Get It, Girl! (Part 2: Choose It)

GET IT, GIRL!

In this blog series, “Get It, Girl,” that I believe the Lord is leading me to write about fulfilling the call He has placed on our lives, especially for women in leadership. Being a woman in leadership in ministry, this series is coming from my heart.

PART 2: CHOOSE IT

After we SEE it, we need to decide if we will CHOOSE it.

Who Me?

Yes, you. The need God sees for the world is a need He is asking you to help meet. Jesus is the answer. He died for the world. His salvation is here, but He needs you to take that good news to them. He needs you to be His hands, His feet, His voice.

God sees you as valuable to His kingdom. He doesn’t choose one over the other based on race, age or gender. You aren’t disqualified because of past failure. He has a place for each of us. We aren’t in competition with each other. We are here to be a compliment for the other.

If there is any voice telling you that you can’t carry the good news, that voice is a liar. That voice may come from someone you know, someone you don’t know… that voice might even be coming from inside of you. God has given you a voice. God is calling is calling you to tell the world of His love.

Saying “Yes”

God is calling, but we have to answer. God doesn’t force Himself on anyone. To do our part in God’s plan, we need to surrender to Him and say, “Yes.” The part you have is unique to you. The gifts you have, the talents, the opportunities to study, to train, to experience… all from God… and all for a purpose He has for your life.

You have a lot of options throughout a lifetime. There are many things you can do with your one life. Don’t just consider your life from this earthly perspective; consider your life when it is done. When your life is over, how did you spend it? Did it have a temporary effect? Did it have an eternal effect as well? Think of your life as currency, no matter what your age, how will you spend what you have left?

Please say, “Yes.”

God Has Help for You

You aren’t alone. God has also given you His Spirit. He’s not just any spirit; the Holy Spirit comes with some considerable experience. He created the universe, so there’s that. He also raised Jesus from the dead, snatching Him out of the belly of hell and restoring Him in the presence of His Father. That’s impressive. Every miracle recorded in both the Old and New Testaments was done by His power. Jesus left the earth so the Holy Spirit could come to each of us.

The Holy Spirit isn’t just someone we are willing to open up to for help; He is the One who gives us direction on what we are to do. He is our leader. We are to pursue Him. I not only choose to receive Him; I choose to follow Him.

Today and Everyday

Our initial choice to surrender to God can often be a memorable moment. We sense the Holy Spirit calling. We give Him our lives. Surrender is more than a letting go; it’s a going after. It doesn’t happen just once; our yielded heart seeks our Lord each day, choosing to fulfill His plan for His purpose.

 

LINK LEADING LADIES

Leading Ladies is a ministry of LINK Churches, a ministry for pastors and their spouses. Leading Ladies is for women who lead in ministry and the marketplace. If you would like to receive information on Link Leading Ladies, please email me at melanie@growchurches.com.

Find LINK Leading Ladies on Facebook

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Get It, Girl! (Part 1: See It)

GET IT, GIRL!

In this blog series, “Get It, Girl,” that I believe the Lord is leading me to write about fulfilling the call He has placed on our lives, especially for women in leadership. Being a woman in leadership in ministry, this series is coming from my heart.

PART I: SEE IT

Before you can go after your calling, you have to see your calling. If you can’t see it, you can’t have it.

When God called Abraham, He told Abraham to look all around him – to the north, south, east and west. God told Abraham he could have whatever he could see (Genesis 13:14).  If you can’t see it, how will you know where you are going, what you are going for, or whom you are going? Let me make this clear, God’s calling on your life isn’t about your imagination or your ability to dream. His calling is about much more; that calling is His determined plan for your life, a plan that He creates with His unconditional love, He equips with His limitless power and He supports with His infinite resources.

See that God has a calling and a purpose for you

Don’t ever doubt that. If you see yourself as worthless or less than someone else, you will miss your calling. If you see yourself as a failure or a mistake, you will miss it. Before you can see your calling, you have to see yourself through your Father’s eyes. Your enemy is always working against you, from the time you were born, even before, to blind you to the worth you have to your God. Satan knows if you see who you are in Christ, then you will soon see your purpose and your calling, and God will have you in intimate relationship and effective ministry. Remember that plan and purpose is not based on imperfect you; it is based on His perfect, full, abundant and overflowing grace.

Paul prayed for Christ followers, “[may] the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints (Ephesians 1:18)”

See the need for your calling

A call always comes with a purpose. Not only must you see the “what” of your calling; but God will also show you the “why” of your calling. Why is He calling you? There is always a reason for our lives because of the value our Father puts on us and on His kingdom purpose. How can one describe the intense passion God has for His children- an love that motivates Him to aggressively and relentlessly be the answer to our cries, the supply for our needs, the peace to our storm. Often with calling is a shared compassion between us and our Father, a love He pours into our hearts by His Spirit (Romans 5:5). It’s a love that is meant to motivate us to action. Seeing the need coupled with divine compassion is God giving us purpose in the plan, the calling, on our life.

See to what He is calling you

God made you unique. You are special in your gifting, personality, training, education and experience. Finding our identity leads to finding our calling. We see ourselves, we see the need; we need to know where we fit into God’s plan. We need to be sure of our calling, certain of our calling and our purpose. Once we know our destiny, we are more likely to stay on target to fulfill it, to stay in our lane and finish our race.

Peter wrote, “Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure (2 Peter 1:10).”

If you can see it, then you can “Get It, Girl!”

LINK LEADING LADIES

Leading Ladies is a ministry of LINK Churches, a ministry for pastors and their spouses. Leading Ladies is for women who lead in ministry and the marketplace. If you would like to receive information on Link Leading Ladies, please email me at melanie@growchurches.com.

Find LINK Leading Ladies on Facebook

Find LINK Leading Ladies on Instagram

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I Need a New Perspective!

Last week I worked on a bank statement and was off by $167.31. After checking the math in the checkbook and then my math in the reconciliation, I was still stumped, so I stepped away. Yesterday I picked it back up and almost instantly I saw the problem – I had checked it off on the statement as an online payment, but had not recorded it in the checkbook. There is was as plain as day… $167.31. Seeing the solution clearly, especially after feeling the frustration of not finding resolution – that’s a great feeling!
 
Why did I miss it last week? My focus was on the math, and the math was correct. My perspective was off. The same can be true in ministry. When we are frustrated because we don’t see resolution, it could be that we need to step back for a bit. Let go of that attempt – it’s not working. Pull away for awhile. Ask God for discernment, talk it out with someone, or even do something else to find distraction. Then come back and try another angle.
 
In addition, when it comes to spiritual matters (in ministry or the marketplace) we often look at life through our natural mind. Sometimes getting a spiritual mindset will help us find the answer we need. Some solutions are found when we pray in the spirit. Breakthroughs happen when we take the time to fast and pray. Change happens when we rise up in our spiritual authority and the anointing of the Holy Spirit. We have to remember we are spirit beings living in a natural world. It’s a different perspective!
 
So if you feel like you are stuck in place or hitting your head up against a wall, step away and get a different perspective. God is faithful and He will always make a way through!
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10 Ways People Try to Manipulate God… and Fail

Before I tell you how people try to manipulate God, I feel it’s only fair to warn you:

  1. It won’t work. Only dependent, trusting, and obedient faith pleases and moves God. God is not obligated to perform His Word to a manipulator.
  2. Manipulation will only hurt us in the end. Power can make us feel alive with a sense of accomplishment, but the real power comes from knowing God in surrendered relationship.
  3. God knows our life comes from Him.
  4. God knows manipulation is a form of control and pride. He knows when we are striving to make it on our own. He’s been dealing with the fallen human race for thousands of years.
  5. We may not be aware we are acting in a manipulative way. We may consider ourselves to be in real faith due to our performance of God’s Word.

With that in mind, let me write about what we shouldn’t do, to attempt to manipulate God. My purpose is to uncover manipulation and encourage surrender.

To manipulate is to negotiate, control, or influence something or someone cleverly, skillfully, or deviously for one’s own advantage.

Do we want things from God that will benefit us? Of course! God made us to benefit from knowing Him. He loves to benefit us! How does God benefit us?

  • Something in our hearts is missing without knowing God in an intimate relationship. When we experience Him, then we an awakening, “I was lost! Now I’m found!”
  • In God, is everything we need for life and living. There’s salvation and wholeness. There’s restoration and transformation. There is joy, peace, and love. There is companionship and fellowship. There is healing, prosperity, and deliverance, and so much more!
  • In God, we find purpose and calling. We also find equipping and empowering.

If you find that you have been guilty of manipulation or control, you are not alone. Control is the essence of the fallen nature of the human race. Control is something everyone has experienced at one point or another, whether it has been straightforward or passive aggressive. Here are ten ways manipulation operates:

  1. Performance to earn. We live in a world where we earn our paychecks and our promotions. We can’t imagine that we can do good works and earn God’s favor.
  2. Performance to please. We live in a world where if I give you what you want, then you give me what I want. It doesn’t work with God.
  3. Performance to trick. Why do we think we can fool God? He knows everything.
  4. Performances for appearances. If I help God or His church look good, then God will bless me.
  5. If God wants us happy, then He will give in.
  6. If God wants to get on our good side, then He needs to give in.
  7. Withdrawal, denial of affection, neglect. If God wants the person’s relationship, service, or giving, then God needs to give in or get the silent treatment.
  8. Nagging and whining. These are attempts to wear God out and get Him to give in. It can work with people, but it can’t work with God.
  9. Debating using intellect and reason. Some even use God’s Word to debate God in order to put Him in a corner and hold Him to His promises.
  10. Blame Shifting. Blaming God for not getting what is needed. Shaming Him into action.

Real Faith is the only Real Way to Receive from God

  • Learn the joy of surrender. Know God will not manipulate you. We can’t trust Him if we don’t experience His love. Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God.”
  • Be confident that God wants to act on His pure love and His pure Word. Then invite Him to have His way.
  • Read the Bible and find out how God does things and line yourself accordingly. In the position of a surrendered one, believe His Word, receive the Word, speak the Word and do the Word.
  • Instead of performing, try obeying. The difference is that one is self-sufficient, and the other is response to God’s-sufficiency. Another way to say is to stop trying and start trusting, then act on that trust. Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”

In conclusion, I encourage you to read the stories in both testaments of people who received from God, and take notice of their surrendered obedience. I suggest you read about Naaman in 2 Kings 5, Abraham in Genesis 22, Moses’ mother in Exodus 2, the Israelites in Joshua 6, Peter in Acts 10, and Paul in Acts 28. These are just a few.

If you can see the areas you are attempting to control, I encourage you to turn them over to Jesus. Sometimes the things we care about the most are things we put the tightest grip on; however, God is worthy of caring for the things we care the most about. He is trustworthy. He is sufficient. And He loves us more than we can comprehend.

 

 

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The Good Wife: Using Her Powers for Good – Part 2

What are we doing with our strength and influence? In the last blog, Part 1,  I wrote on women’s faith in God, as well as an introduction to how a wife can use her powers for good. In the last entry I wrote how a wife could choose to step out of faith and use her powers to manipulate and control, even rebel and oppose her husband. God wants His people to shine in strength. He also wants us to have discernment on how to use the powers He has given to us, including in a marriage relationship.

Text: I Peter 3:1-7

Peter writes on the role of the wife, sharing how to add her power to a marriage in humility. Any person on any team should understand the importance of teamwork, as well as how to support leadership. In a marriage, principles of teamwork and leadership also apply.

Verse 1
Teams are powerful when they work together. To work together, God put two leaders in the home, giving the husband leadership over the wife. In chapter 3, Peter writes about the husband’s authority in the marriage. Submission is when one person yields to the other person.

In the Bible we all are told to submit to the Lord, yielding to His authority instead of living self-sufficiently in our own strength. This is a powerful spiritual principle, one of leaning on God in faith rather than standing in our own strength. The idea of yielding is also taught in the Bible when it tells us to submit to one another. Also where it admonishes us to yield to the authority of a parent, of an employer, of a political leader. The yielded heart is the heart that honors God’s role as Lord, also seen in respect for human authority. In this case, it is the husband, and Peter is speaking on how a woman can use her strength to influence her husband.

Verse 2
“when they observe your chaste (pure) conduct accompanied by fear (respect, honor).”

Peter teaches that the way to effectively influence a husband is through respecting him. We all want to be respected, or shown value, for who we really are. A wife wants respect, too. When we love one another, we show honor to one another, whatever our roles. When a wife honors her husband, he knows she values him and the responsibility he carries as her leader.

Verse 3
To adorn means “to enhance, to make pleasing or impressive, to make more attractive, to add beauty to.” Peter encourages the woman not to focus on the outward methods of adornment, but on a deeper level of impression.

Verse 4
“rather let it be the hidden (inner) person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle (meek) and quiet (harmonious) spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.”

I love this verse because it tells me something about myself that God would consider to be precious – not only in a marriage relationship, but in my relationship with Him. Whether man or woman, we know faith is what pleases God, and faith is more than believing; faith is that precious quality of a heart that has turned from self-sufficiency to that discovery of love, the decision to abandon self and trust completely, to surrender stand-alone “me” in order to have I-want-union-with-you “us.” I let go of control, and I let God have the reigns of my heart. My yielded heart for God shows up in my yielded heart to yield to others, and that yielded heart for my husband, my partner in life and for life.

When my husband sees how much I love him, that I am willing to take my strength and bring it under his strength, it is pleasing. This is what meekness is – controlled strength. This word has been translated “gentle” in verse 4, also meaning “humble.” Some women are very quiet and soft in their personality, some are not, but this verse is not about personality; it is about choice on what to do with strength. This is another verse I love:

James 4:6 “God resists the proud (or self-sufficient), but gives grace (His limitless strength) to the humble (yielded).”

The word “quiet” in verse 4 is a Greek word that describes “harmonious” or the one that works together with another in unity. It could also be translated “peaceable.” Peter didn’t mean to say that a woman, a precious child of God, is to be silent. She has a voice. It can be a beautiful, strong voice. Peter meant that her spirit, or her demeanor, of a willingness to work together, is precious. This definition pairs well with meekness.

Verses 5 and 6
Peter refers to God’s Hebrew women in Scripture as examples. He mentions their trust in God, and from that trust, examples like Sarah who obeyed her husband. The word obey isn’t to mean the woman is a child. It means to hear the leading, to respond to the leading with humility, and to act in compliance with the leading. Sarah called Abraham, “lord” or “leader.” Peter encouraged wives to do good and not be afraid or intimidated. Be strong. It takes strength to honor a leader of any kind. Could the wife decide to make it on her own and do her own thing, even in a marriage? Of course – she’s intelligent, resourceful, and strong – made in the image of her Father God. Instead of choosing to use her strength to work independently of her husband, The Good Wife chooses to yield her strength to her husband.

Verse 7
We have focused on control issues for the wife. In verse 7 Peter address the control issues of a husband. Peter says to give honor to the wife, or respect, for being the weaker vessel. While most women, not all, have a weaker physical ability than men, not all, this is not the weakness Peter is referring to. I’ve heard some describe women as weak because of the general nurturing nature of women, not all, but I disagree. The same woman who will show sensitivity is the same woman who you will not want to cross if you threaten the ones she cares for. This Greek word for weaker is simply describing a subordinate. Honor her has the one who is following your lead in your home.

Peter says to honor her as an heir together of the grace of life. The Greek word for heir in verse 7 denotes a “joint-heir” who possesses his or her “lot” or “portion” as a participant with another. This is so awesome for marriages – together receiving what God has for them.

If the husband does not recognize and honor his wife as a joint-participant, his prayers could be hindered. Can prayers be hindered? As pastors, we sometimes witness men and women who genuinely ask God for His help, but we also see the same people living in disobedience and neglecting their kingdom responsibilities. We do believe faith, which surrenders in obedience, will receive; but we also believe disobedience and neglect can hinder a person from receiving.

A husband may not fulfill his destiny if he does not respect the person he is jointly participating with, if he does not honor or include her strength.

How to Submit Your Strength
The following are principles for yielding that apply to a wife, or to anyone who has a leader in life – an employer, a pastor, a parent, or other leader.

  1. First, yield to God. We can’t do anything good apart from Him.
  2. If yielding comes as a challenge, I would first suggest you go to the Lord and let Him reveal any hurt or loss that you haven’t surrendered to God. If so, allow Him to fill you up and love that out of you. Receiving His healing and wholeness. It’s okay if the restoration is progressive.
  3. Grow in spiritual strength and overcome desires of the soul to have their way.
  4. Make the decision to yield your strength, whether you feel like it or not. It is a choice.
  5. Lean on the Holy Spirit to develop meekness.

I pray you find the joy in being on a marriage team where you know fulfillment of purpose as a couple, ruling and reigning in life together!

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