Rise and Stand
“I will rise, stand redeemed, heaven open over me.
To your Name, eternally, endless glory I will bring.”
This past year, as I prayed for Redeemed Girl Institute 2017, the Lord placed on my heart two words: “rise and stand.” These words prophetically described what God wanted to do in the lives of the women who would attend. They would rise out of their brokenness, shame, insecurity, and failures and take their stand in their true identity as God’s beloved daughters and take their place as leaders in the Kingdom. This call to “rise and stand” would be a supernatural work of God in each person’s life. Little did I know when God birthed this vision how powerfully He would fulfill it in the lives of the women who joined us.
One story, in particular, reveals how Jesus can set us free, at any age, even when we don’t recognize we are in bondage. My friend Michelle is a Jesus lover to the core. She is redeemed and is called into ministry. Like many of us, she has struggled against lies that attacked both her identity and calling. This is her redemption story.
As I reflect upon my time at Redeemed Girl Institute, I envision myself with tears streaming down my face, hands lifted high, as I am undone in the presence of God. These are good tears because I am overwhelmed by His love and experiencing freedom like never before.
There are no words to accurately describe the life-changing experience that Redeemed Girl Institute (RGI) was for me. As I registered and packed my bags for a beach trip to Florida, I thought that RGI would be incredible, but I did not expect the way God would take me to a deeper level of healing and truth. I certainly did not expect to hear from God in such a mighty way.
It 's hard to articulate how I much I struggled with feelings of unworthiness and shame before. I was weighed down by accusations that I was not “worthy” to serve God or that I was not “good enough” to be used in the Kingdom. These sinister whispers became such a regular part of my thinking that they were part of my identity. I just assumed I was unworthy.
Thankfully, this past week, as I stood amidst other women in worship, Jesus exposed this lie. He showed me the root of it was in childhood trauma I experienced. When I was a little girl, I experienced many hurts at the hands of men; wounds that I honestly believed were healed. What I didn’t know was that I projected onto my Heavenly Father this fear that He would hurt me too. I built a fortress around my heart, one that was built upon a lie. But while at Institute, I came to see the root of this lie and Jesus invited me to experience the freedom that can only be found in Him.
Though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that set itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every though to make it obedience to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
One thing we learned about at RGI was how in Christ we have “divine power” to demolish strongholds. This stronghold set itself up against my true identity as a beloved child of God. But I stand today to testify that the truth has set me free!
The truth that Jesus is better!
The truth that He really is a good, good Father.
The truth that His goodness has no rival.
The truth that there is NO substitute for His presence.
The truth that we can take every thought captive
The truth that He loves me!
Here is the miracle of this past week: As a 41- year- old woman, I no longer have to live like that 6- year-old- little girl who was told not to speak, not to tell the truth, and to hide in shame.
Jesus has restored my voice.
Jesus has redeemed all that was stolen.
Jesus has called me to serve Him!
I am forever grateful to RGI ...I will never be the same.
Michelle is just one of many who experienced Jesus do an incredible work at Redeemed Girl Institute. I love knowing that she is now taking her place in ministry and standing firm in her identity in Christ.
Worship Wins the War
How did this powerful work of God occur in Michelle and others? The battle was won in worship. Throughout the Bible, there are moments when God’s people are surrounded, and defeat seems inevitable. It is in those perilous times that God calls them to do something peculiar. He calls us to worship Him. Whether it is the nation of Israel facing the stronghold of Jericho or a King facing down an army, the key to victory was found in worship.
“Worship wins the war” became the rallying cry of this year’s RGI. Worship declares from our mouths what is true about our God. Jesus is our Champion, and it is when we exalt Him and lift Him high in praise that we see our enemy routed and our chains broken. As you scroll through the photos of this year’s event, you will notice the women wearing red wrist bands. These bands serve as a reminder that Jesus, our Victory, won the war for us and by His blood, we are healed. We are overcomers because Jesus has overcome!!
They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony. Revelation 12:11
Marian Jordan Ellis