Connect Blog Posts
For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13 NLT)
Connect Blog Posts
For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13 NLT)
Foolishness if bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of correction will drive it far from him. – (Proverbs 22:15 NKJV)
The Bible says, “Eli sons were scoundrels; they had no regard for the Lord” (1 Samuel 2:12). Eli was a priest and he knew the voice of God, but he didn’t always obey it. Even when he saw his sons doing evil in the eyes of God, he didn’t discipline them and it led to the downfall of the entire family. Eli lost his priesthood as well as his sons because he esteemed his sons more than he esteemed God. Friend, when we esteem our children more than God, it ends up giving them a bucket of trouble!
Our tendency as parents can be to want to shelter our children from all of life’s hurts, including the pain of discipline. But we have to pray and trust God that He will be with them wherever they go. God expects us to do our part—to “train up a child in the way he should go” (Proverbs 22:6 KJV)—which includes disciplining them to know right from wrong.
As a young child, Samuel was committed to be a priest in the household of Eli—which everyone knew was an ungodly household. But Hannah’s commitment kept him under the supernatural guidance of God during those year.
We can’t always protect our children from the ugliness they will encounter in the world, but we can entrust God with our children.
Dear Heavenly Father, I entrust my children to You. When I need guidance on raising Godly children, I will look to Your Word, Your wisdom, and the way Your Own Son Jesus was raised. In His Name, Amen.
God’s word is like medicine. When you take His Word, you are taking in health. ~Marilyn Hickey
And my God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19 ESV)
Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. I Corinthians 5:7 NIV
After delivering the Israelites out of Egypt, God instructed them to celebrate seven feasts. Did you know that these seven feasts actually show us who Jesus is in us?
Passover: Christ is our Passover Lamb. Unleavened Bread: Leaven is a symbol of corruption. Jesus was without spot and without sin; He had no leaven. First fruits: Jesus was the first fruit—He was the first to arise from the dead. Pentecost: This feast was marked by the offering of raised bread such as we eat daily. We are reminded of Jesus coming to be among us, providing us with daily bread from Heaven for our spiritual sustenance. Trumpets: This is symbolic of the trumpet that will be blown when Jesus returns. Day of Atonement: Jesus is our atonement. Tabernacles: During this feast, the people dwelt in tabernacles or booths to celebrate the fact that God had brought them through the wilderness into their own land. It was a joyous time. This celebration allows us to look ahead to Jesus’ return.
So, in the Old Testament, they celebrated seven feast days. Seven is always the number of completions, showing us the complete picture of what Jesus has for us. Now, when they celebrated these feasts, they actually acted out what Jesus would do in the New Testament—even though they didn’t know Jesus by name! They look ahead to a Messiah and had a revelation about that, but they didn’t know the fulfillment of that.
Don’t you just love to read both the Old and New Testament and see how they tie together?
Jesus, it is so wonderful to experience the revelations God has for us about You in the Old Testament! Be real to me. Intercede for me. Pray for me. Live in me. I want to know Your presence in the most wonderful way!
No matter what sort of affliction may try to attach itself to you, you can bring forth the healing of Jehovah Rophe. He Never Changes. ~Marilyn Hickey
Wednesdays in the Word, Marilyn shares about Abundant Life from John 14:6!
He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might He increases strength. (Isaiah 40:29 ESV)
Moses was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights without eating bread or drinking water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant—the Ten Commandments. Exodus 34:28 (NIV)
Some of the most spectacular examples of fasting in the Bible are the 40-day fasts of the great lawgiver Moses, the prophet Elijah, and Jesus.
Things were not the same in these leaders’ lives after their times of fasting, nor were things the same in the lives of the people who were under their leadership. For the Israelites, the fast of Moses meant the giving of the Law to them. They lived under a new order of feasts, rituals, sacrifice, and patterns of worship. And the fast of Elijah resulted in their having a new wave of righteousness in their land—including powerful miracles at the hand of Elisha, the successor of Elijah.
When Jesus fasted, he stripped the devil of all claims he had made. Jesus laid claim to the authority to act upon God’s Word in ways that brought healing and deliverance to people, and because He did, fully sealing that authority on the cross, Jesus was able to pass on to us the authority to act upon God’s Word in ways that bring healing and deliverance to those in need.
What purpose did God have for those He called to prolonged periods of fasting? I believe it was a call to confront evil—both evil circumstances that are outside a person, as well as the evil influences of fear and discouragement that form inside a person.
The call of God to a prolonged fast is not for everybody. It is for those whom God chooses and whom God calls for very specific purposes.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the legacy of these leaders whose faithfulness exacted profound change that would be felt throughout generations. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you. Will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. (Philippians 1:6)
Remember, sometimes healing is more of a process than an event. ~Marilyn Hickey
Who does great things beyond searching out, and marvelous things beyond number. (Job 9:10 ESV)
Then he went out to the source of the water, and cast in the salt there, and said, ‘” Thus says the Lord: ‘I have healed this water; from it there shall be no more death or barrenness.’” 2 Kings 2:21
Immediately after Elisha becomes the prophet-in-charge, the people come to him complaining about the terrible tasting water. Elisha takes their plea to God, and then relates God’s instructions to the people: “Bring me a new bowl and put salt in it” (see v. 20). The people didn’t say “that’s crazy,” they just obeyed.
God’s instructions seemed kind of silly, but Elisha was believing for a miracle and he was willing to do his part in the natural to produce the supernatural. Sometimes I think we just sit around asking for a miracle and we don’t get it because we aren’t willing to do our part in the natural. But when we listen to what God says and do it, we will see the supernatural in our lives!
So, Elisha throws the salt into the bad water. But he takes it one step further and speaks to it! He says, “This is what the Lord says…” (v.21). So, he did the act and he spoke the Word. And the water has been pure ever since.
How do I know? Because I’ve been to Jericho! And when I was there I said, “I want to go to Elisha’s Springs!” So, we went and I drank the water. And I’m telling you, that water is so sweet! After more than 2,500 years, the miracle is still working!
I believe that when we look to God, He will tell us an act to do. And that act of faith will release the power of God to activate the miracle that needs to happen. But whatever act God calls you to do, remember to speak your faith with it. Act and speak the Word of God says!
Jesus, I declare that You have the power to purify whatever is cursed in my life. Show me an act of faith so that I can do my part to activate the supernatural in my life.
As you read the Word and practice what it says, your faith will grow significantly and crowd out fear. ~Marilyn Hickey
Wednesdays in the Word, Marilyn shares encouragement from James 1:19-20!
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I come that they may have life and have it abundantly. (John 10:10 ESV)
Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, for we have sworn friendship with each other in the name of the Lord…” – (I Samuel 20:42)
As part of the inner circle of the king’s court, David was yoked to King Saul. As Saul’s son, Jonathan was yoked to his father as well. But David and Jonathan had a special friendship. When it became obvious that Saul was jealous of the favor David had with the Lord, the two friends made a covenant with each other—to do the will of God in each other’s lives, regardless of what King Saul might say or do.
It was feast time, and normally David sat down and ate these feast meals with Saul and Jonathan. But for two days, David’s place was empty. Saul asked his son about David’s absence, and when Jonathan told him that David had requested permission to be with his family in Bethlehem, Saul recognized that Jonathan had put himself in an alliance with David. Saul was so angry he threw a javelin at Jonathan—he tried to kill his own son and desired heir!
The yoke that tied David into an alliance with Saul was broken that day. In significant ways, the yoke that tied Jonathan to the throne of Israel and to his father was also definitively broken that day.
Was David still under God’s anointing to be king of Israel one day? Absolutely. Was David allowed to prepare to become king in the logical place of preparation, the king’s court? No. Was David set free from the yoke of being part of King Saul’s close inner circle? Yes.
Was this difficult? Very. It meant that David would spend the next years of his life on the run. It meant He would face challenges and situations he had never dreamed of facing. But did this yoke need to be broken so that David could grow in his trust of the Lord and in his understanding about how to lead men into peace and not just into battle? Absolutely!
Jesus, I declare that I trust wherever You have placed me is where You want me to be!
God’s health and blessing bring peace; they put us at ease. ~Marilyn Hickey
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteousness right hand. (Isaiah 41:10 ESV)
Have mercy upon me, O God, According to Your lovingkindness; According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions. – (Psalms 51:1 NKJV)
David—chosen by God, a man after God’s own heart—failed. No question about it. You know what he did? He committed adultery with Bathsheba and had her husband Uriah killed (see 2 Samuel 11). David’s story proves that God doesn’t use perfect people. But because of His mercy and lovingkindness, He forgives us, cleanses us, and uses us to bring Him glory.
Because David’s heart was right, he knew he had to repent. So, he writes Psalm 51, pleading with God to have mercy on him, to forgive him, to not leave him in his sin:
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit. (vv. 10-12 NKJV).
Psalm 51 is so wonderful because we see how God’s forgiveness is in the anointed one. And that anointed one is Christ in you, the hope of glory!
When I read about David and some of these things that go on, it gives me hope for myself. Granted, I’m not committing adultery and I’m not killing anyone, but sometimes I think or say things I shouldn’t. I don’t do it all right all the time, and neither do you. But remember, when we repent and confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive and to cleanse us of all unrighteousness.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your loving-kindness. Thank You for Your anointing in Christ Jesus that blots out all iniquities. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me!
We are not to go from fear to fear; we are to go from faith to faith and from victory to victory. ~Marilyn Hickey
On today’s Wednesdays in the Word, Marilyn shares encouragement from Deuteronomy 31:6!
Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. (Psalm 127:1 ESV)
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” – (I Samuel 16:7)
The Israelites begged Samuel to appoint a king over them, just like the other nations had. Samuel is grieved and prays about it, but God says, “Give them what they want. It’s not you they are rejecting, it’s Me.” This king won’t be appointed like the other kings, however. The Israelite king will be appointed by God.
God chooses Saul, and Samuel anoints him to be the first king of Israel. And for a while it looks like a very good choice! But then Saul becomes impatient and begins to make up his own rules. I think waiting can be very dangerous or very beneficial to our faith! It reveals whether or not we have developed the fruit of the spirit of patience, which is essential if we want to follow God.
Saul continued to disobey and Samuel was grieved. He cried and cried over this because he so wanted Saul to work out as king. But God told Samuel to stop crying. He said He had another man, but this man is a man after His heart. And we know God meant David, who would eventually succeed Saul as king.
These are two instances in which Samuel thought he knew what was best, but it ended up not being what God wanted. Folks, do you ever think, “I really want this!” and then wonder, “but does God want it?” Check your motives when you pray. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal your motives to you. Work with God in what He wants, not what you want. And trust Him to give you, His best.
Dear Heavenly Father, when I read Your Word and see how You prepare things well in advance, I know that I can trust that Your ways are higher and better and that You will work all things together for my good. In Jesus’ Name
The miracle of expectancy says that God can do all things. ~Marilyn Hickey
Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4 ESV)
Then Samuel took a flask of oil and poured it on his head, and kissed him and said: “Is it not because the Lord has anointed you commander over His inheritance?” – (I Samuel 10:1 NKJV)
I remember a missionary from Singapore who had four children. One of her sons became addicted to drugs and alcohol. She and her husband prayed for him for years and years. Finally, she got him to come to one of our revivals. I remember that he was way at the back of the meeting when the Spirit of God hit him. And he got out in the aisle and literally did backflips all the way up to the front. I tell you, I will never forget that! Today, he is a missionary in Tanzania. God had an anointing on his life that even the drugs and alcohol couldn’t cover; and the anointing makes the difference.
The anointing in your life has a purpose. God has a purpose for you being a Christian. You’re not just here to be a decoration. You’re here to be a declaration!
Write down the places where God has anointed you—the places that yield success when you put your hands to them. Maybe He’s anointed you to sing. Maybe He’s anointed you to exhort backsliders. Maybe He’s anointed you to reach the lost. Maybe He’s anointed you to use your hands to heal the sick. Write down those things where you see anointing. Don’t write down your failures! Write down where God has anointed you.
Put your hand on your heart and say, “I cannot forget the anointing on my life makes the difference!”
Prayer that is answered contains faith and power—Word power. ~Marilyn Hickey
On today’s Wednesdays in the Word, Marilyn shares encouragement from Zephaniah 3:17!
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 1:3 ESV)
The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak for your servant is listening.” – (1 Samuel 3:10).
The first time God spoke to him, Samuel was young and he didn’t yet know the voice of the Lord. So, when he hears a voice one night that says, “Samuel, Samuel,” he thinks it must be the priest Eli calling him. He runs to Eli and says, “Did you call me?” Eli said he didn’t. So, Samuel goes back to his resting place beside the ark of the covenant in the house of the Lord, and the voice speaks again, “Samuel, Samuel.” Are you getting this? God is calling Samuel by name! But Samuel still thinks it is Eli, so he goes to him and says, “Did you call me?” And this time, it dawns on Eli that God must be speaking to the boy.
The key to learning the voice of God is an understanding that God wants to talk to us, to lead and guide and direct us. It’s a challenge to be sensitive to the voice of God, but we can learn to hear it. I admit and I don’t always recognize that “still small voice” within (see 1 Kings 19:12 KJV) as God’s voice, but I so love to hear it!
So, Eli says, “When you hear it again say, “Speak, Lord, for Your servant hears.” Samuel goes back, lies down in the presence of God, and suddenly the voice comes again: “Samuel, Samuel.” And Samuel responds as God desires when he says, “Speak, for Your servant hears” (1 Samuel 3:10 NKJV). In order to learn the voice of God, we must be willing to hear!
Dear Heavenly Father, I know that You want to talk to me because You sent Your Son Jesus so that we could talk to You in the flesh, and You sent Your Holy Spirit to be the still, small voice that speaks to us within. Help me have ears to hear.
If you want the miraculous, you must pray the promises of God that correspond with the problems you are dealing with. ~Marilyn Hickey
Wednesdays in the Word, Marilyn shares encouragement from Romans 5:8!
He lets me rest in green meadows; He leads me beside peaceful streams. (Psalm 23:2 TLB)
And the Lord was gracious to Hannah; she gave birth to three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, the boy Samuel grew up in the presence of the Lord. (I Samuel 2:21)
Over and over, we see stories of barren women in the Bible. One of those women was Hannah. Hannah longs to have a child, but she can’t have any. And to make matters worse, her husband’s other wife, Peninnah was constantly provoking her. Isn’t that just like humanity?
Peninnah treated Hannah poorly because she knew their husband loved Hannah more, even though she was the one blessed with children! We can just imagine the ugly words she said to Hannah. The Bible says it was so bad that Hannah “wept and would not eat” (see I Samuel 1:7).
On one such occasion, Hannah prayed to God to remember her in her misery. Through tears, she vowed to dedicate her son to the Lord if only He would open her womb. She was moving her mouth, but praying in her heart when Eli the priest saw her and accused her of being drunk.
In the midst of crisis, we may be falsely accused of things, but if we can keep our faith in God through that fire, we will come away even stronger. God can use that crisis to bring us a miracle! He did it for Hannah, and He will do it for us.
Hannah assures Eli she is not drunk, merely distraught over being childless. So, Eli sends her home with a blessing and soon she becomes pregnant with Samuel, which means “I asked the Lord for him” (see v. 20).
If I had waited for a long time to have a baby of my own in my arms, I might have been tempted to regret my promise to give God my son. But Hannah follows through with per promise and the Lord blesses her with five more children. When we give to God, He blesses us back in multiple ways!
Jesus, I declare that what I give to You, You return to me in multiples. Help me to stay strong in crisis so that I can see the miracles waiting for me on the other side!
Faith is heavenly hope. Hope only sets a goal. Faith provides the substance for meeting the goal. ~Marilyn Hickey
And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from His glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19 NLT)
Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body. (Proverbs 16:24 ESV)
But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go, I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.” (Ruth 1:16 NIV)
After moving to Moab to avoid the famine in Bethlehem, Naomi lost her husband and both sons and was left with two Moabites daughters-in-law. Sometime later, Naomi heard that the famine in Bethlehem was over and decided to return home. She told Orpah and Ruth, her daughters-in-law, that they should stay in Moab with their mothers because she had no sons for them to marry in Bethlehem. Orpah agreed to stay, but nothing could make Ruth leave Naomi’s side. Ruth said she would even give up her gods for Naomi’s God.
We can do what is expected, like Orpah, or we can do the exceptional, like Ruth. The expected is our natural way of thinking, but the exceptional is to walk in faith. When we do the expected, we don’t get much as a result. But when we do the exceptional, God has the extraordinary waiting for us!
What extraordinary things did God have waiting for Ruth’s exceptional act? First of all, imagine God naming a book of the Bible after a woman! That’s extraordinary! There is only one other woman—Esther—whose name is a book.
What else did God do? Well, He made Naomi a grandmother, which she’d all but given up on when her husband and only two sons had died. And He gave Ruth a husband, Boaz, and a little boy, Obed; all three of whose names are included in the genealogy of Jesus (see Matthew 1:5).
God will do the extraordinary in our lives when we take a step beyond the expected and do the exceptional!
Jesus, I declare that I want to be a faith-filled person who does the exceptional so that God can come upon the scene and say, “Now I give you the extraordinary!”
Faith is almost like a sixth sense—a special spiritual sense, totally outside the realm of our known five senses. We must believe God’s Word, regardless of our circumstances and what is discernible with our five physical senses. ~Marilyn Hickey
Therefore, I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. (Mark 11:24 ESV)
Wednesdays in the Word, Marilyn shares encouragement from Psalm 32:7!
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights… (James 1:17 ESV)
I will go in the strength of the Lord God… (Psalm 71:16a NKJV)
Have you ever experienced the anointing of the Lord as a source of physical strength? I have! I have experienced tremendous anointing when I confess the Lord’s strength.
Many times, I have felt weak before speaking at a crusade or convention, especially those times that I’ve traveled long distances, to places like Ethiopia and Sudan, when jet lag sets in. I’ve had times when I’ve thought, “I’m so tired! I don’t have the strength of a sleeping cat!” But when I say those things, God has always said back, “Well, I’m not tired!” God tells us that when we are weak, we should confess His strength. We can go in the strength of the Lord.
Samson received the same anointing of strength that we experience (see Judges 13-16). God’s anointing would break in upon Samson, and he would experience strength beyond that of any man! He could then perform supernatural feats of might. The Bible shows us many instances of supernatural strength and endurance being given to a mortal man when he was at work for God’s Kingdom. Even Jesus had a man’s body, but God’s supernatural strength. Let’s claim our physical heritage in Jesus!
When we are weak, let’s say, “I am strong.” It works; we will receive our supply of supernatural strength…I know it!
Dear Heavenly Father, today we grasp the physical strength that You have for our day. As our day is mighty in You, so is our strength. In Jesus Name, Amen.
You will receive healing only by reading and meditating on God’s Word. You must feed continually upon His Words of life, health, and healing. ~Marilyn Hickey
The Lord Himself watches over you! The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade. (Psalm 121:5 NLT)
“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord”
Did you know that the United States began its life as a Christian nation? Our forefathers fled to this country so that they could worship God in the manner they wished. Our constitution, our Declaration of Independence, and our Bill of Rights all mention God. We were birthed as a nation of God, and we are blessed for it.
God has used America to bless the world. Our confidence is in God—it is even printed on our money! There are certainly tremendous needs in our nation today, but there are also tremendous Christians who are taking God’s Word to intercede for this country. We are the salt that preserves this nation—let’s not lose our saltiness. We are the light that overcomes the darkness of this nation—let’s not hide our lights under a bushel.
Let’s stand boldly in God, speak against evil, pray, and believe God for the miraculous outpouring of His Spirit upon all flesh in the United States.
Dear Heavenly Father,
We thank You today that our nation is blessed because of the Christians who are praying and believing You. Thank You for doing great and mighty things in our midst and raising up laborers and intercessors.
In Jesus’s Name,
We not only need to be healed of physical affliction, but we must also be healed of grief and sorrow. ~Marilyn Hickey
On today’s Wednesdays in the Word, Marilyn Hickey shares encouragement from James 4:7!
…” Surely I will bless you and multiply you.” (Hebrews 6:14 ESV)
In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes. Judges 17:6 KJV
We are told in Judges 19-20 the tragic story of a priest who gave a group of Benjamites access to his concubine in exchange for a room for the night. The following morning, the priest found his concubine dead. He returned home, cut her into 12 pieces, and sent one section of her body to each tribe of Israel, along with this message: “This is what the Benjamites have done to my concubine!” What a gruesome story!
The other tribes sent a message to the Benjamites, saying, “Give us the men who did this so we can punish them.” But the Benjamites refused. The 11 tribes joined together to take on the Benjamites, but it was the Benjamites who ended up winning the first two battles, killing 40,000 men!
Why did God let the Benjamites win? The Bible does not give us a direct answer to that question, but the more I have studied this passage, the more I have concluded the reason may have been that the other 11 tribes of Israel had moved so far away from God that the powers of darkness had overwhelmed the nation. They were acting according to their own understanding of what was right. They had no reliance upon God and they failed to seek God diligently before they went into this battle against one of their own. It was only when the “children of Israel arose, and went up to the house of God, and asked counsel of God” that the tide of war began to turn (see Judges 20:18 KJV).
When things are definitely not going our way, we need to find out why. But we need to seek God’s opinion, not human understanding.
Jesus, when things are going badly, I will look to Your Holy Spirit for wisdom and guidance!
Faith is the one element that God gives us to bring substance into our lives. We must “substantiate” our hope with faith. Your faith will reach up into heaven and say, “There is substance in heaven for me.” ~Marilyn Hickey
One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. (Proverbs 11:24 ESV)
Then Samson prayed to the Lord, “Sovereign Lord, remember me. Please, God, strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.” Judges 16:28
Are you familiar with the story of Samson and Delilah? Samson had an anointing of physical strength to overcome the Philistines, but Samson had a weakness for Philistine women. He got involved with a woman name Delilah, who seduced him to find out the secret of his strength—it was in his consecration to the Lord, which came with a vow to never cut his hair. While Samson was sleeping one night, Delilah had his head shaved, and when she did “his strength left him” (see Judges 16:19). She sold him to the Philistines who gouged out his eyes and put him in prison to work.
After some time, the Philistines brought Samson out to the temple on the day they were to worship their god, Dagon. They were praising their god for delivering Samson into their hands, but they didn’t know that Samson had repented. He prayed and God’s anointing of physical strength came upon him. Samson pushed on the support pillars until the whole temple came down on top of him, and the Bible says he killed many more Philistines in his death than in his whole life.
When we look at this it is easy to think, “Oh Samson, how sad that you had to learn the hard way!” But in Hebrew 11, we see that Samson is in the hall of fame of faith. And not only that, but only Samson’s acts of faith were recorded, not his moments of failure. When I first saw this, I said to the Lord, “Why don’t You list anyone’s failures in Hebrews 11? None of these people were perfect!” And God said, “Because I remember your faith and I forget what you repented.” Isn’t that good news?
Dear Heavenly Father, I declare that through my repentance and the blood of Jesus, You remember my failures no more. Thank You for Your forgiveness and for remembering my faith!
Hearing the Word, continuing in it, and doing it brings blessings. ~Marilyn Hickey
On today’s Wednesdays in the Word, Marilyn Hickey shares encouragement from Deuteronomy 31:6!
God will make this happen, For He who calls you is faithful. (1 Thessalonians 5:24 NLT)
On the day the Lord gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the Lord in the presence of Israel: “Sun, stand still over Gibeon, and you, moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.” Joshua 10:12
The Scripture above is probably the greatest faith statement ever made in the Bible.
A group of people who lived in the Promised Land were called the Gibeonites. They were afraid of Joshua and the Israelites, so they deceived them into believing they were foreigners, having traveled a great distance. Without praying for guidance, Joshua made a covenant with these people. But the Gibeonites turned out to be one of the tribes that God had told them not to make covenant with.
What do you do when you blow it? Joshua began to pray.
The other tribes were furious! They heard what the Gibeonites had done and put together their armies against them. But because Joshua and the Israelites had made a covenant with the Gibeonites, they were forced to protect them against all the other armies. So, they began to fight.
First came a hailstorm, but it was very discriminating hail. It only fell on the armies coming against them. Then it looked as if the sun was going to go down, and if the sun went down, they may not be able to win the battle. This is where Joshua made his faith statement, speaking to the sun: “Sun, stand still. Moon, stay in the valley.” And the sun stood still until the Israelites had won the battle.
How did Joshua keep getting victory even when he blew it? He kept praying, he kept meditating, he kept speaking God’s Word.
God wants us to triumph. Jesus wants to lead us from victory to victory. And He will, if we keep praying and speaking His Word.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for leading us from victory to victory. When we fall short, remind us to pray.
God is always seeking to develop the potential He placed within us, to make us into all He initially designed us to be. ~Marilyn Hickey
And God is able to make all grace to abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. (2 Corinthians 9:8 ESV)
We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers, remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father…I Thessalonians 1:2-3 NKJV
There are three things in this verse that stand out to me: (1) faith can work, (2) love can labor, and (3) hope can give you patience.
If we feel we have faith, yet do nothing, we don’t really have faith. If we say we have love, yet do nothing, we don’t really have love. If we say we have hope, then we will be patient until we see the manifestation of what God has for us.
HOPE in the Hebrew means “rope.” I believe God lets His rope down from Heaven so we can tie a knot in it and hold onto it until we see the manifestation of our faith and our love.
Rahab had hope in God’s Word. She even put a red rope in her window (see Joshua 2). Her wall stood when other walls fell. When other people’s walls fall down, their lives fall down too. If you hold onto the rope of God’s hope, however, your wall will stand.
Dear Heavenly Father, we know that it is through faith and patience that we inherit Your promises. We make a decision to hold to faith and to have patience until we see the fulfillment of Your promises. In Jesus’s Name, Amen.
When we have put God’s Word in our spirit, the Holy Spirit will bring it forth at the time of our need. ~Marilyn Hickey
Wednesdays in the Word, Marilyn shares encouragement from Proverbs 16:7!
For you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. (James 1:3 ESV)
And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15 NKJV
When you hear about someone who is as devoted to their work as Joshua was, you might start to wonder whether they are able to have a successful family life. Joshua was always busy—leading the people into the Promised Land, trying to hear from God, and constantly meditating on God’s Word. But the Bible says if you meditate on the Word day and night, you will be prosperous (see Joshua 1:8), so we know he must have been successful in his family life!
Kids do what they see you do, and your children need to see you in the Bible and the Bible in you. Don’t stop reading the Word. By your very behavior, you are showing them what is important. Your children need to see your obedience to God—that you put Him first—so that they too can live a prosperous life. Trust God, because He will show you if you are out of balance.
The first thing Rahab did when she made a covenant with the Israelites was to ask protection for her family (see Joshua 2). When you get saved, you want your whole family to get saved. So, when we become faithful followers of Christ, meditating on His Word day and night, God will bless us and make our homes prosperous.
Jesus, I declare that as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord!
Sow supernatural seed, and reap a generational blessing! ~Marilyn Hickey
I can do all thing through Him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13 NASB)
Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Joshua 1:8
If you meditate on the Word, if you speak the Word, if you to the Word, you will be prosperous and successful in all that you do!
Meditate means “to think about, to consider, to mull over something in your mind.” And it can also mean to memorize, to say it over and over and over again until it gets a hold of you.
You might think, “I would love to meditate on the Word, speak the Word, and do the Word all the time, but I just can’t do that. I just don’t have that kind of time!” But let me ask you this: Are you busier than Joshua? Joshua had over two million people to lead. He had to be sure they got enough to eat and drink. He had to instruct them in how to fight their enemies. And he still found time to meditate on the Bible, day and night.
Was he meditating on the Psalms? No! All Joshua had was the Pentateuch—the first five books of the Bible. Can you imagine meditating on Leviticus? But Joshua meditated on Leviticus. We can be sure of it, because Joshua was successful. Even when he made mistakes, he was still prosperous and successful. And I have a gut feeling that Joshua was much busier than you or I will ever be!
So, go ahead, tell me you’re too busy. But remember this: if you are too busy for the Word, then you are too busy to be prosperous and successful!
Dear Heavenly Father, give me the strength to make time for Your Word, to stop making excuses and start making You a priority. The Word in me is what will make me prosperous and successful.
When we decide to be led by a joyful heart, strive to joyfully express our love for God, and commit to maintain our joy by seeking God daily, great and mighty things will happen. ~Marilyn Hickey
On today’s Wednesdays in the Word, Marilyn shares encouragement from Isaiah 54:5!
For I am the Lord, I do not change. (Malachi 3:6 NKJV)
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8
Jesus quoted more from Deuteronomy and Psalms than any other books of the Old Testament. He quoted from Deuteronomy in the Sermon on the Mount (see Matthew 5-7) and to fend off the devil who was trying to tempt Him in the wilderness (see Matthew 4). Why did Jesus quote from Deuteronomy so much? Because of the message.
Deuteronomy means “the message,” and we know that Jesus is both the Messenger and the Message. Therefore, Deuteronomy shows the picture of the coming prophet, the Lord Jesus Christ: “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him” (Deuteronomy 18:15).
Basically, “the message” in Deuteronomy comes through three big sermons: (1) a review of how God has taken care of His people, (2) a recounting of the Ten Commandments and other laws, and (3) a call for commitment to the law through obedience. We could also say it like this: the first sermon looks backward, the second looks inward, and the third looks forward.
Why does Moses preach these sermons? Because that generation didn’t see the miracles that their parents saw. Their parents saw the opening of the Red Sea, the 10 plagues removed and the presence of God as a pillar of cloud by day and of fire by night. Moses wanted that generation to know it’s the same miracle-working Father and the same Divine commandments that would make them successful.
Lord, thank you for being the God who doesn’t change. I choose today to remember
I have found that God responds to faith, not need. Faith is the currency of the kingdom of heaven. Keep praying. Keep believing. Miracles provide a witness to unbelievers. ~Marilyn Hickey
But earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way. (1 Corinthians 12:31 ESV)
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord. Psalm 150:6
God commands us to praise Him. He says that if we are living, if there is breath inside of us, we need to praise Him.
One of the words for praise in Hebrew is “Judah.” As we follow the tribe of Judah throughout the Bible, we see that where it goes, so goes praise.
Moses prophesied in Deuteronomy that the voice of Judah would be heard throughout the earth.
David was of the tribe of Judah and wrote most of the Psalms, which certainly have become worldwide praises for the Lord.
We find that Jesus often praised the Father and gave Him thanks. Jesus also came from the tribe of Judah.
We who are born-again also come from a “tribe of praise.” We are in the lineage of Jesus Christ; thus, we too are of the tribe of Judah and bring praise.
Do you have breath? Do you have life? Then praise Him today! Praise Him everywhere, not just at a worship service—for praise is a way of life! We need to let the earth hear our voices as we praise the Lord.
Lord, I declare that as long as I have breath in my body, I will praise You and give thanks to You because I come from the line of Judah, the line of Jesus, a tribe of praise.
Wednesdays in the Word, Marilyn Hickey shares from Ephesians 4:3, Carry and Share the Light.
Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me? (Jeremiah 32:27 ESV)
Even for believers, there are moments when fear, doubt, and disappointment crowds in. When this happens, you may struggle to find room for more of God’s presence in your life.
That’s what occurred one day for Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith. An internal medicine physician, Dalton-Smith realized she felt divine dehydration—totally empty, spiritually. Smith listened as a patient recounted physical discomfort. As Dalton-Smith cared for the patient, attaching an IV and prescribing fluid, she realized that spiritually, she was in the same condition. She needed a spiritual IV, a continual infusion of the presence of God in her life.
That experience was the impetus for her to help her patients have a deeper understanding of the spiritual side of healing. By just focusing on physical, she wasn’t giving patients everything they needed to get to a place of healing and wholeness.
Aside from the physical, there is also the spiritual and mental (emotional) part of our bodies. Dalton-Smith recognized that people suffering physical ailments also need life-giving water that quenches thirst and refreshes souls. Simply treating issues of depression, stress, or anxiety with conventional cures can create more confusion because people can’t get whole without the added component of spiritual healing. Most of the time, there’s a deeper work that has to be done.
Often painful experiences such as abuse, divorce, infidelity, insecurity, dementia, and cancer cause deep spiritual and emotional pain. Dr. Dalton-Smith advises that you don’t allow pain to be a destination, but see it as part of your journey. Pain is part of our wilderness experience, but God never allows pain to be a place we visit without Him getting glory from it.
You can dream with God again and let Him redirect your steps. Rest assured, you can come empty and be filled to overflow by pouring out life’s hurts and receive God’s healing love. God sees us, knows our pain, and has a solution for it.
Click here to watch a special program with Saundra Dalton Smith.
The miracles that we pray for in Jesus’s name come because everything in Heaven and Earth has to bow to His name. ~Marilyn Hickey
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. (James 1:5 NIV)
Walk in obedience to all that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess. Deuteronomy 5:33
A pastor once told me how God called him to Louisville, Kentucky, a number of years ago. After receiving the call, he contacted one of the most spiritually gifted men in our nation at that time, who told him not to go because, “That place is simply overpowered with darkness —the worst place in the United States to go. It is a graveyard for preachers.”
The pastor returned to the Lord and prayed, “Lord, here is a man of God saying not to go.” And the Lord said, “But I’m telling you to go.” So, the man went. He was a pastor in that city for 10 years, but didn’t seem to accomplish anything; the church was not doing well. So, he went to Chicago to apply for another church. While he was in Chicago, the Lord spoke to him and said, “What are you doing here? I called you to Louisville.”
The pastor answered, “God, I’m failing in Louisville! I’m tired of Louisville. I’ve tried everything for 10 years, and nothing works.” God said, “You’ll be out of My will.” And the pastor said, “I must not be in Your will as it is!” Then God said, “You’re in My will, but you need to call your church to fasting and prayer.” So, this man began a tremendous prayer program and within two years, his church grew from 200 people to 2,000.
What made the difference? Obedience to God in prayer and fasting had broken the power of darkness over that city. The powers of darkness were there from the beginning, but in 10 years, the pastor had done nothing necessary to break the force of those powers.
Sometimes we must fast and pray to break the powers of darkness and see unbelief turned into the revival of belief.
Jesus, I declare that You are mightier than the powers of darkness!
“Don’t give up” is an extremely important principles in receiving your miracle. ~Marilyn Hickey
Wednesdays in the Word, Marilyn shares encouragement from Philippians 3:8!
It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones. (Proverbs 3:8 ESV)
You saw with your own eyes the great trials, the signs and wonders, the mighty hand and outstretched arm, with which the Lord your God brought you out. Deuteronomy 7:19a
I would love for your do something very special today: write down the good things you have seen Jesus do in your life. “Well, there’s so many.” I know! Isn’t God wonderful? Since seven is the number of completions, let’s write down seven of the good things that He has done.
What has He done in your life? And does He have a future and a destiny for you? Will He fail you? No. Will you fail Him? Yes. Will He leave you when you fail? No! He will stay with you, because He wants you to be successful.
After you write down seven good things He has already done in your life, I want you to write down three things that you’re going to believe Him for, that you want to see Him do in the next year. Maybe it has to do with the salvation of a loved one, healing in your body, or prosperity. Whatever it is, write it down.
You can write them in the margins of this book or on a separate sheet of paper. But put them down on paper so you can go back and see them, praise God for them, and watch Him work in your life!
As you reflect on the good, He has already done and the good you are believing Him to do in your life, look at the signs and wonders in the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible. The Jesus in the Pentateuch is the same Jesus Who lives in you and Who will perform the miraculous signs and wonders in your life!
Lord, I declare that You are the God of signs and wonders! Thank You for all that You have done and will do in my life!
Daily remember that God will take every situation you give to Him and turn it to your good. ~Marilyn Hickey
In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. (John 1:4 ESV)
I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people. Leviticus 26:12
A sacrifice is the basis of all true worship. It is what cleanses us, and frees us from the guilt and punishment we deserve. In Leviticus, we see five sacrifices: the burnt offering, the meal offering, the peace offering, the sin offering, and the trespass offering. The first three offerings were voluntary; they were expressions of thanksgiving and celebration. But the last two—the sin and trespass offerings—were required.
What is sin? It means to miss the mark. What about trespass? Trespass means to intrude on someone else’s property or to cause someone else harm. So, Leviticus is telling us that when someone made a mistake or hut another person, it was mandatory that they make amends through an offering.
Do we still make the same mistakes today? Yes! Do we still make offerings? Have you ever sacrificed a ram after trespassing? No! Why not? Because Jesus is our offering.
Jesus, the burnt offering, consecrated Himself. He said to the Father, “Thy will be done.” Jesus, the meal offering, took our poverty so He could meet all of our needs. Jesus, the peace offering, gave His peace (see John 14:27).
Jesus, the sin offering, took our sin, our missing the mark: “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
And the same Jesus is our trespass offering. He took the trespass that we make on others and trespass others make against us so that we can forgive in His blood, He forgave us.
Jesus, I declare that I am the righteousness of God in Christ, set free from the bonds of sin because You made the ultimate sacrifice for me!
Faith is the one element that God gives us to bring substance into our lives. We must “substantiate” our hope with faith. Your faith will reach up into Heaven and say, “There is substance in Heaven for me.” ~Marilyn Hickey
The miracle of expectancy says that God can do all things. ~Marilyn Hickey
The Lord is my strength and my song, and He has become my salvation; this is my God and I will praise Him, my father’s God, and I will exalt Him. (Exodus 15:2 ESV)
That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death. (Philippians 3:10 NKJV)
For years I did not understand the part of this verse that speaks of “the fellowship of His sufferings.” What does it mean to “fellowship” in His sufferings? I could better understand the “power of His resurrection” than the “fellowship of His sufferings.”
Then I began to ask, “Why DID Jesus suffer?” I realized that He suffered for the lost. Jesus suffered to the point that He was willing to die. When we enter into the fellowship of His suffering, we feel the way Jesus felt toward lost souls, and we become willing to die too.
Moses was willing to die so that his people might enter the Promised Land. He said to God, ‘If You’re going to erase their names from the book, then You might as well erase mine, too’ (see Exodus 32:32). Paul felt it, too, when he said, ‘I wish I could carry this curse and be cut off from Christ for the sake of my people’ (see Romans 9:3).
What were these men feeling? The fellowship of the Lord’s suffering! I believe that the Holy Spirit will let us enter into that fellowship of suffering for the lost
Dear heavenly Father, help us to remember that Jesus suffered to save the lost. Never let us think that we are too “spiritual” to have a burden for the lost. Thank You for helping us, by Your Spirit, to enter the fellowship of the Lord’s suffering. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Jehovah Rapha means “The Lord my Healer.”
Jesus took our sicknesses and our diseases, in His redemptive work, He is the Lord our Healer. ~Marilyn Hickey
But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world. (1 John 4:4 NLT)
And the tabernacle of meeting shall move out with the camp of the Levites in the middle of the camps; as they camp, so they shall move out, everyone in his place, by their standards. Numbers 2:17 NKJV)
When I read through the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible, I see there was divine order in everything. It wasn’t, “Wherever you want to sleep, sleep. Wherever you want to camp, camp.” It wasn’t that way at all! It was very much in order.
For example, there were detailed instructions on setting up the Tabernacle—the dwelling place of the Divine—which included it having only one door (see Exodus 26:36). Why is this important? What does it tell us about divine order? Well, Jesus Himself said, “I am the door…” (John 10:9a KJV). There is only one way to the Father, and that is through Jesus Christ!
God also had very specific instructions about the arrangement of the camps and how they moved together (see Numbers 1-2). As God prepared the Israelites for their journey to the Promised Land, He told Moses He wanted three tribes to the north, three tribes to the south, three tribes to the east, and three tribes to the west. And He named the tribes. So, these tribes came in by layers and camped. And they camped around the tabernacle. They formed a cross and made the tabernacle the center of their lives. What does this tell us? Jesus needs to be the center of our lives!
Reading about the design of the tabernacle, the regulations for sacrifices, and the order of the tribes may initially come across as boring and tedious, but not when you see that through the divine details, God is pointing us to the Cross!
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for caring about the details of our lives! Help us to maintain proper order – always keeping Jesus first!
The first thing to do in your spiritual life in order to become productive is to put the Word into your heart. ~Marilyn Hickey
Wednesdays in the Word, Marilyn Hickey shares encouragement from Psalm 32:7!
Grace to you and peace.- (1 Thessalonians 1:1 ESV)
Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one. Colossians 4:6 NKJV
God wants our conversation to be salty. Why? Because our talk makes people thirsty! It can make others thirsty for what we have.
One time I was interviewed on a secular news program. I was just starting to go on daily television and this interviewer asked me, “Why would you want to go on daily television? You’re already on television on Sundays. And there are all kinds of religious programs. Why would you want to be another one?” I heard in my spirit what to say. I said, “Why do you think religious programs are on the air?” He said, “Well, to help people.” And I said, “Do you think everyone is helped?” I got him! And that was the end of it. That, my friends, was salt!
Friend, we need to let our speech have salt in it. Numbers 18:19 says that God made an “everlasting covenant of salt” with us, so His holiness enables us to be the salt of the earth to everyone we meet. Don’t just agree with everything. Don’t just gossip. Don’t just say how bad the weather is. Get salty! Say, “God can change this! God can do anything!” We are the ones charged with bringing the salt of God’s Word to the thirsty.
Jesus, You said we are to be the salt of the earth. Help me to never lose my saltiness!
Your words have power. You can bless or curse yourself and your family by what you say. By speaking the blessings from God’s Word, you release God’s best into your situation. ~Marilyn Hickey
The Lord is my strength and my shield; in Him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to Him. (Psalm 28:7 ESV)