating in that mission?
My answer is lamentable. Not much. Yes, I am a preacher’s wife, but what have I been doing other than going to church every Sunday, sing in the Praise Team, help out occasionally in children’s class, and support my husband? Nothing. I quit having people in my home because I live so far away from church. I don’t visit others now that I work full time. I haven’t organized anything because, well, I work and am tired.
As for bringing people into relationship with Jesus? Nope.
In the movie Machine Gun Preacher, the main character, Sam, went on a mission trip to Uganda to work on constructing buildings for the people there. When he went to Sudan and saw that mass of orphans there, he was moved to help. He saw the need in front of him and he acted upon it.
So often my eyes are clouded by all the stuff in life that keeps me busy…to the point that I forget that my life should revolve around Jesus. I want to see clearly. I want to see where God is working and join Him in His work.
Not that I have to be doing something big or great, but I want to be His hands, His mouth, His embrace wherever needed. I want others to experience Jesus when they are around me. I want them to taste and see that He is good.
Am I doing enough? Probably not. But I do have Jesus in my heart and He will work His will in me if I let Him.
Have an awesome weekend!
p.s. I lost 1 pound last night at weigh in!!! Finally! I’ve either stayed the same or gained a little the past month…grrrr.
|Photo by Stuart Miles
My week off is over and it is back to the trenches, off to the workforce, nose to the grindstone. OUCH! I didn’t do much on my “vacation”…spent time with family, read, watched Netflix, did a little editing. I didn’t even clean the house like I should have.
There’s something about getting back to a routine that I like. I get up at 5am and get to work by 7:30am. I get home at 5:15pm and I cook supper. I clean the kitchen. I get on my laptop and/or watch TV. I go to bed. I know what I’m supposed to do and I do it. It is a forced discipline – of which I sadly lack on my own.
It’s weird how you make yourself do something when you know you HAVE to do it. I get up early because I HAVE to go to work. I cook dinner because we HAVE to eat. I do laundry because we HAVE to have clean clothes.
Here’s the thing…I’m not one of those writers who HAS to write or they die. It’s a fun thing for me, so if I don’t feel like it, I don’t. But that won’t get a book written. There has to be some kind of discipline going on to get a book written.
So what’s a girl to do? Make a plan, of course. With consequences. Mwahahahhaa. I must write 1000 words a day or I do not get a diet Dr. Pepper the next day. Sigh…I know what you are thinking…that’s harsh! I love my diet Dr. Peppers.
So tell me, what’s your plan of action to get things accomplished?
Winner of Keli Gwyn’s debut book, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California is….Patty! Congratulations! Be looking for an email from me!
|Photo by federico stevanin @ freedigitalphotos.net|
The busyness of life comes in waves. Sometimes life is slow and easy. You have evenings free, you can take a nap during the day if you like, you have time to bake cookies. Other times life is like a merry-go-round, spinning faster and faster until you are hanging on for dear life.
Last week was one of those weeks. It was a week with the birth of a church member’s baby girl on Wednesday, the funeral for one of our wonderful members from church on Thursday, the memorial service for a young man who tragically died on Friday, and the wedding of a some church members on Saturday (3 hours away). It is strange how one can experience the highs and lows of life’s big events all in one week.
I’m emotionally drained. (and still battling the cold…or allergies…that I’ve been dealing with for the past week.)
But I have this week off from work, due to our school district wanting to save some money. I’ve resting, writing, movie watching, reading, and doing a little crafting.
I think I’ll try to harness some of the emotions of the past week and see if it will infuse my writing with some depth. Maybe not, but I’m going to give it a shot.
So what is on your agenda for the week? Any holiday plans for today, July the 4th?