As in water face reflects face, So a man’s heart reveals the man. Prov 27:19
"When wealth is your god, weapons are your sacrament, and your own children are your sacrifice” - Brian McLaren
She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. Prov 31:25
This scripture has been an encouragement to me… But more often than not, instead of taking it on board as my stance in life, I find myself thinking “I wish this were me…” It has at times been a heartache wish or hope of who I would like to be, rather than an encouragement around who I am. Through the day to day ebb and flow of life, I sometimes feel clothed with frustration and tiredness, lack and emptiness… frowning at tomorrow with worry and apprehension…
We were not designed to live under the heavy weight of worry or frustration… our hearts are not meant to have that annoying itch of “if only and what if” attacking it day by day. This happens we focus solely on ourselves and our own sphere of resources, instead of centring ourselves in Christ and allowing Him to be our portion; our strength in weakness, peace in frustration and fear, our hope for tomorrow.
There is a posture and lightness of spirit when you rise trusting in Jesus, taking Him at His word, and truly living in His strength and purposes.
We are clothed in strength and dignity. Don’t leave those two beautiful garments lying on the floor gathering dust and slowly being forgotten about, but take hold of the strength of Christ and the dignity of His resurrection and redemption and place them firmly upon your shoulders. Wear them proudly. And when clothed with strength and dignity, head held high by the love and grace of Christ, you can’t help but replace worry with laughter and fear with a confident smile that no matter what you face today or tomorrow, you have a future and a hope.
And this scripture isn’t exclusive to women, it’s applicable to everyone and is ultimately a picture of the Church – the bride of Christ. It’s who God has purposed us to be in our communities… A place where people can find strength in the midst of their weakness, restoring dignity to those who are weighed down, and giving hope to the broken so they can smile at their future.
Pickup that beautiful cloak of strength and dignity, wear it daily and learn to laugh with joy at what is to come, the hope that fills tomorrow.
Don’t be afraid of being different. Be afraid of being the same as everyone else!
For in Him we live and move and have our being… Acts 17:28
Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. Ps 20:7 (NIV)
Fear can drive you to trust in things you wouldn’t naturally or normally trust. When you have no options left, where do you turn?
If you’re floating in the ocean lost at sea, a piece of driftwood could be your only option and you hold onto it for dear life. But it’s not something you reach for in everyday life. Imagine turning up to work with your piece of driftwood under your arm for security… You say to those giving you curious looks, “Oh, just in case.” I think we all hold onto things that give us a false sense of security. Consumerism is a big one. It wants to dictate to us our identity, and our lack of identity drives it. It’s a vicious cycle that leaves us always feeling empty, wanting more, NEEDING more material items in order to be fulfilled. The bigger the car, the grander the house, the more expensive the clothes, the more exclusive education, the more ‘security’ you’ll have. Problem is, there isn’t a car big enough, or a house grand enough to keep you from tragedy and heartache… so where do you turn then?
Another one is ‘Celebrity’. In our society, generally speaking, we view ‘making it’ in Hollywood, or being rich and famous, as a benchmark of a successful life. But you barely have to scratch beneath the surface to know that many people who appear to have it all aren’t at all happy. Second, third and fourth marriages are common-place and depression is rife… Fame and fortune is not a vehicle to happiness.
When your confidence and security is not dependent on material possessions, then those things can’t ransom you to un-happiness through fear of not having them, or worse still, having them and then losing them.
In the end, it’s all just driftwood. Desperate measures for desperate people. When your confidence and security is in God, you have faith that the one who created all, will supply your all; your every need (not to be confused with your every ‘want’). From that position, you won’t be ransomed by fear.
Trust in the God who is the author of every resource, rather than trusting in the resources themselves.
We can’t become what we need by remaining what we are!
When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. Ps 61:2
In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Romans 8:37 (NIV)
My 4yr old son dreams of being a superhero, a ninja… a goodie who wins great battles and rescues people in need. What great dreams!
Rather than letting this dream fade as we get older, we should allow it to enter into adulthood. Paul says in Romans that we are “more than conquerors.” These words conjure up images, much like our childhood dreams, of great battles, gruesome and epic, where we come out victorious, heroes, rescuing the needy and defending the vulnerable.
What we don’t see in our dreams of these victories are the long days of training, shaping and preparation it takes to get ready for combat. We don’t envisage the intensity of the battle and how, at many points, we will want to give up but we force ourselves not too. We don’t get the visions of working on our weaponry, getting intimately acquainted with them and how they work best. All these days and moment are battles in and of themselves. There’s more to being a conqueror than just the day of battle – the war is won through the day by day discipline of preparation.
Sounds a little overwhelming? The end of Romans 8:37 says that we are more than conquerors “through Him who loved us.” We are not alone.
It’s through CHRIST that our victory is possible. He is our strength, motivator, hope, courage, and peace. The power to overcome any battle and any adversity you face is in Christ, who lives within you. 1 John 4:4 “…you have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” Don’t be afraid of the journey, but activate and live in the overcoming power of Jesus today. Start with the small battles – the day by day journey of faith and discipline – and they, in time will help you overcome the big ones. And whatever you do, don’t give up on your superhero dreams.