I had no idea that I was in a room full of warriors. Warriors fight.
They were victims of human trafficking; sounds like words from a CSI television episode, doesn’t it? Well, unfortunately, it’s not just on television-it is real.
While on a mission trip in 2010, I had the privilege and honor to be in a room full of women who had been rescued from the world of trafficking. I have heard numerous testimonies, but these left me forever changed. Listening to their rescue scenarios, I was struck by their amazing bravery, but also by how they weren’t comparing themselves to the others around them. It was as if they knew each story mattered.
They made me want to be brave. They made me think, “Have I ever been that brave to fight for anything?” I have pondered that question for months. Now, I really want to be a fighter too.
So what is it that I want to fight for?
I want to fight for women in the church to not fight each other, but instead to lift each other up to reach our purpose. Lioness Arising, by Lisa Bevere, begins with a quote from Matthew Arnold:
“If ever there comes a time when the women of the world come together purely and simply
for the benefit of mankind, it will be a force such as the world has never known.”
Together, we (women) are a force to be reckoned with. I want to eradicate the spirit of comparison and understand that in each of our giftings, there is purpose to change The Kingdom.
Most of us believe that we aren’t good enough because the adversary whispers to us about our pasts. Those thoughts are not from God! He doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called, and YOU and I are called.
Let’s rally the fighter mentality to come in.
Luke 4:18-19 says, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me; He’s anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to announce pardon to the prisoners, And recovery of sight to the blind, To set the burdened and battered free, and to announce, “This is God’s year to act!”
The Spirit of God was placed on Jesus to do all these things. We have that same Spirit living on the inside of us, and we have a lot of work to do!
There is a ripple in the tide right now that I pray will become a full-fledged rushing current in women today. We rise up, only to get pushed back down due to our circumstances, and sadly, sometimes due to our other sisters. However, there is urgency in our time for us to supersede the lies in our heads that say our contribution is not necessary.
If you’re breathing, you still have purpose.
For a long time, I felt my life could never amount to anything as I considered the resume of my past: failed marriage, broken family, a woman who let herself be battered. However, thanks to freedom classes at Gateway Church and the same God who loves you, I discovered that the thing that held me back most was thinking that my identity was my testimony. My testimony is what happened to me: my life story.
My identity only comes from God.
We are not the sum total of our pasts, and we shouldn’t compare our story or purpose among each other either. I am going to fight. Who is with me? An army of sisters in the kingdom rising up can make a difference.
Daily, I remind myself of those brave women who fought even when they were afraid, and they were rescued. I can’t help thinking that some of us need to be rescued as well. We need to be rescued from all the negative thoughts, old beliefs from our childhoods, and the perpetually defeated posture that says we can’t make a difference because we are comparing ourselves to another.
I truly believe that the reason those women were so brave is that their very life depended on it. My word for you today is this: our very life depends on whether we can fight past the messages we get from the devil, others, and our past.
The time is now. You and I can preach the good news to the poor, announce to anyone we come across that they are pardoned from the prison of their past, help give them sight to see the truth, and aid them by helping remove their burdens and battered places. It doesn’t matter what your gift is; the Spirit of the Lord is upon us, and we need to fight for these purposes and not fight each other.
This is God’s year for you to act! That is your purpose.