The King's Daughter—Part Four—Spheres of Influence
In Part I of this series we learned that God's original purpose and intent for us as women have not changed since the Garden of Paradise. He still wills for us to be powerful and persuasive under His authority as it was in the beginning.
Part II of this series revealed God's view of us as precious valuable creatures.
Part III involved our part and detailed our obligation to listen to Him and value what He says.
In Part IV we will tackle those spheres of influence "our father's house and our own people" that may have played a role in preventing us from seeing an accurate perspective of God and ourselves.
This portion of the study is not to intended to discount the responsibility of each of us to be accountable to the effects of our own personal sin considering these are as equally damaging if not more damaging to our lives and spiritual health than the crimes committed against us, However, this portion of the message will mainly address the road blocks of effects and influenced by external events and sources that may be preventing us from an accurate comprehension of the truth of God's love for us.
"Forget Your Own People and Your Father's House"
This verse could refer to the opinions of those who mattered most to us, our sphere of influence. Those we listened to, considered and inclined our ear to.
"Your own people" I believe is referring to those relationships in life which we have embraced and invested ourselves into and consequently they bore a certain level of influence in our lives. They could have been our spouse, relatives, or close friends, they essentially were the people we looked up to and admired...anyone whose opinion we valued and embraced.
Our Fathers house I believe refers to the prevailing influences in our family of origin. What did we conclude about ourselves living in our family of origin? Maybe growing up you felt ignored or disliked and grew up embracing thoughts and ideas that concluded you were not worthy of notice or there was something wrong with you, or that maybe you just weren't' good enough. Maybe every experience you have still shouted that message.
Many of us have been influenced by patterns of experiences that may have played a role in shaping, forming, and molding the way we see God, ourselves, and the world around us. These experiences and our own personal interpretation of them are key to our God perception which is the strongest influence on our self-perception. An incorrect God perception results in an incorrect self-perception.
"We cannot consistently behave in ways that are different from what we believe about ourselves"
— Kenneth Boa "Conformed to His Image"
Just as God has had a plan and intention for us from eternity, the enemy has an assignment to kill, steal, and destroy it. (John 10:10) He works in very subtle ways by deceiving us through lies about the world around us and what they might mean about us in a grave attempt to get us to destroy ourselves. His intent is to rob us of our true identity. It was the first game in the garden when the serpent told Eve:
"For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
— Genesis 3
She already was like God. She was created in His image and was given dominion over creation along side her husband.
When Jesus was in the wilderness temptation the very first statement the devil presented to Him was "if you are the Son of God...". The devil's intent was to unravel Him by questioning His identity that he might attempt to kill the plan and purpose of God just as he did in the Garden.
The game hasn't changed much and is the same for each of us as individuals. The reinstatement of the image of God in us is vital to our spiritual health and growth.
the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
— Colossians 1:26-27
God is showing us that there are some things that may be distorting our view of Him and creating an inaccurate view of Him, ourselves, and the world around us based upon our own preconceived ideas and we end up giving birth to insecure reactions and responses that are at times sinful, certainly not helpful, and only perpetuate the lies already resident within us.
How might this misperception occur in relation to our own people and our father's house?
Myles Monroe, in his book "The Purpose and Power of a Woman", describes a woman's ability to conceive, carry a baby and bring forth life that is very descriptive of how we can incubate thoughts that give birth to perceptions and actions. He says this:
"pregnancy is a remarkable process that shifts the focus and efforts of the woman's entire body to the task of developing the new life within her womb." He suggests that this ability is an integral part of her nature that permeates all areas of her life."1
Women come with the incredible ability to incubate. We incubate words, thoughts, and emotions. We internalize them and process them until a conclusion is developed and produced. We then birth whatever it is we have married together in our minds and internalized in our hearts. This can be good or bad.
The verse says specifically "fathers house" What negative messages about our value and worth did we conceive incubate and interpret wrongly? Did we have experiences and events that we internalized and interpreted negatively as declarations of our identity and esteem?
No one has had perfect parents. The intent is not to blame our families of origin. If we were to do that we would have to go all the way back to the very first parents. The purpose of seeing this is to understand how we put things together that aren't always true. The events of our lives are not as important as the messages we carry with us from them.
I heard a phrase in a group I attended once and it was this. "Take responsibility for your life" whether you are the victim or the perpetrator of your misery take responsibility by deciding what you are going to do with it from this day forward.
For many of us, life circumstances and relationships were not confirming with life giving affirmations. Yet God never intended that any of these relationships or even circumstances should be the prevailing dictate of our life and position. This desire in us and the inability of others to fulfill it is our signal to search for it in the only one who can satisfy for this fulfillment.
And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their pre-appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;
— Acts 17:26-27
Distorted Visions of Love
This is a poem that I wrote about how I once perceived love. some of you may be able to identify with it.
I am put up with out of sheer obligation
Pledged to behold me in mere toleration
Actually I bring about much agitation
Provoking ones love to much irritation
Speculations of disappointing His graces
An insignificant speck in a sea of faces
Generically cared for in most of the cases
Left foraging crumbs in a host of poor places
I am here to tell you that His love is not like those things I described above. His love is everything you have ever dreamed of.
Back to the prevailing influences and how they work. I used to think that I had a sign over my life that invited certain negative circumstances into it. I was shocked to learn that it was true. We inevitably attract relationships and circumstances that confirm and reinforce what we already believe about ourselves. Paula White in her book "Deal With It" quotes:
"life follows our most dominant thoughts."
We are continually broadcasting what we really believe to the world around us, to the natural realm and the spiritual via our thoughts which translate into our body language, attitudes, speech, and behavior and they all reflect what our core beliefs are and what we believe we give an invitation to. If we would dare to step away from the familiar path of thoughts that we have followed for so long and see the sign that God has placed over our lives.
He brought me to the banqueting house, And his banner over me was love.
— Song of Solomon 2:4
Our ideas of ourselves should never have been and should not now be based on our own conclusions that have been drawn up and based on the thoughts, ideas, experiences, and treatment of others. The only foundation that is sure and dependable is an esteem built upon God's thoughts toward us brought to us by the Words and Truths as revealed to us in the scripture. (Matthew 7:24-27 -wise man who built his house upon a rock)
How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
— Psalm 139:17
What thoughts have we been incubating all of our lives that are bearing fruits of insecurity, shame, self-loathing, and self-disgust? Have we drawn up conclusions about ourselves that speak to us that we are invisible, not worthy of time, attention, love, or kindness? Are the babies we embrace from our union with these thoughts singing melodies and chanting about how little and insignificant we are. It is time to divorce these thoughts and send the children of these thoughts packing.
In the book of Nehemiah, the Israelites were returning from 70 years of captivity (70 years represents a generation or a lifetime). What prevailing influences have we been dominated us all of our lives?
They were attempting to rebuild the temple that had been destroyed by enemy invasion much like the state of our own souls apart from Him. When we eventually return to the one and only true source of our esteem the Holy Spirit begins a renovation project in building up a place where He can reside within us.
Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?
— I Corinthians 6:19
During the course of this reconstruction project, it was found that many of the men had married foreign wives and born children from them that were leading them astray from the truths of the Lord. Once this was discovered it was suggested that they divorce these foreign wives and send them along with their children. If we look at this symbolically, God is showing us that in our captivity we embraced and even married into thoughts and ideas that were foreign to the image of God in us. (Wives can be symbolic of something with great influence) Through that process, we bore children (product of that union) or conclusions that were contrary to reflecting the truth about Him and us. He is saying "Forget" divorce and put away all the thoughts we have clung to that we thought had such vital meaning and bore such immeasurable influences and send the children (conclusions born from those thoughts that have shaped how we see ourselves and God) packing.
The hard part of this is that our feelings are so desperately tied to the thoughts and ideas we have embraced for so long and so much of us has been invested into it that it is difficult to send them on their way. As difficult at times as it would be to sever those types of relationships.
I don't believe for a second that God is encouraging divorce in this example considering He hates divorce according to Malachi. It is an example of cutting off ties that keep us from Him. The point I make with this story is that our problem is not our spouse or our children. Our true dilemma is our relationship with God. The true problem lies with the fact that we have determined and concluded that we are not loved, cared for, and adored because things aren't going our way or people are treating us poorly.
I can recall early on in my relationship with my husband I was absolutely sure that if he would just treat me the way I needed to be treated I could then feel good about myself. It was so frustrating because it appeared as if he was trying to do what he was supposed to do but it was almost as if he was prevented at times from meeting my expectations. I began to conclude that maybe the problem wasn't with him. Not that he didn't have his problems nor was he perfect but I learned that he was not the solution to the deep insecurities of my heart.
The woman said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water?...Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.” Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’ for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly.”
— John 4:11-17
This woman was obviously searching for her life, identity, and esteem via relationships.
Some of us have to wait for a series of circumstances to come and prove to us that we are all the things we want to believe about ourselves. We believe that contentment will come when our problems are solved. Our loving heavenly Father is inviting us into a fellowship with Himself that provides perfect peace, contentment, and joy whether or not our husbands ever live up to our expectations of them, whether or not the people around us are treating is one way or the other.
As long as our happiness is based on our past experiences or present circumstances we will not "see" the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:21 talks about those walking in the flesh shall not see the kingdom of God, meaning to walk in only what we see and base all of our thoughts, ideas, actions, and reactions on our limited understanding of things it will blind us to the true provision God has for us.
Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the LORD, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon. “For My thoughts arenot your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. “For asthe heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.
— Isaiah 55:7-9
In the above verse, God is bidding us come up higher than the plane of our personal experiences and interpretations of them.
The word wicked used in the above verse comes from an Old English word meaning to twist like the "wick" of a candle. When we rely on our own thoughts and the thoughts of others our thoughts and conclusions become "twisted" It is His sincere desire to make these crooked places straight
Every valley shall be exalted And every mountain and hill brought low; The crooked places shall be made straight And the rough places smooth;
— Isaiah 40:4
I like to think of the brain as a landscape where thoughts are processed forming valleys and mountains. I compare the valleys to trenches that have been bored deep into our psyche, a place where lots of things seem to fall into. Trenches are dark places that thoughts seem to keep dropping off into. The above verse describes how God would like to change the landscape of our minds by raising up those trenches that keep us from riding on the high places.
He makes my feet like the feet of deer, And sets me on my high places.
— Psalm 18:33
The results of listening to everyone but God:
But this is what I commanded them, saying, ‘Obey (same Hebrew word as listen "shema") My voice, and I will be your God (speaks of His position in your heart), and you shall be My people. And walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well (pleasure, beauty, and satisfaction) with you. Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but followed the counsels (deliberations, determinations, and self advice) and the dictates of their evil hearts, and went backward and not forward.
— Jeremiah 7:23-24
If we are only going to listen to, incline our ear, and walk in the counsels and imagination of our own evil heart based solely on what we see and experience in this natural realm we are guaranteed to go backward and not forward in our journey through life. But if we dare to look up and set our hearts on the things above what we think we know and see we will move forward.
Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.
— Colossians 3:2
God has asked us here to wipe the slate clean of our preconceived ideas because they are inaccurate measures of who we truly are and preventing us from seeing the truth.
So the King will greatly desire your beauty
I like how the NIV says it.
"The King is enthralled with your beauty"
— Psalm 45
The Lord desires us. He longs for us. He craves us and is waiting to enjoy us.
I also see something in this verse. Beauty "is" already resident within us. He doesn't say then you will be beautiful. He is saying that when we forget about everything and everyone else and focus on Him and Him alone (that is what makes Him God to us) then we will be able to see His desire for us and the beauty already resident within. We can't see it until we choose to forget.
It is in the heart of every woman to know that she is beautiful, desired, and pleasing. We long to be seen, heard, and considered. It is something we have been searching for all of our lives. We have looked for it in our relationships, we have looked for it in our experiences, and we have looked for it in our careers and accomplishments. We have rummaged around in our pasts to see if there has been any evidence that will validate the possibility that we may be some of these things. Most of us have been sorely disappointed as we gathered up the evidence and concluded that it just wasn't so.
The original eternal plan that God had for a woman was to be a beautiful woman in a beautiful garden with unhindered and perfect fellowship with her God and her husband. When the evil one came with the offer to sketch up some different blue prints for her life based on forbidden knowledge (evil). The result was a shameful and a marred image of herself.
We could spend countless hours digging through the hidden closets of our lives examining all the memories from the past experiences that we have stored up and all the evils committed against us that assisted us in fabricating this current view, but the bottom line is this we have an enemy of our souls that hates us and has had an assignment against us since the day we were born to convince us that we are unlovely, undesirable, not right, and just not good enough through lies and circumstance.
But that is not the end of the story and the devil just doesn't get that much credit because there is a champion of our souls that never gave up His eternal plan and destiny for us. His original plan for woman has not changed.
“For I am the LORD, I do not change...
— Malachi 3:6
He still sees us as the lovely creature He created us to be. He still sees us a beautiful reflection of Himself. And just as Eve had the opportunity to choose the fruit she ate so do we.
“See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil,
— Deuteronomy 30:15
Let us now choose to eat from the tree of life. God is saying, "I already see you as lovely and beautiful but what does it matter if you can't see me looking at you that way and if you continue to mesmerized by lies." The devil is a defeated foe. The only power the enemy has over us is the power we give him through faith in his words. The way we conquer the territory of our souls is to bring them under the lordship of Jesus by believing the promises and truths about us according to His Word and crucifying our own ways of trying to meet the needs of our heart. We don't crucify our needs. We crucify our human ways of getting them.
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
— John 10:10
We cannot change what has happened to us nor can we change the behaviors of others presently but the one thing we can change is how we choose to think and process these events past and present. Take responsibility for our thoughts and for how we choose to respond.
I will conclude this part with the Hebrew word study for the word "forget"
The Hebrew word forget is the word "shachah" this word is built with three Hebrew letters, sheen, caph, and chet.
The first letter Sheen is a picture of teeth and comes with the concept of devouring and destroying.
The next two letters caph and chet together form the Hebrew word for power.
This word picture as used in the context of this verse is the act of deliberately forgetting the not useful, unproductive, not supporting events thoughts and perceptions of the past and destroying the power all of those things have had on our lives. To forget means you give it no more power.
“You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.”
— Revelation 4:11
To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, Be glory and majesty, Dominion and power, Both now and forever. Amen.
— Jude 1:25
May He alone has dominion over our hearts, minds, and lives.
Part Five will cover and define worship and the benefits of being His child.
(1) "Understanding the Purpose and Power of Woman" Published by Whitaker House Copyright 2001
His Banner over Me is love
© 2011 Tamarajo