Sunday, August 12, 2012

Is Your Crown on Straight?

I married a man who proclaimed to be a Christian. I did all the right things. We counseled with his pastor (I had just moved to a new city and had not found a church). I asked all the right questions. I watched. I prayed. I fell in love. I sought God. I got married. . I am a Spirit-filled Christian. No matter what your “theology” is, no matter what our differences are, you cannot deny that I love the Lord and I know he loves me. And yet, I still found myself divorced, full of shame, alone—wounded. My family loved me but I was so covered with shame and so rejected by the church that I confused even my own family’s love with obligation. Sometimes God’s love for us is clouded, as it was here—and yet in the midst of criticism, shame and pain there came that voice, that loving voice, that voice I follow, that voice that calls to me continuously.

John 10:27
27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.

That voice that lets me know I am loved in the middle of judgment, condemnation, insecurity, inferiority and shame. Those hateful, critical words that are arrows into the heart from the ones who should love us the most…

Romans 15:5-7

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus,6 so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.

The thing that struck me the most during this time of healing and restoration was not only the hateful critical words of the body but the arrogance of people who judged me with an iron hammer without mercy.

1 Corinthians 3:11-20

11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. 14 If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. 15 If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.
16 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.
18 Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a “fool” so that he may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”; 20 and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.” 

God’s love is life. Spiritual sophistication is death. Death to you and potential death to the ones you shoot the darts at…



1 Corinthians 4:12

12 We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it.

When you are wounded you have to bless, you have to endure. If you use the same type of destructive, prideful words it becomes death to you.

Proverbs 13:10

10 Pride only breeds quarrels…

Proverbs 12:18

18 Reckless words pierce like a sword, 
    but the tongue of the wise brings healing.


Psalm 10:2-4

In his arrogance the wicked man hunts down the weak,

Do you know someone weak right now? Someone who is under the bondage of shame? Some who is hurting for whatever reason? Do you know someone who has been persecuted by the church? Have you listened to the judgment of others over someone’s life? I think everyone knows someone in one of these categories. Are you interceding for them? Are you praying out of superiority and head knowledge or out of the heart of God?

In Esther 1 we learn about Queen Vashti and King Xeres. She was beautiful, titled, powerful and wealthy—all the things people strive for. The king was “having friends over”. Truthfully they had just celebrated his wealth and position for 6 months and now he was having a special 7 day celebration. He was drunk and sent the eunuchs for his queen. He wanted to show her off. She would undergo comments. She would be put on display to make him look good.

She refused to come. She had become confident in her power. Her wealth. Her title. She forgot that all of it came through the king. She got “too big for her britches”. He striped her of everything and banished her.

Whose Queen are you? The queen of your own making or are you His Queen? Does your heart melt at His voice? Does your own voice resonate in your ears louder than his voice? Whose voice are you obeying?

Revelation 12:11

11 They overcame him
    by the blood of the Lamb 
    and by the word of their testimony; 
they did not love their lives so much
    as to shrink from death.

Are you walking in the realm of His power or in the pretense of your own power? Have you forgotten what it is all about?

1 Corinthians 4:20

20 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.

Have you taken a stand against spiritual sophistication or are you joining forces with it?

Have you checked self-importance of the throne room door?

Have you heard you King calling his Queen? 

Who is on His heart today? 

Who is on yours?


  1. As you know Sally our stories of marriage are similar and the response from the church devastating. But we serve a God who loves us with an everlasting love and chases after us when we fall to our own wisdom. We serve a God who won't banish us when we refuse to answer His call but waits patiently sending calling cards until we respond then loves us so completely we wonder why we ever hesitated. I have heard the call of my King! He rules my heart today and nothing is more important than running to answer when I hear Him call my name. Thank you for the reminder and the encouragement. I am royalty with a heavenly family! HALLELUJAH!!!!!!!

  2. Amen Sistah!!!

    Praise God for Godly husbands and for a King whose voice heals, restores and shows us how to pray for others in that same hurting mess.

  3. I too am a divorce survivor, so I understand how hard it is. I must admit that I'm surprised that a divorce survivor would take such a hard stance on Vashti.

    Vashti gets a bad rap. Unfortunately, she has become the poster child that many folks use to encourage wives to submit to sin, foolishness, or destructive behavior. They place all of the responsibility to submit on the wife's shoulders. Yet, they place little to no responsibility on the husband to
    (1) submit to God
    (2) love his wife like Christ loved the church and died for it.

    The idea of a wife submitting to her husband was not a new one. It had been taught from Genesis throughout the Bible. When Paul taught about a wife’s duty to submit to her husband, he was merely recapping an age old teaching. However, he had to spell it out for husbands. (Ephesians 5:25-32) This was a revolutionary concept for husbands. It had never been taught like that before. Some might say “love your neighbor as yourself” had been taught before (Luke 10:27). But that was the problem. Husbands were expressing love for their neighbors outside of the home, while regarding their wives as mere maids and sex objects.

    The king did this to Vashti. She refused to submit to his foolish and drunken request. Jewish tradition says that he instructed her to appear nude. We can't be sure whether he requested her nude or not. Either way, asking her to flaunt her beauty in the presence of other drunken men was not modest or safe(Matt 5:28, Ex 20:17, Deut 5:21). She refused to promote lustfulness. The king’s self-serving friends were angered by her refusal and encouraged him to exile her, and he did.

    This is a prime example of how many husbands use their position of power to abuse defenseless wives. It’s also an example of how many husbands express love for their neighbors and friends outside the home, while treating their wives with utter cruelty. This is a perfect example of why Paul needed to spell out (Ephesians 5:25-32) for husbands.

    Bathsheba - another woman who had been the victim of a king's abuse of power - gave Solomon this wise advice:

    It is not for kings, O Lemuel, to guzzle wine. Rulers should not crave alcohol. For if they drink, they may forget the law and not give justice to the oppressed
    (Pro 31:4-5).

    That's exactly what happened between Vashti and the King. He got drunk and forgot his duty to love, honor, and protect his wife.

    There are some many other relevant themes within this text that many commentators fail to deal with like alcoholism, substance abuse and/or sexual immorality within marriage. Unfortunately, far too many women are married to alcoholic, drug addicted or porn addicted husbands. What happened between Vashti and the King could easily be used to try to convince wives to enable, support and/or excuse their husband's addiction. Far too many lives, families and marriages have been destroyed as a result of addiction.

    God Bless!

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  4. Such a good glad that as God's "queen" we are free from being the ones to cast "judgement" (not that it is okay at anytime)...meaning that God clearly put in His word that we, God's people, are not to cast judgement...but we are to pray.
    Love and hugs to you dear Sally...

  5. I agree, too many seem to place the burden of submission totally on the wife. We have propagated gender elitism when that was never conveyed nor intended by the Lord. Spiritual authority does indeed flow out of a humble and submitted heart, but that must be understood as to how we stand and function in relationship with others and with our Lord and King. When we submit our strengths and abilities to promote life, increase, health, and abundance in other's lives, we are living more in the heart of submission that Jesus is inviting us to join Him in. Sally, I love how you operate in your gifts and allow God's anointing to flow through you to see others set free to become more of the person God designed them to be.

    Lord I confess today our sin, where Pastors and leaders have so often operated out of misogyny in an attempt to promote submission. We ministers have misrepresented Your heart and restricted certain gifts and callings to only function in the male gender rather than trusting you to speak through this precious vessel called WOMAN. As a husband I want to see my wife become everything she was created to be and I will step up and open the door for her to function in the fullness of your anointing that is increasing in her life. I turn to you today and submit my heart afresh to you and say I want to be aligned aright with You and with these women Bride of Christ. I ask Lord for healing and wholeness to deeply restore women who have suffered under the shame of feeling "less than" and ashamed about even being created Woman. Lord, I pray that you would help us to convey your heart in the church that will liberate women from the oppression that has shackled many in roles and functions that are far less that you created women for. I decree and declare that this is the day for the Women of Virtue to enter into the place of authority, to stand in the Esther anointing; to speak the Words God has placed in their hearts with authority that will result in the enemies of God being hung on the gallows with Haman.

  6. KM said...

    To Rob Zimmerman...

    Sally already quoted proverbs 15:4, "... the tongue of the wise brings healing." And you speak wisely. Words can not express how much I appreciate your kind words and great insight! May God continually bless you and your family.

    I also want to thank Sally for facilitating such a wonderful conversation.