Hey guys! Let me reiterate that most of this is NOT mine, and that this is just the absolute briefest of paraphrases. (Case in point: 8 pages just became one tiny post.) I just want to put brief thoughts on here from each of the chapters to get you thinking and to give encouragement. (Oh, and Ky'ram, I haven't gotten a PM...)
Lesson One--Part Two (pages 11-18)
Remember the movie Mulan? Or Eowyn from Lord of the Rings? (We're sci-fi geeks...I would hope you know Eowyn's name, at least!) There's another woman from the Bible that doesn't get a lot of credit: Jael. Jael was a woman who lived while Deborah was a judge in Israel. There had been a battle with Israel's oppressors, and Sisera, their commander had fled to Jael's tent. Jael invited him in, gave him hospitality, and then, when he fell asleep--she drove a tent stake through his temple. Using what she had, she defeated Israel's enemy! (See Judges 4 for the full story!)
Do you ever think someone else's armor would fit better? We question if we can win our battles with ourselves and the talents we already have. But Mulan didn't defeat her enemy as a soldier; she did it as a woman. So did Eowyn, and so did Jael. We can try to be someone we aren't, but when it comes down to it, God already gave us what we need to tackle our problems!
Satan is good at his job. He tells us excellent lies designed to make us question if we really have what it takes. He can make you think that you deserve to have cancer, that you are not enough, or that nothing you do will ever make a difference. If you believe his lies, he can even stop you from doing God's work and fulfilling your purpose.
The first battle we need to win is to believe that we are beautiful just the way we are. Who says we need to be thin to be pretty? God has already told us that we are wonderful! Song of Solomon 4:7 says "You are so beautiful, my beloved, so perfect in every part." (NLT) Psalm 139:14 says "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." (NIV)
Remember Shrek? Fiona is disappointed to see that she is still an ogre. "I was supposed to be beautiful." But Shrek tells her, "But you are beautiful!" Don't you think God wants us to get the same message?
Jesus said we must love others as we love ourselves. But maybe we do--and that's why we aren't so great at loving other people. Is it an insult to God when we don't love how he made us? Being inspired by others is great, but we shouldn't compare ourselves to others. We can't be anyone else--we can only be who God made us.
Have a good Saturday!