Many times in life we become defined by society’s perspection of us. We get so bent out of shape that we began to obtain a one-dimensional view of ourselves–a ground-level view. We began to see ourselves as the world tries to make us feel–like dirt. Sometimes, we stay in this position so long, we become locked in–in bondage–unable to get a clear view upward and hindered from moving forward.
Today, I am reminded that I am NOT defined by how the world sees me. I am NOT defined by statistics. I am NOT defined by culture. I am NOT defined by my enviroment. I am NOT defined by my health status, social status, financial status, or my educational status!
I AM A WOMAN DEFINED BY GOD!
In coming to terms with this, I was brought to a scripture in Luke 13: 10-17. In this story, there is a woman who had been crippled for 18 years. Though the Bible doesn’t give descriptive details about what is causing her to be crippled, it does describe as an evil spirit that had her bent double.
The dictionary defines the word evil as:
-something causing injury or harm
-something that is considered bad by report
-someone/something marked by misfortune/luck
-someone looked down upon -wickedness
Ironically, I have personally battled similar spirits. Have you? Perhaps, one of poverty, hopelessness, feelings of inadequacy, sexual immorality, depression?
These spirits definitly fit the definition above. As I continued read the passage, I wondered if in fact the spirit that fell upon this woman was similar to many of the evil spirits we face today? The great news is that, just like the woman in the passage was in bondage I know and have experienced a God that has ALL POWER.
Let’s look closely at His character.
1) HE’S A GOD WHO SEES:
Regardless of her physical condition, Jesus saw her! She was a woman worshipping Him despite her affliction. He was going to use His mighty power to allow her to get into a better position-one of freedom.
2) HE’S A GOD WHO CALLS:
Typically in this culture, women were not necessarily held in the highest regard. Having visible disabilities only made society’s view worse. At this point, Jesus called someone whose physical condition was distorted and whom society had a distorted view. He did not just see her as just a spectator but an opportunity to make her a spectacle to show God’s power. That’s how it is
when he calls us to a particular assignment. His ability to work through us is not hindered by our own limitations nor the limitations others put on us–HE IS GOD!
3) HE’S A GOD WHO HEALS BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY:
According to the laws in those times, the Sabbath was designed to restrict an individual’s ability to work. It was designed as a day of rest, reflection and worship. When the leader of the synagogue witnessed exactly what Jesus was doing, he began to get upset and tried to call Jesus out amongst the congregation. Just like some people in this world who can’t handle God’s blessings upon your life. The leader tried to argue that Jesus was defying the laws of the Sabbath–but I just love Jesus’ response on this day as well as other times He healed on the Sabbath.
Luke 13: 15 states: “You hypocrites! Each of you work on the Sabbath day! Don’t you untie your ox or your donkey from its stall and lead it out for water? This dear woman has been held in bondage for eighteen years. Isn’t it right that she be released, even on the Sabbath”?
On other accounts, his response was similar-
Mark 2:27-28 states, “The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people and not peeple to meet the requirements of the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord, even over the Sabbath”.
In Luke 14:5, his response to those who were against it was, “Which of you doesn’t work on the Sabbath? If your son or your cow falls into a pic, don’t you rush to get him out?”
CLEARLY GOD IS ONE WHO DEFIES WHAT OTHERS ACCOUNT AS UNACCEPTABLE. IF HE WANTS TO HEAL HE WILL DO SO BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY. IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT THE DOCTORS SAY, WHAT SOCIETY SAYS, OR EVEN WHAT YOU SAY TO YOUR SELF.
Lastly, the passage shows us the character of the woman. There was a reason why she went to the synagogue that day. She was a woman of faith. Her actions spoke louder than her words. She was a woman who listened to Jesus’ words, she obeyed his command by walking towards Him and in her obedience–her position changed. Lastly, she was a woman of praise.
There are several powerful nuggets attached to this one passage; however, from this perspective, I extract this simple fact: No matter what position society’s view may try to lock you in, no matter how the history of your past tries to bind you. No matter what the doctors report may read remember, God has the ability change your position at any given time if He so chooses.