Monday, September 5, 2011

The Godly Woman's Journey: ALARMED

Memory/Meditation Verse: "You do not have to fight this [battle]. Position yourselves, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD. [He is] with you...Do not be afraid or discouraged. Tomorrow, go out to face them, for the LORD is with you. ”. 2 Chronicles 20: 17b (HCSB)

I came across a devotional not too long ago. I can't remember who wrote it or spoke it to give proper credit. It probably came from Proverbs 31 Ministry or my friend Elaine but this morning my heart has settle onto it's scripture once again and the role it has in a Godly Woman's Journey. When life gets tough...when burdens seem too heavy, when interruptions change your course, what should the godly woman's response be?

How did our
Proverbs 31 Woman handle life's interruptions at these times? Did she embrace these interruptions or try to change them to her plan? I would assume, knowing the way of Old Testament living, she followed the Joshua 1: 8 principle:

This Book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe and do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall deal wisely and have good success. (Amplified Version)

Drawing from the Old Testament stories and learning from them as they were passed down from generation to generation was a cherished way of life in Biblical times. The story of Joshua had to be a valued principle as one sought intimacy with God in those days.

So too the story of Jehoshaphat, son of king David, in 2 Chronicles chapter 20. As you think about life stresses or interruptions...anything that puts you into an "alarmed" state of mind, examine what Jehoshaphat did to overcome his obstacle, his "alarm" that seemed to be doomed. You can read 2 Chronicles 20

Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the LORD, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah (verse 3)

"Alarmed". Webster gives synonyms for alarmed as: frightened, horrified, panicked, scared, shocked, spooked, startled, terrified, terrorized. Something we can associate with a life limiting diagnosis, a childs illness, a troubled teenager, a failing marriage, a lost job, death.

Yet, the stories told throughout the generations told of a very important step
Jehoshaphat took when he was overcome by his situation of "alarm". He "inquired of the Lord". How many wasted hours of worry, regret and remorse can we save in an "alarmed" situation if we only "inquire of the Lord".

But Jehoshaphat actions don't stop here. Verses 6-12 in 2 Chronicles is a prayer of submission and trust in his Sovereign God-his demonstration of how he "inquire of the Lord". As he inquired of the Lord, he "put his eyes upon God" for direction (vs 12):

"For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”

And again he didn't stop there...

"Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s."

In a bold move, one that can be very hard when an "alarmed" state involves someone you love and cherish, Jehoshaphat released the "alarm" to God.

Releasing "alarm" can be painful. I have an interruption in my life, my plans, that has triggered my "alarms"....I have a teenage daughter, Emma, that thinks life on her own is better than my rules. She graduates high school early this December. My state will not support me in trying to force her back home because she is 17 ...old enough to make her own life choices. My heart feels great PAIN. My mind wants to PANIC. My plans for her have been interrupted.

Though my "alarm" has played havoc on my heart and mind I have released her into God's hands
. Though I want to grip her life back into my control, this release has allowed me to somehow walk in peace because I trust that anything and all things that happen to her because of her choices are still be under God's control.He has a plan. As much as I want to rescue her and save her, I know the power of brokenness and that she too now must journey there.

Jehoshaphat, a godly woman's journey involves facing "alarms" with God-confidence. Our Proverbs 31 Woman learned to stand strong as she face her "alarm" with God-confidence:

"You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you." (vs 17b)

“Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem! Have faith in the LORD your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful.” (vs. 20b)

Listen godly woman...have faith...and you too will be upheld in life's interruptions!!

Jehoshaphat gives us one final step in facing an interruption, an "alarm"...

“Give thanks to the LORD,
for his love endures forever.”

Giving thanks to God for His plan, His deliverance, His protection before the "alarm" is resolved. An action that says "God, I love you." A reaction that that allows you to live in peace, to rest in Him...

And the kingdom of Jehoshaphat was at peace, for his God had given him rest on every side. (vs. 30b)

Rest on every side of your "alarm"...Peace....Living in His Embrace...just part of the godly woman's journey.

Father, my Holy and Sovereign God, I praise you for upholding me in my "alarms". I praise you in advance for Your protection, Your deliverance, Your plan when my plans are interrupted. I submit all my heart and mind with my "alarms" and rest secure in You. Thank you Lord for this peace that can only come from surrender to You. I love you Lord...I cling to Your presence in my life. ~ Amen

This week, concentrate on praising God in every minute, every interruption, and especially when your "alarms" go off. Make this a week of prayer and praise!!

Living in His Embrace~Pamela

1 comment:

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

God-confidence is one of Renee Swope's terms. Regardless of where it came from, it's a powerful teaching. Unfortunately, harder to learn.

Sometimes, friend, it's in are darkest night where we learn to fully trust. When we finally get to the end of all our fighting, trying, wishing, and hoping... we fall into mercy. God's love. God's hope. God's peace for the journey.

Keep focusing on Christ as you enter into the unknown. He will carry you through and bring you forth as gold. This I promise you. I know this one.

Holding you and Joe close in my heart tonight as you seek to parent the most excellent way! I love you, friend.