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Category Archives: Every Woman’s Battle

Walking and Talking with Jesus

Some women enjoy sitting in a comfy chair to meditate for their quiet time with the Lord. Not me. I either get distracted thinking about all the things I should be doing or I get sleepy. I enjoy walking and talking with the Lord. I start by stretching and taking deep breaths, thanking God that He’s given me another day to be alive and fully functioning. Drinking in the beauty of the towering trees, inhaling the aroma of wildflowers, feeling the breeze caress my face, I commune with God outdoors during my walk in a way I never could otherwise. As I walk, I talk to Him about five things:

* Adoration (telling Him all the wonderful things I love about Him, such as how His mercies are new every morning, His incomparable strength, His compassionate character, and so on)
* Confession (acknowledging the many ways I miss the mark and asking Him to reveal anything I’ve done or attitude that I’ve had that has caused Him to grieve)
* Thanksgiving (expressing my gratitude for the multitude of blessings in my life)

* Supplication (asking for a special blessing or His divine guidance in certain matters)
* Others (intercession for my family and friends, the women God has called me to serve, my coworkers, and anyone else God brings to mind) 

You might wonder, “How do you remember all that?” With the acronym ACTSO — Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication, and Others — I ACT by praying SO that I can feel connected to God. And His response is sometimes audible, not to my ears, but to my heart. As I confess, I often sense Him comforting me, saying, “It’s okay. I’m not going to let that come between us.” As I ask Him for guidance, He usually steers my mind toward a solution I hadn’t thought of before. As I pray for others, He regularly prompts me to do or say something specifically for their benefit. This response time is a vital part of my prayer life. He already knows what is on my heart without my saying a word. I need to make time to listen to what is on His heart because without listening, I’ll never have a clue. God often reminds me of this as I am walking and rambling on and on. Sometimes by the time I reach the two- or three-mile mark on my four-mile hike, I’ll sense God saying, “Remember to leave Me some time. I’ve got a lot I want to say to you today.” Does this make me feel special that the God of the universe wants time to talk specifically with me each day? You bet. And He wants to talk with you each day as well. Is there a spot in your planner where you can give Him a standing (or walking) appointment? 

Enoch walked with God for three hundred years, then God took him away (Genesis 5:21-24). He never tasted death. I can just imagine that Enoch’s walk with God was so intimate, so joyous, that one day God simply said, “You know, Enoch, we are closer to my house than to yours. Let’s just go to mine.” 

Don and Deyon Stephens, cofounders of Mercy Ships International, tell of Don’s Aunt Lilly, who had a regular walking date with God at 4 P.M. every day. “If you were visiting and Aunt Lilly disappeared around four o’clock, you just knew where she was going and that she’d be back around five. She never allowed anything to keep her from her date with Jesus.” Aunt Lilly died within the past few years, and when Don was preparing to preach her funeral, he inquired as to the exact time of her death. His suspicion was confirmed when the hospital stated her time of death as 4 P.M. Aunt Lilly didn’t miss her walk with Jesus.

Excerpted from Every Woman’s Battle: Discovering God’s Plan for Sexual and Emotional Fulfillment by Shannon Ethridge. Copyright 2003. All Rights Reserved. Published by WaterBrook Press, Colorado Springs, CO 80921. Used by Permission. Not to be copied without Publisher’s prior written approval.  




Growing Closer to God- Part 2

continued…

Friend/Friend Relationship

A servant’s relationship with his master is based on business and performance, while love and mutual concern is the basis for a friend’s relationship with another friend. Jesus spoke very clearly to His disciples about this deeper level of intimacy that He shared with them when He said, 

“I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s [personal] business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you” (John 15:15). Jesus is saying, “I value you, not just because of how you serve me, but because you share my heart.”

A friend’s value lies not so much in what she does, but in who she is as a personal confidant. God wants to be our friend, and He wants us as His friend. We can experience this friendship level of intimacy, as James 2:23 tells us, 

“And the scripture was fulfilled that says, ‘Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,’ and he was called God’s friend.” 

Also, Proverbs 22:11 says, 

“[She] who loves a pure heart and whose speech is gracious will have the king for [her] friend.”Yet even as close as two friends can be, blood runs thicker than water.


Father/Daughter Relationship
As we realize and accept the truth that we are not just God’s lump of clay, sheep, servant, or even friend, but also God’s very own child, we can experience tremendous healing from childhood wounds and disappointments. We can allow God to be the Father or the Mother (He possesses qualities of both genders) that we so desperately need or want. We can be freed from the burden of trying to perform or produce for Him when we understand that He loves us not for what we do, but because of who we are as His daughters. Paul wrote:

But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of [daughters]. Because you are [daughters], God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” (Galatians 4:4-6)

As wonderful and healing as the father/child relationship is, the groom/bride relationship promises the most intimate connection of all. 

Groom/Bride Relationship
Once a woman becomes a bride, the focus of her life and priorities change and all other people and priorities pale in comparison to this primary love relationship. Again, this metaphor illustrates a much deeper truth-God desires a level of relationship with us such that we are deeply in love with Him, that we delight to simply be in His presence, that we know Him personally both publicly and privately, and that our focus and priorities become aligned with His desires.

Perhaps you feel that you can relate to God as our Father, Savior, or Lord but are struggling with the idea of relating to God as intimately as you would a husband. While some may even say that it is irreverent to relate to God in such an intimate way, God has always longed for this kind of relationship with His chosen people. He said through the prophet Hosea, 

“I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. I will betroth you in faithfulness and you will acknowledge the LORD” (2:19-20).

According to this passage God has extended an eternal commitment of love to us as His people, a love so deep, so wide, and so great that no earthly mind can possibly fathom it. It is the kind of gift that should inspire us to reciprocate with as equal of a gift of love as is humanly possible.
Scripture often refers to the church as the bride of Christ. If you have received Christ as Savior, you are His betrothed. John obviously understood God’s desire to betroth us to Himself in this type of intimate bride-and-groom relationship. He writes:

Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory!For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean was given her to wear. (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.) Then the angel said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!’ ” And he added, “These are the true words of God.” (Revelation 19:7-9)

What began as an engagement relationship between God and His own in the Garden of Eden will finally be consummated at the wedding supper of the Lamb when Jesus Christ returns to claim His bride (the church). 
In the last line of this scripture the angels said specifically to add that these are God’s “true words,” as if they somehow knew that this type of bridal relationship with the Almighty would be difficult for us to fathom. But His bridegroom love for us is very real.

So how do we cultivate a bridal love for Jesus and enjoy this intimate relationship that He longs to have with us? By falling in love with Him and attempting to pursue Him as passionately as He has been pursuing us all along.


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Excerpted from Every Woman’s Battle: Discovering God’s Plan for Sexual and Emotional Fulfillment by Shannon Ethridge. Copyright 2003. All Rights Reserved. Published by WaterBrook Press, Colorado Springs, CO 80921. Used by Permission. Not to be copied without Publisher’s prior written approval.