Quarantine: God's Special Time

BY: Deana Bell, Restored Marriage, Director and Marilyn Conrad (founder)
Years and years ago a Covenant Keeper reached out to us from Australia and wrote to us about a new government reform to their tax system and how it was concerning to her. The reform was called the "GST,” (Goods and Services Tax). This Covenant Keeper was already struggling to pay her bills and the proposed tax reform was threatening to put her in even further financial danger.
 
Before this reform was actually passed, she decided to pray one morning and ask the Lord for help. He responded very clearly to her that the second half of the year would be His “special time” for Covenant Keepers. In His economy, “GST” would mean God’s Special Time!
 
You might be wondering, "Special time for what?" As almost all people around the world are right now facing uncertainty in their finances and their personal safety, it’s tempting to believe that God has "left the building." You might have already lost your job, or been furloughed, or taken a pay cut. Maybe your entire company has shut down and you have no way to provide for your household. Separation and divorce during this perilous time can make things even more concerning. 
 
We have known for years that a woman's income is often reduced up to 43% when she goes through separation and divorce. Women often have to provide for their children while working full time. And these added responsibilities only multiply the emotional hurt, pain, fear, bitterness and rejection already existing as a result of an unwanted break-up of the home. So how can this be God's “special time” for Covenant Keepers? 
 
First of all, during times of uncertainty, we are often forced to look to God as our source for everything. We learn to trust Him, not our spouse or job, one day at a time, to be who He says He is. And His Word is very clear:
 
He is…
Jehovah-jireh, "The Lord will provide." 
  1. But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19)
  2.  Beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health, just as your soul prospers. (3 John 1:2)
  3.  Give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together,     running over, they will pour into your lap. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return. (Luke 6:38)
  4.  Bring all of the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open for you the windows of heaven, and pour out for you such a blessing, that there will not be room enough to receive it. (Malachi 3:10)
 
He is…
Jehovah-shalom, "The Lord is peace." 
  1. Be anxious for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)
  2.  In righteousness you shall be established; you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come near you. (Isaiah 54:14)
 
I'm wondering if you are feeling the same peace and comfort that I am after reading these six verses? In so much uncertainty, this is exactly what I need. If you are still feeling anxious, I suggest that you print out these verses and post them around your home. My bathroom mirror is my favorite place to hang Scripture. My kitchen cupboards often display verses that I am trying to grapple with or memorize.
 
I recommend that after you have read these verses, read them again and again, every time you feel anxious. Commit them to memory. You may be familiar with a part of Ephesians 6 that describes the Armor of God. One piece of that armor is the Sword of the Spirit. The Apostle Paul tells us that the Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. If we can recall and claim Scripture over ourselves in times of need, we are using our Sword of the Spirit effectively. 
 
What if you quoted Scripture to the enemy every time he tempted you to: 
  1. Doubt the word of God?
  2.  Doubt what God has spoken to you?
  3.  Feel anxious?
  4.  Feel afraid of the unknown?
  5.  Act without trusting God's goodness first?
 
Swing your sword, my friend. Swing your sword!!!
 
Remember what happened to Jesus in Matthew 4:1-11. The devil came to tempt Jesus after He has just finished fasting for forty days and forty nights. Jesus, fully God and yet fully man, must have been exhausted and weak after this experience. Do you remember how Jesus reacted to the devil's temptations? 
 
Jesus responded with Scripture and the devil left him.
 
And if our enemy the devil flees from Jesus when He responds with Scripture, don't you think that same outcome is available to us? 
 
During this "special time" we have a unique opportunity. We can learn to experience God's provision as we trust Him for our daily bread. We can learn to trust that "all things will work together for our good..." (Romans 8:28) When we see that the world around us is, as some would say, falling apart, we can trust that "no weapon formed against us will prosper," in Jesus' name. (Isaiah 54:17) That means that we need not fear sickness, destruction, financial hardship, or even death, as the Lord Himself will come to our rescue. (Isaiah 35:4)
 
If you haven't read Isaiah 43 in a while, I give it to you as homework. It is called, "God Promises to Rescue His People." I promise you will be encouraged. 
 
What's more, not only is the Lord here to provide for our physical needs, He is also here to provide for us emotionally. When we learn to let Him heal our broken hearts and spirits, He will restore us to wholeness. This is usually a process for most people. It certainly was for me. And although I am not a "finished work" by any means, I have personally experienced the Lord’s healing of my emotions and memories of the past.
 
My friend, as we are all stuck in stillness or isolation at this time, please don't be tempted to keep the TV on 24/7 or create busyness for yourself. Use this "special time" to ask the Lord to show you how to forgive and experience forgiveness on a much deeper level. He is so willing to do this, if you will let Him.
 
I can't think of any other time in my life, except when I was standing for the restoration of my marriage, that I have been this still. And it might surprise some of you to know that I often refer to my years of standing as "some of the best of my life." It was a very unique time in my life. Just like now, I was forced to be still. And although I approached it "kicking and screaming," I quickly learned that I needed to use it to my advantage. 
 
So much of my healing took place during the time I was standing. Yet from the outside looking in, it would have seemed like my life was falling apart. I can assure you that my husband, my children, and my friends and family were all looking at me to see how I would react to my impending divorce. And I can also assure you that not one of them got what they expected to see.
 
The once prideful, impulsive, quick-to-speak young woman was transformed into a woman of God. A woman of Grace, who learned to be humble. A woman of Peace, who learned to be slow and contemplative in decision-making. And a woman of Life, who learned to speak encouragement and blessing into those around me and, most importantly, myself.
 
Friends, this is TRULY a special time. One you might never have the privilege of experiencing again. 
 
As I conclude our time together today, please know that we at Covenant Keepers are praying for you. We are praying for you personally and collectively. We are praying for your needs, both physical and emotional. We are lifting you up when your arms are too weak. We are covering your spouse and your family in prayer. We are standing in TRUTH that this, too, shall pass, and that we will all come out on the other side, stronger, wiser, and closer to our Lord. 
 
Be blessed. 
 
Become better, not bitter. Become a victor, not a victim. 
 
We love you.
DEANA BELL:
Deana is currently one of the Directors of Covenant Keepers, International. She graduated from the Dove School of Leadership through Chesapeake Bible College and received her Pastor's license in 2019. Previously she and her husband, Koji, served as the Mid-West Regional Directors of Covenant Keepers and as small group leaders in that area. She has a degree in Secondary Education as well as experience in counseling from a biblical standpoint. For the last 20 years, she has also served her family as a stay-at-home mom and homeschool teacher. Deana's marriage has been restored since 2013.
 
She is passionate about having a relationship with Jesus and the Holy Spirit. She has seen many miracles in her life as well as in the lives of the people around her. At her core, she is an encourager and disciple of Christ, spending most of her days ministering to people and digging into the Word. She also speaks at conferences, loves to write, and teach the Word of God. She and her family currently live and attend church in the Charlotte, NC area.
MARILYN CONRAD:
(Founder and Retired Director of Covenant Keepers)
When divorce ended her 27 year marriage to her pastor-evangelist husband Marilyn found no place to go to receive healing or encouragement for restoration. As she searched the Word of God the Lord began to instruct her and give hope for the seemingly impossible situation.
 
Before long God began bringing others across her path who also needed help. She opened her home and shared what the Lord had taught her. The Lord taught her the importance of forgiveness and that it is a process. He taught her that forgiveness was a choice she had to make: an act of her will, regardless of how she felt. He showed her that forgiveness meant giving up her right to hurt. As she forgave she opened up herself to the healing power of Jesus.
 
Craig Hill, (author, minster, and founder of Family Foundations International) has said about Marilyn: “Marilyn is indeed a rare woman of honor. I have met very few Christians whose choices are governed by Jesus and His Word rather than by the choices of other people. Marilyn’s choice to either remain single or be reconciled to her husband has not been impacted by any decision her husband has made, including his remarriage. Very few people, even Christians, live their lives by absolute principles rooted in God. Most meander through life simply allowing the choices of others to determine their own decisions and destiny. Marilyn is truly one of the heroes of the faith in our time.”
 
Marilyn retired from Covenant Keepers in 2013. She makes her home in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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