Sunday, April 3, 2011

On Becoming the Desolate Woman


Never in my entire life have I ever considered the following, in the following way, until just this morning. It’s curious how the Lord piques your interest in something that’s hidden to you until the proper time of need. Now is one of those moments.

As I read Galatians 4 this morning, I came across a few words that I’m very positive I’ve read before, but they didn’t have the same impact as this morning. In this passage, Paul is perplexed and deeply concerned for his dear converts who by compulsion of religious pressure are looking back over their shoulder at Egypt pondering if slavery was better than the unknowns of freedom in Christ. Read it for yourself and you’ll get the context.

All too often we tend to fall back into the patterns of law and slavery, because they are secure, consistent and contiguous. And while being a slave these things may be the only structures we know, being freeborn is a whole different ball game.

Being freeborn requires something which slavery cannot ever understand. And that is the enigmatic delight of the pain required to birth something new, something beautiful, something living and free. Oh to become the “desolate woman” who knew nothing but scorn and shame, because her womb was barren, yet it found favor in the eyes of Him who searches for barren and broken places to place The Seed of Life. Places where no one would ever consider going, let alone establishing a Kingdom and a linage.

In Galatians 4:27 Paul quotes Isaiah 54:1; “Be glad, O barren woman, who bears no children; break forth and cry aloud, you who have no labor pains; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband.” This passage hit me like a ton of bricks, especially the portion that states; “more are the children of the desolate woman”.

How long do we who are desolate have to pursue idolatrous means of fertility? How long do we have to pursue religious structures and laws before we come to the conclusion that Hagar is less blessed than we? From the outset most of us would cry foul when we discover our desolation. Because we live in a Western culture and mindset of success and gluttony; we tend to believe that being at the bottom is at best to be pitied, but never to be desired. Yet God in His infinite wisdom, does something that none of us would have ever thought of. He seeks out the broken, the weak, the desolate and barren ones to claim as His very own incubators of grace and the miraculous.

Don’t lose me now because I’m almost finished. On Becoming the Desolate Woman may I say with all the depth of the Spirit ever known; WE MUST BECOME DESOLATE for our freedom to be born through Him alone. For if we are looking to the structured surety of our religious Hagar, who by her very appearance of youth and beauty tends to assure some kind of progeny, we are mistaken.

Oh we may birth something, but it WILL NOT BE FROM THE FATHER ABOVE. It will not be immaculate in nature and nurture. For anything that we can produce in and of ourselves IS NOT OF GOD. For not until we become the Desolate Woman, not until we realize our own death can we actually know and experience TRUE BIRTH AND RESURRECTION. Only then can we fully live the beauty and grace of the Desolate Woman.

For the beauty and grace of the Desolate Woman is not found in her barren womb, but it is found in the Seed of Him who is unseen yet who brings about things to be seen.

When are we going to finally get it; kingdoms, religions, structures, laws, human hopes and aspirations, desires and lusts for selfish gain and acquisition will all be shaken and razed to the ground ONE FINAL TIME so as to put us in the position of desolation. And therein lays the hidden hope of Sarah’s barren womb. Therein lays our only hope; total self-desolation so we may finally know; “more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband”. More are the blessings and provision to those who’ve finally given up their longing for the security of slavery at the hand of non-divine-providers.

For if and when we actually reach our own place of desolation, we will stand at a fork in the road; will we choose Hagar or Sarah? Will we trust in the promise of a seeded barren womb? Or will we choose the visible and seen things so comforting that we’ve always known as slaves?

They say that men who’ve spent most of their lives in prison, rarely if ever survive well outside the confines of the prison walls, because all they’ve ever known was the providing hand of their captors, so when the time comes to stand, (by faith if you will) they tend to fail miserably, because bondage tends to feel better than an invisible promise, predicated upon their leap of faith to believe it will come to pass.

Is that you today? Are you more attracted to Hagar than to Sarah? Simply put, do you desire to become the Desolate Woman or are you comfortable seeking out seed for the slave woman Hagar? Your answer just may determine your present and your future.

On Becoming the Desolate Woman… may I count it as a worthy condition and position to be found in… may you too become so desolate that you “cry aloud” unto Him alone who is able to make you fruitful and joyful.

Amen.

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