Don’t just hide God’s Word in your heart….Speak it!

In the beginning was the Word

I’ve begun a new discipline in my life inspired by the book written by Joyce Meyer: “The Secret Power of Speaking God’s Word“.

This little book packs a powerful punch!

THE WHY

The author describes the circumstances in her life that lead her to the discovery that it isn’t enough to simply read God’s Word or even memorize it. We need to speak His Word out loud in order for it to work its supernatural power in our lives and in the earth. She learned that “it is good to stop doing the wrong things, but the real harvest comes in our lives when we plant seed by doing the right thing.”

Romans 4:17 states that God speaks life to the dead and calls nonexistent things as if they already existed. I began doing the same thing. I was calling those things that did not yet exist in my life into being by confessing God’s Word….Confessing God’s Word isn’t a way to get our own will accomplished but, rather, the will of God. As we believe and confess God’s Word we are setting ourselves in agreement with Him for His plan to come to pass in our lives.

THE WHAT

The author presented some Biblical examples of speaking God’s Word out loud. One was the example of the young shepherd boy, David:

First Samuel 17:42-48 tells us that when David was preparing to do battle with the giant Goliath, he ran toward him confessing out loud what he believed the end result of the battle would be….He prophesied the end result from the beginning of the event. God does the same thing according to His Word. (ISAIAH 46:9-10, ISAIAH 48:6-7.)

She also emphasized the fact that angels “hearken to the voice of God’s Word” and that when we speak God’s Word “they hear it and to go work for us.” That’s exciting!

Are not the angels all ministering spirits (servants) sent out in the service [of God for the assistance] of those who are to inherit salvation? HEBREWS 1:14

Bless (affectionately, gratefully praise) the Lord, you His angels, you mighty ones who do His commandments, hearkening to the voice of His word. PSALM 103:20

The author says “They want to work on our behalf, that is their assignment from God, but we need to release them by speaking or praying God’s Word.”

THE HOW

She goes on to explain how we are to use this supernatural tool in our daily lives.

Each time a thought comes to your mind that does not agree with God’s Word, confess the truth of God’s Word out loud, and you will find the wrong thought disappearing…

…Casting down imaginations, thoughts, reasonings, and theories that don’t agree with God’s Word requires us to use our offensive weapon – the Word of God coming out of our mouth. When we speak, it becomes a two-edged sword that defeats the enemy with one edge and opens the blessings of heaven with the other.

We can release God’s Word through prayer, confessing His Word out loud, and taking God-inspired action. We are blessed in the “doing” not just the “knowing.” James 2:17 says, “Faith without works is dead.”

THE RESULT

God’s word teaches us that our tongues are as the pen of a ready writer (PSALM 45:1) and our hearts are as a tablet (PROVERBS 3:1, 3). When we speak God’s Word we are writing it onto our hearts. I never realized that! I thought reading it or memorizing it was enough. No wonder it sometimes felt like even though I KNOW God’s word it is hard to actually LIVE it.

Joyce Meyer wrote:

God’s Word does not return void.

Isaiah teaches us that the Word coming out of God’s mouth (which I believe can also be our mouths dedicated to Him) will not return void. It accomplishes what it was sent to do.

As His representatives, we should speak His Word just the same as He would. We should speak it boldly, with authority, believing it has power to change our lives and circumstances.

And He said to me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord God, You know! Again He said to me, Prophesy to these bones and say to them, O you dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.….So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a [thundering] noise and behold, a shaking and trembling and a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone…So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath and spirit came into [the bones], and they lived and stood up upon their feet, an exceedingly great host. EZEKIAL 37:3-4, 7, 10

I am excited to embark on this adventure of proclaiming God’s Word from my mouth. If you happen to hear me muttering to myself don’t assume I’m losing my marbles…I may be confessing God’s Word and writing it on my heart and releasing heaven’s angels to do their work here on earth!

 

 

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Cancer from a Christian’s Perspective

I have a good friend who was diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma (cancer in his liver.)  His name is Ed Norman, and we met in while attending college at Liberty Baptist College (later known as Liberty University) in Lynchburg, VA.  Ed was a member of the musical group named “The EnPsalms” that my husband sang with during his college years.  We’ve been friends with Ed ever since.

When Ed got his diagnosis, he was 55 years old.  His is a rare form of cancer that has an annual incidence rate of 1–2 cases per 100,000 in the Western world (according to Landis S, Murray T, Bolden S, Wingo P [1998]. “Cancer statistics, 1998”.)  It is also an incurable and rapidly lethal malignancy unless both the primary tumor and any metastases can be removed surgically (according to wikipedia .)  In Ed’s case surgery was not an option because he is also diabetic.  His prognosis was poor and when Ed asked the Doctor how long he expected Ed would survive he was told 8-10 months.  That was 18 months ago.

But Ed would not want to be introduced as the man with cancer.  He is and always has been first and foremost a Christian.  His faith in Jesus Christ has always been the first thing anyone learned about Ed.  He has spent his life helping others worship and love his Savior, most effectively through his quite amazing musical talent as a pianist.

Ed is not the first Christian we know who has been diagnosed with cancer.  I can think of several members of our church who have passed away because of different forms of this dreadful disease. Upon hearing of their diagnoses we always react with shock and dread and wonder why such a terrible thing would happen to such wonderful people. As a person of faith, I believe that God has the power to heal anyone in an instant, and in fact has done so in the past.  Yet that faith is tempered by the knowledge that the majority of time people are not miraculously healed but suffer and ultimately lose their battle with cancer.

So why does God allow His children to be affected by cancer, to suffer and to die from this disease?  If He is truly their “Savior” why doesn’t He heal when He has the power to do so?

In no way do I claim to understand the mind of God, or to be able to explain the answer to this question.  I can only share the thoughts that I have about this question, and hope that some percentage of what I think is correct, and in reading this someone might begin to think about what their response would be to such a diagnosis.

Cancer is not caused by God.  All affliction of the human race is a result of our sin.  That is why people of all faiths (and those who profess no faith) are afflicted by this disease….because we are all human.  Christians do not become sin-less when they receive Christ; we are still human.  But we have the confidence of knowing that our sins have been forgiven by the grace and sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

So why does God allow cancer to affect his people?

I believe the answer to that question is the same answer to the question of why God allows ANY bad thing to happen to His people.  I believe the answer is this:

God allows bad things to happen to His people to give them the opportunity to react to the situation in a way that will give witness to the grace, glory and love of God for humanity.

In my experience I’ve seen three kinds of responses when people are diagnosed with cancer (or when other terrible things happen to them):

1) The first response is from people whose lives have been a consistent witness for the Lord. Cancer shines a light on their testimony and allows them an opportunity to walk the walk, not just talk the talk through the scariest situation imaginable. 

2) The second response is from people who are Christians but who have focused on their lives here on earth. Cancer is a wake up call and forces their focus from their earthly perspective to the heavenly perspective.  

3) The third response is from people who do not have a strong faith in any kind of religion or God.  Cancer causes them to become bitter and despairing in their situation because they don’t have the comfort or hope that their ultimate destination is heaven.

I can’t imagine not having the hope of heaven! I don’t know how people without faith make their way through this hard and unforgiving world without it.

Ed is definitely a member of the first group.  And there is something inspiring and encouraging about hearing a person who knows the probable outcome of their situation is suffering & death and the end of all that they have known of life and love here on earth continue to praise the Lord and use his time left to share the saving grace of Jesus Christ with anyone who will listen.

It seems when someone is in that situation we all tend to listen a little more closely to their testimony.  We think “Wow, I don’t know if I could have such a solid testimony if that was me.” But hearing this kind of a testimony gives us comfort to know that no matter what comes our way, if we believe in God and the Lord Jesus Christ He will give us the strength and grace we will need in that situation.

The video below is long….17 minutes or so.  But I hope that if you are reading this post you will allow 17 minutes to listen to Ed’s testimony and his music.  It could have an impact on your life and even your eternity.

And I promise this:  You will never hear another pianist play the song “It Is Well With My Soul” and mean it more than my friend, Ed Norman.

Well done, Ed!

A Military Mom’s Diary: “Safe and Sound”

MH-60S Knighthawk

MH-60S Knighthawk

Yesterday I received the best email I’ve ever received in my life.  In the span of about 60 seconds I experienced the emotions of fear, joy, guilt and grief:

FEAR – Something bad has happened…are they involved in hostile activities?

JOY – Thank God my son is safe!

GUILT – My son is safe! But five other mothers’ sons are not…God help them!

GRIEF – Lost at sea…if they are alive they are probably hurt and afraid.  Will any of them be found? Will any of them survive? Lord be with them and hold them in Your hands!

The email that I received was from my son Brooks who is currently deployed as a Naval aviator assigned to the USS Nimitz strike group.  Brooks is a pilot and a member of the HSM 75 Helicopter squadron “Wolf Pack”.  He pilots the MH-60R Seahawk.  (I wrote about the experience of Brooks receiving his Naval Aviator “wings” in this previous post .)

Brooks’ email (Subject:  safe and sound) was received on Sunday, September 22, 2013 10:11 AM and said:

“Family,

 I can’t respond with any details but if you read the news I just wanted to calm any worries you might have and let you know that I’m okay. Please keep our sister squadron in your thoughts and prayers.

 Love you all,

Brooks”

A quick search on the internet revealed a news article that reported the crash of a MH-60S Knighthawk helicopter while either taking off or landing on a guided-missile destroyer, the USS William P. Lawrence.  Five crew-members were on board the aircraft at the time of the crash.  These helicopters are flown by the “Indians” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 6, sister squadron to Brooks’ squadron (HSM 75 Wolf Pack.)

At the time we viewed this article originally, all five of the crewmen involved in the crash were still unaccounted for.  This was very concerning because the crash happened six hours earlier, but we hoped the delay was just in the reporting of the events.  Later in the afternoon the article was updated to report that three of the five crewmen had been rescued and were in stable condition and that search and rescue operations were being conducted for the missing two crewmen.

Sadly, this morning at 11:50 am EDT this Navy News article reports “Search and Rescue Efforts for MH-60S Aircrew Suspended.”

As the mother of an active-duty serviceman who is deployed in the Middle East I have had to learn how to live each day without being consumed with worry.  It is not easy but my faith in God helps me trust that Brooks is always being held in His hands.  Even so, I am realistic enough to know that bad things happen all of the time and no one is exempt from that possibility.

I saw this slogan on the USS Nimitz (CVN 68) Facebook page: “One Nation, One Navy, One Family” and it is so true.  Two families are being informed that their sons (brothers, husbands, maybe even fathers) were lost at sea.  My heart is so heavy with grief for them and I know that it could have so easily been my son involved in such an accident.

Joy > Guilt > Grief….such a dichotomy of emotions.

Lord in Heaven, I pray that you will be with the families and friends of the two crewmen who were lost yesterday in this terrible accident.  Please envelop them with Your comfort and peace and give them the strength to bear this realization of their greatest fear.  Be also with their fellow crewmembers that experienced this tragedy and those who helped with the search and rescue operations.  Give them the comfort of knowledge that they did all that was humanly possible in the situation. Help them stay strong and courageous during their mission.  Please bring them all home safely and soon.