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Posts Tagged ‘ideas’

Remember when God’s people were taken captive by the Babylonians?  Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, took seige of Jerusalem and moved the people of God to live in his land.  These days, I feel as if people of the Word have been taken captive, too, but didn’t have to leave their homes, schools, churches, or places of employment.

The question is, how do we live in Babylon?  Some, intimidated into thinking “we can’t mix church and state,” are paralyzed into silence.  Some, feeling overwhelmed by powerful forces, pull back into the crevices of the familiar and safe.  A great many, believing themselves to have progressed out of God’s Word, have become like the Babylonians.

There are others, however, who are affecting a pagan culture — one heart and soul at a time.

We live where we live.  Here’s the question for me: How do I, as an ezerwoman (helper), make the greatest difference where I am and with what I have?  How do I affect a pagan culture — one heart and soul at a time?

Babylon, like America today, was a mighty civilization that tolerated opposing religions, thoughts and practices.  But, many Babylonians were good neighbors, friends and co-workers.  God placed me where I am and, although it may feel like I’m living in a strange and foreign land,  I think I’ll better affect good neighbors, friends and family whenever I remember who I am and live accordingly.

I am, first and foremost, a creation of God and a treasure for whom Christ gave all He had.  That is my identity.  It does not change with the circumstances of my life.  Trusting this identity, any semblance of racism melts away.  Trusting this identity, every human life — from conception to natural death — is valuable and worthy of respect.  Trusting this identity, I am free to be the “helper” God made me to be.

Do you know that the term for “helper” used in Genesis 2:18 (Hebrew: ezer) also applies to God in Psalm 70:5?  Jesus said to His followers, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.  And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him.  You know Him, for he dwells with you and will be in you” (John 14:15-17).   That Helper is the Holy Spirit.  The Greek for “helper” (parakletos) means “comforter” or someone who appears on another’s behalf (“advocate”).  Do you understand why I find no insult in being a woman?  In being a “helper” or “helpmate?”  As a helper, I’m in good company!

As an ezerwoman, I can help, encourage, comfort, and be an advocate for my husband, sons, grandsons, father, brothers, uncles, nephews, pastor, and every male with whom I work or fellowship.  I can help by choosing to build up the struggling men in my life rather than tear them down with disrespect or cutting words.  I can help by practicing patience when my husband needs a little more time to get his arms around a new idea (1 Peter 3:1-2).  I can help by speaking, dressing, and behaving in such a way that encourages men and boys to act chivalrous and godly (1 Timothy 2:9-10; 1 Peter 3:4).  I can help by using the model of Titus 2:1-5 with younger women.  I can help by contrasting “silly myths” (1 Timothy 4:7-10) with the “Way, the Truth, and the Light” (John 14:6).

Daniel found himself captive in Babylon.  He was educated in Babylon.  He was called to serve the king of Babylon.  But, he remained faithful to God in all things.  Daniel acknowledged that he was of no use to the wicked (Daniel 12:10).  That’s true for me (and you), too.    But as an ezerwoman who remembers her identity and clings to God’s Word for Life, I am encouraged to encourage, joyful to share joy, and strengthened even in a strange and foreign land with faith, hope, and patience.

You know, when I think about it, I’m happiest when I’m helping.  I’m more content when I’m encouraging others.   Perhaps God is showing me the best way to live out my days in Babylon.

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