Sunday, February 26, 2017

Pick Up Your Sword: Heroines Volume II (Caroline George)

War burns as a charcoal haze, a bundle of embers flickering where the kingdom melts to horizon. Your fur cloak, white as Michelangelo marble, is replaced with plated metal. You trade your scepter for a sword, your throne for a chariot. The calling to battle is rich, anointed and promised. You will charge into the fire out of obedience to the King, fight for the people He has placed under your leadership. To forgo the task would result in destruction, so you push away your fear and submit yourself to whatever occurs at the front.
Beauty once drew their attention but now it has transformed into a radiant strength that surpasses eyes and reaches deep into hearts, divine in origin, holy in mission.
There has come a time in each of our lives when we’ve had to trade our flower crowns for ones made of metal, forged from heat and sweat, given out of necessity, not vanity. We’ve experienced painful seasons when what seems pretty around us carries the weight of a battlefield. We may look put together like queens but at the center of our innermost being, we are survivors, warriors and royals riding our horses into already-won battles. We are God-authored to be heroines in His victorious saga, but have we accepted the role, been rebuilt by the divine authority entrusted to us as daughters of the Most High God?
Heroines, in literature, are characters who accomplish incredible feats despite impossible odds. They sacrifice their own interests to attain a goal greater than themselves. Their motivation stems from mission, purpose, vision for self, others and the world.
God-authored heroines are women of vision.
Throughout the Bible is evidence of God’s relationship with His girls. He handpicked women from insignificant backgrounds and used them in world-changing ways. Not glamorous. Not sugar-coated and dipped in petals. Hard, taxing ways that made history.
We, as handpicked protagonists, have the same potential and God-strength as Esther, Ruth, Mary and the other countless women who were used in the story of Christianity. Time does not sever us from saga-impacting roles—time is irrelevant and unbinding to the God who created it. We are our generation’s heroines.
Judges 4-5 introduces girl-boss heroine Deborah, leader of the Israelite people, a prophetess and wife. Deborah had a deep relationship with God that yielded strength, insight and vision. She was faithful to her calling, recognized the strength of others but remained steadfast in God-ordained authority and sanctification.
Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading Israel at that time. She held court under the Palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites came to her to have their disputes decided. She sent for Barak son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali and said to him; “The Lord, the God of Israel, commands you: ‘Go, take with you ten thousand men of Naphtali and Zebulun and lead the way to Mount Tabor. I will lure Sisera, the commander of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his troops to the Kishon River and give him into your hands.’”
Barak said to her, “If you go with me, I will go; but if you don’t go with me, I won’t go.”
“Very well,” Deborah said, “I will go with you. But because of the way you are going about this, the honor will not be yours, for the Lord will hand Sisera over to a woman.” So Deborah went with Barak to Kedesh.
Judges 4:4-6
Three things to note . . .
1.     God gave Deborah a vision for the Israelite nation.
2.     Because of the vision, Deborah was a steward of God’s plan for others.
3.     Deborah did not leave Barak to tackle his God-given mission alone, rather she went with him into battle to share the weight of such a task.
God-authored heroines . . .
-        Are fueled by futuristic calling, accept leadership and point others to their God-authored visions.
-        Recognize God’s presence in the visions of others.
-        Magnify the callings of others.
-        Heroines see through the worldly shroud of sin and bear witness to God’s will for the future.
God’s daughters have melted under stereotypes, expectations, fears and insecurities for too long. They have denied their swords and crowns, instead retreating to their small, safe dreams. Heroines take their swords to already won battles and suffer through trials with supernatural endurance. They also join others in their suffering so as to keep unified the Kingdom of God.
What is vision? How do we get it?
-        Visions are God-sized, God-given dreams powered by purposeful calling.
-        To have vision is to have vision for self, vision for others and the world.
-        Visions are not products of tenacity, rather weapons gifted to us by the King of Kings. As children of God, we have visionary birthrights, positions of ordained leadership bought for us through salvation. If we take ownership of the power offered to us, we step into a place of sacred closeness with God and the visions handed to us like swords become our drive, our struggle and His victory.
-        Vision isn’t a quiet, gentle gift. It roars like a lion. It rattles its cage, aching to break free.
-        Vision leads.
Takeaway: Women with holy vision are women equipped with the power of God.
We are not flawless. We have been broken, pieced together and scarred in battle. Our lives are not aesthetic scrapbooks uploaded on social media sites, rather charred battlegrounds and reconstructed fortresses. In the eyes of others, we appear pretty and soft, but our Creator has designed us to carry vision, leadership and care for others.
What are the visions God has placed on your life? What’s stopping you from charging into battle with faithful endurance and royal confidence?
She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. […] “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”
Proverbs 31: 25-26, 29
Heroines, let’s forgo our scepters, pick up our swords and step into the history-changing, generation-defining roles prepared for us by the Author of All.

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