Monday, August 29, 2011

The Godly Woman's Journey: Rebulding and Restoring, part 2

Memory/Meditation verse: " to open their eyes, so they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. Then they will receive forgiveness for their sins and be given a place among God’s people, who are set apart by faith in me." ~ Act 26:18 (NLT)Link

As you see I have changed this years study name from the "Proverbs 31 Journey" to the "Godly Woman's Journey". It is still the same journey, just a new phase based on the woman Solomon wrote about in Proverbs 31:10-31.

Paul had a moment on that road to Damascus which we find our memory/meditation verse from this week. God did a little rebuilding and restoring on his life didn't He? Do you think our Proverbs 31 Woman had a similar experience? Its really not recorded in scripture, however, what we do know is what her life was like before she became this popular (and not so popular) Christian woman. You can read about it here in 2 Samuel 11 & 2 Samuel 12.

She had a rough start, just like Paul. She fell into brokenness, just like Paul, but in a different kind of way. She may not have had that same bright light that Paul did but she came to know His God all the same. As Solomon wrote about his mother in Proverbs 31, we witness a woman rising from the ashes and becoming more than the sin most Christians associate her with. She became a godly woman despite her past through repentence.

Oswald Chambers in My Upmost for His Highest wrote "Repentance does not bring a sense of sin, but a sense of unutterable unworthiness". Referencing Matthew 3:11, he implies that baptism of the Holy Spirit is not just an act but rather a work performed by Christ Jesus. He continued to write "The only conscious experience those who are baptized with the Holy Ghost ever have is a sense of absolute unworthiness... I indeed was this and that; but He came, and a marvelous thing happened..."

Can't you hear the Proverbs 31 woman shouting a big "AMEN!" here? Can't you? Repentence is a beautiful thing. It's a helpless surrender that brings us to just the right place where God can take control and do marvelous things! The rebuilding and restoring begins.

Suddenly the ugly becomes usable, the brokenness becomes a ministry, the healing becomes a calling. Like I wrote last week, "a time in which ones pain is used for His gain. One's suffering is used for His plan". You know it wasn't easy for her to get out of that pit she and David created. It wasnt easy for David to swallow his pride and his regret but he did...she did...I have. Have you?

What Solomons mom and Paul became had to come from a brokenness that grew into the mindset of a slave.

A slave?

A slave. First impressions probably make you react emotionally like you did as kid sitting in front of a plate of broccoli. Look back into the Old Testament and take a quick look at a slave. They were:
completely sold out for their master
a possession of the master
had no rights-those were relinquished to their master
own nothing, everything belonged to the master
their daily agenda was set by their master
could be redeemed by their master
was provided for by their master
often loved by their master

A slave, a doulos (Greek in the New Testament), was also referenced throughout the Bible as a "servant" or "bondservant". Paul's took on the same attitude after his encounter,
his brokenness, with Christ. Like our Proverbs 31 Woman, he made God his master. You read it several times in his writings...

Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God" ~ Romans 1:1 (HCSB)

Paul, a slave of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ for the faith of God's elect and the knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness..." ~ Titus 1:1 (HCSB)

Christ too took on the form of a bond-servant to His Master to follow God's plan and submit to His will....

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. ~ Phil. 2:5-8 (NKJV)

A godly woman becomes a slave to her Master. She is...

completely sold out for her master

a possession of her master

has no rights-those were relinquished to her master

owns nothing, everything belongs to her master

her daily agenda is set by her master

she is redeemed by her master

her Master provides for her

and her Master loves her

And because of this, she seeks to "to open their eyes, so they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. Then they will receive forgiveness for their sins and be given a place among God’s people, who are set apart by faith in me" because her eyes have been open, she is completely broken with a sense of absolute unworthiness yet she has been forgiven and she has been set apart.

Oh Lord, be Master of my life. I desire to be your slave, your maidservant. I too have been broken. Like Paul when you spoke those words in Acts, I have been humbled to my own failures and sins. And like Paul and our Proverbs 31 Woman, I have been restored. As long as I take breath on this earth, I will forever be re-building my soul. And as long as you call me to, I will be seeking to bring your light and freedom to those who do not know you.

Living in His Embrace ~ Pamela

1 comment:

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Any time I read about Paul's chains and his willingness to be there (for the sake of the Gospel's advancement) I am moved to greater place of commitment to God. If I'm going to be shackled to anything, I want to be chained to the truth! Amen?!

Love you, Pamela. Thanks for this good reminder.