God is highlighting the significant need for covenant relationships at this time. It is important for the world to see Believers committed to choosing connection, even in disagreement. Right now, there is a call to get our hopes up! As we partner with hope, God is meeting us in our faith, no matter how small. God is also highlighting the importance of boundaries in relationships to protect our connections. He is giving us insight into how to help all of our relationships thrive. Be encouraged that your identity is rooted in freedom, and God is exchanging fear for your trust in Him.
"Jonathan said to David, 'Go in peace, for we have sworn friendship with each other in the name of the Lord, saying, "The Lord is witness between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants forever..."'" (1 Samuel 20:42)
Jonathan and David made a covenant with one another. They committed their lives to one another, swearing friendship would triumph over any differences they might have, stating that even their families would be committed to one another after they were gone.
In our world today when "cancel culture" deletes people that we disagree with or don't like, that level of commitment that Jonathan and David had becomes increasingly rare. Covenant relationships are a solemn agreement to act in harmony together. They are marked by deep commitment, sacrificial love and service to one another. It looks like being a solid presence in someone's daily life, celebrating the joys and walking hand in hand through the hard times. Over time, a sacred bond and a deep security evolves from the commitment.
God is highlighting the need for covenant relationships during this time. It is significant and important for the world to see Believers in committed, covenant relationships with one another. On the heels of the pandemic when isolation and loneliness were rampant, and even taking lives (suicides, the elderly dying from neglect), the need for lasting, true, authentic connections was being highlighted. God is bringing healing and redemption through these relationships that minister to your heart. He created us to live connected to one another; He created the family model and these committed relationships are a prime example of what healthy family looks like.
This word is for people that have been struggling relationally and longing for deeper commitment and connection. It is for people walking through something hard, desiring a community to share it with, but when they stop and look around they feel that they're alone. Share the desire of your heart with God and believe that He actually has this in store for you and that He longs for you to have it. Pay attention to who He brings into your life and highlights during this time. God is pursuing you through these relationships.
Get Your Hopes Up
"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." (Jeremiah 29:11)
It can be easy to become distracted by discouragement. It can keep you from seeing clearly what God is saying, and it can feel impossible to connect with hope when you're feeling down. When we focus on feeling discouraged, that word we've been holding onto from the Lord or that desire of our heart can feel out of reach, or even impossible. So many people choose not to hope for fear of being disappointed, but the truth is that God can handle our disappointment. We were created to dream with Him, partner with Him, believe with Him and stand in faith with Him.
God is meeting us in our faith, no matter how small it is. The Bible (Matthew 17:20) tells us that it only takes faith the size of a mustard seed to move a mountain, and that nothing is impossible! God is helping us cast vision even beyond what we have faith for. He's reminding us to hope and not to worry about the possibility of disappointment. He's reminding us that He gave us the desires of our hearts and that He's powerful enough to fulfill them. Do you trust Him to do that?
This word is for people that are finding themselves discouraged and are afraid to hope because they fear being let down. Make a decision today to partner with hope instead of discouragement. How do you partner with hope? Focus on what God IS doing instead of on what He's not doing; spend time in His presence as He is the source of our hope, and surround yourself with like-minded people. When you choose to daily partner with hope through small or big actions and choices, you make an agreement to trust God with your desires, and He is true to fulfill them. So, get your hopes up!
Freedom in Boundaries
"One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God." (Luke 6:12)
We are all powerful people, whether we realize it or not. We have authority over our lives and the actions and decisions we make have consequences. Only we know what we need, and are able to do something about that by putting boundaries in our lives. Boundaries aren't meant to keep people out, they are meant to protect the connection we have in our relationships.
I grew up believing that it was rude to say no. I was taught that saying yes to everything was respectful and kept the peace. But, even Jesus had boundaries, and He modeled how boundaries contribute to healthy relationships throughout the gospels. Jesus accepted His personal limitations (part of becoming man). He prioritized His personal needs and He regularly sought support from His friends. He said no to inappropriate behavior (such as abuse, manipulation or pride), He had expectations for people in need, and He offered grace and truth according to the need. He set boundaries in guarding His personal prayer time by being honest and direct, valuing His priorities, seeking to please God, not man, and by obeying God.
God is highlighting the need for boundaries and how they are healthy and exist to protect our connections. He is giving us permission to create boundaries to help our relationships thrive.
This word is for people that don't feel they have permission to set boundaries. You may feel like a doormat in some relationships or like some people tend to take advantage of you. Perhaps you go through cycles in your life where you have breakdowns due to burnout. Maybe you constantly feel like what you're doing still isn't enough. If that feels true for your life, this word could be for you. Implementing good boundaries often looks like saying no. If you struggle to say no, this word is for you.
What is your part to play? Research what Jesus did with His disciples and how He set boundaries with others. Ask God to show you what you need to do to help your relationships, including the one with yourself, thrive!
Liberty for Captives
"The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners." (Isaiah 61:1)
Our founding fathers in the United States fought against tyranny and oppression with their lives, fortunes, and honor. They battled to be free from oppression, and although we are not fighting in the same way they did, the battle for freedom is still very real. We know that control is rooted in fear and fear often manifests as manipulation. Thomas Jefferson was noted for saying, "I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery."
In our world today, fighting for freedom can look like discerning truth from lies, setting boundaries to have healthy relationships, or fighting against censorship. One example that parents may know all too well is the battle to teach your children how to feel their emotions even though it's easier (and more socially acceptable) to teach them to stuff their feelings. It's certainly easier to control your child and tell them to just be quiet rather than walking them through what they're feeling and teaching them how to express and process those emotions.
The Bible tells us in Galatians 5:1, "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." God is bringing freedom to the captives and reminding people to think critically and to remember that He created us to be free. Our identity is rooted in freedom. To some, freedom can seem repulsive because it is so foreign to them. Control and manipulation through fear is much more widely accepted, predictable and easy to deal with.
This word is for people who are struggling to NOT control others or their situation, as well as for those that feel like they're being controlled. Ask God what it looks like to exchange the control in your life for trusting in Him. He will show you how to triumph over the fear of man and against the politically correct spirit. Freedom is ours, but it can be a journey to get there.
1. God is bringing restoration through my relationships.
2. I'm getting my hopes up!
3. I am a powerful person.
4. Whom the Son sets free is free indeed!
5. God is leading me into healthy wholeness.
Texas-born Anne Ballard worked as a nurse for seventeen years before fully embracing her creative nature. Having grown up believing that God only spoke through the Bible, her life was transformed with the personal knowledge that He still speaks today. As she experienced a revelation of God's love for her and the power of words to transform and heal, she began designing jewelry, partnering with Holy Spirit to create a tangible way to bring Heaven to Earth. This is where her prophetic jewelry company, The Crowning Jewels, was birthed. Many people recognize her company as a business-ministry hybrid. She is known as a prophetic visionary with the drive to accomplish her dreams. Her mandate is to champion others as they discover their God given identity and fulfill their divine purpose. After living in Redding, CA for ten years, she recently moved back home and currently resides in Texas.
Article reprinted by permission
Feb 13, 2021
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