Day 9: 30-Day True Woman Makeover Challenge

High and Holy Calling

In Proverbs 31, we read about a woman who gives and gives and gives. How does she keep giving?

• You’re never more like Jesus than when you’re serving.
• What a blessing it is for a man to know that there’s a wife at home who’s watching and praying on his behalf, praying that as he goes out into the world God will protect him and keep his heart pure.
• It is a high and holy calling to be a helper to your husband and to manage the affairs of your household.
This is just a taste of what you'll learn from Nancy Leigh DeMoss in the series, “The Counter-cultural Woman: A Fresh Look at Proverbs 31.

Moving on…..

I remember years ago sitting in church and listening to our pastor preach. I could feel God’s Spirit moving in me, and was keenly aware of God’s presence with me. On a Youth Sunday, I was asked to read Scripture. Even though I was shy and didn’t say much in Sunday School, I agreed. I stood behind the pulpit with my knees shaking and spoke as confidently as I could. Afterwards, several people told me that they knew I would be used by God. Someone even suggested that I should think about preaching the next time.

I could read the Bible. But preaching? That was never going to happen.

Few years after I moved to a new place, for the first time in my life I was in the religious minority, and it was a difficult transition. Add to that the awkwardness of puberty, and I had some very trying years. I began to think about having a boyfriend, and wondering who God might lead me to marry. I started attending a bible study group that led several studies about dating and marriage. For the first time, I started to think that if I was going to have a godly marriage, I had to learn to submit myself to my husband. Even though I had been taught by my parents that women could do anything men could do, I liked the idea of submission. As a timid, quiet girl, I found a tremendous amount of comfort in the idea that if I married a strong, winsome man, I might never have to stand up for myself or make difficult decisions on my own again.

Few months after I moved to a new country to study,  I repeatedly found myself involved the  fellowships. More importantly I found myself more involve in conversations about women’s submission, the evils of women’s ordination, and the importance of marrying a strong, Christian man who would lead the family. Surprisingly, the more I heard this message, the more I began to question it.

 In 2010 I wrote this in my journal:
”Today I felt a calling, a calling towards ministry. I don’t know if this would be music ministry, or otherwise. I pray to the Lord of Hosts that He may be the interpreter of such a calling!”

In spite of holding a worldview that told me I couldn't be called, God spoke to me and confirmed that I was called to ministry. I immediately excused the thought of pastoral ministry, and decided it must be music ministry, or something more “appropriate” for a woman. Soon I found myself taking up a major leadership position in the fellowship.  I knew God was calling me, and I knew I desperately wanted to be faithful to God. The only thing holding me back was an intense yearning to be faithful to God without having to stand in front of a lot of people, I mean…wouldn't it have been awesome if I just did it with my friends and not a whole congregation? My mind pondered on that for a while.  I thought that if I preached, people would take exception to me before I even opened my mouth. I’d step behind the pulpit and people would outrightly judge me. 

The morning before I preached my first sermon, I went on my knees and prayed, “God, please let me hate preaching. I don’t want to do this. I’m just doing this so I can teach. Please, please, help me hate this.”
And, then I didn’t.

My first sermon was rough, but there was a distinct moment while I was preaching that I felt God taking my words and transforming them.

Then it occurred to me that a person called by God has been anointed by Him for this role. Just as God anointed Moses, David, and the prophets and apostles, He anointed me. What caused the people to listen to and follow Moses? What did David have that his brothers did not? God’s anointing. God’s favor. This anointing is not something to be prideful about. I realized that the words that I spoke then and several Sundays after on that pulpit had nothing to do with me. It was God’s choosing.

Through your call, you know that God has set you apart to serve Him and others. Through the anointing, others can see God’s hand on you.

With time I began to understand that I was not working for God but with God. If I’m working for God, then He simply needs to tell me what to do and I will do it. On the other hand, if I’m working with God, then there is a constant realization that I’m limited in what I can do on my own. While I’m limited on what I can do, I’m connected to the One who can do anything. I may have limited wisdom, but I know the God of all wisdom. I am aware of my limits in loving others, in bringing healing or comfort but I’m connected to an unlimited God. When we realize that God is the one who empowers us to fulfill our calling, we are working with Him and not for Him.

God wants us to stand out as women who know we have something valuable to offer the world. We are capable, intelligent, and virtuous women who inspire full confidence in those who rely on us most, whether our husband, children, employer, or co-worker. The people around us can have full confidence in us because we have full confidence in God and we live accordingly.

You can have full confidence in God no matter what season of life you’re in right now. Maybe you’re a mother at home with small children. Or an empty nester. You may be single . . . or single again. I don’t know what situation you’re in, but I do know who is in the midst of that situation with you: a loving God who cares so much for you that he paid the ultimate price so you and he never have to spend even one day apart. He laid down his life to ensure that someday you’ll be the honored guest at the ultimate wedding in heaven, when Jesus celebrates the church as his eternal bride.

You may or may not have an earthly husband, but you do have a heavenly Husband. Married or single, God wants you to be his wife of noble character. So this study of Proverbs 31 is relevant to all of us. I want to encourage you to listen for his encouragement along your journey, whether or not you receive any positive feedback from anyone else. 

You may live with a critical friend or be in an otherwise difficult marriage or family relationship. Remember, you are on the road to becoming the woman God wants you to be. Ideally, everyone shares the same goals for you as God does. Hopefully, everyone you know wants you to be the very best you can be, but that’s not necessarily the case. Some of us live with people who seem determined to discourage us or people who want to drag us down. Don’t focus on human feedback. Focus on your relationship with your heavenly Husband and live to please him.

Finally, remember that God's calling for your life goes way beyond what you do. It's who you are, where you belong, who and how you love. But, just as God called me out of an unlikely situation, God continues to call, speak, and guide. All I have to do is follow – even when following means pain.

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