. . . was a phrase coined as a 1990s’ album title by the American Indie group, “The Halo Benders.” It took off like wild fire in a mindset that said to get a backbone and realize how precious we are to God. So, why do we, particularly women, struggle so often with feeling acceptable and lovable to the great Creator of the Universe?
Perhaps we learn to doubt ourselves because life becomes a competition in every skill set, and none of us measures up in every way. We begin to relentlessly tell ourselves that our efforts are never good enough: It could have been better; I should have done this/that; I’ll never get it right. Why does she always know what to do? Why does she always get it right? Of course, no one always gets it right, but that doesn’t stop us from listening to the lies or feeling that we are deficient, does it?
Perhaps we doubt our worth because a woman’s mind, as Christian speaker Mark Gungor would put it, is like a massive ball of tangled wire; every action, thought and experience is connected to all of the owner’s past, present, and possible future actions, thoughts, and experiences. Accepting God’s grace and plan for us becomes entangled in a web of past mistakes and failings. Is life ever simple? “How dare you stand in the presence of the holy God,” the enemy whispers to us; how often do we listen to him?
So, how do we combat and win over this nagging pull. We acknowledge that Christ has already won for us. We need to act on what we know and not on how we feel. God has given us the tools to succeed. In order to do so, we need to take up the armor that God has given us daily, particularly the word of God and that shield of faith.
The shield of faith protects us in battle; Ephesians 6:16, “Above all taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.” In reference, the Women’s Study Bible says that “This long oblong or oval shield was crafted from two layers of wood covered with linen or animal hides, bound together with iron. When fighting side by side, soldiers could hold these shields together to form a long wall. Soaked in water, they served as adequate defense against the enemy’s ‘fiery darts . . .’”
There are three truths to learn from the previous description. First: The enemy targets us; he knows our weaknesses and tries to pierce us over and over again, distracting us from our relationship with God. As women, particularly, we are prone to self-condemnation and self-rejection. Secondly, faith is not a weakness of weak-willed people; faith is a powerful tool and can fend off the condemnations of the wicked one. Thirdly, by joining together, our faith becomes impenetrable.
To build our faith, we must prepare for battle with the word of God. The wicked one knows the scripture and its power. He cannot stand in the face of a believer who knows and uses scripture against him. Psalm 139 tells us of the love that God has for us, and this was even before Christ’s sacrifice. “Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I hide from your presence? . . . . Even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me.” He loves us beyond our understanding; stand on His word, which will strengthen your faith.
Those days that are written, those specific moments that you were aware of God’s intervention and acts of love towards you, are your anchors when the enemy starts in on you with the doubts about your value or God’s love for you. Hang onto those anchors; stand on those truths when the enemy starts to attack. When you do not understand, you need to remember those anchors and speak out in faith.
I Corinthians 13:12 teaches us that faith is accepting that we will not understand everything in our present condition, which is OK. “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.” This is where we have to control our thoughts and emotions and trust in faith that our heavenly Father knows everything, beyond our understanding, and has our good in mind. Whether we feel it or not, God loves us and has a plan for us to grow in His love and service. Whether we feel it or not, it is true. Whether we feel it or not, we need to remind each other of this truth.
God’s word is our weapon against the flaming darts of the enemy that condemn us. Our faith is our shield against Satan’s accusations. Building our faith together enables us to stand united in battles against the enemy. When the darts of doubt threaten you beyond your amount of faith, call on your sisters in Christ to join the battle with you. We all have times when we need our faith strengthened and shared by one another. Encourage and exhort each other whenever the Holy Spirit prompts you to do so. Pray for and build each other up.
“God don’t make no junk!” We won’t understand the true depth of a love like God’s for us while we are on this earth. In human terms and experience, God’s love is beyond our full understanding. Take up the shield of faith and know, in spite of the feelings that try to entangle you, God loves you. He has adopted you as a loving father: “For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba Father” (Romans 8: 15-16). Ask Him to show you how much He loves you.
Find your scripture. Memorize it, and when the wicked one aims those darts of accusations and condemnation at you, raise your shield of faith; speak out God’s word, and stand against the one who is trying to distract you from being all that God has in mind for you. Remember the anchors, those times that you knew without a doubt that God showed you His love through His intervention in your daily life. Use your voice and speak out what God has done for you. Join with your sisters in prayer and faith.
God has told us; Christ has shown us, and as women of faith, we will embrace the truth of God’s love for us and move on to see all that He has in store for each of us.