Tamarajo is an avid Bible scholar who loves nothing more than seeking out the treasures in God's Word and sharing them with others.
What We Believe Matters
Experiences inspired this article in my journey of discovering the eternal love of God that set me free. This particular piece will discuss how God considers His daughters precious and valuable.
These experiences were written and arranged as a part of our church's women's conference. It was primarily addressed to a female audience. But I do not wish nor intend to alienate male readers. There are biblical principles that apply to all that can be gleaned from this message and might give male readers some insight into the vulnerabilities and needs of the females around them.
This study will follow the next portion of Scripture.
Kings’ daughters are among Your honorable women; At Your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir. Listen, O daughter, Consider and incline your ear; Forget your own people also, and your father’s house; So the King will greatly desire your beauty; Because He is your Lord, worship Him. And the daughter of Tyre will come with a gift; The rich among the people will seek your favor. The royal daughter is all glorious within the palace Her clothing is woven with gold. She shall be brought to the King in robes of many colors; The virgins, her companions who follow her, shall be brought to You. With gladness and rejoicing they shall be brought; They shall enter the King’s palace.
— Psalm 45:9-15
One of the most significant challenges for women is sometimes believing that they are loved. Many of us have spent a good portion of our lives attempting to convince ourselves that we are truly loved through the dramatics of our relationships.
On this leg of my journey, I have concluded that true eternal, everlasting love can only be realized through a relationship with our Father in Heaven through His Son, Jesus Christ.
Some of us have entered into that relationship but have not truly comprehended our positions as King's Daughters and have not truly captured the emotional depth of His love. The following is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning this.
. . . that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love,may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
— Ephesians 3:17
This lesson will take an in-depth look at worship and how who and what we worship determines the esteem we receive and experience.
Who Is In Control?
"Because He is your Lord, Worship Him"
Worship is not only thanking, praising, and singing to the Lord. Although worship does include these elements, worship, more importantly, includes these questions:
- Who have we given the privilege of assigning our value and worth?
- Who or what dictates our conclusions about life and ourselves?
- Whose voice do we incline your ear to?
- Whose opinion do we most consider?
- What thoughts, ideas, and experiences have we held in such high regard that they have exalted themselves above what the word of God says about us?
The answers to these questions will reveal who or what you worship.
Gomer, the prophet Hosea's unfaithful wife, gives us a Biblical example of what we sometimes do in our desperation and need:
. . . she said, ‘I will go after my lovers, Who give me my bread and my water (food - body inside), My wool and my linen ( clothing - body outside), My oil and my drink (soul considerations).’
— Hosea 2:5
For she did not know That I gave her grain, new wine, and oil, And multiplied her silver and gold Which they prepared for Baal.
— Hosea 2:8
Gomer's name means "complete" and "no deficiency," according to Strong's Concordance. It was most likely Gomer's core desire to feel complete and satisfied, which she did not.
A medical condition called "Pica" can give us a physical illustration of this spiritual matter. People with Pica have nutrient deficiencies that cause them to crave non-nutritive substances such as laundry soap, paint, or even dirt. Their need is legitimate, but the sources they obtain the nutrients from can be deadly.
The places we go to satisfy our souls apart from God in our spiritual Pica would be considered our other lovers and can be equally deadly to our spiritual and natural lives.
The things Gomer (Hosea's wife) sought represent temporary satisfaction in her design and making. God says, "because she did not know that I gave her what she needed."
- grain (physical needs)
- new wine (soul needs)
- oil (spiritual needs)
Notice that Gomer makes herself her own God when she says, "I will." Sometimes, we want to be in the control seat. None of us want to be perceived as controlling, but that is what we do when we entrust ourselves to our own conclusions and decisions. We want to be our own gods because we do not trust that He is enough or do it satisfactorily. We cannot obtain eternal happiness in our own ways.
If we are waiting for our husbands to convince us that we are valuable, our careers to shout praises of notoriety, our friends to affirm our sense of belonging, or our circumstances to determine our comfort level, we will surely be disappointed. God wishes to be the most influential factor in our lives. He wants to shape, form, and mold our image of ourselves as seen through His eyes and established with His thoughts.
As followers of Jesus, we must look beyond people, things, and circumstances to meet our needs. All of these are unstable and inadequate, and if we depend on them, we will fail. Moving in the direction of the flesh will not meet our needs; at best it can only provide a deceptive facade of security and significance. Instead, we must dare to believe that if everything else is taken away, our God is enough. This does not minimize the fact that there will be pain when relationships break down and when failure and rejection occur. These things are painful, but they will not destroy us when we derive our self-image from God rather than people. From an ultimate standpoint, we are loved, we are significant, and we are competent, but only in Him and only in the plan to which He calls us.
— Kenneth Boa "Conformed to His Image"3
Our sense of security and belonging is discovered in God alone, where those senses cannot be manipulated by others' thoughts, opinions, and behaviors. As long as our satisfaction is dependent on others, the devil can lead us around by the nose. He cannot do that when our eyes are firmly fixed on Jesus, the author, and finisher of our faith. (Heb 12:2)
For the LORD is great and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are idols, But the LORD made the heavens. Honor and majesty are before Him; Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.
Give to the LORD, O families of the peoples, Give to the LORD glory and strength. Give to the LORD the glory due His name; Bring an offering, and come into His courts. Oh, worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness! Tremble before Him, all the earth.
— Psalm 96:4-9
The word "glory' in this verse means "weighty." How much weight are we giving the living Words that God is speaking to our hearts compared to the other messages that we have allowed to bear more weight than the words of God?
He is asking us to place Him and His thoughts towards us on the scales of our consideration and allow His thoughts to tip the scales in favor of the weightiness of His love for us.
This passage says to fear Him. To fear Him means to be so enamored with Him that we fear no other. We live in a culture where we measure ourselves and compare ourselves with others. Our greatest fear is public humiliation rather than fearing or caring what God thinks of us.
We can consider these "other gods." How much time do we spend fashioning and forming thoughts and fantasies in our hearts and minds of things or situations we think will satisfy? The Old Testament uses a literal example of constructing and fashioning idols to suit the people's needs, which seems ridiculous. Still, we do the same thing in our hearts when we imagine someone or something else coming to our rescue.
Fuschia Pickett, in her book "Worship Him," quotes:
"The Old English spelling of the word (worship) is worthship, which aptly conveys the idea that the one to whom we show honor has worth. Worship is not and arrogant demand of God toward His creatures: it is rather the natural response from grateful hearts that comprehend the infinite worthship of God." 1
God does not ask us to give Him glory and strength because He lacks these qualities, and He is not asking us to boost His ego so He can feel better about Himself because of our adoration. He asks us to give Him glory and strength in our souls so that He may show Himself strong on our behalf. He must have our permission to do so. When our souls acknowledge these qualities and worship Him, He is granted permission to bear the weight of His goodness on our hearts, souls, and lives. We give Him room to move.
For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.
— II Chronicles 16:9
Sometimes we give God only minutes to convince us of His truths. In contrast, we provide our thoughts free rein for hours in our imaginations, replaying and rehearsing the wrongs committed against us, our misdeeds, and our limited conclusions of what it all means about us. He asks us to devote the same amount of energy, time, and devotion to His thoughts. He desires to be Lord and have a dominant influence over our lives, feelings, actions, and reactions based on truth and His infinite wisdom and understanding.
“Ho! Everyone who thirsts, Come to the waters; And you who have no money, Come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine (joy and peace) and milk (nurture and satisfaction) Without money and without price. Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And let your soul delight itself in abundance. Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live; And I will make an everlasting covenant with you— The sure mercies of David.
— Isaiah 55:1-3
How do we buy this wine (joy and peace) and milk (nurture and satisfaction) without money?
"Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And let your soul delight itself in abundance.3 Incline your ear, and come to Me."
— Isaiah 55:2
My Bible Study teacher of twenty years, Jean Karau, once told us that we buy these things with our ears and attention. These keywords for listening are the exact keywords used in Psalm 45 passage we are studying.
What or who we choose to listen to and who we decide to run to is so profoundly relevant to grasping what we are looking for. It is more about who we are looking for because once we find God, we discover what we are looking for.
Our biggest problem is that it must not be so if we aren't feeling it. Feelings are important, but they were never intended to sit on the throne of our hearts and dictate or govern every thought, decision, and behavior. Nor were our feelings intended to decide what is true or false. They are simply indicators of what is going on in our hearts.
Let me explain an example of the purpose and position of our emotions, as seen through the Old Testament Tabernacle, which is a type and picture of ourselves as a temple of God and His intentions on how He can dwell there. Of course, Jesus is our first example of how this works, and everything in the Tabernacle speaks of Him, but I would like to look at it from a personal perspective.
Tabernacle arrangement of Furniture as it Relates to Our Emotions
Before the High Priest could enter the Holy of Holies (the place where God dwells), there were a few pit stops he had to make. First and foremost was the outer court, where the rituals representing the forgiveness of sin took place. The first is establishing a relationship with Christ through the forgiveness of sin by the sacrifice of Christ.
Next, the High Priest would enter the Holy Place, where there were three significant pieces of furniture. The first one was the table of bread, and it represented the will. Next, there was the lampstand table, which represented the mind, and lastly was the altar of incense, which represented the emotions. Our soul consists of three parts—the mind, the will, and the emotions.
The High Priest was instructed to visit these tables in a specific order. Visiting the table of bread (the will) indicates that we are to make a decision first. Who are we going to follow? To whom are we going to listen? Next, he visited the candlestick table (mind), meaning that once we decide, we order our thoughts in that direction. Lastly, before entering into God's presence was the altar of incense (emotions), suggesting that what we have decided and think can now be responded to. Emotions are subject to the decisions made and the thought processes that go along with them.
Most of us have run the protocol backward. We most generally visit the altar of incense (emotions) first and allow our minds to be persuaded by our feelings and then make foolish decisions based upon them. It is backward for sure. Consulting our feelings for the truth about life is dangerous.
Our feelings are beautiful and precious, but they are not reliable guides. God gave them to us that we might respond to the truth, not that they would dictate it. We should view our negative feelings as indicators that there is a place in our hearts that is unsurrendered to the dictates of His love.
This point is where our cooperation takes place.
Shake yourself from the dust, arise; Sit down, O Jerusalem! Loose yourself from the bonds of your neck, O captive daughter of Zion!
— Isaiah 52:2
We have learned to see ourselves as victims, and before knowing Jesus, we indeed were victims of our circumstances and to the enemy who hates us. In her book Captivating, Stasi Eldredge alludes to the enemy's desire to destroy us from the time we are born because we represent the beauty of God, which he once had, and because he knows the power we contain under the Lordship of Jesus. God is asking us to rise out of the dust and take our positions as daughters of the King and no longer remain a victim.
The word "dust" symbolizes humiliation, feelings of insignificance, inferiority, and rejection. The prophet tells us to rise out of these things and shake them off to sit down and take our positions.
Our position and privilege of being a king's daughter are one of authority.
Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
— Luke 10:19
He has given us His name.
If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.
— John 14:14
He has given us His Word.
If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you . . .
He has given us the power of the Holy Spirit.
. . . you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you
— Acts 1:8
His Word and Spirit enable us to take every thought captive and bring it under the authority of God's truth.
. . . casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,
— II Corinthians 10:5
We do not wage war with human plans and methods. We use God's mighty weapons to knock down strongholds (thought patterns and soul trenches), which keep us from knowing God and His great love.
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
— Ephesians 6:12
A Lesson From Esther
In the book of Esther, the evil Haman issues a decree to destroy and annihilate the Jewish people. Comparatively, Haman's orders are like our spiritual enemy who has issued his decrees against us.
When "Queen" Esther discovered the evil edict, she sought the Lord in the matter through fasting and prayer. Her next order of business was exposing the enemy. We must reveal who the real enemy is. It is not flesh and blood.
Esther tried changing the decree, but she couldn't because it was already published and delivered. Once the king decreed something, it could not be changed. However, the king told her that She had the authority to issue a new decree that would counteract the original one. The people could now fight for their rightful positions by writing a new law. Likewise, through Jesus, a new law has been published, and we have the right to procure our positions through our relationship with Christ; we are new creatures in Him and destined for new and better futures. We need to seek the Lord, expose the enemy, and issue the new decrees. Hallelujah!!
In wrapping up this section on worship, I would like to share a little insight concerning past pain and unforgiveness.
Unforgiveness can be a form of worship, believe it or not. Unforgiveness grants someone or an event the privilege of occupying territory in our soul. The beginning seeds of hatred will eventually take root in forms of bitterness that will wrap tendrils of hostile venom that grip around every corner of our soul and make a path for it to seep into our conversations, attitudes, and behavior. It will affect all we do and think, and inevitably we will share it with whomever we encounter.
. . . looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled;
— Hebrews 12:15
It is the same process of how love is supposed to work. God wants His love to occupy the territory of our soul so that it fills every corner of our being. He wants His love to seep into our conversations, attitudes, and behaviors and affect everything we do and think. He wants the result to be that we inevitably share it with whomever we encounter. It is all about who we worship.
In Conclusion, It is normal to feel pain from being injured by another. It turns to worship when we exalt the power of that person to influence how we think, behave, and feel about ourselves. Not to mention, we become what we behold most intently. We become what we worship. (Psalm 135:18)
There may have been events in our lives that may have shaken us to the core. I believe that God affords us the privilege of pouring our hearts and pain out before Him. He allows time for grieving and processing things. But there comes a time when He asks us what we will do with it. We must ask ourselves, are we going to carry a pack full of lies with us for the rest of our lives, or are we going to take our pain to the master physician and seek His healing and apply His truths to our souls.
"We honor God when we allow Him to define us and tell us who we are regardless of our feelings or experiences to the contrary"
— Kenneth Boa "Conformed to His Image"
(1)*"Worship Him" by Fuchsia Pickett, Th.D., D.D. Published by Creation House copyright 2000
(2)*"Captivating" by John and Stasi Eldredge published by Nelson Books copyright 2005
(3) *"Conformed to His Image" by Kenneth Boa Zondervan Publishing Copyright 2001
© 2011 Tamarajo