I am not exactly sure why, but last night was a rough night in our house. Otis and I were both up most of the night unable to sleep. We spent time tossing and turning. We spent time praying. We are both believing, praying for, and expecting an amazing year in Fuel and our personal life this year. With great progress and making an impact comes attacks. We call things like we see them, and know that some of the things that we have faced lately are just that- spiritual warfare. At one point during the night, I came into the living room by myself and spent some time With God…reading and praying. I wanted to share some of what was placed on my heart during that time.
As I opened my Bible app and contemplated where to start reading, I just had the thought to do a few searches on fierce and strong women in the Bible. I had a few in mind that I figured would be on any list that I looked at, but I had a few surprises too. I am even ashamed to say that one common example was someone that I had never even heard of- probably because I had always just read right over her verse in the Bible.
The first person that came up in my search was Jael. We read her story in Judges 4:17-21.
“Now Sisera ran away on foot to the tent of Jael, wife of Heber the Kenite, for King Jabin of Hazor and the family of Heber the Kenite had made a peace treaty. 18 Jael came out to welcome Sisera. She said to him, “Stop and rest, my lord. Stop and rest with me. Don’t be afraid.” So Sisera stopped to rest in her tent, and she put a blanket over him. 19 He said to her, “Give me a little water to drink, because I’m thirsty.” She opened a goatskin container of milk and gave him some milk to drink. Then she covered him up again. 20 He said to her, “Stand watch at the entrance to the tent. If anyone comes along and asks you, ‘Is there a man here?’ say ‘No.’” 21 Then Jael wife of Heber took a tent peg in one hand and a hammer in the other. She crept up on him, drove the tent peg through his temple into the ground while he was asleep from exhaustion, and he died.”
Reading that story can be slightly intimidating. I can think of a hundred other ways that this story could have played out. She could have let fear control her. Once Sisera fell asleep, she could’ve gone and searched for help. She could have left him sleeping and run to get a male or someone stronger to overtake him. She was smart and quick thinking. She handled the situation herself.
The next example is Abigail and her story is in 1 Samuel 25:2-42. Abigail did what needed to be done to protect her family. She did not wait to see how her husband would respond to the attack. Abigail used better judgment and went ahead and took action. She showed honesty and her family was spared.
We all know the story of Esther, if not you can read it in Esther chapters 1-8. I remember doing a lot of research on Esther in 8th or 9th grade because I did a project on her. The story of Esther saving her people is a powerful story. None of the women mentioned so far allowed fear to take control of them. Nor did they wait in the shadows and pass the job off to someone else. These women were very active and did what was necessary.
Deborah is another famous example. Her story overlaps with story of Jael, and can be found in Judges 4-5. Deborah was the only female judge in the Bible. She was known for her relationship with God and was considered to be wise. She also went boldy into battle. It sounds like she was a great, well-respected leader that did what was necessary and did not shy away from the hard situations.
What about Mary of Nazareth ( the mother of Jesus)? Spend a few minutes to think abut the emotions that must have been going through her mind. I can only imagine how stressed and scared she must have felt… not knowing how people would react…not knowing how Joseph would react. Even through any uncertainty, she was still willing and obedient. Being someone that is a fierce warrior means that we have to be ready to embrace great opportunities.
My last example is Lois. Never heard of her? Or maybe you don’t recall that name coming up in your Sunday School Bible lessons?? Well, I didn’t either. In 2 Timothy chapter 1, Paul is writing a letter to Timothy. In verse 5, Lois is mentioned. “I recall your sincere faith that was alive first in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice, and I am sure is in you.” Lois and Eunice taught Timothy about having faith. They helped make him into the young man that he became. I feel like they must have had quite a significant influence on Timothy for Paul to even mention them by name. This serves as a reminder to me, that all those little moments count. Those times when you are wondering if your kids are even listening….or that Sunday School class that you think are never paying attention…or the youth group that you ponder if you are really making an impact or not…
Isaiah 55:11 tells us that “It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.” God’s word will not come back void. The little things that you are doing today…the seeds that you are planting….they DO matter. Lois was setting a path for generations ahead of herself.
But back to the other brave and fierce women that we talked about before….and don’t get all upset quite yet. This isn’t a “girl power” post necessarily. Maybe this is just something that I needed….and I thought that maybe I should share it just in case anyone out there might need it as well…
One of the most common verses in the Bible that is quoted time and time again about being a wife is that we are to submit to our husbands. Let’s get one thing perfectly clear, I 100% whole-heartedly believe this and do my best to live by this. However, think about this ladies. Our husbands are in the midst of the battle too. They are going to have moments and maybe even seasons of spiritual warfare. Are we going to use this verse as something to hide behind? Are we just going to wait on the battle to pass before we step out of the shadows, only to measure the damage that was done after the fact? Not me. I refuse to stand by and let my family come under attack. Doesn’t the Bible teach that once you are married that you and your husband are one??
Visualize this– if you were walking down the street with your husband and he came under a actual physical attack, would you just leave him and run and hide. If things were not going in his favor, would you just think to yourself ‘oh well, he is the man, so I’m just going to wait it out’. Would you just stand by or would you step in and do what you could….or whatever you could to help in the fight? You might even find yourself protecting him if he is knocked down!
Ephesians 6: 10-18
“Finally, be strengthened in the Lord and in the strength of his power. 11 Clothe yourselves with the full armor of God so that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. 13 For this reason, take up the full armor of God so that you may be able to stand your ground on the evil day, and having done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm therefore, by fastening the belt of truth around your waist, by putting on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 by fitting your feet with the preparation that comes from the good news of peace, 16 and in all of this, by taking up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 With every prayer and petition, pray at all times in the Spirit, and to this end be alert, with all perseverance and requests for all the saints.”
How handy is your armor? Do you have it packed up and put away? Or do you have it within reach so that you can be there if needed? Our husbands cannot be at 100% and fully charged all of the time. Attacks will come…especially if we are truly desiring to make an impact in the world for Christ.
I don’t know what the official Biblical definition of a “vision from God” is. Nor am I saying that I had some amazing vision from Heaven. I will say, that I saw myself. It was a very clear picture in my mind. I was putting on armor. I didn’t look awkward or scared. I looked confident and determined. I looked like I had a goal in my mind and a purpose in my heart….like I knew what I had to do. Ladies, we need to be ready. Warfare is no joke. We can’t let our guard down. We can’t just play the damsel in distress role. We need to be ready to put on some armor ourselves. We have to get in the fight. Are you willing to fast? Increase your Bible study and reading time? Maybe give up some sleep to pray? Most women, including myself, can be fiercely protective….especially of our family. We need to be willing to get in the battle and back our husbands up and stand by their side until the breakthrough comes.
Our families depend on us…