Earlier this week the “onslaught of the wicked” hit our home with accusations, mocking, ridicule, cruel words, and condemnation, which inevitably led to fear. Sadly, it was my ex-husband who hurled these attacks at my youngest daughter and at me.
Understandably, my daughter was extremely puzzled, besides being hurt. So once I was able to comfort my daughter, allowing a short time for all sorts of emotions in me to die down, I sought the Lord for wisdom and understanding. He reminded me of what I was writing in this very chapter. God was confirming this principle to me—“they, others, don’t have it.”
The Lord showed me that the tide of kindness from my ex-husband turned ugly because, for the first time since he first asked for the divorce, he had done all the asking and I had done all the giving. That day I had foolishly asked for help with three small things: for website links for some health products that he used to use to purchase for the family, for the computer that he was not using so our children could use it for their studies, and to have him initiate some phone calls to the children since they had told me that their dad no longer cared for them. Things turned ugly because I went to him, asking, that turned this once kind man into an angry and fighting man.
The first time God showed me this very important principle, “they don’t have it,” was at the end of a very long series of frustrating and time-consuming encounters with our warehouse membership club. It’s where I purchased a lot of our groceries and ministry office supplies. There were so many mistakes each time when I tried to make a purchase it became exhausting. As an example, during one incident, it took them over an hour to fix something, all while my frozen foods (that are always in bulk size) melted.
When I went in to shop the next time, I was again at the customer service counter since my membership card was not working. While at the counter, I mentioned the ruined frozen foods from the previous month, whereby the manager apologized and told me to just bring in my receipt for the ruined frozen foods on my next visit, which I did. But instead of a refund, that day’s manager told me he also needed the empty boxes for him to be able to give me the refund. That was when I felt myself lose my peace, and instead of bubbling over with kindness and patience, I instead felt frustration and even anger —though, praise God, I did not show it or express it. Nevertheless, just to feel this awful emotion was enough for me to be very concerned.
The next time while at the checkout, I was again directed to go to the customer service counter, but this time I was laughing out loud. While they were trying to make sense of why my card was not working correctly, I spoke to the Lord and asked Him when these troubles with my card would all end. He stated very clearly, “When it no longer bothers you.” Ouch. So while still standing at the counter, He reminded me of a verse that He had shown me that morning during my time alone with Him. “Instead of your shame you will have a double portion, and instead of humiliation they will shout for joy over their portion. Therefore they will possess a double portion in their land, everlasting joy will be theirs. For I, the LORD, love justice…and I will faithfully give them their recompense” (Isaiah 61:7–8). Did you see it? He said, I will.
Though the Lord did not actually say it, there was an inner knowing that I had looked to the wrong source for my recompense. It didn’t say “They will” but it says, I will. Meaning the Lord will….
So immediately in my heart I acknowledged again that He was all I wanted and all that I needed. I did not need these people or anyone else to make things right or give me any recompense. Even though they had caused me loads of trouble or even that it resulted in hundreds of dollars of damaged frozen foods—I had my Beloved and He was all I needed. At that moment, not only did I stop looking for them to “make it right,” I adamantly did not want anything from them—I wanted all the blessings of my recompense to come from Him and no one else.
When that feeling began to flow over me, the Lord reminded me that these were Abram’s feelings too. It was when the king of Sodom tried to give him a reward by giving him the “goods” that were taken when they defeated Chedorlaomer. Abram refused, “Abram said to the king of Sodom, ‘I have sworn to the LORD God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth, that I will not take a thread or a sandal thong or anything that is yours, for fear you would say, ‘I have made Abram rich’” (Genesis 14:22–23). Abram (who later becomes Abraham) did not want to take away any of God’s glory by letting the king take the credit for any of Abram’s future wealth, which, as we know, increased greatly later in Abram’s life—that was secured due to his conviction to give God the glory.
Within about three minutes of this revelation, there at the customer service counter, the Lord did something that was so amazing and funny and incredible just to prove this principle to me. Something I knew I should share with you. In an instant, the woman who was helping me asked me why my card had only a one percent cash-back, instead of a two percent cash-back. I told her that I didn’t know that two percent cash-back on purchases was offered. So she turned the computer screen to show me the amount I got back last month, and what I should have gotten with the added percent. The amount doubled! At that point, she immediately changed it and I watched as God gave me a double recompense, more than double the cost of the spoiled food. It happened the moment I decided to let the Lord be everything to me once again!
And since He does things above what we ask or think, the next thing I knew was that this same lady began handing me all sorts of their promotional products that they give as gifts to their new customers!! I asked her what she was doing, and she said that it was the least they could do for all the trouble I had been through.
Do you see what happened? As soon as I stopped trying to get satisfaction from the source of my trouble (who “did not have it”) and turned to the Lord who is the ultimate Source of all we need, He flooded me with tremendous favor and a multiplied recompense, which He promises to every one of us!
That is what the Lord spoke to me in the car that day on my way home from the warehouse store—they don’t have it; they simply do not have it. He said that the people of this world are bankrupt in every way. Think about it. The people of the world (and most Christians) lack compassion, kindness, love, and everyone has limited resources, yet we foolishly keep looking to them for our needs. All the while our Lord, our Lover, and our Friend has an endless source of every resource that we need and want—available to us—when we simply look to Him alone!!
And every time we look to others instead of to Him, we find ourselves in even greater need when they fail to give us what we may need, deserve or want. That’s when we, too, end up bankrupt because by looking to others, we have pulled the plug, cut the tie, severed our Source, Him. “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).
So when the Lord brought the principle that “they don’t have it” to my mind this week, in reference to my ex-husband, I knew that I had failed to seek what I needed from my true Source. Instead, I had sought what I needed (and what I felt my children needed) from someone who “didn’t have it.” God showed me that as the Lord’s bride, He gives me more than I need so I don’t need to seek anything from anyone. Instead, I am expected, as His bride, to give to others in need from my over-abundance; my overflowing resources. And when we seek from any source who “doesn’t have it,” we too find ourselves without what we want and need and immediately become selfish and stingy—not a characteristic of the Lord’s bride.
When I asked the Lord how to make it right with my ex-husband, He told me simply to wait and that it was all part of His plan. I knew that His plan was to give me more understanding (as I write it down in this chapter), but to also use it in my ex-husband’s life to refine and change him so he too can begin experiencing His love. And it’s also God’s plan for me to explain this principle, teaching it to my children and every woman who reads this book.
The next morning I told the children (who knew about the incident with their dad) that it was entirely my fault. That I had tried to “take” instead of “give” when we had everything, because we had God who gave us all we want and all we need, and the Lord was my ultimate Husband and generous Father to them. And that he (their dad), right now, had nothing. And I proceeded to explain the principle of God’s giving us a double recompense when we look to Him rather than to others, and the testimony of my experience at the warehouse store.
Within a half of an hour of speaking to my children, my ex-husband called my youngest daughter to make things right. After he spoke to her, he asked to speak to me, and that’s when I was able to tell him that the incident the day before was entirely my fault because I should have just turned to the Lord for the things that I needed, instead of asking him. I could tell that he did not want to hear this because he is still trying to find his way back home to me (although he has ceased to pursue me outwardly). This gave me the opportunity, too, to tell my ex-husband how God takes care of all that I need and want since the Lord is my Husband now. At that point, my ex-husband tried to give me what I had originally asked him for, beginning with the website links. I thanked him kindly, but said that I did not need them. Then he said that he might be able to give us the computer, but again I said that if we really needed one, God would provide one or the children could simply go to the ministry office to use a computer there.
Then he jumped in, telling me that he wanted to be more available for the children, to which I replied that this was between the children and him, and had really nothing to do with me. I went on to say that I was wrong to try to get a better relationship for them because the one that the Lord had given to us (the children and me) was more than enough for the children, and it shows in the joy that is in our home and that radiates from their faces and voices. That’s when the tide had turned back and the pain left my heart, piercing his. Once I put the Lord back in His rightful place in my life, being all I want and all I needed, He then honored me even more!
After lunch, right in the midst of another ministry mini-crisis, I was led to a website I used to use but had forgotten about. There on that one site I was able to find all of the health products I needed, at a discount, and with reduced shipping (now and in the future)! Since I looked to the Lord alone, He had led me to one website instead of the three or four websites that my ex-husband had used. A few minutes later, I found I had a message on my phone from my ex-husband (that he had left before I spoke to him when I took the blame). The voicemail was a humble apology for my husband’s ugliness to my daughter and me, asking for both our forgiveness!
Here is this same principle in a verse most of us can recite, but so few of us can live by on a daily basis: “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippines 4:19). When we tell the Lord that He is all we want and all we need, we need to back it up with our actions and reactions. When someone does us wrong, which seems to happen every day, all day, we need to search our hearts: from whom are we trying to get what we believe we “deserve”—from God or man? God has everything; man has nothing (only what God gives him).
And, yes, it is true that God uses people and circumstances to give us our double recompense. Of course, I was grateful and very appreciative of the lady who gave me the double percent cash-back and the promotional gifts, but in my heart, I knew who had orchestrated it! I knew, too, who had refined my ex-husband and turned his heart to say that he was sorry.
The exciting addition to this principle is that when we are able to act and react properly, which results in abundance, we can then be channels of God’s goodness to others who are in need and who are completely bankrupt. “Many will seek the favor of a generous man, and every man is a friend to him who gives gifts” (Proverbs 19:6). When we are sought out, and choose to give generously, then we can influence others, by our example, to seek and pursue God to be their Source, which is evangelism and witnessing to others—all without a word.
This is the problem in today’s world, in regard to our Christian ineffectiveness; we seem to have a lot to say, but we do not back it up with the way that we act and react to others or deal with our difficult circumstances. This, then, makes us Pharisees. It also mocks God and His goodness, and it results in us being ineffective in evangelism and leading others to want to know Him too. But on the other hand, when we walk this principle out, even when we may mess up a bit like I did, we have a wonderful opportunity to let our light shine and create a saltiness that makes others thirsty for Him! “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men” (Matthew 5:13). If you’re being trampled, it simply means you’re no longer salty.
“As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for You, O God” (Psalm 42:1). Because of my association with many of you who are also RMI partners, my thirst for God continues to grow stronger each and every day. This is the same effect you (if you are salty) will have on those in your world. Our lives should radiate with joy, prosperity, and favor that is envied by all those who know us or know about us. It is only then that we can step aside and point to the true Source of our happiness—our Lover and Friend, our Lord and heavenly Husband.
This Person is only real when we allow Him to be real in our lives, when we truly become His bride. And as His bride, we will want for nothing. This is the message our lives, our lips, and the joy in our hearts that we must tell by how we live—that He, our Beloved, is all that any woman needs. There is no longer any need to run after a man to supply anything for us or to protect us. And not only will our needs be met above and beyond what we could hope, ask, or even think, all of it will come without pain or shame or regrets. Wow!
“Now glory be to God, who by his mighty power at work within us is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of—infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes” (Ephesians 3:20 TLB).
“God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!” (Ephesians 3:20 The Message)
The love that you see on television or in movies, or what is sung about in songs, is not real. It is contrived, due to unrelieved pain, shame, and rejection. And sadly, it leaves us in more want and in more need. Unlike the love that is available from our Lover, the source of all love, which has no painful or unwanted side-effects—and the Source never ends!
What about you? Are you still experiencing a need in your life? Then it is only because you have not gone to the true Source of everything.
Do you still experience pain, shame, guilt, condemnation, and tears? Then, dear one, you simply do not have enough of Him. The Lord is calling you to be His bride, not His wife. He wants to lavish you with love, compassion, kindness, and safety from all harm and everything that brings heartache. The only tears that you should shed are those that flow when you ponder how good God is and how He has blessed you.
Take time today, right now, to get even closer and more intimate with your blessed Bridegroom. He is just waiting to embrace you and wipe away your every tear and fear. Precious bride, He loves you!
In this and other chapters, I’ve mentioned that my ex-husband is “still trying to get back home to me” and I felt it necessary to share some insight. Though you or I may want my marriage restored again, what the Lord has shown me (again and again each time I seek Him about this), is that my ex-husband and my children’s father needs a true relationship with Him. As a former pastor, and a man well known publically, like many, is openly living in un-repented sin, due to his severed or never established a personal relationship with the Lord. And on many occasions has told me God cannot forgive him again, so he’s walked away from Him.
And even if some may judge me, I know that Who I need to be sure I am pleasing, is Who I follow and listen to along this new, never before, explored journey.
God allowed my new journey for all of our good, for my children, for me to learn, and especially for my ex-husband—all so each of us can find Him, His love, and understand Him more. Like most of you, it was only when I lost everything that I found what I really and truly needed, which was a Savior, and then later when He became my Lord, then even later my Beloved. Can I deny anyone this same blessing? Doesn’t a man need a relationship with Him too? Doesn’t a man deserve to know the Lord personally? Is this only about what a wife needs or all about RMI and what we believe is it’s ministry’s goal? The truth is, RMI’s goal has always been the same, which is to help each and every woman and man know the Lord personally.
Yes, God’s desire is to restore, but not just marriages and families. It’s restoring each of the individuals involved with Whom each person needs, Him only.
“The Lord turns the heart wherever He wishes . . .” (Proverbs 21:1) and this means our hearts, as women, can also be turned, by Him, too. So that husband’s can also say, “You [God] have removed lover and friend far from me; my acquaintances are in darkness” (Psalm 88:18). Which means, if any person, a man included, doesn’t turn to Him, then they too will say, “You [God] have removed my acquaintances far from me; You have made me an object of loathing to them; I am shut up and cannot go out” (Psalm 88:8).
The real danger is when a woman (or anyone) hardens their heart to what He is calling them to do. So as a minister, I must never interfere with what I see God doing in others and hope that in the process of Him taking me on this new journey, no one tries to interfere or judge me. I must never think for a millisecond that I know how His plan needs to be played out. “‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts’” (Isaiah 55:8–9). Instead, like Job, I will say, “I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted. Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge? Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. Hear, now, and I will speak; I will ask You, and You instruct me. I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; but now my eye sees You; therefore I retract, and I repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:1-6).