On Saturday, I had the opportunity to join thousands of godly women at the Inspire Women conference. One of the speakers was Dr. Tony Evans. Today’s post is an excerpt from the book, The Kingdom Woman.

When God created the heavens and the earth, He established an order. Although He is the Creator and the ultimate ruler over His creation, He willingly empowered humankind to rule within His prescribed order. In theology this is known as the Dominion Covenant. It is where God turned over to men and women the immediate, tangible rule over His creation within the boundaries and stipulations that He has set forth. The Dominion Covenant is in Genesis 1 where we just read, “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule” (Genesis 1:26).

The Dominion Covenant is rarely taught or discussed. Yet it is no small thing. Fundamentally, it involves God’s willing removal of Himself over the direct management of what He has created on earth while releasing that management responsibility to humankind.

When we read that God created man in His own image, both male and female were created. The Dominion Covenant not only applies to men, but also to women. A kingdom woman is an essential part of God’s rule on earth. He has delegated this responsibility, empowering each of us to make decisions. These decisions come with blessings or consequences according to His boundaries and laws.

God has established a process whereby He honors our decisions—even if those decisions go against Him, or even if those decisions are not in the best interest of that which is being managed. God said, “Let them rule. . . ”

While God retains absolute, sovereign authority and ownership, He has delegated relative authority to humankind within the sphere of influence, or dominion, that each person has.

One of the reasons that this rule and management has been neglected to such a large degree is that many people are confused about why they are here on earth to begin with. This has happened because of a culture that has been flirting with hedonism for decades. A hedonistic worldview promotes the notion that someone’s personal destiny exists to advance his or her personal happiness.

In God’s economy, however, personal happiness is a derivative—a benefit— not the goal or driving force of destiny for a kingdom woman. Happiness is not the reason God created women. The reason He created women was to advance His kingdom and for His glory.

God has invested His image in His men and women and placed them on display. A kingdom woman is to reflect Him and His kingdom in such a remarkable fashion that people want to know more about the kingdom she represents. She has been put here to reflect God’s image.

The Greek word used for kingdom in the New Testament is basileia, which means “authority” and “rule.” A kingdom always includes three components: a ruler, a realm of subjects under its rule, and the rules or governances. The kingdom of God is the authoritative execution of His comprehensive rule in all creation. The kingdom agenda is simply the visible demonstration of the comprehensive rule of God over every area of life.

When both Adam and Eve ate from the fruit in disobedience, they chose to change how they viewed God, removing the aspect of “Master, Ruler.” As a result, they lost their intimate fellowship with Him and with each other. Fortunately, on the cross Jesus Christ reintroduced this intimate fellowship through His sinless sacrifice and resurrection. We can enjoy unhindered fellowship with God now as a result of Christ’s atonement. However, this only occurs when you align yourself under God as LORD God—the Master and Ruler. Therefore, a kingdom woman may be defined as a woman who positions herself under and operates according to the rule of God over every area of her life.

Eve didn’t start out on such a great foot when she decided to act on her own rather than according to God’s rule. Many women today still struggle with turning over personal control in their lives, thus opening themselves up to heartache, loss, and chaos. Yet because of the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ, any woman can easily repent and align herself under God.

Just like Eve, we women tend to spend more time analyzing what we are not or what we don’t have than recognizing who we were created to be. Satan’s victory with Eve started way before she ate that fruit. The bite was only the culmination. Eve’s demise began when she entered a conversation with the devil. And that’s what we do a lot. We talk. We rehearse on a daily basis what we don’t have or who we are not. We focus on the areas of our “garden” (our domain or our realm) that seem just out of our reach or control. We take the seed of discontentment offered by the evil one and inform our souls of our dissatisfaction, unhappiness, or displeasure. Just like Eve we have a choice. We can choose to believe what God’s Word says about who we are and who we are created to be or we can entertain the lies planted by the enemy of our souls and cultivated by the culture we live in. Romans 10:17 says that “faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.”

I desire to be the woman that He created me to be—not the woman whom I think I want to be or the woman the world tells me that I should be. It brings me great joy to think of the detailed design and intricate effort that God put forth when making me. I’m so glad that I don’t have to aspire to be anyone else other than that woman God wants me to be. You don’t have to seek anyone else’s approval for the life God has given you to live. We don’t have to apologize for the strength, fortitude, courage, talent, beauty, or intellect with which our Creator has given to us. Ladies, we all are “God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10).