Reading another chapter in Voices of the True Woman Movement brings things up close, and personal. So get yourself a chair, sit down, take a deep breath, and calmly consider these notes of mine. Nancy Leigh DeMoss is the author of this chapter.
The second chapter is based on Romans 11. I've placed the verses Nancy speaks from at the bottom of this post as my Truth For Today quote.
When we climb the path of life, like a rocky mountain, we experience turns, rocky paths, washed out paths, overgrown paths, loose stones, thinning air, animals, weather, and harsh sun. We do so for we are seeking to reach 'the top'. In life we live with some goal(s) in mind, goals that will provide us with a sense of purpose, accomplishment, and fulfillment. As Paul writes to the Romans teaching what we believe as Christians, he reaches the summit.
And then we read Romans 11. The Summit.
Our view of life may be self-centered for that is the message the world presses upon us. In music, video, ads, magazines, t.v., friends, neighbors, and sadly today, most churches. Or we are self-centered for we have been spoiled, indulged in, pampered, from childhood to adulthood. Thus, we find life a rat race because the honest truth we discover is that the world, our jobs, our family do not focus upon us, though the world sings that song to us.
I am going to list quotes and paraphrases of what Nancy had to say in this chapter about the higher calling God offers to us. . . .
We can not understand fully the plans of God nor His purposes, no matter how we try. . .
He is not us. (ouch! but so true)
We may reach a low in our lives that is as low as we've ever been, but God has not departed.
We need not at that low point become women of bitterness and despair.
We may be in a pit but there is no pit that God is not deeper still. (to paraphrase Betsy Ten Boom) The pit we walk into, get pushed into, or slide into is not beyond God's view or influence.
God knows everything and everything about everything: past, present, and future.
He knows the details, the minutia, the big picture.
And His wisdom and knowledge are infinitely greater than ours.
We see life as about us. Life is really about Him.
Our view is limited.
God's is not.
Its like our view of things AS we climb a mountain.
Its SO different from the view at The Summit.
Until we grasp what is true, that He created us, that He gave us to be women, and that He has given us a position, opportunity, and place upon earth that is unique to our sex, life will be unsatisfactory. We'll always be reaching for more, more, more. Or trying to simplify, simplify, simplify. If we wake up to the fact that our lives are not about us and humbly bow our knees to our creator, sustainer, and redeemer offering us our lives, we'll cease to live life limping along, desperate, hopeless, and helpless. We'll no longer be aiming and straining to become what is less than our true potential as God has made us. No matter how well meaning we once were.
What is a true woman? Nancy offers these facts:
A true woman lives a God-centered life
A true woman trusts God.
She does not live as an atheist at times, thinking that He has really messed things up this time.
A true woman does not have to strive, does not have to be afraid.
She can relinquish control, she does not have to manipulate and control every one and every thing in her life. She does not have to resent or resist, or run from the cross. She lives embracing the cross with faith. (now this is something we women tend to do - controlling everyone and everything in our path: "Organizing" "helping" "assisting" "arranging" all demonstrating a need to control.
A true woman says "Yes, Lord"
She knows her life is not her own and lives to glorify God.
His Word, not the world is her compass.
She is willing to make personal sacrifices, not asking What do I want to do or become?
but rather What pleases You, Lord? (now this is truly counter cultural!
How much we have become like the world)
But you ask, dear reader, what if I dare allow God to lead? Will He drop the ball?
Will He be distracted? Will He be forgetful? Will I ever amount to anything?
Will I be a doormat? Will I lose myself if I ask God to lead me?
A great encouragement to me is the this word from John Piper:
"In every situation and circumstance of your life, God is always doing a thousand different things that you cannot see and you cannot see and you do not know.
We may not see it all now, and some things in life we will not see during our life time. . . but when we see Jesus face to face, we will then understand, agree, bow down, and praise Him for His wisdom, knowledge, love, and position.
If I live as a child of God, not childishly live, but live trusting God will protect, provide, care for, nurture, and give me things to do that glorify Him and give me purpose
I will find true purpose.
It will lead to a life of true freedom, freedom FOR life in its fullness,
not freedom FROM anyone anywhere controlling or directing my life.
It will lead to what we so long for: peace, joy, love, and much fruit!
I realize this is bits and pieces and what I've shared may seem odd and out of step with society. . . that is Nancy's point and mine. If we fit in this world it has shaped and molded us, it has pressed us to line up and follow its leading. And the world really does not care about us, nor does it have concern for us. Its a marketed life and that is not life at all.
Well, there will be more to say in the days ahead as I read on. In the meantime, consider who shapes your thinking and choices. Be honest with yourself. I will do the same.
Truth For Life
Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutable His ways!
For who has known the mind of the Lord,
or who has been His counselor?
Or who has given a gift to Him that He might be repaid?
For from him and through him and to Him are all things.
To Him be glory forever.