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Anne Ballard: "He Hears My Cries"


Anne Ballard
Jul 11, 2022

From the Desks of Steve Shultz and Julie A. Smith:

Steve Shultz

The title of this word itself should encourage you. It has been a hard season of spiritual warfare for many, no doubt about it! But He hears our cries!

In this month of July, He is not only hearing us, but He is also guiding us, freeing us from fear, protecting us, and redeeming us.

Below, Anne Ballard delivers this encouragement and question for us to reflect on:

God desires for us to walk in the destiny and identity He created for us, and He is a master at making beauty out of ashes. Most of the time when we worry, we spend time thinking about situations that never end up happening. What would happen if instead of worrying, we chose to remind ourselves that God is fighting for us and we are being kept safe in the shadow of the Almighty?

Steve ShultzFind out how you can align yourself with these truths as you delve into this most uplifting word for the Body. (To Subscribe to the Elijah List subscribe here.)

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In the month of July, God wants to remind us that He is a God who hears us. He desires a deep relationship with His children and He sees all that we're facing. He is teaching us to align our words with His truth and walk in favor with Him. He has prepared us for just the moment we're living in and is freeing us from fear. He is our protector and our covering. This month, allow yourself to rest in His unfailing nature, knowing that He's the God who sees you and knows you.

He Hears Our Cries

"And will not God bring about justice for His chosen ones, who cry out to Him day and night? Will He keep putting them off? I tell you, He will see that they get justice, and quickly..." (Luke 18:7-8)

Over and over throughout the Bible, woven into different stories and struggles, this theme emerges: God heard their cries. The story of Rachel stands out as a compelling example. In this time period, men often took multiple wives, and a woman's value was typically connected to her ability to bear children. Rachel was the beloved wife of Jacob, but she was barren and she'd endured a terrible deception from her father. On her wedding day, Rachel's father disguised Rachel's sister, Leah, and told Jacob it was Rachel behind the long veil. Thus she and her sister ended up both married to Jacob, creating intense jealousy and family conflict. To make matters worse, Leah kept having children but Rachel had none.

In Rachel's story and many others throughout Scripture, God responds to His people when they cry out to Him. In Genesis 30:22, Scripture says that God listened to Rachel's heart cry and had compassion on her. After that, she gave birth to Joseph, whose wisdom and connection to God later would save the whole nations of Egypt and outlying areas in a time of famine. God ministered to Rachel's deepest wounding and area of lack and answered her heart cry. God heard the cry of Rachel's heart and gave her children.

He cares about the things we care about, and the desires of our heart. Throughout Scripture, God consistently answers the cries of the brokenhearted.

God longs for a relationship with us even when we're not looking for a relationship with Him. Psalm 106 says it succinctly in verses 43-44: "Many times you would have come to rescue them, but they continued in their rebellious ways, choosing to ignore your warnings. Then they sank lower and lower, destroyed by their depravity. Yet even so, you waited and waited, watching to see if they would turn and cry out to you for a father's help." The Bible presents our God as a highly relational, compassionate being who longs for connection with us, and longs to answer us when we cry out to Him. Scripture makes it clear: He is waiting to answer our cries.

Prayer is the manifestation of our relationship with our heavenly Father. This relationship is transformed when we believe that He's good, and believe that He's working on our behalf. God not only desires a relationship with you, He desires to answer the cry of your heart. Therefore, come to Him with your needs and desires.

What is burdening you right now? Are you (or someone you love) facing a difficult challenge? Whether it's financial, health related, relational, or a delayed dream in your heart, God wants to meet you in your place of pain and disappointment. The Bible is clear on the importance of prayer and that, when we present our requests to the Lord, He will hear us (1 John 5:14-15; 1 Thessalonians 5:17). Verse 45 of Psalm 106 wraps it up nicely: "And then, when You heard their cry, You relented and You remembered Your covenant, and You turned Your heart toward them again, according to Your abundant, overflowing, and limitless love." This is the Father's heart toward us, but we must come to Him.

If you have felt like your prayers are hitting a ceiling, or like you've been disconnected from the Father, this is your invitation to step back into intimacy with Him. Your prayers matter to God, and the desires of your heart are important to Him. Ask God to show you any areas where you need to change your thinking and talk to Him as you would a friend and a father. He is WITH you. (Photo via Pxhere)

Aligned with Heaven

"Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one's life on fire, and is itself set on fire by Hell." (James 3:5-6)

Recently, I was sharing with a friend a story of how God had moved miraculously on my behalf. My friend, who was believing for something big and seemingly impossible in her own life, said, "Those kinds of things just don't happen to me." I pondered her response, as it grieved my heart to hear her words. What accounted for this disparity between our experiences? I took some time to process it with the Lord. My own journey with the Lord has been profoundly shaped by learning the identity bestowed upon me by my Father, the authority that I carry, and the power of my words. It wasn't an overnight shift that moved me to start believing that miracles would become a normal part of my life.

However, I now possess a deeply held conviction that we create worlds with our words. This means that if we say something (and we believe it), we are actually co-creating with God through our words. Just as God created the earth with His words, we have also been given the power to create with our words. If we are saying words like, "I don't see miracles happen," or "I don't experience favor like that," then that is what we'll see manifest in our lives. But the opposite is also true. And when we say things like, "Miracles happen to me all the time," "I experience divine financial blessings," and "I am continually connected to the right people," then those things manifest in our lives.

I make crazy sounding declarations all the time over my life, and different situations based on the truth of God's Word. And I see those things come to pass. There was a season where any time I was meeting a new person or going somewhere new I would declare, "I walk in ever-increasing favor with God and man." This is based on Luke 2:52, which states, "...Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man."

I figured that if Jesus needed favor with God and man, I might also need it! So, I would declare this over my life and my situation, and eventually I believed it and I saw it manifest. This is the process of renewing our minds with truth. Jesus tells us in Matthew 21:21-22, "...'Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, "Go, throw yourself into the sea," and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.'" Our belief in what we are praying or declaring is tantamount to seeing it manifest.

James tells us that the tongue is powerful (James 3:5-6). He likens it to a great forest fire that is set ablaze by a small spark. It is incredibly powerful what we utter with our tongue, and it's only amplified by our belief! Let's intentionally use our words for good and not for evil. Let's believe the promises in God's Word, and let's avoid the temptation to develop theology based on our own experiences. What I mean by this is that if we know God's Word says something, even though we haven't yet experienced it in our own life, we can be tempted to believe our experience over God's Word. That is dangerous. Part of walking in the Kingdom is living in the tension between Heaven and Earth while still standing in faith that it can be "on Earth as it is in Heaven."

God is gently reminding us of the truth of His Word, and of the power and authority in our words. We can choose to make an agreement with Heaven or with our own experiences. God is inviting us to align with Heaven over our circumstances. This means that if our situation doesn't look like Heaven yet, there is room to seek out what God is doing. The truth is, we live in a fallen world, and there are so many things that can interfere with our promises (warfare, agreements, our own beliefs, curses). God rewires our thoughts when we give Him our bad beliefs.

This word is for people who are not experiencing Heaven on Earth (which are many). If you are still learning how to renew your mind with truth, this word is for you. If you know that your beliefs are limiting you, this is for you. If God has shown you that you've created your own theology around your experience but you don't know how to change, this word is for you. If you've been feeling hopeless, discouraged, or heartbroken, this word is for you.

You don't need to conjure up more faith. Simply ask God to give you the gift of faith and start speaking words of faith over your life. Identify any areas of doubt that you are struggling with and find scriptures to speak over yourself. Is it about a promise, God's provision, your health, or your relationships? Press into God's Word and write out the promises that are true about your topic. Is it a promise? "...He who promised is faithful" (Hebrews 10:23). Is it about God's provision? "And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19). Is it about your health? "...I am the LORD, who heals you" (Exodus 15:26).

Write as many out as you can find on your situation. Declare these in faith over your life. We know that faith comes by hearing, so if you don't believe (have faith) at first, then keep repeating these over yourself until your mind is renewed with truth.

Prepared for This Moment

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28)

Some people may be entering into a time that feels challenging and unexpected. Perhaps it is sudden health issues, financial strain, challenging work situations, or stress in relationships. In these moments, things may feel quite stressful, even to the point of being overwhelming. During these times, remind yourself of God's promises to you. You are never alone and He has prepared you precisely for right now.

Recently, I went through a harrowing experience: my mom needed emergency surgery. It was traumatic and frightening for several reasons: she's my only living parent; in the moment, I didn't have any other choice but to agree to surgery; and, with all the COVID protocols in place, I couldn't have anyone with me for the ten days that she was in the hospital, so I felt quite alone. All of a sudden, the Holy Spirit started pointing out things about my past that had equipped me PRECISELY for this moment. (Photo via Piqsels)

First, I have a background in nursing. In my time as a nurse, I was able to work with some strong thought leaders and highly confident physicians. Most people were intimidated by them, but I'd worked with them so closely and for so long that I was at ease with them. I also learned so much from them by asking them questions. As I sat with the Holy Spirit, I realized that I wasn't intimidated by a single doctor on Mom's case. On top of that, I had done a fair amount of research on different treatment options, and I was able to advocate for my mom to get the best treatment.

God truly is working all things together for our good and, in this moment, I had no doubt that He'd equipped me and was giving me every single thing I needed to help me make decisions, to comfort me, and to bring healing to my precious mom.

When the trials come, and come they will (John 16:33), trust in knowing that God has equipped YOU. He has prepared you for precisely this moment, precisely this time, and precisely this place. Allow the Holy Spirit to call to mind your experience, your connections, your precise knowledge, and your giftings which have prepared you for right now. He knows the end from the beginning and is weaving together the perfect tapestry of your life as only He can. Romans 8:28 says, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose."

If you feel like you're in the heat of battle, you're standing on the edge of a precipice, or everywhere you look, things feel challenging, then this word is for you. God is reminding you of how He's gone before you and how you already have what you need. Watch as He meets you and works situations and circumstances out on your behalf. In fact, some of the things that you feared were a "crisis," you'll realize were a false alarm, because God is with you. He is with you every step of the way.

Stand firm and watch as God has prepared you for such a time as this! Rest in the knowledge that He has prepared you for just this moment and He is working all things together for your good.

In the Shadow of His Wing

"Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty." (Psalm 91:1)

When trials come, we have a choice. We can align with our feelings and even the way things look in the natural (which often leads to fear or even despair), or we can align with God's word over our lives and circumstances. In moments when you don't know what is going to happen and things feel incredibly hard, trust in the knowing that He who promised is faithful.

In countless passages throughout the Bible (in Psalms and Proverbs in particular), God tells us that He will protect the righteous ones and that He will fight for those who love Him. In moments of adversity, it can be challenging to remember this, much less cling to this promise from Him. However, doing so is the path that leads back to your peace. Paul reminds us, "We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed" (2 Corinthians 4:8-9).

God desires for us to walk in the destiny and identity He created for us, and He is a master at making beauty out of ashes. Most of the time when we worry, we spend time thinking about situations that never end up happening. What would happen if instead of worrying, we chose to remind ourselves that God is fighting for us and we are being kept safe in the shadow of the Almighty?

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Anne Ballard
The Crowning Jewels
Website: www.thecrowningjewels.com
Email: hello@thecrowningjewels.com

Texas-born Anne Ballard worked as a nurse for seventeen years before fully embracing her creative nature. Having grown up believing that God only spoke through the Bible, her life was transformed with the personal knowledge that He still speaks today. As she experienced a revelation of God's love for her and the power of words to transform and heal, she began designing jewelry, partnering with the Holy Spirit to create a tangible way to bring Heaven to Earth. This is where her prophetic jewelry company, The Crowning Jewels, was birthed. Many people recognize her company as a business-ministry hybrid. She is known as a prophetic visionary with the drive to accomplish her dreams. Her mandate is to champion others as they discover their God given identity and fulfill their divine purpose. After living in Redding, CA for ten years, she recently moved back home and currently resides in Texas.

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