Is It Possible We Are Looking for God in the Wrong Places?

I am in a season of waiting. I have been praying and occasionally fasting for something since 2008. It is a dream that God put on my heart quite some time ago. I still have faith that He will bring this dream to fruition. I have tested the dream to ensure it is Biblical, of His character and something that would advance the Kingdom of God.

We must objectively assess whether the thing we are pursuing is of us or of God and these are a few ways to complete that assessment. I did not ask for this dream, it just showed up one day deeply engrained into my spirit. When I think about it, I am filled with joy and see how God would be glorified. But it is not a reality.

I cannot tell you how many times I have prayed about it. There have been times where I have asked God to remove the dream if it was not to be fulfilled. It sometimes causes me pain to have a glimpse of what could be and then snap back into reality and recall how long it has been – the waiting, the hoping, the praying.

I tend to ask God to communicate to me in a very obvious way, a way I would not miss. If He is talking, I certainly do not want to miss it. And I can be oblivious at times. But I also wonder if I am looking for God in the wrong places. I tend to think that when He speaks, it will be like a thunder bolt or so obvious that I could never miss it. And sometimes He does communicate with us like that.

Yet, we see how God communicated with Elijah:

“The Lord said, ‘Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.’ Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?'”
1 Kings 19:11–13 NIV

I am looking for the big, obvious revelation. Whether it is a street sign telling me the next step in my journey or a stranger walking up to me and handing me a quote from God that says “Go do X. Love, God”. And yes, He does talk to us that way sometimes, but I tend to think He speaks to us gently, in whispers.

If every time He spoke, the Earth cracked open around us or a tornado blew through, I think we would all have an issue. Instead, what if He is talking to us in those whispers we hear, also described as a still, small voice? We need to be close to Him and lean in even closer when He speaks. We need to write down what we hear lest we forget. We need to ensure what we heard is Biblical, aligns with God’s character, and advances His Kingdom and His Glory. If so, then we need to do what we hear as soon as we can. This approach opens up an ongoing flow of communication, we grow closer to Him, and we learn more about how He communicates so it becomes easier to hear Him.

Let’s pray.

Father in heaven, we thank You that You speak to us through Your creation, Your Holy Spirit, Your Word and other believers. Help us to hear You better. Help us to look for You where You are and hear You in the whispers. Thank you for loving us and never giving up on us when we miss Your whispers. In Jesus’ name we pray.


I Give You Authority Over My Body . . .To Fight for It

In 1 Corinthians 7, there is an entire section on marriage and how God intended His design of marriage to work. I want to consider specifically verse 4, “The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband gives authority over his body to his wife.”

I acknowledge this verse is talking about sexual relations between a man and a woman in the holy bonds of marriage. However, I want to offer an additional perspective on this authority. When I got married, I said these verses to my husband, and we live them out daily. Recently, we each have been under various spiritual attacks of all kinds. Some of these attacks have been rather brutal. Some of these attacks have resulted in dark thinking and deep spiritual struggles.

I found that when my husband is under attack, I pray more for him than my usual, daily prayers. For example, I will set hourly reminders to pray for him to be cleansed. I am not sure if you have ever seen your spouse in a dark place when enduring a spiritual attack, it can be scary. Which is exactly what the enemy wants you to focus on, fear instead of Jesus.

Every believer has the armor of God (Ephesians 6), but there are times during an attack when we are too weak to pick up the sword of the Spirit or the shield of faith. We need someone else to help us fight and draw on the strength of the Holy Spirit we have inside of us.

Recently, when my husband was under severe spiritual attacks, of course I prayed for him. But this verse began to take on new meaning for me during that time. When my husband said 1 Corinthians 7:4 to me, he gave me authority over his body. Why can’t that apply to wielding my God-given authority to protect his body, too?

With this new perspective, I began to use the name of Jesus commanding anything that was not of Jesus or from Jesus to leave my husband’s heart, mind, body and environment immediately. I commanded it never to return, and I forbid it in the name of Jesus to send any other enemy agents in its place.

I picked up the sword of the Spirit, (Word of God), and the shield of faith and used the armor of God to protect my husband, too. As married people, we need to see an attack on our spouse as a direct attack on us, our family, and our vows before God.

When one is under attack, there is a de-motivation to fight or a feeling of weakness that usually comes with the attack. It is in those moments when our spouses cannot fight to protect themselves, that we wield the authority given to us by this verse above, empowered by the precious blood of Jesus to defend our loved ones. How dare they attack a child of God and especially one that has a spouse who is unafraid of spiritual warfare.

The battle has been won! Jesus is our Savior and our Victor, through His name, we have power. Through the Holy Spirit living in us, we have authority. All we need to do to protect our loved one and fight is invoke the authority that we already have been given from our Lord Jesus.

Let’s pray.

Father in Heaven,

We know that attacks are part of being a Christian. There are many verses in the Bible teaching us how to fight against the enemy and how to know the strategies of the enemy. One of the most beautiful human relationships is that of a husband and bride. Marriage is God’s design and when our vows are being lived out in a manner that bring glory to You, God, attacks are a guarantee. Give us strength and wisdom and remind us of our authority in You to fight to protect those we love. To fend off the attacks of the enemy. In the name of Jesus, we stand against the enemy, he will have no part in our families’ lives.

In the precious name of Jesus we pray,


Image Credit: Snow

Prophesy, Common People, Prophesy

When we think of the Old Testament prophets, whether Isaiah, Daniel, Amos, Ezekiel or Malachi, we tend to think they had “superpowers.” These were people that received messages directly from God to then pass on to others. It is very common in the Scriptures for God to say, “Prophesy” and then share a message to be passed on. For example:

“Then Isaiah said, ‘Hear now, you house of David! Is it not enough to try the patience of humans? Will you try the patience of my God also? Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. He will be eating curds and honey when he knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right, for before the boy knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right, the land of the two kings you dread will be laid waste.'”
Isaiah 7:13-16 NIV

This is one of the most incredible prophecies in history. Verses such as this that later come true can result in us viewing the Old Testament prophets as superhuman. They were all human, though, and full of sin – just like you and me. Yet, they heard God, and He told them things, amazing things.

While a prophet was an individual that God used to communicate messages, present day believers have the Holy Spirit. Through the incredible gift of the Holy Spirit, we are presented visions, provided whispers, or even told the future. Of course, everyone has been told the future – all we have to do is read the book of Revelation. But I am talking about the more immediate future.

Several years ago, I had a boss who is a devout Christian. He was an executive at a large company that is commonly known. I did not know “Joe” extremely well, just that he was a Christian and a great leader. He was very well-liked and a hard worker. Yet, one morning during my quiet time, I felt the Spirit tell me very clearly that my boss was going to be fired unexpectedly. I thought, “This is silly and hard to believe. He is highly thought of by the executives and his teams love him.”

I felt burdened to tell my boss what I heard. With him being a Christian, I did not have to explain the Holy Spirit or His role in the life of a believer. I asked Joe to go for a walk with me outside because I was not sure how he would react to one of his team members coming up to him and saying the Spirit told me you are going to be fired.

I asked for Divine help with the words. I just simply said, “Joe, I feel very strongly that the Holy Spirit told me you will be fired soon. I cannot explain why I heard this, and I have no facts to support whether it is true, but I need to tell you.”

He replied that he trusts God, and if that is God’s will, then so be it. I could tell Joe believed me and he did not dismiss what I was saying, even though perhaps it seemed ludicrous.

Within a few days, Joe was escorted out of the building. He had been fired. Everyone was shocked and saddened. I was, of course, sad, but grateful that Joe was not caught off-guard.

We still stay in touch. He is happier now and living out a dream. As I reflect on this occasion in my life, there is no way that I would have known that information other than the Holy Spirit telling me. At the time, I thought what I was doing was irrational – hearing predictions and then sharing them. While this all may sound odd, we read in the Bible:

“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future.”
John 16:13 NLT

Credit: JC

Let’s pray.

Father in Heaven,

Help us to walk close to You. Help us to hear and obey the Holy Spirit. May we be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit, guided in the truth and be shown the future. We thank You for the Holy Spirit.

In the precious name of Jesus we pray.


Why Doesn’t God Just Tell Me What To Do?

Have you ever prayed and fasted for so long, waiting to know His path for you, with no answer? I have to the point where I began to think, “Why won’t He just tell me what to do? I will do it, but I am tired of this. Sometimes this all feels like a game!”

When you have feelings such as these, we must put on our spiritual armor and take every thought captive. These thoughts are of the enemy. I know this because God has already told us and showed us the path we need to be on. And we have failed to follow it.

“But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”
Romans 3:21-24 NIV

This verse says “all have sinned” – you, me, everyone in the past, and everyone in the future. All – except Jesus, of course. He died without sin so you and I can spend eternity with Him and live on Earth forgiven of our sin.

You may ask when did God tell me the path to be on, what about the answer I need to a specific decision, or what is the step I am to be taking right now, and so on. All valid questions. I offer that when we are praying for His path on the big things in life, we need to ask ourselves where we have failed with His path on the “little” things in life. When was the last time we told a lie, had a lustful thought, were mean to our neighbor, or said words that were unloving, and so on?

“Whoever is faithful with little is also faithful with much, and the one who is dishonest with little is also dishonest with much.”
Luke 16:10 CEB

I am not saying that we will be perfect. We are not and will not be perfect, as we are humans. My suggestion is that we keep praying and fasting for His path on the big things in life, but in the meantime put a heavy focus on ourselves and where we can become more obedient in every area of our lives. God’s goal is for each of us to be more and more like His Son, to better prepare us for what lies ahead. He is building our endurance and character to be able to enjoy what He has ahead for us on His path. If we allow ourselves to be casual with commandments like lying or loving our neighbor, then how can we be faithful with much?

Yes, keep praying and fasting for His path and do what He told us to do in the meantime. We must work every day to read and obey, work at walking with the Spirit and obeying Him (Matthew 6:33). We must ask for forgiveness when we fail (1 John 1:9), forgive others (Colossians 3:13), and do not keep repeating the same sin – that is a sign of a lack of repentance. We need to ask and strive to be more like Jesus every day (2 Corinthians 5:17), and when He gives us those opportunities to be Jesus to others, we must take them. That may mean praying with somebody or sending an email or mailing a card or leaving a letter for a neighbor sharing the gospel.

You do not have to be a superhero daily, but just keep your eyes open. Yesterday, I was in a store and a man noticed a lady who appeared very sad. He asked if he could help her. They wound up sharing a God-given moment where encouraging words and a prayer were exchanged. The global pandemic has put every single human being on a level playing field. The virus does not care what color, race, background or education you have – you are at risk. There is raw, real pain across our globe right now, and we are the light.

Credit: JC

“Jesus spoke to the people again, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me won’t walk in darkness but will have the light of life.'”
John 8:12 CEB

We bring the light of life and God wherever we are – whether that is in a store or online in social media or a business video meeting. We are His light. We have the Holy Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead in us; let’s act like it in a world where there is the most pain and suffering possibly ever in our lifetimes. As believers, we are to steward the light He gave us. We are not to hide it, but shine it bright (Matthew 5:14). You may have nothing, but if you believe in Jesus then you have eternal life and the Holy Spirit in you, so be an excellent steward with what you DO have. Be faithful with what you do have.

God has told us all what to do. The commandments are for every single person on this planet. Yes, He has a unique purpose for each of us as well, but the commands are the foundation. Love our enemies (Matthew 5:44), honor our parents (Matthew 19:19), love our neighbors (Matthew 22:39), love God with all our hearts, being and strength (Deuteronomy 6:5), and love each other (Romans 12:10). If you love Jesus, we are to obey all of His commands daily.

“This is love: that we live according to his commands. This is the command that you heard from the beginning: live in love.”
2 John 1:6 CEB

We must build up that foundation so He can build out the plan for us. Conquer your thoughts and your actions, steward your God-given talent and the light He has given you.

One final thought on the matter, if you are like me and want God to just tell you what to do. As Dr. Martin Luther King said so beautifully, “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”

If you are thinking I do not even know the next step at all, return to what God has already told you. How can we live that step out today, then tomorrow, and so forth, demonstrating how we handle the “little” things that prepare us for the “big” things?

God Sends Us “Earthly Angels”

Credit: JC

I grew up in a very dysfunctional and abusive house. My biological father left when I was a few weeks old. Sadly, I know there are a lot of people in the same boat – they were raised in families that did not at all represent God’s design of family. We live in a sin-filled world, but God sends us what I call “earthly angels” to help us when our lives are full of hurt.

Humans are not angels; they are separate creations. There are many verses that make it clear humans are not and do not become angels. One example is Psalm 8:4–6: “What is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet” (NIV). However, I use the term “earthly angels” to describe humans, sent by God, who step into our lives to lead us closer to Him.

My uncle became the father figure I needed as I grew up. He was there for me when I was sick and carried me when I could not walk. He drove my mom and I back and forth to many Children’s Hospital therapy appointments for months on end. He was there when my heart was broken; he was there to teach me how a man should treat a lady. He showed me unconditional love when I messed up. He walked me down the aisle the day I got married. I believe God placed my uncle in my life as my “earthly angel” to fill the gaps of not having an earthly father present.

My uncle went to Heaven last night. His health had been declining swiftly over the past few months, so his transition to Heaven was not unexpected. It certainly hurts when you lose someone you love deeply, but I will say there is comfort in knowing you will see the person again in Heaven. When there is faith in Jesus, there is the promise of eternity with Him.

John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (NIV). “Whoever” is a huge, beautiful word. It does not matter WHO you are, WHAT you have done, WHEN you did it, or HOW you did it – you will have eternal life through your belief in Jesus.

My uncle and I shared this belief, so that is how I know I will see him again. We also have the comfort that our loved ones are no longer in pain. There is no pain in Heaven. Our loved ones can dance again and sing again and talk again. They are freed from the chains of hurt, pain, and death that had them in their grip on Earth. Revelation 21:4–6 states, “‘”He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death” or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’ He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ Then he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’ He said to me: ‘It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life'” (NIV).

My uncle is with me; I talk to him and look toward Heaven when I think of him. While I am very sad to have lost my “earthly angel”, I know he is freed from pain. I also know that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28).

My uncle’s children are adults, and they are atheists. I pray God will use this pain to save their souls. All they have to do is believe in Jesus as the Son of God. Acts 2:21 says, “And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (NIV).

“And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died.”
1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 NLT

We will see our loved ones again; whether we arrive in Heaven or the Lord returns while we are still on Earth, we will see them again! It is healthy to grieve, and we should grieve, but grieve with hope. Brothers and sisters, we will see our loved ones again through Jesus Christ!

Father in Heaven,

We lift up all who have lost their “earthly angels,” those people who change our lives for the better, those people who love us incredibly, those people who lead us to You, those people who help us meet You through their lives.

We thank You for Jesus and the incredible promises of eternity that we have in Him. Lord, please help those of us still on Earth to cling to Your promises when the hurt rushes in. Please remind us we can still talk to our loved ones. They are still with us – just in a different way. Please help us to grieve and to grieve with hope in Jesus.

In the Almighty Name of Jesus we pray.


Just One

When we share the gospel, we have no idea how far reaching those words can become. We are doing what Jesus commanded us to do (Matthew 28:18-20). And by speaking the words of God to another, we claim this promise:

“The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.”
Isaiah 55:10-11 NLT

We know that when someone turns to Jesus, all of Heaven rejoices:

“In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!”
Luke 15:7 NLT

This is in the spiritual realm, which the Scriptures tells us some things about, but we will not completely understand this side of Heaven. What we do know is that when something changes in the spiritual realm, our earthly lives are impacted.

Think about it. How were you before you met Jesus? Different, right?

“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”
2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT

Credit: JC

Have you ever seen someone’s life changed after they met Jesus? I have been blessed to see this new creation many times, to see the veil pierced right before my eyes: that moment when someone understands who Jesus is and why He came and that we are forgiven, no matter what we have done.

I have been blessed to see convicted murders and drug dealers just break down and sob uncontrollably when they understand they are forgiven. When they understand that they are loved more than they can comprehend. The love of Jesus enters us and breaks us in a good way. When we have the Holy Spirit poured out on us, it is an incredible realization of the way the universe works, there is good and bad. There is an entire other realm. The spiritual realm is real, whether we want to acknowledge it or not. So why not use that knowledge to bring blessings here on Earth?

Just one example of this in the Bible is Saul. He was a murderer (Acts 8:1), met Jesus (Acts 9:7), and gave his life to telling others about Jesus (Acts 9:15).

From a personal perspective, I can share many, many stories about how a change in the spiritual realm rains down onto Earth. I have seen someone who was lost and hurt “beyond repair” encounter Jesus and after they understood who He is and dedicated their life to Him, my entire life changed through our friendship.

I have seen “tough” men who think they do not need Jesus eventually realize their desperate need after hearing the Good News many times. There is one gentleman in particular who runs a car repair shop, and he rejected Jesus time after time. Eventually, he realized how broken he is (as we all are) and accepted Jesus as his Lord. He has since dedicated the proceeds of his shop to developing an entire ministry in a third-world country that has touched thousands of lives.

I could go on and on. The bottom line is this – it just takes one. One person like you to tell one person who needs to hear the Truth for Heaven and Earth to be impacted. We say sometimes that we want to change the world, make it a better place – I completely agree.

Then tell just one about Jesus. Encourage that one to tell just one.

Each week, could there be just one person that you tell?

Guest Blog: The Path To Healing After Abuse

By Esther

When abuse occurs, tell someone immediately please. If that person does not believe you, try another person – please. I know this is very hard, it takes tremendous courage. Please do not do what I did and stay silent. Remember that we have the Holy Spirit in us who raised Jesus from the dead. In Him, we can do this! He wants you to begin the journey of healing. If you are not comfortable telling anyone in your life, The Victim Connect Resource Center lists many hotlines that are situation-specific (children, military, women, teens, rape, domestic violence, trafficking, etc).

After you tell someone that listens, find time and give yourself space to truly understand and process that what happened to you does not define you. What does define you is how you react to what happened to you. Pray a lot. Pray specifically. Find a prayer partner to pray for you. This journey to healing takes time and there are days when you do not want to or feel like praying. This is where you need at least one prayer partner who will pray for you faithfully daily.

Realizing that God does love you, despite what happened, was also a journey for me. I had index cards with prayers and verses to help me when I needed reminders. Examples include:

“May you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.”
Ephesians 3:18-19

You are created in His image (Genesis 1:27). You are precious in His sight.

“Long ago the LORD said to Israel: ‘I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.'”
Jeremiah 31:3

“And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. […] But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.”
Romans 5:5,8

“Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, ‘For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.’) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 8:35-39

The prayer I pray:

“Lord, I submit every corner of my life to You. Show me what I have yet to submit to You. Help me to release my need for this to feel fair or to see (him/her/them) punished. Rip out any bitterness in me. Show me what I can learn and how to grow closer to You through this. I need your peace. Help me to heal and forgive. Rain down on me the powerful healing of the Holy Spirit. Replace my pain with a focus on You and Your love. In Jesus’ precious name, amen.”

When I first started to pray this prayer, I meant only a few of the words. I begrudgingly prayed it every morning. I did not want to forget or let the ones who hurt me “off the hook.” I had to keep reminding myself that God will take revenge. I needed to focus on His love for me and who He wanted me to become as a result of all this. I had to believe that this was not my fault. I also had to see that dragging around unforgiveness was only robbing me of the abundant life that God came to bring to me. In John 10:10, Jesus says, “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” As for the people who hurt me, I can tell you that they did not care what they did to me. They never thought about it again; I was the one who was caught in my cycle of reliving it and not healing.

As I forced myself to pray this prayer, I began to mean more of the words. Any step towards obedience, God will bless. It is okay to pray a prayer like the above one if you do not quite mean every word; you are obeying by crying out to God, trying to release the hurt and trying to forgive. Healing takes time and patience. It takes help from God, prayer partners, professionals and support circles. I read books, I journaled, I cried, I was angry and felt every other emotion you can think of. There is no right way to heal. There is no timeframe that you “should” heal by. But heal, brothers and sisters, please heal. Allow yourselves to heal.

Image Credit: JC

Please contact Wounded Butterflies if you are in need of personal prayer. Thank you, Esther, for having the courage to share your story.