Sunday, May 26, 2013

Excerpt from book I am writing...

This is an excerpt from the book the Lord has led me to write. I felt led this morning to share with all my blog readers and want to encourage you to leave your comments. I must tell you that I need some encouragement to continue writing as well. This is from Chapter 7 of my book titled, "You're Light, He's Darkness. Living with an unbelieving husband." Be blessed my sisters, and be encouraged. 

            “For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands.” 1 Peter 3:5
            We have just learned how we are to focus on the inner woman and not the outward adornment; we are to be women who are gentle and quiet of spirit. Peter now tells us that we are to follow the examples laid before us in God’s Word. Peter tells us that even as the holy women who trusted in God adorned themselves, we too are to adorn ourselves with the same things. So, does not mean that we have to stop wearing the latest fashion, stop fixing our hair or stop wearing makeup? No, what Peter is telling us is that we are to follow the examples of the women who have walked this way before, and we are to adorn ourselves with faith and trust in God.
            Hebrews 11 is known as the “Hall of Faith”. Written in this chapter is a journey through those that have gone before us, and the faith that was expressed in their lives. We, as women and as wives, have two examples written for us to follow. The first example we see in the Hall of Faith is Sarah.
            “By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised.” Hebrews 11:11.
            Sarah was barren for most of her life. Genesis chapter 18 Sarah receives the promise of a son from God Himself. Before this, Sarah had listened to Abraham tell her of God’s promises, but she had never experienced them for herself, until one day they received a visitor.
            “Then the Lord appeared to him {Abraham} by the terebinth trees of Mamre, as he was sitting in the tent door in the heat of the day.” (Gen. 18:1) Abraham is sitting, relaxing, minding his own business when the Lord comes and visits him. The Lord visiting Abraham was not out of the ordinary, but it was the first encounter that Sarah would have with God. Abraham invites the Lord to his home where he tells Sarah to prepare a feast for Him. As they ate and enjoyed one another’s company the Lord turns to Abraham and asks, “Where is Sarah your wife?” (Gen. 18:9) God did not ask where Sarah was because He did not know. He knew where she was, He knew her intimately and completely. God calls Sarah by name. He desired to speak to her personally.
            The Lord God knows you, He knows where you are at in your walk with Him, He knows your heart and He desires to speak to you personally. He calls us out to be holy, separate women who have been chosen by Him to fulfill the purposes He has prepared for us. He sees your struggles, your doubts, and He hears your prayers. I believe Sarah was beginning to give up hope, I believe she was beginning to doubt that she would ever conceive a child. She was not getting any younger, and her faith in the promises of God to her husband were growing dim and more distant by the day. She needed a shot of faith, and that is exactly what the Lord God came to do.
            The Lord God speaks again the promise of a son by Sarah. But this time, instead of just saying it would happen, He gives them a time frame. He tells them that He will return to Abraham and Sarah will have a son. (Gen. 18:10) Sarah was listening to this whole conversation from behind the tent. The Bible tells us that Sarah and Abraham were old, well advanced in age, and Sarah had passed the age of childbearing. (Gen. 18:11) So Sarah laughs within herself. What woman wouldn't laugh at the thought of having a child in their 80’s or 90’s! But then, the faith shot that Sarah needed comes, and it is a lesson for all of us, if we are to follow the example of the holy women who trusted in God.
            God speaks to Sarah and says, “Is anything to hard for the Lord?” (Gen. 18:14) Is anything too hard for God? Sarah must have been convicted in her heart for her doubts towards God’s promises. God does not give His promises to His children lightly. If He says it, He will do it. Sarah is listed in the “Hall of Faith” not because her husband was faithful, but because she too believed in the promises of God. She saw the goodness and the beauty of the Lord in her life and she trusted in His Word to her. The promises of God are not just something we are to recite and memorize, but they are what fuels our faith.
            The holy women of old not only adorned themselves with gentle and quiet spirits, but they adorned themselves with faith. Throughout the Bible there are women who did great and mighty things for the Lord God because they believed in Him and His Word. So many times we are told “don’t get your hopes up”. But what if we did get our hopes up? What if we did believe that the Lord God was able to do above and beyond all that we could ask or think? (Eph. 3:20) What if we dared to believe in the impossible? What if we, as the holy women who trusted in God, dared to believe that God was true, and that His promises were meant for us just as they were for Sarah? The Lord asks us, “Is anything to hard for the Lord?”
The writer of Hebrews tells us that Sarah “judged Him faithful who had promised.” Faith is believing in the promises of God, it is hoping in His word and trusting that He will complete the work that He began in us. It is hard to lose faith when it seems like your prayers are not getting answered. Think about how Sarah must have felt. She had wanted children for over 70 some years, and the chances of her having a child grew less and less with each passing season. But she judged Him faithful. She believed that God was able to do the impossible. He was faithful, He would keep His word to her. She never doubted His word again after that day. She walked in hope of what was to come, she waited with anticipation for the fulfillment of His Promise and never wavered. We need to walk in faith. We need to adorn ourselves with a faith that trusts the Lord God. Nothing is impossible with God.
            Not only is Sarah our example laid before us in Hebrews 11, but another woman is listed for us to learn from. That woman is Rahab. Rahab is found in the pages of Joshua. The Israelites have been traveling for some time now towards to promise land. Joshua is now the leader, for Moses has gone home to be with the Lord. As the Israelites approach Jericho, they send out spies to survey the land and to report back so the army of Israel may prepare themselves for battle. The spies enter Jericho and find themselves staying the night in the house of a prostitute. (Joshua 2:1) The king finds out that the spies are there and sends to the house of Rahab and tells her to hand them over. (Josh. 2:2)
            Now, Rahab could have easily given these men up. She would have probably gotten some reward or recognition for it from the king. But she does something unexpected. Instead of giving them up, she hides them and tells the king’s men that they have already left. She tells them that they snuck out at night and she has no idea which way they went. (vs. 3-5) The kings men leave her home and head out of the city to hunt down and kill the spies. Before all this took place, Rahab places her trust in the Lord God and speaks her faith openly to the Israelite spies.
            “Now before they lay down, she came up to them on the roof, and said to the men, ‘I know that the Lord has given you the land, that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land are fainthearted because of you. For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were on the other side of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. And as soon as we heard these things, our hearts melted; neither did there remain any more courage in anyone because of you, for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath.” Joshua 2:8-11
            Rahab tells the spies that she has seen and heard of the mighty works of God and she believes in Him. She knows that He is the One True God and no longer desires to have any other god but God Himself. She took a big risk by hiding the spies, by lying to the kings men. But her faith in the power of God was greater than the fear of man. Rahab testifies that she believes that the Lord God is the Supreme God, and that He is actively involved in the lives of His people. Rahab wants to be His and asks for His mercy.
            “Now therefore, I beg you, swear to me by the Lord, since I have shown you kindness that you will also show kindness to my father’s house, and give me a true token, and spare my father, my mother, my brothers, my sisters, and all they have, and deliver our lives from death.” Joshua 2:12-13. The spies promise her that because she believes and because she spared their lives they will do the same for her. But God goes much farther than just saving her and her family. Because of her faith in Him she becomes married to Salmon and gives birth to Boaz. Boaz then marries Ruth and on down the line until we get to Christ. (Matthew 1:5) Rahab was precious and holy in the eyes of God because she believed in His power and His mighty hand working in the lives of His people. She turned away from all her pagan ways and became a follower of Jesus Christ by faith.
            Rahab’s fear did not come from man and what man could do to her, her fear was in the Lord. She believed Him to be Sovereign over all things, including herself and her family. Her faith was also enough to spare her family. Her faith was big enough for all of them. It was through her faith in the power and might of God Almighty that allowed God to use her to bring about the promise of the Messiah. Our faith is to be working, living and breathing. We need to stand for God and stand for His promises. We need to see His hands in our personal lives, and trust in the promises that He has given us. It is through our faith that we are able to see the wondrous works of God in our lives and in the lives of our families.
            Sarah and Rahab show us what it looks like to walk by faith. They are our examples of true faith. Believing God for the impossible, trusting God and His promises, judging Him to be faithful, and believing that He is all knowing, all seeing and all powerful over every area of our lives. Rahab understood God’s desire to work in the lives of His people, and she let Him work in hers. Sarah believed that God was able to do what He promised and believed that He was able to do the impossible.
            Peter tells us that we are to adorn ourselves as the holy women who trusted in God. These women, Sarah and Rahab were holy in God’s eyes not because of what they wore, or what they put on, but because of their faith in His Word. Peter does not call us to be something different, or to follow some new fad, he tells us to remember the examples we have before us and to live as they lived. They lived by faith.
            We can trust in our own ability to win and influence our husbands to Christ, or we can trust and believe in the promises of God. Is anything to hard for the Lord? We can trust in our outward appearance, and our beauty to get us where we need to be, or we can trust the Lord to lead us and guide us. It all comes back to trust in God and faith in His promises. Sarah and Rahab are just two of the women whom walked by faith. We could look at Ruth, Esther, Deborah, and all the other women whom God used because of their faith in Him. But they all have the same testimonies. They believed God and they trusted in His abilities, His will, His promises and His sovereignty over their lives. To be a light to your husband means that he needs to see your faith as an adornment. He needs to look at your life, at the faith which works in you and say, “I want what you have.” This can only be accomplished when we follow the path of faith that these women have laid down for us.        
            I want to encourage you to go through your Bible and write down some of the promises that God speaks to you personally. If you are not sure where to start, find a Bible Promise Book for women, and start reading a promise a day. Believe that God is able to do the impossible in you and through you. Believe that God desires to use you and bring your husband to faith in Christ. Do not let doubt and fear hold you back, but allow God to strengthen your faith. When you need a faith shot, go and read the story of Sarah and how the Lord brought about the promise of a son. Go and read the story of Rahab and how the Lord not only saved her and her family, but raised her up to be a model of faith for generations to come.
            Pray the promises of God over your life each and every day. Read the promises of God, memorize them. Write them down, read them and pray. Pray for the Lord God to strengthen your faith and to give you the adornment of the holy women who trusted God. In Jesus Name, amen and amen.