John 8:36 - So if the Son makes you free, you will be truly free.

Galatians 5:1 - We have freedom now, because Christ made us free. So stand strong. Do not change and go back into the slavery of the law.

This is my journey.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Need Votes!


All right, so here's the deal... I entered an art contest online, and it is entirely popular vote based. I currently sit at #4 (with 76 votes), but of course I am hoping to get to #1! The grand prize, according to the contest main page:

“The grand prize is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to go on a top-secret trip to meet with real persecuted Christians. It will change you forever.”

Which sounds pretty fantastic, right?! So I am currently needing to reach about 210 votes to pull to the top. There are only 3 more days of round 2 voting, so I would appreciate it SO much if you would follow the link below and click the small green “vote” button! (you will have to scroll past the picture, vote button will be on the right side of the screen.)

If you like the artwork... share with your friends!

The title of my artwork is “One In The Body.”

“This painting is descriptive of our oneness with our brothers and sisters across the world in persecution situations. Some are in chains, in prison, constantly harassed, beaten, tortured, and torn away from their families. But one thing can never be taken from them – their faith! This same faith that we in free countries have the comfort to practice in freedom.
We are to remember them, to pray and be intercessors for them. I hope this painting will make that very evident, and inspire those who have the freedom to worship Jesus to pray for those who do not.
Hebrews 13:3 – Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body.”

For those of you who have already voted for me in this contest, THANK YOU!!! I don't think it allows for second votes (1 vote per computer per artwork), but thank you for your contribution!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Birthright of a Son of God

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise.
I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave, though he is the owner of everything, but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father. In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world. But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. Galatians 3:28-4:5 English Standard Version (ESV)

(from here) “A footnote in my Bible adds, “The Greek word for adoption to sonship is a legal term referring to the full legal standing of an adopted male heir in Roman culture.” Paul is saying that all who are in Christ Jesus– Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female– have received the same promise of the adoption to sonship. No one who has faith in Christ has any lesser legal standing, powers or privileges than anyone else.”

What does it mean to be a son of God? To have all the rights, privileges and inheritance of a son?

I have the right to the kingdom of heaven. I have the right to enter the presence of God and bring my praise, requests and hopes before Him at any time. I have the right to the indwelling of His Holy Spirit. I have the right to entirely equal standing, as a woman, with any man in this world. I have the birthright to the kingdom of God Himself!

Yet there is something terrible happening, something my own Christian sisters and brothers are promoting and living by.

“Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished. He said to Jacob, "Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I'm famished!" (That is why he was also called Edom.) Jacob replied, "First sell me your birthright."
"Look, I am about to die," Esau said. "What good is the birthright to me?"
But Jacob said, "Swear to me first." So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob.
Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left. So Esau despised his birthright.” Genesis 25:29-34 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Just as Esau sold his birthright for nothing more than a single bowl of soup, so Christian women and girls are selling their birthright as the Sons of God... for what? To be accepted among the church. To appear to be “doing everything right”. Selling it in favor of a false interpretation of a few verses in the Bible that it seems many do not take the time to study out to find their true meaning.

“I cannot be a pastor, I am a woman.”
“I can't go on the mission field alone, I am a woman.”
“I cannot lead my family, I am a woman.”
“I can't make that decision, I am a woman.”

Tell me, is this not giving up your BIRTHRIGHT as a Son of God? There are no “daughters of God”. Only Sons, only heirs to the full birthright and inheritance. And if I am a full heir to the Kingdom of God, who is to tell me that I cannot serve my Lord as He has provided and led me? Who is to tell me that I am somehow "lesser" and "not able" to operate in equality with my pastor, my father, my husband, my brothers?

Somehow, as a woman, God cannot put in me the desire and ability to pastor a church? As a woman, I do not have the birthright to equality with men? God's Spirit falls on all who accept it, both MEN & WOMEN. God's blessings are equally granted to both men and women. God's Spirit and gifts are given to BOTH men & women!

Sisters, it is no righteous thing to give up your birthright in the name of “submission,” or “obedience,” or “deference.” Brothers, it is no righteous thing to take away the birthright of any of God's children simply based on the fact that they are a woman.

But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel:
“‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
and your old men shall dream dreams;
even on my male servants and female servants
in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy. Acts 2:16-18 (ESV)

When Peter announced this on the day of Pentecost, he was stating that those days of the outpouring of God's Spirit are upon us! That prophecy from Joel had been fulfilled at that time, and is continuing to be fulfilled today.

All of God's children, both men and women, are commanded to walk in the fruit of the Spirit. All are warriors in a fierce spiritual battle, and are to put on the armor of the Lord to FIGHT that battle! Why would we, as women, remove ourselves from that spiritual battle and give up our birthright as the Sons of God?

Humans make divisions and hierarchies. Jesus came to redeem us from the Law, from the patriarchal societies that go against God's will and design. In God's eyes, there is no-one “better,” “stronger,” or “more able.” My strength comes from Christ, not from my physical self. Women have the indwelling of the SAME Spirit as men, so how does it make any sense that they would not be called the same way, given the same gifts, and entrusted the same mission and ministry as any man?

It does not make sense that after the coming of the Spirit all people were declared equal in Christ, yet... not in the realm of ministry? Not in the home?

If God has called and equipped me, it is up to me to do what He would have me do. Do not sell your birthright for anything! Not for security, comfort, or the chance to fit in! I may be shunned by many Christians for they cannot imagine the verses they read to mean anything other than what they have always heard them interpreted as. Read, study, search it out for yourself. Accept no teaching without thorough study of how it lines up with scripture.

Accept your birthright as a Son of God, and walk in the power of His Spirit over your life!