Good Morning Gorgeous,
It’s a brand new day. A fresh start!
I’ve been battling some serious exhaustion, and also struggling through my morning prayer and bible reading routine. Some days its been nearly impossible for me to rise early and get in quiet time alone with Jesus.
I’ve shared before that I get up early to pray, read, and write because it’s pretty much my only chance for uninterrupted time with God. I know peope choose to spend time with Him at all different hours of the day, but for me those early hours are when I hear Him loudest, feel Him closest, and receive real peace that can be tapped into all day.
So it only makes sense that since my time with God makes such an impact on the wellness of my soul, it would be under attack.
And I believe that the enemy strategically attacks our time with Jesus because that’s where the POWER is. When you hit your knees and call on Jesus, you are battling with a weapon no power of hell can overcome.
You can try to solve a problem 101 ways with human wisdom, and fail time and time again. Then, when you humbly get before the throne of God and invite Him in to do what only He can do, suddenly, peace invades, and Holy Spirit wisdom provides new solutions, new perspectives, and new ideas that weren’t there previously. If the enemy can keep us from plugging into the power source of our peace, our healing, our power, our instructions, our wisdom, and everything else God has for us in His Presence, he weakens us and prevents us from full breakthrough and destiny.
Gorgeous girl, fight. Relentlessly guard and battle for your time in the Word and in Prayer and in Worship. Be relentless in your pursuit of the Lord. Your faith WILL be rewarded.
There are many stories in the New Testament of people relentlessly chasing down Jesus. And whenever He saw the great lengths people went through to reach Him or the trust they had that HE was the answer, He was moved to compassion and mercy.
Perhaps one of the greatest expressions of relentless pursuit was the woman who had been bleeding for 12 years. I have shared this story from the perspective of how Jesus spoke to her identity and called her daughter thus elevating her and allowing her to have touched his cloak. He pardoned her transgression of touching his cloak and breathed brand new identity into her.
But today I am looking at this story through the perspective of relentless pursuit. This woman was desperate, and there were mountains of roadblocks standing between her and Jesus.
In the culture of the times, a woman who was bleeding was considered unclean and no one could touch her. She was not able to be touched by even her closest relatives until her bleeding stopped and she went through a time of cleansing. This was the expectation for every woman. They were to separate themselves from others during their time of bleeding and then afterwards for a time of purification and cleansing before they resumed normal activity.
For this woman, this meant she hadn’t cooked with her relatives. She hadn’t shared meals. She hadn’t been to the temple. She hadn’t been to the market. No one had been allowed to hug her or touch her for 12 years. Can you imagine the isolation? The loneliness and feelings of shame and perpetual dirtiness must have been a heavy weight. She had already given everything she had to doctors trying to be cured. Nothing had worked.
There were no disposable hygiene items, no running water, and the culture viewed her as “dirty” and unclean. She had no way of becoming “clean” again unless the bleeding stopped.
Then, she hears of Jesus. The man whom people are calling the long awaited Messiah and He has the power to heal. The town is talking about how blind men see and deaf men hear. Leprosy, one of the most defiling and also considered “dirty and impure” skin diseases is also being healed by Him. Imagine her hope. Maybe it was only a flicker. Maybe just a tiny ember. But enough for her to move. She had to move her feet in faith and chase down her Messiah.
She had to break cultural norms, push through roadblocks like the fact that she wasn’t allowed to leave her home and definitely not allowed to touch another person.
She had to devise a plan. She had to believe that this could actually work. Why would she risk further persecution and punishment if she didn’t have faith that this could be her answer, her healing, her breakthrough?
And back to the 12 years. That is a long time to sit in agony. We don’t even know if there was physical pain with her condition, but over a decade of being completely dependent on her family yet isolated from family activities, is pain enough. 12 years, no healing. 12 years, no answered prayer. 12 years, everything she had of value, spent. 12 years STUCK in her illness and shame.. until…. she moved.
Gorgeous friends in Christ, when we feel stuck, alone, like healing is no where to be found, like the enemy is “all up in our face”, like it’s hard to pray, like we are losing the battle, like everything is hard, or like there are multiple roadblocks in the way between us and Jesus…. when those feelings come, I urge you and I urge myself to do what the woman did. Move. Be relentless. Go after Him.
Get up, push through, battle hard, get into the crowd, push through all of it, and touch the garment of Jesus.
She was not allowed to go into town. She was not allowed to travel. She was not allowed to touch others. Yet, that ember of faith inside of her was enough for her to dress up maybe even disguised in some way. And then, leave the safety of her room that she has been in for all of those years. She walked away from the safe home into town where she could be called out at any time. She saw the crowd and instead of tunning back, she pushed ahead. She pushed and reached out for just one touch. And the touch changed her whole life.
Jesus stops and demands to know…”Who touched me?!” At this point, she could have run in shame, but I don’t believe she felt any shame or even fear once she had one touch of Jesus. I think she would have done anything to come forward and reveal herself to Jesus. Why? Because everything changes in His Presence. She was drawn to Him despite everything that had kept her in isolation previously. She came forward and in her boldness, she recieved identity as well! “Daughter.” He calls her daughter! She came to him an unclean, isolated, lonely, bleeding woman and in His Presence, she is HEALED of an affliction no other person on earth had been able to heal, and then RENAMED, “Daughter of the Lord!”
That power, that SAME power is accessible by you and me in the Presence of the Lord. And because of Jesus and His sacrifice, we have been given access to Him anytime, anywhere.
And yet, just as satan tried to keep the bleeding woman from Jesus, he tries to keep us away too.
Just as she relentlessly pushed through, I am devoted to being relentless too. I will push through busyness, tiredness, chaos, fear, distraction, and every other roadblock that the enemy puts in my path to relentlessly chase after my time with Jesus.
He has so much for me there. Everything changes when I get before Him. He is the same Jesus meeting with me as the Jesus who healed the bleeding woman. He is gentle, kind, powerful, and He gives me a new identity that the world cannot offer.
Today’s I am statement. I am relentless in my pursuit of Jesus. I am relentless as I chase after Jesus and all that He has for me.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Make us bold enough to come after You. Give us faith that makes us move out of comfort, faith that makes us leave fear in the dust as we come after You and ALL that You have to give us. Just as the woman came for healing and left with a whole new identity so You also have things for us beyond what we pray for. Let us be bold enough to come and receive from You. In Jesus’s name, Amen.