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SpiritLed COMMAND YOUR EMOTIONS  |  PRAISE IN YOUR PAIN  |  DISCOVER TRUE BEAUTY

Woman

Empowered for Purpose

APRIL 2016

We’re back!

STILL

BEFORE THE LORD By Joanna Weaver

Made Whole When the Hurt Is Deep By Sarah Bowling

Lisa Bevere GIRLS WITH SWORDS


A NEW TRANSLATION to Highlight the Jewish Roots of the Christian Faith

“THE TREE OF LIFE VERSION IS A MIRACLE IN MOTION.” —Jack Hayford

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he Tree of Life Version (TLV) speaks with a decidedly Jewishfriendly voice—a Bible with a voice like the Bible authors themselves—to recover the authentic context of the Bible and the Christian faith. Most Bible translations lose the connection to the Jewish nature of the Bible. As a result, biblical books that were written to Jews, for Jews, and about Jews lose a critical element—their actual Jewish essence. The rich Jewish tradition of the Christian faith has been recovered and made clear in the Tree of Life Version.

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SpiritLed WOMAN

CONTENTS

COVER STORY

10  Girls With Swords

Jesus can powerfully redeem our wounds and scars. By Sarah Bowling

24  Worship

Praise God in your pain to discover God’s grace. By Darlene Zschech

30  Quiet Time

Learn the value of being still before the Lord.

Get rid of the drama that takes over your life. By June Evans

52  Parenting

Add a little color to your faith walk. By Dr. Steve Greene

By Cheri Fuller

62  Single Life

What should a Christian woman do while she is single and waiting for a spouse? By Jessilyn Justice

38  Ministry Life

74  Beauty

By Rebekah Kolenda

8  Favor!

Take these six steps when your children forsake the faith.

By Joanna Weaver

How I serve in the home as my husband ministers around the world.

COLUMNS

COVER: ANDERS HAUKLAND

18  Relationships

44  Emotions

Amanda May uses cosmetics to help women—including celebrities—find their worth. By Leilani Haywood

82 82  Devotional

Here’s what to do when you feel ready to snap. By Jennifer LeClaire

SpiritLed Woman is a supplement of Charisma magazine and is published quarterly by Charisma Media. Copyright © 2016 Charisma Media. All rights reserved. Printed in USA. Editorial and Advertising offices: 600 Rinehart Road, Lake Mary, FL 32746, Tel: 407-333-0600, spiritledwoman.com. PRINTED IN THE USA

|

FEATURES

By Lisa Bevere

TOC: © ISTOCKPHOTO/DOLGACHOV

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Practical and prophetic, Lisa Bevere challenges Christian women to intentionally prepare themselves for spiritual battle with the enemy of their souls.


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SpiritLed

APRIL • 2016

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Woman

STAFF

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Subscribe 800-829-3346 cracustserv@cdsfulfillment.com EDITORIAL AND ADVERTISING OFFICES: 600 Rinehart Road Lake Mary, FL 32746 Phone: 407-333-0600 Fax: 407-333-7100 Email: spiritledwoman @charismamedia.com Website: spiritledwoman.com ADVERTISING POLICY: Charisma Media fully supports journalistic integrity with the editorial provided in our print and online products. SpiritLed Woman strives to maintain the highest journalistic principles. Advertising in SpiritLed Woman does not imply or suggest support of editorial endorsement. MAILING LIST: We make a portion of our mailing list available to reputable firms. If you would prefer that we not include your name, call 800-829-3346, write to us at 600 Rinehart Road, Lake Mary, FL 32746, or email us at magcustsvc@charismamedia.com.

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Where the World Meets to Pray Pricing Regular edition is $13.00 (1 year - 6 issues) $13.99 (6 issues large print)

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❧ FAVOR!

Add a Little Color to Your Walk Color while you pray! Adult coloring books have been around for many years, but recently the sales of sophisticated coloring books have skyrocketed. By Dr. Steve Greene Social media has stimulated the trend as people share their “artwork” on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. Pins are chock-full of tips and tricks to better coloring. Where were these Pinsters when I was failing coloring in kindergarten? It’s fascinating to see the attention given to pen-and-pencil media. I’ve long been a lover of pens. The new Prismacolor and Sharpie varieties make simple note taking more colorful. Coloring my notes is a creative enhancement of the mundane. You can find high-quality bound coloring books from Passio. The Promises of God is the most recently published coloring book for adults. Look for more throughout the year. You can find the book online or at your local Christian bookstore. We hope to add a page to be colored to every issue of SpiritLed Woman (p. 83). Let us know what you think of this new feature. You will also find the stories in this magazine to be full of color and relevance. Our cover story with Lisa Bevere is uplifting and provides practical counsel for walking in the Spirit. Lisa has often made a stand for Christ and shares stories to help you in the stand you make for the kingdom. 8

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Darlene Zschech offers encouragement in her article “Praise in Pain.” Darlene learned to worship God in a new way as she endured her cancer treatments. Many of us also struggle with emotional battles. June Evans helps us understand that God created us with an inventory of emotions. She provides a good word for keeping our emotions under authority. Don’t miss her story about coconut cream pie! One of my favorite stories in this magazine is written by Jessilyn Justice, one of our young and talented editors. In addition to being a joy to work with, she is a gifted storyteller. She shares a story about Jim and Sophia Russell. The Holy Spirit directed them to each other in a powerful way and accented their meeting with gold dust. This story means so much to me because of my long relationship with the Russells. I’ve heard their story of meeting and courtship, and each time I hear it, I feel like I’ve received an impartation from the Holy Spirit. Color some love as you read this story. As always, Jennifer LeClaire has written a powerful, insightful column on pressure from the Holy Ghost. Jennifer wields a velvet hammer as she directs us to the Lord. Our Father will stretch us, and it may sting from time to time. But Jennifer reminds us that spiritual breakthroughs occur with growing pains. Enjoy this issue of SpiritLed Woman. We colored it with you in mind.

DR. STEVE GREENE is publisher and executive vice president of the Media Group at Charisma Media. spiritled woman.com

SEAN ROBERTS

Be inspired to grow closer to God through creative expression of faith


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COVER STORY

GIRLS WITH SWORDS Living by the Spirit’s power to combat the enemy of your souls

ou’ve been entrusted with an invincible, invisible, eternal weapon—and it’s time you used it. Whether you’re aware or not, you are part of an epic battle, and God does not want His daughters to be unarmed or unaware. The success of the most recent Star Wars movie hints at just what might happen if we become girls with swords. We do not live by the violence of a sword, but it is high time we lived by the power of one. To illustrate this point, I am going to turn to another movie, the original Terminator. OK, stay with me. I’m not endorsing the movie or suggesting you watch it. I saw an edited-for-TV version, and it was still ’80s awful! But amid the ridiculous hair, disjointed music and bad acting, I found something valuable. In case you’re unfamiliar with the movie, allow me to paint a vastly shortened version for you. It is the story of Sarah Connor, a moped-riding waitress who serves pie and coffee by day and hopes one of her blind dates will work out by night. All of that changes when a robotic assassin from the future interrupts her life. The Terminator—aka Arnold Schwarzenegger, actor and California’s former governor—has time-traveled with one goal: the elimination of anyone bearing the name Sarah Connor. As he systematically works his way down the list, Sarah slips out to a bar to hide in a crowd. However, the 10

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Terminator is relentless and shows up at the club, guns blazing and wreaking mayhem. In the midst of the chaos, Kyle Reese—Sarah’s protector from the future—appears and says to her: “Come with me if you wanna live.” It doesn’t take Sarah long to decide. She wants to live! She leaves with Kyle, and the two of them are on the run. A high-speed chase ensues, and as bullets fly and cars crash, Kyle tries to tell Sarah who she is. He explains that in the future she is a hero in the fight against the enemy of all mankind. An entire army wages war, equipped with foresight and the strategies she recorded and passed on to her son. Sarah does not believe she is a player in this absurd future story. She is confident there is a case of mistaken identity. Sarah counters that she’s just a waitress who doesn’t even have a boyfriend, so certainly there’s no son! Her guardian has made a grave mistake; he’s confused her with someone else! But he insists that she is, in fact, a hero, and his mission is to equip and protect her. Understandingly overwhelmed and undone, Sarah yells, “I didn’t do anything!” To which Kyle insists, “No, but you will!”

Choose to Be a Hero As I sat with my son on the sofa, watching this movie, that line from decades past crashed into my present with the realization that our enemy often knows who we are long spiritled woman.com

AUDREY HANNAH BROOKS

Y

BY LISA BEVERE


Lisa Bevere

s pir it l ed w om a n . c om Sp i ritLed WO M AN | April 2016

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before we awaken and realize who we are. I need you to know the two things Sarah learned in the Terminator movie. Lovely one: 1) You are a target. 2) You might be a hero. I say “might” be because the choice is ultimately yours. But if you’re a Christian, you are a target. The moment you are anointed by God’s Spirit, you are noted by the enemy. There’s no choice about this. There is a real, highly structured force of darkness in this Earth that wrestles against all who represent God’s light and life. Satan wants to distract you from who you really are and from the true purpose of your life. He wants to lure you off the path of strength, life and authority and onto a course of intentional destruction. Satan knows your potential and is systematically working to undermine your future. This is why I believe the present attacks on your life have much more to do with who you might be in the future than with who you have been in the past. You see, like the assassin in The Terminator, the enemy has your name. Don’t let this frighten you. Take a 12

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deep breath and realize you are alive with purpose. Don’t get paranoid or take this personally because the attack is against one and all. Remember everything you’ve been through in your life, then throw your shoulders back and realize no one launches a large-scale systematic assault against anyone who is not considered a threat. “Christian” is more than an assignment to a religious group; it means “anointed one.” You are a beloved, royal daughter of the Most High God. The enemy’s tactics are different with each of us, and he will do all within his power to hinder or bend your growth to his purposes and distract you from your destiny. When you were born again, you left normal behind. This doesn’t mean you became weird or abnormal; it just means you were stripped of average and common when you were covered in His righteousness. You may live in this earthly time period, but you are ultimately a daughter of eternity.

Know You Are a Target The fact that you are female makes you a more specific target and the worthy recipient of Satan’s enmity. ➤ spiritled woman.com

LAKEWOOD CHURCH

Thousands of women committed to take up their crosses and live like heroes after hearing Lisa Bevere speak at Lakewood Church’s 2015 Love Your Life women’s event.


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COVER STORY

“I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring” (Gen. 3:15). Enmity is “deep-rooted hatred and irreconcilable hostility.” This describes a breach so profound that with each passing generation, Satan’s hostility and hatred deepen because he knows he’s running out of time. Never has his attack against women and children been more wicked, obvious and widespread. In addition to the atrocity of sex trafficking, there is undeniable evidence that conservatively estimates 50 million women are presently missing from the Earth. What do I mean by “missing”? These daughters are gone, meaning they were never born or were killed at birth. The major reason for their disappearance is the evil practice of gendercide. Just as genocide is slaughter based on race, gendercide is slaughter based on gender. I believe we are on the threshold of yet another release from human oppression and captivity, but this time, it is the girls, not the boys, who are the target. Satan is not able to

touch our bridegroom, Jesus, so his onslaught is now waged against the bride of Christ. “Then the dragon was angry with the woman, and he went to wage war with the remnant of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Rev. 12:17). In her book, Unnatural Selection, Mara Hvistendahl cites statistics that show this outrage may be more than a startling 160 million baby girls lost. In countries such as China, India and Pakistan and on the continent of Africa, simply being a girl endangers your life. It could mean pre-emptive abortion, abuse, trafficking, neglect or honor killing. Lovely one, you should not imagine you are safe just because you do not live in a developing nation. Your birth location just means you will be targeted in a different way and from another angle. I believe he is already working hard to distract you, diminish your role and divide you from your purpose so you will never give birth to God’s plan for your life. I do not share these things to frighten you. I want you to know the weight of your

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HILLSONG CHURCH SOUTH AFRICA

“This conflict is ultimately with spiritual wickedness in high places, and therefore, it will require heavenly strategy, prayer, unity and, of course, a sword.”

spiritled woman.com


COVER STORY

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John and Lisa Bevere redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory” (Eph. 1:11-14). Becoming who God created you to be is at once your best offense and your best defense against all the enemy’s strategies. He obviously didn’t stop you from drawing breath, so now it is time to keep him from aborting the life God planted inside you. When the enemy oppresses us, it is always because he fears what we might become. I believe you are positioned to become an extraordinary, heroic daughter of the Most High God—one who behaves virtuously, matures brilliantly and lives with the intent of enhancing the lives of others. So lean into God, lift your sword, boldly pray His Word and show the enemy the lovely face of a hero.

LISA BEVERE is the author of several best-sellers, including Lioness Arising, Fight Like a Girl and Kissed the Girls and Made Them Cry, and travels the globe speaking at events such as Propel, Hillsong Colour Your World and Joyce Meyer conferences. This article is based on content from Girls With Swords (WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group). Follow her on Facebook (facebook.com/lisabevere.page) and Twitter (@lisabevere). spiritled woman.com

J O E L YA N K E

moment in history. As a daughter of this age, the target dynamic is a certainty. The hero factor is a choice. This is not an earthly battle. This conflict is ultimately with spiritual wickedness in high places, and therefore, it will require heavenly strategy, prayer, unity and, of course, a sword. Turn from the numbers. As horrible as they are, they only hint of a greater darkness. It is time you lift your eyes and lend your voice to what heaven would want to speak into this void. The storyline is set. On one side, a relentlessly cruel enemy is perpetually bent on your destruction, and on the other side, a magnificent Prince of unfailing love is equally determined that you realize all He created you to be. The role you choose to play in this altercation is what is in question. Will you be an unarmed civilian, victim, prisoner of war or hero? “There is no neutral ground in the universe; every square inch, every split second, is claimed by God and counterclaimed by Satan,” C.S. Lewis says. There is no middle ground. It is only a matter of time before you must join one side or another. It is always better to predetermine your position with decisive intention rather than have it chosen for you by passive default. Remember, God chose you before He even created the Earth. “In Him also we have received an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His own will, that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, should live for the praise of His glory. In Him you also, after hearing the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and after believing in Him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the


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Redeeming Wounds & Scars

BY SARAH BOWLING

I

Our Deepest Pain It’s no surprise that the Samaritan woman was hyperprotective and even evasive when Jesus asked her for a drink of water. Jesus’ conversation with the Samaritan woman shows how He can redeem the deep scars and wounds from our own relationships and turn them 18

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spiritled woman.com

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n a mental “conversation” with someone who had knowingly let me flounder and fail in front of several hundred people, I exclaimed, “You’re a class-A jerk!” Being embarrassed and even humiliated can create some challenges with trusting people. Needless to say, I experienced some fallout trust challenges with this person—when trust in any relationship is platinum currency. Once trust is betrayed, we do all kinds of things to shield ourselves from getting hurt or having to relive a painful experience. I was living this rerun yet again when the Holy Spirit reminded me how Jesus interacted with the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4:4-42.


❧ RELATIONSHIPS

How Jesus makes you whole when the hurt is deep into building blocks to make our relationships healthy and constructive. From the outset, many of us live in a quiet and shared sisterhood with the Samaritan woman. At the beginning of the story, John tells us that Jesus had to pass through Samaria. But an upstanding Jew at this time in history would do everything to avoid going through Samaria. In fact, he would dodge the region entirely to protect his religious scruples. But defying convention and custom, Jesus goes through Samaria and sits down by a well around noontime, tired from His journey. Interestingly enough, a woman comes at this time to draw water, and Jesus engages

her in seemingly innocent dialogue. In my thinking, since Jesus is God’s Son and knows everything, He already has this conversation scooped in His mind, start to finish, and knows with whom He is talking. Before the conversation begins, Jesus knows the Samaritan woman with all of her warts and failures. Truth be told, most of us probably would have avoided chatting with such a person, knowing what Jesus knew about her—which brings us to an interesting observation. This woman has come by herself to draw water when there’s the least chance that anyone will be around. This is significant because it’s out of character with our normal chick behavior. Consider that we are highly relational, even going to the restroom in pairs! This woman, on the other hand—although most of the women came with their water jars in the morning and evening—has come to the well at the least social time of the day. Perhaps this is why Jesus started the conversation with her asking for a drink of water, fully intending to dive into a robust and redeeming conversation with her. The religious and social culture of this day was extremely strict on the interaction between men and women. In fact, most Jews believed that Samaritans were nothing less than second-class citizens for whom disdain, if not outright rejection, was the appropriate attitude. So when Jesus asked the Samaritan woman for a drink of water, He was defying both religious and social norms. I’m grateful Jesus doesn’t stay in our little airtight conventions or expectations of divine behavior. The truth is, you and I both need Jesus to defy and even obliterate the pious and divisive chasms we’ve developed as a result of hurt and trust betrayal—even if these maintain the appearance of religion and propriety. When our behavior isolates us from

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❧ RELATIONSHIPS healthy interactions, it’s high time for divine intervention, and this is exactly what Jesus means to do from the outset of His engagement with the Samaritan woman. So our Samaritan woman asks in John 4:9, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” Based on her question, Jesus draws her

Samaritan woman. Everything is flowers and sunshine until He introduces shady subjects, painful experiences and hurtful memories. These remind us why we’ve isolated ourselves in the first place and chosen dysfunctional behaviors to deal with our struggles. I am seriously grateful that Jesus steps right into the middle of the most painful places

“Let Jesus talk with you about those memories and experiences in your heart that carry so much pain.”

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in our hearts and brings His light, healing and love to our broken and dysfunctional garbage. Here is where Jesus’ conversation with the Samaritan woman gets super interesting. He agrees that she doesn’t have a husband, that she has had five husbands and that the man she is with currently isn’t her husband. Talk about skeletons in the closet! Jesus is exposing her deepest and most painful secret, which is also likely why she is collecting water by herself, in dysfunctional isolation. The woman quickly tries to change the subject and talk about religion, which could be a good deflection for the average Jewish man—except that Jesus isn’t average by any stretch of the imagination. Nevertheless, He goes down the rabbit trail with her.

Jesus’ Deepest Secret At this point in the conversation, Jesus does something altogether spectacular, spiritled woman.com

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deeper into an increasingly engaging dialogue. “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who is saying to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water” (John 4:10). The woman replies that He doesn’t have anything to use for drawing water from the well. Jesus then makes the conversation increasingly intimate, perpetuating their discussion with statements that evoke curiosity in her and more dialogue with Him—until there’s an abrupt halt. When Jesus instructs the woman to go and call her husband, she suddenly clams up. “I have no husband,” she says. Before these four words, this woman has been relatively chatty, but clearly He has struck a raw nerve. Jesus knew full well what He was doing when He brings up the husband topic. Whenever He starts to rummage around in our closet of skeletons, we often have the same reaction as the


❧ RELATIONSHIPS which we often overlook. In congruent revelation with the woman’s dysfunction and brokenness, Jesus shares His own deepest secret with this damaged woman, possibly before He tells anyone else. She says, “‘I know that Messiah is coming’ (who is called Christ). ‘When He comes, He will tell us all things’” (verse 25). He replies, “I who speak with you am He.” Not only does Jesus expose the woman’s deepest pain and failure, but He exposes His deepest identity with her, declaring to this Samaritan woman that He is the long-expected Messiah and prophesied Savior of the world. This idea leaves me undone—that Jesus would organize His itinerary to “accidentally” bump into a broken and dysfunctional woman not only to convey He is not put off or repelled by any of her dysfunction, pain, neediness or brokenness, but also to divulge His true identity. Most of us would avoid someone like this, justifying our behavior since we can’t let someone suck the life out of us or bleed us dry with endless needs. Not Jesus. In fact, He takes engagement to the next level by revealing His true identity. So how does she respond to such vulnerability and transparency? She leaves her water jug at the well, rushes into town, finds the men (a few of whom she may have been married to) and exclaims, “Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did.” There’s no more isolation in her behavior. In fact, she piques everyone’s curiosity to meet

the nonconformist man about whom she speaks. So the town turns out to see who this guy is. Long story short, everyone in the town becomes a follower of Jesus—all out of one simple conversation about a drink of water. So consider a few takeaways to apply: 1. Let Jesus talk with you about those memories and experiences in your heart that carry so much pain, causing you to make dysfunctional and unwise decisions. 2. Let the reality of who Jesus is sink into and infuse your soul—redeeming, repairing and renovating your mindset, conversations and relationships. In the experience I described at the beginning of this article, I was tempted to isolate myself from this person who had lost my trust. But as the Holy Spirit reminded me of the Samaritan woman, I brought my pain and betrayal to Jesus, giving Him permission to talk me through the experience for outcomes of redemption and not dysfunction. Do you want to increase your intimacy with Jesus? Be sure to allow the Holy Spirit access to your treasury of trust!

“Let the reality of who Jesus is sink into and infuse your soul—

redeeming, repairing and renovating your

mindset, conversations

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SARAH BOWLING is the founder of Saving Moses and co-host with her mom, Marilyn Hickey, on their daily television program, Today With Marilyn and Sarah. She writes a daily blog (sarahbowling.me), and Chosen released her latest book, Heavenly Help, last month. spiritled woman.com

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and relationships.”


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DECEPTION?

This true love story will inspire you to fulfill God's purposes by: •   Giving you valuable lessons about red flags in a new relationship •   Teaching you to experience the joy of the Holy Spirit in the midst of trials •   Showing you the power of forgiveness in healing and restoration •   Helping you see God's grace at work in the midst of a 30-year deception

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❧ SUFFERING

raise

IN OUR PAIN Why it’s important to worship God as we endure suffering f you are walking through the valley of the shadow of death, all I can say to you today is hang on. The psalmist makes a statement that says, “Though darkness is all around, I will fear no evil” (see Ps. 23:4). My heart breaks for my brothers and sisters in Christ who are under persecution, for those who are in abusive relationships, for children who are growing up without loving parents to guide them and instill in them an assurance of being loved. There are those who conspire to tear down 24

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our sense of worth and potential. They would have us live with a spirit of fear, intimidation, depression and oppression. That’s why it is critical to remember the finished work of the cross when evil tries to press in on every side. Whatever situation you find yourself in, know this: God is present. Worship Him—recognizing and acknowledging His greatness—even in moments of great pain, and you will discover His grace and power is sufficient: “Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, ‘My grace spiritled woman.com

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BY DARLENE ZSCHECH


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❧ SUFFERING is all you need. My power works best in weakness'” (2 Cor. 12:8-9, NLT). When you are in the pit of suffering, there is only one direction you can go: up. Look up. Look for God. Look for your Redeemer. We know that’s what Joseph did when he told his brothers why he forgave them (after testing their character): “You

Darlene Zschech

“My theology was put through a sieve, and I had to lean into every Scripture I knew to be true about God’s providence, and that it was not His desire that I or my family should suffer.” 26

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intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people” (Gen. 50:20). He saw God’s hand at work in his life. He never doubted God’s love for him. He knew that even if he had lost his lovely multicolored coat, the sign of his earthly father’s favor, he was favored by God—his heavenly Father—and that he still had a part in God’s plan to save His people. Like Esther, he knew he was born for this moment and had an eternal destiny. To rediscover these words in Galatians was a real strength to me: “But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [that can bring a charge]” (Gal. 5:22-23, AMP). Mark and I have come through the hardest year of our lives. My life has not been without challenges, beginning in childhood, but honestly, I have felt so protected in my days and years. Breast cancer was a new level of deep suffering. My theology was put through a sieve, and I had to lean into every Scripture I knew to be true about God’s providence, and that it was not His desire that I or my family should suffer. To see His kids in pain hurts Him too. To fully trust God during times of immense pain is one of the great gifts of a trial. You find the beautiful Holy Spirit is there, no matter how broken you are or how disappointed you are or how hopeless you feel. The stance of worship is made possible only through the power of the Holy Spirit. We worship Him in our moments of success. But we also worship Him in suffering, spiritled woman.com


PREPARING YOUR CHILDREN FOR

The Battleground of Marriage! 2 Corinthians 2:11 admonishes the believer to know and understand the devices, tricks and traps of the enemy. Marriage is a battleground. We need to exercise mastery to excel and win this war! Individuals usually begin PRAYING for a mate without understanding the “rules of the game”. How can we win the war against a skilled adversary, when we lack a keen understanding of the Scriptural principles of Marriage? Marriage (God’s way) has been attacked like never before. Teach your children and grandchildren the ways of the Lord regarding sexuality and marriage. God has promised us that they will not depart from their training. Knowledge of the Lord’s will and His ways, equip our children to carefully discern the voice of the Lord from the voice of their emotions. Will you take personal responsibility for teaching your children Biblical principles concerning marriage? You can impact future generations by doing so. “To Have and to Hold…Or Not?” Is a contemporary and informative look into the covert and often complex issues that erode marriage and family. Biblical principles for the proper establishment and maintenance of a healthy marriage are revealed. It is a tremendous resource for Singles desiring to marry, anyone who mentors young people, and married couples. Visit the website and order your copy today.

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❧ SUFFERING

“Are you suffering? In pain? Discover God's grace in worship.”

No One Like You There’s no one like Jesus There’s no one like Jesus Rescued me from darkness Fill my life with gladness Carrying my burdens Peace in every battle There’s no one like Jesus Calm in every storm You walk with me through suffering You will not let me go Your presence overwhelms my heart Lord there’s no one like You There’s no one like Jesus There’s no one like Jesus Strength in times of weakness Joyful in Your presence You meet me in my sadness Walk with me through fire 28

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There’s no one like Jesus Calm in every storm You won it all at Calvary The saving grace of God I’ll never be the same again Lord there’s no one like You The heavens are open over me Your glory is like the sun And nothing can separate me From Your love

DARLENE ZSCHECH is the author of Worship Changes Everything: Experiencing God’s Presence in Every Moment of Life. She and her husband, Mark, are pastors of Hope Unlimited Church, a multisite congregation in New South Wales, Australia. A singer, songwriter and worship leader, Zschech is perhaps most famous for the song “Shout to the Lord.” Taken from Worship Changes Everything. Copyright ©2015 by Extravagant Worship Inc. Published by Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group (bakerpublishinggroup.com). Used by permission. spiritled woman.com

© ISTOCKPHOTO/PETEWILL

when we are in the wilderness. Are you suffering? In pain? Discover God’s grace in worship. Be honest, but listen. Look up. Take to heart Paul’s words: “No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us” (Rom. 8:37).


❧ QUIET TIME

STILL

BEFORE THE LORD What a ‘quiet time’ looks like for today’s Christian woman uiet time. Being raised in a Christian home, I remember hearing that term since I was a little girl. I loved how it sounded, like a special invitation to spend time with Jesus—just the two of us. Now and then, if I woke up early, I’d hear my dad praying as I made my way to the 30

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bathroom. Peeking through his bedroom door, I’d see him kneeling beside his bed having his devotions. Although I didn’t fully understand what he was doing, I liked it, especially when I heard him call out my name to the Lord. Unfortunately, as I grew up, the invitation I’d sensed as a little girl grew into a religious duty—something I had to do in order to be spiritled woman.com

© I S TO C K P H OTO/ TA S S I I

Q

BY JOANNA WEAVER


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❧ QUIET TIME a good Christian. Without realizing it, a list of requirements and expectations grew up around the idea of a daily time with the Lord. But instead of drawing me closer to Jesus, the self-imposed rules actually stood

Bible study and then at least another hour in door-to-door witnessing. (OK, I may be exaggerating but not by much!) But my surplus of good intentions constantly ran into my lack of discipline. I’d

“God never intended your relationship with Him to be a duty; instead,

in the way—as they always do. It isn’t our work-based Christianity that allows us to come to God. It’s the work Jesus did on the cross (Heb. 4:16).

Be Still My Soul What’s holding you back from having a regular quiet time? Perhaps the very term feels loaded with shoulds and ought tos. It’s another thing to add to the endless checklist of your life, so maybe later, you think, when life slows down. I’d like to share some good news. God never intended your relationship with Him to be a duty; instead, He wants it to be a delight. We need to peel away the myths and unrealistic expectations of our flesh that the enemy uses to keep us from experiencing the joy of knowing Jesus and being known by Him. Myth Buster No. 1: A quiet time doesn’t have to be long. To be honest, this idea tripped me up for most of my young adult life in Christ. I was fairly certain that a quiet time should involve an hour in prayer, an hour in 32

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start out with strong resolve (especially each Jan. 1), but it wouldn’t be long before I’d throw my hands up in despair and decide to try again next year. Being a frustrated perfectionist, if I couldn’t do it “all,” I’d default to nothing. Oh, I still loved Jesus. I still talked with Him and He with me. But a dedicated quiet time each day? It just didn’t seem possible. Thankfully, the Lord kept reassuring me of His love and wooing me by His Spirit. “It isn’t the amount of time you spend that matters,” He’d whisper gently. “It’s the fact that you take the time to invite me into your life.” Start small, but begin. Those simple words helped me begin to carve out the time for devotions and is advice I still turn to today because there are times I forget to do devotions. Rather than beating myself up for my lapse, I simply run to Jesus and begin again. Pastor Greg Laurie sees spiritual hunger as the opposite of natural hunger. “When you’re hungry in the natural, you spiritled woman.com

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❧ QUIET TIME good” (Ps. 34:8), you’ll want more and more time with Jesus—which is wonderful because He longs for time with you.

“It was a wonderful relief to discover that Jesus was more than willing to adjust His schedule in order to meet−no matter the time of day or night.” eat and are satisfied,” he says. “But with spiritual hunger, it isn’t until you begin eating that you discover how hungry you really are!” So here’s what I suggest for those of you who have never had a daily quiet time. Rather than setting yourself up to fail, start small, but begin. Set aside five minutes to open your Bible and meditate on a short portion of Scripture. Talk to God about it. Present your needs to Him and invite the Holy Spirit to lead and guide you throughout the day. Guess what? You’ve just had a quiet time! Now, tomorrow, do it again. As your spiritual appetite increases, you’ll find yourself setting aside 10 minutes, then 20, and that time will continue to grow. When you “taste and see that the Lord is 34

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Many women wonder how to find time in the middle of diapers and carpools, not to mention full-time careers. “How can I have a quiet time?” a friend asked me not long ago. “There’s nothing quiet about my life!” Don’t let the noise of life be a hindrance. Instead of escaping busyness and responsibilities, Jesus wants to join you there. Myth Buster No. 2: A quiet time doesn’t necessarily have to be quiet. Though my goal is to have a daily sit-down time with the Lord, I’m learning there are creative ways we can connect with the Lord all day long. Consider these options when you can’t take a longer, dedicated quiet time: •  Turn on worship music as you clean— sing, pray in the Spirit and practice memory verses. “Do everything ... as to the Lord” (Col. 3:23, NKJV). •  Listen to the Bible while driving. There are great apps available. •  Pray while you exercise. Expand your faith muscle! •  Take God out for coffee. Do your Bible study at a restaurant or coffee shop. •  Go for a walk with Jesus. Pray for people and praise God for the beauty around you. •  Have a quiet time with your kids. Teach them how to do it. Don’t be afraid to be creative in the way you meet with God. Welcome Him into the ordinary moments, and the mundane will become holy. Give the Holy Spirit permission to interrupt, then go where He leads. Do life with Jesus—it just doesn’t get better than that! ➤ spiritled woman.com

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❧ QUIET TIME Still in the Morning—Still at Night

Still and Settled Whether you’re new to the idea of a quiet time or have had regular devotions for years, remember this: A quiet time isn’t about performing for God. It’s about being with God. And oh, how we need it! Throughout the Psalms, a little word recurs frequently—“Selah.” Seventy-one times this word serves as a break, a pause. It means stop and think. Weigh what you’ve read. There’s no specific length of time attached to the pause. Instead, it seems left up to the individual. Selah. It’s a call to rest and reflect, to be still and breathe deeply, to settle into the moment and remain a while. This Selah thought seems to be at the 36

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“A quiet time isn’t about performing for God. It’s about being with God. And oh, how we need it!” heart of quiet time with the Lord. “Stop doing, Joanna,” I hear Him whisper. “Sit at my feet. Lay aside your busyness and just belong to Me. I want to be your place of quiet retreat.” What a beautiful invitation! It’s everything I’ve longed for, everything I need.

JOANNA WEAVER is a popular speaker and the best-selling author of Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, Having a Mary Spirit and Lazarus Awakening. She and her husband, Pastor John Weaver, and family make their home in Hamilton, Montana. Visit her blog, joannaweaverbooks.com, for more quiet time tips and helps. spiritled woman.com

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Another self-imposed expectation I had to get rid of before I could move forward in my walk with the Lord was the idea that truly godly people met Jesus early in the day. Myth Buster No. 3: A quiet time doesn’t have to be first thing in the morning. I’ve always had a strong aversion to getting up when it’s dark. I admire women who get up at 4 a.m., spend an hour in the Word, then an hour exercising before fixing breakfast for their children (all the while weaving flax, selling land and providing for handmaids like the Proverbs 31 woman evidently did!). It was a wonderful relief to discover that Jesus was more than willing to adjust His schedule in order to meet—no matter the time of day or night. So you’re free to find a time of day that works best for you. If one time no longer works well with my schedule, I’m not afraid to try another. I don’t want to miss the invitation. I need time with Jesus. “You’re my place of quiet retreat,” David writes in Psalm 119:114 (MSG). “I wait for your Word to renew me.”


ARE YOUR DREAMS

DYING ON THE VINE? There is nothing more powerful than a dream from God. It can stir you, push you, and even transform you into His messenger of hope. So often, once we receive the dream, vision or prophetic word for our lives, we fail to realize the steps that comes next.

Inside these pages is the story of Joseph and his dream. His story has been told many times, Nevertheless, God wants to encourage you in a new way to trust Him to bring your dream to pass. “Remember this one rule: God always reveals, reverses, and then restores! This is your moment to believe and dream again. In the book Constitution of Iron, we are taught that regardless of what others think or how they may harm your calling, God still has a plan. This book is destined to be a classic.” —Pat Schatzline Evangelist, Mercy Seat Ministries

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Rebekah and Daniel Kolenda

SERVING AT HOME

The challenges of being married to a globe-trotting evangelist y husband has seen millions of people come to Christ in more than 60 nations on five continents. Translation: He travels—a lot. Meanwhile, somebody has to run the errands and manage the household. That would be me. I spend most of my time 38

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raising our four children and tending to the more mundane aspects of life. As a result, I have discovered that some people expect me to be bitter and jealous of my husband’s whirlwind tours and international adventures, but that is not the case. While I enjoy travel and adventure, I also spiritled woman.com

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❧ MINISTRY LIFE

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time together, but we savor the moments we do have and intentionally get the most out of each opportunity. 3. Eternal purpose. Despite the modest nature of my role, I feel the call of God as much as my husband does. I consider my contribution vital to the fulfillment of what God has asked us to do. We share the calling and,

“As I focus on God as Father and Husband, I feel the pressure release as I rest in the fact that He is in control.”

Rebekah and Daniel Kolenda are raising four children in a busy household. therefore, we share responsibility. No, I’m not often there with him when he is ministering, but I realize that without my devotion to my calling as a mom and wife, my husband’s calling to evangelism would suffer tremendously. Is it hard? It can be. But when the kids come to me with tears in their eyes saying they miss daddy, we take it as an opportunity to pray for him. I take great comfort in the fact that the Lord knows every tear shed and every sacrifice we make. One day we will see it was all worthwhile. By focusing on the eternal spiritled woman.com

O L E K S A N D R V O LY K

love my life and I take my role as seriously as he takes his. I don’t claim to be an expert, but along the way, I have learned some invaluable lessons from the Holy Spirit and through godly mentors. I believe I can boil those lessons down to just one word: focus. If you wonder how I can keep a smile on my face in this world full of travel, intense scheduling and high demand— and family life—I’ve learned that keeping my sanity is truly a matter of focus. This is what I aim to focus on: 1. The good parts. What we choose to dwell on is very powerful. Rather than thinking about how lonely I feel or where I wish I could go, I can choose to focus on the wonderful reunion we will have on the day my husband returns home. Rather than dwelling on how demanding our schedule is because of the ministry, I can choose to focus on the privileges and blessings God has given us because of the call. Many years ago, a dear friend, the wife of a traveling minister who had been living this lifestyle for decades, gave me some wonderful counsel: “Your children are like mirrors. They will reflect what they see in you.” I remember this and try to stay optimistic even when things seem less than perfect. It’s amazing how simply keeping a positive outlook can brighten the day for you and your family. 2. Quality rather than quantity. Since our family can’t spend every day together, we try to make the most of the time we do have. This doesn’t happen without intentional effort. We prioritize family devotions, praying, eating and engaging in activities together as a family. We schedule date nights for my husband and I and “daddy dates” where the kids get quality one-onone time with dad. We may not have much


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❧ MINISTRY LIFE

The Kolendas were warmly received at the 2014 gospel crusade in Burundi, East Africa.

“The devil would love to see you discouraged and frustrated with yourself. This would poison your home.” on God as my Husband and our Father. When I do this, I can feel a tangible difference. I’m saying, “Hands off, devil! We are the King’s.” As I focus on God as Father and Husband, I feel the pressure release as I rest in the fact that He is in control. It’s called “trust.” It’s called “rest.” And I have found it makes all the difference. 5. Taking care of yourself. At first, this may sound a bit selfish, but if you don’t 42

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take care of yourself, you aren’t much good for those who depend on you. This is much like on an airplane when you’re told in case of oxygen loss to first put on your oxygen mask before assisting others. The devil would love to see you discouraged and frustrated with yourself. This would poison your home and become an inroad for depression and tension, so you need to make time for yourself. What does this look like? It looks like exercising and eating right, even when you feel lonely and want to go on an ice cream binge. It looks like taking a hot shower and putting makeup on—even when no one is going to see you. It means finding a way to get some alone time, especially—and most importantly—time in prayer. This is where strength comes from. Taking care of yourself is important, not only for you, but for everyone who loves and depends on you. By keeping your heart happy and your mind busy, you’ll discover there’s no time to be negative. By practicing these principles, I’ve been able to keep my sanity as well as have a healthy marriage and peaceful family life. When challenges arise and struggles rear their heads, I lean on God and dwell on my favorite Bible verse, which I’ll leave for you to focus on too: “Be strong and of a good courage. Fear not, nor be afraid of them, for the Lord your God, it is He who goes with you. He will not fail you, nor forsake you” (Deut. 31:6).

REBEKAH KOLENDA graduated from the Brownsville Revival School of Ministry where she met her husband, Daniel, now the president of Christ for All Nations, founded by Reinhard Bonnke. She is a stay-at-home mother of four children. spiritled woman.com

O L E K S A N D R V O LY K

purpose of our ministry, everything comes into proper perspective. 4. God as Father and Husband. When I drop my husband off at the airport or kiss him goodbye, I immediately pray and focus


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❧ EMOTIONS

NO MORE

Drama!

Command your emotions to keep them from driving your life know I’m not alone when I say that raising sons was easier than bringing up daughters. As the mother of two married sons, I now have six grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Six of these are girls, and I love every one of them. Although I don’t mean to imply that daughters are problems and sons are not, daughters do tend to come with emotional drama that sons do not. It seems to be the way God wired us as women. Truth be told, I have struggled to eliminate emotional drama from my own life. As a Christian, I have learned how to resist the devil, bind the devil and cast out the devil. But as a human being, emotions are part of our triune makeup—body, soul and spirit. There have been days

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spiritled woman.com

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I

BY JUNE EVANS


Nobody paints better pictures than

GOD

"Ron Allen gets it. The gospel is written in the stars. I learned so much from this book which confirmed what I already knew in my heart." —Dr. Steve Greene We live on the floor of the great cathedral of the heavens. Overhead each night pass God’s pictures in the stars, telling His story in His own words and images—and painted with fire across the expanse of the Universe. This was the Bible that Adam, Noah, and Abraham read, and its images were incorporated into Scripture by prophets like Isaiah, Daniel and John. Beyond telling the story of redemption, the stars contain God’s prophetic calendar. There were signs in the sun, moon and stars which led the wise men to seek Jesus when He was born. And Jesus said we should look for the signs in the sun, moon and stars pointing to His return. We are offering Ron Allen's e-book The Stars of His Coming so that you, like the wise men, can know the signs of His coming. As a free bonus, we are giving a free download of the e-book Babylon: A Spiritual Journey, which, as a companion to The Stars of His Coming, shows God’s prophetic plan through history.

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when I wished I could resist, bind and cast out my emotions, but God created me to be emotional, and I have had to learn how to be emotional in a godly way.

Feeling our Way to Forbidden Fruit Emotions have a voice that we call “feeling.” The voice of feeling is very powerful in our lives. Most of us know how we feel. We make decisions motivated by feeling. Relationships are formed or broken because of feeling. Even in our spiritual lives we want to feel God’s presence. We tend to judge His anointing by our feelings. God made us capable of being emotional by giving us feelings, and He never wants us to become hardened, insensitive or

“The apostle Paul believed that bad emotions can be put off, and good emotions can be put on.”

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beyond feeling. But He never intended that feelings would dominate our character. Sin came into this world because a woman named Eve was motivated and dominated by emotions. Eve ate the forbidden fruit because she believed it was “good for food ... pleasing to the eyes and a tree desirable to make one wise” (Gen. 3:6). Seeking what was good, pleasant and desired was what led Eve to disobedience. She wasn’t hungry when she ate. If she were hungry, she could have eaten of any other tree in the Garden of Eden. Eve ate emotionally, but her hunger was not satisfied by eating. Instead, she satisfied her emotions. Emotional drama in the first woman on Earth opened the door to emotional drama in us all. Emotions demand satisfaction. Anger wants to be satisfied. Hurt wants to be satisfied. Love wants to be satisfied. If we do not govern ourselves, we live in the drama of emotions gone bad. It is not enough to be born-again Christians whose emotions have not been touched by God. God has to do a work in us called “transformation.” Emotions have to be renewed so that hate becomes love, cursing becomes blessing, resentment becomes forgiveness, anger becomes peace, and heaviness becomes praise. Transformation releases us from the drama and chaos that our emotions can cause. If we are to be freed from the drama of our emotions, we must be led by the Holy Spirit. Emotions cannot be our motivators in life. When we are motivated by our emotions, we aim for a “feel good” mentality. Eve teaches us that the feel good mentality is a bad motivator. Rather, our lives must be motivated by the Holy Spirit, and His motivation is not merely to produce good feelings. Rather, His spiritled woman.com

© ISTOCKPHOTO/BRAUNS

❧ EMOTIONS


What Traditions Are YOU FOLLOWING? Learn the difference between following the traditions of men from following the Holy Spirit.

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❧ EMOTIONS end is to produce obedience. Obedience will always trump emotion, and obedience will always satisfy in ways that emotions never can. Facing crucifixion, Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. He felt strong emotions. “And being in anguish, He prayed

all that is within me, bless His holy name.” David commanded his soul, the seat of emotions, and all that was in him to bless the Lord. He believed his soul and all that was in him would do as he commanded. Emotions can be transformed from drama to blessing. The apostle Paul believed that bad emotions can be put off, and good emotions can be put on. He wrote: “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, outbursts, and blasphemies, with all malice, be taken away from you” (Eph. 4:31). He also wrote: “So embrace ... a spirit of mercy, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, and longsuffering. Bear with one another and forgive one another. ... Embrace love. ... Let the peace of God, to which also you are called in one body, rule in your hearts” (Col. 3:12-15). It is clear that emotions can be governed and will respond to God’s power and faith.

“Temper had been in my life so long it had become part of my personality.” more earnestly. And His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” (Luke 22:44). So powerful were these emotions that He prayed the cup of crucifixion might pass, but in Gethsemane, Jesus broke the tyranny of emotions by His obedience to the will of His Father. Obedience overcomes emotions. Not only can emotions be governed by obedience, but they will obey faith. Emotions will do what we, in faith, command them to do. King David wrote about emotions in Psalm 103:1: “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and 48

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I have to add my own testimony to this truth about emotions. As a child, I developed a hot temper and an angry attitude. My father was hot-tempered and angry, and I followed in his footsteps. I liked the emotional drama of a good fight, saying what I thought and erupting when people and God did not do as I liked. As I grew up, it was apparent people did not enjoy emotional drama as much as I did. So I learned to manage my temper, only erupting behind closed doors in my home and with my husband. Most people thought me sweet and charming, and my husband did too—as long as my temper was quiet. When my temper exploded, my husband would call me “Sammy June,” recalling my father whose name was Sam. When he did this, I became even angrier. While I was not a “drama queen” in public, I was one behind the doors of my home. I was born again, spiritled woman.com

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❧ EMOTIONS Spirit filled and in full-time ministry but was still a “closet drama queen.” One day in prayer God spoke to me that “Sammy June” had to be put off. I could no longer hide her in my closet. I had to put on the true character of God so I would be an authentic Christian who lived what I preached. Truth be told, I wasn’t sure this was possible. Temper had been in my life so long it had become part of my personality. But I did know what God told me to do I could do, so I obeyed and began putting off the bad and putting on the good. Obedience trumped bad temper. Spirit was greater than flesh. It was slow, sometimes hard, but I was freed from emotional drama and sin. Through the Holy Spirit and His power, godly character overcame emotional chaos in my life. About three years after I buried “Sammy June,” my husband and I were having dinner with a pastor and his wife in whose church we had ministered. The pastor encouraged us to end our meal by dividing a piece of coconut cream pie. He said this restaurant was world famous for its coconut cream pie. The waitress brought a large piece of pie, placing it between my husband and me. My first bite convinced me that it was true—this pie was world famous. The pastor asked me a couple of questions about our family, which I answered. As I turned to take my second

bite of pie, I saw the last bite disappearing into my husband’s mouth. He had eaten the entire slice in less than two minutes. As soon as I saw the pie disappearing, I felt “Sammy June” rising from her grave. I was furious my husband had eaten my pie, and I opened my mouth to explode—until I remembered the pastor and wife sitting across from us. I knew they would not like the drama of Sammy June and probably would not let her preach in their church, so I put her off in that moment and put on the authentic June. I did not let temper rule my life. My husband declares this is the greatest demonstration of Holy Spirit power he has ever witnessed. You know what? I think he may be right! Can emotions be handled with victory? Will emotions do what we tell them to do? Can emotions be transformed? Can godly character replace emotional chaos? King David wrote that it can. The apostle Paul says it can. I know that godly character can prevail over out-of-control emotions, and my husband likes life a lot better since no drama queen lives in our home.

“Godly character overcame

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JUNE EVANS and her husband, Gene, started Believers Church in Atlanta in 1990. Today they serve as founding pastors and travel extensively across the U.S., preaching and teaching in churches and conferences. spiritled woman.com

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emotional chaos in my life.”


❧ PARENTING

When Young Adults

FORSAKE the FAITH 6 steps to take when your children aren’t following God s mothers, we long for our children to come to know Christ’s love and follow Him. We provide building blocks of faith when they’re young by taking them to church, reading the Bible together and praying for them. The outcome we hope for is that they will choose a life of faith and experience the 52

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blessings of walking with Jesus. But sometimes our college or adult children turn their backs on the beliefs they were raised with instead of staying the course. It’s disappointing to many mothers and heartbreaking to countless others. I’ve met moms who are just plain angry that God didn’t come through with the “prize” when they invested spiritled woman.com

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❧ PARENTING “Fear-based Christianity doesn’t help our children, whatever age they are. Lecturing them on what they’re doing wrong

so much effort. And many struggle with guilt that they didn’t do enough to produce a godly son or daughter like their friends have. Then, out of fear, they may try to take control and spiritually “fix” their young adult.

Release—Don’t Rescue Anna, a mom I know, was desperate for God to do something to turn her daughter’s life around. Kerry hadn’t attended church in a long time and didn’t want to talk about faith issues. Worse, she’d been abusing drugs and alcohol. Anna had tried everything from extreme attempts to control Kerry’s behavior to seasons of intense prayer. She knew how to stand on God’s Word and pray the Word over her daughter; she thought she was trusting God. So when she asked for prayer and counsel at a women’s retreat, she expected God to rescue Kerry. Anna poured out her heart to one of the counselors, asking her to pray for Kerry while confessing guilt and grief over failing to save her daughter from unbelief and negative behavior. Finally, the counselor looked her in the eye and said, 54

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“Honey, you’re just not that powerful. You can’t control this.” Anna was stunned but relieved at the same time. She knelt at the altar, asking God to forgive her for trying to control Kerry and her situation. While on her knees, the Holy Spirit spoke to her heart: “Trust Me. I love your daughter even more than you do. And if you died today, I would see to it that she ends up in My kingdom for eternity. It will be in her timing and Mine, not yours.” In that moment, peace wrapped itself around Anna like a warm blanket as she envisioned Kerry in heaven with God. For the first time, it didn’t matter when or how she’d “get there”; it just mattered that God would never, ever give up on her. She let go of so much fear that day. At first, nothing seemed to change. Yet, faithful to His word, God not only rescued Kerry within the next year but also began restoring her faith and her life. Mothers in similar situations need to recognize their fear and anxiety. It can be anxiety-producing to have thoughts such as: “Is my daughter saved? Is my son on a path of destruction? Will he ever come back to spiritled woman.com

© I S TO C K P H OTO/ P E TA R C H E R N A E V

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❧ PARENTING church?” Yet when all our children perceive in us is fear, we aren’t demonstrating the peace and faith we talk so much about. Fear-based Christianity doesn’t help our children, whatever age they are. Lecturing

reading. This brings some common ground and grows more acceptance and understanding about where they are. Slowly they begin to put you “inside the influence box” so that someday they might discuss their

“Whether your young adult is running toward God or away from Him, the Lord wants our children to follow Him

them on what they’re doing wrong doesn’t either. Controlling and trying to regulate their relationship with God tends to turn them away from Him.

Influence—Don’t Force So what is a mother to do? Take these helpful steps: 1. Demonstrate confidence.Show confidence in our young adults instead of hounding, nagging or labeling them. They don’t like being labeled “my prodigal,” even if they’re acting like one. Demonstrate calm instead of shock if your daughter or son tells you about practices or ideas that are foreign to you. 2. Be a safe place.At some point, your children might express their doubts and concerns regarding faith, so help them feel safe enough to confide in you. This is important before kids leave home and continues to be vital so you can be what a pastor I know calls “inside the influence box.” A positive way to do that is to read books—with an open heart—about spirituality or philosophies that your son or daughter has been 56

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beliefs with you instead of shutting you out of their lives. 3. Stay connected.Keep your connection going even if your son is almost 40 and still doesn’t go to church because he’s married to an agnostic and lives a few states away or your daughter is following a religion you don’t approve of. You can communicate something such as: “Since you’re an adult, I know you’re thinking and deciding for yourself. I had lots of questions about what’s truth, and it’s normal. If I can ever be helpful as a sounding board for you, let me know.” That way you’re not forcing the issue. You’re not chasing your son or daughter into God things, a drive that often brings resentment and can jeopardize the relationship. There is something sacred, mysterious and sometimes messy about one’s faith journey. That journey is unique for each person and proceeds on one’s own and God’s timing. We can’t control or micromanage our young people’s spiritual journey—even when we’d like to. 4. Look at the big picture.Growing an spiritled woman.com

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adult faith takes time—and in the process, a mother’s faith, hope and love are needed— plus a lot of patience. It’s a natural part of growing up for a young person to sort out his beliefs and decide how he’s going to live. Some of our children “catch” faith early in life and stay committed their whole lives. Others won’t “get it” until their 20s or 30s. If you have a strong, independent child, she may be a maverick who wants to chart her own spiritual course starting in adolescence. Other kids are very compliant and initially follow their parents’ faith but lose their moorings in adulthood because they never wrestled with faith and made it their own. They may have been on autopilot until a crisis caused them to re-evaluate and grow closer to God.

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❧ PARENTING


❧ PARENTING Him even more than we do because He has a specific purpose for their lives. Continue to live out a contagious faith that’s joyful and grace-filled before your children throughout their years at home and beyond. Be a stepping stone to Christ instead of a stumbling block. 6. Persevere in prayer.Pray long-range prayers. Your prayers build up a storehouse of blessing for your children. You’ve given your children roots. Now, in prayer, ask God for the winds of His Spirit to be their inspiration and guide. Pray the distance because the secret to answered prayer is persistent, prevailing, not-giving-up prayers, with an attitude that is more like a marathon runner than a sprinter. Gather a few other moms to pray with you for each

other’s children because if you’re praying solo for an extended time—years—it’s easy to get discouraged and stop. And when you gather, instead of gossiping about or bemoaning what your kids are doing, pray aloud together. Know that God hears your prayers, He never forgets them, and your prayers will outlive your life and go on blessing your sons and daughters even when your address has changed to heaven.

CHERI FULLER is an inspiring speaker and award-winning author of more than 45 books, including Dangerous Prayer: Discovering Your Amazing Story Inside the Eternal Story of God and What a Girl Needs From Her Mom. Visit her at cherifuller.com.


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❧ SINGLE LIFE

SINGLE and WAITING Should a single Christian woman simply wait for God or actively pursue her future spouse?

he couple appears straight out of a romance novel, but not necessarily in the way one would expect. He’s the department chair of the College of Business at Oral Roberts University, and she’s a prophetess. They’re a bit older. He’s balding and her eyes are creased in the corners. But oh, how youth sparkles in their eyes! Their affection radiates in the distance between them. The thrum of their connection pulses with the power of the Holy Spirit as they begin to tell their story. Jim Russell was driving home when the Lord spoke to him, telling him to turn right into a shopping center. At the corner of the center was a little church. He went in. The moment Jim saw her, he heard the Lord speak: “The Lord said, ‘You see that woman over there?’ And I said, ‘Yes, Sir.’ And He says, ‘That’s your wife.’ It was as straightforward and simple as that.” The connection was immediate when Jim introduced himself to Sophia. “I started to feel something in my inner man, in my belly, something began to shake. ... It really was a spiritual experience,” she said. “And I heard the Holy Spirit say, ‘This is going to be your husband.’” Once they began dating, they prayed before each outing. But what started as a romantic gesture became a symbol of the Holy Spirit’s power. Every prayer time would end with the two covered in gold dust. Yes, gold dust—straight from heaven. In fact, the flecks of gold still cling to the delicate petals of a rose Jim presented Sophia on their first date. ➤

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“There definitely have been times when I felt like the Holy Spirit was guiding me away from certain people.”−Kelsy Black

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‘Playing God’ With Online Dating I’m not one to whine about life and not do a lick to fix what I want to see changed, so like many Christians these days, I took to the Internet to “find me a man.” Singles should be aware, though, of the stigma of online dating. The Single Woman author and blogger Mandy Hale explains why there is a stigma: “I think there’s the idea people think you’re playing God and interfering with God’s plan.” Hale transformed her life from a public relations specialist to a popular blogger and says God used the Internet to spread His message to other women through her. “You know what? If the Internet can be used in such a powerful way to change my life and the lives of women who follow my message ... who’s to say it can’t bring me the man of my dreams?” Hale asks. In some cases, dating sites did bring women the men God intended for them. Take Alabama’s Bill and Sallie Garvin, spiritled woman.com

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Within two months, they went from strangers to spouses. How can anyone question what God wants when He speaks directly and miracles manifest to guide a man and woman together? Stories like the Russells’ are reminders that God participates in our lives today. Sure, He’s in the business of healing and miracles, but He can also resurrect dead hearts and orchestrate romance better than any novel ever could. The Russells’ story is phenomenal, but the truth is, literal gold dust and the crystal-clear voice of God aren’t apparent in every romance. Perhaps you’re like me. As a 25-yearold, never-married single, I left our meeting with the Russells with a pang in my soul, fighting off jealousy as I thought about how God gave them gold dust to lead them to each other while I’m left with the crumbs of the Internet. Surely I’m not the only one feeling left out.


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❧ SINGLE LIFE who met through eHarmony in 2005 and married in 2006. Both had children from previous marriages and were a bit hesitant to give their love lives over to the Internet. But through online dating, the couple felt the Holy Spirit guide them to each other. “I prayed a lot through this process,” Sallie says. “I also saw God’s perfect provision for me of the right person.” The Garvins are one of many online marriage success stories. Meet Courtney Rodgers, a former middle school teacher who is now a stay-at-home mom, and her husband, Geoffrey Rodgers, a software engineer. The Rodgers met online in 2007, but they didn’t have a shining-light-fromabove moment. “I experienced a lot of Holy Spirit guidance

as I was getting to know Geoffrey,” Courtney says. “It wasn’t an instant soulmate connection for me. I felt the Holy Spirit leading me to patience when I would have normally bailed on a relationship that had some minor challenges. And I felt reminded to focus on the ways that we were the same instead of fearing our differences.” Though Courtney wasn’t Geoffrey’s first online relationship, he knew God was involved step by step. “God’s peace was measurably felt on the journey (to meet a date in person), and I walked away feeling that the time spent getting to know the girl was well worth it,” Geoffrey says. “The second person I met was Courtney. I fell in love with her almost instantly. ➤


❧ SINGLE LIFE Everything from the bounce in her step walking toward me the very first time we met to the way that she challenged me with gentle strength to become a better man told me this was a meaningful relationship. We got married about one year later, and every day has been a blessing. With three kids at this point, I can’t imagine a better mate.” Online dating for these two couples was “freeing,” even “courageous.” “There was a definite shift from waiting for God to bring me a husband to trusting that He would be with me as I took a step toward my desire,” Courtney says. “It was very freeing to be courageous. I felt that I had His permission to be bold and unashamed of my longings. So in the long term, the impact was a deeper sense of trust—that I wasn’t going to miss His

plan for me by taking this perceived risk.” But others haven’t met with the same relational success. Kelsy Black is an assistant producer for Cornerstone Television Network (CTN). When she moved to CTN’s headquarters in Western Pennsylvania, Black tried online dating as a way to meet new people. While she met new people, they weren’t always the right people. “There definitely have been times when I felt like the Holy Spirit was guiding me away from certain people,” Black says. “Last fall, I fell hard for someone who was emotionally not compatible with me. I felt like God was telling me to fast (from) dating for three months after that, which proved to be really healthy and helpful. I basically just try to follow

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❧ SINGLE LIFE God’s voice as I go through dating decisions.” Black’s stories echo my own. I can entertain you with tale after tale of less-thanappropriate pick-up lines, horrifying photos and gag-inducing comments. What’s a Christian girl to do? Some in the church say to choose courtship over dating.

Discerning God’s Will in Courtship In a traditional courtship, men and women pursue friendship within boundaries established by the couple with advice from their families and pastoral leaders. They put their focus first on God and friendship. The courtship movement resurged in the late 1990s with books such as Joshua Harris’ I Kissed Dating Goodbye and made headlines with reality TV stars like the Duggar family.

Jenny Rose Curtis, a 23-year-old copy editor at Charisma Media, advocates this approach to pursuing a spouse. “God has used the courtship I’m in right now to teach me things about His heart in a way I hadn’t seen before,” Curtis says. “It’s brought to life truths about God’s romantic heart for His bride, the purpose of self-control and waiting, delayed gratification, putting others’ spiritual well-being ahead of my own desires and not simply ‘following my heart.’” Some say those in a courtship intend to marry, so if the couple breaks up, the courtship process has failed. Curtis says that’s not necessarily the case. “If a courtship ends with the couple saying, ‘You know, I don’t think it’s God’s will that we get married,’ that doesn’t mean


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❧ SINGLE LIFE it’s a failed courtship,” Curtis says. “That’s still a successful courtship because the goal is not strictly to get married but to discern and follow God’s will.” But courtship isn’t a magic love potion either. The process has affected some adversely, such as The Single Woman’s Hale. “I don’t look back necessarily with regret because I think everything happens for a reason, but I do feel like I missed out on important dating experiences,” Hale says. “I would love to think the way it works is we just magically bump into our significant other, and he’d be the only guy we’d have to date, and then we live happily ever after.” Hale believes dating is necessary in most cases. “We need that opportunity to refine our

standards and figure out what it is we’re looking for,” she says. “I feel like dating is designed to be iron sharpening iron, and I think ‘kissing dating goodbye’ in my 20s could potentially be why I’m (37) and still single.” No matter what process singles use to find a spouse, the Holy Spirit needs to be present in the pursuit. Whether you date online or take the old-school approach, pursuing God should be primary. Without Him, the process promises to be a heart-breaking mess.

JESSILYN JUSTICE is the assistant news editor for Charisma News. Born and raised in a pastor’s family in Alabama, she went to Lee University and the Washington Journalism Center. Tell her what you think of this article on Twitter (@jessilynjustice).


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alcohol over me. I didn’t want to feel the pain, so I turned to drugs and alcohol.” Makeup and beauty became a mask for her pain. Not many people knew she was addicted to Ecstasy, cocaine and painkillers. Getting pregnant was a wake-up call to stop abusing drugs. “I stopped cold turkey,” she says. “I started exploring my relationship with

Amanda May puts the final touches on Michelle Crozier’s makeup before a photo shoot.

“You can be beautiful on the outside and still not have a graceful presence.”−Amanda May God and watching Joel Osteen on TV and listening to Joyce Meyer.” May felt God was calling her to an unexpected place to start a new life with her son, Isaac. Las Vegas—aka Sin City—became the launching pad for her company. As a model at Planet Hollywood and salon manager at Caesar’s Palace, May worked with A-listers such as Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton. 76

S pi ri t Led W O MA N | A p r i l 2 0 16

Pastors Benny and Wendy Perez mentored May at the Church of South Las Vegas. The idea for her company came from “listening to the Lord,” May says. “I would get up at 4 a.m. or 5 a.m. and pray and journal for hours. It was very supernatural—living in the Spirit.” May’s passion grew to show women how it was possible to feel beautiful inside and out. “The product names are from virtues of true beauty,” says May of her products. “The blush is called ‘Virtue’ and mascara ‘Faith’ because we walk by faith and not by sight.” She gifted Divine Image products at award shows such as the Grammy Awards, the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards as well as Dancing With the Stars. Celebrities such as Tori Spelling were seen carrying a Divine Image makeup bag. “Tori Spelling tweeted that she loved the Divine Image products,” May says. The entrepreneur created a five-minute face system for applying makeup. “I wanted to simplify the process so anyone can do it,” she explains. “You just need four products to do your makeup.”

Promoting a Different Kind of Beauty May has been immersed in the celebrity world of vanity and conceit, but she has the heart to minister there. “There’s a different beauty that can’t be purchased,” May says. “I worked at spiritled woman.com

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 BEAUTY


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BEAUTY

“I was inspired to create the I AM Worthy Foundation after visiting a Las Vegas home for single moms with children.”−Amanda May Fashion Week and the Mercedes-Benz show, where you see the most beautiful people in the world. You can be beautiful on the outside and still not have a graceful presence.” Carrying a different presence through the grace of God gave May favor as she connected with a manufacturer. “Divine Image Cosmetics, founded in 2007, are manufactured in America with the healthiest ingredients,” May says.

The message of godly beauty has gone around the world, with the line featured in Women’s Day and The New York Times. May moved to Orlando, Florida, in 2012 to further develop her brand and message. The cosmetics are available online, but May opened her first Makeup Lounge and Beauty Bar on Feb. 1 in Heathrow, an upscale area of Lake Mary, outside of Orlando. ➤

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BEAUTY

“The products will be out for women to try, and they will be able to sample the product for $5 for five days,” May says of her sales approach. After five days, the customer will be charged the remainder of the purchase price.

Helping Women Find Their Worth In 2012, May started the I AM Worthy Foundation, which supports women coming out of human trafficking, addiction and abuse. The foundation has significantly expanded its reach and is now working with Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu, king of the Zulu nation in South Africa, to create a program to train 1,000 women to start their own businesses. “I spoke at a women’s conference last year in South Africa and was invited to the

king’s house,” May says. “We are working with the U.N. right now to secure funding for this program.” May donates 10 percent of the profits from sales of her Divine Image Cosmetics products to the foundation. “I was inspired to create the I AM Worthy Foundation after visiting a Las Vegas home for single moms with children,” she states on the foundation’s website. The beauty evangelist is helping to change women’s lives far and wide with her message of finding their worth in Christ.

LEILANI HAYWOOD is the online editor of SpiritLed Woman and author of Ten Keys to Raising Kids That Love God. Follow her on Twitter (@leilanihaywood).

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❧ DEVOTIONAL

When You Feel Ready to Snap

Don’t break down—break through as God stretches you days a week lifting heavy weights and doing all sorts of crazy new exercises. Sometimes I forget to stretch and end up with muscles so tight I can barely walk By Jennifer LeClaire two days later, then I want to skip the next workout. You might say my muscles are weary in well-doing. Lately, I’ve found myself in God’s gym— lifting heavy spiritual weights and doing all manner of uncomfortable new exercises. I don’t have to worry about the stretching part. He’s doing that too. God’s stretching is sometimes painful, but it leaves you with a spiritual capacity great enough to move into the next season He’s ordained for you. These words from the Lord, which I recorded in my devotional Mornings With the Holy Spirit: Listening Daily to the Still, Small Voice of God, helped me understand God’s heart in the stretching: “Will you fully yield to Me? Will you submit to My will even when it looks contrary to your will? Will you allow Me to stretch you in this season? I want to enlarge your capacity to hold spiritual things, but that means letting go of carnal things to make more room for Me. It means cultivating a new harvest of My fruit in your heart. I want to let My gifts flow through you, but that means you must release the things that hinder My love. Will you allow Me to stretch you? Will you decrease so Jesus can increase in your heart?” 82

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There’s pressure from the inside—what I call Holy Ghost pressure—and pressure from the outside from people, places things (some of which include devils). It’s easy to resist God in the name of resisting the devil because you don’t like what’s happening and assume the assignment came from the pit of hell. I’ve seen others let the devil walk all over them in the name of yielding to the Holy Spirit. Don’t do that! Ask the Spirit to show you what is of Him and what is against Him. Yield to God; resist the devil. Whether it’s from the hand of God or from the enemy, if you’ll just keep pressing through, you’ll not only gain strength, but the pressure will eventually let up. Don’t give up. God knows how much you can handle. You are building strength and character that will serve you well in the next phase of your journey. Know that God is stretching you so you can hold more of His power and gain more of His wisdom, more of His character— more of Him. He wants to increase your influence and enlarge your territory. This is my prayer in times of pressure. Maybe it will help you too. “I say yes to You, Holy Spirit. I say yes to Your will and Your ways even when I don’t understand Your work in my life. I ask You to enlarge my spiritual capacity, to enlarge my heart to love You more and to help me surrender all that is getting in the way.”

JENNIFER LeCLAIRE is the senior editor of Charisma, director of the Awakening House of Prayer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and author of numerous books, including Mornings With the Holy Spirit. spiritled woman.com

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SpiritLed Woman April 2016  

Empowered for Purpose

SpiritLed Woman April 2016  

Empowered for Purpose