These last few weeks have been topsy-turvy. The highs and lows of life as a woman, mother, student, daughter, and Jesus follower. How does one really deal with the emotionality of it all? Sometimes it is just by listening to Skillet at top volume (and dancing), and other days it is gritting my teeth and hoping that I can control the thoughts that continuously race through my mind. Continue reading This is not a test!
“I tell women that they are beautiful as a form of manipulation”, my friend confesses to me this morning. “I don’t mean it, because it doesn’t matter to me, but I know it’s a form of control. I want to confess this to you, because Jesus has been showing me that as long as the body of Christ have issues with their earthly body, they will continue to struggle with the concept of how a church body should work” (slightly paraphrased, as I don’t remember the exact words).
10 things I learned about myself…in women’s ministry.
2. Being vulnerable is good and bad. Opening up and talking about our own issues and mistakes opens up the hearts of the people listening…but it also makes you accountable to many. As someone who has (and still have at times) a wall around them, those bricks come tumbling down after you cry a few times in front of a group of women. It isn’t easy to keep putting those bricks back up.
3. I learned that I am a quitter! Continue reading 10 things I learned about myself…in women’s ministry.
I need nothing but Jesus.
He is the only reason I live and breathe on this earth. I will be spending eternity with Him in heaven, and there is nothing on this earth that I will need with me…!! Nothing! I don’t need to be pretty, rich, famous, or smart.
I just need Him!
My challenge here, to myself, and to you is…
Open your eyes, heart and mind. See the blinders that have been put in front of your eyes. Ask Jesus to speak the truth to you. Watch out for the lies that you have believed, and are conditioned to believe. Start to challenge these beliefs. Start speaking out. Confront the enemy and say, “NO MORE LIES”!!!
As women we need to speak love into the lives of our sisters, mothers, daughters, friends and co-workers. Compliments should be compliments of the spirit and soul and not of appearance. Thinking that, “you’ve lost weight, you look good” is a compliment is a lie. Don’t fall into that trap again.
As men, start to examine your heart. Yes, you are visual, but that isn’t the truth to your identity as a man. You can also ask Jesus to bring the truth into your life. Ask Him to reveal the beauty of a person’s spirit and soul to you, and don’t be conned into thinking that a “skinny hot woman” is the embodiment of beauty…because she isn’t. We are just conditioned to believe that. It’s a lie of the enemy.
Together we can change the culture. Together we can fight the enemy. Together we can bring down the strongholds of pornography, slavery, materialism, and poverty.
We can’t do it alone.
We have to do it together.
Together we are strong.
How can we change the system that is part of the very DNA in our culture?
There is only 1 answer.
That is Jesus!
Two thousand years ago He came onto this earth. He went against the very culture of His day. He had women as disciples, women spreading the news of the resurrection, women financing the ministry, women being healed from sickness, women being saved from a sure death, and a woman being the first to hear that He was the Messiah that everyone was waiting for. Some of His parables would even use a woman as a picture of God’s love. Just read the stories of Jesus in the New Testament and notice how often women are mentioned.
God created men and women in His image. Genesis 1:27. How can we celebrate that we are created in His image when we constantly pursue the image the world gives us? How can we be effective as a witness when all we talk about is how we look and what we have? We can talk about God being love, but how do we understand that when we hate ourselves? We will never live up the expectations that we put on ourselves because, in reality, they are just a distraction to keep us from the truth.
I know that this is a subject I talk about every once in awhile. It might even be monotonous at times. But the reason I talk about this is because I personally need to hear this message over and over. Each day the enemy has a new opportunity to bring me down. I have a skin condition that isn’t pretty to me, and it gets in the way of me loving who I am as a creation of Christ. We all something that keeps us distracted…whether it is that “last 10 pounds”, the cellulite, the grey hair…whatever it is, it’s just a distraction. I need to understand, every day, that this obsession with my appearance or that obsession with what I don’t have, are just distractions to keep me from proclaiming the truth.
I am nothing without Jesus.
to be continued…
So where does it come from?
I believe it goes back to the day we were created. The devil comes after the woman, tempts her, and God tells the two of them that they would be enemies forever. Genesis 3:15 says, “And I will cause hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head and you will strike his heel.” Here we can see that already then, there was the promise of Jesus coming, but until then, we would be enemies.
How does the enemy fight us? His first lie to Eve was that she wasn’t good enough unless she did….! Sound familiar? He still uses the same lies. We aren’t good enough unless we…(fill in the blank)…! Our punishment would be that we would want to control men, but wouldn’t be allowed to. Throughout time since then, women have been trying to control men through sex and manipulation, believing that our worth is in this control. Men have bought into this lie as well, that women are to be valued according to their looks and sex appeal.
If the enemy can only keep us believing this lie he knows that we can’t be very effective in taking God’s word out to the lost. Even if we have a christian platform and use it to glorify our appearance under the guise of worshipping God then we are just spreading a lie. We can’t serve two masters. It’s either the world or Jesus. We have to pick.
“And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Romans 12:1-2 NLT)
We hear a message that we are to be the light, and because we are a light we bring people to Jesus. But, if you look around you, there are many “lights” out there, and they are being good examples to the people around them, but they are just bringing people into the lie that we can be a witness by being good. We don’t win souls by just being good. We have to tell them about Jesus, sin, redemption, and eternity.
People want the truth! They do, and some say they do. Whether or not the truth changes them, that is their choice. But they deserve the option. After centuries of blindness, lies and manipulation it can be hard to understand the truth, but we are called to live in truth. And to see the truth we must see the true root of the issue. Yes, we have problems with pornography (50% of divorces cite this as a problem), slavery (25 million + in this world), violence against women (1 in 3 assaulted, with only 1/1000 getting justice), but dealing with these issues we have to go to the root. And that is…satan hates women, always has, always will!
to be continued…