“If ever there comes a time when the women of the world come together purely and simply for the benefit of mankind, it will be a force such as the world has never known. MATTHEW ARNOLD, NINETEENTH-CENTURY BRITISH POET AND PHILOSOPHER”
2 Cor. 10:3
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.
There are many seasons that we as believers go through, and although each season has its challenges, one of the most intense seasons you can face is that of Spiritual Warfare.
In many cases, it will be a dry season where we feel as if we can't hear or see as well while the world around us and within us seems barren.
It is within this wilderness where an invitation to move from bleakness to breakthrough flows.
And what we often fail to realize is that God allows us to prepare for the Wilderness long before we ever step in.
Train Our Hands for War
Blessed be the LORD, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle.
I can imagine Jesus in the desert for 40 days. He is almost ready to break through into His ministry, His calling, and His purpose. Father God calls Him into the desert where He meets satan on the sand.
The enemy can see the glimmering of destiny upon every believer, and in the desert season he comes with his own invitation; an invitation to exchange God's Kingdom for his---- to exchange the heavenly for the earthly.
This kind of invitation may seem appealing, but it will only end in death.
Up until this point, Jesus had spent His life learning His Father's voice. He knew His word and His ways. His hands were prepared in prayer and praise, and His heart knew Heaven's plan for victory long before He ever set foot on the sands of temptation. The enemy's words could not override The Living Word flowing from the mouth of God's child, and so satan left him.
Song of Solomon 8:5
Who is this coming up from the wilderness, leaning on the one she loves?
When Jesus stepped out of the desert, His public ministry began, and in much the same way this pattern will happen to each of us:
+ We are Hidden to Prepare
+ Called Out to Be Tested
+ Moved Forward in Power
There is nothing like being tempted but choosing the better way. We must all learn to walk out of the Wilderness in righteousness and confidence knowing that when we lean on God, He whispers to us the better way.
I have found that it is love that makes you lean.
It's God's radical love that pursues us, woos us, and strengthens us for His purpose alone.
We often long for our callings because they literally call out to us from Heaven, but when they come, the weight can feel heavy, serious, and daunting.
I was fresh out of a desert season of my own, where I had been quiet and tucked away in order to heal, grow, and mature, when God sent me to the real desert for my coming out party. I was launched out of my cocoon of hiddenness and called to minister to a group of women somewhere in the Arizona Wilderness.
God called me into the desert to send me out fully reliant on Him, knowing I would forever lean on the one I love, to lead the way.
And just weeks after my desert debut, I was back on an airplane headed to Kansas City, Mo, and waking up to get ready for another round of ministry. But this time I wasn't alone...
Dress Me for Battle
You're an army dressed for battle. Take the Land.
Where Jesus had His12, that morning I had my two. Looking back, something special transpired between us that day, and it all began when I could not get my shirt on by myself.
When God sends you on a mission with a message, you must dress appropriately... which means cute, feminine, powerful, and sometimes impossible to pull off alone. Even though my shirt met these requirements, there were so many buttons down the back that I had to ask my new friend to help me put it on.
As I stood there, she began to literally clothe me for the day. In some ways my stance was humble, and yet I felt like my friend honored me as she prepared me for battle.
Her steady hands gave me strength.
Then, once we were in the car, my longtime friend (Stacey) said, "I want to pray for you before we leave." As she did, I felt as if the Armor of the Lord was being placed upon me.
I felt like a General. I felt my eyes fill with a fire that would help me keep my gaze on the target. I felt my heart beat strong with a message that would bring change, and I felt my hands and feet move with the readiness of the Kingdom waiting to be advanced at the sound of my voice releasing the order. I knew what had just happened in the name of Friendship. Those two women partnered with what the Lord was doing in me and through me, and they Dressed Me for War.
“You know you are with true friends when they lift, encourage, correct, and then spur you on.”
― Lisa Bevere, Lioness Arising: Awaken the Power of the Untamed Life
In my lifetime I have watched women tear each other to shreds instead of honoring the gifts and assignments on the life of one another. I have watched them as they point out weakness instead of clothe each other with strength, and in insecurity and jealousy, curse the cause of Christ in their fellow sister. I have been this woman.
Ask yourself this, daughter of God:
Are you Friend or are you Foe?
Are you willing to dress your sister to help prepare her for how God wants to use her, or will you hold back your hand and leave her half-dressed for battle?
Don't you realize that the one who dresses wields a power that the undressed cannot until you CLOTHE her?!
A WARTIME IMPARTATION
I rip off every robe of pride, jealousy, and insecurity that is being worn by the daughter of God who reads this. I clothe you in a robe of humility, service, and sacrifice. I release the Sword of Service into your heart and into your hands RIGHT NOW in the MIGHTY Name of Jesus! Amen.
We are an army of the Lord, and we are only as strong as those who are dressed for battle.
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Tabatha and Stacey are two best friends who blew-up until God (thankfully!) put them back together. Now they host the Hey, Var! Podcast and co-lead Havar International, a worldwide ministry that commissions women to build biblical friendships so they can carry the weight of their lives together.