For about half of this week, I was low state. I was deeply disappointed and in great sadness. This sadness was beginning to turn to anger toward YAHUAH. Sometime on Friday, I began to see that my attitude was wrong but still I felt like I was so right in the way that I felt. Now my feelings weren’t wrong. We will experience disappointments in life, but the way that I choose to respond and not walk in faith believing YAHUAH’s word over what I saw, was wrong.
So today, I was listening to David and Nicole Binion and I was trying to replay “Doxology” when another song started playing. I was about to hit the back button, when I heard the words “When I cannot see it…” As I continued to listen, I knew this was my song today.
So if you are down in your faith, if life’s challenges have you challenged, I pray this picture I created below, will encourage you to hang on.
Here is the song: All Things – Nicole Binion
Where is my focus?
What kills my faith?
Why am I lonely?
Where am I casting my cares?
What can I choose to allow into my heart?
What must I believe?
What am I worried about?
Where do I get encouragement?
Who is my light?
Where do I put my trust?
Whose joy is in me?
Whose am I?
Where do I find strength?
What am I finding my joy in?
I know I have had the very same questions and maybe you have too. What are we to do with our questions? Where are we to turn?
Today’s Shabbat Message Great Is His Faithfulness, is straight from the heart. We all have faith but we are only flesh. In life, we all deal with Anxiety, Fear, Loneliness, Discouragement and Lack of Joy-but that is not the end. YAHUAH the Father and YAHUSHA Messiah (Christ) His Son is there with us. In fact, HIS word has many promises of hope.
I invite you today, to hear of our heavenly Father’s Faithfulness and His love toward You today, in Great Is His Faithfulness.
That’s what salvation has become.
Simple, true salvation has become buried under Torah keeping, man-made laws, traditions, so -called “new” insights, classes for salvation, words that are always changing, do this, don’t do that, moons, new moons, calendars, clothing, reading, regulations of worship, prayers rooted in the Talmud…placing a yoke of bondage or completely blocking the free gift of grace.
Those things that complicate salvation suck the Joy Out of Grace and pollute our life in Messiah how it can truly be lived.
But when a person just reads the bible-the words of The Messiah for him/herself, they will find none of that. They find freedom. That’s what we need to get back to.
In this week’s Shabbat Message: The Simplicity of Messiah (Christ) – you will hear about salvation, plain and simple. You will see clearly that Love is passed down through Grace and the life changing encounter that the Good News Brings.
I was particularly encouraged to hear and read a portion of scripture that shows a truly awesome testimony of a man who beat two followers of Messiah, but later found himself asking “what must I do to be saved?” Salvation was presented to him and his house hold, immediately, simply, and they were baptized.
If you need water for your soul, if you need to hear the good news simple and uncluttered, if you want your freedom back, I encourage you to listen to this week’s Shabbat Message: The Simplicity of Messiah (Christ).
When I started working on this graphic, my focus was on the word BEHOLD, but when I typed the word “Now” I noticed something I never have before. Now implies that there is a time for everything. It wasn’t time for a change prior to this point but NOW-NOW is the that time YAHUAH is going to do something and guess what? It’s not hiding, we don’t have to search for it, we just have to open our eyes and see it!!!
10 were outcast.
10 were unclean.
10 were separated from others.
10 men had leprosy.
Today we still have leprosy; but it is spiritual. Some of the spiritual leprosy might be:
These may be the things that are separating us from others and from YAHUAH Moving In Our Lives. Yet, like the 10 leper’s we must recognize Our Own Uncleanness, then Cry Out For Help and be Ready To OBEY.
“For it is through our obedience to His Word, that we can get the victories in our life.”
If you would like to have victory in your life again, I encourage you to make time to hear this week’s Shabbat Message Ready To Obey.
I am finally ready to finish Sarah. It has taken me awhile because for nearly a year, I have carefully thought and lived some parts in my own way. It has been a great challenge to say the least.
Before I tell you about another prayer of Sarah, I want to give some background story with Avram (later Avraham). Avram was no stranger to dealing with the wicked one. When he was about 14 years old, he went among the people noticed that they were having a problem. The problem was that satan, caused some ravens to come and eat the seeds that the people tried to sow when they were planting them. Avram saw the birds coming and 70 times he commanded them to go away and they did. Then Avram showed the people how to sow and cover the seed up. Yovheliym (Jubliees) 11.
Later on when Avram is observing the stars (Yovheliym 12) and talking to YAHUAH, he prayed, ”My Elohim, El Elyon you alone are my Elohim, and you and your dominion have I chosen. And you have created all things, and all things that are the work of Your hands. Deliver me from the hands of evil ruachot who have dominion over the thoughts of men’s hearts, and let them not lead me astray from you, My Elohim. And establish me and my seed forever that we go not astray from henceforth and forevermore.” (Yovheliym 12:19-20) So he knew that wicked ruachot (wicked spirits) can have control over a man’s thoughts and he asked YAHUAH to not allow him to be lead astray by them.
Years, later Avram-now Avraham, came face to face with his enemy, but YAHUAH knew all the time what Avraham would do. In Yovehilym 17 and Yashar 22:46-55, satan came before YAHUAH and just like Iyov (Job), thought that he could challenge the faithfulness of Avraham so he insinuates that Avraham won’t serve YAHAUH if YAHUAH were to tell him (Avraham) to sacrifice his son. YAHUAH knew Avraham’s heart because he had been tested 10 times and found to be faithful each and every time. Now you know most of the rest of the story, YAHUAH told Avraham to go and sacrifice Yitschaq. Of course Avraham is obedient and tells Sarah he needed to take Yitschaq to go and learn about worship from Shem and Eber. We will come back to Sarah in a minute.
While on the road to the place that YAHUAH would show him (Yovehilym 23), satan appeared to Avraham in the form of “a very aged man, humble and of contrite ruach” and began to question what he was doing. Avraham recognized him and knew that satan was trying to stop him from being obedient to YAHUAH. So he rebuked him. Satan, not easily discouraged, appears to Yitshcaq in the “figure of young man comely and well favored.” Now he tries to get Yitschaq to doubt his father-even calling Avraham “a silly old man.” Yitschaq immediately tells Avraham and he again rebukes satan.
Finally now back to Sarah.
Avraham did not tell Sarah that he was going to sacrifice Yitschaq. He told her that “My son Yitschaq is grown up and he has not for some time studied the service of his Elohim, now tomorrow I will go and bring to Shem and Eber his son, and there he will learn the ways of YAHUAH, for they will teach him to know YAHUAH as well as to know that when he prays continually before YAHUAH, he will answer him, therefore there he will know the way of serving YAHUAH ELOHAYU (Yashar 23:5).”
Of course Sarah is supportive, but she asks that Yitschaq not go too far nor be gone too long because her soul is bound within in his.
I know that many people will say that because of this Yitschaq was a “momma’s boy” but between reading about the mom/son relationship between Rivqah/Ya’aqov and Sarah/ Yitschaq, I believe these mothers had a good healthy relationship with their grown sons.
So all that night (Yashar 23:6-19), she showed affection to Yitschaq and talked with him all night-weeping the whole time. In my opinion, it appears as though she believed he may die and she may not see him again. This was her greatest fear. In the morning, she gave him fine garments that she had received from Aviymelek years ago. She put a turban on his head and enclosed a precious stone in it. As Avraham, Yitschaq and the servants begin their journey to leave home, Sarah continued to weep.
Some days pass and after satan tried to stop Avraham from sacrificing Yitschaq (Yahsar 23:70-75), he then turned his attention to Sarah.
Next, in Yashar 23: 76-90 satan appears to her in the form “of an old man very humble and meek” speaking to her greatest fear and mixing it with lies. He tells her that Yitschaq her son is dead because Avraham had sacrificed him and that Avraham didn’t even cry. For great impact he said these things to her two times and then left her.
She thought perhaps this man was one from among those that went with Avraham who had returned to tell her these things and she beings to wept and cry out bitterly, throwing herself on the ground, casting dust upon her head. But let’s read her words carefully, particularly her words to YAHUAH:
That’s how I feel every time I read her words. She’d waited so long-nearly her entire life to have one son and now he is gone (at least she thought so)? But even in great sorrow she believed that if this happened that YAHUAH was in control of it all. She didn’t say that this was unfair and how horrible of a Father YAHUAH was for allowing this to happen…she said “You are just.” She had some serious faith to be able rejoice in great and immense sorrow, saying that her heart rejoices through her tears.
To honest, I don’t know if I could do that. I don’t know if I could say those words and see that YAHUAH’s will is greater than my heart’s greatest hurt.
So eventually, she gets up and begins to make inquires, sending servants here and there, but Avraham was one where to be found. But who do you think comes back again-satan.
This time he says that he spoke falsely saying that “Avraham did not kill his son and he is not dead (Yashar 23:86).”
So exceedingly excited violent was her joy, that her soul went out from her and she died.
Satan spoke to her deepest fear and stirred it (her fear) up against YAHUAH and against Avraham (saying that he didn’t even cry). What she could have done first, was say that Avraham would never sacrifice Yitschaq without a care. Then she could have prayed that YAHUAH would help her find them and then went looking for them. But that was not what happened.
Satan is still stirring up fears today. He gets us all worked up and them removes himself as we explode in fear, strive, arguments, toil, worry. Often we don’t recognize him because he comes in forms that are non-threatening. Chuah was threatened by the serpent-she had no reason to question his words at the time. Here Sarah was not threatened nor alarmed by “this old man.” In fact, he looked familiar as if he were one of the people who went with Avraham.
So satan comes up to us in ways we don’t recognize but we have to ask YAHUAH to give us discernment-so that we can see the “wiles of the devil.” We have to ask YAHUAH like Avraham to guard our thoughts from the control of evil spirits. We must use logic and know the facts – like Avraham loved his son, he would not sacrifice him without a care. In fact, when reading Yashar 23, you will see he struggled a great bit and was in great anguish. We have to know facts about the person or situation, before getting upset. If we don’t know we have to find out.
I kept the above in my mind a few months ago, when I found a lump on my left side. I have many of the markers for breast cancer (family history and tubal ligation) so I am always being diligent to watch for any issues. So for few weeks while waiting for my diagnostic mammogram, I had moments of great fear. But my husband and I prayed, and I tried to say that if this is YAHUAH’s will then His purpose will be done. Thankfully nothing was found though the mass is still there.
Whether it is fear, a disagreement, a disappointment, a concern or worry, we have to seek YAHUAH first, know Him through His Word and trust that He is in control no matter what. We must also stay on guard, because just when we think we are aware of the wicked ones tactics, he changes them and we can be left to figure out what has happened in our lives.
Alright, I don’t know who or when the next woman will be, YAHUAH willing won’t be too long.
We’d watched this movie before, but this time when we watched it, I felt like I had a bunch of fingers pointed at me.
Specifically one scene, is one that YAHUAH used to bring about change in my heart. The movie was WarRoom and the scene I am referring to is when the old wise woman, Mrs. Clara came back in the room and asked Elizabeth “Did you finish your list?”
Elizabeth responds by saying that she had a lot more to say and how her husband had offended her so many times and she goes on and on!
Mrs. Clara then asked her how much she prayed for her husband.
Elizabeth admitted she really didn’t pray for him.
Earlier that week same week that we watched WarRoom, we’d had a spat again. And once again, I ran upstairs, slammed the door and grabbed my journal and started writing. After a few minutes of writing out my “prayer” I went back and read old entries.
They were nearly the same.
I had been writing the same sad words for years. Why? Oh sometimes the entries looked like prayers but really it was me having my own pity party complaining to YAHUAH. Woe, is me…Why me..When will he…the same thing over and over.
So that night, I thought, if I am writing the same things, maybe I need to do something different.
Right at the end of that scene in War Room, YAHUAH directed me to get rid of all my journals. He said that by writing my complaints in my journals, I was harboring unforgiveness towards my husband.
I thought I had forgiven him, but not really. Not from my heart.
See if I really had forgiven him, I wouldn’t be holding his past mistakes as ammunition for our next disagreement. I wouldn’t be keeping a tally mark for what “I” saw as wrong. So I shared what YAHUAH had said with my husband and I threw away my journals. Now when I pray in my journals, I am not writing a list of complaints, nor “woe is me” entries but rather lifting him up and changing my anger in to prayers.
Which leads me to share #3 – See Change
YAHUAH also opened my eyes to see how much my husband had truly changed. He really is not the same man I married nearly 15 years ago – and I am H-A-P-P-Y about that! Praise YAHUAH. YAHUAH began to show me his awesome qualities and things that I truly needed to be thankful for. For example, he is not out running the streets with his “boys” he loves being at home – he is a “home hubby.” He loves YAHUAH and worships Him. He reads the scriptures to us. He prays with and for us. He is crazy about me and an awesome father. He is good with our finances – I don’t worry whether or not stuff is getting paid – I know he takes good care of us. He is funny and is a good bowler. He is self-sacrificing.
In the last year, I have come to love him more than ever. I no longer magnify nor focus on his faults. Instead I pray for him and try to honor him more. I have also read many encouraging blogs and articles that have helped me to see things differently (I will share books and blogs in another post.)
So today, fellow wives, truly and continually forgive your husband and see how much YAHUAH has changed him and you.
It was the worst argument we have had in years.
It was brutal.
It was ugly.
It was loud.
When things calmed down, separation was discussed. For real.
But for some reason, that discussion fizzled out and we kept our distance from each other for a few days. Then my husband came to me and said that maybe there was some truth in the hurtful words that were said. He said that maybe we should pray for each other in those “arrows” that we spoke of in the argument. He said that many of the things that we said, were things that continually come up (usually in arguments) so maybe there is some truth in them.
I thought about what he said. I had prayed for those arrows somewhat. But not like I needed to. I’d given up hope and carried anger instead.
So we began that day to pray. Sometimes with our kids and sometimes just us.
Surprisingly, change happened. Not necessarily in the physical but spiritual. YAHUAH began to change my anger into compassion. This compassion helped me to see that many issues are rooted in something that has happened in the past and having nothing to do with me. For example, if you have watched the movie “I Can Only Imagine” you know that Bart’s problem had nothing to do with Shannon but with his own issues. We all have our issues and like weeds, if you don’t pull them up, they will take over any place they can.
Many times now, YAHUAH prompts my heart to back off in disagreements. In many potential times of disagreement, I have been able to see the enemy’s handy work-by recognizing those arrows of words to start churning in my mind when a disagreement is on the horizon. Words like:
“Why doesn’t he…”
“He’ll never change…”
Those thoughts lead to further destructive thoughts like:
“YAHUAH doesn’t care for me…”
I know I am not alone because the enemy’s tactic has been working for marriages from the beginning. I am sure that Adam and Chuah(Who-Wah) had their share of arguments too.
But now that we see the wiles of the devil, we have done things differently. Will we always recognize him? No. And just when we recognize one way, he comes another way. So we must always be on guard.
Here are some Arrows of prayer that I frequently pray:
YAHUAH, my husband’s heart is in Your hands do as You see fit…
YAHUAH, regarding __________________ please, ______ (heal/bring deliverance, guard) his heart in this area.
YAHUAH not my will but Your will be done in my husband’s life.
Praying the word, even singing the word has helped a lot.
So what I am trying to say is that, neither arguments nor words said within arguments – have to turn into the destruction of what YAHUAH has joined. Those very arrows that the enemy desires us to use, should be turned into arrows of prayer to destroy the enemy of soul. Lastly, I read somewhere recently, that the arrows used in battle long ago, were used as a distraction in warfare. That being said, arrows of anger are just a distraction for us to lose our focus on what really is important-a marriage that brings Glory to the Father YAHUAH and His son YAHUSHA Messiah our Adonai and Savior.
For a long time, I had felt I was in a valley. Life was not terribly horrible, but emotionally I felt in a valley. I felt alone.
Then a few Sabbaths ago, I knew I had to do one thing…
Lift my eyes.
My lifted eyes, met YAHUAH’s eyes of love and grace.
He was there with me.
The valley was necessary for me. Instead of looking at the high mountains, the rocky cliffs, the deserts and potential things waiting to destroy me, I had to look up.
By looking up, I was taking my eyes off the situations, circumstances and potential storms, and seeing our Heavenly Father – YAHUAH – who is above and aware of all – and whose eyes are always on me.
Do you ever feel like you are stuck? Do you ever feel as if there is something holding you back? Maybe there is.
Maybe there is something in your past that needs to be dwelt with.
One day it might show up, then what do you do?
Do you deny it? Push it under the rug? Pretend it doesn’t exist? Run away? Or…
Humble yourself, acknowledge the issue/problem, allowing the Pain to EXPOSE your heart so that YAHUAH can Heal and Create a New Heart in You. That’s what YAHUAH wants anyway…Our Hearts. Not our Self-Righteousness-but a heart that is BROKEN before Him.
This weeks Shabbat Message is encouragement for all because we all need to be continually asking YAHUAH to Create In Me A Clean Heart
Recently we have witnessed, the ending of three families on our street. Many of the people in our subdivision, are people in their late thirties to early fifties. They are families raising children of various ages-a few children, have just begun their college journey.
While we don’t make it our business to know what is going on in the homes of other people, when a spouse seems to be missing, houses are suddenly for sale or a different woman or man is coming around, one can’t help but notice that things have changed.
As we have noticed these changes we have been grieved. Grieved for the children that are now living between two homes. Grieved because a partnership and possibly a friendship has ended. Grieved because what was meant “to be for the rest of my life” is now torn asunder.
Over the last few months, we have faced our share of marriage challenges. Sometimes the challenges were intense enough to have a thought of getting a divorce (destroying our own family). Sometimes there have been just minor misunderstandings. Sometimes it seems as though there are days that we cannot make it through without being upset with each other about something.
Marriage is work. Marriage is hard. The enemy hates marriage. As I have thought about writing the next part of Sarah’s Life, I have begun to take note that often the enemy comes in with destruction through subtle ways, seemingly harmless thoughts, moments of doubt and/or in ways/people/situations that we don’t have our armor up for. In Sarah’s life, she did not recognize the enemy speaking to her (Yashar 23:76-86). He came to her twice in a form that was not threatening. The form that he took, was viewed by Sarah as an old humble meek man-she did not recognize him so she let his words stir up her worst fear and cause her to panic (I’ll finish her story later).
Many times lately, I haven’t recognized the enemy. I’ve gotten caught up in the moment of whatever the situation was-not even realizing who was behind it. In some cases, I have recognized the hand of the enemy and in those times, I have chosen to do things differently. But this takes continual work and prayer. We must stay on guard, in every area of our lives. We must not let our marriages become devoured.
Soon my husband and I will have been married 15 years and so I have been working on writing a post, about some important things I have learned. But whenever we have an issue, it is the last thing I want to write about. That is a tactic of the enemy. Keeping the knowledge to myself, keeps me fruitless but it also stops someone who might be encouraged-from receiving encouragement.
It is time to stop letting the sneaky lion, find ways to devour our homes, marriages, children, faith, belief and hope. With much prayer and continual forgiveness and love with YAHUAH’s help, our marriages don’t have to become another statistic.
I dreaded going to see him sometimes.
He lived in the 3/4 finished basement of his mother’s house, and in order to get to the bathroom, I had to walk down a hallway. The hallway was dark with one dim light. Along the wall were pictures of….women (inappropriate magazines) that as a child at that time, I should never had to see.
As a young girl between the age of 7-11, my stomach hurt when we would go for a visit to see my dad. Part of me wanted to see him, but I did not want to see the women displayed on the wall.
As my dad began to bring us around his other girlfriends, I began to notice somethings. They weren’t like me. And they weren’t like my mother. They were fair skinned (very very light brown in color) with straight long black hair. My skin is brown. My hair is kinky. They were very thin and tall. I was not.
As my body began to change (I was just slightly plump, but looking back I was just fine), I’ll never forgot the words he said to me one day, “Hey girl, you’re getting fat.”
In that moment, I remember all the pictures of those women. Those were the women who were perfect in his eyes. The women whose beauty was summed up in how it laid bare for the world to see. Nope, that wasn’t me-but his words stuck in my head. Like a record playing over and over.
Wonderful words you say to your daughter, right? These words stuck. The images of the immodest women on his walls stuck. The memories of his girlfriends stuck. I understood that he could like any woman he wanted, but what did it say about me? Wasn’t I enough? Wasn’t I beautiful too? Was my beauty only tied to my outside? What about my heart? Couldn’t that be beautiful too?
I never really understood the power of the images and his words (lack of words too) until later in life. I often tried to be like those women but I just wasn’t. My kinky “4c” hair texture took hours just to get a curl put in when I was in the sixth grade. I never felt comfortable dressing too immodest-it just wasn’t me. I tried to be comfortable being me, but acceptance took years. Later in life, when I learned to use Photoshop, I understood that those images of those women were more than likely altered and YAHUAH began to show me that beauty is of the heart.
I was just beginning to accept myself in my middle twenties but I was still struggling a lot. At that time, the single males that were around had a similar view of outward beauty and I wasn’t what they wanted. Yet that was okay because YAHUAH had a plan. He had a plan for a man who saw my beautiful inward and out. Who wasn’t afraid of my love and devotion to our wonderful heavenly Father. He wasn’t intimidated by the amount of scriptures I knew, because he knew them too. He wasn’t afraid of my dreams and hopes, because they were his too. My husband was YAHUAH sent and like in Sarah and Toviyahu’s marriage, she was not meant to be joined to any other man but him.
My husband would (and still does), tell me that I am beautiful. On the surface I accepted his words, but on the inside, I really did not believe him. What was his motive? Surely he must really admire that woman over there?
This went on for years, until I slowly and finally, laid the hurts of my father at the feet of the Master YAHUSHA Messiah and accepted the love of our heavenly Father, YAHUAH. My earthly father my have left many voids in my life and shown me what he thought beauty was, but YAHUAH has filled those voids and given me beauty that can never fade-a fear and a love for Him.
Now, I still have some issues sometimes. From having five kids, my stomach is not what I want it to be, but my husband does not care! I have learned to receive his compliments without analyzing them. Furthermore, since we have three daughters, I have seen him pour out words of affirmation, tenderness and love-like only a father can. As I watch him with them, my heart continues to heal. By him loving me and them, our daughters will have a healthy view of themselves. Though the world may try to tell them that they aren’t enough, the words of our heavenly Father, YAHUAH and their earthly father will forever be etched on their hearts.
At the end of our rope.
Life’s storms billowing and tempestuous.
The Father YAHUAH has you right where He wants you at this point in time. YAHUSHA Messiah had a path He had to walk and so do we. YAHUAH is there with us and we must maintain our expectancy eagerly and with much patience despite what we see and feel.
No matter the storm, we must expect YAHUAH to Come To Our Rescue, believe His word and ask for help when we know that we are lacking. Nothing-troubles in life, fear, crisis, trials, persecution nor tribulations-can separate us from HIS Love and HIS purpose, nor is any valley Too Low where HE Cannot See or Hear Us.
If you are in need of some encouragement, listen to this week’s Shabbat Message: Come To My Rescue