"We have found the opportunity through Inspiration Ministries to express not just our feelings but also the words that the Holy Spirit puts in our hearts to share with others. I see I.M. as a channel of communication between the church...read more
August, Issue 4
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in ou r trespasses, made us alive together with Christ — by grace you have bee n saved — Ephesians 2:4-5Download
Letter from the Editor
To say this has been a long month is potentially the understatement of the century. With a 9-day outdoor festival, worked mainly by Andy and I (with the help of a few AMAZING volunteers), then, with very short notice, four days with 10 volunteer missionaries from Bellevue Baptist Church in Tennessee, some disappointing personal moments, and now being 12 weeks pregnant with my second child, it’s been a bit overwhelming. I don’t mean this as a complaint, just insight. Insight into the sometimes difficult, but always blessed life I’ve been given. The opportunity to be taught by God that I need to depend more fully on Him if I ever plan on making it through. I often find myself in “survival” mode, instead of “thriving” mode. And I can’t imagine I’m the only one.
I originally chose the verse on the cover because of the “strength” part. I was sensing the Holy Spirit was going to connect it to many of the articles I would receive this month. After this past week and rereading the verse, I think the “shield” and “trust” parts are more my focus. Ephesians 6 focuses on the armor of God, one piece being the shield of faith used to extinguish the fiery darts of the evil one. These darts are specific to us, based on our past. So Satan, in his finite wisdom, started shooting – discouragement, disappointment, uncertainty, doubt. Then I was reminded by my dear friend, Michelle, to pick up my shield of faith! And that I had the ability to block these attacks and speak the truth of God’s Word over my situation. Our God is greater! Our God is stronger! Take that, Devil!
As it turns out, mine is the only article written by someone I know. Something came up for every other regular contributor – broken computers, not having the time, having nothing to say, etc. To say there is a war waging in the heavenly places is putting it lightly. For a moment, I honestly thought there wouldn’t be an August edition of Inspiration for Her. But I was reminded that especially in uncertain times, God is faithful and provides. So, my husband, the resourceful man that he is, helped me find some testimonies online that I believe can and will serve as an inspiration this month, and even in the months to come.
I was recently not-so-gently reminded, while working on a Step Study for Celebrate Recover, that I don’t do a very good job (or any job, for the most part) of turning my will (life) over to God’s care on a daily basis. There is something in me that just can’t give it up. I don’t want to trust Him. I don’t want to believe that the things He allows me and my family to go through are for my good, for my betterment. I just don’t want to. But then I am a little more gently reminded by wonderful friends and my husband, that it is for my good, and a necessary part to living a life that glorifies and honors God, and shares with others the saving and satisfying love of Jesus Christ. I have to accept that, even though I’ve been let down by and have lost trust in man, God is NOT man; He is all-knowing, allpowerful, and ever-present. And I can and should trust Him when I can trust no one else. Because He is faithful, and loving, and wonderful, and gracious, and merciful, and forgiving, and, well, everything!
Another question in that same Step Study was one about my experience after giving my life to Christ. I was pretty young the first time I raised my hand to accept Jesus into my heart, so I don’t remember it super specifically. But I do remember not wanting to go to Hell. So my decision was based on fear. Then, in 2012, I read about the Abrahamic Covenant in Genesis 15 (that’s a whole other article!) and I came to a fuller realization of the love God has for me; the love that was manifested in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the resulting salvation through His sacrifice. Suddenly my life in Christ became less about fear and more about love. See, God is not a god of fear, but of love; perfect love. “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love” (1 John 4:18). To make a decision out of fear will only get you so far because fear fades, gates are opened, and your shackles are taken off. Then you find yourself in the same place you were in before – living life for yourself, ignoring everything God is telling you, back behind bars or even dead.
But it’s the love of and for the Father that surpasses your desire to do what you want, when you want. It’s this love that “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails…” (1 Corinthians 13:7-8a). This is no ordinary love, but the extraordinary love that only comes from knowing the Living God and having Jesus Christ dwelling in your heart!
Ladies, I know that it’s easy to doubt or be discouraged in these circumstances you are in. But know that God loves you with this very perfect love, and is calling you to Himself at this very moment. He loves you and wants you to be able to know and to feel that. I struggle with doubt… a lot of doubt. But that doesn’t lessen His love, care, and concern for me. So know that no matter how you feel – discouraged, let down, unforgiveable, doubtful – it doesn’t lessen the way God feels about you. It doesn’t lessen the work of the cross. It doesn’t lessen your forgiveness. It lessens nothing. If anything, it only makes His heart ache for you even more. He wants what is best for you, and wants you to trust Him. I know that’s much easier said than done. No one said it would be easy. But I know that it’s worth it. And I would encourage you to open your heart to Him if you haven’t, and if you have, to open it wider. Let Him fill every nook and cranny, every crack, every hole. Let Him fill the void you feel deep inside, because nothing will fill it like the love of Christ. And nothing will give you more peace and joy than that filling and that feeling. Just wait and see!
Letting go and letting God,