As I was packing for the She Speaks Conference, I was praying for the Lord to speak to me through His Word and the women. My desire was for Him to unpack some direction for me.
I had attended this conference five years earlier, and as a result, Living Real magazine was conceived. Two years later, the first issue was birthed and placed in my hands. What an awesome God we serve. But this is a huge undertaking, and only a faithful God can continue the task He has begun in me.
I returned to "She Speaks" this past weekend to hear from the Master Designer of my heart, to hone in on my writing skills, and to seek direction once again.
As the people listened to the enemy, their strength began slipping away and the daunting task ahead of them appeared more and more unattainable. Fear gripped their lives. They were surrounded by the enemy, and the enemy's intimidation and insults penetrated their minds. They began to complain and focus on the doubt and fear. It all seemed so hopeless. They wanted to give up.
But Nehemiah, the cupbearer to the king and the servant of the Lord, had a plan. He strategically placed some of the people at the lowest, most vulnerable points of the wall, and he posted them by families. (vs. 3) He understood that he needed gap fillers; strong men who weren't exhausted, and he placed them where the wall was weak. As these men stood in the gaps for their families, the enemy was kept out. Then Nehemiah proclaimed to the people to not be afraid. "Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, sons and daughters, your wives and your homes." (v.14)
The people listened and obeyed. The enemy's plan was thwarted by God and the intimidation tactics melted into a puddle of worthlessness. God had proved His power again. How great is our God!
When women attend a She Speaks Conference, intimidation is bound to show up. It comes in many shapes and sizes (just like people) and, if we are not prepared, we will be defeated before we begin. Even a She Speaks graduate can be intimidated. I've learned over the years, though, that we all put on our pants the same way, including the women on the stage. We may wear different styles, sizes, and colors, depending on our season of life, or personal preferences, but we all put them on - one leg at a time. And guess what! We all serve the same incredible God! The faithful, powerful God, who frustrated the enemy's plan against His children. This God, the God of heaven and earth, is building what He has designed you and me to be-a living temple which houses the Holy Spirit and displays His glory.
When we display His glory we also spill out the love of Jesus Christ onto those around us. The enemy has no power over us because we have a Savior who hung in the gap for us on the cross. A Savior, who bridged the gap across that great divide to the Father. He sacrificed His life for all people, and for those who have trusted in this great Savior, He stands in the gap for us even now as He sits at the right hand of the Father in heaven. We, who have believed in Jesus Christ by faith, through the blood of the Lamb, have been vaccinated against the vicious virus of intimidation. If God is for us, then no one can harm us.
When we allow our minds to believe the darts of insult and intimidation that Satan hurls, then we begin to lose our strength, our purpose, and our focus. This virus, though, can be defeated! We have to fight it with the power of the Word of God. Where we are weak, He is strong. When we doubt, He gives us faith. When our circumstances seem hopeless, He is our hope. We have to fight for what He has equipped us to do.
What are you doing with the virus of intimidation? Don't give up. Together, let's claim God's promise, believing..."being confident in this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." (Philippians 1:6 NIV)
Thank you, Lord Jesus, for standing in the gap for me against the darts of intimidation hurled by the enemy. You have made me and I claim your promise that You will finish what You have started in my life. Give me Your strength and a clear focus today. Use me. Mold me. Make me a display of Your glory as I walk in faith and obedience to Your calling -one step at a time.
In the power of Jesus' name I pray, Amen.