The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it too. Genesis 3:6 (NLT) (my emphasis)
Eve had been whispered too. She had been told there would be no consequences to eating the one thing she had been told not too. And you know what? The same whispers that she heard are still around and they come in all forms, shapes and sizes.
It can be the ‘serpent’…telling you that God doesn’t care, that you’ve messed up and there is no way you can be forgiven. It can come as a Christian brother or sister who has some information that they just need to relate to you. Or maybe a family member who could be telling you something—’for your own good’. How about a friend who can’t help but tell you the latest item of news they have just heard. And believe it or not, the whisperers come in the form of a book or magazine you read, a radio station you might listen too, or a TV show you watch. Actually when you stop and think about it, the whispering doesn’t stop.
How, you might ask, can we tell the difference between what we should ‘listen too’ and what we should ‘ignore’? Are the whispers you hearing—uplifting? Do they encourage you, build up your self-esteem, help you to grow? Could you/would you repeat them to someone else? Proverbs 18:21 (AMP) says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life]. So no matter what form the whispers come to you…if they are not life-giving they are no good!
Any woman who looks at very much TV, listens to secular music, or looks at the latest magazine on the racks can see how the world is telling us we should act and look and expect to be treated. But we all know what is wrong with that picture. The whispers coming from the world are not encouraging in the right way, they will not enhance your self-esteem and they will not enrich your relationship with Jesus. In my opinion most of the whispering coming from the world makes us less a woman than what our Lord meant for us to be.
I love the Amplified Bibles version of Proverbs 31:30—”Charm and grace are deceptive, and beauty is vain [because it is not lasting], but a woman who reverently and worshipfully fears the Lord, she shall be praised!” Every woman wants to look good but when we base our lives on what the world is telling us we will find ourselves in trouble. We are all beautiful ladies no matter our size, our shape, our age, our color. We are the daughters of THE KING. How can we even think to use the worlds standards as our measuring stick?
That’s why we need each other in this day and age more than any other. We need to encourage each other…to lift one another up. There should be dialog in the church that creates an atmosphere where self-esteem is allowed to grow and flourish in the right direction. Women who are mature in the Lord need to mentor the younger. We should in all ways keep Jesus in the forefront of all we think and do. He is the one we have to please. He is the one who—in the end—we will be ’married’ too. The whispers of Christ are the only ones we should ever really listen too. They won’t lead us in any direction but the right one.
Ahhh…rest, sweet rest! Only got five minutes to describe it!
I think about the ‘things’ I believe I need a ~rest~ from. Work, chores at home, noise, chatter, life. But as I began to think about them I realized just how selfish I could become.
There are people in this world who get no rest. Mothers walking miles and miles to find food for their children to keep them from starvation. Fathers trying to find sufficient employment to keep their families from being homeless. Refugees who have no idea how or when they might ever be able to go back home.
My ‘rest’ seems puny at best.
Yet I realize that no matter who we are, where we come from, what we are doing – the ultimate rest lies in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He is the source of all we need. He is the ‘pillow’ we can lay our heads on when things just aren’t going right. He is our shield, our strength, our high tower ~ our REST!
I’ve been talking to the Lord and trying to hear just what He wanted me to write. As I was reading my Bible I came across some verses that absolutely changed the way I look at how God loves me. It’s not something I have never read before or never heard preached but I think God decided I just needed to see them in a different light.
Here goes: Romans 8:35 and 38-39 (NLT); “Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?…And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels or demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Wow…is that some awesome kind of love or what? The creator of the universe has let us know that the only thing that can keep us from His love is ourselves. It means that just because we may be going through a bad time, or maybe we don’t have any one we can depend on, or we’re not in the place we thought we would be; God loves us more than we can even imagine. And He loves us with a love that is eternal. He sacrificed His own Son for you and me.
The question He kept placing in my heart was—’Are you trying to love others…the way I love you?’ I must admit that sometimes this can be difficult for me. I try really hard but whether it’s impatience, busy schedule, being tired, or just not having a good day—I can sometimes not love people the way I should. And something else Jesus has let me know; not only is it to love the people close to me but it is also to love people who my flesh might not want to love.
How difficult is that? Very. Just ask yourself about someone you have had issues with. They may have hurt you in some way…is it easy to love them? I didn’t say—like. You don’t have to go to lunch with them…but have you spent time in prayer for them? Do they know Jesus as their Savior? If not, are you asking Him to touch their heart so that they won’t die lost? If their saved, are you praying that they can come to a better understanding of what God’s love is?
Doing that sounds difficult doesn’t it? Without Christ—it is. But for us to emulate Him, we have to try. Our focus in this day and age should be people, not who they are, where they’ve come from or what they’ve done…but on where they are in Christ. What is their focus on…who do they look to when things aren’t exactly right? Yet how can we show them Jesus if we don’t love them? If we treat them differently because of the way they’re dressed, the places in life they’ve been, or the amount of money they may or may not have. That’s not they way that God loves us. Let’s take a closer look at how we ‘see’ others. Let’s try a little harder to love more and judge less. Let’s let nothing come between us and showing others the kind of love God shows us.
My prayer is that each time I look in the mirror I see more of Jesus and less of me. I want to love the way He does. I want to see people through the eyes of Christ.