Today is International Women’s Day, and I am reflecting on all the women in the church still fighting to be heard, still struggling for equal access to pastor, to lead, to minister, and to preach and pursue their God given call and giftedness. I am with you. I love you. I pray with you. I fight alongside you. I advocate for you. I move aside to make room at the table. Sit beside me sister. And to all the women and girls, mothers and daughters in the world, every single day should be your day, but we will keep recognizing you on this day until the struggle for equality is over! I dream and pray for a future where our daughters will be poured upon and will dream dreams and pursue life without prejudice, oppression, or physical threat.
The Day’s Scripture
Psalm 91:9-16 (NIV)
9 If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
14 “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”
The Devil in Luke 4 quotes verses 11 & 12 in tempting Jesus to call upon his privilege as heir of the Most High. “Do not put the Lord God to the test,” Jesus retorts. What Jesus understands is that the promises of Psalm 91 are not license for conducting the next big YouTube or Instagram challenge. These words are not opportunity for #precipiceleap for salvation.
We are invited to read and embody and meditate on the Scriptures with familial, covenantal dispositions, not with contractual, estranged ones. When I am alienated, estranged, and distrustful, I test the people who care about me. I throw obstacles their way to see if they really will puruse me, if I really matter this much to them. If I leap, will you catch me. But look at v14: ‘
‘Because he loves me,’ says the Lord, ‘I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.’
Indeed, we are safe in the arms of God. In Him, we have refuge and safety and protection. In Him, is honor and satisfaction and salvation. We test people because we are afraid and are not quite sure if what they really said is what will be. It is in the nature of evil to cast doubt on the words of God, it is the Devil’s trade-craft to call into question what we have heard: “Did God really say . . .” (Gen. 3:1). Love the Lord and abide in His words, and you will tread on lions and trample serpents.