The Opposite of Destruction

This is going to be a quick post.

I traveled to California this past weekend,. It was not an easy trip or a vacation trip by any means. I noticed that there was a lot that went wrong. I mean A LOT. Coupled with a couple of key moments, I realized that there was a lot of destruction going on. So much so that on Friday evening, I asked, “What’s the opposite of destruction?” so that I could pray for that from God.

Saturday morning, I woke up to Israel & New Breed’s song “Who is Like the Lord” (below). It brought such freedom to my morning. And in the afternoon, I realized why. The opposite of destruction is not JUST peace, it’s sovereignty. GOD’s soverignty.

I know that I’ll carry this knowledge with me for the rest of my life. I thought I would share it with all of you, too. Whenever you see destruction, pray for GOD’s sovereignty.

Love,

Pam

 

“I Arose As a Mother”

There’s two women on my mind today: Athaliah and Deborah.  These two ladies of ancient history have challenged me. And I hope my sharing does something for you as well.

As many of you know, Athaliah was the daughter of Jezebel and King Ahab.*  Jezebel was famous for her wickedness, and Athaliah was raised to follow in her mother’s footsteps. She was manipulative and cunning and her ultimate goal was to control the known world of her time. Many have said that she ruled while her husband was alive, as well as for the time while her son ruled and even after that. She was a leader in Judah, and her leadership was not good.

Deborah is the only female judge of Israel. While there are lots of debates about Deborah, there is one thing for certain, she led Israel, and she led them well.

So what makes me think about these two women? Well, the both led Israel, each with different fates. In the end, one woman led the people to God and the other led people away from God. But I think that their methods  and desires were what give us a lot more insight.

Athaliah was always struggling, always needing to control. She used her influence and authority to seek this control. In contrast, Deborah  never wanted control. She was content to have influence. And I think it’s because she entered into leadership with one idea. Judges 5:7 tells us that she looked around at her, looked at the spiritual apathy of men, looked at the state of her home of Judah, and she “arose as a mother.”

I’m a mother. Let me tell you what “I arose as a mother” means. It means that she was concerned and she stepped in. Not to control the situation, but to invite God in. It means that she was scared, but she courageously and cautiously chose her words. It means that she knew that her affirmation meant life or death. It means that she knew that speaking life into the men was essential. And it also meant that she would sacrifice and not get credit.

Deborah understood that to have influence meant that she could give life, and that she could rely on God’s sovereignty. It’s something that Athaliah just never understood. And it’s something that challenges me as a woman seeking to be a woman of God.

*Some scholars think she was Ahab’s sister, but it doesn’t really matter what you view for the purposes of reading this. And I would believe strongly, given other text, that she is his daughter.

Stressed Out

I am a firm believer that Satan opposes God’s plan. Whatever God wants to do for you, the Kingdom of darkness fears, and so they make you feel the exact opposite.

Well, this is the second week of advent. So since we declared that this will be a week of peace, and God has said that He’ll loosen (or bind) in heaven what we declare fit or proper (or improper) on Earth (Matt 16), God is sending peace to us. But evil will oppose that. And in particular, I think darkness is opposing it by pushing stress this week. Are you stressed out? Maybe even despite the fact that there’s not really a reason to be stressed? Uh huh. Read on.

So what do we do to combat this inflicted stress? We make straight the paths of our heart.

See, Satan and his ugly minions can only hurt us where we’ve allowed for a chink in our armor. Wherever this is doubt and insecurity in who we are, or who-Christ-is, or wherever we have allowed for strongholds, for sin, that’s where the kingdom of darkness will cause us stress.

For a lot of us, that means that we’re going to pursue excess. If you’re stressed, and you’re an addict, you’re going to naturally turn to your drug of choice. If you’re a worrier, well, you’ll go to bed worrying, dream about whatever is consuming you, and wake up worrying. If you are a control freak, well, you’re going try to control more than you usually do. If you’re lonely, then you’re probably going to be on Facebook a lot more this week. You get the picture.

The fact of the matter is that we try to compensate instead of understanding that there’s a better offer. We feel empty and we try to fill it. But we don’t realize that God only allows us to know our sin for the purpose of us getting rid of it and filling us with Himself. Seek Him out, ask Him where peace lies, and things will turn around. I promise you.