God’s Voice

Sermon Materials: God’s Voice

A Testimony by Marcia R. Showalter

I was blessed in beginning my Born-Again Life with my precious husband, Len, officially on September 19, 1981.  We were both Baptized in the Holy Spirit before that time by Russell and Barbara Linenkohl for which we will be eternally grateful.  They were our spiritual mentors and Barbara had such an impact on my life and still does even though she has gone on to be with our Lord, Jesus Christ!

It is natural for women to want their husbands home in the evenings, want some of their attention, or maybe a little help around the house.  This is especially true when you have little ones who provide you with little sleep with great demands throughout the day.  I had a successful career, earned a good income, and gave that up to become a stay-at-home mom.  We lived in a home that didn’t meet my parents standards, (wouldn’t meet mine today either) that was located off of a busy street. I gave up my car, downsized (that’s an understatement) and luxuries consisted of popsicles or going to Publix.

When Len accepted Jesus as his personal Savior, he did not just get saved, he got radically saved!  We began Bible Studies in our home; he began feeding the Homeless at the “Hill” area of Jacksonville Beach (That’s what it was called back then and he wouldn’t even let me drive through that neighborhood). Len was like a sponge wanting all that God had for him and wanted to give that same knowledge he learned away to others. I was more like a Brillo-Pad even though I tried to absorb and grow spiritually as fast and as much as he did, I couldn’t.  I had a toddler and was very sick; we’re talking severe morning sickness with my second pregnancy that lasted up to twenty four hours a day.  I can remember how frustrated Len was with me because he thought my faith was weak because I was sick. I recall having our oldest daughter, Sara, sitting beside me in the bathroom playing with some toys while I would sit with my head in the toilet and Len preaching over me. It is at those times when the gift of tongues is especially beneficial. Looking back, that season seemed like an eternity, but probably was just a matter of a few weeks. One day Len came up to me when I was in that same position, laid his hands on me, prayed for me, repented and cried for not standing in for me, filling the gap for me while I was under physical attack.  Almost instantly my morning sickness left!  That was a powerful lesson and one that proves to be a reminder again and again how important it is for husbands and wives to help one another when one is weaker than the other without passing judgment.

Having a balanced meal, you know – meat, vegetables, milk and maybe a dessert was a treat twenty five years ago and still is today. I can remember being very pregnant, Sara probably around 18 months old; I had spent a lot of time in the kitchen preparing a wonderful dinner for Len. I was tired, my back hurt, I needed a break from being with a toddler all day, and wanted conversation other than singing in phonics.  Len came home, said he didn’t have time to eat because he was going to minister somewhere, changed his clothes, kissed my cheek, and left!!  Me, being the loving Christian wife I am, slammed the door after him, thinking some things I would prefer not to share with you in writing.  I can still remember going back to the kitchen sink, standing and pouring my frustration out in a conversation with God, knowing He would see things exactly the same way I saw them.  Len’s priorities were way off! The nerve of him wanting to go and minister to a bunch of homeless people, drug addicts, and others that shouldn’t be more important than me (At least that’s what was in my heart at that time).

There are some moments in my life when I can tell you that I felt the presence of God, but I actually “heard” the voice of God as I stood there at the sink.  His words are etched into my heart forever.  God clearly said to me, “Who are you to come before me and my kingdom?” Wow! I knew it was God speaking to me because it filled me with an overwhelming peace, an instant peace, one that is difficult to describe. I immediately began to cry, repent, and pray for Len. Needless to say, when he came home, his wife was in possession of a different heart than when he left. It was from that moment on that our marriage changed, our ministry changed, and our life together changed.

One thing I have been able to experience over some twenty-seven years of marriage together is that there are many women that are doing exactly what I was guilty of.  They hold their husbands back from what God has called them to do. There are several men we know that have a definite call on their lives. Their wives are hindering them from doing the work of the Lord.  What if Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee and saw Peter and Andrew and they had told Him, “Let us check with our wives to see if we have permission to follow you or not!” You answer that! Are you praying for your spouse? Are you praying for God to use them, guide them and show you how to encourage them in the things He has for them?

The purpose of my little testimony is only to share the importance of letting go and letting God!  Our spouse is not our possession.  They are in God’s hands.  Len cannot meet all my needs, only my Heavenly Father can do so.

Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies.  The heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain.  She does him good and not evil all the days of her life.  Proverbs 31:10-12                 Pray and ask the Lord for guidance in praying for your spouse.  The Christian bookstores are filled with books on this topic.  We are our beloved’s biggest intercessors. As I pray for my precious husband not only do my prayers bring me closer to God, but closer to Len as well.

My prayer is that I continue to grow closer to the Lord each day and become more of the woman of God He wants me to be.  “Lord, please forgive me for my shortcomings and make them shorter each and every day!”