My Utmost for His Highest – Day 3

Audio: Abigail Barrett

The godly woman gives. She gives her heart and soul to the Lord, and her life in consecration to the things of God, she gives of her time, talents and treasures to the service of others and she gives in prayer to combat the spiritual warfare that is going on. Whilst she gives, she is trading her mortality to immortality, and her corruption into incorruption, ultimately she gives her all and  receives the glory of His image.He must increase, but I must decrease” John 3:30. The truth is, for us to reflect His likeness, we have to be stripped completely of our carnal nature, this we achieve through constantly and recklessly giving to the cause of Christ.

Calvary remains the most memorable place in history and the crucifixion represents the most sacrificial act of love. To purchase man salvation it caused the man Christ Jesus His life and as we journey to become like Christ, we too will have to sacrifice our lives. The paradox of this christian journey is that we lose to gain, we give to receive, we die to live; our utmost for His highest.

Since godliness is not inherent and becoming like Christ is a process, the godly woman needs to follow the principles of the scriptures so that she can attain the image of Christ. Here is the hierarchy:

And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2nd Peter 1:5-8 KJV

As we partner with God, and indulge in this spiritual exchange we climb up the hierarchy. We are constantly growing and moving towards the goal. If there is a time in our life where there is no growth, it means we are dead, all living things grow! If we realize we are regressing we need to check our diet, what we eat or the lack thereof is of vital importance. No matter how small it is, each day we should be one step closer to becoming more and more like Christ.

Surrendered

When your life is based on “I don’t feel like..”, “I was born this way”, “Everyone in my family stays this way and it will be the same for me” it indicates that you have not fully surrendered or accepted the power of God’s grace.

Therefore if anyone is in Christ [that is, grafted in, joined to Him by faith in Him as Savior], he is a new creature [reborn and renewed by the Holy Spirit]; the old things [the previous moral and spiritual condition] have passed away. Behold, new things have come [because spiritual awakening brings a new life]. 2 Corinthians 5:17, Amplified Bible.

Spiritual awakening brings new life! When we have come to the understanding of who Jesus is, our way of life, our thinking and behavioural patterns are changed to align with the will of God for us. When we have experienced Christ in an intimate personal old fashioned way, Christ is revealed to us and the knowledge of who He is radically transforms who we are. Like Zacheuss you will climb any tree to see Him. Like Mary you will find Him worthy of your most precious gift and you will search for Him and when you find Him, you will pour it all out on Him. Like Paul, your only desire will be to know Him. Like James, you will be able to count it as joy when you are in the midst of adversity. Like John, you will have dreams and visions of things in the spiritual realm. Like Daniel, you will purpose in your heart not to defile yourself with the things of this world. Like Esther, if you perish, you’ll perish but your desire is to see the Lord high and lifted up. Like the 3 Hebrew boys, you will not bow! Like Moses, you will choose to suffer with the people of God than to endure the pleasures of sin for a season. Like Ruth, you will be willing to leave a life of idolatry to experience the power of God, for Israel’s God, will be your God! Oh! Time will fail to talk about all those who have recklessly abandoned their desires to pursue the will of God, those who have surrendered because they have tasted and see that the Lord is good!

Have you counted the cost for serving Jesus? Have you calculated the total of all you will have to give to gain heaven? My sisters, have you surrendered? Does Jesus have possession of all your dreams and aspirations? Is He Lord

of all the kingdoms of your heart? If He is not Lord of everything, then He is not Lord at all. Your utmost, for His highest!

Today’s Challenge: Have I counted the cost of discipleship?

Today’s Verse for Meditation:  So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not [carefully consider the cost and then for My sake] give up all his own possessions. Luke 14:33 Amplified Bible See the entire chapter 

Today’s Affirmation: I have carefully considered the cost, and I choose to be a disciple.

Womanhood Defined- Day 2

Audio : Abigail Barrett

As we seek to embrace our purpose as women, it is important for us to know that we too were created to display the image of God. As women, we reflect the image of God in ways that are distinct from men, for example Isaiah 66:13 states “As a mother comforts her child ,so will I comfort you; and you will be comforted over Jerusalem.” He created us with equal importance yet differing function.

The “help meet” 

As women, we have a subordinate function to the man. God designed the men to be the leaders, and we provide them with the tools and insights to lead effectively. They are the providers, but we are their cheerleaders encouraging and motivating them each step of the way. They are the protectors, but we are their safe place. We are the opposite that complements; we add value to their existence, all for God’s glory.

To define womanhood is really to explain the purpose of the woman, her functions, and her roles and responsibilities. What better woman can reflect this than Lemuel’s mother, the Proverbs 31 woman? I remember in courtship being encouraged to emulate the characteristics of this woman described in Proverbs 31 and thinking she must have been a superhero! How can I ever attain such diligence and excellence? While we cannot relate to every single activity there are some principles that we can take away for her lifestyle.

Let us review some attributes of a godly woman outlined in Proverbs 31: 10-31:

  1. She is rare, demanded for her Christlike character vs 10
  2. Confidential and responsible vs 11
  3. Industrious vs 13
  4. Resourceful vs 14
  5. A good housewife vs 15
  6. Investor vs 16
  7. She works hard, not slothful vs 17
  8. Consistent vs 19
  9. Giver vs 20
  10. Prepared for changes in times and seasons vs 21
  11. Uses her gifts to gain income vs 24
  12. Her work shall be rewarded vs 25
  13. Faithful and Diligent vs 27
  14. Fears the Lord vs 30

Dr. Tony Evans and Chrystal Evans Hurst in their book entitled, Kingdom Woman, explained that the Proverbs 31 woman exemplified noble qualities because she really was strong, capable, giving, resourceful, efficient and spiritually minded.

Unfortunately, if women today are striving to be all of those things at all times, they will feel like failure. In a more practical way, it may be possible to fulfill the calling of Proverbs 31, but those qualities don’t all have to be fulfilled simultaneously. Much of what is noted about this woman is what we are growing into as we become more like Christ.

Let us take this journey one step at a time, identifying our strengths and weaknesses. Let our prayer be that God will keep us humble and consistent where strong, and where we are weak, let us seek knowledge, strength and help from others who are stronger in that area. No matter where on the journey we are, we should all be grateful that we are heading in the right direction. As a godly woman, we should never feel the need to compete with a man, or any other woman. A godly woman only needs to stand and honour God with every step she takes.

My sister, don’t allow your past, inadequacies, and failures to dictate who you are. Instead, open your Bibles and let the truth of God’s words govern your thoughts and instruct your ways. You are running and one day your story will read “Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.” Proverbs 31:29. You excel them all not by being their competitor but by walking in alignment with God’s will for you.

Today’s Challenge: Does your existence define God’s purpose for creating women? Which attribute of the Proverbs 31 woman can you work on this coming week?

Today’s Verse for Meditation: She looketh well to the ways of her (household) Saviour, and eateth not the bread of idleness.(Proverbs 31:27, KJV, rewording mine)  

Today’s Affirmation: I choose to live in my calling, I choose to walk purposely and faithfully in God’s ordinance as a godly woman.