Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Lengths God Will Go To . . . To Make Sure You End Up With the Right Guy

“He will send his angel ahead of you, and he will see to it that you find a wife there for my son.” Gen. 24:7

One day there was a beautiful girl who lived a pretty mundane existence.  She dreamed of the day a wonderful man would enter her life and sweep her off her feet. She was old enough for marriage, she was still a virgin, but there were no worthy men in her town.  The highlight of her day was drawing water at the well. 

She was a good girl.  But where were all the good men? 

On one ordinary day (or so she thought), she set out to fulfill her ordinary duties, just like she did every other ordinary day.  She put her heavy water jug on her shoulder and made the uneventful, arduous trek to the nearby well.  A stranger was at the well, and he was staring at her. 

The man approached her and asked her for some water.  She noticed the man was traveling with ten loaded-down camels.  The man looked exhausted, like he’d come a great distance. 

She was a little shocked at the offer that came out of her mouth, “Yes, my Lord, have a drink.  I'll draw water for your camels, too, until they’ve had enough to drink."

Her name was Rebekah.

She had no idea she’d just said the very words the stranger prayed to hear.

You know how the story ends.  The man, Abraham’s servant, brings her back and introduces her to his master’s son, Isaac.  Rebekah and Isaac would marry.  She would be the mother of Jacob, who later became Israel. 

Rebekah shows us the lengths God will go to, to make sure you end up with the right guy.  It’s easy to pass over some of the details in the story, but let’s review to see just how many things had to line up for Rebekah to get her guy:

· Abraham’s servant was willing to go to a “distant land”, via camel-back, to find a girl from the family of Abraham.  Tall order, considering he had no GPS, address, phone #--just the name of a family and a town.

· The servant would need to convince the girl to leave her family, move so far away she would likely never see them again, and marry a man she’d never met.

· The servant was not allowed to bring Isaac, the future groom, with him to help with the selection process (no pressure or anything!). 

· Rebekah had to be at the well at the very time Abraham’s servant was there, and she had to offer to water his camels.

· Rebekah had to be willing to leave all she’d ever known to marry a man she’d never met. And she only had one night to decide!

So many things had to line up in order to make this marriage happen. But, with God all things are possible.

I’m still amazed at the events God orchestrated in order for me to meet my husband, Matt:

· In 1983, Matt’s dad’s brand new car dealership failed, causing his dad to look for a new job. (At the time, this looked like a disaster.  But if it never happened, they wouldn’t have 3 awesome grandchildren today—Chase, Skye & Ryder!)

· Soon after, his dad found a great job in Texas; unfortunately, it would require that Matt change schools his senior year.  This led to a very unhappy Matt! (Matt was given the option to stay and live with his grandparents his senior year, but in the end he knew it would break his mom’s heart. So, he made the right choice and moved—and he met me!)

· His mom and dad, after making the move to Texas, needed to find a church.  After much prayer and many, many visits to various churches, they discovered the church my dad pastored, Bethel Temple.  One Sunday, my dad introduced me to a very tall, skinny, and super cute 17-year-old guy named Matt Stewart.

And the rest is history.

Ladies, God will go to great lengths to make sure you meet your man.  If you’re already married, you know that’s true.  If you’re not married yet, and that’s the desire of your heart, then take some lessons from Rebekah: 

· Be faithful right where you are.  Keep doing those ordinary, mundane tasks.  While you’re going about your business, God can bring the guy right to you! God is in the business of divine set-ups!  (Gen. 24:7)

· Choose a pure lifestyle while you’re waiting. (Gen. 24:16)

· If this new relationship requires great change, trust the advice of your family.  (Gen. 24:50, 51)

· Trust God when the door opens. Be willing to leave your old life behind to embrace the new.  (Gen. 24:58)

I can’t wait to hear your “How I Met My Guy” story one day! And that day is coming!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Age is Irrelevant

Bishop Anne Gimenez
Age is irrelevant.”

That’s what Anne Gimenez, the 81-year-old Bishop of Rock Church in Virginia Beach, co-founder of Washington for Jesus rallies, and co-founder of 400 churches around the world, said to me this morning as she was getting her makeup done to appear on The 700 Club.  This stunning octogenarian had something to tell me, and I was anxious to hear the story I knew would follow. She proceeded to tell the following, which I have done my best to paraphrase:

I’m getting to the place now where I believe age is irrelevant.  If God speaks a word into you, then you’re here until that word is fulfilled.

In May of 2013 I almost died—I was in the hospital with severe heart arrhythmia, and the medication they gave me took my heartbeat from 120 down to 40.  No one was monitoring me at the time.  My assistant happened to be there, and she ran for the doctor.  In those moments, the Lord spoke to me and said, “Next year you will travel around the world.”  

I almost laughed, "I can't go around the world, Lord!  I'm dying!" But I believed Him . . .

Since then, I’ve spoken in Korea & Japan.  In a few months I’m going to India & Liberia; I also have an invitation to preach in Singapore. While in Japan, I spoke to 5,000 women, and all over the room the ladies were baptized in the Holy Spirit.  The same thing happened in Korea.  When I spoke there, it was 4 in the morning (my time).  I should have been tired!  But, as I was preaching, I’d never felt such an anointing.  I actually stopped and thought, “This is so powerful—Lord, am I supposed to move to Korea and start a ministry?” (She smiled and laughed at the thought.)

If the Lord speaks a word to you, your job is to believe it and take action.  Faith requires action.  I could have said, “No, God, I just want to stay home.” But, I didn’t!  I’m so glad I said, “Yes!”

I returned to my desk completely inspired by her testimony. 

Just yesterday, I read the story of 99-year-old Abram who got a word from the Lord that he would have a son, a name change, and would be the father of many nations.  The Bible says, “Abraham believed God and God credited it to him as righteousness.”

Then, there’s the other side of the coin—two young boys, Samuel and David,  each got a word from the Lord that they would do great things one day. They believed the word from God, and everything God said came to pass.

As Bishop Anne said, “Age is irrelevant.” But at any age and at any stage of life, believing God is of utmost importance.  What has God spoken to your heart?  Will you believe and take action?