Embrace Your Place

Again and again, I hear the same questions from women of all ages: “How do I find my purpose?” “What’s my place in the Body of Christ?” I find it ironic that as we are individually searching for our place, the people around us often have very specific ideas regarding what we should be doing!

Recently, I saw this illustrated in my own life as our church hosted its first men’s conference.  There was no precedent set for what my role should be at the conference, as a woman who pastors with my husband. Some thought that I should be there to open up in prayer as my husband did at our women’s conference. Others thought I should not go at all. Still others thought that I should be there to help, but stand in the back out of sight. My husband would have liked me to be there all weekend! This is a rather amusing illustration to show that others might have ideas and thoughts about our place at any given season, but ultimately, we have to find God’s thoughts on the matter!

Before the Lord can lead us into the specific plan He has for each of our lives, we must first set a solid foundation of who we are as women in the Body of Christ. I believe there are four areas that we must all embrace:

“I ask…the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory – to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing Him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is He is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life He has for His followers, oh, the utter extravagance of His work in us who trust Him – endless energy, boundless strength!” – Ephesians 1:16-19 (The Message)

The love relationship between us and Jesus will bring us great joy! One morning I heard Him whisper, “Tell my daughters they are treasured and not just tolerated.” We all know the demoralizing effects of merely being tolerated. The clearest example that occurs to me is of those times in elementary school where teams were chosen for a particular sport.  The students who excelled at that sport were chosen immediately; those who were not as coordinated were left until the end. They were finally picked when there were no other options available. The gifted athletes were treasured, but the rest were merely tolerated. We must embrace our place as a treasured daughter of the King!

Proverbs 31:17 declares, “She girds herself with strength, and strengthens her arms” (NKJV). The devil would like to convince us that we are weak and wimpy! He would like us to imagine that there are situations that we simply cannot beat. He is wrong!  

It’s not that we don’t sometimes experience the emotion of fear. It’s how we react to it that’s crucial! I have recently undergone a health challenge where I have had to endure a battery of tests. To be totally honest, there were times when I was on the table waiting for a scan that the temptation to be afraid was almost overwhelming, but God is faithful! He can pull from many different sources to speak comfort and strength into us.

As I was going through these challenges, a phrase of a song came from deep within me. Now, this song was one that we used to listen to when my children were young. They used to watch “Psalty, the Singing Songbook.” Psalty was a blue song book that used to sing for hours at our house! However, even though I had not listened to Psalty for a good 15 years, I found the line from one of his songs being played over and over in my head, exactly when I needed to hear it: “And any time I don’t know what to do…I will cast all my cares upon You.”

My last medical report was amazing, and I am learning to trust in the Lord in ever-increasing dimensions!

Together, we make up something much bigger than our individual parts. Psalms 68:11 talks about the great company of women that publish the good news. We are invited to be part of a great company! Each piece is important, but together the puzzle is complete.  Sometimes the key to our destiny lies in one godly connection to another sister. It was certainly true in the life of Ruth. Ruth the Moabitess found the unfolding of God’s plan in her life as she was connected to Naomi. In the natural, it probably didn’t even seem that attractive of an option – to accompany her mother-in-law to a different country where she didn’t know anyone! Her husband had died, and yet something within Ruth knew that she had to stick close to Naomi. God can use a connection that we have with strategic people in our lives to catapult us to the next step in His plan for us.

In Lisa Bevere’s latest book Lioness Arising, she quotes a 19th century philosopher and poet, Matthew Arnold: “If ever there comes a time when the women of the world come together purely for the benefit of mankind, it will be a force such as the world has never known.” We are strong together!  

Recently, I walked into a Subway restaurant in our town. The young lady that was serving me recognized me and mentioned that she had just started attending our church.  Most people will say something to the effect that they recognized my face. She said something entirely different: she mentioned that she recognized me by my voice. That got my attention! I believe the Lord wants us to be recognized by the way we speak – that our voice should carry the sound of His voice! Psalms 29:4 tells us that, “The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is majestic” (NIV). When we speak, His voice should be heard to speak into the lives and situations of those around us. Let’s allow His voice to resound loudly and bring change! 

Beautiful women of God, we are here on the earth at this particular time for a reason! The Lord is urging us to rise up and step into all that He has for us. It is time for women to walk together, putting aside petty insecurities and embracing the strength of the Lord. As we step into the four areas listed above, I believe that God will give further instructions on the next steps we are to take. It’s time for us to embrace our place!

Before the Lord can lead us into the specific plan He has for each of our lives, we must first set a solid foundation of who we are as women in the Body of Christ. I believe there are four areas that we must all embrace:

1. We must embrace our place as a follower of Christ.

“I ask…the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory – to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing Him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is He is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life He has for His followers, oh, the utter extravagance of His work in us who trust Him – endless energy, boundless strength!” – Ephesians 1:16-19 (The Message)

The love relationship between us and Jesus will bring us great joy! One morning I heard Him whisper, “Tell my daughters they are treasured and not just tolerated.” We all know the demoralizing effects of merely being tolerated. The clearest example that occurs to me is of those times in elementary school where teams were chosen for a particular sport.  The students who excelled at that sport were chosen immediately; those who were not as coordinated were left until the end. They were finally picked when there were no other options available. The gifted athletes were treasured, but the rest were merely tolerated. We must embrace our place as a treasured daughter of the King!

2. We must embrace our place as a woman of strength.

Proverbs 31:17 declares, “She girds herself with strength, and strengthens her arms” (NKJV). The devil would like to convince us that we are weak and wimpy! He would like us to imagine that there are situations that we simply cannot beat. He is wrong!  

It’s not that we don’t sometimes experience the emotion of fear. It’s how we react to it that’s crucial! I have recently undergone a health challenge where I have had to endure a battery of tests. To be totally honest, there were times when I was on the table waiting for a scan that the temptation to be afraid was almost overwhelming, but God is faithful! He can pull from many different sources to speak comfort and strength into us.

As I was going through these challenges, a phrase of a song came from deep within me. Now, this song was one that we used to listen to when my children were young. They used to watch “Psalty, the Singing Songbook.” Psalty was a blue song book that used to sing for hours at our house! However, even though I had not listened to Psalty for a good 15 years, I found the line from one of his songs being played over and over in my head, exactly when I needed to hear it: “And any time I don’t know what to do…I will cast all my cares upon You.”

3. We must embrace our place as a piece of the puzzle.

My last medical report was amazing, and I am learning to trust in the Lord in ever-increasing dimensions!

Together, we make up something much bigger than our individual parts. Psalms 68:11 talks about the great company of women that publish the good news. We are invited to be part of a great company! Each piece is important, but together the puzzle is complete.  Sometimes the key to our destiny lies in one godly connection to another sister. It was certainly true in the life of Ruth. Ruth the Moabitess found the unfolding of God’s plan in her life as she was connected to Naomi. In the natural, it probably didn’t even seem that attractive of an option – to accompany her mother-in-law to a different country where she didn’t know anyone! Her husband had died, and yet something within Ruth knew that she had to stick close to Naomi. God can use a connection that we have with strategic people in our lives to catapult us to the next step in His plan for us.

In Lisa Bevere’s latest book Lioness Arising, she quotes a 19th century philosopher and poet, Matthew Arnold: “If ever there comes a time when the women of the world come together purely for the benefit of mankind, it will be a force such as the world has never known.” We are strong together!  

4. Finally, we must embrace our place as a voice.

Recently, I walked into a Subway restaurant in our town. The young lady that was serving me recognized me and mentioned that she had just started attending our church.  Most people will say something to the effect that they recognized my face. She said something entirely different: she mentioned that she recognized me by my voice. That got my attention! I believe the Lord wants us to be recognized by the way we speak – that our voice should carry the sound of His voice! Psalms 29:4 tells us that, “The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is majestic” (NIV). When we speak, His voice should be heard to speak into the lives and situations of those around us. Let’s allow His voice to resound loudly and bring change! 

Beautiful women of God, we are here on the earth at this particular time for a reason! The Lord is urging us to rise up and step into all that He has for us. It is time for women to walk together, putting aside petty insecurities and embracing the strength of the Lord. As we step into the four areas listed above, I believe that God will give further instructions on the next steps we are to take. It’s time for us to embrace our place!

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Comments

  1. jessierenea says:

    Very beautifully said! Thanks for sharing and encouraging 💕
    https://jessierenea.com/2019/01/24/my-wish-for-you-this-year/

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