2 Corinthians 3:17-18 (Amplified Bible) "17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (emancipation from bondage, freedom). 18 And all of us, as with unveiled face, [because we] continued to behold [in the Word of God] as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another; [for this comes] from the Lord [Who is] the Spirit."
As I went about my day doing the normal things one does to keep a household running, I was thinking, at certain times about all my friends out in the blog world, lurkers and all. It's a Sisterhood, I think we all agree. Those that I know who will visit, and those who are yet unknown. I love that part of blogging, the way God can (and does) orchestrate our "bumping" into each other, crossing paths, at just the "right" time!
I pondered what was most important today to hear. Today, what did God want us to know? And this is what I was inspired to, almost immediately. And the theme once apprehended by my mind, was seemingly every where I turned. My thought was that He is calling out to us to behold through the mirror of His Word who He sees in us. Not all the warts and shortcomings, but the destiny, the delicate design and great care He has taken with us and is yet to be revealed. To experience His personal, individual love for us, and great pleasure.
He desires that we (His daughters) begin to let His Word be the mirror it is meant to be, the mirror that brings the desired transformation. We love Him, We spend time in prayer, we spend time in the Word. We can all (at least mentally) rattle off numerous ways we "don't measure up". I believe He is beckoning us to take a deep breath and look again, and really, really, truly believe, profess, declare and just become thoroughly steeped in the knowledge of the fact that we are delightful to Him. He delights in us. We are His special creation - in His own image no less, fearfully and wonderfully made. He gave us His Name and authority when we believed in Jesus and gave ourselves to Him forever.
As sweet as all those things are, and that's not even the half, not even a pin-prick of His good purpose in and for us, it's not even the real point. The Christian faith is such a paradox, it's both all about us and not at all about us. In this case it's not about us, it's about who we can potentially damage and who we can potentially inspire and encourage.
There is every reason we need to be more assertive in guarding our hearts and minds in this regard. Because, we women have such an influence on those in our sphere. If we are not actively experiencing that love that only The Father can give us, we become well-intentioned, good-hearted and DRY, harried, and eventually (long term) we can become completely deceived. As we rush and work, study, serve, teach our children, pay our bills, give our tithes, but don't allow ourselves to become saturated with the knowledge the He loves US, YOU, ME! He loves ME! He loves YOU!
I know that we all know He loves us, in our heads, and even in our hearts. But, if we don't bask in that knowledge. Regularly bask in it, daily when possible, and train our minds and hearts to this powerful and heady knowledge, reminding ourselves and reminding the devil when he dares whisper his lies, (sometimes subtle, sometimes outrageous), we will slowly find ourselves thinking we are serving, when really we have become joyless Christians. Something that pushes away wobbly Christians, and pushes away people who are just confused and lost.
See, its a war out there. It's a war for our souls, for the souls of every person you know, every person you ever see. We are all in it. There are no casual bystanders. If we profess He is a God of love, then people need desperately to see that we are confident because we are well-satisfied with the lover of our souls. Nope, we aren't perfect, not nearly, but He is gently leading us day by day, and we trust Him to get us where He wants us, as we daily bask in His love and reflect that love to a lost and dying world.
As women, we most often first reflect this love (or not) to our spouses, nephews, nieces, children parents, grandparents, in-laws, adult siblings. What do they see when they see us? Do they see someone who is balanced in their perspective? Or someone pensive, sarcastic, someone passing judgement where none is due? Perhaps someone perpetually harried and worried?
I cringe as I type because this was so much sweeter in my head. As I type it sounds much harsher than it should be. But, the reason I dare is 1) He put it on my heart, and 2) I know from my personal experience that as an optimistic person, who really DOES believe the best many times, probably most times, (just ask my family, it can be a tad obnoxious!) about 2 years ago, I came to a realization that the pressures of a one income family, combined with living in the fish bowl of staying home with a husband who was home in the daytime and worked at night, and a son who I home educated were getting to me. This meant every expression that crossed my face, every worry, every time I gritted my teeth in frustration, and every time I disciplined myself to not give voice to worries was duly noted and was taking a toll. It became clear to me that the enemy was able to make inroads into our minds, partly because the people in the household with me needed to see that I really believed the good things I said. And I did, and I am sure that you all do as well. But, I needed to tell my face, I needed to tell my mind. I needed to take authority over the thoughts that I was merely mentally fighting off. That meant for me to quickly, every time, counteract the thoughts that would come each day, with a verbal affirmation of God's promises, which ever and as many as I could dish out. It meant take time to not just give love to God, but to dare to experience it, receive it, or I wasn't going to be reflecting it, and letting it shine from me.
If you haven't read C.S. Lewis's The Screwtape Letters, please, please do. It is such a wonderful, astute and droll rendition of this concept.
Look in the mirror, see how fair He thinks you are! Then go out and set the world on fire with your smile, your sass, your renewed sense of purpose, whatever the wonder of His love brings out in you. It'd hard not to smile when you know it's all gravy!
See you tomorrow!