Strategy 1: Your Passion, When You've Lost Your Cutting Edge
At our February meeting, Emily shared that there were nearly 30 who attended, and not only attended but interacted with everyone in the group. What a testimony that God is indeed raising up daughters who want to become prayer warriors--not for our own comfort, but in order to tell the enemy that he can no longer have free reign in our lives. We are equipping ourselves to be more armed than ever.
I shared in the last issue that passion means to suffer and that we should realize that suffering may be part of what God calls us to walk through in this life. Emily asked a probing question to the ladies and we ask you as well, "If I were to spend 40 minutes with you, what would I believe you're passionate about?"
"Our passion is birthed through the hardships we face.," Emily shared at the meeting. What did she mean by that?
Several ladies were vulnerable and shared. I realized that from the day we were married my husband has been passionate about helping marriages stay strong for a lifetime. What I didn't realize was that his parent's divorce on his 18th birthday was the suffering (passion) that led to this conviction.
Pause for a moment and consider your own passions.
Were they birthed through tragedy or hardship? Seeing this will help us embrace the suffering when we're in the middle of it knowing that God will produce something good through it.
**Take a minute now and do the assignment with our strategic memory verse (see top of page)**
It's important to remember that our passions should never replace our passion for Him. He is the reason we embrace hardship and suffering because He laid down His life for us through suffering. (Read Hebrews 12:1-2)
Did you take time to read the two Bible verses just now? Please don't skip this part, even if you think you know it already. Open your Bible and read the verses aloud. Speaking the Word in our homes builds our faith. Read Romans 10:17. Having the Word of God in our hearts and minds each day, will help us discern our thoughts which fuels our prayers. But it will also help us in fighting the enemy of our soul.
Jesus when He was tempted for 40 days in the wilderness didn't enter into a debate with Satan. He simply quoted Scripture, His two-edged sword, and the devil had to flee.
What lies has he been whispering in your ear this week? If you don't know, then you may not be paying attention. We can be sure he has a strategy in place against us, and being aware of his tactics will help us not be daunted by them.
I loved the story of the lost ax head and how it correlates to our passion. Let's review them:
1. Despite the lost ax head, the presence of God was still near.
2. The servant was doing something good when he lost his cutting edge.
3. The ax was borrowed. This was my favorite one and worth repeating..."The presence of passion, faith and belief in our hearts is a gift. It's on loan to our souls. Like the man's ax, our passion and spiritual fervor come from Someone else as a gift to us. If you've ever cried out passionately to God in faith, fully believing that He is able to do more than you ask or think or imagine, it's only because He first stirred up that passion within you. So instead of always feeling guilty--personally responsible--whenever your passion in prayer is weak or missing, realize instead that it is God's work both to give it and then to fan it into flame inside you. Which means you cannot manufacture it on your own. Your enemy. however--coy as he is--wants to burden you with blame for not having something that didn't originate with you in the first place. Don't fall for that!"
4. Only a work of God could retrieve the ax head.
Finally, let's spend the rest of this month developing our Prayer Strategy for Passion. Use the blank cards available at the back of your book and then,
"Grab a pen...and write your own prayer strategy for passion---a prayer to God to help you maintain it (if it's good) or regain it (if it's gone). Make it part Praise, part Repentance, part Asking, and a whole lot of YES.
But don't just read the words you've crafted. Pray them. No matter if your writing is short, long or somewhere in between, pray it as the steady, fervent desire of your will, in anticipation of seeing it become the burning desire of your heart. Because it's not just another do-better in your list of New Year's resolutions. It's a prayer strategy. And that's what makes it work." (page 38)
How I thank you for the privilege it is to approach Your throne of grace. I realize this is only possible because of my suffering Savior who drained the dregs of death and the grave so that I could have life forever with You. Thank you.
I pray for the ladies doing this study with me. May they sense fresh grace to endure. As they press in to know you more and to grow in their passion for prayer and Your Word help them succeed. I pray that as Your Word fills our homes that a fresh out-pouring of Your Spirit would begin to fall on us. When the enemy comes and tries to steal what You are doing in us, help us realize it and take those thoughts captive. May we no longer settle in our walk with You, but help us to be FERVENT.
We love you as much as we are capable of doing so. Increase our capacity to love You more.
In Jesus' precious name,