“A Gentle Spirit with a Giant Message, is how I describe Holly Smith. Women are drawn to her message because of her genuine love for Christ and her transparency portrayed in her testimony. The message Holly shares thru ‘The Cracked Pot’ will touch and bring freedom to women of all generations. She shares God’s message with a passionate commitment to change the lives of others in a positive way. She recently spoke at a Powerful Journey Women’s Conference. The evidence of the power in her message was shown as her session quickly filled with standing room only. As God continues to do a great work through Holly, she will be an added bonus to any program.”
— Phyllis Jenkins, Powerful Journey
“I believe God’s ultimate aim is to cause you to conquer your greatest fear. He does this by exposing the lie you believed. One lie is to look to yourself for ability and deliverance. I didn’t need a master’s degree to follow my Master’s decree to my destiny.”
— Holly Smith
“O God, do not keep silent; be not quiet, O God, be not still. See how your enemies are astir and rear their heads? Make them like Oreb and Zeeb, all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunnah who said, Let us take possession of the of the pasturelands of God.” (Psalm 83:1-2, 11-12.)
Wow, that was a coincidence to read that in Psalm 83! I had just been reading in Judges 6-8 about Gideon killing these princes and kings of the Midianites. They had taken over the land, ruined the Israelites’ crops, and killed his brothers.
As I pondered these enemies who had tried to take possession of God’s land, I asked for clues in how to pray for someone’s deliverance that I was perplexed about. What strongholds shall I pray against and help them get free? I paused and heard a whisper, “Pray against the Midianite leaders Gideon slayed!”
Excited, I ran home to look up the meaning of the their names.
Oreb-in Hebrew means raven. This word symbolized to me a death spirit. Like a vulture, the raven circles overhead looking for something dead to eat. It may also indicate a negative outlook and depression.
Zeeb-means wolf, head. I knew from my dream symbols that a wolf like a fox represented cunning, intellect; the tendency to introspect or go inward to logically figure something out (head). My pastor had said just last Sunday not to eat from the tree of knowledge because you could get caught up in your own thoughts rather than coming into God’s presence to be led by the spirit.
Zebah-means victim. The person I was praying for carried a victim mentality or self-pity about his situation. The Lord says we can’t be a victim and more than a conqueror at the same time.
Zalmunnah- means protection refused. What is protection refused? Self-protection rather than having God as our refuge and defense. Yes, that fit this person also. How many of us have been hurt and put up walls of self protection to keep pain out? The only problem is these walls keep God and others out at the same time. Basically, you are shut down and don’t feel anything. Embracing life involves a full range of emotions-joy and sadness.
What is my conclusion? These four enemies are trying to take possession of God’s pasturelands in us. I believe they attack more than just this individual I am praying for. If anyone identifies with these attacks, may I pray for you now also?
Lord, we thank you for this revelation of how to pray and ask that you would remove these enemies from our midst and from your land in the church and in each one of us.
You’ve given us divine weapons to demolish strongholds so we demolish any spirit of death, any darkness, negative outlook, or depression from our lives. We know you came to give us life abundant, joy, and an overcoming outlook to believe your promises and favor on our lives. Raise us from the dead by the power of your resurrection that we would bring life and hope to others. Help us to renew our minds by thinking on whatever is good, noble, and praiseworthy.
We demolish introspection and the tendency to go within ourselves for answers rather than inquiring for your guidance and being led by your spirit. We join our cognitive and intuitive sides of our brain to work in a complimentary, balanced fashion. Help us to become whole and derive our identity from you Jesus.
We want to be more than conquerors so we demolish any victim mentality or self-pity. We replace these strongholds with confidence that you are for us and working all things together for our good and we praise you in gratitude, taking every thought captive.
We also come against self-protection Lord and ask you to be our shield and great reward; that you would be the refuge we run to. Tear down the walls we may have erected to keep pain and hurt from us. Heal us of our wounds that we would choose life. Help us to risk living again, vulnerably and transparently, trusting in you to protect us from harm.
Help us Lord to be aware of these enemies and help us take back your pasturelands so your sheep can dwell in safety. May we enter into all that you plan and desire for us! In Jesus name. Amen
One night towards the end of our stay in Copper Mountain, I had a dream. In the dream, I was pregnant, despite my advanced age, along with another woman even older than I with gray hair, who was also expecting, Sarah? I conveyed my fear to her that my husband would object to being a new father at this stage of life. I asked her advice for a woman my age to be pregnant. She then issued to me a somewhat startling directive, with considerable authority: “Rest! Others will adopt this child and help with his care!” I knew this dream was God’s answer to my burning question. I was pregnant with a new outlook or spiritual growth which a number of other women would also adopt. They must cease striving, learn to enter God’s rest, and believe in God’s promises.
My husband and I were preparing to leave on a trip to Israel. I awoke that day, recalling a dream from the previous night. I remembered hearing a booming voice ask a question: “Do you want to be Sweet’N’Low or Equal?” This is not what I was expecting today. We had travel plans and I had to tie up a lot of loose ends. Nevertheless, God was attempting to start a conversation with me.
I didn’t want to deal with the probing nature of His question at that time. I was getting a vacation to the Holy Land. My toddlers had a safe place to stay with my mom which provided free time and rest. Despite my agenda, I knew what this thunderous question was about. This was a direct reference to my relationship with my husband. Was I going to be equal in my marriage or not? I had to choose if there was going to be any change. This was the theme of the trip we were about to embark on in Israel. I knew God was encouraging me to be Alan’s full counterpart as he would need my help and strength in the future, although at the time, neither one of us knew it. We had a tumultuous 16 day trip which ended in much growth and a truce. We battled to a standoff; he gained new respect for me. Although submissive, I was not to tolerate his overbearing dominance any longer. God had won the day by helping me express myself and conquering my fears of confronting conflict in my marriage by a simple question in a dream.
The apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 3:8 that he felt a burden to preach about the unsearchable riches of Christ. That scripture resonated in me. I wanted people to discover the peace that communion with God brings. I first had to learn what the unsearchable riches were, however. Like the dream in the previous example, I would have to learn that the riches came in a form I didn’t often readily recognize or welcome.
In the account of the Emmaus Road, Cleopas and a second man failed to identify Jesus although He was walking right beside them. They’d experienced a number of failed expectations which dulled their ability to identify the risen Christ. They may have expected a king or mighty warrior to rescue them. Instead, their Savior came on a humble donkey and was crucified. Unfortunately, I had also been guilty of these same delusions; I failed to see the presence of God in the midst of my circumstances, especially in times of distress.
The Holy Spirit is able to communicate profound truths in many simple ways. I had wrestled with feelings of rejection and inadequacy since childhood. I often felt disqualified as a result of some painful experiences I had as a young girl. My parents didn’t shame or demean me, but I had not achieved as much as my siblings, and I took on a rejected identity. Not knowing my value in Christ became the basis for a lifelong spiritual battle. Childhood wounds often provide an avenue for demonic attack. I felt like I was climbing out of a hole of condemnation most of the time only to be knocked right back in by someone’s hurtful words. God intervened one night, causing me to have a dream. I saw myself in a tight fitting leotard, which I began to remove. Initially, I thought it was my skin, but as I removed it, I realized I was also shedding an old mindset. I saw for the first time that something familiar had been put on me I no longer had to wear. I am very appreciative for the clarity of insight this image provided. The riches I received that day would sustain me for years to come. I decided to reject feelings of rejection and hate shame from that point forward. I realized after reading Hebrews 12:2 that Jesus despised shame, enduring the cross for the joy set before Him. He didn’t own the shame but carried it for us. He focused on the joy of freedom coming and His finished work for us. I am grateful to be a conqueror with Him. I felt like God was saying if I could sacrifice my “scars” and shame to Him, He could make it a place of healing for others.
One other example of God’s gift to me was when I first believed that the Holy Spirit was alive today and still communicating. I became so excited that I hounded the Lord every day on my jog to find my purpose and gift. I knew my destiny might be way in the future because I was raising two toddlers at that time but continued to ask. One night I dreamed in large typed letters the answer to my question about my gift: “Housecleaners over the Lord’s House”. To tell the truth, I wasn’t too thrilled because I had never been a very immaculate housekeeper but looking further into the scriptures I discovered I might help others with deliverance and cleaning up the issues of their “house”. God let me know then that I would be going through a thorough cleaning myself before I would be helping anyone! This revelation helped me so often stay the course when I continued for years working out my own inner healing. I did feel that no one could take that valuable word from me and I treasure it to this day.
I challenge you whether God comes to strengthen or equalize your marriage, deliver you from childhood wounds, or inform you of your gift or destiny to do what Jeremiah 33:3 says: “Call to Him and He will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things that you do not know.” Whether we hear His still, small voice, receive a word from the Bible, a song, or a dream, let’s welcome any form He comes in as riches from heaven!
Yesterday in a moment of weakness and lack of purpose, my husband and I began to question our journey-mainly because of the length of the trials and by looking at the prosperity of some who seem to have everything going for them. There was something in God’s word in I Timothy which brought me back to reality and the true meaning and fulfillment in life.
I Timothy 6:6-12
The greatest “profit” is to have the awe of God. Godliness with contentment is great gain. To have our necessities met is enough. For you, son of man, chase after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and humility. Fight the good fight of faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called… Don’t rely on your wealth but be willing to share and be generous and be rich in good works.
Does doubt ever creep into your life? If so, we often go back to satan’s question in the garden-“Did God really say?” In my case, did God really say for me to work on my writing, meet with people to counsel and believe Him for provision? I want to be obedient but it sometimes feels like I’m swimming upstream. I believe He has provided and will continue to in some manner but it’s not always as much as we desire or think we need to feel secure, is it? Can you relate? Whatever God is saying to you is what you should do but often we ask, “Did God really say?…”
We have to continually depend on Him and that runs completely opposite to our independent and proud nature. We get trapped by greed and our own desires. Wanting more actually pushes us away from faith. What or who are we trusting in? In the midst of these double-minded thoughts-I heard God ask a question-“What do you need money for?” What a funny question! Truly I wasn’t hurting or in need at the moment. What do I need money for-to be more self-indulgent? After all I was just given a trip to the mountains.
One of the days while on my short trip to Colorado, my friend and I were walking around the square in town and saw an artistic jewelry store going out of business. My friend was having fun trying on things and delighted at the lowered prices. She ended up buying several items. I resisted thinking I better just be happy to have necessities right now. I had been drawn to some pretty amber necklaces. When I got home my husband remarked that I should have bought something. That was a nice gesture since he knew our finances were tight. Next my sister gifted me with two amber necklaces which went with the earrings I already had to make a set! The nicest thing was she didn’t want any money for them and they were prettier than the ones I had resisted in the store. God outdid Himself again in His generosity and blessing. Does He care about the little things? Yes!
Another time on the trip I know I had angels watching over me. I accidentally left my iphone on the counter at a gas station while getting an iced tea to sustain me in my 13 hour drive. A Christian woman working at the station had my phone in safekeeping and actually fed exed it to me in 2 days! God was even covering my careless mistakes. Would I really like to be on my own and running my own life again? No!
I’m afraid my life would be a disaster! I’m grateful for Paul’s words to Timothy this morning and am glad to be in God’s watch care and following Him. After all, He is going to give you more than you could ask or imagine. So be content with what you have! Therein is great treasure, reward and peace to rest at night. You’ve got this, God! I’m yours! I want to be like Mary who treasured and pondered all these things in her heart and said, “ I am the Lord’s servant, may His word to me be fulfilled.”
My people, you’ve become anxious about what is next but I have told you I will be with you and I will reveal my plans soon because they are springing up now. Every lesson you’ve learned needs to be recorded because others don’t know how to cross the desert season they are entering. You will testify of my faithfulness throughout your lives and the understanding I have imparted/deposited in you. Put on your glasses of discernment because it will be an amazing and wild ride until the day we are united. Let others see what a surrendered life looks like as I provide and speak intimately to you and bring to pass what I’ve promised.
Is. 57:11 Is it not because I have long been silent that you do not fear me? (NIV)
Is. 57:11 Did you forget about me and become unfaithful because you were more afraid of someone else? Have I been silent so long that you no longer fear me? (Contemporary English Version)
This scripture seemed to stick in my mind this morning. It may be for more people than just me. Have you heard from God lately? Maybe we are too busy talking and asking for our requests. God is not our “genie”.
Is. 50:4b “He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught.” (NIV)
He gives the word to sustain the weary… One word from God can energize your whole life. Keep your focus to listen and engage in a two way conversation. God actually likes questions and challenges when we want to know more about him and his plans for us and those we are praying for… He sees an eternal perspective and knows what’s best for us.
“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.” (I Peter 4:12-13 NIV)
We need to learn to embrace our pain and not run from it because on the other side of that embrace is breakthrough and transformation. When life gets hard, we need to remember we are going through a refining with a glorious end around the corner. God is still on the job-we are in fact close to a huge breakthrough. The darkest hour is just before the dawn. Some things are coming to the surface in order to be cast off!
God uses these difficulties to enlarge our thinking. A higher way opens up to those whose hearts are set on pilgrimage. When you have stood in the shoes of suffering, it is in order to comfort those with the comfort you received. You are helping others overcome their trials and gain God’s strength. The word says we go from strength to strength till each appears before Zion. Surely you will be blessed when you follow Me, Jesus says, and you will do even greater things than I.