The Will Of God vs. The Will Of Man

Monday, February 28, 2011

As you read along the devotional below written by a fellow stander, Teri, from Minnesota; I'm sure you'll find a very familiar line.  And maybe you've been told that too not just once, but countless times already. May you be encouraged and may your faith grow stronger as you stand firm on God's promises for your marriage.

Soon after my husband left me, God turned my heart to Him. Through reading His Word, my hope and faith increased. God began to show me that all things are possible through Him. I started praying for my husband and my marriage. Before I ever heard the terms "stand in the gap" and "stand for your marriage", God was calling me to do just that.

I truly believed that God was able to heal my marriage. However, the enemy delighted in placing stumbling blocks in my way. They came through things I read or through well-intentioned comments from friends and family. The one most frequently used was, "Your husband has his own free will and even if you pray, he ultimately will choose what he wants to do."  How cunning the enemy is! Satan tells us that it doesn't matter what you pray because man can choose what he wants. But God tells us to have faith and believe and to pray without ceasing.

What freedom I felt when I finally realized that yes, man does have his free will, but God will stop at nothing to bring it into alignment with His will.
"We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps." Proverbs 16:9
"You can make many plans, but the Lord's purpose will prevail." Proverbs 19:21
"How can we understand the road we travel? It is the Lord who directs our steps." Proverbs 20:24
"I know, Lord, that a person's life is not his own. No one is able to plan his own course." Jeremiah 10:23
Praise God for His faithfulness. He showed me in His Word that He has many ways of changing the hearts of men and redirecting their paths. Yes, man can choose, but God is sovereign in His perfect plan. If He calls us to pray, then believe that He is the God of the impossible and can change the heart of even the hardest of men.

Throughout Scripture you will find many examples of God turning the hearts of kings and men to Him to fulfill His purpose. How is this done? Through the work of the Holy Spirit.
"And I will give them singleness of heart and put a new spirit within them. I will take away their hearts of stone and give them tender hearts instead, so they will obey my laws and regulations. Then they will truly be my people, and I will be their God." Ezekiel 11:19
"I will give them hearts that will recognize me as the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me wholeheartedly."  Jeremiah 24:7
"And I will give you a new heart with new and right desires, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony heart of sin and give you a new obedient heart. And I will put my Spirit in you so you will obey my laws and do whatever I command."  Ezekiel 36:26-27
Whenever the enemy comes against you with lies and tries to convince you that your prayers don't matter because your spouse is choosing to go his/her own way, remember the Word of God. God has called us to stand and pray for our spouse. He is faithful and His Word is true. He is the one who will change their hearts and place His Spirit in them. He will call them to obedience and repentance. Continue to stand and pray because even though man might make his plans, God directs his steps. With God all things are possible.

Fearless Friday

Friday, February 25, 2011

It's Friday once again. It's a day we commit to praying for our needs and the needs of others. If you have prayer requests, you may leave me a comment here or you can email me. I will be praying for you.

Earlier today, I asked God to speak to me as I read His Word.  I would normally read a chapter then another then another, but couldn't understand a thing.  But this time, I asked God to give me wisdom to know what His message is for me today. 

I was reading from the book of Judges chapter 7 where Gideon defeats the Midianites.  Specifically on verse 22 where it says, "When the three hundred trumpets sounded, the LORD caused the men throughout the camp to turn on each other with their swords. The army fled to Beth Shittah toward Zererah as far as the border of Abel Meholah near Tabbath."

This is the revelation I got from this passage --- God can cause things to happen in our lives.  Sure, He won't over rule man's free will, but God can work on circumstances to make His will and His purpose prevail.  Whatever challenges we are facing now, however it looks like, God can CAUSE things to change for our benefit and for His glory.

Let's continue to praise God!

I'm joining Angie over at Free Spirit Haven for today's Fearless Friday.

Thankful Thursday

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I had a very relaxing massage last night at Lasema Spa, the first authentic Korean spa in the country.  It was my second time there.  The first was at 2009. Before going home, I had a sumptuous late dinner at a Persian restaurant. Ordered my favorite Beef Koobideh.   All these I had for free!  Thank you, Lord!!!

What are you thankful for this week?

For more Thankful Thursday, visit Laurie over at Women Taking A Stand.

God is NOT Our Co-Pilot

Monday, February 21, 2011

How's your stand so far?  Do you feel weak?  Let me tell you that what you're feeling is normal.  As long as we are in this flesh, feeling weak is as normal as breathing.  We are not in any way super humans that we will no longer feel weakness at all, especially in our stand.  But we have to continue holding on to God's promises knowing that He is not like a man that He should lie.  What He promises will come to pass for sure.  Heaven and Earth will pass away but His Word will never pass away.  His Word, His promise is as certain as breathing is to us while we are still alive. What we chose to do, as standers, is not usual to a lot of people.  This makes it even harder. But what God tells us to do, He will give us the grace to obey.

Here's another devotion written by David, a fellow stander from North Carolina.  I hope this encourages you as you continue to stand for your marriage.


I'm guessing that we've all seen the bumper sticker that says God is my co-pilot. It may seem kind of catchy, but the fact of the matter is that God needs to be the pilot of our lives. We need to realize that the only way our lives, our pursuit of marriage restoration, and our desire to fulfill all His plans for our lives will come about if God is in charge. We cannot call Jesus Savior, but not Lord. As the saying goes, either He is Lord of all, or He is not Lord at all!
"'For my thought are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,' declares the LORD." Isaiah 55:8
I know it is scary to release control, as this has been my biggest struggle during this journey, but we can take comfort in God's Word. In the Bible we see many instances of where people surely did not understand at the time why God worked the way He did, but we also get to see how the story finished. Our struggle is with the fact that we are still in the midst of our story, but God's Word tells us that we can trust whatever it is that He wants to do because:
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28
Just think of some of the examples of Gods amazing work in situations that made no sense at the time. Think of Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt in Exodus, Chapter 14. The LORD purposefully lead the Israelites to where they were seemingly trapped, with the Red Sea before them and the Egyptians closing in on them. The Israelites questioned God ability to be in control, but God knew exactly what He was planning.
"And when the Israelites saw the great power the LORD displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the LORD and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant." Exodus 14:31
Think of Joseph (see Genesis 37-50). He was sold into slavery, falsely imprisoned, did not see his family for years, and yet we see how God used it in a way we never would have guessed to save his family. Joseph himself declared,
"You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." Genesis 50:20
Think of Lazarus, whom Jesus raised from the dead (John 11). When Jesus heard that Lazarus was sick, Jesus purposefully waited two more days until Lazarus died. Many of you have sick or dead marriages and can identify with Mary (and Martha) who could not help questioning Jesus:
"Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died." John 11:32
Like Mary, I've been guilty of crying out, "O Lord, if You would have done something earlier, my marriage would not have died!" But remember, God's ways are not our ways. In this instance, Jesus needed a death because He planned a resurrection. (And yes, Jesus does weep with us in our pain, even knowing what He has planned, just as He wept for Lazarus.)

And of course, our Lord and Savior Jesus went to the cross, suffering and dying for our sins. In doing so, His disciples (those who knew Him best) did not understand at the time because they were humans, but this was done so that we might have new life in Him.

So, we need to praise our Lord in all things, because what does not make sense now is being orchestrated or allowed by God because He sees what He is doing in all this. Please don't take this to mean we should just sit by passively, because God will do all the work. Yes, He does all the work and does not need our help, but part of what He wills for us (and what pleases Him) is that we join with Him and pray as Jesus taught us to-- boldly, fervently, unceasingly--because this develops our faith and usefulness for His purposes.

No, God's ways are not like my ways, but my ways have led to a mess, so I say let's surrender to His ways for the deliverance of our prodigal spouses, the healing of our sick or dead marriages, and the direction of our lives every day.
"He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake". Psalm 23:3
"Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are god my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long." Psalm 25:4-5

I Have Two Choices...

Monday, February 14, 2011
While others are going gaga over Valentine's day, I have two choices.  I can either go out for dinner on some fine dining restaurant OR I can just stay home.  I chose to stay home and finish organizing the music on my iTunes.  I still have quite a number of music that I personally like from YouTube that I need to convert to mp3 and transfer them to my iTunes.  


No worries.  It's kind of robotic, quite honestly.  I'm getting the hang of it. I'm actually into downloading 90's songs right this very moment. 

I love music!  Did I ever mention that I can tell which year the song became a hit by simply remembering events in my life?  Well, I can.  That's how I remember dates.

By the way,  HAPPY HEART'S DAY y'all!

WFW - Philippians 4:19

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I asked the Lord for a Word I can hold on to today and He gave me this.  How very timely!  Thank you, Lord!

Hop on to Lori's for more WFW entries. God bless!!!

The Wilderness Road Walk

Monday, February 7, 2011

Hi fellow standers!  Here's another devotional which I hope will encourage you today.  This was written by Ben from Texas.  Be strong and courageous!  Stay in faith!


Take a moment and reflect upon your stand...your stand with Jesus Christ for the resurrection and healing of your marriage relationship. For many of us, it can be a time of great pain and unhappiness, a time filled with anger, distrust, betrayal, you name it. Yet for the Christian, it is a time when we are not in fellowship with our spouse, our one flesh mate. And as we stand with our Lord and Savior, we need to reflect and understand the impact of this time apart from our spouse.
"...and he was in the desert forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him."  Mark 1:13
We know from the Gospels that following Jesus Christ's baptism by John the Baptist, Christ was led into the desert by the Holy Spirit for a time of reflection and maturing by His Father. And it was here that Christ showed His strength and wisdom in throwing off the temptations of Satan. In like manner, God led the Israelites on a forty year sojourn in the wilderness to purify and strengthen His people for their destiny in the Promised Land. They had failed the first time under Moses and God sent them into the desert for this time of wandering and His purification.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:11-13
I often look at my own stand as a time in the desert, a walk down the wilderness road. It was a time when I came face to face with my own eternity. It became a time when I began to deeply study God's Word, to reflect, to pray, and to hear what God wished to reveal to me. Unencumbered by the day to day distractions of conflict with my wife, it has been a time when I have come close to my Lord and Savior and my Heavenly Father. I have found great beauty and peace in my wanderings along that wilderness road.

In days gone by and even today, there are retreats or long sojourns to quiet places that allow each of us to come in touch with our maker. In times of reflection, we hope to understand what has gone on before that has brought us to this present time in our lives. It is a time for setting realistic goals of spiritual and emotional growth; a time for making resolutions concerning our marriage relationships.

Wilderness road time is not wasted time for as each day goes by, you and I are one day closer to victory, victory in our personal walk with Christ, and victory in the resurrection and healing of our marriage relationships. Wilderness road time allows us time to take baby steps, one step and one day at a time. While we may wish to shorten our wilderness road time, understand this...our marriages did not fall apart overnight and they will not be healed overnight. Time is necessary for our personal growth with Christ and time for the Holy Spirit to work on our spouse's heart. That frequently occurs on the other side of the mountain where we cannot see. Here is where great restraint is needed; here is where trust and faith in God's promises of healing of our marriages is paramount. It is in our wilderness road walk with God that He gives us the strength and wisdom to survive our stand. Use your time on your wilderness road walk to find out who you are in Christ. You will never be disappointed.

I know personally that my stand with my Lord and Savior is time that I would not trade for anything. It is here that I found God. And you can also. Many of us who profess to being Christian question our faith as our marriages disintegrate. We find ourselves wondering where is God in all of this? The wilderness road is the path to wholeness and freedom in Christ. Take it, find out who you are in Christ, and you will never, never be sorry!
"So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!  ...And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it." 1 Corinthians 10:12, 13b
"So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most."  Hebrews 4:16 (NLT)
Your challenge is: Walk the Wilderness Road. Be quiet, listen, and you will find God's grace.

TSMSS - Music Box Dancer

Saturday, February 5, 2011

This is another music from my childhood.  This certainly brings back beautiful and carefree memories.  Whenever I listen to this, I feel like I'm traveling back in time.

This music, as well as Peter Piper which I posted three weeks ago, was written by a Canadian composer, arranger and pianist Frank Mills.  As successful as he was back then when this became the Number 1 record in 26 countries selling millions of singles, he also had his own taste of major disappointments and frustrations for several years. But God had a different plan.

We may be in what seemed to be a dead end or a hopeless situation, but God.  What He did for Frank Mills, He can also do for us.

For more great music, link up with Amy over at Signs, Miracles and Wonders.

Xin Nian Kuai Le!!!

Thursday, February 3, 2011
To all my Chinese friends...

A Prosperous New Year to all!

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