This week was a week of serious life and death issues. What to say? How to pray?
This week was intense. Attended a funeral showing for a young man who overdosed on heroin. Participated in a group prayer session for a friend with aggressive brain cancer. Was a mediating presence for a hostile visit between split family members. Wrestled in prayer for many hours for someone who attempted to end his life. Counseled and prayed with a hungry heart wondering about confession and the gift of healing it promises. Was at the hospital a good portion of the day today for my friend with brain cancer who has taken a sudden turn due to infection. Through each situation, I was asking the Lord so many questions.
What do you want me to say? What do you want me to do? How do I pray?
It is amazing how awkward and ill equipped I feel the further I go in this call of prayer and ministering. There is no denying I see myself as weak, unable, and desperate for God's intervention.
There is a common response I got from the Lord for all circumstances, whether in situations with believers or unbelievers, with those with hearts that love him or with those with hearts blinded by upset, self will and/or radical unbelief.
Last week's blog revealed a picture of tender touch as a root definition of mercy. In the post "God has a womb, meditate upon and enter in", it was shown that the root definition of womb is mercy. I thought about both alot this week. I had those pictures of tender, holy touch in my mind's eye. I envisioned people being carried in God's womb, that safe place where there is nourishment of nutrient rich blood and supernatural breath from the umbilical cord of Christ. I cried out for mercy for those who do not yet know His mercy nor realize their need for it.
Christ is mercy. His touch heals. He offers his flesh and blood as a hiding place, a supernatural womb for new life, renewal, nourishment, transport and safe delivery to Heaven, Colossians 3:3.
He touched the lepers. He touched the blind outcasts. He let women touch his cloak, his feet, his head. He touched the deaf and mute. He touched his disciples feet to serve them. He touched the demon possessed. He touched the little children. He touched the dead boy, the dead girl. He let himself be violently rended by the wrath of God's touch so that we do not have to receive that touch of God's anger. Christ is mercy. Everyone needs his mercy.
So many are lost, so many have very skewed views of life and death and life after death. It is too much to process everyone's views, too much to negotiate. All God is asking me to focus on is crying out for mercy, asking for His mercy upon others, and demonstrating His mercy as I follow.
Christ is the power and wisdom of God. His weakness is stronger than any human's strength and his foolishness is wiser than any human's wisdom. 1 Corinthians 1:24-25.
What king establishes a throne in love, Isaiah 16:5? Christ alone. You will find no other king who does so. He is not the will of the people or himself, He is the will of God the Father in Heaven, John 6:38.
Yes he was the King, is the King, will forever be the King who established his throne in love. He is the only one who willingly stripped himself of His heavenly home to bow at our feet and serve us, to be sentenced and humiliated and tortured. What can we suffer in comparison? We can join him in sorrow and affliction and suffering, weak and desperate for power from on high. As we join in his foolish way to procure salvation through suffering, as we join in his weak way of putting others above himself, we also become the wisdom and power of Christ. We overcome darkness and despair with mercy.
The highlights of this week were moments of His mercy displayed. I experienced with fellow believers crying out for mercy to extend the life of one of his precious children and in another circumstance for one yet to know God. I experienced it while praying with a sister-in- Christ burdened with wanting to know the healing power of confession in fellowship. Mercy was present while singing and worshipping in a critical care unit at a bedside of a friend, her dedicated husband and another loving friend just praising and believing in the goodness of God. Mercy was present as I was alone with Christ in my prayer closet at home, in the hospital chapel, confessing weaknesses and being strengthened by His presence and Spirit. Mercy made himself evident when I was being silent and just listening to anger and tears of some, taking many opportunities to offer a gentle touch in prayer or just while listening. He gave me alot of mercy this week. Through the Holy Spirit he helped me extend some of His mercy to others. Worthy is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
Think about the mercy of God. His healing touch, his promise to hear your cry for mercy. Go into your prayer closet and sing and worship and cry out. Come forth to extend his mercy in his weakness, you will be stronger than any man's strength. Demonstrate the foolishness of Christ and be wiser than any man's wisdom.
Christ, the power and wisdom of God.
Jude 1:21- keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.
Cutting right to the chase, the ones who shout for mercy get Jesus' attention. The ones with shameless audacity, who cry aloud, and who persist are heard and responded to by Jesus.
It's not the only example, but the Bible tells of two blind men who persist with great success. They shout and then they shout even more loudly. They were insisting that Christ have mercy upon them. They shout all the louder after public rebuke. This is behavior oh so contrary to our "civilized" ways. What we are very adverse to do in public, what we probably judge as foolish, unstable worship behavior, Jesus looks upon with compassion and lovingly responds with his healing hand.
God does not change. God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He still does. He loves the outcasts. He lifts up the humble. His compassionate personal touch carries miraculous power that heals and transforms. He gave complete vision (both human and spiritual) to the unrelenting blind outcasts. Spiritual walls came down outside the city walls of Jericho once again, except in different form. Those once blind, could now see; and they followed him.
Matthew 20:29-34- 29 As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. 30 Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”
31 The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”
32 Jesus stopped and called them. “What do you want me to do for you?”he asked.
33 “Lord,” they answered, “we want our sight.”
34 Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.
Many thousands of years earlier, God's people shouted loudly on the cue of Joshua and the walls of Jericho fell, Joshua 6:10, 16, 20). What type of shout is this that harnesses the power of God?
It's a joyful noise. One of confident dependence. It has roots in a word that means to split the ears with sound, to send an alarm, sound an alarm of triumph! Oh that in our day, God's people would break forth in loud shouts of praise.! Oh that we would not withhold a joyful noise from the One who paid the highest cost so that we may live, Philippians 2:8, Isaiah 53:1-12.
If you feel as though there is no life in answers to prayer, is there life in your cries for mercy? Is there passion, volume, conviction, joyful song that is unashamed in His presence? Alone in your prayer closet, are you willing to act this way? In public worship? As you drive around in your car?
Find a place to be loud and shout for mercy. Joyful shouts, loud cries for mercies will always get the Savior's attention. Notice Jesus stopped at the blind men's cries for mercy.
He asked them, "What do you want me to do for you?" Powerful.
Jesus is merciful. Did you know that God's description of being merciful has it's roots in a word that means to "fondle"? Our minds might quickly go to sexual context; but that is not the context at all. It is along the lines of the loving caress from a parent. Think of a father kissing the forehead of his child. Think of a pregnant woman who rubs her belly as she tenderly thinks of that baby within.
Jesus touched the blind men, verse 34 above. He touched their eyes.
Now with the images above, think of the tenderness of his touch. Meditate upon the Savior's compassionate fingers releasing power into the blind outcasts and healing them. What a blessing to have his personal touch, all the loud cries for mercy, all the public humiliation was worth it!
Cry out for mercy, then cry out all the more loudly! See if He asks you what you want him to do for you. In what ways are you blind? In what new ways do you need to see? Is the Savior clear in your sight and are you following him? Blessings be upon your cries for mercy!
How many of the pictures below are visual definitions to the Hebrew word of "female"? The answer and more to meditate upon for the word “female” will be towards the end of this blog. But first, how many images do you pick, just one, two out of the 3, or all 3?
Image 1 is a visual of perforate. Image 2 is a visual image for the "curse". Image 3 is a visual image for hollowing out.
The gender discussion is not going away. Over the last couple of weeks, I have continued to read posts, overhear conversations about it, and engage in discussions about it myself. Because times are calling for it, more than ever, we should be able to graciously engage in these discussions and reveal a Holy and perfect Designer who, from the beginning, had separate and express intent for male and female. Of course, not everyone will follow God’s logic and truth, but we who call him God need to understand ourselves what we believe and where God reveals distinct design. The more we understand, the better we know Him, the more we fall in love with Him.
Genesis 1:26a-27- 26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness … So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
Note first, the reference to the Trinity here. God calls himself “Us” and “Our”, revealing immediately He was plural in nature, yet distinctly One God.
Also note, starting from the beginning, man was also one… that became plural of two (male and female).
God created him. Who? Adam. Who was in Adam? Eve.
Genesis 2:21-22 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
Instead of picking up another heap of dust from the ground to make Eve, God took Eve FROM Adam, fashioning him from Adam’s side. Eve was not a separate design from dust as all else of creation was from Adam. Eve was originally inside of Adam. God took from the side chamber of Adam and cells of Adam to create Eve. He punctured Adam and created a hole in his side, taking something from him. God intended to create a complementary image bearer of himself through Eve, Adam’s help mate and support.
There is a lot to meditate on right there. If Adam had everything God needed to make Eve within him, what part of God’s image was divided out from Adam? What was pulled from Adam and was now residing in Eve? What did Eve not have in her because she was an extension of Adam’s side? How was God’s image now divided between the two humans? God reveals in the very beginning of human creation that His image was shared between Adam and Eve, yet complete only when utterly dependent upon God himself, Ephesians 5:21.
If you are married, think about the unique differences between you and your spouse. If you have opposite gender siblings, do you see gender qualifying differences? Physiological, mental, emotional, spiritual?
Those differences were meant to be tied to dependence upon God for proper functioning and prospering. Yes there are image bearing differences between male and female right at the beginning of God’s story. The creation account is meant to help us begin to see a theme in scripture of separate beings, but unified relationship. It helps us understand the Trinity and the very unique characteristics with specific purpose and expressions of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This separate but unified identity should stir us to stay within the specific tasks and purposes God intended when He made male and female. The Trinity works in harmony by surrendering to assigned purpose and consistently acknowledging dependence on one another for their decisions and actions (Genesis 1:26, Genesis 3:22, John 14:10, John 14:15-17, John 14:28, John 15:1-2, John 16:13-15).
But I digress on that topic, because mostly this blog is about God’s surprising pictures and design of the “female”.
I looked up “female” in a resource I received this week. The resource was the Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon. The purpose of the book is to organize Hebrew words by root stems and to list all of the words that are derived from that root. Words derived from the "parent" root are child roots, and those child roots have definitions related to the definition of the parent. As human children bear images of their human parents, Hebrew child root words bear images of their parent roots.
These visual definitions from biblical word studies often bring fascinating revelation of Christ, the Gospel, Supernatural life, and fallen nature.
Now back to the images above for "female".
Which images did you pick that help define "female”? The correct images to choose are all 3! For the word "female" the visual images above of perforated, curse, and hollowed out are all definitions that come from the parent root from which the word "female" comes. But the best image is the 3rd one, the one of being hollowed out. Surprising?
Lets take perforated first. The Hebrew word for female is H5347, neqebah. In Brown-Driver-Briggs, the word “perforata” is listed in parenthesis next to the entry for female. I saw this and got confused. What does perforation have to do with being female? It made me look to the parent root. The word “female” has a parent word of “pierce” as with holes, as perforate means. Say again?
So slowing down a bit, I went to the parent root of female to discover how holes help define "female". It is the Hebrew word #5344 and is the word “pierce”. Hmmmm. It is defined in Brown-Driver-Briggs as a verb and noun. It means to bore through, creating a hole, depth, spring of water, perforate, pierce, scrutinize, sagacity, leader, chief (one who scrutinizes). Brown-Driver-Briggs also has “pierce” as a noun with a technical term of a jeweler who creates a setting for a stone to be put in place.
Once you read the parent definitions, do you start to see how a female’s purpose and design takes shape? Who did God bore through, creating a hole in him to create Eve? He pierced Adam.
Do females have a cavity that God bore within them so that they can uniquely by gender carry a child? Is female anatomy distinguished from male with an entry that must be penetrated by a male for procreation? This is the 3rd picture above and the one that puts best context around the unique female design.
My own thoughts also went to relating other aspects of the "pierce" definition above to female descriptives. Does she uniquely release water during the birthing process? Does she have a spring of tears more so than her male counterpart? Females often do seem to have an innate ability for mental discernment, i.e. sagacity (woman’s intuition). I have seen females have a unique ability to drill others and bore into others with scrutinizing questions. Females leaders often have good judgment and it helps their husband, children, and many others.
There is another definition from the parent word that I didn’t list above and that is “curse” which is represented in the image of bitten apple above. Through the first female, the curse was put in motion, i.e. flesh separation from God for both Adam and Eve and all humanity after (Genesis 3:6).
Not excluding males, but if we think of the flesh nature of females, we can do some damage with our ability to pierce others using words, bore into and hammer to death, curse others, judge wrongly, and be overly emotional as a frequent fountain of tears, etc.
Did you know the word"hammer" comes directly off the word “female”. It is Hebrew word #4718, maqqebeth. (On a side note this made me think of Shakespeare’s Lady MacBeth. She was a hammer that pierced with words, she cursed herself and others, she killed, and she enticed the base nature of her husband.)
We can see two sides of truth in the parent root of the word "female". In the parent root "pierce" there is a flesh and spirit definition.
God planned redemption always for Eve, for her flesh female nature. In His goodness, He did not want to leave her in a curse, but wanted to create a new fountain of supernatural life within.
Galatians 3:13- Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.”
Take some time to assess your female nature. Ask God to show you what aspects of your nature he wants to redeem. For me, God has taken many years to break my self-sufficiency and "soften" the nature built in the career world. Let the master jeweler form his beauty in you. He calls you "beautiful", music to a woman's ears, Song of Songs 1:15.
Christ your Heavenly Father and heavenly husband, let himself be pierced with many holes. Christ, let out blood and water from his side that you be bathed and cleansed from that flow of His life. He entered the depths… of sin and darkness. Christ draws up for every Eve who calls on his name, a Heavenly supply of supernatural water, i.e. the Holy Spirit. Christ wants to become the Compassionate Scrutinizer within you, to read you and keep you and guard you and renew your mind. Christ, your leader. Christ, your chief. Christ, your wisdom. Christ your supernatural discernment. Christ, the Heavenly jeweler carving you as a precious stone to be on display to reveal His glory. Let go and let him pierce your depths and draw up eternal springs of life and Spirit and love and wholeness!
Woman of God, be blessed to know Christ more intimately and to be transformed daily into his intended design, embracing your expressly female qualities, as a child of His that he treasures, a vessel of His beauty and glory.
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Hi my name is Gina; and I'm the founder of the ministry. My 25 year journey with God has been centered on immersing myself in the safe relationship God offers, learning about the power of surrender, and praying for His life in greater measure!