Encourage with Life

Some of my friends are so encouraging I view my interactions with them as pure life. When I joined the worship team, I put school aside for a later hour each Monday morning just so I could sit and glean from them during our weekly meetings.

I felt like the baby of the bunch. Because some people are so well-rounded and whole that your own growth pales in light of overwhelming goodness. And your own insecurities and weaknesses squirm a little because dark can’t really thrive in the face of light.

It’s vital to hang out with people more mature than we are, ourselves. And hey, these people were so full of encouragement that they pulled every possible good thing in my life right out into the open.

When I said, “I really desire the gift of prophecy,” they said, “You already have it—but we’ll pray for more.” And they’d sit me in the center of the room while they gathered round and laid hands on my head, praying life giving prayers all the while.

I grew by hanging out with them. Grew like never before.

Because they operated in the authority of Christ, they brought the life of Christ. Sisters, did you know you are heaven sent with a mission to bring life in the face of death, to being truth in the face of lies, to turn evil into good merely by your presence because you are filled with a God who has all authority in heaven and earth?

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Some of you are smack dab in the center of the most traumatizing circumstances, and you’re left gasping for a single breath of air just to make it, much less inhale deeply. But, God has authority, and you only need to ensure you are breathing his air.

I can walk in God’s authority just as my friends do. The only reason they give me life is because they know life. They listen in to life. They walk in truth, refuse lies, and counter evil with good in mighty blows that leave the enemy reeling.

They’re not out to please people, sisters. They are out to walk in life, and that pleases GOD. They hold up my hands as they urge me to do the same, and my life changes over a course of time.

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Do you walk in so much life that you give out the authority of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? Sister, you are called by God to bring the authority of God to each hurting heart in your life today. You are called by God to invest the life of God into immature places, and fill them with heavenly graces, instead.

Give out all you have, and you will be given more. Because all authority has been given to Him, He now asks you, sister, to go forth and bring it to those around you. Abide in Him, and you abide in His unbending, unyielding, uncompromising, life-giving authority that always brings life. 

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“And Jesus said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 28:18&19, ESV

When God Heals

I walked into her small warehouse and looked over the shelves.

Impressed with this young mom who ran her own business besides running a house smoothly, I studied the bottles to see what was inside. All the ingredients were for healing purposes.

It’s awesome to run into a business that sells only healing products when so many American stores are loaded with cigarettes, preservatives, and sugar.

Here,” she says, “Take these to your sister.” She pulls open a small drawer and empties the contents into a bag.

I look at the label. “Healing Salve,” it says.

My sister smiles. “She says she will never change the recipe because God gave it to her.”

I’m throwing a few of those freebies into my own suitcase. I’ll rub them onto aching muscles and pray love and healing into aching hearts.

Truth is, I’ve been praying a lot on what to do or say (or not do or say) in a certain circumstance. I’ve asked counsel, and some of it varies. Always, I come back to the realization that God’s peace is powerful and only He can lead me right.

A book may give advice, but it is cut for your particular circumstance?

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A friend may speak into your life, but does she know all the ins and outs—and if she did, would she still say what she says?

A verse may speak to you—but is your application of it God’s heart for you?

Wounded sister, struggling to fight your battle and win—listen hard to the Lord. He may direct you to do what is crazy. Or, he may ask you to try something you’ve never done before, that is proven to help.

Walk closely to Jesus. He breathes life into the impossible and speaks promise to lies.

He knows each heart and knows where each difficulty began—sometimes, long before symptoms rose.

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He goes deep. He goes carefully. He goes lovingly.

He offers a hand, but you need to hold it.

He promises wisdom, but you need to receive it and apply it.

If you do, you can rest. No matter how difficult the wait or how grueling the climb, God walks beside you and holds your hand, promising to never, ever leave you alone.

His recipe mixes all ingredients of your life into one powerful, healing salve. And if you allow him, he will show you what to mix up for those around you.

Because all God’s daughters are called to bring life, healing, grace, and blessing. This is what your Father does, and this is what he gives you to pass along. In the areas where you see you haven’t done so, simply turn your heart and receive his grace all over again.

He won’t change his recipe for healing salve. Apply it gratefully, long before you know why. Because He cannot lie, ever, and his promises to you are yes, and amen. 

In the Presence of Trouble, We Rest

We all like to envision tables set before us, and most of the time, we think of a loaded table in an atmosphere of light and pleasantry. Overflowing cups and someone anointing our head seems to indicate a loving, safe, unusually grace-filled time.

But see this: “in the presence of my enemies.”

This means when all is wrong and nothing’s right and you want to sink into darkness because your world is heavy, shattered, and full of turmoil. When your enemies are still present, and their presence permeates your atmosphere and unsettles your heart and makes you want to cringe in fear or distress.

Here is where He prepares a table for you– right here.

Right in your enemies’ presence, He wants you to sit and be fed. He wants them to see your feasting, and know you are a child well cared for. He wants others in your life to see His goodness to you in the face of impossible odds.

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He’s glorified in the dark, friends. We crave ease, but if all were ease we would not need a Savior and He wouldn’t get to display His care in the presence of our enemies.

Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.” [Psalm 34:5]

He says to you, friend who is in the trenches, friend who has a fatal illness, friend who doesn’t know what to do with her past, friend who has discovered an unfaithful spouse, He says to you, right to your heart, that if you look to Him your face will be radiant, and you will not be ashamed.

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You won’t bow your head in shame as you walk about town; your heart will not be dry because He’s preparing a table for you.

He even has a trickle of oil for your head, just to let you know you are loved.

We mustn’t be afraid of broken things. When the heart breaks open, it leaves a crack all the way to the core for Love to trickle in. If we were whole, competent, and satisfied, our hearts would not be as tender or receptive for the greatest Gift of all to saturate us all the way down.

That shattered place in your life that makes you want to cringe, run, or shut down— brave friend, will you embrace it today? Will you bravely say, “This is where I am, and I will not fight it?”

When you do that, Heaven comes to lead you right into the greatest grace you will ever know. Embrace your broken, for in doing so you embrace Grace. And that grace will prove to you a greater gift than if you were never shattered at all.

In that place, you become a testament of Love for the Love-Giver Who so wanted the world to see how strong love is, that He sent His one and only Son to walk among us, suffer, and die a cruel death in the hands of angry men– the very men He created.

He died, and then He rose gloriously. He wasn’t afraid of death because He knew He would rise. And you, friend, when you are no longer afraid of your own broken places, will rise with Him.

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You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup overflows.” [Psalm 23:5 ESV]

Father, thank you for feeding us right in the presence of our enemies. Thank you that Your love is known even more deeply when trouble surrounds us. Thank you that You triumph.

~Women of Purpose