Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Lesson 3--Boldness and Mission

Lesson 3

Ladies,

I was asked about the mission of Women Witnessing. I was asked the intention of studying the Proverbs 31 woman. I felt badly that I had not made it clear. Women Witnessing has taken the ministry of reconciliation and subsequent transformation very very seriously. We believe through introducing women and children to the LORD Jesus Christ, that real and tangible transformation can take place in their lives. In every instance of Jesus short ministry, where he gathered, blessing and change took place. In his ministry healings and other transformations took place, but there was also intimacy. Jesus entered into intimate spaces with his people. It is our intention that by introducing people to the freely given grace and mercy of the LORD God through Jesus Christ, real transformation can happen. Our goal is to create spaces were intimacy can be found. Our lives have so few safe places anymore. Trust is lacking in most areas of our lives. Women Witnessing wants to help find and provide those safe places, those intimate spaces were life can be lived abundantly.

I believe that the Proverbs 31 woman, taken in the context of Bathsheba’s life, and the life she offered Solomon, is the story of reconciliation and transformation. Furthermore, so divinely inspired are the verses that we can find many examples illustrated by Biblical women. These illustrations will aid us in finding our own strength and faith that would allow us to be transformed by the healing touch of Jesus—even if it means braving the crowds to simply tough the hem of his garment.

In short, once you meet Jesus, get ready, because nothing is ever the same again.

Today, I am reflecting on Bathsheba’s mission and her boldness—after her sin has been forgiven.

1 Kings 1:11
Then Nathan asked Bathsheba, Solomon's mother, "Have you not heard that Adonijah, the son of Haggith, has become king without our lord David's knowing it?
1 Kings 1:10-12 (in Context) 1 Kings 1 (Whole Chapter)

Reflection:

Nathan explained to Bathsheba that her children were imperiled. As I explained in the first meeting, Bathsheba was all about motherhood. If her children were in danger, she was going to take action. I think that appeals to most mothers. I would venture to say it’s a natural instinct that when any child, but especially your own children, are in danger, you would mobilize an army.

I dare say, though, motherhood is in jeopardy. More and more often children are being left—left with Grandma, left in “the system”, left in dumpsters. Motherhood is being approached with a casualness that we can accept. Children are being hurt today. I think, in part, because we, as a society, have undervalued our roles as parents: as mothers and nuturers, and as fathers and protectors.

Nathan was also telling Bathsheba her own life, her future, was in jeopardy. If here sons’ were murdered, her husband dead, Bathsheba and her daughter would be out on the streets with no protection, no provision. Remember, Bathsheba had the divine insight, and the personal dream to see her son seated on the throne. Adonijah’s behavior threatened this “dream.” Our dreams are worth fighting for, ladies. I think Christians have been mislead that with a good donation and lots of prayer, dreams are just blessed to come true. I don’t think God operates that way.

Simply put, God says he will bless the work of our hands.

Deuteronomy 2:7
The LORD your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He has watched over your journey through this vast desert. These forty years the LORD your God has been with you, and you have not lacked anything.

Deuteronomy 8:17-18
17
You may say to yourself, "My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me." 18 But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today.

This is a personal favorite:

Psalm 18:34
He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze.

Psalm 90:17
May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us— yes, establish the work of our hands.

Did you know that there are roughly 510 mentions of hands in the Bible. I can not overestimate the importance of “getting our hands dirty” when it comes to the work of the LORD in our lives. He wants us as active participants in our lives. He does not desire passive aggressives (“Lord, you know me and my shortcomings, bless me anyway.”) No. He wants strength and commitment to purpose (“Lord, forgive me I have sinned in my faith in you, choosing an idol instead. I am ready now, Lord. Increase my faith.) When David wrote Psalm 51 he did not say he was sorry he’d sinned against Uriah. He said he was sorry he’d sinned against the LORD.

When we do not get active in the life God is creating for us, or when we work against the life God has designed for us, we work against God. We demonstrate a lack of faith. When we see that our dreams and loves are imperiled, and we sit passively by waiting for the proverbial life boat, we don’t give God our hands to bless. He can not bless do nothing hands. He can only bless us out of our own action. He can not bless the farmer who never plows. Trust me, sometimes waiting for the LORD to act, because He has said He would act first,--this is action—it grows our patience. But, are you waiting on the LORD, or waiting out of lack of faith, or worse, waiting out of fear?

Where can you be more active in securing the life God has for you? (It may begin with actively seeking what God has for you.) How can we grow in our boldness of faith?

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