Isaiah 52: 1-2: Awake, Awake! Put on your strength, O Zion; Put on your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem. For the uncircumcised and the unclean shall no longer come to you. Shake yourself from the dust, arise; Sit down O Jerusalem! Loose yourself from the bonds of your neck, O captive daughter of Zion.
This past couple of weeks I’ve found myself ministering to different women. Some who are in abusive relationships, and held captive by fear and intimidation. Some are in jobs where they are in a position to have to do menial tasks, instead of ones for which they are better suited. Again, fear plays a part in keeping them in those jobs. Fear of not being able to pay the rent or feed the kids. Many times, these women are single moms. Other women find themselves stuck in a rut in a church that does not value their gifts, talents and input. They have no voice in a place where our voice should matter most, in worship of our God.
This verse in Isaiah gives us some tips on what we can do when we find ourselves captive. We can enlist the help of our Lord to give us strength. Then we need to wipe our tears and dress ourselves in dignity and courage. Once we do that, those holding us in bondage will not like it, but they will also be losing their power over us. Then it tells us to shake off that mess that’s staining our lives, like one would shake off dust, and stand up! Quit sitting in the place of subjection and position or seat yourself in a better place. Then, it tells us something of great value, “Loose Yourself, from the bonds around your neck!” No one can do it for you. You must decide to no longer be held by fear, or a false sense of obligation. You are not the only one responsible for feeding your children, they have a father. You are not the only one who can clean the church or teach the primary class. You are not the only woman in a dangerous relationship. There are others, and there is help out there.
NEVER, would I ever tell any woman to leave her marriage. I would tell her to go to a safe place, that’s for certain. Nor would I tell a woman to quit her job without a backup plan. And for ladies struggling with their church over whatever issues, God will give you direction if you will only ask, but YOU have to ask Him for help in these situations I’ve just mentioned. YOU have to loose your bonds.
Last Sunday in our church I taught on the four lepers whose story is told in II Kings 7. They were kept outside a city because they were lepers. They had no food. There was no food in the city due to a famine, and the enemy was camped round about the city. So, they decided to step out in faith and see what happened. They went to the enemy camp seeking sustenance, knowing full well they might die. The key word is might. They looked at one another and said, “Why sit we here until we die?” We MIGHT die in the enemy camp, but we Will die if we go in the city, and we Will die if we just sit here.
I pray that the ladies I spoke with will seek a solution to their problems through help from God. Please know that I am praying for you, and I’m here if you need to talk. 304-677-9220. I can’t tell you what to do. I have actually been in all three situations myself at one time or another. I know it’s very difficult. I am so thankful that I got up from the dust, and sat down again in a better place. May God lead and guide you. Until next time!