Updated: Oct 7, 2021
What an incredible August we have had. The Lord has been so good to us. As we wrap up the “This Means War” series and are in the final stretch of the "911 declaration", we are launching our September study and the word of the month. We are going all-in Unflinchingly!
When the Lord began to train me in the concept of being unflinching, he used a honeybee to describe what it means to be stung and not flinch from the pain. As he called me into women’s ministries, he said, “Holly, women can be like honeybees. I created them to make something sweet, but in self-defense, they will sting. Your job is not to flinch.” Then he sent me to a scripture that has become my life verse. I hold fast to this passage when I want to flinch in times of pain.
“Fear not [there is nothing to fear], for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice. Isaiah 41:10 AMPC
When he spoke to me about learning not to flinch when others hurt and offend me, I knew that I was going into something bigger than myself. I knew he was calling me to the front lines and that I would feel pain, but I was not to run from it. I found great comfort in the words of Isaiah, I will strengthen and harden you towards difficulties. God was calling me to be thick-skinned and he was asking me be tenderhearted but not easily hurt or offended.
To me, to be unflinching is to holdfast in love and compassion when a wounded person is wounding and they need you to sturdy yourself so they can heal. To love those who are harsh or unlovely stings a bit, but it is that unconditional love and kindness that will bring them into repentance. I'm not talking about not having boundaries, I am talking about what it looks like to stay steady in character and faith when a broken person is stinging you in their pain and defense. Can we live a tender-hearted life that doesn’t flinch from the bee stings of disappointment, gossip, betrayal, grief, or persecution? Can we endure the lancing of a verbal boil that needs to get the poison out of their soul before they hear one word of love and kindness? Yes! But it takes time, trust, and discipline. It takes leaning in on the word when the world is caving in on you.
Learning to live unflinchingly in times that are filled with differences and toxic behavior can be difficult. Loving the hurting into healing is what being unflinching is all about. We are not called to live an easy life; we are called to live an empowered life. A life filled with faith when the road seems impossible or impassable. A life of discipline and grace, that is anchored to hope. A life flooded with love and understanding when a broken person is breaking before you. Because truthfully, girls, we will want to flinch. We will want to react, recoil, retreat, and perhaps resign for this gig called ministry.
You said yes to God, and somehow life got harder. I get it. People got meaner. The finances got smaller. The hips got bigger. The hair got thinner. So much stress, am I right?
But living an unflinching and empowered life means living with opposition and difficulties gracefully and being unflinching when you want to run. Unflinching when you want to fight and defend yourself. Unflinching when you want to deviate from the course. Unflinching when slander arises. Unflinching in persecution, betrayal, in the barren times and the wilderness.
When the devil picks a fight with a daughter of the King, we must stand unflinchingly and demonstrate our steadfast faith in King Jesus. So dig those pedicured toes in the sand and refuse to back down to the harassment and stings of the bully. The God of Angels army is right behind you, but there are times he will say, "Brace yourself, this is gonna sting. Brace yourself, the boat's gonna rock. Brace yourself this storm is gonna get wild. Brace yourself, I am sending you out like lambs..." Because here is the God honest truth. In this world, we will have trouble. But take heart. He has overcome the world.
For the next four weeks, we will focus on four topics on how to live unflinchingly.
· Leading in times of division
· Loving in seasons of loneliness
· Serving when feeling unappreciated
· Obeying at all cost
This verse from 2 Thessalonians will be what we refer to often to encourage our hearts, spur us on in our pursuit, and sturdy our legs to demonstrate unflinching endurance in times of painful trials.
“We point to you as an example of unwavering faith for all the churches of God. We boast about how you continue to demonstrate unflinching endurance through all the persecutions and painful trials you are experiencing.” 2 Thessalonians 1:4 TPT