During His travels, Jesus would often stop at Mary and Martha’s house. The two women were sisters, but I am guessing it was really Martha’s house because she was the one who actually “welcomed Him into her home.”
(Did you know that Mary and Martha also had a brother? Lazarus! How did I not know this!? What a small world the Bible is!)
So during this particular visit, Martha was in the kitchen preparing the meal and I am guessing it was a very Pinterest-worthy type of spread too because while she was caught up in the details of her preparation, Mary was literally at the feet of Jesus–washing them with her best perfumes and listening to Him teach.
When Martha realised that Mary was “just sitting there” she became annoyed (and maybe a little envious, too). I imagine her saying something in the tone of a teenage girl, “Father…Mary is not helping me!! Make her get up and do some work!!”
And Jesus said in Luke 10:41-42 –
“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things. But one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
Talk about a wake-up call. Stop stressing over the details, Martha, because Jesus is right there in front of your face! Reach out and choose that Good Portion like Mary did!
It is like Jesus is giving me permission to just stop it–to stop seeking perfection and instead seek Him. I honestly have actual chills just thinking about it! I am excited to dig deeper into what that means for me and my life–and every part of my life: spiritual, relationships, careers and household.
I feel like Martha would have had more follow-through than me; so I can not say I am 100% Martha, but I know that I have a tendency to lean more towards that side. My goal is to be more like Mary. It seems like she knew what time it was. It was not (is not) time to impress people with your mad-baking skills or party-throwing abilities, it is time to be at the feet of Jesus… worshipping and listening. I have a lot to learn from Mary!
My first book review is here and I am so excited for it!
With all the different excerpts of the book I had shown on my Instagram story and how some you have responded to it, I just knew it would only be right to break down my takeaways from the book.
Who is Priscilla Shirer? Priscilla is married to Jerry Shirer and is the mother of three sons. She is a talented writer and international speaker. She has written a number of Christian books and Bible studies. Many may not know that she is also one of Pastor Tony Evans’ daughters. She had a leading role in War Room and a role in the recently released I can only imagine.
A practical, knee-safe, never giving up guideline for practical, targeted praying
This is the description at the end of the promo on the back of the book. It is exactly what Priscilla has planned. If you watched the War Room movie, you got a clip of how Priscilla believes prayer should be. She did not write the book, but she worked with the Kendrick Brothers on the film, and they ultimately decided to play Elizabeth Jordan, the woman in the film, and she accepted.
You have an enemy
Priscilla first tells us that we have an enemy. An enemy who is dead wants to destroy everything you love. He does it to disrupt your life and discredit your faith, to keep you from experiencing the fullness of life that Christ has for you. It targets your heart, your home, your mind and your life.
We are in a battle, but the battle started long before God created us! It is not a lost fight. God determined the final winner of the battle. The struggles we endure can be so much easier if we bring our struggles to the Lord.
He created prayer. He wants us to communicate with him and that prayer is how we should do it. He wants us to approach him and trust him. The enemy flees when we go to the Lord in prayer. The enemy hates that!
The enemy wants you to feel defeated and that it is hopeless to go to God. When you feel defeated and do not communicate with the father. Satan wins!
If I were your enemy
Priscilla begins the chapters of this book with the statement “If I were your enemy” and then talks about things the enemy would do to defeat you. That kind of thing first made me say, “If I were the enemy.” I don’t know why, it just did it. The truth is that you have to think about his strategies and recognize them when the attack occurs.
The enemy’s strategies and how to pray through them
Below are 10 strategies the enemy will use, as well as a scripture and a brief summary of each strategy from Priscilla’s book:
Strategy 1 – Against your passion. Bring it back when it’s over: It tries to subdue your entire craving for prayer, subdue your interest in spiritual things, and downplay the effectiveness of your strategically most important weapons. (Eph. 6: 10-10). Prayer comes from a passion for a God who can change things.
Strategy 2 – Against your focus. Fight the real enemy: He disguises himself and manipulates your perspective so that you focus on the wrong person and point your weapons at the wrong enemy. (2 Cor 11:14). Satan roams around and doesn’t want you to be faithful in prayer.
Strategy 3 – Against your identity. Remember who you are. It increases your insecurities and leads you to doubt what God says about you and ignore what He gives you. (Eph. 1: 17-19). You are a child of God and he loves to hear from you.
Strategy 4 – Against Your Family. Strengthen the lives of others. He wants to break up your family, share your home, make it messy, restless, and sterile. (Gen. 3: 1-7) Prayer makes the difference in the lives of those you love.
Strategy 5 – Against your trust. End the rule of guilt, shame and regret. He constantly reminds you of your past mistakes and decisions and hopes to convince you that you are under God’s judgment rather than blood. (Rev. 12:10) Your past does not define you and does not disqualify you from approaching your loving father in prayer.
Strategy 6 – Against Your Call. Face your concerns and request your vocation. It intensifies fear, worry, and fear until they are the loudest voices in your head, which makes you think the adventure of following God is too risky to try. (Josh. 14: 8) Admit your fear, go to the father, confess your fear and ask him to take it away. He tells us 365 times in His Word “Do not be afraid”. He is there for you. Bring it to him.
Strategy 7 – Against Your Purity – Stay strong in your most vulnerable places. He tries to seduce you into certain sins and convinces you that you can tolerate them without risking consequences, knowing that they will only narrow the distance between you and God. (Isa. 59: 1-2) Prayers that have power come from a person who seeks a just life. Stay strong and rely on God.
Strategy 8 – Against your calm and contentment. Reclaim peace, calm and contentment. He hopes to overburden your life and schedule and to pressure you to constantly push yourself beyond your limits without permission to say no. (Deuteronomy 5:15) Not everything is a matter of God. All this busyness is not necessarily from God. Just because it’s geared towards your children or the Church doesn’t mean you have to do it. You have to take time for God and rest to find your peace and contentment. Let others do some of these “things”. You don’t have to do everything. Spend time in prayer and in peace with your father.
strategy 9 – Against your heart. Your pain. Turn bitterness into forgiveness. He takes every opportunity to keep old wounds fresh, knowing that anger and pain, bitterness and unforgivability will continue to create havoc (Hebrews 12:15). Forgive me no matter how you feel. Forgive because God did it for us. He gave His son for us. Satan doesn’t want us to forgive. He wants us to get caught up in his deceptive web and spend time braising about past injuries. Give it up. Give it to God. And continue. Do not let satan have his way.
Strategy 10 – Against Your Relationships. Unification in a common cause. It creates disturbances and disunity in your circle of friends and in the common community of the Body of Christ. (1 Tim. 2: 8) Satan hates when God’s people unite and form a strong front against which he cannot penetrate. His word tells us that we should not stray from gathering and worshipping, praying, and communicating with each other. We are stronger together. If we set out on the road and do not go to worship, study the Bible, or meet the Church, we venture away from the Father. Stay strong and stay united with the Body of Christ.
Pray God’s Word
Praying God’s Word is powerful. Priscilla gives us several scriptures to pray at the end of each chapter (strategy). They are not only cited in the addresses in the chapter so that you can pray them immediately. Or you can keep the book nearby during your quiet time and then pray. There are a number of other authors who teach us to pray God’s Word back to him. I think the key is to remind the US of HIS word and show HIM that they know it and we believe it. It also reminds us of His promises to us!
James 5:16 NASB says Therefore confess your sins and pray for each other so that you will be healed. The effective prayer of a just man can do a lot.
I highly recommend this book. It is mainly aimed at women, but honestly, guys can certainly learn from this book too. I give it a 5 * rating. It reminded me of all the doubts the enemy has in our heads and how to quickly derail them by fervently keeping in touch with our heavenly Father. I suggest you buy it and read it as soon as possible. The sooner the better! To buy now, the book is available at Amazon.
If you regularly read my posts then you would have maybe noticed there has been a bit of a gap since I last published anything – you might even have wondered why not.
We are definitely going to get into that!
It has been over a month since the launch of my Honey Luxe Journals.
The very first product from my collection.
Praise God! Our Honey Luxe family growing each and every day! I always pray over each and every one of the journals that I send out. I just know each one of you who have purchased your journal is being blessed & will continue to flourish as you seek God more and more!
All the hard work creating and producing the journals was NOT in vain and I could not have asked for a more successful launch. The response has been absolutely amazing and I am so grateful for each and every one of you who has supported me in purchasing your very own prayer journal.
On to today’s update!
Yes. We know that adhering to God’s voice and ensuring we follow what He is calling us to do is important. But it does not make it easy!
Sacrifice is something I feel like I had to do in the month of August.
From the beginning of the month, God kept nudging me to just take a step back. He told me to take a few breaks from social media. I could not understand why because in my head more than everything we know how important it is to show up and make yourself visible when you have a brand you are creating.
But I just did not find peace until I decided to take some time away from constantly thinking about what will go next on my Instagram feed and ensuring I am constantly up to date with the latest news etc. It was important for me to focus on Him. So although this has been such an amazing month for me one can say the inconsistency across the board of my socials has been obvious and necessary.
What was vital for me those few weeks was stepping away so that God can download all He is desiring to download in my heart, mind and soul and I am so grateful I listened.
There is so much peace when that comes over me when I just stop all the thinking and planning of my own and give it all to God. All our plans, our tasks, our “things,” our cares. All of it. Seeking His direction in every step and being obedient is key. It is the only peace our spirit needs. The peace from Jesus that transcends all understanding.
I have also stepped up my fitness game and have been going to the gym at least 3 times each week. I am so proud of the consistency and I hope you proud too! It honestly makes so much of a difference and I have gone from dreading my sessions to looking forward to them!
So that is it! The short version is I spent more time away from socials to listen to God and step back so I and refocus on the main goal God has given me, remember my purpose and continually be obedient to Him, but I am so excited to be back now!
More updates from me coming! By God’s grace you will be seeing a lot more exciting things on my blog to come so look out for that.
Praying all is well with you too!
If you ever need someone to talk to or need a prayer partner feel free to DM me on Instagram: _honeyluxe or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.