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!
Cultivate a relationship with God based on God’s love for you, not your efforts.
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
In this episode of #AskMarilyn, Marilyn answers the question: Is God with me When I’m Lonely?
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!
Keep track of the Holy Spirit’s involvement in your daily living.
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.
Look and see where you can improve your communication skills.
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
In this episode of #AskMarilyn, Marilyn answers the question: How Do I Stay Committed to Gods Will?
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.
Identify where selfishness is keeping you from being compassionate. Repent and draw near to Jesus.
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!
Identify a relationship in which you are struggling. Ask the Lord how you can begin to serve that person.
Sow supernatural seed, and reap a generational blessing! ~Marilyn Hickey
#AskMarilyn, Marilyn answers the question: What is Communion?
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.
The greater the impossible, the closer you must be to Jesus.
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
When the Lord is prompting you to take the next step of faith, walk in obedience.
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
#AskMarilyn, Marilyn answers the question: What is the mark of the beast?
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.
Think about the words God uses to describe you. Ask Him to stir up the characteristics you struggle to “put on.”
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.
Let Jesus be your center relationship; the essential foundation.
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
#AskMarilyn, Marilyn answers the question: Why do I exist?
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!
Stop fitting God into your life and start forming your life around God.
“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!
God’s love proves He’s your best friend.
Daily remember that God will take every situation you give to Him and turn it to your good. ~Marilyn Hickey
#AskMarilyn, Marilyn answers the question: How was the Bible put together?
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!