Oh, Father, please have mercy. Make a way for peace to come to this country. Steal into every dark corner and illuminate it with Your light. March in Your armies, God of Love, and fight for those who have no way out. Haunt persecutors in their dreams and in vivid visions in broad daylight. Bend their hands and fingers backwards when they aim a finger or a weapon at the innocent, so that they drop their weapons and flee in fear. Pull their legs out from under them, break down their vehicles, make their weapons malfunction, fall apart…
If one or more of these describes you, you may have a stronghold of control:
Do you get anxious when things feel out-of-control?
Do you often push to make things happen?
Do you tell people what to do? (Especially without listening to their viewpoint)
Do you get angry when people don’t do what you want?
Do you “punish” them? (silent treatment, retaliate, etc.)
Do you manipulate? (like, “If you love me, you will …” or say things to make them feel guilty, etc.)
Do people hide from you so you won’t tell them how to do it or what they’re doing wrong?
When someone has already told you what they want, do you go ahead and make people do what you want anyway?
(Feel free to add more “symptoms” in the comments.)
To combat a stronghold of control, set yourself up to let GOD be the One in charge. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5.
Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. James 1:19. Look for ways to serve and bless others.
Lay all your opinions, ideas, and desires about the present situation at Jesus’ feet. Ask HIM what HE wants to do.
Pray together with the people involved in the present situation to seek the Lord for His viewpoint. See where He’s leading each person, and help each other do God’s will.
Get alone with the Lord, and ask Him when the need to control first entered your life, maybe when you were a child and some situation seemed out of control, or you felt forced to do something you didn’t want to. (Did you make a vow, like, “I’ll never let anyone do that to me again!”? If so, break it.) Feel what you felt when that happened, and let God show you the lies. Then ask Him for His truth.
To the bride of Christ, from the One Who has loved her since before time began….
Hosea 2:14+, James 4:8, Deuteronomy 32:10, John 14:15, John 5:19, Matthew 22:37-40
If you could feel My presence in deep and powerful ways moment by moment, would you want that? Would you be willing to do what it takes to get there?
Because I’m here. Right now. With you. And I love you. I’ve brought you into this desert season to meet with you, to restore your faith and hope, and to bind you to Myself.
If you are willing to draw near to Me, you will find that intimacy you have been craving with Me. I will mend the gap, and speak into your heart and mind, breathing life, and hope, and joy. I will pour out My love on you in ways you have never known, and you will feel Me. For real. You’ll stop calling Me just “Master” like a servant looks to her King, and you will call Me “Husband,” like a bride who is passionately sealed to the One she loves with all her heart.
Are you ready for that? Is it something you want? Or are you still afraid? Afraid you won’t be in control of things anymore. Afraid you’ll appear strange to others. Afraid of the persecution that comes to those who truly love Me, just as I also went through persecution, even unto death, because of My love for you.
So, what will be your choice today? If you want infinitely more of Me, will you take the first step? Into your quiet time. Into My Word. Invite Me into your mind, into your thoughts throughout the day. Openly invite me into your every moment, and ask Me, “Jesus, what are You doing? I want to do that together with You. Empower me. Draw me close. Use me for Your glory. Now, this very moment. Even while I wash dishes. Even while I discipline and teach my children. Even as I work. Even while I relax for a moment. I want to rest in Your arms, go where You’re going, and do what You’re doing. Not because I’m all that. Because I’m not. But because I love You. And You are all I want.”
For a free guide to knowing God’s voice, and resources for all ages, like those below, on removing the barriers to oneness with Christ, visit MoreThanAConquerorBooks.com.
I originally posted this in July 2015, but I’m reposting today, … because it’s such a good illustration….
I found weevils in our oats. Lots of them. How did they get there? One crawled in and hatched a whole lot more.
If I’d been paying attention, I could have taken care of the problem early on with a lot less damage. But by the time I looked in the bag, it was already crawling with the ugly black critters.
Of course, good TCK (“Third Culture Kid,” a fancy way of saying my passport country is not the country I grew up in) that I am, there is NO WAY I was going to throw out all those oats I’d paid for and had plans for!
So, I froze the bag, live beasts and all.
Now, for those of you who have lived in Third World countries and are used to weevils in your oats or rice, you know that with a bit of water, those black critters float to the top. Then you can skim them off or pour them down the drain.
But if you wash the oats when the weevils are still alive rather than killing them in the freezer first, they have a tendency to crawl back out of the drain and find more places to hatch eggs.
This time, there were so many weevils that it took several washings and a whole lot of lost oats that went down the drain with their enemy before I could make granola.
So, here’s the spiritual application, in case you hadn’t guessed it yet:
If we allow the enemy with his cunning, seemingly little or “wee” evil lies and sin into our hearts, our minds, our lives, our marriages, our work, our relationships, or even our theology, and don’t take care of the infestation straight away, but allow him to stay and make himself comfortable, devouring our lives and our relationship with God and others … he’s going to bring in a lot more of his friends and we’re going to lose A LOT.
So many blessings God wanted to give us, so many opportunities to make Him taste good to those around us, so many ways He wanted to use us for His glory, so many relationships He meant us to join with to worship and do work together… all down the drain because we didn’t take care of our sin problem early on.
But praise God, He doesn’t just throw us all away. He loves us and washes us with His grace and His love, allowing circumstances into our lives that bring the sin and lies and wrong thought processes to the surface so He can skim them off.
As we purpose to open ourselves up to His touch, He cleanses us, renews our minds and eventually makes us into something tasty and sweet with His fragrance. (I can smell the granola cooking in my oven even as I write this.)
So, if you have a “wee evil” problem in your life, Jesus is calling you to FREEZE. Now! Stop everything you’re doing and carve out that time you need alone with Him, so He can show you your sin and kill it. Then give Him time over the next few days, weeks, months and years every day in your quiet times to wash out all those wrong processes you’ve gotten used to over the years.
May He make you into something new and inviting today! And may all around you taste and see that the Lord is good!
For tips on freedom from lies and sin, see Dare to Be a Mighty Warrior, and other deep devotional Bible studies and books by Mikaela Vincent on recognizing God’s voice and walking in His power at MoreThanAConquerorBooks.com. A free guide to knowing God’s voice is also available at that website.
Lord, we ask You, please, for our children. Guard their hearts. Watch over them as they play. Keep their minds and eyes and hearts and bodies pure. Don’t let any hurt or harm come to them. Give them a hunger for You, Lord, that drives them to read the Bible; and each time they do, meet them in powerful ways. Save them, Jesus, and draw them all the closer to Yourself day by day. Give them courage to believe what You say is truth, and to let You conquer over every lie the enemy is trying to build in their hearts right now. Speak to them constantly, telling them how much You love them. Lead them in Your right paths, and fulfill in them every good purpose You created them for. Prepare for them even now the godly husband or wife they will marry. Watch over that child’s heart and…
I LOVE my friend Carter Ingram’s heart. This is a beautiful, raw, hilarious, very real MUST read from her newest adventure, for anyone still a little unsure about letting go of empty fillers so you can fall in love with Jesus:
LET’S TALK ABOUT a DATE with JESUS
PREFACE- I know I look like a loon in this picture, but it’s because I’m laughing at myself (what’s new?) Also- this story can apply whether you’re married, dating or single
So, call the truancy police because I think I might be a little late to the game— my bad!
When I first heard the term “date Jesus” I thought it sounded suuuper weird. How on earth do you date someone who isn’t here??? I didn’t even want to try and figure out what “intimacy” with a spirit looked like because… well…. CREEPY (and I love sci fi and Bigfoot conspiracy theories so you know that’s saying a lot!)
It didn’t actually make any sense to me until I started spending t a LOT of time alone. Specifically, the first part of this year. Driving hundreds of miles on several road trips within a month’s span will do that to you! You can’t escape your thoughts and it’s just YOU. So in this alone time I started doing some inward investigating and realized I had a LOT of empty pockets in my heart that left me feeling allllll sorts of human-y emotions. These feelings led to crazy amounts of built up tension which only made me feel worse and made me desperate to fill those holes.
So then I had a thought: I’m finding things to fill in the voids as quickly as I can. And I’m keeping my mind and daily routine super busy and full of people and things that bring me joy… So, why aren’t any of these distractions I’ve been letting into my daily life working?? What am I missing? Well… I’ve heard women talk before about “dating Jesus”. And I thought since I’ve got nothing going on, let’s give it a try! Cause that’s where Jesus wants us to find him; in our boredom when we have nothing better to do, right??? HAH Grace, Grace, Grace……
That brings me to tonight’s musings!
I think to myself: I’m going to try dating Jesus and I’m gonna start by going on a walk! Walks are romantic
So, here I am. Alone. Walking around the property at sunset. With a can of Cool Whip (for emotional support in case dating someone invisible doesn’t work out). Blasting any sort of music that remotely resembles being alone with Jesus or Him being all that I need.
I. Am. A. Sight.
I’m on a date by myself, with a can of cool whip, talking to someone who isn’t actually here…..
Let me just say a few things off the bat:
I *know* I look crazy. I *know* it doesn’t make logical sense. I *know*, in a worldly view, there’s a greater chance of it NOT producing anything than there is of it producing something beneficial to my life.
But you know what I also know?
I know that in the last 5 minutes of me walking down this dusty dirt road with my shoes off and with my eyes on the sunset, I *feel* something. Call it a stirring or a breeze- but it’s tangible. I feel this sort of unexplainable peace that I haven’t felt in a *really* long time. I feel this lightness and release of anxiety and as these things come slowly sweeping in, I imagine all of the intimate truths that someone in love with me would say. And then I imagine Jesus saying them to me.
“Carter, I’m so happy to be here with you.” “You bring such joy and peace to me…” “You are enough.” “You are precious.” “You are pure.” “You are good.” “You are beautiful.” “You are patient.” “You are humble.” “You are an incredible Mom.” “You are worthy of more than you think.” “You are all I want.” “And I choose to pursue you, Carter, because— your imperfect self was made perfectly for me.”
Just wow. I’ve never been at a loss for words on a date, but Lord here I am….
Talk about goosebumps and a racing heart!! I repeat those things over and over in Jesus’ voice in my head until I start to feel purpose and joy again. If my mom were to call right now and ask how it was going, I would burst out in excitement! “The date is going AMAZING, Mom!!” “He’s kind and he’s gentle and he’s wise and he says I don’t have to change a thing about myself. He called me perfect! Me! Can you believe it?! And he says he’s not going anywhere. He’s moving into my heart and is going to call me his beloved forever…”
I have a daughter and I imagine if she ever called me later on in the future after a date and told me those things, my heart would burst and the tears would be uncontrollable……. what joy! What an answered prayer for any parent’s heart.
Going back to listing out the things that I *do* know and I want to leave it at this (speaking to myself here because I’m going to want to look back on this Facebook memory someday and be reminded that this intimate moment in time was what changed it all for me.)
•I know that I cannot fill the void inside of me. •I know that another person cannot fill that void (Do we desire a life partner to walk alongside us? Of course! And some of us are blessed with that But do we *need* someone else to complete us? We do not because we ARE complete already.) •I know that material things cannot fill it. •I know that fear of the future makes the void bigger. •And I know that just “surviving” each day only numbs it. And a life of survival, as I’ve so selfishly put myself through in the past, is no life worth living at all. If something or someone enters into my life and compliments me or brings me joy, then I welcome it in with open arms But to *complete* me and fill the unfill-able cracks within, you have to be something so much more… you have to be Jesus.
Tonight, I choose to date Jesus. Tonight, I choose to trust him with my future; whatever that may look like. Tonight, I choose to move forward ALIVE and with a fire inside of me that I’m believing no one can snuff out because this new-found life-partner of mine says I’m loved and draws me closer in with each breath.
A very insightful and beautiful lady I met last night at worship told me that when she looks at me, she sees a powerful woman with an immense FIRE behind her… Would that have sounded wacky to my old self with my old legalistic way of thinking? Definitely! Does it sound wacky to me now? Not so much Her message mirrors exactly what my Mom and Dad have told me all of my life and I’m sincerely sorry to myself (to the little girl inside of me that never thought she could measure up) that it took me 30 years and a desperate call to Jesus to finally see it.
Anyways, that’s all I have. I felt so strongly that I needed to share that tonight and I’ll keep you updated on how the dating Jesus thing goes. It’s still such a strange concept for me, but goodness…. if it continues to bring me this peace that I’m feeling, then go ahead and sound the wedding bells and print the RSVP’s because I’m totally here for it
**I’m wanting to study the book Song Of Solomon and really dive into what God says about marriage and being in a relationship with Jesus. If you have any recommendations for some good studies, please send them my way
Let’s pray for our leaders by name, as we ask the Lord for a Great Awakening in this nation. As you can see by the highlighted wikipedia links of our present Senate and House of Representatives, most of our leaders have had some sort of religious influence at some point in their lives. Pray God will make whatever truth has been spoken to them come alive in their hearts, knocking down the lies, and setting them free to love the Lord, this country, and even those they have considered enemies. Pray they will choose to fight on the side of the One whose name is Truth and Love, rather than following the lead of the father of lies. John 8:42-47.
To join the Prayer Wall, subscribe at our Home page.
Christians celebrate Pentecost Sunday today, May 23, to remember the event in Acts 2, when the Spirit came upon the apostles like fire, and they began preaching in the tongues of those gathered there that day, leading about 3,000 to faith in Christ.
Those languages and countries are many of the very places in the world that are now closed off to the Gospel message (See Acts 2:9-11).
On this day, let us remember all the many languages that still have no Bible, and the many countries and unreached people groups that are cut off from the Good News about Christ. 🔥
How do you make decisions? Do you weigh the pros and cons? Press for what you want? Lean on your own understanding? Ask others their opinions on the matter?
Our decision-making processes are one of the main ways the enemy slips in to do his dirty work.
We’re in a hurry.
We think we already know best.
We lean on our own experience or skills.
We have to take this step to succeed.
We don’t want to disappoint someone.
We have no choice.
We want this so badly we don’t care what God wants….
Do any of those methods feel familiar to you?
Proverbs 3:5-6 urges us to stop leaning on our own understanding and seek the Lord’s guidance in ALL our ways.
It’s not just the big decisions we are to pray about. It’s every decision that needs to be handed to God.
Whether or not you think you hear God answer, practice giving Him your every thought, every moment, every decision. Practice surrender.
The more you seek Him, surrender, and obey, the louder you’ll hear His voice and the more His Spirit will flow through you in increasing measures, until walking as one with Him is normal, and doing things your own way feels awkward, uncomfortable, wrong.
But if you don’t bother to seek Him before making daily decisions, you may not be able to find Him when you need Him most. And your pride might take you into some serious enemy territory. Isaiah 55:6, Jeremiah 29:11-13.
So stay close to your Shepherd. Lean on Him for everything. And He will lead you to the sweet pastures of His presence, love, and empowering; not to mention make every moment a God-awesome one! John 10:1-27, Psalm 23, Jeremiah 50:7.
Prayerwalk your neighborhood, schools, government seat, etc.
As you walk and pray, stop to talk with those you meet, ask them for prayer requests, and then pray with them right there on the spot. This prayer evangelism is powerful, because as God answers prayer, they will see His love and long to know Him.
Gather together with others in your family, church, and community to pray.
Join with us at the Prayer Wall to pray together as one for the USA.
Muslims are currently in their Ramadan time of fasting and seeking God. As Christians across the world fast and pray April 12-13 for their salvation, this year’s prayer emphasis is on Muslims of North America. Take some time to pray for Muslims in the USA to truly seek God during Ramadan and find Jesus.