I’ve had a difficult last few weeks and Saturday had the cherry on top. I awoke early yesterday morning and toyed with the idea of a jammie day. Instead, the Holy Spirit put a longing in my heart to go to church – to seek my community. It was good for me – I was able to see some great friends, give and receive hugs. After the service, I ran into a woman I hadn’t seen in quite a while, and I enjoyed getting to reconnect with her again. She was having a very hard day and she needed hugs and to be heard, and to hear that she’s wanted in our Bible study. It was an important reminder to me, that when I seek community, it’s not just for my benefit. God put me in place to further His kingdom. This morning when I read the devotional below, it all just clicked for me. This devotional is from Karina Allen and published at (in)courage.com.
We’ve all heard someone shout this. We’ve all wanted to be on the receiving end of it. We’ve all wanted to be a part of it. It’s the rally cry. It’s the cry for unity and encouragement. It’s the cry for support and honor.
The world, more often than not, can seem so cold and harsh and disheartening. At every level it seems as though discouragement is all around me. One of the predominant ways I experience this is in my day job. Those 40 hours each week can be some of the hardest for me. I am surrounded by women who speak critical and negative words. Their words are intended to cut and make others bleed. Their tongues are aimed towards speaking death. They bring divisiveness and dissension with each accusation and slanderous tone.
There hasn’t been anyone leading in a rally cry. There are no congratulations extended. There are no pats on the back. There is only drama and confusion that clearly stems from the enemy. I feel a call to lead the way, but have been repeatedly shut down at every turn.
I think of all of my stunning friendships with women in my church and around the world who desire nothing more than unity among women. Even if their voices are worn out and fading away, they stand tall with this cry. I admire them and want to walk in their footsteps. Unfortunately, in godly community, this rally cry can become just as drowned out as it does in the world.
My days can be long, draining, and downright exhausting, but they remind me of how God wants His daughters to come together and build His Kingdom. What happens to one of us, happens to all of us.
These days, it has become increasingly easy to become an island unto ourselves. We connect with people online with no face-to-face contact. We become desensitized to the hurt and pain of others. We can fall into the trap of caring only about the things that affect our lives. We look right past the hardships in the lives of those around us. But our call is to literally live as family. We are the family of God, the body of Christ. We are eternally bonded together by His blood. We are to weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice. We are to pray and care for those in need. Honor should be a cornerstone.
So much of life rises and falls on the idea of honor. We live in a time where many people are out for themselves. They seek to get ahead, no matter the cost or collateral damage.
It breaks my heart because I know our God bestows honor among us and desires us to do the same with our sisters in the faith. To honor someone is simply to esteem them, to regard them with great respect. We are not a culture that does that readily. Most of the time, society is quicker to defame, criticize, and tear down. The Kingdom of God is completely opposite of the world. We are to build others up. And in doing so, there is a blessing for us to be elevated.
I daily watch women around me vie for status, position, and title. They want to be seen as important and valuable. They don’t know that Jesus has pre-approved them and their worth is found solely in Him. They have fallen victim to scarcity thinking. A win for someone else is not a win for them. They don’t know that God is a God of abundance and in Him there is no lack.
We are called to rise up with a rally cry and to call others to rise up as well. It is not an easy task, but it is one of the most beautiful parts of Kingdom building. When the kindness and goodness of the Holy Spirit are at work, God is most glorified in His children.
We carry burdens.
We build up.
In what area has God called you to rise up with a rally cry?