These days, a quick scroll through Pinterest will likely include clever typography with messages such as, “The Future Is Female”, “A Better Me Is Coming”, “You Are Stronger Than You Know”, “Empowered Women Empower Women”, and “Put On Your Positive Pants”, just to name a few. I have been greatly encouraged by these increasing messages in a day where women still face sexism, corruption, abuse and injustice. Many men and women throughout history have labored, risked, and pioneered for women to play an active and equal role in shaping the future, to be strong women who make a difference, to become empowered women who empower other women, and yes, even to put on their positive pants (and not just skirts) every day. Jesus Himself was an advocate and liberator for women, consistently crossing cultural norms and breaking religious traditions to include, equip and empower women. And when I see messages that speak to the value of women and the potential inside of every woman, I celebrate that God’s heart towards the feminine heart is being echoed.
These messages are encouraging and timely, but like all messages, their effectiveness is only measured by the momentum they create. Messages that don’t yield personal and corporate movement become nothing more than sweet sentiments, trendy hashtags, and lost words. Words are not powerful just because they are spoken at the right time; words are powerful when they spark transformation in the human heart. A heart must be changed before it begins to pursue any real change in community and culture. And messages that spark movements always find a way to speak to the human heart.
Which is why our hearts always need more than Pinterest scrolls and graphic tees and popular hashtags to awaken within us the strength and courage to become all that we were created to be. To be clear, I’m not advocating for less of these things. Even as I write this post, I am wearing a gray t-shirt with the words “GIRL POWER” bold and in white across the front. But this shirt doesn’t tell me who I am; it only confirms what my heart already knows to be true about myself, other women, and well, all of humanity.
To know who I truly am and what I am truly capable of, I must look to no other than my Creator. Only He knows the full extent of my design. His words about me and to me are the truest story I will ever have of myself. His thoughts about me are far more accurate than anything I could read about or post about or wear around. And until I know what the God who designed me and loves me says about me, I’ll never be able to fully shape the future for the greater good or become the better me I know I could be or realize how strong I am or live empowered and empower others or know how to not just put on positive pants, but embody joy and resilience in the face of difficulties. It’s the message of Christ to me that has the power to ignite within me a movement that can’t be stopped or silenced- a movement that eventually touches every interaction, relationship and ambition I have.
So, yes, let’s keep posting and liking and hash-tagging and wearing the swag and all the other ways we can stand in solidarity and unity for the cause of justice … But let’s not look to those things to do for us what only God Himself can do… They can’t tell us who we are. A poster can’t rid you of insecurity; only Jesus can. A pin about empowerment can’t empower you; only the Spirit of God in your life can. No buzz feed quiz can tell you who you are; only the Word of God can.
You are wildly wonderful, magnificent inside and out, loved beyond measure, and capable of great things. But don’t just believe me or the Pinterest pin or the latest girl-power-swag; listen to, meditate on, memorize, pray, and own every word God has written about you and to you:
You Are Beautiful:
Every part of you is so beautiful, my darling.
Perfect is your beauty, without flaw within.
(Song of Songs. 4:7 TPT)
Arise, my dearest. Hurry, my darling.
Come away with me!
I have come as you have asked
to draw you to my heart and lead you out.
For now is the time, my beautiful one.
(Song of Songs 2:10 TPT)
Bold power and glorious majesty[a] are wrapped around her
as she laughs with joy over the latter days.
(Proverbs 31:25-26 TPT)
You will be a crown of splendor in the LORD’s hand, a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
(Isaiah 62:3 NIV)
Gaze upon him, join your life with his, and joy will come.
Your faces will glisten with glory.
You’ll never wear that shame-face again.
(Psalm 34:5 TPT)
You formed my innermost being, shaping my delicate inside
and my intricate outside,
and wove them all together in my mother’s womb.[a]
14 I thank you, God, for making me so mysteriously complex!
Everything you do is marvelously breathtaking.
It simply amazes me to think about it!
How thoroughly you know me, Lord!
(Psalm 139:13-14 TPT)
You Are Capable of Great Things:
10 We have become his poetry,[a] a re-created people that will fulfill the destiny he has given each of us, for we are joined to Jesus, the Anointed One. Even before we were born, God planned in advance our destiny and the good works[b] we would do to fulfill it!
(Ephesians 2:10 TPT)
Great favor is upon you, for you have believed
every word spoken to you from the Lord.”
(Luke 1:45 TPT)
God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.
(Psalm 46:5 NIV)
10 And then, after your brief suffering,[a] the God of all loving grace, who has called you to share in his eternal glory in Christ,[b] will personally and powerfully restore you and make you stronger than ever. Yes, he will set you firmly in place and build you up.[c]
(1 Peter 5:10 TPT)
And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?
(Esther 4:14 NIV)
9 But you are God’s chosen treasure[a]—priests who are kings,[b] a spiritual “nation” set apart as God’s devoted ones. He called you out of darkness to experience his marvelous light, and now he claims you as his very own. He did this so that you would broadcast his glorious wonders throughout the world.[c]
(1 Peter 2:9 TPT)
20 But we are a colony[a] of heaven on earth as we cling tightly to our life-giver, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our humble bodies[b] and transfigure us into the identical likeness of his glorified body. And using his matchless power, he continually subdues everything to himself.[c]
(Philippians. 3:20-21 TPT)
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.
(1 Samuel 16:7 NIV)
(Matthew 5:8 TPT)
27 You are the body of the Anointed One, and each of you is a unique and vital part of it.
(1 Corinthians 12:27 TPT)
(1 Corinthians 6:20 TPT)
Christ Loves You and Lives in You:
But by the grace of God I am what I am.
(1 Corinthians 15:10 NIV)
See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands…
(Isaiah 49:16 NIV)
20 “My old identity has been co-crucified with Messiah and no longer lives; for the nails of his cross crucified me with him. And now the essence of this new life is no longer mine, for the Anointed One lives his life through me—we live in union as one! My new life is empowered by the faith of the Son of God who loves me so much that he gave himself for me, and dispenses his life into mine![a]
(Galatians 2:20 TPT)
(2 Corinthians 6:18 TPT)
26 You have all become true children of God by the faith of Jesus the Anointed One![a]
(Galatians 3:26 TPT)
27 Living within you is the Christ who floods you with the expectation of glory! This mystery of Christ, embedded within us, becomes a heavenly treasure chest of hope filled with the riches of glory for his people, and God wants everyone to know it!
(Colossians 1:27 TPT)
15 I have never called you ‘servants,’[a] because a master doesn’t confide in his servants, and servants don’t always understand what the master is doing. But I call you my most intimate friends,[b] for I reveal to you everything that I’ve heard from my Father. 16 You didn’t choose me, but I’ve chosen[c] and commissioned you to go into the world[d] to bear fruit. And your fruit will last, because whatever you ask of my Father, for my sake,[e] he will give it to you!
(John 15:15-16 TPT)
58 So now, beloved ones,[a] stand firm and secure. Live your lives with an unshakable confidence. We know that we prosper and excel in every season by serving the Lord,[b] because we are assured that our union with the Lord makes our labor productive with fruit that endures.[c]
(1 Corinthians 15:58 TPT)
But those who embraced him and took hold of his name[a]
were given authority to become
the children of God!
(John 1:12 TPT)
3 Your crucifixion[a] with Christ has severed the tie to this life, and now your true life is hidden away in God in Christ.
(Colossians 3:3 TPT)
24 And to be transformed as you embrace the glorious Christ-within as your new life and live in union with him! For God has re-created you all over again in his perfect righteousness, and you now belong to him in the realm of true holiness.
(Ephesians 4:24 TPT)