October 10, 2018

Are You a Yes Girl?

JONATHAN PITTS

“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12 (NIV)

“I am a yes girl. When God asks me to do something … no matter how crazy, uncomfortable, or unusual it may seem, I say yes (but not always perfectly). I am learning that it is in those moments of obedience that we get to experience the abundant life promised.” — Wynter Pitts

My wife wrote these words on Instagram, just 14 days before she suddenly passed from death to life in my arms on July 24, 2018. With a heart full of joy and gratitude for what God had done in her life, her physical heart failed, and she found herself at Jesus’ feet, leaving my four daughters and me here on earth.

Her death was sudden and tragic. It broke our hearts.

We had celebrated 15 years of marriage less than a month earlier. And our four daughters are still so young (ages 14, 11, and 9-year-old twins). In a moment’s notice, our world stopped and then continued in slow motion for a time.

We were left reeling.

But Wynter was a yes girl. I’m thankful I was able to watch her make thousands of yes decisions over the years.

• She said yes to Jesus at just 5 years old on March 10, 1985. She’d have lots of highs and lows before meeting Him face to face, but He kept her soul secure and her path clear until that day.

• She said yes as a young girl when He dropped a desire in her heart to write. Later when we were dating, she told me she wanted to write a book. When I asked what it would be about, she simply said, “I don’t know,” but remained confident in her calling.

• She said yes to me in marriage on June 27, 2003, believing God brought us together. I learned after her passing that she told one of her book editors I was her phenomenal phenomenon. Truth is, she was God’s gift of grace to me.

• She said yes when the Lord asked her to quit her job to stay home with our four girls. It didn’t make sense at the time — her take-home pay was half our income — but she was confident the Lord spoke. Her confidence became mine, and God abundantly provided, blessing her work from home more than we ever thought possible. Her yes to come home maximized her influence in each of our girls’ lives.

• She said yes when God told her to create a small resource to entertain, inspire and teach our girls and those under her influence. What began as a cute project turned into a bi-monthly magazine that’s been reaching girls all over the world for more than seven years. Her yes often kept her up into the early hours of the morning, but it didn’t matter because God was asking.

• She said yes when the Lord upped the ante and asked her to write her first devotional for girls. In the next five years, she published seven books, with two more releasing posthumously.

• And she said yes again just a month before she passed from earth to heaven. I’d left an incredible job and ministry I love in Dallas to join the pastoral staff at a church in Nashville. It meant leaving her family and all her comfort behind, but God was asking, and she was a yes girl. She gave me the confidence to say yes, too. Her yes is now presently the greatest demonstration of love I have ever seen from a church family. The church has embraced us and become the hands and feet of Jesus to me and the girls. Her yes has given us a new place to heal and begin anew.

I like to think Wynter made her final yes right before entering the gates of heaven. That she saw Jesus face to face, and though the decision to leave her daughters and me behind was difficult, she said yes … because God was asking.

These “yeses” have stood out to me over the years as I’ve admired my Proverbs 31 wife. Wynter lived out Psalm 90:12, “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” She lived each day prioritizing God’s calling on her life, which made it easier for her to say no to other things.

Because she said yes to God, now we can say, “Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate” (Proverbs 31:31, NIV).

May the same be true of you as you say yes to God, one request at a time.

Heavenly Father, thank You for always being beside me, asking me to respond to Your call. Thank You for giving me the courage to say yes. Give me discernment, and grace me with Your presence along the way. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:

Philippians 2:13, “It is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” (NIV)

Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust the Lord completely, and don’t depend on your own knowledge. With every step you take, think about what he wants, and he will help you go the right way.” (ERV)

RELATED RESOURCES:

With God’s Girl Says Yes: What God Can Do When We Follow Him, by Wynter Pitts, help young girls discover the incredible life God has waiting for them when they choose to follow Him.

CONNECT:

Wynter’s legacy and ministry continues through For Girls Like You, a Christ-focused magazine and ministry for girls and the parents who raise them. Find out more at www.forgirlslikeyou.com or via social media, @forgirlslikeyou.

Enter to WIN a copy of God’s Girl Says Yes. To celebrate this book and honor Wynter’s influence, her publisher is giving away 5 copies! Enter to win by leaving a comment here. {We’ll randomly select 5 winners and notify each one by Monday, October 15.}

REFLECT AND RESPOND:

What is God asking you today that requires your “yes”?

© 2018 by Jonathan Pitts. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Harvest House Publishers for their sponsorship of today’s devotion.

Click here to view our policy on 3rd party links.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
630 Team Rd., Suite 100
Matthews, NC 28105
www.Proverbs31.org

WORD FOR THE DAY – FOOFARAW

foofaraw \FOO-fuh-raw\ (noun) – 1 : Excessive or flashy ornamentation or decoration. 2 : A fuss over a matter of little importance.

“A somber, muted descending motif opens and closes the work, which is brief but effective. It provided much needed relief from the fanfares and foofaraw in which brass-going composers so often indulge.” — Philip Kennicott, ‘Brass Spectacular is a Spectacle of Special Sound’

Foofaraw is perhaps from Spanish fanfarrón, “a braggart

ENCOURAGEMENT FOR TODAY

September 27, 2018

Is This News or Truth?

LYSA TERKEURST

“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’” John 14:6 (NIV)

News and truth aren’t always one and the same.

I’m learning this through a medical situation I’ve been facing over the last year. It all started with words from my doctor that I never expected to hear.

“Lysa, I’m so sorry. You have cancer.”

I wish I could properly describe what happened in that moment. Everything around me got incredibly quiet and seemed to move very slowly. I could hear the doctor continuing to talk, but I couldn’t make out his words. I could feel words trying to form in my mouth, but there was no energy to actually speak. I knew I should probably cry, but no tears seemed available.

I am absolutely a woman who believes with all my heart that the presence of God is in the midst of my life. But in that moment, He felt distant and mysterious. I just felt stunned. And then I felt okay. And then I felt stunned again.

I wanted to hold it together. But then falling apart seemed quite reasonable.

It’s scary when doctors shock you with test results, and you don’t know what the future holds.

In the days that followed my cancer news, God tenderly reminded me of an email my sweet friend Shaunti Feldhahn once sent me about another difficulty I was walking through. Her note said, “Lysa, this is news. This is not truth.”

Wow.

I’ve always thought of news and truth as one and the same. What the doctor gave me was news. Honest news, based on test results and medical facts.

But I have access to a truth that transcends news. The restoration that is impossible with human limitations is always possible for a limitless God. Truth is what factors God into the equation.

So, I find myself looking at the word impossible a little differently today.

“Impossible,” in light of Shaunti’s note, could be completely different if I just stick an apostrophe between the first two letters. Then it becomes I’m-Possible. God is the Great I AM. Therefore, He is my possibility for hope and healing.

I’m-Possible is a much more comforting way to look at anything that feels quite impossible.

I suspect many of us have things in our life that feel impossible. Maybe you just got some bad news. News of an impossible financial situation. News of an impossible job situation. News of an impossible kid situation. News of an impossible friend situation. News of an impossible medical situation.

Whatever news you just got or will get, I pray Shaunti’s advice helps you, too.

That is news.

And this is God’s Truth:

I AM THE WAY AND THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE.

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

I AM FOREVER FAITHFUL.

“He is the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them — he remains faithful forever” (Psalm 146:6, NIV).

I AM WITH YOU.

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10, NIV).

I AM HOLDING YOU.

“Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand” (Psalm 73:23, NIV).

I AM YOUR HIDING PLACE.

“You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance” (Psalm 32:7, NIV).

One of the greatest comforts to me through all this has been knowing that somehow, God will use this for good. And that God will be my possible in the midst of what can sometimes feel so impossible.

Of course, I still have those less spiritually secure moments when I feel like I’m going to lose my mind. And cry. And pitch a little hissy fit.

But how thankful I am for the Great I AM. The One who will absolutely “Guide me in [His] truth and teach me” (Psalm 25:5a, NIV).

I love you, sweet friend. And I’m praying for you today. Praying that every time the word impossible creeps up and starts to steal your hope, you will see the words I’m-Possible and hold on to Him.

Dear Lord, You are I AM, I’m-Possible. You are the Way, the Truth and the Life, and You are forever faithful. Thank You for being with me always, holding me close and being my hiding place. Help me lean on these truths when the news I receive feels impossible. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:

Psalm 25:5, “Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.” (NIV)

RELATED RESOURCES:

Do you ever struggle with the fact that your life doesn’t look the way you thought it would? Instead of being pulled into the anxiety of disappointment, discover how to better process unmet expectations and other painful situations with help from Lysa TerKeurst’s newest book, It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way. Pre-order your copy here today, and get the first 3 chapters immediately!

CONNECT:

Find real-life encouragement when you connect with Lysa TerKeurst here on Instagram.

REFLECT AND RESPOND:

Which truth Lysa shared about God, the Great I AM, do you most need to cling to right now? Join in the conversation here  and then be sure to write it down and carry it with you this week — focusing on and memorizing the Truth.

© 2018 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
630 Team Rd., Suite 100
Matthews, NC 28105
www.Proverbs31.org

AUDACIOUS FAITH – DAY 1

For the next fews days I invite you on a journey to the miraculous with Steven Furtick through his SUN STAND STILL Devotional.

The Prayer That Stopped the Sun

Right here on Day 1, I’’m going to throw out a challenge to you: If you’’re not daring to believe God for the impossible… you’’re sleeping through some of the best parts of your Christian life. And further still, if the size of your vision for your life isn’’t intimidating to you, there’’s a good chance it’’s insulting to God. You should be living by audacious faith every day. Audacity is not just for “elite Christians.” It’’s intended for every believer. So today we’’re beginning a spiritual journey toward trusting God for what seems impossible. I’’m thrilled to think about what it’s going to do for our lives and our world.

A story from the life of Joshua serves as our template for audacious faith.

The Israelites unleash a surprise attack on the Amorites, and right from the beginning the battle goes well. But as the sun sinks toward the horizon, General Joshua faces a decision. The victory isn’’t complete, and once it gets dark, the rest of the Amorites will slip away. Joshua sizes up the situation and delivers one of the most gloriously unorthodox prayers in the Bible. He has the audacity to ask God to make the sun stop in the sky. To freeze time on behalf of His people.

And God gives Joshua exactly what he asked for.

With everything in me, I believe God still desires to make the sun stand still over the life of every believer. Obviously, not in the unique way He did for Joshua, but in ways that are equally spectacular (although not always quite as dramatic), God is perfectly willing to perform the impossible in our everyday lives. If we have the audacity to ask.

Is there something that is seemingly impossible that you’’d like to see God do through you? Maybe God has already been working in your spirit, planting a desire, sparking ideas about the much bigger things He wants to accomplish.

There’’s nothing our world needs more desperately today – —in individuals, families, businesses, churches, and communities— – than God’s saving, supernatural acts. And God is ready to act if we will be bold enough to ask, not just for a good day or a better life, but for the impossible and then will step forward to act in audacious faith.

“It wasn’t long before My-Master-Zedek king of Jerusalem heard that Joshua had taken Ai and destroyed it and its king under a holy curse, just as he had done to Jericho and its king. He also learned that the people of Gibeon had come to terms with Israel and were living as neighbors. He and his people were alarmed: Gibeon was a big city—as big as any with a king and bigger than Ai—and all its men were seasoned fighters. Adoni-Zedek king of Jerusalem sent word to Hoham king of Hebron, Piram king of Jarmuth, Japhia king of Lachish, and Debir king of Eglon: “Come and help me. Let’s attack Gibeon; they’ve joined up with Joshua and the People of Israel.” So the five Amorite (Western) kings—the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, and the king of Eglon—combined their armies and set out to attack Gibeon. The men of Gibeon sent word to Joshua camped at Gilgal, “Don’t let us down now! Come up here quickly! Save us! Help us! All the Amorite kings who live up in the hills have ganged up on us.” So Joshua set out from Gilgal, his whole army with him—all those tough soldiers! GOD told him, “Don’t give them a second thought. I’ve put them under your thumb—not one of them will stand up to you.” Joshua marched all night from Gilgal and took them by total surprise. GOD threw them into total confusion before Israel, a major victory at Gibeon. Israel chased them along the ridge to Beth Horon and fought them all the way down to Azekah and Makkedah. As they ran from the People of Israel, down from the Beth Horon ridge and all the way to Azekah, GOD pitched huge stones on them out of the sky and many died. More died from the hailstones than the People of Israel killed with the sword. The day GOD gave the Amorites up to Israel, Joshua spoke to GOD, with all Israel listening: “Stop, Sun, over Gibeon; Halt, Moon, over Aijalon Valley.” And Sun stopped, Moon stood stock still Until he defeated his enemies. The day GOD gave the Amorites up to Israel, Joshua spoke to GOD, with all Israel listening: “Stop, Sun, over Gibeon; Halt, Moon, over Aijalon Valley.” And Sun stopped, Moon stood stock still Until he defeated his enemies. (You can find this written in the Book of Jashar.) The sun stopped in its tracks in mid sky; just sat there all day. There’s never been a day like that before or since— GOD took orders from a human voice! Truly, GOD fought for Israel.”

‭‭Joshua‬ ‭10:1-14‬ ‭MSG‬‬