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Jennifer Maggio Christian Blog and Commentary

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Jennifer Maggio

Jennifer Maggio is a mom to three, wife to Jeff, and founder of the national nonprofit, The Life of a Single Mom Ministries. She is author to four books, including The Church and the Single Mom. She was named one of the Top 10 Most Influential People in America by Dr. John Maxwell in 2017 and 2015 and has appeared in hundreds of media venues, including The New York Times, Family Talk Radio with Dr. James Dobson, Joni and Friends, and many others. 

Discerning the Voice of God

  • 2023Nov 22

Have you ever wondered if you are in alignment with God’s instruction? Have you wondered if that little voice in your head was the devil or God? Have you heard something in your spirit man, then second-guessed whether or not it was God? Or maybe you’ve wondered whether or not you were in God’s will?  

Some of us have even cried out to God in our journey with questions, like, “Where are you? Do you hear me? Do you even care?” 

 Today, I want to give you 9 principles of learning to truly hear the voice of God in your life.  

  1. Don’t be double minded // James 1:5-8 says “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.”  Your faith cannot be in your job, relationship status, parents, grandparents, the pastor, or your church, and then expect to be able to sit and hear the voice of God. Your faith must stand in God alone. He knows your heart. He knows when you really desire to please him and really do want wisdom about a matter. God will not withhold good gifts from his children. He wants you to seek him and trust him. He wants to talk to you, so do not be double-minded. Do not be a fair-weather Christian. Do not simply seek God’s voice and attempt to honor him, when it’s convenient or easy. Seek to honor him and obey him, even when you are having to stand against the crowd or even when it means you are going to have to walk out an increased measure of faith. This is especially true, when God is asking obedience of you, when it seems to make no sense in the natural.  

  2. Practice obedience // There are two components of practicing obedience. 

    The first component is in laying down sin. This is going to be obeying what God has said to do in His written word, what he has already laid out long ago. The Bible gives us instruction of what is pleasing to the Lord and what dishonors him. If we don’t lay down sin, it clouds our view. It muddles what we can actually hear. In order to hear clearly, we must remove any barriers of sin in our lives.

    The second component of obedience is in obeying new instruction by the Holy Spirit. This means not only practicing what the Word has told us, but also following the prompting of the Holy Spirit through your own life, when we are asked to do something.   

    There is instruction from the written word of God (known as Logos), e.g. do not commit adultery. Likewise, there is instruction through the Spirit of God (known as a Rhema word), e.g. don't go to Sarah’s house tonight. Both logos and rhema are the Word of God, but the former is God's Word recorded in the Bible, while the latter is the Word of God spoken to us at a specific occasion. It gives us specific instruction through the Holy Spirt. We must practice obedience. God knows our heart, so don’t worry about getting it wrong, as long as you are trying. We must follow what both the written word of God and the spoken work of God prompt. 

  3. Practice listening // John 10:27 says, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”  The more you hear someone’s voice, the more you begin to recognize them. The more time you spend with them, the more you get to know them. Develop space in your life to simply listen. God speaks to those who are willing to listen. Listening is done, when you are not talking. You cannot talk and listen at the same time. In the same way, you cannot hear the voice of God while you are talking. Prayer time should consist of you praying to the Lord – honoring, worshiping, adoring - AND you being quiet and hearing what He drops in your spirit.  

  4. Practice Spiritual disciplines // Prayer. Fasting. Praise. Worship. Tithes and offerings. Church attendance. Read Mark 9:14-29. We are able to hear more clearly from the Lord, as we engage with our spiritual disciplines.  

  5. Test the voice against the Scriptures // God speaks the way He writes. If what you are hearing does not line up with God’s Word, then it is likely a lying spirit, which is a tactic of the enemy to keep you confused. For example, a woman is living with her nonbelieving boyfriend. She says, “Well God told me that I was put into his life to minister to him, to help get him saved.” Yet, we know God’s Word says for us not to be unequally yoked, as well as to not live in sexual sin. This could be an example of her hearing what she wants to hear, instead of truly seeking the Lord.  

  6. Humble yourself // Live a fully surrendered life to the Lord. Live in child-like faith. Do not operate with a religious spirit. Do not think you know everything. Do not think you have arrived on your Christian journey. Do not think you have heard it all. We are all growing. The ways of God are mysterious. God is always moving in new ways. We must humble ourselves before the Lord and lay down all pride, self-righteousness, and piety.  

  7. Pray for increase of the spiritual gifts // Ask the Lord to increase in you a discerning of spirits and wisdom. This will allow you to you to know when a lying spirit or a spirit of fear is present. This will allow you to operate in wisdom, beyond your years, education, or knowledge. This will allow you to know things you couldn’t have known otherwise, but through the gifts of the spirit. The more we use our gifts and sharpen them, the more clearly we’ll discern God’s voice. 

  8. Follow peace // God is a God of order, not chaos. Now, let me be clear. God will speak to you to do things that are uncomfortable. I did not say follow comfort. Peace is in the knowing that even though you don’t understand the instruction or how it will work out or why you’ve been asked to do a certain thing, there is an unexplainable peace in your spirit man.  

  9. Where the Spirit is, the fruits are // Galatians 5:22-23 says, “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” This lets us know that when God is speaking, His fruits will flow. There will be peace. There will be kindness. There will be patience.  

If you want some practice with listening to the voice of God, try these simple steps: 

  1. Wait and be still, removing all distractions. 

  2. Listen.  

  3. Be specific about any sin that the Lord reveals. 

  4. Ask for forgiveness. 

  5. Write down what the Lord says.   

Jennifer Maggio is a mom to three, wife to Jeff, and founder of the national nonprofit, The Life of a Single Mom Ministries. She is author to four books, including The Church and the Single Mom. She was named one of the Top 10 Most Influential People in America by Dr. John Maxwell in 2017 and 2015 and has appeared in hundreds of media venues, including The New York Times, Family Talk Radio with Dr. James Dobson, Joni and Friends, and many others. 

How to Overcome Fear as a Single Mom

  • 2023Nov 08

By the time I was 21 years old, I had suffered a lifetime of disappointments. Both of my parents were dead, as well as all my grandparents and most of my aunts and uncles. I had seen more death than most do in a lifetime. I was pregnant multiple times outside of marriage, which carries its own shame and embarrassment. I had been homeless, lived on government assistance, and struggled to put food on the table as a single mom. I had already parented alone for several years and had no way of knowing that I would go on to parent even more years alone. And all of those things shaped me and molded me with fear.  

But the journey I embarked upon a few years back was far worse than I could have even imagined. Ten years ago, I decided to walk away from my comfy job in Corporate America and accept this call on my life to minister to single moms nationally. I was scared and felt ill-equipped, but I did it anyway. Three single moms showed up in my living room. I didn't know what to say to them. They looked at me. I looked at them. It was hard. 

3 moms, turned into 75 single moms, then 75 single moms, turned into 500 single moms. And the ministry quickly grew. Before long, our ministry was ministering to multiple thousands around the globe, but for every success, I experienced in ministry, there was an even bigger attack personally.  

First, there seemed to always be more debt than dollars. Then, my children were plagued with countless unforeseen surgeries, and there was even less money. And then there were the difficult teen years that I was parenting through, where I failed miserably, many days. And the times I secretly wanted to quit ministry altogether, because I didn't feel I measured up.  

And then there was that time, in August of 2016, when I lost everything I owned in the historic flooding that happened in Louisiana that you likely didn't even hear about. Standing in soiled clothes, crying, as you work 18 hours a day to drag every piece of furniture you've ever owned to the street, is hard. Looking at baby pictures of your children that you know you will never own again is hard. And if I'm being honest, fear swept over me. In all those instances, fear suffocated me.  

Fear had beaten me down and strangled the life from me. It was gradual, and I usually masked it well. But most days, I spent my time crying uncontrollably. That's what fear does. It strangles, immobilizes, subtracts, withers, crushes, and shatters. It grips our soul and snatches every dream. What once was the joy of the Lord somehow becomes replaced with anger and hopelessness. Fear encourages us to give up and accept the misery of existence versus the excitement of a God-led pursuit. 

Many single moms are struggling with fear and allowing it to take your voice and strangle you today. Yet, your Father in Heaven paid for you to have an abundant life, free from fear and worry and anxiety. There are three things that we can do that will allows us to master fear and move into the freedom Christ paid for us to have. 

  1. Acknowledge what fear is // If fear didn't come from the Lord, then who gave it to us? As Christians, we must understand that fear was given to us by Satan as a mere tactic to keep us distracted and, of course, for the plans the Lord has for us. We must understand it for what is, then realize we have the authority to dispel fear with the power of Christ's shed blood.  

    "For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and sound mind.” (1 Timothy 1:7) 

  2. Seek God until he takes away our fears // Keep pursuing freedom from fear, even when everything around you seems scary and hopeless and endless. Keep asking God to deliver you from the fear that is being forced upon you.  

    “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will open.” (Matthew 7:7-8)

  3. Speak the truth. Speak truth over your fear, even when you don't feel like, even when it seems impossible, and even when it's the hardest thing you've ever done. When Moses died, I am sure that Joshua was afraid of what God was now calling him to do in the book of Joshua. I am sure he had no idea of how he would lead the Israelites. He never expected to be in that situation. Do you find yourself in an unexpected situation today? Are you fearful of your future? Your kid's choices? Your finances? Your marriage? Your singleness? God's word promises you victory, authority, and strength.

    “No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you.” (Joshua 1:5)  

Don't clamor in a corner like one with no hope. You are a daughter of the King of Kings. You are more than a conqueror in Christ. That challenge, that thing you are facing, is not bigger than your God. He will never leave you. When fear comes for you, don't retreat and allow it to strangle you. Get ready for war. Wage war against the evil one who has attempted to lie to you and steal the joy God has paid for you to have. Take authority and stand against it.  


First seen on iBelieve. 

Jennifer Maggio is a mom to three, wife to Jeff, and founder of the national nonprofit, The Life of a Single Mom Ministries. She is author to four books, including The Church and the Single Mom. She was named one of the Top 10 Most Influential People in America by Dr. John Maxwell in 2017 and 2015 and has appeared in hundreds of media venues, including The New York Times, Family Talk Radio with Dr. James Dobson, Joni and Friends, and many others. 

The War No One Is Talking About

  • 2023Oct 25

woman upset reading bible

When I was four years old, my parents made me take a daily nap in the early part of the afternoon. I remember this quite vividly and I absolutely hated that nap, but not for the reason you may think. During that time, on a regular basis, I had a recurring dream. A faceless, tall man in a long trench coat and a dark fedora hat would walk slowly down my street and up my driveway. He would then, very intentionally, walk to the front door, into my home, down the hallway, and into my bedroom where he stood, towering over my bed. Each day, I awakened panting with the awareness that someone had just been in my room. Years later, when my husband and I married, I began having a recurring nightmare, where a similar dark figure would walk into my bedroom, lean down over my bed, and begin to choke me. In fact, I can remember, very distinctly one night, gasping for air, and attempting to scream, while I looked over at my husband who was sound asleep, seemingly unaware of the struggle taking place in our bed. It was only when I screamed the name of Jesus that the man would let go and vanish instantly.

I can give you countless incidents through the last few decades that were similar, where I was keenly aware I had just encountered “something”, but early on, I was not quite clear what it was. Sometimes, the battle would come in a dream or a vision. Other times, I would be in a room or a meeting, where I knew the spirit of fear or heaviness or rage or some other spirit was present.  There have been countless situations, where I inherently knew I was in a spiritual war, long before I actually had been taught that I was in a spiritual war! It took much prayer, Bible study, seeking of the fruit and gifts of the Holy Spirit, and conversation with spiritual leaders to understand I was battling evil spirits in the unseen world.

I’ve been attending church since birth. In fact, other than a short time away during my early single mothering years, I have always been planted in a local body of Christ. I am grateful for the foundation that many Sunday school teachers and pastors laid from an early age in my understanding of the Word. In fact, I can’t remember a time, when I didn’t know that God, the Father, sent his only son, Jesus, to die on a cross to redeem me from my sins. But what I found to be lacking was in-depth discussion on the person of the Holy Spirit and spiritual warfare dialogue. Jesus’ earthly ministry was full of demonic deliverance and operation in the spiritual gifts, and beyond the Gospels, the New Testament is full of the same, and yet, in an overwhelming number of churches and believers’ lives today, we see no deliverance ministry, operation of the spiritual gifts, or evidence of the supernatural power of the living God. God still sets free. He still speaks. He heals. He delivers. He restores. And it doesn’t just happen on a mission field in Africa or at a church service on a Sunday morning.

Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see— such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together. (Colossians 1:15-17)

Spiritual warfare is realJust because we do not see it doesn’t mean we or others around us aren’t experiencing it. It is time for the body of Christ to suit up for the war at hand. The Life of a Single Mom Ministries has now served literally hundreds of thousands of single mothers and children. Do you know how many times I have been at an altar or in a conversation in the back room of a church, where a mother said to me, “Now, please don’t think I’m crazy, but….” and then begins to explain the spiritual warfare she’s experiencing?  There is too little writing, podcasts, videos, or speakers willing to teach on warfare.

And you may be wondering, why am I writing about this subject in particular, when there are so many other topics that could be covered? Here’s why. Because the Lord told me to. It’s as simple as that. There are too many of us absolutely falling apart in our home, our job, our relationships, and our parenting, because you are fighting the wrong war.

Ephesians 6:10-18 is a starting point on how to war this unseen world.

A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then, after the battle, you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.  Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.

Here are a few of the things that the Lord is showing me in this hour that may help you, too:

Remember that the full armor of God is required, so that we are able to stand firm. The full armor ensures we are immovable and unshakeable in this hour - that we are able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Put on every piece of armor, every day. Don't come half-dressed or you'll leave beat up and limping like the sons of Sceva. (See Acts 19:11-20). Don't skip the suit-up. Don’t skip your spiritual disciplines.

What does that mean in the practical? It means to get in the Word of God daily, so that you know exactly what it says. You need to know what authority you have, what is true about the situation, and the strategies necessary for this war. Pray. Praise. These need to be your habits and your go-to move. Demons will flee at the name of Jesus. No power in Hell can stand against the power of Jesus, so know what authority you walk in.

Come with a strategy. The devil doesn't come meek and confused. He doesn’t come tired and afraid. He comes with a strategy, a plan. Ignoring spiritual warfare doesn’t make it any less real. Do not come to the fight emotional, ill-equipped, or lacking strategy. If you think Satan will sit idly by while you fight for your family and take territory for the Kingdom, think again. His strategies are to steal, kill, and destroy.

Evaluate what tactics he may have used in the past that may have been effective in your life. Have there been times, when you were caught off guard by the enemy and responded in a way that didn’t honor God? Got caught up in a situation? Be prepared with strategies. Where do we get our strategies? From the Holy Spirit! We serve a God who speaks. He is alive, leading His people. The Spirit guides, leads, and directs. Learn to hear the instruction of the Lord. Wait upon the Lord. Then, do what he asks of you.

Walk in obedience and close doors of access. God is righteous and he makes us righteous through Christ. We cannot continue to open doors for Satan and expect to be successful in spiritual warfare. This is critical! When we walk in disobedience or sin, we give legal access to the enemy. We cannot continually to operate in sin and expect to be effective in war. For example, if you are creating a soul tie to a spiritual spouse by sleeping with a guy you aren’t married to, how effective do you think you will be in spiritual warfare?

Stop opening doors to the enemy.  New Ageism is wrong. It cannot coexist with Christianity. Crystals are wrong. You do not need a rock to balance your body. You are a temple of the living God. Ouija boards and horoscopes and baby Buddhas and burning sage and mindfulness and positive energy and so much war is witchcraft. We are opening our homes and minds to these things. The Bible is explicit on these matters.

We are not fighting flesh & blood. Remember this truth in the midst of the war. Your war isn’t against people. Too many of us are getting caught up in fights we were not intended to fight. You are not warring against your children, your friends, your coworkers, or your family. We battle the unseen. We often fight carnally with what we see, not supernaturally with what we don’t see. We must come against the spirit, not against the person.

Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Romans 8:11 tells us that the Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in us.  In other words, the power of the living God lives inside us, and it changes everything. Why are we limping around weak and barely making it, feeling overwhelmed or anxious or fearful or exhausted or furious? Pray. Pray without ceasing. Pray with the power of the Holy Spirit. Pray with reverence and awe and expectation and confidence and courage. The power of the Spirit of God will rise up on the inside of you, such that you can't contain it. No weapon formed prospers. The Spirit produces the fruit that you need today - love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, and self-control.

Photo credit: ©GettyImages/digitalskillet3

Jennifer Maggio is a mom to three, wife to Jeff, and founder of the national nonprofit, The Life of a Single Mom Ministries. She is author to four books, including The Church and the Single Mom. She was named one of the Top 10 Most Influential People in America by Dr. John Maxwell in 2017 and 2015 and has appeared in hundreds of media venues, including The New York Times, Family Talk Radio with Dr. James Dobson, Joni and Friends, and many others.