Last spring, a couple of friends and I had gotten our kids together a time or two for play dates, and we talked about how much we would enjoy using our time together to fellowship around the things of the Lord and his word. After tossing around several ideas, we decided to read through a book over the summer and discuss it when we could get together….
As a wife, mother, sister, grandmother, aunt, godmother, granddaughter, or friend, we are uniquely suited to serve as INTERCESSORS before God on behalf of those we love.
In Christ Jesus, Christian women are spiritually a holy, royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:5, 9), Jesus having made us “priests to His God and Father” (Revelation 1:6). One of the roles of an Old Testament priest was that of INTERCESSOR.
When the priest went into the Holy Place to minister before the Lord, he wore an ephod and a breastpiece carrying stones with names engraved upon them, the names of the tribes of Israel. Each name of the 12 sons of Israel was carved onto those stones, and when the priest came into God’s presence, he carried those names before the Lord….
When our perspective on relationships is rooted in the gospel, true friendship can blossom.
Have you ever “written off” a friendship with a new acquaintance, assuming she could never “get” you? I know I have. I desire to spare myself that sting of rejection that I fear.
But over the last year, God has shown me that those feelings that I have dismissed as my just being a little extra self-conscious are really a stronghold of pride in my life.
I don’t want to admit it, but my insecurities have been a hindrance for sharing in meaningful friendship with others, loving them, receiving love from them, and sharing in ministering to the body of Christ. I often hesitate to “let people in,” wanting sometimes just to “save face” rather than risk rejection.
I tend to forget that we are all in the same boat:
Every single woman is a sinner and is desperately wicked and depraved. She does not desire God or good apart from the strong, saving arm of her Almighty Father.
When I believe what God’s word says, the gospel becomes a leveling ground….
The greatest regret I have in my life is relationships broken by my poor handling of criticism. For many years, I felt unjustly accused and misunderstood by those close to me, and so, I was indignant and heartbroken by what I felt were unfair accusations.
With incredulity, I asked myself for years, How could they say those things or think that way about me?
But God has been relentlessly shattering my arrogant heart and puncturing every weeping wound with the beauty of his good news. The gospel breaks the chains of guilt and pride, enlightening dark and shadowy strongholds of self-righteousness and self-promotion.
The raw truth of the gospel — that Christ died for my sins, that he was buried, that he was raised for my justification, and that he always lives to make intercession for me — helps me to make sense of my violent reactions to criticism. It teaches me how to respond to criticism, whether or not I believe it’s warranted….