She Stands Alone

 “For many are invited, but few are chosen.” Matthew 22:14 (NIV, 1984)

Can you sense the Spirit of God moving, dear one? My soul has come alive with expectant anticipation! He summons His body to rise, to awaken from our complacent slumber and stand for the glory of His great Name. Our Lord desires to be witnessed throughout the earth, and He chooses to reveal Himself through you. Will you accept His invitation? Will you yield your heart to become one of His chosen?

Last week, I read this devotion by Glynnis Whitwer, and I felt compelled to share it with you today. Her words stirred my heart; I pray they will stir yours as well.



  "She Stands Alone"

Glynnis Whitwer

“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:58 (NIV)


I wiped beads of sweat from my forehead as I pushed the shopping cart towards my car. Unloading my groceries as fast as I could, I hopped in my car, hoping for quick relief. But the triple digit temperatures had seeped inside. Blasting the air conditioning, I pulled out of the parking lot on to a back street. That’s when I saw her. Standing alone.

A petite figure stood on the sidewalk in front of a brick building. A black covering draped her head, leading to a black dress, black hose and sturdy black shoes. Though she faced the building, I could see she held a Bible. Her head bent over the cradled book as she stood in the sweltering heat. Alone.

It took but a moment to pass her, but the image of her standing alone branded into my brain. Oh, I’ve seen people standing alone in front of buildings. But this wasn’t just any building. This wasn’t a bank or a restaurant. There was no bus stop in front. The women entering this building were broken, and weren’t going in for healing.

And on that hot summer afternoon one woman stood alone praying for them and the children they carried.

She stood alone for what she believed God told her to do that day. In the heat. Facing discomfort, odd looks and probably some derisive comments. Some might say her sacrifice made no difference. We’ll never know.

We’ll never know whose plans were changed by her prayers, by her willingness to stand alone.

Moments before I saw her, all I thought about was getting out of the heat. But her conviction challenged me to ask: For what cause am I willing to stand alone?

The sight of her touched me deeply because I know the exhaustion of battle fatigue. I’ve sat in frustration rather than standing firm. I know what weary feels like when it seems my efforts aren’t making a significant difference. I’ve felt cornered rather than like a conqueror.

Some days, I’m tired of standing for what I believe in. I think others would stand taller, or with less exhaustion. They’d deal with discouragement better than me. They’d show mercy where I show frustration. Maybe someone else could … maybe they should … take over for me.

That’s when the image of this humble woman comes to mind. And the Lord says to me:

You just think she’s standing alone. She’s not. I’m right next to her. And I’ll be right next to you. Keep standing.

So I breathe in and breathe out. I picture the precious sister standing in front of the building. Only this time, she’s not alone. In my mind I see Jesus standing beside her.

And on my own street, in my own life, in my own home, facing my own calling, wondering if I’m making any difference, I determine to stand another day. For a cause I believe in … for the cause of Christ … wherever He calls me to stand.

Dear Lord, thank You for reminding me that when I think I’m standing alone, I’m not. Thank You for being my hope in difficult times, and holding me up when I want to sit this one out. Help me to remember You are a very present help in times of trouble. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


This devotion is reprinted with permission of the author, Glynnis Whitwer.  To learn more, visit or





More than a Conqueror

No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. 1 Corinthians 10:13, NIV (1984)

In two and a half weeks I will have the remarkable privilege of sharing Jesus Christ with hundreds of women at the new “Women of Purpose” conference in St. Petersburg, Florida. It astounds me to think of the plan God has chosen for my life. One particular verse comes to mind as I consider my story. Romans 4:17 celebrates “the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were.”

Recently, Karen Hickam, the founder of Strive for Greatness who is hosting the conference, challenged each of the speakers participating in the event to consider the raw, painful moments of their journey. I prayerfully asked the Lord to take me back to some of my own struggles and allow me to feel them again. I asked Him to help me describe them in a way that others might feel them too and relate to my experience. Here’s where the Lord led me.

  • I sat under the shelter of my covered porch watching the rain wash over the earth around me and wondered briefly if God had opened the skies to match my tears. Thunder shook the sky, literally rattling the chair beneath me. I felt each crack shudder through me, every pounding blow echoing the ache in my own fragile heart. Doesn’t obedience bring protection and blessing, Lord? Could I have been wrong about Your will for me?


  • I swallowed hard, attempting to quiet the churning in my stomach by sheer will. It would be easier if I could just retch. Maybe then, it would at least be over. But it wasn’t over. It hadn’t been for . . . How many days, Lord? When will it end? . . . I can’t do this anymore . . . I’m not strong enough . . . forgive me . . .


  • Reeling from the sting of betrayal, I sobbed until my face hurt. Darkness hovered about me, undaunted by the break of day. Life had turned upside down. Everything would be different now, the comforting familiarity of my routine stripped away from me by one who claimed to love me. How could this happen, Lord? Of all people to do this to me . . . how could it be her?


Tears flowed freely as my fingers moved across the keyboard, the vivid memory of my darkness flooding back in poignant waves. This time, however, my tears did not find their source in anguish. They fell in worship of the One in whom I overcame.

My story isn’t marked by perfection, success and glory. Far more consistently, my story revolves around the breaking of my heart. But you see, my heart was bound in chains that needed breaking, and Jesus loved me enough to allow the pain so He could set me free.

Dear one, in your moments of greatest darkness, Jesus has not abandoned you. He is there with you, holding you, even when you can’t feel Him. Very often, what keeps you from recognizing His presence in your difficulty is the very chain in you He seeks to break.

In those moments of weakness, temptation comes. The enemy hisses in your ear that Jesus doesn’t love you . . . that He doesn’t even exist. He will do everything He can to convince you to turn back and abandon God’s plan for you. After all, just look at you; God has obviously already abandoned you.

His lies, dear one, come at you in those moments with such ferocity out of his own desperate fear. The enemy knows what lies on the other side of your victory: your freedom. As you press on, take hold of Jesus by faith, and allow Him to show you your way out (1 Cor 10:13), the enemy’s grip on your heart is broken. The oppressive chain that once bound you to him—your fear, your pride, your need for significance—falls idly to the earth with a thud. And you, dear one, will discover with elation that you are free—free to experience the all-surpassing joy of Christ’s fullness dwelling within you unfettered by the enemy’s chains. “Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy” (Psalm 126:5).

When the LORD brought back the captives to Zion,
   we were like men who dreamed.
2 Our mouths were filled with laughter,
   our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
   “The LORD has done great things for them.”
3 The LORD has done great things for us,
   and we are filled with joy.

Psalm 126:1-3


. . . In With the New!

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 

2 Corinthians 5:17

With faithful certainty, January rolls around each year offering the promise of a new start.  If you’re like me, you’ve probably had your share of New Year’s Resolutions.  Looking forward to a new beginning, we make promises to ourselves that we’re fiercely determined to keep.  And we actually believe we have the power to make each year different by the exertion of sheer will. 

Sadly, instead of glowing triumphs, we soon slip into the comfort of those old, familiar patterns and realize with disappointment that the life we’re living this year bears a remarkable resemblance to the one we thought we were leaving behind.   What if this year became the year that everything really did change?  Imagine the joy of living out the promise of 2 Corinthians 5:17 and discovering you have indeed become a new creation, “The old has gone, the new has come!”

For once, what is being held out to you is an attainable goal.  In fact, if you have approached the throne of grace and received Jesus as your Lord and Savior, it’s a guarantee.  That’s the very reason He came to the earth and bore our sins on a cross.   He died so that all who turn toward Him in repentance could leave behind who they’ve been and become a new and holy creation through the power of His Spirit. 

It sounds good on paper, but you may have discovered it’s a much more difficult thing to live out.  I can relate.  I spent 20 years under the banner of Christianity striving to be what God desired me to be.  I knew I was supposed to take on the righteousness of Christ, but I didn’t know how to make it happen so I did my best to change myself.  If you’ve tried it, I’m certain you also discovered our carnal nature will not allow us the victory for very long.  

Perhaps Jesus’ words in John 5:39-40 will lend some insight into the cause of our defeat:  “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life.  These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.”  I hadn’t realized it, but through all those years of attending church and praising Jesus with my mouth, I had never really given Him my heart. 

I thought I had.  I had convinced myself that saying all the right things and going through the right motions meant that I loved the Lord.  I had substituted knowing a lot about Him for truly knowing and loving Him, and then I wondered why I wasn’t experiencing any of the wonderful promises found in the Word.  I was guilty of Matthew 15:8, “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.”

Many of us have unwittingly slipped our feet into the sandals of the Pharisees, searching the Word merely to discover what we must do to please God and find ourselves in His favor.  Yet in our quest to please Him, we have missed the only thing that will.  He makes one priority petition of us in Matthew 22:37, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”   What if, instead of offering up our lists of things we will improve upon as this new year unfolds, we set our hearts and wills on one simple resolution?  What if we resolve to fall in love with Jesus, the Savior of our souls?

You may be wondering what difference it would make.  It makes all the difference!  John 14:21 tells us, “…He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.”   As we set our hearts on loving Jesus, He promises to demonstrate His love and show Himself to us in return.  It’s in the place of intimacy, where we truly know and love Him, that we give Him opportunity to show us who He truly is.  Absent of loving Him, we’ll miss seeing Him!

The apostle Paul said of his dramatic conversion into a new creation, “The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 1:14).   Jesus wasn’t only willing to pour His grace, faith and love out on the apostle Paul.  His heart’s desire is to pour them into you.  If your Christian walk is simply about duty instead of authentic devotion, it’s as if you’ve turned your back to Him and not your face (Jeremiah 32:33).   Picture with me that as our giving and gracious God pours His abundance over you, instead of absorbing His blessings, they’re simply rolling right off your back.  But if you have turned your face toward Him with a heart set on loving Him, you will begin to see Him as He truly is.  As He pours out His grace, faith and love, you are now in a posture to drink them in.   “Taste and see that the Lord is good!”  (Psalm 34:8)

Do not settle for allowing Jesus to remain a distant God who deserves worship but is not KNOWN.  We come to the cross of Christ for its resurrection power; the lie we have believed of the enemy is that resurrection power is only meant for our eternity.  Beloved, that power is meant for today, and it’s within you.  You need only believe and push past the outer courts of the sanctuary.  Press your way into the Holy of Holies, come into the presence of the King of Kings, and fall in love.  He’ll knock your socks off!  Don’t take my word for it, take His…

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.”  1 Corinthians 2:9

We will never live in His promises without learning to live in His love.  Make it the cry of your heart to love Him completely, with everything that you have.  He will be faithful to “circumcise your heart to love Him” (Deut 30:6).  And as He releases the enemy’s grip on your heart, you will find that it begins to beat in tandem with the heart of Christ as the life-giving blood of His sacrifice courses through its chambers.  You will become new, and there, with the loving gaze of the Father resting on you and the strength of Christ lifting you, you will soar!


Prince of Peace

Happy 2012! Christmas morning has come and gone, and now we rise to the dawn of a new beginning. Hope fills our hearts as we look to the potential of the year ahead, yet the uncertainty of its future reigns in our expectation to cautious optimism. We can’t allow ourselves to expect too much. Experience has left us a little gun-shy.

Dear one, when Jesus is the source of our hope, we can always expect greatness. “And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” (Romans 5:5, NIV 1984) Let us look to the Lord of Glory with unguarded expectation and allow Him to surpass our wildest dreams! (1 Corinthians 2:9)

We have reached the final week of our Christmas series exploring the four Names of God associated with Jesus’ coming from His prophetic birth announcement in Isaiah 9:6. Let’s review the entire verse and view it in context with verse 7.

“For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing it and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.” Isaiah 9:6-7

Notice that the first thing we are told about this child to be born is that government will be on his shoulders. Our ability to experience Jesus by every one of these names will be directly linked to our choice to allow Him to rule.

Jesus came to lead His people to glory. We become His as we acknowledge His deity and His sacrifice, repent of our sin, and make a decision to follow Jesus to a new life. The moment that we put our faith in Jesus, surrendering our lives to His leadership, we are sealed as His own by the Holy Spirit—our Wonderful Counselor, the power of Mighty God comes to rest within us, and we become eternal sons (and daughters) of glory, belonging forever to the Everlasting Father.  And . . .

“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.” Romans 5:1-2

Jesus becomes our Prince of Peace as our broken relationship with Holy God is restored, our sins are forgiven, and we enter the realm of divine fellowship with our Creator. And still, He offers more! As we allow the Prince of Peace to rule and reign within our hearts, trusting Him through our obedience, some wonderful fruit begin to emerge in our lives.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

Trusting Jesus to lead allows God to FILL us with joy, peace, and hope! Beloved, your heart is not meant to remain empty. Allow God, through the gift of His Son, to flood it with joy . . . to set it at rest with His peace . . . to heal the ache of disappointment with renewed hope and glorious life(Proverbs 13:12)!

Proverbs 14:30 teaches that, “A heart at peace gives life to the body.” The absence of peace robs us of our ability to find joy in what we have. We will not be content, even when love abounds, prosperity comes, and life is kind. The sin nature within us will always crave more and will send us in pursuit of it, even if it costs us the blessings we already have.

In Christ, our souls have the ability to finally find rest and end our destructive cycles. Jesus said in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

Jesus has given us His peace. So, how do we claim it? Isaiah 9:7 holds the key. The increase of His peace accompanies the increase of His government. The more we yield to the authority and leadership of the Holy Spirit, the more peace will abound. And as peace abounds, so will the life that springs from it (Proverbs 14:30). As we trust Jesus through our obedience, allowing Him to take His rightful place on the throne of our lives, joy, peace, and hope will follow in our wake.

“Peace on earth” must begin within the hearts of individuals. The kingdom of heaven is coming; in fact, it’s already here. It’s within all who have confessed Jesus as Lord. Remember,

“Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing it and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.” Isaiah 9:7

Until He returns to claim His kingdom, we are His ambassadors of peace. May we humbly surrender our wills to His authority, that His glory may be revealed!

Submit to God and be at peace with him; in this way prosperity will come to you.” Job 22:21