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Women Who Win

Golden Girl !

 

As India basks in the glory of the golden girls who kissed their gold medals in the 2018 Asian Games, let us meditate upon the Golden Girl who glitters in the Scriptures. The Psalmist profiles her in his 45th Psalm: “At Your right hand is the royal bride in gold of Ophir” (v9). She is the bride of Christ. “The royal daughter is all glorious within; her clothing is women with gold” (v13). This is the daughter of God. The superscription of the psalm says that it is a Song of Love! See how God loves us, decorating us with gold! He has raised us to the status of His queen and princess. He has set us in His right hand. We cannot be elevated any further. Left side is less honourable. Gold of Ophir is the best. Everything best! She is without blemish inside and out (v13). This is our "Standing.”

But what is our “State?” The ideal is what we saw above; but where are we? The prophet Jeremiah’s evocative Lamentation describes our present state : “How the gold has lost its luster, the fine gold become dull! The sacred gems are scattered at every street corner. How the precious children of Zion, once worth their weight in gold are now considered as pots of clay, the work of a potter’s hands!” (4:1,2). And what is the reason for this sad situation?
“Because of her many sins” (1:5). She is like a widow. The queen and princess have become slaves now (1:1).

Like Achan, we have coveted the gold of this world (Josh 7:21). We have left our living God to worship the golden calf (Ex 32:4) After experiencing the power and blessing of God, we have made a golden ephod like Gideon (Jud 8:27). It is God who gave us the gold (Eze 16:13; Hos 2:8; 8:4). But we made an idol out of it. Like Balaam we said with our mouth: “Even if Balak gives all the gold in his palace, I cannot do anything great or small to go beyond God’s command.” Yet in our heart we coveted the gold and silver (Num 22:18).

“Your gold and silver are corroded... You have hoarded wealth in the last days. Look! The wages you failed to pay the worker who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. You have lived on earth in luxury and self indulgence...” The list against the rich continues (Js 5:1-6). We are living in the last days. We don’t become golden girls by a hemorrhage of gold. Misplaced values misguide us. Don’t put your trust in gold (Job 31:24). It cannot save us in the day of God’s wrath (Zeph 1:18). When Israel backslided all the gold in the temple was carried away. Oh, how God’s heart would have ached to see that! When we lose our God-given gold for what appears to be gold, God weeps. All that glitters is not gold. We have traded our power for gold. Peter and John had no gold but had power in plenty (Acts 3:6). Where is this power to day?

Jeremiah gives the protocol for our restoration in the book of Lamentations: “Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord” (3:40). God loves only pure gold as we read in many places in the Old Testament (Exo 25:24). He is not satisfied with 99%. In the holy crown of pure gold HOLINESS TO THE LORD must be engraved. Let us take a stand like the three young men who refused to fall down before the golden statue (Dan 3:18).

Are we all glorious within like the King’s daughter? (Psa 45:13). God wants us to love Him with all our “heart” “soul,” and “mind” (Mt 22:37). All internal! Our outside is spic and span - goodie, goodie girls; but inside, there is deep corruption in our souls (Mt 23:25,26; Lk 11:39). Jesus gave us the solution too. “Be generous to the poor and everything will be clean for you” (Lk 11:41).

We have lost the right hand status and queenship. The crown has fallen from our head (Lam 5:16). How can we regain our status? “You say, ‘I am rich: I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich,” says Jesus. He rebukes and disciplines those He loves. So repent. He stands at the door and knocks. Listen to His voice and open the door. Then you can sit with Him on the throne. You will then be His bride and queen again (Rev 3:17-21). God will restore you to His right hand like He forgave Bathsheba and made her sit at the right hand of Solomon (1 Ki 2:19).

What is this gold that God gives?

1. God’s Word “They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold (Psa 19:10; 119:72, 127). Anyone revelling in God’s word will turn into a Golden Girl. See the internal work it does - It converts the soul (Psa 19:7); it rejoices the heart (v8); it warns (v11); it keeps us from willful sins, (that is, sinning fully aware that it is sin) (v13); it keeps us from secret faults  (v12). Read it and put it to practice. Pray that you may understand your errors (v12).

2. Wisdom “Blessed are those who find wisdom... for she yields better returns than gold” (Pro 3:13-18; 16:16). Ask God with unwavering faith (Js 1:5,6). Don’t expect to become a wise woman overnight. Like Solomon, even in your dreams you must long for wisdom. Then the Lord will allow you to make many foolish blunders and give you practical lessons on wisdom. A pig with a gold ring on its snout will put its snout in the dirt and dirty the ring. So is a woman with out discretion (Prov 11:22).

3. Prayer What a great privilege our great God has given us in allowing us to freely talk to Him anytime, anywhere, like a friend! Are you discouraged while praying? What happens to your prayers? “They were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people on the golden altar in front of the throne” (Rev 5:8). “The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of God’s people went up before God from the angel’s hand” (8:3). God smells your prayers and enjoys the scent of it! Be encouraged!

4. Intelligent Lips “Gold is there and rubies in abundance, but lips that speak knowledge are a rare jewel” (Prov 20:15). Rare indeed! A Golden Girl need to ask God for this rare blessing. “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver. Like an earring of gold and an ornament of fine gold is a wise rebuker to an obedient ear (Prov 25:11,12). As we mature into grand old ladies, we will learn to speak and rebuke wisely.

5. Good Testimony The fifth blessing of God that makes us Golden Girls is a good testimony. “A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold” (Prov 22:1). The most usual areas where women lose their good name is 1. Fighting 2. Talkativeness and 3. Sexual Promiscuity. That’s why Peter talks about: “Behaviour... purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight” (1 Pet 3:1-4). Daggers and spears are not as sharp as tongues. Take care.

God has not finished with us yet. He has some more work on us. He wants to purify us further to make us gold of Ophir. “This third I will put into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold... they are My people” (Zech 13:9). Well, if you want to be a Golden Girl of the standard of Ophir, then there is no other way, except the path of fire. You will cry, weep and wish death like Job. You will also say like Job, “He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I will come forth as gold” (23:10). It seems the goldsmith throws the gold in naked fire and waits till he sees his face on it to make sure all impurities are removed (Mal 3:3). Painful indeed but what a happy comfortable life cannot do, tears and weeping do. In every trial walk the path of perfection. It is in trials that the Lord knows what’s in our heart. “The crucible for silver and furnace for gold, but the Lord tests the heart (Prov 17:3). You think you are not going to make it? Don’t worry, You’ll make it.

There is one more crucial test to prove our purity. “The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but people are tested by their praise” (Prov 27:21). How do we react when people compliment us? If it makes us bend backwards, our gold is not pure yet; if forward, we have passed the test!

Speaking about our eternal salvation, Peter says, “In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith - of greater worth than gold which perishes even though refined by fire - may result in praise, glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed” (1 Pet 1:6,7).  In the midst of self-doubts and confusion sometimes we are at our best. From the storm of tribulation comes a gift.

Peter was able to write this because he himself was sifted like wheat by satan and his faith stood the trial. As Jesus told him, he started strengthening his brothers and sisters by what he learned through his experience. Simon (reed) became Peter (rock). Don’t be discouraged. Face your trials boldly. Rejoice. Why? God is proving the genuineness of your faith. Your faith is costlier than gold. Gold will decay and degenerate but your faith will become purer and purer till the last day and bring glory to God.

The Golden Girl must become an useful vessel for her master: “In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special
purposes and some for common use. Those who cleanse themselves will be instruments for special purposes made holy, useful to the master and prepared to do any good work” (2 Tim 2:20,21). Paul makes it clear here that we can choose to be either gold, silver, wood or clay. We can be put to use for special purposes or common use depending upon whether we cleanse ourselves or not. We don’t put a golden vessel on the stove or use clay pots for special guests. Be a Golden Girl in the master’s hand for any good work. Women who ought to be golden girls are nowadays satisfied to be silver or wood or clay. They show least interest in being instruments for “Special” purposes. They are complacent and smug spending their time and energy for the world or scared to go off the beaten track, as nervous as a squirrel’s tail. They think it is only for some special women. No. Anyone who cleanses herself and allows God to make her holy can become a golden vessel that the master can use for special purposes.

Do not wait for your retirement when the golden bowl will be broken and you cannot be active (Eccl 12:6). Give your active years for God. God will give the enemy’s gold to us (Exo 3:22). “What are these two olive branches beside the two golden pipes that pour out golden oil?... These are the two who are anointed to serve the Lord of all the earth” (Zech 4:12-14; Acts 1:8). You are the olive branch receiving the golden oil; you are the anointed one. You received power when the Holy Spirit came on you. The last commandment should be your first concern (Acts 1:8). Why are you quiet? Why are you a couch potato, Golden Girl?

You must build the kingdom of God on the foundation of Jesus Christ using gold, silver and costly stones. On the day of your reward, the quality of your work will be tested by fire. If you had built with wood, hay or straw, they will become ashes (1 Cor 3:12, 13).

“The Lord announces the word, and the women who proclaim it are a mighty throng.” Join the throng. We are fighting a battle in these last days. Our enemies are running for their lives dropping all their precious things. “The women at the home divide the plunder.” We may be sleeping in the kitchen or among the sheep pens. But we will be doves with silver wings and golden feathers (Psa 68:11-13).

Don’t say ministry is not for you. You are given either five or two or one bag of gold. It is your responsibility to trade with them and earn His blessing: “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s joy!” Don’t get scolded, “You wicked and lazy servant!”
(Mt 25:14-30). Rather, your life must be  burning with a mission.

More and more women are joining the army of God. They are becoming warriors and captains. They are hoisting the victory flag for God. Why do you limp? Say yes to God. Involve in kingdom work some way or other. If you feel good at gut level, take the plunge.

Beware of the counterfeit There is also a fake golden girl. She is beautifully dressed and adorned with gold. She boasts that she sits enthroned as the queen (Rev 17:4; 18:7). But her sins are piled up to heaven. Keep yourself off her filth. She will be  judged (Rev 19:2).

Now the Golden girl has climbed from her “state,” step by step to her “standing” at the right hand of the king. She has regained her status as bride and queen. Let’s see the blessings of the right hand of God.

1. His right hand defeats the enemy.

 “Your right hand, O Lord, was majestic in power. Your right hand O Lord, shattered the enemy” (Exo 15:6) We are in for rough times. Be cool as a cucumber. “When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him” (Isa 59:19). The enemy will come like a roaring lion, like a tsunami, like a battalion. You will tremble and shake like a leaf in the wind. But remember, you are at the King’s right hand. It will blast the enemy. You are safe at His right hand.

2. His right hand gives us eternal pleasures.

 “In Your presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures for ever more” (Psa 16:11). “The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever” (1 Jn 2:17). Caesar would never have thought that he would end up as a salad. Throw away all such fleshly enjoyment. No eye has seen, no ear has heard, nor can we ever imagine what God has prepared for those who love Him (1 Cor 2:9).

3. His right hand gives us victory.

 “It was not by their sword that they won the land, nor did their arm bring them victory; it was Your right hand, Your arm and the light of Your face, for you loved them” (Psa 44:3). Right now you may feel defeated. But believe it or not, you have already won! You are fighting a defeated enemy. You are not going from defeat to victory but from victory to victory. Do you know the theme of the Book of Revelations? Jesus wins!

4. His right hand upholds us.

 “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, with my righteous right hand” (Isa 41:10; Lam 3:57). How encouraging! Quit worrying; He is a very present help in trouble. We are not “standing” at His right side. We are in His embrace. “His left hand is under my head, and His right hand embraces me” (SS 2:6). What more do you want?

He will give us gold instead of bronze (Isa 60:17). Then the Golden Girl with silver wings and golden feathers will fly to the golden city! (Rev 21:18,21).


   Address for Correspondence & Contributions:

Lilian Stanley
13 Church Colony
Vellore 632006, India
Tel: +91 9843511943
Email: lilianstanley@gmail.com

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