Tuesday, March 31, 2015

"Man I feel like a Woman"


 A wimpy woman tries to be like a man. A strong woman appreciates men and womens’ roles and strives to live out of her God-given femininity.
Do you know the story of ESTHER? 
Esther was intelligent and beautiful woman who was personally chosen by the King to be his wife, the Queen. Esther 2:17 says ““The king loved Esther more than all the women, and she found favor and kindness with him”. Esther was also Jewish and her people, the Israelites were refusing to pay Homage to an evil man named Haman, who also happend to be the king’s high official. Haman want to murder all the Jews because they won’t worship him. So Mordechi, Esther’s  cousin, tells her about this and pleads with her to try to persuade the king to step in. In Esther 4:14, her cousin says “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?” (4:14). Chapters 5-10, Esther outwits Haman and takes her petition to the king and pleas for the protection of her Jewish people from Haman. The King, out of respect for Esther, has Haman hung and Esther’s faith and courage saves her people.
If Esther had tried to play it like a man, I guarantee the king would not have been won over. But instead of doing it a man’s way, she led and lived out of her God given design for the benefit of her people in a feminine strength.
Ladies, I like to think of God calling us to be on his team. On this team he gives men one role and woman another and himself a different role.  Her role is not less than, it is just different. A weak woman gets ready to be on this team but then decides, oh man, I don’t want to play that position, I want to play Tylers position or Shawn’s positon or that guy over there’s position.  As a matter of fact, I actually want to play God’s position too. 
So instead of being a team player, the wimpy woman says, "I don’t need any players and I don’t need God. I’m going to be the whole team...Coach, pitcher, catcher, 2nd baseman, etc.  And I’m going to play all by myself. But you know what happens? Nothing! She minus well sit in the dugout cause life doesn’t work without all the players.  
Society needs women who will be women and believe that her contribution to the kingdom is equal to a man’s and her role is vital as an heir to the inheritance found in Christ.

Galatians 3:26-29 says:
26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
The team doesn’t benefit when we don’t play our role and neither do we. Going it alone is not how God created us!  God has called you to a position no one else can play. To a role a man can not do. Will you, like Esther use your design as a woman for such a time as this? Will you use your courage, your beauty, your strength, your wisdom like Esther to better the world around you? Your role is vital in the kingdom! And you are the same heirs according to the promise as men. But we need to act out of our design, not theirs. 
A wimpy woman refuses to play her role. Where a woman of strength seeks to be feminine and live out of her Godly design in all she does.

This Blog inspired by Shania Twain and her 90's country hit  Man, I feel like a Woman.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

What did Eve Actually Want?

This week I was wishing I could hear a 20/20 interview. A Barbara Walters exclusive where she interviewed Eve and got into her mind a bit. I imagine it would go something like this: Eve would walk in, wearing a very fashionable suit made of fig leaves, maybe with a fur wrap. Barbara would welcome her and then recount the story out of Genesis 2: 3-6

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,  but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
Then Barbara would pause dramatically, turn to Eve and say “ Eve, can you tell me what was going through your mind in the encounter with Satan that day? What exactly was it that you were desiring?

And I can see Eve, shamefully, maybe wistfully summing it up with one statement.. “you know Barbara, I just wanted more. I thought God was holding out on me and I wanted more. So I took matters into my own hands

As Eve would continue into the saga of the fallen world, I imagine that Barbara would ask Eve, Why she ate the fruit? What was her motivation and what was so enticing to her about the conversation with Satan? And Eve might recount a list that looked something like this:

  • Pursuit of Life : “You will not surely Die” (vs 4)
  • Experience/Adventure: “Your eyes will be opened” (vs 5)
  • Power/Purpose/Godliness: “You will be like God” (vs 5)
  • Knowledge/Discernment: “Knowing Good and Evil” (vs 5)
  • Fulfillment/Security: “Saw the fruit was good for food” (vs 6)
  • Beauty/Pleasure: “Pleasing to the Eye” (vs 6)
  • Wisdom: “Desireable for gaining wisdom” (vs 6)

Barbara might then ask a few more questions and then talk about how the 20/20 staff tried to contact satan to give his side, but that his office refused to comment.

I can hear her closing monologue: “There you have it folks, Eve speaking up about her fear, her desires away from God’s plan, how she regrets her decisions and how wanting more gave her a tragic life of less. And then the 60 minutes clock pops up, ticking away to a commercial break.

Kind of funny to think about, but doesn't this fake interview ring true for women?

As I look at this list, I think, these things are actually great desires! She wanted all she could get out of life...life to the full! I can see why she fell hard for this sales pitch.

The thing that made it such a tragedy is that just like when satan tempted Jesus in the Garden, the things satan actually offered to Eve, were not his to give. True to his nature, he is a liar that promised a life of more... but when it really came down to it, He was like a used car salesman that scammed her. She thought if she could just gain control or an edge on these things, her life would really matter! Yet, choosing something apart from God’s plan always has the illusion of more but in reality ....results in so much less.

Tragically, Satan convinces us to take control of our own lives, when really when we listen to him, we hand him control rather than God. And women, In their attempt to be strong, have actually been weakened to believe that life apart from God is really life. And the freedom they long for is actually being enslaved to Satan and his schemes.

And Satan is not creative. He has enticed women with this same list of things for centuries.

As I’ve read through lots of documents this week, one that particular struck me was the webpage for the National Women’s Liberation Organization. Under the section “What we want”, I almost can see a serpent enticing and convincing them of the same things. Bullet points of “We want to be loved and respected for who we are as people” and “We Want women’s lives, ideas, desires and dreams to be no less important than mens,” and "We want control over our own bodies and Lives" shows me that women have some of the same desires Eve had, but find it by using a strategy that looks inward and to themselves not upward to Jesus to accomplish these goals.

The Irony in all of this is that Eve failed to see that the exact things she longed for, God already offered her in abundance with the life he had designed for her. Look at that list again? Life, adventure, purpose, knowledge, fulfillment, beauty wisdom! Oh how we all long for these things. These are some of the exact “riches of Christ’s Grace” that we gain in our relationship with him!

I hate satan for wreaking havoc on women like this. I want us to see the beautiful amazing life and purpose and adventure and privilege it is to be a woman. A strong woman of God, living out of her God given design and not a weakened woman by the deception of satan in the world.

Over the next few weeks, I am going to post 7 different blogs talking about the attributes that distinguish a wimpy woman, lessened by satan’s schemes from a woman of strength, designed by the God of strength.

This blog brought to you in part by strong USF Navigator Women and Cadbury eggs. Both that bring a bit of sweetness to life.