God Did Not Save You to Tame You
by Lisa Bevere
God does not reveal himself as limitless in order to limit us. Quite the contrary. He wants to put his heart within us. My friend Christine says it best: “God did not save you to tame you!”
God is not looking for people who act like Christians. He wants us to be Christians! The word Christian means “anointed or Christlike one.” Jesus did not go around “being good”; he went around “doing good” and releasing all who were oppressed. What has he anointed you to do?
God’s Spirit is on me; he’s chosen me to preach the Message of good news to the poor, Sent me to announce pardon to prisoners and recovery of sight to the blind, To set the burdened and battered free, to announce, “This is God’s year to act!” (Luke 4:18-19)
If the Spirit of God was placed on Jesus to do all these things, and if we are born of the same Spirit, then we are to do as he did – preach the good news to the poor, set the burdened and battered free, and announce, “This is God’s year to act!” I believe that each and every year is God’s year to act, that he is still waiting for us to go into motion on his behalf.
In light of this charge, God does not need a band of domesticated daughters who spend their days baking and behaving well. Nothing wrong with baking, but if that is all we do, God won’t use us to change history.
Laurel Thatcher Ulrich says, “Well-behaved women rarely make history.” I know this quote may challenge some of you. It challenged me when I first read it. This is not an admonition to be naughty, but to realize that change often comes with the challenge of the status quo.
It is when I bow before Him that I stand the tallest In knowing I belong to Him, I am most my own, and in submission to His Spirit I experience the greatest possible freedom. The river of life flows freely and the result is fruitfulness and true fellowship with the Father and the family as Kingdom power reveals the love that never fails.
In the eyes of her southern culture and the bus company, Rosa Parks was not behaving well when she refused to yield her seat and move to the designated “colored” section in the back of the bus. One woman’s choice to hold her ground and not change seats changed how our nation looked at racial segregation. I seriously doubt in that moment she realized she was making history. Time alone has the power to reveal motives and consequences of choices. Maybe Rosa was just tired of being marginalized and denied her God-given right of human dignity.
What about Deborah, Jael, Tamar, Esther, Bathsheba, Abigail, Rahab, and even Mary? (These are just a biblical sampling, because there are more.)
Was Deborah behaving well by inciting her people against a dominant oppressor and riding into war with the men? The leaders of her time thought not. An army rose to oppose her rebellion, but they could not prevail. When the God-chosen male leader hesitated, Deborah carried out God’s directive the best she knew how.
What of Jael? Did she have to use a tent peg to kill her enemy? Couldn’t she just have turned him over to the authorities while he slept? Possibly, but she didn’t. God was okay with her choice, and a song was composed to declare her value.
Then there is Tamar. This twice-widowed woman pretended to be a prostitute and slept with her widowered father-in-law, patriarch Judah. Her behavior is shocking on many levels. There is no evidence that God instructed her to do this. She chose this course of action. But the son of this tenacious woman is found in the lineage of Christ, and she was declared righteous.
Esther disobeyed the command to come to the king only when called. Disobedience had gotten Vashti, Xerxes’ first wife, sacked. Esther should have known better! But her choice to behave badly at court saved her people.
Bathsheba was an adulteress and the mother of Solomon the wise. Rahab was a prostitute who lied to her king and hid enemy spies. Not only did her actions of faith redeem her family from the destruction of Jericho, but her son is in the lineage of David and Jesus. Abigail circumvented her husband. Her choice saved her household and won her the heart of King David.
Mary appeared to carry and illegitimate child and gave birth to the Son of God. What if she had said, “Unwed and pregnant will look bad. Can this wait until I'm married so I will look well behaved?”
History alone justifies the choices of these women. Their hearts were awakened and stirred.
How will you respond when you are fully, dangerously awake? What history will you make? Will you, like the fierce lioness, awaken from a tranquilized state and rise up to defend your family, your community, your world? Are you awake? Even now, what is stirring in your heart?
Words of LIFE Weekly Devotional
Excerpted from Lioness Arising: Wake Up and Change Your World
by Lisa Bevere, © 2010 by Lisa Bevere, (WaterBrook Press)
Pastor Adrian Rogers
"Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with the whithersoever thou goest." Joshua 1:9
The devil is the sinister minister of fear. When he clamps his icy fingers of fear on your heart, do you become afraid of what he'll do to you if you take a stand for God?
Don't be afraid. Fear is an insult to God who said, "I will be with thee." Fear will destroy you.
Are you a worrywart? One lady said, "Don't tell me it does no good to worry. Most of the things I worry about never come to pass."
Be not dismayed. God will take care of you.
Ask the Holy Spirit to show you what your fears are, then confess them as sin. Repent, then reach up and take hold of His right hand that is outstretched to sustain you and give you the victory!
For more from Love Worth Finding and Pastor Adrian Rogers, please visit www.lwf.org.
Sheila Walsh: Facing the Impossible (Words of LIFE)
What does the Bible teach about seemingly impossible situations? Find out why God calls us as He sees us, not as we see ourselves, when we trust Him and His word.