To “embody” is to be a perfect representation or expression of a value or person. We try to capture what cannot always be given a physical form. The cross embodies faith and Christianity. The increasingly available and promoted “goddess” charms found on most jewelry supply sites represent divine feminine essence or empowerment to the average woman, but embody demonic forces to the believer.  At face value, the peace sign represents a universal desire for world peace; however, with satanic origins, it embodies so much more.  The stars and stripes represent patriotism and the United States.
Unsettled by countless unanswered prayers, I have been drawn closer to the words of Christ and books on intercession by classic authors such as Andrew Murray.  Murray contends that the key to answered prayers is “abiding” in Christ. In my reflection of what this truly means, I have come to believe that for me to deeply abide in Christ, I must die to myself and become a habitat where the Spirit of God is welcome. I must embody Christ. He must be my highest pursuit above answered prayers, my ideals of how my children should pursue their vision, how our lives should transpire, or even my sense of self.
How much more simple can Christ’s words in the Gospel of John be than, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” Later, in I John the author asserts, “Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.”  When I invited Jesus into my heart to be my Lord and Savior I began the journey of abiding. The Holy Spirit now lives within me.
Who am I? A daughter of the King! Living as the King’s daughter is a powerful position with incredible privilege and responsibility. I have been convicted in my meditations to pray with the authority of the King’s daughter, one who represents her Father in command and might. In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul directs that we have been seated in heavenly places with Christ.  That’s a seat of power, honor, and responsibility.
If Christ lives within me and I am His representative, my life should reflect my Father’s values and character.
I will produce the fruit of the Spirit–love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, and self-control.  I will not produce the diseases of bitterness, resentment, hatred, self-centeredness, entitlement, judgmentalism, faithlessness, or fear. What a challenge! I exhort myself that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  “All” is an all-inclusive value. I confess my human weakness yet invincible power in the Spirit. I don the cape of Wonder Woman in the Spirit . “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,” says the Lord.  Yes, I am Mary, the girl with a nutty sense of humor who loves cats, red meat, stacks of books, fine coffee, and autumn, but I have now become invincible because it is no longer me but Christ in me!  I am a representative of my God Almighty.
I choose to delight myself in the Lord who gives me the desires of my heart.  My desires become pure because Christ lives in me. I take on or embody His heart and mindset. You can’t have one without the other.
To embody Christ is to delight and see with His eyes. I choose to no longer value or desire anything which could possibly pull me back from the Father. In fact, with the grace of God, I choose to set those desires aside and “die” to myself.
As a child, I longed to please my earthly father—to bring him joy. I imitated him to some degree more than my mother. I so enjoyed watching our children model my husband Mark’s behaviors, clothing preferences, even the shoes he usually wore.
Even more so with Abba-Father. I can pray according to His will because I am immersed in His Word and have spent time at His feet and know by faith that He hears me.  “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”  In my weakness to know or desire the will of God, the Spirit prays for me. 
In this last half of the century of my life I want to truly embody Christ. It’s my desire to reflect my Father in my writing, relationships, business, conversations, and faith. There is no fear in Christ, because “perfect love casts out all fear.”  Do my conversations manifest hope, peace, transformation and Truth? It’s political season here in the states—my prayer is to not engage in human judgements, but to pray for Truth in all parties involved. My children are launching into their futures and relationships–my prayer is that they will pursue Christ first in all their undertakings. Our bodies are aging despite faithful gym routines and naturopathic meals. Here again, by faith, I believe I am equipped in Christ for everything I have been called to embrace. As a trained marriage and family therapist, I am grieving over the normalization of what were formerly DSM-identified disorders.  Here, too, I pray for a move of God that breaks abuse, every lie and chain thereby setting the Gen Z generation free. I long to see the Acts 2 church in our communities.
I have seen too much of the despised judgmental Pharisee in myself and want to run to Christ as Zacchaeus, climb that tree, and confess my sin so that I can be free to embody the Good Father. I long to pray powerful, effective, transformational prayers because I have been with my Father. He is good and perfect in all His ways. Great is His faithfulness.
 The Coven’s Cottage. “Goddess Charm with Spiral – Bone,” n.d. https://thecovenscottage.com/products/goddess-spiral-charm-with-spiral-bone.
 Design Observer. “The Magic of the Peace Symbol,” n.d. https://designobserver.com/feature/the-magic-of-the-peace-symbol/6707.
 Murray, Andrew. The Ministry of Intercession, 1897.
 John 15:7, ESV
 I John 4:6, ESV
 Gal. 5:22-23, ESV
 Eph. 2:6 ESV
 Phil. 4:13 ESV
 Created as a cartoon character in 1941 by William Moulton Marston https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wonder_Woman
 Zech. 4:6, ESV
 Gal. 2:20, ESV
 Ps. 37, ESV
 I John 5:14-15, ESV
 Matt. 6:9-10, ESV
 Rom. 8:25-28 ESV
 I John 4:18 ESV
 DSM IV Diagnostic and Statistical Manual
The featured image is courtesy of Julie Jablonski and is used with her kind permission for Cultivating.
Mary has cherished life-long literary dreams coupled with a passion for ministry, all of which lead her to study English literature and later theology and counseling in seminary. She has been designing artisan jewelry for nine years while homeschooling son Ian and daughter Julianna. After 14 years of ministry in San Diego she and her husband Mark Miller, along with their teenagers and cat, Lord Peter Wimsey relocated to Charlottesville, VA where they enjoy farm life, chickens and all. Mary enjoys off-the-wall humor, gardening, cooking, and curling up with anything penned by Dorothy Sayers, C.S. Lewis, Tolkien, or Jane Austen.
A Field Guide to Cultivating ~ Essentials to Cultivating a Whole Life, Rooted in Christ, and Flourishing in Fellowship
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