Gratitude vs Ebenezers

I can remember the moment like it was yesterday, though it was 5 years ago.

I was in the middle of a Beth Moore study called “Breaking Free”, sitting around the table with five women.  In the video, Beth asked “What if there was one thing God is asking you to give up, in order to move to another level?”

I knew immediately what that one thing was for me.  And the idea of giving it up scared, angered and excited me all at once.  For me, that one thing was giving up drinking wine. This one simple decision had the potential to change my social life, my friendships and even my marriage.  But I knew it was more than a whisper from God.

Back story: my Father was an alcoholic and I saw – and felt – many of the harmful impacts his addiction had on us.  Also, as a result of the abuse to his body, he died at the age of 64. Over the years, The Hubby and I had several times when we stepped away from mixed drinks, all alcoholic drinks for a season and at this point – drank only beer and wine.  I always observed The Hubby – and others – drink in moderation.  But not me.

So on this night during bible study, I made a decision to break the chain of generational sin.  I won’t tell you that it was easy, but with my family supporting me and the Lord directing me, it  has been life-changing.

I’m happy to talk with anyone who is struggling in the same area, but the power is not in the specific Best Yes, but in marking times and decisions in our life when God’s help led us to victory.

In 1 Samuel 7, the prophet Samuel and the Israelites found themselves under attack by the Philistines. Fearing for their lives, the Israelites begged Samuel to pray for them in their impending battle. Samuel offered a sacrifice to God and prayed for His protection. God listened to Samuel, causing the Philistines to lose the battle and retreat back to their own territory. After the Israelite victory, the Bible records: “Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen, and called its name Ebenezer, saying, ‘Thus far the Lord has helped us’  (1 Samuel 7:12).

What are the markers – or ebenezers – in your life?  This month, instead of just listing things we are grateful for or reciting a laundry list of blessings, let’s define those ebenezers and set up a stone.  Maybe even create one?

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