Monday, March 12, 2012

Sermon Dialogue 3/11

We are almost at the end of our "Ephesians" series! Sunday's sermon was eye opening & encouraging for me.

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." Ephesians 6:10-12

Until we take our last breath we are fighting a war against "spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms". The opposing team is bold enough to think they have a chance to win on God's territory. They are out for blood & will take it any way they can. (Para phasing Justin's illustration) Our enemy is NOT the red character with horns & a pitchfork trick-or-treating on October 31st. He is crafty & intelligent. He has mastered the art of destroying lives. He is the father of lies & the greatest illusionist of all time. He studies our weaknesses and if we don't fight back, he will use them to devour our faith. He wants us to forget that God says, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in WEAKNESS."

If you're like me, I have struggled with the SAME things for longer than I can remember... Feelings of insecurity & all the ugly emotions & lies that are attached to it! It hinders my walk with Jesus. It creates walls in my marriage. It keeps me from living life with purpose (to share Jesus FREELY). It makes me forget who I am in Jesus and how deeply He loves me. But I don't need to be stuck here. Christ's power can be made perfect in this weakness of mine. God has given me everything I need to stand & be victorious.

"14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. " (Ephesians 6:14-17)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Justin, Anabelle, and I went to Traverse City on a spontaneous get-a-away last weekend. There is something special about breaking routine, not having Internet, being surrounded by nature, and of course quietness. I think this was God's way of prompting me to ask Him some tough questions that were lingering in my thoughts. If left unspoken, these thoughts can easily allow the Devil to breed discontentment, anxiety, doubt, and fear in my heart. I am SO thankful that God graciously allows us to be vulnerable and honest with Him. I really believe He honors these kinds of conversations. As long as we come before Him in reverence, never forgetting who He is. King of Kings & Lord of Lords.

I poured my heart out to Him like my life depended on it. I found myself wandering from one thought to another & sharing feelings I wasn't even aware I had! His words for me as I rambled on and on were simply "Be still & know that I am God." (Psalm 46:10)

I brought marriage & parenthood before Him, His reply, "Be still...I am God"
I brought our family's needs before Him, His answer "Be still...I am God"
I brought JRoad's needs before God, His answer "Be still...I am God"
I brought the needs of hurting friends before Him, His answer,"Be still... I am God"

How badly I needed to hear these words! As I read Psalm 46, I thought of how much our lives have changed in the past 3 years (family & ministry related). Through each change, God has remained our constant & consistent REFUGE, STRENGTH, FORTRESS, and EVER PRESENT HELP! I find so much peace and confidence in this truth. Only God knows what the future holds for our family & Jericho Road but we can trust that He WILL remain FAITHFUL!

There's more:

When we got home from our trip, I found this Psalms 46 commentary:
"This psalm encourages to hope and trust in God; in his power and providence, and his gracious presence with his church in the worst of times....let not those be alarmed who are led to the Rock, and there find firm footing. Here is joy to the church, even in sorrowful times. The river alludes to the graces and consolations of the Holy Spirit, which flow through every part of the church, and through God's sacred ordinances, gladdening the heart of every believer. It is promised that the church shall not be moved. If God be in our hearts, by his word" (

This was God's answer to my prayers for Jericho Road. It is His church & His dwelling place and will be graciously present even in the worst of times and no matter where we end up meeting. I don't know the details of my husband's wrestle with God when ministry gets tough. As his wife, I always feel the need to share my highly emotional opinions & throw bible verses his way to keep him encouraged. The truth is, God has given him all the encouragement & peace he needs. Justin has such a high level of trust because he knows that "God's church shall not be moved". As a reward for trusting, I believe that God has given him a super-natural ability to be emotionally & spiritually stable & discerning through the most difficult moments.

"4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day. " Psalms 46:4-5