Linda and Family
Linda Cheek is a woman I admire for many reasons, not the least of which is her passion for God and her heart for other women.
Recently Linda spoke at a women's event at our church and I was furiously writing notes because what she had to share was so rich and profound to me. I asked Linda if she could make her notes a blog entry, and she was able to edit them so that we could share them with you. This will be in two parts, and I know you'll be blessed.
What God Thinks About Women, Part One
All of us have a story. Life happens to us. We get tired and weary, confused, and sometimes we wander. We lose our way. The weight of life presses down. Storms come. You don’t get that job you counted on. The man you love doesn’t love you back or share life as intimately as you desire. Your children, as much as you admire them, take a path you would never have chosen for them. A friend isn’t there when you need her most. The bills keep coming, and you don’t know how you’re going to pay them. Your health fails. A loved one dies. You want to accomplish great things, but you don’t know how or where to start. You dream big dreams, but can’t seem to bring them to life or make them real. Or maybe things seem comfortable, yet you yearn for something more.
Alone, defeated, frazzled, ashamed, confused, angry, frustrated, lonely, fearful, and even suicidal. Some of us are gripped by fear: fear of rejection, fear of what people think of us, and a longing for approval. Still others are emotional prisoners, enslaved by worry, anger, depression, and self-pity.
In order to change our “stinking thinking” it requires more than superficial solutions and remedies. There is hope! When we read the scriptures, we are reminded that God didn’t intend for it to be this way. We read the words of Jesus in the gospel of John and know that God has something better for us. “I have come that they might have life……” John 10:10
As you look at your life, would you say you are experiencing the abundant life Jesus came to give? Or do you find yourself just existing coping, struggling, surviving? I am not asking if you have a trouble-free life. In fact, some of the most radiant, joyful women I know are women who are living in difficult circumstances. Yet, somehow in the midst of their pain, they have discovered a source of life that enables them to walk through the valley with peace, assurance, and fullness.
So let me ask, what about you? Do you relate to any of this? What if I told you that instead of being miserable, frustrated, and in bondage, you could be free, stable, joyous, peaceful, and radiant? Do any of those words describe the kind of woman you would like to become? I won’t be offering simple solutions or telling you about shortcuts to an easy life, nor am I promising the absence of pain and difficulties. Life is hard- there’s no way around that, but I do believe that there is a way to walk through the realities of life- things like rejection, loss, disappointment, and even death- in freedom and true joy. Together we are going to be learning to take Jesus’ heart and make it the center of our own thinking.
Let’s discuss the issue of warfare; it is a real problem. Satan poses as an “angel of light” in 2 Corinthians 11:14). He promises pleasure and pretends to have our best interest at heart, but he is a fraud.
Do you think Eve would have eaten the apple if it had been foul and crawling with worms? Would she have considered disobeying God? Of course not. What made Satan’s offer so glamorous is that it looked right. The problem was that Eve didn’t stop to evaluate what was really happening. She didn’t take time to discern truth from error. She didn’t stop to consider the cost of what she was about to do.
We have the same problem! Very few Christians seriously consider the consequences of their choices. We simply live our lives responding to the people, circumstances, and influences around us. It all looks so virtuous, it feels so right, and it seems so innocent. Yet we end up angry, frustrated, trapped, and overwhelmed. We have been deceived. We have fallen for a lie.
This deception doesn’t happen overnight, but rather it is a progression that leads to bondage. It can be subtle and it usually always begins when we listen to lies. Listening to things that are not true is the first step toward ultimate bondage. First, we listen to it. Then, we dwell on it. We begin to consider what the enemy has subtly placed before us. We mull it over in our minds. We begin to engage the enemy in conversation, and we contemplate that he may be right.
How do we stop this insanity, end the cycle of destruction, and begin cultivating a heart like Jesus’ and making it our own? I believe there are 3 steps to the process:
1. Identify your area of bondage (shopping, substance abuse, anxiety , fear, stinginess, anger, lying, eating disorder)
2. Identify the lie at the root of that bondage or behavior. We need the Lord to help us see what we have believed that isn’t true.
3. Replace the lies with the Truth. Satan is powerful, but the TRUTH over powers the schemes of the enemy. “the truth will set you free” John 8:32
In part two, Linda will delve into each of the above points. It's going to be great!