“Let us hold on to the hope we say we have and not be changed.
We can trust God that He will do what He promised.
—Hebrews 10:23 NLV
What we say, everything that we allow to come out of our mouths, has to be one of the most important characteristics of a godly woman. Most of us learned this truth from reading How God Can and Will Restore Your Marriage or reading A Wise Woman by Erin Thiele. We learned that the enemy has used the area of communication to undermine and destroy many women and their relationships. And I can attest that, like many of you, this is what destroyed mine.
In the same books, most of us could relate to (and know first-hand) that counselors and so-called marriage “experts” still continue to tell us that it is a lack of communication that destroys our relationships. Yet, again, when searching the Scriptures after reading Erin’s book, you will find, as she did, as I did, that God tells us over and over again the exact opposite.
It's in this chapter that I will share with you even more truth about communication, which goes beyond relationships. We must hold on to the hope we say we have and not allow anything to change or vary it, lest we find ourselves robbed of so much more than we could have imagined.
There are so many Christians who never make it past the level of hoping for something, or maybe they only allow themselves to imagine for just a moment that something they long for will happen. This is due to an inability to comprehend the true nature of God—the God who can be trusted if what you desire is something that He has promised.
“So let’s do it—full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps His word” (Hebrews 10:23 MSG).
Deep within the message of this verse above, we see something that often keeps us from asking for and believing God’s promises—even when we know what His word says. Are you “confident that you’re presentable inside and out”? What’s keeping us from believing is often due to feeling that we are unworthy, and this is what keeps us from asking and believing God for something wonderful. We think to ourselves, “If others only knew what I am like,” and we allow the enemy to convince us that we are far from “presentable.”
Has this ever plagued you? I am sure it has, because the schemes of the enemy are always the same—first and foremost because so many of his schemes work. Honestly, who of us is worthy of receiving anything at all? Certainly not me! And if I were to think myself worthy, then I would be suffering from a serious condition known as pride! Humility is walking out the belief that we are unworthy while still having the knowledge that, by His grace and mercy, He has provided us first and foremost with His salvation, not just when we die, but right now. In addition, we understand that He also died to give us an abundant life in this world, not just in the next. Therefore, the question is not whether we are worthy. The question is: Are we willing to allow one drop of the precious blood that Jesus shed to fall unused?
“Therefore the LORD longs to be gracious to you, and therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you; For the LORD is a God of justice; how blessed are all those who long for Him” (Isaiah 30:18 MEV). If you are longing for Him and what He has died to give you—then you can rest in His promises. However, if you are longing for what His hand can give you, the things of this world, then it’s quite possible you have missed the promise altogether.
“I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep” (John 10:10-11 ESV).
If you are a mom, you know how you feel about giving to your children. We have this insatiable desire to give everything to our children, in spite of our own sinful human nature. So just think how much more God longs to bless us and how He hurts when we refuse His blessings. “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!” (Matthew 7:11).
Recently, for me to fully understand the hurt that our Father feels when we reject His blessings (gifts that Jesus actually died to give us), the Lord has seen fit for me to live through some extremely painful things. If you have already read my book Poverty Mentality (which is the third book in the “Abundant Life” series), then you know how difficult it was for me when my daughter refused to allow me to buy her a car, with cash. Even now her car has been a huge burden, because she denied the blessing that ultimately came from God. It showed me just a glimpse of how we mess up our lives and live in a state of poverty. We enter into lack, simply because we will not look for and accept the blessings that Jesus died to give us—longing to bless us.
Though that incident was difficult, the one that I most recently lived through was so hard that right now I am having trouble writing about it, because the wounds are so fresh. However, this too gives me a glimpse of His nail-scarred hands and spear-pierced side. It helps me come to grips with the fact that our Husband was and is our example. As it says in First Peter, “For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps . . . and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him [God] who judges righteously” (1 Peter 2:21–23). This proves He knows our pain firsthand, and it explains why He is so understanding as a husband, living with us “in an understanding way,” as we are “the weaker vessel,” since we are women, and why He bestows honor on us daily. (See 1 Peter 3:7 ESV.)
Once again, if you read my book Poverty Mentality, you also read the incredible and miraculous testimony about my son’s honeymoon to Hawaii. It was a miracle that left me soaring like an eagle; yet, would you believe that just weeks before the wedding I received a phone call, late one evening, from my son who simply said, “We decided not to go”? Let me be honest and tell you that at first it was such a shock that I had trouble comprehending it (and so did others who heard about it later). It hurt. It honestly broke my heart, and it left me more than a little bit bewildered.
It took time and tears in my prayer closet to come out with the peace and assuredness that I could trust the Lord and that somehow, in someway, He would work it out for good—though, at the time, I could not really imagine how He could. May I tell you that, even during your darkest hours, He is more than able to bless you and move mountains that you never think need to be moved? Well, He really can, but it takes trusting Him and His promises to unleash those blessings that are even more than you believe or imagine.
Like I am in the habit of doing, I simply claimed one of my absolute favorites verses, Romans 8:28, and it was that verse alone that unleashed the most powerful mountain moved that I have even experienced in my life! All things can work together for good, as long as we honestly love Him above all else and are called according to His purpose—allowing it to happen!
Though everyone tried to convince me to cancel the vacation, there was really no point. I could not get those thousands of flying miles back, nor get any of the points returned from the resort, and the cost of the rental car seemed a bit trivial in comparison to the thousands of dollars that the honeymoon cost. And what mattered to me was not the cost at all, but it was that my gift was (for some reason) rejected. This has led me to understand more fully how He feels when we fail to accept His gifts for us. We all, as Christians, are amazed when we hope to lead someone to the Lord, and then that person rejects the gift of salvation—we simply don’t understand, do we?
Though my flesh wanted to hide the folder (that contained the documents they needed to bring with them on their honeymoon), the Lord had spoken to me that I needed to leave it out in plain view. Each time I saw the folder, I simply said, “I trust You,” but I confess it still hurt. And though I never shared what happened, that the honeymoon was cancelled, the word got out (maybe their brother told them). Even my effort to be discreet had been overridden. But it’s when my other children heard what had happened, specifically when my oldest son, who was also engaged, heard, that motivated him to try to do “something”—but he tried in his “own strength.”
It’s just like the picture of the woman on the cover of this Moving Mountains book; it’s foolish for any of us to attempt to move a mountain that is immovable. Ultimately, even though his heart was right, the effort left him frustrated and worn out, because it was “he” who tried to move it. Nevertheless, as I said, it showed the heart of my son, which proved to be a blessing, since not only did I see it, but so did the Lord, who was able to reward him accordingly!
My son and his fiancé are a precious couple; however, they are both extremely talented and mentally capable of so much, which is why they can easily attempt to do everything in their own strength. Therefore, He often chooses to hem each of us in, in order to show us just how much He loves us and how much He can do when He is given the opportunity.
Let me also say to those of us who are obsessed with the fact that we are always running out of time, let’s remember that time is not a part of God’s make up. He was, is, and will always be. I know this concept is something far beyond what we truly can comprehend, but it simply means, God, on purpose, moves suddenly, yet often waits until the very last minute—and very often He appears to be late—just as He was when He allowed Lazarus to die in order for him to be raised from the dead.
So, as is His very nature, God continued to tell me to trust Him, and then with time running out, suddenly, the Monday before the Saturday flight, there appeared in the sky a cloud, the size of a man’s fist—“The seventh time the servant reported, ‘A cloud as small as a man's hand is rising from the sea.’ So Elijah said, ‘Go and tell Ahab, ‘Hitch up your chariot and go down before the rain stops you’” (1 Kings 18:44 NIV).
My son’s fiancé called to tell me something “interesting.” She said that when she told her mother about the horrible honeymoon situation, she told her mom that if they (as a couple) could take the trip, they would, so that I wouldn’t lose anything. Her mom responded by saying, “Darling, if this happens—it’s God! Do it!” My son’s fiancé went on to say that she responded to her mom that even if it did work, neither of them had any cash (money for food, gas, etc. for the trip), but then her mom had reminded her that she gave them a thousand dollars for her wedding and that should be more than enough!
When I heard this, I told my son’s fiancé that “ready or not,” they were about to take that trip as her honeymoon! Though my son had tried before, I know how God works, and I knew that this tiny cloud meant that very soon there would be a downpour of blessings!!
Then, the test happened. When my son’s fiancé called, she said my son's response was that they shouldn’t try. This is what happens when we try things in our own strength—we feel there is no use in trying again. So she called me back and, to me, she passed her test with an A+, when she said, “Mom, your son is about to be my spiritual leader; he always has to be. So, since he said “no,” I can't say another word. But what should I do? What do I do with these feelings that I believe God wants to do this and that I want so much?” Oh my, even now, what she said brings me to tears: that this precious girl will allow my son to lead her, and that she is asking ME for guidance. Though I may not deserve to be so blessed, I am going to accept this blessing from Him!
In seeking my HH guidance, I answered by saying that this was a promise for her and it was meant to hide in her heart, just as Mary, the mother of Jesus did. I assured her that Mary was certainly a wonderful wife to Joseph, so she hid the tender things in her heart to ponder. I told her to trust that if this was God’s will, He would turn her future husband’s heart. I said, I too, would hide everything we imagined in my heart. How I felt or how my son’s fiancé felt, of course, was not my place to discuss with my son, who is being called to lead his wife (and very soon, I hope, his family) spiritually. Within the hour, my son called me to say, “Mom, this trip to Hawaii is something that I can tell my bride really wants; what can I do to make it happen?” Hallelujah, thank you Lord!! I said, “Let's just begin to imagine this mountain is starting to move! ”
Once you see that God is calling you to believe and imagine a mountain moving, there are two things that you need to know: one, don’t worry about what you can’t do, and two, just do what you can, as He leads you!
“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul” (Psalm 23: 1-3).
When the Lord led me to do my own taxes (something only a well-trained professional with an expertise in non-profit ministry should attempt), each time I came up against a brick wall (or the side of a mountain that wouldn’t budge), the Lord told me to look for something I could do. As crazy as this may seem, at least three times while doing my taxes the only thing I could do was to fill out my name on yet another form! But, somehow, and for some reason, it led me to keep going until, miraculously—it all got done!!
This is what I told my son, who then asked, “Okay, what CAN I do?!” Immediately I asked Him for the answer, and out of my mouth I asked my son “where” he was going to get married. When he first tried to make this honeymoon happen, they'd planned to get married here, then fly out on Saturday for their honeymoon. But now there clearly was no time. So his response was, “Well, I guess we can get married there, in Hawaii; we’ll have a destination wedding!!” So I told him to find out for sure if this was possible, if there was any waiting period, etc. When I hung up, I then asked the Lord what I could do. He led me to open the honeymoon folder that once brought heartache and now brought hope and expectancy, and He showed me there were three parts to this miracle: the flight, the resort, and the rental car.
The Lord prompted me to start with the resort. Expecting to sit on hold for at least thirty minutes, and sometimes as long as an hour, in awe I was connected to a “person” immediately. Less than ten minutes later, the “non-transferable” reservation was in the name of my oldest son!! The mountain was sliding closer to the sea…
Let me interject something that I believe you will find most interesting. Before I called the resort, the Lord led me to read the bottom of the letter of confirmation; there, in big bold letters, I read that the reservations were non-transferable, non-changeable—in other words, it was impossible to make any and all changes! Yet, He did not stop there. When I looked at it, I held it up in comparison to the God of impossibilities. This is another key to unleashing the power to move mountains and what we learned from our father Abraham.
The principle is found in one of my ultimate favorite portions of the Bible. Here is what it says, “In hope against hope he [Abraham] believed…Without becoming weak in faith he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah's womb; YET, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform” (Romans 4:18-21). Abraham didn’t ignore the impossibility of his having a son with his deadening body and Sarah’s dead womb; he didn’t pretend, but instead, it says he “contemplated” this fact, but then he determined to compare the facts to God’s promises, and His ability to perform what He promised!!
When the Lord showed me the bolded, in all caps, laws (if you will) of these reservations, I already knew that nothing was impossible with God and that, because He wrote our laws, therefore, He can overturn them if He chooses to! In the exact same way, the Lord went on to show me the “no-cancellation policy statement” on the rental car, which quite honestly seemed minuscule and hardly worth my time, but again, He wanted to teach me something: always ask.
When I got online, I asked Him what I should do, and He answered me in bold red letters right there on the page; when I began to type in the confirmation number, it actually popped up, “Do you want to cancel this rental car?” When my eyes jumped up to my second son’s name, I immediately said, “Yes” and clicked! Then I asked the Lord what I should do next, when it actually said in red letters, all caps, “Do you want to rent another car?” to which I yelled, “Yes!!” and proceeded to rent the exact same car, same pick up date, same everything—only the first name was changed to my other son and the payment transferred over!
Too often, we lose connection with the Lord when we start moving the mountains in our lives. So be sure to continue to ask the Lord after each step you make, and don’t panic if it seems you made a wrong turn. Just ask again.
With two parts down, I could now see and feel the mountain teetering; just one more push and that mountain, and all it stood for, was about to slip neatly into the depths of the sea!! It happened just a few hours later, when I got a call from my son’s fiancé, who told me excitedly that my son was standing in line at the airport to speak directly to the airline. I was beside myself with joy and expectancy; since I had a vision of my son in line at the airport just days earlier—this, to me, was the confirmation that the final step was about to happen!
Even before anything happened, I was so excited that I hurried to tell my other children (all who have faith like a child) to rejoice with me, that the miracle was about to happen. I just knew that I knew that I knew that it was going to happen in an instant; therefore, I began to act as if it had already happened! “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (Mark 11:24 NIV).
About an hour later, I got a call from my son. He was on his way home, and he told me that the airline had tried and tried, but the fields to be able to make any changes were blocked. The airline said that the only people who could make a change would be the booking agent where I used my flying miles. Though my feelings wanted to plummet, and so did his, I told him that there was a reason, and this would simply be “the next step.” So, I hung up and quickly made the call, only to find that they had closed; we missed them by just ten minutes.
Waiting was good; it strengthens us spiritually, so, I told my son that this setback was all part of His plan, and I sensed that He needed to show me “something.” Sitting there quietly in my room, He had me pick up that infamous folder again. With my faith soaring, my Husband led me to read again the very fine print on the same document, this time online. It began the same, stating in bold that reservations were non-transferable, no changes, etc. etc., but then, I saw something paragraphs down. There it went on to say, deep within the paragraph in tiny, tiny print, that if the airline approved of a change, then we were to contact them first! There it was; it was written; that was it— now all I had to do was wait until morning.
Again, setbacks only prove that the Lord needs to show us something else. In this instance, He wanted us to speak to someone who would be working the next morning with the truth posted on their site. When a mountain is huge and immovable, He asks us to believe that everything, even setbacks and brick walls, are all part of His plan. Rather than falling apart and allowing setbacks to weaken your faith, use them to your advantage by knowing that they are just another part of your testimony, part of His plan, and He's going to move that mountain that has been grounded in your heart.
That night I fell asleep quickly but woke at 4 A.M. Not only were those four hours while I waited for the office to open at 8 not wasted, they proved to build my excitement and expectancy, as the Lord led me to write earlier chapters of this book, building my faith in His ability and desire to move this mountain, as I spoke it and believed!
Watching the last three minutes click by, I was literally trembling with excitement. (Mind you, my emotions wanted to take hold of me in the form of fear, which we will discuss in more detail in chapter 9.) When I finally made the call that morning, the Lord reminded me of how the “way of no resistance and cheerfulness” had worked so miraculously the day before with the telephone company. (You will learn about this principle in chapter 8.)
Sure enough, the first person I spoke to assured me that it was impossible, then proceeded to try to sell me something. Oh my, this is when our emotions want to jump out of our skin (and out our mouths). That’s the real challenge, dear bride. We must continue to stay peaceful, agreeable and not let haste or hurry, which leads to panic, take over. This, too, I learned while doing my taxes. I had to stay in perfect peace in order to hear His still small voice. Even in the midst of dogs barking, telephone calls, and children interrupting me asking trivial questions, I had to remain joyful and peaceful, if I wanted to move a mountain using His strength.
So, patiently, and in full excitement, I listened to the woman's sales pitch excitedly, for what I knew would still happen, thankfully, when she stopped. I was able to kindly tell her I had just purchased what she was selling, which led her to say, “Hey, wait a minute; let me see if they might be able to help you in another department,” and she transferred me. Without going through each of the next seven people I talked to, how each person gave me the same “impossible” response, followed by my agreeable “that’s okay” and being transferred to “someone else” who “might” be able to help, I, finally, was connected to the top person in the flying miles company, who assured me that the airline had the power to change the details of the flight and gave me their number to allow me to “try.”
Throughout this whole ordeal, I was told the same thing: what I desired, what I believed could happen, was impossible, and that, if allowed (what they wouldn’t allow), the points would have to be first refunded (which they don't do), new tickets would then have to be booked, and everything would have to be re-ticketed. In other words, we would have to start from scratch, which, by this late date, would be impossible.
However, we know that nothing is impossible with God. “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?” (Jeremiah 32:27). And I answered Him, “Ah Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You”! (Jeremiah 32:17).
Who of us hasn’t heard Erin’s testimony? When years ago, way back in 1989, Erin told the Lord that if He did the impossible by restoring her marriage—a marriage with a man who left her for another woman, divorced her, and said he would never come back to her because he didn’t love her and never did—then she would spend her life telling the world that nothing was impossible for Him.
Back then, I embraced this true for my own marriage, and since that time God has given me the impossibilities, impossibilities that continually sweeten my life and continue to prove that it is TRUE—nothing, not one thing, is impossible with God!
When I contacted the airline, in an instant I heard the lady on the phone tell me to hold while she CHANGED THE NAMES! What?!?! We in the United States have been told since 9/11 that changing the names was illegal. So, I sat on hold for more than 20 minutes, with about four, five-minute intervals when she came on to thank me for my patience, saying, “sorry, this is just something that we NEVER do, so I really don’t know how exactly to do it”! It was after her second reassurance that tears welled up in my eyes, my heart beating out of my chest—I was watching my mountain, the one that had caused me so much pain, fall into the sea! I began to weep.
Then, right after the third reassurance, when she told me that they were “almost done,” I jumped up from my chair to dance with the Lord and pulled my back out, completely. All I could do was laugh—and, gingerly, I sat back down in pain. But my heart was soaring.
When she thanked me and we hung up, I was stunned, crying, shaking, all as I tried to call my son. Screaming, I told him that God did the impossible! My children woke up that morning to my screams of delight, as they ran in and began dancing around with me—their brother was getting married in Hawaii, how romantic—God had moved a mountain of impossible proportion!
“Behold, I have made you a new, sharp threshing sledge with double edges; you will thresh the mountains and pulverize them, and will make the hills like chaff” (Isaiah 41:15).
“Jesus said to them [when the apostles were baffled because they were not able to cast a demon out], ‘Because you have so little faith. For sure, I tell you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to over there,’ and it would move over. You will be able to do anything’” (Matthew 17:20 NLV).
Dear bride, before reading the next chapter, stop to consider why He led you to read this chapter and its truths. There is no question that there is one specific mountain in your life that He wants to move, until He casts a whole range of mountains that have shadowed your life. Remember, it begins with one small mountain—but a mountain nonetheless. Ask Him which it is, and then begin to ask what He wants you to do. Even if He says to wait, believe, imagine, hide it in your heart— and I promise that soon you will begin to move mountains; nothing is impossible with Him.