When God Just Isn’t Enough

by Heather Tabers

We all know the story in the Bible about the woman at the well. Jesus asks her for a drink of water and before long He is telling her that He is the source of living water. He says that all who drink the well water will thirst again but all who drink from the water He gives will never thirst again.

This idea of hungering or thirsting for Jesus is woven in and out of Scripture, praise songs, and Sunday School lessons alike. We sing, “As the deer panteth for the water, so my soul panteth after Thee, You alone are my hearts desire and I long to worship Thee.”

But do we really?

I often find myself craving the things I need from God. I beg for His help. I plead for His mercy. I ask for a laundry list of blessings for myself and others but I have rarely truly craved God.

In fact, there was a time that God just wasn’t enough for me.

After five years of begging and pleading with God to restore my broken marriage and to return my husband to the wife and children who loved him and needed him, I found myself alone, a single mom, raising four babies. Oh, and I was looking for a man.

My daddy had just lost his battle with cancer and my husband had just left our family for the life of a bachelor. I felt alone, betrayed, vulnerable, unprotected. And since it wasn’t possible to go out and get myself another daddy, I thought I needed to go out and find one for my kids. Surely, a husband was what I needed to feel safe, secure, and loved.

My eyes were on my circumstances and not my Savior.

I made mistakes. I looked for love in all the wrong places. I settled for sloppy seconds instead of waiting for God’s best. I took kind gestures and approving glances from anyone who offered and I feasted on flattering words. I was so hungry, so thirsty.

Thankfully, I still had people in my life who spoke truth to me. One such friend told me that I didn’t need a husband and he asked me a question that would change my life.

“Is God enough for you?” he asked.

Of course, I answered with the Sunday School answer that God is always enough.

“Are you sure?” he asked. “Are you really sure He’s enough for YOU?”

God wasn’t enough. To be more accurate, what I was taking from God wasn’t enough. I wasn’t drinking from His fountain, I was merely admiring it from afar.

Looking at God does not quench your thirst. You must drink from His cup.

Cup

In that moment I realized what an egregious error I was making.

Was I really so bold as to look the God of the universe in the eyes and tell Him that He was not enough for me?

In that moment, my will surrendered and my tongue confessed. I postured my heart before the King in such a way that I could drink from His never ending well.

Sadly, I often still find myself parched and thirsty, wandering a dry land and wishing for sweet refreshment. Where is God then? Why is He not enough?

It is never He that abandons me; it is I who abandon Him. When God’s supply feels dried up and lacking, it is because I have wandered far from Him.

He’s not going to follow me into the desert, chasing after me and begging me to drink from His cup. But when I realize that I’ve deviated from His path and I turn back, His well never runs dry and His refreshment is always sufficient.

His grace is enough. God is enough.

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An Offer Too Good To Refuse

We don’t like to think of ourselves being like the grumbling Israelites in the wilderness, but many of us find ourselves looking back to the place that God called us out of, only because we are not sure of our future! Complacency and ingratitude then become the default setting! We don’t even hear ourselves start to grumble, and most of all, we have forgotten we have a promised land to get to and we certainly aren’t remembering the passionate pursuit of our Lord’s presence to get us there. Does your outlook on life appear hopeless right now? Are you “sick” with overwhelming grief and sadness about your circumstances? Could it be that you are not drinking enough water? Health experts say we can suffer many ailments if we are not drinking enough water. In order to function properly we need to be hydrated. Say what? Spiritually speaking this may not be too far-fetched! But are you fetching water from the right fountain?
I was in a dry desert place, alone in my pain and surrounded by a vast wilderness of rocks, snakes, and scorpions. There was no refreshment in sight! I was parched and I didn’t even realize I was thirsty! Sad, but true! The terrain of this rocky life can be very hard to navigate out of. Every time you try to dig your way out – your shovel hits stones! Being alone and hopeless calls out to the slithering carnivorous serpents who don’t just bite food, they swallow it whole. They and their predatory cousin the scorpion seek us out as prey to paralyze us with their merciless venom.
Are you paralyzed by fear? Has succumbing to the serpent’s lies squeezed the life out of you? Take a drink! Are you tired of digging up stones of resentment and being stung by the venom of rejection or bitterness? Take a drink! Instead of blaming others, imploding inwardly or running away again to another arid land – take a drink! Let go of grumbling and complaining, holding grudges and keeping a record of wrongs – take a drink! Drinking from His cup will quench your thirst and you will rise up strengthened and able to let Jesus do for you what you couldn’t let Him do for you before! Psalm 147:3 says, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” He really does! If you haven’t realized by now how thirsty you are then hear His voice:

“But whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst.”
Did God really lead the Israelites into the wilderness? Yes He did! They were in the desert of Shur for only three days following their miraculous deliverance through the Red Sea and now they were thirsty and without water. In comfortable surroundings a person may be able to live as long as a week without water, but in the desert, death was eminent, or, was it? Are you thirsty yet?
If you have read Exodus 15:22-27 you know what happens next. They traveled to Marah (meaning bitter). They could not drink the bitter water of Marah. Can you imagine finally finding water that you were unable to drink? We can find the wrong pools and cisterns to drink from in the desolate and barren places that leave us feeling disappointed, angry, numb, depressed, lost, unworthy and you guessed it – bitter! A bitter taste is hard to get out of your mouth unless you drink something else that removes it. I believe God lead them to the bitter waters for a reason. I believe He leads us there too. Let’s see what happens next.
God showed Moses a piece of wood to throw into the bitter waters and the waters became sweet! Are you ready to drink what only He can supply through the Cross? He can take a parched and bone-dry heart and lead you to the well-spring of salvation, forgiveness and renewed trust in Him, if you but take just a sip! It’s what He did for me! It wasn’t easy, but I let go of managing my life and asked God to forgive me and fight the battle for me! He began to heal my heart by filling it with His presence. I made the decision to trust Him to do what only He could do. As I began to seek His Word and obey it, I expected that He would part the waters again as He had done many times before. There is nothing like a tall cool pristine glass of Living Water to quench your thirst in the desert!
Harboring bitterness increases the likelihood of disease and it’s is not surprising that after turning the bitter waters sweet, God reveals Who He Is as “Jehovah Rapha – I Am The Lord Who Heals You!” He makes a promise to heal all their diseases if they obey Him! He can heal the bitter heart and as He chooses, He can heal the sick as well. Let us obey and depend on Him! How do you need Him to heal you right now? Take it to the Cross, follow His Word and the goodness of His heart despite your situation! Get with “I Am The Lord Who Heals You” and drink from His overflowing fountain!
His restoring provision is more than evident as the Israelites travel next to one more region called Elim, “Where there were ‘twelve’ springs of water and ‘seventy’ palm trees.” They camped there! If we look to the New Testament we will see that “Jesus called His ‘twelve’ disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.” (Mt. 10:1) These numbers are not a coincidence. He provides and we share the healing power of His Living Word as springs to drink from! We love our Palm trees here in South Florida, but did you know biblically they represent victory, triumph, peace and eternal life! “The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree.” (Psalm 92:12) “Out of these ‘twelve’ the Lord appointed ‘seventy’ others and said to them, heal the sick there, and say to them, ‘The Kingdom of God has come near to you.’” (Luke 10:9) As He imputes His righteousness we flourish like the palm tree and are made ready to bring the good news to those who thirst!
In your personal trek from Shur to Marah may you experience “I Am The Lord Who Heals You.” But don’t stop there! Go on to the refreshment of Elim!! Seek the oasis! After the wood of the Cross in the bitter water heals you, go out and do the same in His love. Enjoy camping near the Palms at the Wellspring of Life, but then go out like the ‘twelve’ and ‘seventy’ to share An Offer Too Good to Refuse ~ the Sweet Living Water of Life! It’s gushing and eternal! Jesus said so!
“Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks this water will get thirsty again and again. Anyone who drinks the water I give will never thirst – not ever. The water I give will be an artesian spring within, gushing fountains of endless life.”

Woman at Well
“The woman said, “Sir, give me this water so I won’t ever get thirsty, and I won’t ever have to come back to this well again.”
(John 4:13-15)

Why I Don’t Pray for my Husband to Join my Ministry

by Heather Tabers, WAR Blogger

I’ve heard countless women…good women, humble women, godly women… pray for God to please move in their husbands’ lives to bring them to a place of ministering together. I love that thought. I love the idea of husbands and wives in ministry together and I’ve been blessed by countless husband/wife duos who serve God together, arm in arm. I love the husbands and wives that co-teach Sunday School. The husbands and wives that co-lead Celebrate Recovery teams. The husbands and wives that open their homes together for small group Bible studies. I love it.

But I’m not going to pray for that anymore. Ever. I’ve been guilty of that before.

Holding Hands

My husband is not what you would call a social individual. He’ll talk to anyone who approaches and he’ll give them the shirt off his back, but he won’t seek out someone to talk to. In fact, he’ll do his best to stay out of the way by himself. So, praying for God to bring him to a place of ministering with me in church, in groups, was just asking God to make my husband someone who he isn’t. But God stopped me in my tracks. In one weekend God managed to show me three different ways that He was using my husband, right where he is.

First, we got a message from a soldier that Bob and I met on the WWP Soldier Ride last November. My “I don’t need friends” husband had befriended a younger Vet on the ride and talked to him at great length about overcoming some of the obstacles that he had in his life. He shared candidly about his own problems and how slowing his life down and focusing on God had saved him from a world of hurt. This young Vet wrote us to thank Bob for believing in him and for sharing with him and to tell us that he’d gotten himself squared away and was going to church. Bob ministered to this guy – not in our church, not in our home, but right where he was.

Second, we got a phone call from a very good friend of ours who happens to be a Captain in the Army. One of the men he had served with in Iraq was out of a job, living in a very poor community, and needed help. He asked Bob if he would call him and see about helping him find some work. Bob immediately got on the horn and called this young man, offering him some hope. Again, he didn’t meet this soldier’s needs in our church or in a Bible study in our home, but he used Bob right where he was.

And last but not least, we attended a minor league baseball game with some military friends of ours one very hot, steamy, Florida evening in July. The heat index was well over 100* in the shade and we were already feeling miserable before the game began. A few rows above us on the other side of our section we heard a woman start screaming for help. Her elderly mother had passed out in the heat. My husband did not hesitate to join the first responders that came to her aid. Although he never had a chance to put his schooling into practice, my husband graduated from med school a few years ago at one of the best med schools in the country. He never thought twice about being bothered to help her. He knew what to do. He knew how to help. And he didn’t give it a second thought. Not in a church. Not in a Bible study. But at a minor league baseball stadium.

I will never again pray that God will form my husband into the man that meets my expectations of ministry. God’s plans are so much better than mine and He has a much better idea of how to utilize my husband in His kingdom work than I do. Maybe he doesn’t speak to congregations. Maybe he doesn’t pray over large groups. But to the individuals God has used my husband to reach, he was a blessing. And what more could a wife truly ever want than to know that her husband is right where God wants him?

From Death to Life

I was blessed to meet a sweet momma named Kristin through our church’s Homeschool group. Yesterday she shared this post on Facebook and I asked her permission to share it here on our blog because I just KNEW that it would reach others out there in the dark part of their hearts where the pain and fear is still festering. Here, Kristin shares a beautiful story of God’s love as He transformed her, from death to life. ~Heather, WAR blogger

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So I haven’t ever really written about this on FB before but I have been in constant prayer this week and I just need to share some praise for the amazing, gentle love and grace that He gives us right when we need it..

As some of you may know Valentine’s day is not a favorite for me…this week, Feb 14th marked the 17 year anniversary of when I was raped by two boys I had never met before that night. I was 15 at the time. Looking back, just a child. Almost immediately following was so much judgement, teasing and harassment at school by kids who I now understand were just being kids – who didn’t understand AT ALL the magnitude of what I had just gone through. At the time I didn’t understand that though. I felt so alone – although one sweet friend, I will never forget, gave me a teddy bear while standing at our lockers, she said I should bring it to court so I would know I am not alone. I don’t think she could have ever known how much that bear meant to me…..he has stayed with me all these years, he currently sleeps in the boys’ room.  In hindsight, I know that was God reaching down to me through my friend…..His love was there many years before I ever even knew Him. Shortly after was the trial. One of the hardest experiences of my life to look them in the face while I was on the stand but in the end they were both found guilty. Also, I started attending an alternative school. It was also right around this same time that I stumbled and then completely fell and lost everything about myself for nearly 7 years in addiction.

I remember my first Valentine’s day clean in 2007 – it had been 7 years at that time…I was sick-to-my-stomach afraid to go through that day sober. I remember sobbing in meetings leading up to the day. I didn’t know how to face the memories and the pain. I don’t think at all it was by coincidence that I was almost a year clean at that point, I fully believe God planned it that way. He had given me the tools and the support system to make it through without drugs or alcohol to hide behind. It was also Jon and I’s first Valentine’s day together — we spent that evening in a tattoo shop. I had prayed on exactly what it should say…it is a beautiful cross on my right leg that reads “From death to Life”. It is to this day, by far, my very favorite and most meaningful tattoo.

Jesus died an awful death on the cross for us – for all the sin, and sadness, pain and sickness of this world. And now we are all welcome to eternal life because of His amazing sacrifice.

I have been so blessed to shed the shame and sadness of being a victim. In Christ I am redeemed. I am a survivor. I am free.

The journey of healing is still ongoing. And every year I still cry. Sometimes a lot. It’s profound for 17 years to recall and relive what was a mere hour of my life but had such an incredible impact on the person I am today. The hatred and anger kept me sick for so many years. It poisoned my life, as hatred and anger always do. Forgiveness is the key to true freedom. For years now, I have prayed for those boys….who are now grown men, probably husbands and dads. I forgive them both from the very bottom of my heart. I pray so sincerely that God has transformed their hearts and made them into better men than the sins they once chose — just like He forgave me, recused me, washed me clean and saved me from the sins I chose during my addiction.

God is AMAZING. So undeserving am I of this incredible life. And yet this is the path He has chosen for me to walk. Every day I get to live a beautiful life, even when then are bumps. I am grateful for every single step of my journey – including the steps that caused my deepest scars. Our scars remind us of where we have been. They remind us that there is healing…..it just takes time, and faith and trust in the only One who has overcome it all.

Fast forward to this week and this Valentines day….the looming sadness was there, but only in the background and by His grace that’s where it stayed. We got to spend and amazing family day at Disney on Monday. Tuesday was our Disney homeschool group where the kids played, did crafts and exchanged Valentines surrounded by so many wonderful new friends. And then Wed we had co-op and again got to enjoy a lovely day with the new friends God is building for us here in Orlando. Today we had lots of boring stuff – pregnancy blood work for me, and a doc appointment for Layla, all 3 kids all day alone with mom…lol….BUT we managed to have a super nice day including a picnic lunch outside in the sunshine, a trip to the library to get our week’s supply of books and then riding bikes and blowing bubbles – it was a truly blessed day.

I am so humbled and grateful. He overwhelms me. He cares so patiently, so personally, so gently, so completely. Singing many many praises this night and always.

I love you Lord.

~Kristin F.

Watch for Rescue… Kiss the Dew

by Sherry Marks, WAR Chick, Door of Hope leader

Do you need rescue?  Maybe you feel like Rapunzel locked up in a tower with only a window to look out, captive by circumstances beyond your control. Cinderella needed rescue from the wicked step-mother and sisters, just as some of us do from in-laws and others who make our life miserable by interfering, over-stepping boundaries or taking advantage of.  Are you a Snow White sleeping lifelessly in a comatose state of depression because of the toxic poison from a destructive relationship? Where have all the cowboys gone; the gentlemen, heroes, knights and princes?

We want a genie in a bottle moment to have our wish.  We want a prince to come to our rescue!  We long for our version of Wesley from Princess Bride, to declare to us, “As you wish”.  Can’t I be Princess Buttercup for just one day? Because of my circumstances I could identify with the fairytale damsels in distress.  I needed rescue. I needed as “as you wish” answer to my prayers.  So I went to the One I knew could deliver me if He chose to.  A true princess will always find herself back on her knees again and that is where I went.  My plea sounded something like this, “To You, O LORD, I call; my rock, do not be deaf to me, for if you are silent to me I will become like those who go down to the pit.”  I’m pretty sure I was already in the pit, but I persisted.  Deep in prayer, I had one of those rare moments when the Lord wasn’t silent and I heard a still small voice say, “Go kiss the dew!” WHAAT?  Again, I heard, “Go kiss the dew!”  Strange… I will give you that, but I KNEW I had heard from God. It just happened to be early morning and the dew would still be on the ground; everything within me said this is an act of obedience! Curiously, I made the trek outdoors to find a private place in my backyard to touch my lips to the wet dew of the morning.

I did not know what it meant then, but I strongly felt then that I had made a very meaningful and intimate connection with God that gave me the surpassing peace I needed so much at that moment! Soon after, I came in contact with a teaching from Hosea 14:5.  “I will be as the dew to Israel.”  I find God to be very serendipitous when He wants to reveal His heart!

This teaching said, “As the dew comes every morning, silently, invisibly and very mysteriously to infuse the entire garden with its nourishing wetness and moisture; so, He says, I will be the dew to you. I will infuse your life with my life; new beginnings for each day, new interventions, new power and blessings to be received.  New opportunities, new healing, new purpose, new mindset and new changes in your circumstances.  Every day I come fresh to you.  It is a guarantee!  It is the blessing of my loving-kindness; the blessing of my love in action.  It is the pouring out of His love.  His dew… are the blessings that have been secured by the blood of Jesus!  It is a covenant that began with the Father to His Son that is our everlasting inheritance.  We have been placed in the Son and so we receive His favor based on the blood of His Son!”

My circumstances didn’t change and yours may not either.  In prayer we must watch for His rescue, His whisper and kiss!  We longingly look to our Prince, listen and wait until He meets us.  Being captivated we respond and believe His promises of love.  He gave me His personal “as you wish” kiss.”  It’s available every day!  His mercies are new every morning; the dew of His faithfulness, favor, peace and kindness.” It’s what I watch for each dawn. Receive the kisses of His dew that are waiting for you!  Watch for the rescue He longs to give you every morning by His presence! Kiss the dew!

princess-bride
From “The Princess Bride”, 1987

“That day, she was amazed to discover that when, he was saying, “As you wish”, what he meant was, “I love you.”  And even more amazing, was the day she realized she truly loved him back.”  (Grandpa ~ Princess Bride)

 

Modern Armor- The Breastplate

The Breastplate of Righteousness can be a bit confusing. And cumbersome.

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Ephesians 6 doesn’t tell us much about the breastplate of righteousness except that it should be “in place”. So, like Paul, I had to look at a soldier to understand how this piece is to be used properly.

In modern military armor, the breastplate is quite similar to a bullet proof tactical vest. The vest, itself, is made of material that will stop a handgun round. As important as that is, I think the “righteousness” part of this piece is as powerful as the “breastplate”.

Here’s why.

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Sometimes, it’s just not about what you’re made of. It’s about what God’s made of and what He can do in you. I’ll explain.

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One commentary I read helped me see that when we put on God’s righteousness, we’re putting on His qualities. His attributes. His characteristics. We are putting on the things that make Christ righteous. We are putting on His patience. His gentleness. His mercy.

Soldiers use those little loops on their vest to hang the equipment they need for that day’s mission- a flashlight, a hand grenade, extra ammo, etc.

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When we pray on the breastplate of righteousness in the morning, we’re not only praying on a covering that will protect our vital organs (including our heart), but we are praying on HIS righteousness and HIS characteristics that we will need throughout the day for the missions He has for us to accomplish.

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Cumbersome as it all may be, the breastplate of righteousness is a soldier’s personal arsenal of equipment needed to defeat the enemy. Never be tempted to leave the wire without it. How can you possibly stand off against the enemy without your daily portion of endurance? Of kindness? Of grace?

Ephesians 6:10-11  Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes

Modern Armor of God- The Helmet

armor-1

Everyone’s familiar with Paul’s description of the Armor of God, as explained in Ephesians 6. When we’re little, we memorize phrases like “shoes of peace” and “shield of faith” and when we’re older, we may even learn to pray on these pieces in the morning as we start our day. But for me, it wasn’t until I recently dug a little deeper in the Word that I began to understand what these pieces really are and how I can wear them. Because seriously… I don’t really relate well to ancient Roman military apparel.

armour

I know when Paul wrote this passage, he was sitting in prison, looking at a guard decked out similar to this picture above. And as he stared at this soldier, God downloaded into him the importance of spiritual armor as it relates to the importance of physical military armor.

So it was quite exciting when I began looking into today’s military armor, and God started downloading into me a comparison to today’s armor that helped me understand the importance of each piece a little bit better. You don’t have to be a soldier to understand this. If you’ve ever watched Saving Private Ryan or Hogan’s Heroes, you can probably follow along just fine.

So, let’s start at the top. The Helmet!!

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We know that the helmet is obviously designed to protect the brain and our spiritual helmet is designed to protect the mind. The Helmet of Salvation is more than just salvation, though. Sometimes we think we can just check the box because we’ve already been saved and we move on. This is a dangerous move! Putting on the helmet of salvation is not just “owning” salvation but it’s wearing it.

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Today’s military helmet is heavy. The material these helmets are made from are designed to stop a bullet. The cushioned padding on the inside helps the soldier wear the helmet securely and fasten it in place. But after talking to a handful of soldiers, I found out that some of them admitted to wearing fake helmets on occasions that didn’t seem too dangerous. See, wearing a lighter helmet is easier on the neck and shoulders. It’s easier to carry around. It’s easier when you’re already loaded down. It’s just easier.

You and I can see the danger in this but when you’re in a hard situation, we know what it’s like to choose the easier route.

The same applies to Christians. How many times have you seen (or even been) a born again believer that HAS God’s gift of salvation but isn’t necessarily wearing it? Sometimes being a child of God is hard. Sometimes it’s heavy. Sometimes it’s easier to act like we don’t know who we are and Whose we are. Sometimes wearing a fake helmet of salvation is just easier.

helmet-2

Warrior Daughter of God, don’t wear a fake helmet. You may fool those that are marching along side of you, but you will not fool our King. And you  will not fool the enemy!! His bullets will not cease simply because you look like you’re protected. In fact, his bullets will come heavier and harder than ever before because the enemy knows he can hurt you and possibly even take you out.

Father God, wearing Your helmet of salvation can be so very tiring. It’s heavy. And it’s hard. But we know that without it, we are vulnerable to the enemy’s attack. On days that we feel too weary to wear our salvation, please help us to remember how blessed we are to have Your protection. Give us the strength to place the helmet on our heads and to strap it securely in place. Help us remember that more time in Your Word will strengthen the muscles in our necks so that we can hold our heads up strong and secure. Guard our minds, oh Warrior King, and help us to take every thought captive. May we be warring daughters that cause our enemy to flee. Amen.