With my son screaming in pain, I stomped my foot at the young man, giving him the "mother's look of death."  He glared right back at me and said, "Lady, do you need to leave the room?" At this point, Dan is trying to decide how he is going to come up with my bail and explain the murder of one very foolish X-ray technician.  I stepped toward the young man, stopping one inch from his nose, burrowed my finger in his chest and through clenched teeth, growled a warning.  "This is MY baby, buster. You'd better watch how you treat him. Oh, and by the way, I - am - not - going - anywhere!"


He got the message. I pray that you do. It is simple but breathtaking. We belong to Him. Our heavenly Father stands beside us, with a warning, "This is My child. She belongs to Me. You'd better watch how you treat her - and by the way, I am not going anywhere."


God set us apart.  He loves us, chose us for His own and we belong to Him. To be successful in ministry - we must first recognize our value in Him and have a correct perception of who we are - created by God, for God.


A personal word from Mary:  Perceiving our true identity in Christ is the first habit of a highly successful woman in ministry and the foundation upon which all of the other habits rest.  Understanding who we are in God's eyes frees us to truly worship and joyfully serve Him. Guilt vanishes, unable to survive in a purpose driven life.  Heart motives are refined in the fire of front line ministry as we become bent on pleasing God. Contentment flourishes as the chaos of disobedience gives way to the chosen will and accepted plan of God. The most powerful ministry flows from a clear life plan - not to it!


Does your ministry lack power?


Are you constantly plagued by doubt and fear?


Do you often feel unworthy and alone?


Rest in His power - revel in His peace - celebrate His love and unique plan for your life, knowing that you are precious in His eyes.


Mary Southerland is a pastor's wife, mother of two teenagers, director with Proverbs 31 Ministries, author of Coming Out of the Dark (Harvest House, 2004), and conference speaker. She is also the founder of Journey Ministry, a teaching ministry dedicated to equipping every woman for her unique journey. Visit Mary's new website at www.MarySoutherland.com.


(c) Copyright 2004. Used by permission. All rights reserved.