Are you still fasting? Me too. Seems like that's ALL I've been doing this past year (LOL) and actually, I'm about to enter into another one...in a few hours (I know, right?). Every time I go to Adonai about it, all I hear the Holy Spirit say is, "Well Shellie, some things ONLY COME by prayer *and* fasting." Indeed:
"So Jesus said to them, 'Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” (Matthew 17:20-22-NKJV)
Marriage...can be a mountain of sorts in the sense of being a "huge heap of something". Oh, but being that marriage is a form of ministry, I'm sure we can all agree that getting to our mates, is also a HUGE THING. It's something that we need faith for and faith is the substance of things *hoped for*, right (Hebrews 11:1)? And so, as I prayed about a promise scripture for you all to take into 2010, the Year of Restoration, this is what Theotes, the Godhead, gave me. It's brief...but it's enough. More than enough, actually:
"*Now hope does not disappoint*, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us."---Romans 5:5 (NKJV)
If I've said it once, I've said it a trillion times that I love (love, love, LOVE!) Acts 1:7 (Message):
"He told them, 'You don't get to know the time. Timing is the Father's business. What you'll get is the Holy Spirit. And when the Holy Spirit comes on you, you will be able to be my witnesses in Jerusalem, all over Judea and Samaria, even to the ends of the world.'" (Acts 1:7-Message)
A few of us? Whether you've been in Wife Curriculum class or on the "On Fire" fast, you have already gotten engaged. A testament to Elohim's faithfulness right there. Oh, but the rest of us? We may not know the TIME of our mate's arrival, but I think we all can attest to the fact that submitting to our Father has further developed our relationship with the Holy Spirit; what the Amplified Version of John 14:26 refers to as our "Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby)". And we have needed it because of what Romans 5:1-4 (NKJV) tells us:
"Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have[a] peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope."
Faith? Believing in what we don't see? It has JUSTIFIED...it has upheld...it has defended...it has acquitted us. Accepting the tribulations...that have led us to perseverance....that has developed our character? You do see the end result of that, right? HOPE.
AND HOPE DOES NOT DISAPPOINT.
And so, this is not the time to give up hope. Oh, it's *quite the opposite*. This is the time to CELEBRATE the love of God that has been poured out to us by the Holy Spirit. Don't give up now. You're much closer than you think.
And with that said, here is the tangible instruction for the new year: GET A (NEW) HOPE CHEST. Some of you are already "on it" when it comes to this, but there are two reasons for this investment. One, for those of you who are in Wife Curriculum and read the "Before You Jump the Broom" (http://beforeyoujumpthebro
Well now we're entering a new place....a larger place. A place where hope is, due to what we have committed to in the midst of faith crisis and doubt, resides. The hope chest, yes, is a physical reminder that we stand in the belief that we are a wife and will be joined to our mate; that we are committed to maturing to a place of being "marriage-able" (Matthew 19-Message). BUT the second word is "chest" and in our chests, our hearts are housed. A lot of hope chests have locks. Why? Because there are special items and keepsakes in them. As you purchase items for your future marriage (journals, wedding items, lingerie, books, candles, "smell goods"...whatever you are led to get), I want you to also purpose to put a part of your heart in there; to "guard" (Proverbs 4:23) the kind of wife you will be with *all diligence* in this season. The things that you buy? They speak to the uniqueness of your marriage; the sacredness of your marriage; the blessing of your marriage. The heart for your husband? It should be seen in a similar fashion. We keep things in chests to protect them. Ladies, this is the time to PROTECT YOUR HEART. There are certain things *only your husband* will see. You both will discover them in that chest someday. Allow the Lord to reveal some of the deep workings of your mind, body and spirit that should be reserved as well.
Take some time, today...tomorrow...this weekend to do as David did and "Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still." (Psalm 4:4) The Father will speak. HE WILL SPEAK and he will tell you some "specific and sacred" things, yes, about you as a wife, but also your husband and your impending nuptials that until this point, you did not know. This is not the time to doubt. Remember you have paid the price for hope and HOPE DOES NOT DISAPPOINT. Do not delay in this instruction. Write the vision that is shown to you and purpose to place it in your hope chest. You will notice that a large part of the anxiety that you may feel will begin to dispel once you begin to fill up your trunk with spirit led items and once you "tuck away your married heart" in that same "safe place".
I'm sooooooo excited about this year and what El Shaddai, the All Sufficient God, is going to do in you all's lives. Please keep me posted and DON'T GIVE UP HOPE. It's what married us to faith and faith is what pleases our Father. The one who will bring us to the sons he has in mind. EVEN NOW.
Here's a hope chest I found online on sale, but please...go as led: http://www.buy.com/retail/