Not I, But Christ

“Lord, bend that proud and stiffnecked “I,”
Help me to bow the neck and die,
Beholding Him on Calvary,
Who bowed His Head for me.”

The following are some of the features and manifestations of the self-life. The Holy Spirit alone can interpret and apply this to your individual case. As you read, examine yourself in the very presence of God. Are you ever conscious of:

A secret spirit of pride-an exalted feeling in view of your success or position; because of your good training or appearance; because of your natural gifts and abilities. An important, independent spirit?

Love of human praise; a secret fondness to be noticed; love of supremacy, drawing attention to self in conversation; a swelling out of self when you have had a free time in speaking or praying?

The stirrings of anger or impatience, which, worst of all, you call nervousness or holy indignation; a touchy, sensitive spirit; a disposition to resent and retaliate when disapproved of or contradicted; a desire to throw sharp, heated flings at another?

Self-will; a stubborn, unteachable spirit; an arguing, talkative spirit; harsh, sarcastic expression; an unyielding, headstrong disposition; a driving, commanding spirit; a disposition to criticize and pick flaws when set aside and unnoticed; a peevish, fretful spirit; a disposition that loves to be coaxed and humored?

Carnal fear; a man-fearing spirit; a shrinking from reproach and duty; reasoning around your cross; a shrinking from doing your whole duty by those of wealth or position; a fearfulness that someone will offend and drive some prominent person away; a compromising spirit?

A jealous disposition, a secret spirit of envy shut up in your heart; an unpleasant sensation in view of the great prosperity and success of another; a disposition to speak of the faults and failings, rather than the gifts and virtues of those more talented and appreciated than yourself?

A dishonest, deceitful disposition; the evading and covering of the truth; the covering up of your real faults; leaving a better impression of yourself than is strictly true; false humility; exaggeration; straining the truth?

Unbelief; a spirit of discouragement in times of pressure and opposition; lack of quietness and confidence in God; lack of faith and trust in God; a disposition to worry and complain in the midst of pain, poverty, or at the dispensations of Divine Providence; an overanxious feeling whether everything will come out all right?

Formality and deadness; lack of concern for lost souls; dryness and indifference?

Selfishness; love of ease; love of money?

These are some of the traits which generally indicate carnality in the heart. By prayer, hold your heart open to the searchlight of God. “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me” (Psalms 139:23-24).

The Holy Spirit will enable you, by confession and faith, to bring your “self-life” to the death (Romans 8:12-13). Do not patch over, but go to the bottom. It alone will pay.

Oh, to be saved from myself, dear Lord,
Oh, to be lost in Thee;
Oh, that it might be no more I,
But Christ that lives in me.
“Create in me a clean heart, O God;
and renew a right spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10).

~ Poem by Roy Hession author of ‘The Calvary Road’

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Copyright © Christian Communicators Worldwide Unknown.
Permission granted for reproduction in exact form. All other uses require written permission.
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This Is Why Your Not Married

There are a few theories out there on why women over a certain age are not married. Many of these may be stereotypical while others hold some truth.

I will be focusing on one of the most important reasons for why some single women are not married.

Before I go ahead, I want you to know this was hard to write, not because it’s not true but because of the magnitude of truth. I had touched on it in a previous post but had felt the burden in my spirit to focus squarely on it.

I know God wants me to speak about this and to do so in clear terms.

Here it is:

We are not married because we will forget God. Because getting married will take us away from God. 

We have knowingly or unknowingly replaced God with marriage where our true service and our true love is not God but marriage or what we believe marriage will give us.

Our prayers for a good man have been unanswered and heaven has been silent not because God wants to deny us the good gifts he has for us but because he knows that this very thing we want will take us away from him.

We may promise or vow that we will be closer to him when we get married but is that really the truth?

We have to realise that God sees through our words. He is the only one that knows the true state of our hearts and our intentions.

Which means we can’t pay lip service to loving him. 

WHERE IS GOD IN YOUR LIFE?

What are the things that matter to you? The things you focus all of your time and energy on. Many of us are so consumed with the need to get married and have children that every other thing takes second place.

Marriage becomes an idol in our lives and this idol will only grow bigger when we’re married to include the very husband and children we have desperately desired.

When we do this, we miss out on the most important relationship we could ever have.

One thing about idols is that we often don’t even realize what they are. We don’t realise how our identity, our happiness and our successes are tied to these idols.

Dear friend, it’s time for some honest introspection. Have you placed marriage on a pedestal? Do you believe your life will only make sense when you’re married and have children?

Do you equate your marriage with finding your purpose?

Well, I’m here to tell you that it will not happen. Should you force God’s hand or marry without recourse to him, you may find that your marriage becomes a den of problems rather than a haven of peace.

These words may seem harsh and hard but it wouldn’t be the first time. A look at the Bible will show how God feels when we demote him from his rightful place in our lives. The first and everlasting commandment is that we love God and that he remains number one in our lives.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind.”

Luke 10:27(NKJV)

“You shall fear the Lord your God and him only shall you serve…”

Deutronomy 6:13 (para.)

GOD MUST COME BEFORE MARRIAGE

Nothing and no one should take his place.

If you know you may have unknowingly done this, I know God is calling you to repent and come back to him.

“Repent then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,”

Acts 3:19(NIV)

Never forget that God gave us marriage as a gift and for a purpose – for companionship, for his glory and propagation of his kingdom. We cannot misuse this gift.

Similarly, God is not a trader neither is he Santa Clause. Be careful that your worship is not a trade by barter where you believe you should be rewarded with a good husband for serving God.

We are to serve him and love him because his is God and is worthy of all our praise.

GOD LOVES YOU AND WANTS THE BEST FOR YOU

Here’s another truth, repenting and changing our ways does not mean we will get married. Even if we were to love God without pretence or expectation, we have to realise this is not an automatic opening for marriage.

Marriage is not a reward for being good

Why? Because God’s plan for your life may mean that you will get married now, later or not at all.

I know this is hard to read much more accept but it doesn’t change the truth. God knows the path he has for you, trust him to bring it to pass. I promise you that it will be the best for you.

We need to remember that Our time on earth is merely a blip in eternity.

According to Rick Warren of The Purpose Driven Life “Measured against eternity, our time on earth is just a blink of an eye, but the consequences of it will last forever. The deeds of this life are the destiny of the next.”

Which means we have to be careful how we spend it since it is this temporary life that determines our permanent location (heaven or hell, life or death).

I hope looking at your life this way gives you perspective and helps you prioritize the permanent things over the temporary.

GET MARRIED FOR THE RIGHT REASONS

Dear friend, please don’t get married for marriage’s sake. Do it because you believe it is the right time and the right person.

Don’t scheme, pretend, lie or sin to get married, your life and identity in Christ is worth more than that. 

I am always comforted knowing that God knows what’s best for us. You might not understand why it’s taken this long, you might even think he’s forgotten you, but know that he hasn’t.

He wants us to trust that he will give us what is right for us. Even if you’re feeling the pressures, even if everyone around you is getting married (and did it on their own terms, without God), realise that you’re different. No two lives are the same, so stop focusing on the lives of others. 

As God’s child, you’re working under heaven’s rules not earth’s rules. This means you cannot live according to the precepts of the world even though you’re in the world.

Be encouraged! Remember that with God, it will all work out for your good and will definitely be better than anything you could have imagined for yourself.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” 

Romans 8:28(NIV)

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** By Chioma Oparadike

What Does It Mean To Take Every Thought Captive?

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God,and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. ~ 2 Corinthians 10:5

The Bible instructs us to take every thought captive. It’s an essential part of Christian living that eludes many of us. But what does it mean to take thoughts captive, why does this matter, and how do we do this? Today we’ll break down each of these questions one by one and give you tips for handling anxiety in your thought life, according to the principles in God’s Word.

Every day we have thousands of thoughts that run through our minds. When thoughts go unexamined, they can do a lot of harm. They can get out of control and cause negative cycles that lead to negative feelings and actions.

Anxiety is a big area where it pays to take every thought captive. Many people who suffer from anxiety don’t recognize how their problems begin in their thought lives. For example, you may have experienced an anxious thought train like this one:

What’s this spot on my arm? I haven’t seen it there before. I wonder if it’s skin cancer. That would be horrible! Skin cancer is so deadly. Have I caught it in time? What will happen to my family if I die? I’m too young to die!

We’ve all had thoughts that spiral downward in a hurry as in this example. Taking your thoughts captive might look like this instead:

What’s this spot on my arm? I’ll watch it for a few days to see if it changes, and trust that God is in control. If it doesn’t get better by Friday, I’ll call the doctor to get it checked out. But I refuse to let this little spot, which may be nothing, take over my thoughts all week. God is the Great Physician, and he can heal me, no matter what.

See what a difference it makes to take your thoughts captive? Our thoughts will naturally run rampant with fear and worry. But if you examine them before they begin spiraling downward, you can gain control and choose peace.

You’ll need to train yourself to take thoughts captive with lots of practice. The above example of intentionally choosing not to worry may need to be repeated dozens of times, each time worry is triggered. Practice makes perfect, especially in your thought life if you are prone to anxiety. The more you replace your worried thoughts with what is true about God and what can be controlled by you, the less fear and fretting you’ll experience.

Why Does It Matter What I Think?

What you think matters very much to God. He made your mind and wants you to think thoughts that lead you toward life and peace, not toward fear and anxiety. He wants you to set your mind on things above (see Colossians 3:2) and choose to believe he is Lord of your life.

You may not realize it, but you are facing a battle every day. Satan would love to have more control over your thought life, and with every temptation you face, he can either gain more ground on your mind’s battlefield or lose it. You have the choice of whether to allow him more room or shove him out.

In Job 1 and 2, we get a behind-the-scenes look at the kind of battle Satan wages against us. He wanted to take everything from Job so that Job would change his mind about who God is. God allowed Satan to test Job, but Job didn’t change his mind about God. Job is a success story of waging spiritual warfare with Satan.

Satan also wants to take from you and destroy your peace. But you can fight back the way Jesus did. When Jesus was tempted by Satan, he used Scripture to counter him each time. He knew that Satan couldn’t win against the ultimate truth of God’s Word. If Jesus, the Son of God, used Scripture to fight temptation, we can do the same in our thought lives.

What you think matters. It matters at least as much, if not more, in the spiritual arena as it does in your daily life. What you think spills out into your feelings and actions. If you can exercise control in your thoughts, where the problems begin, you can prevent sinful feelings and actions from occurring.

This takes commitment to the Lord and dedication to studying his Word. Over time, you will experience victory in spiritual battles if you choose to engage with God’s truth rather than the untruths you are telling yourself in your mind.

How Do I Take Every Thought Captive?

Taking every thought captive is simple, but it isn’t easy. It takes dedication and self-awareness. It requires repentance from sin and faith in God, but it may be the most rewarding gift you ever give yourself.

If you struggle with anxiety in your thought life, you can form a plan for taking every thought captive. First, list out all of your anxiety triggers. This can be a stressful exercise, so reward yourself with a healthy treat or activity afterward. By writing them down, you are naming your fears so they will no longer have a chokehold on you.

Second, look up scriptures that address each of your triggers. Is health your trigger? Isaiah 38:6 may help you. Is the fear of death a problem for you? Psalm 23:4 can be a big help. Whatever your issue is, there is a solution in God’s Word. A Christian counselor can help you find verses to counter anxious thoughts in specific areas.

Third, meditate on the scriptures you’ve chosen. Meditation simply means thoughtfully and deliberately thinking about God’s Word. It can take only a few minutes, several times per day. As you practice Christian meditation, you’ll start experiencing peace instead of anxiety.

Fourth, display your chosen verses to see them throughout the day. Since anxious thoughts roll through your thought life thousands of times per day, it’s important to replace them with God’s truth as often as necessary.

Most of us are visual learners and need reminders to choose the truth. Put your favorite verse in front of you on a 3 x 5 card or a sticky note. Look at it as many times as you need every day to take your thoughts captive.

Finally, replace your negative self-talk with affirmations from God’s Word. You can make your chosen verse into an affirmation. For example, Psalm 23:4 talks about God walking with us through the valley of the shadow of death. You could say to yourself, “Today I choose not to fear this valley. God is right beside me, protecting me and guiding me. He is taking care of me.” Make it into a personal prayer.

Christian Counseling for Anxiety

nxiety is a difficult problem to eradicate from your thought life. Many of us have been thinking along the same lines of anxious thoughts for years. By doing this, you may have formed patterns in your brain where your thoughts naturally flow. But the good news is that you can form new, healthy brain patterns when you take your thoughts captive with God’s Word.

A caring Christian counselor can help you retrain your thoughts. Your counselor will uncover the roots of your anxiety problems and help you identify your triggers that reactivate the problems, even if they occurred years ago. In counseling sessions, you’ll discover methods for using God’s Word to address problem thoughts and ideas for engaging in spiritual warfare.

Interested in using counseling as a tool for overcoming anxiety? At Seattle Christian Counseling, our team has helped thousands of people manage their anxiety and choose peace. We can help you make better choices by coaching you in taking your thoughts captive. Contact us today for more information.

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** By Alexandra Schmidt at Seattle Christian Counselling / Image by Cleveland .com

12 Wonderful Responsibilities God Has Given to Women

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them (Gen. 1:27).

Countless millions of women around the world faithfully strive to honor God in all their vocations in life. Here are twelve wonderful responsibilities God has given to women:

1. To Love, Believe, and Respect the Lord

Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates. (Prov. 31:30-31)

And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. (1 Cor. 7:34)

2. To Support the Gospel Work of the Church

I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church at Cenchreae, that you may welcome her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints, and help her in whatever she may need from you, for she has been a patron of many and of myself as well. (Rom. 16:1-2)

Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life. (Phil. 4:3)

3. To Be Diligent in Her Vocations

And every skillful woman spun with her hands, and they all brought what they had spun in blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen. (Exod. 35:25)

She considers a field and buys it;
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. (Prov. 31:16)

She opens her hand to the poor
and reaches out her hands to the needy. (Prov. 31:20)

Now there was in Joppa a disciple named Tabitha, which, translated, means Dorcas. She was full of good works and acts of charity. (Acts 9:36)

One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul. (Acts 16:14)

4. To Be a Wife

And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said,

“This at last is bone of my bones
    and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman,
    because she was taken out of Man.”

Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. (Gen. 2:22-24)

He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” (Matt. 19:4-6)

5. To Be a Mother

And Sarah said, “God has made laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh over me.” And she said, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.” (Gen. 21:6-7)

Let your father and mother be glad; let her who bore you rejoice. (Prov. 23:25)

Let a widow be enrolled if she is not less than sixty years of age, having been the wife of one husband, and having a reputation for good works: if she has brought up children, has shown hospitality, has washed the feet of the saints, has cared for the afflicted, and has devoted herself to every good work. (1 Tim. 5:9-10)

6. To Care for Her Household

The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down. (Prov. 14:1)

She rises while it is yet night
    and provides food for her household
    and portions for her maidens. (Prov. 31:15)

So I would have younger widows marry, bear children, manage their households, and give the adversary no occasion for slander. (1 Tim. 5:14)

7. To Be a Helper to Her Husband

Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” (Gen. 2:18)

Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.” (Prov. 31:28-29)

For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. (1 Cor. 11:8-9)

8. To Love and Respect Her Husband

However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. (Eph. 5:33)

Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. (1 Pet. 3:1-2)

So train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. (Titus 2:4-5)

9. To Submit to Her Husband

But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God. (1 Cor. 11:3)

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. (Eph. 5:22-24)

10. To Be Respectable

“And now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you all that you ask, for all my fellow townsmen know that you are a worthy woman.” (Ruth 3:11)

Women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works. (1 Tim. 2:9-10)

Their wives likewise must be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things. (1 Tim. 3:11)

Let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. (1 Pet. 3:4-6)

11. To Learn Quietly in Church

The women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. (1 Cor. 14:34)

Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. (1 Tim. 2:11-13)

12. To Teach What Is Good

She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. (Prov. 31:26)

He began to speak boldly in the synagogue, but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him and explained to him the way of God more accurately. (Acts 18:26)

Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. (Titus 2:3-5)

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** By Beautiful Christian Life

8 Signs Your Christianity Is Too Comfortable

In many parts of the world today, it can be easy to live a comfortable life as a Christian. Certainly where I live—in Orange County, California—this is the case. But is that a good thing?

I’d like to suggest that the Christian faith is inherently uncomfortable. To be a disciple of Jesus is to deny oneself (Matt. 16:24), to take up a cross (Luke 14:27), to be subject to persecution (John 15:20; 2 Tim. 3:12), to give up the creature comforts of home (Luke 9:58), to forsake the priority of family (Luke 9:59–62; 14:26), to be willing to give up all material possessions (Matt. 19:21; Luke 14:33), to be crucified with Christ (Gal. 2:20). And this is just the beginning.

C. S. Lewis once said, “I didn’t go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don’t recommend Christianity.”

But comfort-seeking is our default mode in a consumerist society, so we often find ourselves in “comfortable Christianity” without even knowing it. What are some indicators that our Christianity has become too cozy, more like a pleasant bottle of port than the uncomfortable, sharpening faith the New Testament envisions? 

Here are eight signs that your Christianity might be too comfortable:

1. There’s absolutely no friction between your Christianity and your partisan politics.

If you’re all-in with one political party and never feel any tension whatsoever with your Christian faith, it probably means your faith is too comfortable. Whether you’re a lifelong Democrat or a diehard Republican, a robust Christian faith should create dissonance with politics at various points.

A faith that aligns perfectly with one political party is suspiciously convenient and lacks prophetic witness.

A faith that aligns perfectly with one political party is suspiciously convenient and lacks prophetic witness.

2. There are no paradoxes, tensions, or unresolved questions.

If you never ponder or wrestle with the mind-boggling tenets of Christian theology (e.g., the Trinity, the incarnation, God’s sovereignty coexisting with human action, the Holy Spirit’s presence, to name just a few), your faith is probably too comfortable.

A healthy, uncomfortable faith constantly rocks you, prods you, and blows your mind. It’s a faith that leaves you restless to want to know more, not satisfied you’ve grasped all there is to grasp about God.

3. Your friends and coworkers are surprised to learn you’re a churchgoing Christian.

A sure sign your faith is too comfortable is if nothing in your life sets you apart as a Jesus follower, to the point that even those who know you well can’t tell you’re a Christian.

A comfortable Christian is one who easily blends in, looking and talking and acting just like his or her lost neighbors.

4. You never think about or even remember the Sunday sermon on Monday.

If Sunday sermons at your church are so forgettable (or you’re so disengaged) that you rarely recall them after you leave church, your Christianity is probably too comfortable.

Biblical preaching shouldn’t leave us apathetic or unchallenged. The Word of God is “living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Heb. 4:12).

5. No one at your church ever annoys you.

If you go to church with people who are always easy to talk to, always fun to be around, and always closely aligned with your opinions, tastes, and preferences, your Christianity is too comfortable.

One of the glorious things about the gospel is that it creates a new community out of disparate types of people who, in many cases, wouldn’t otherwise choose to spend time together.

6. You never feel challenged, only affirmed.

If your Christian faith never confronts your idols and challenges your sinful habits—but only ever affirms you as you are—this is a sure sign of a too-comfortable faith.

Healthy faith doesn’t just celebrate you as you are, but relentlessly molds and refines you into the likeness of Christ.

Healthy faith doesn’t just celebrate you as you are but relentlessly molds and refines you into the likeness of Christ, which is a beautiful but necessarily uncomfortable process.

7. You’ve never had to have a ‘truth-in-love’ conversation with a fellow Christian.

It’s always more comfortable to just “live and let live” when there’s an offense or sin that needs to be called out. It’s more comfortable to just shrug when we see others in our community making unhealthy decisions.

But this isn’t true Christian love.

Love isn’t opposed to truth, and if your faith doesn’t include the capacity to speak hard truths in love, it’s too comfortable. 

8. No one in your church could comment on any area of growth they’ve seen in you.

To believe in the gospel of Jesus Christ is to believe in change. Though not always linear, the Christian life should be marked by growth, forward momentum, and change for the better.

If you’re a Christian who’s grown so little that no one in your church could identify any area of improvement, your faith is too comfortable. 

Why is it important that we avoid falling into comfortable Christianity? Because comfortable Christianity is far from the costly, inconvenient, idol-crushing, cross-shaped path for disciples of Jesus. Comfortable Christianity has little prophetic to say to a comfortable, consumerist world. Comfortable Christianity has little urgency in mission and little aptitude for growth.

Uncomfortable Christianity, however, leads to life and transformation. It leads us to rely on God and not on ourselves; to serve rather than be served; to live lives marked by sacrifice. It leads us to do hard things, to embrace hard truths, to do life with hard people for the sake and glory of the One who did the hardest thing. It may be uncomfortable, but it will be worth it. On the other side of discomfort is delight in Christ.

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**Editors’ note: This is an adapted excerpt from Brett McCracken’s book, Uncomfortable: The Awkward and Essential Challenge of Christian Community, Uncomforta, and is published in partnership with Crossway / Photo Francesco Ungaro at Pexels

5 Ways To Be A Godly Woman

Being a woman of bold faith is what we have been called to. Boldness is not a personality trait. Boldness is acting by the power of the Holy Spirit. Let’s take risks for the sake of the gospel to the glory of God. ~ Heather Riggleman

“You will be a woman of bold faith who empowers and encourages those around you.”

This was declared over me after I handed my life over to Jesus. I was barely toddling in my walk with God, yet others could see the calling and purpose He already had for me.

What Does it Mean to Be a Godly Woman?

But what does it mean to be a godly woman? Becoming a woman of faith is not about perfectly checked church attendance, being the most modestly dress, how much you volunteer, having the best snacks for life groups, or having all the answers in Bible study.

A bold woman of faith has real, bold, Jesus-glorifying, heart-wrenching, deep-in-the-trenches, and fight for God’s truths in the midst of the lies, kind of belief.

John Piper says it best, “The deepest root of Christian womanhood is hope in God,” and “this hope in God yields fearlessness.”

However, becoming her means embodying a warrior willing to bleed for her cause. Becoming a godly woman is digging-your-heels in the dirt when your marriage falls apart, when your child rebels, when your career gets decimated, or when everyone follows tradition without question or when your health fails.

Why? Because we have a very real enemy whose goal is to destroy us. Why was Satan so anxious to have access to us?

Because clearly, Satan was listening when Jesus declared: “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it” (Matthew 16:18).

We are the keys to God’s kingdom! We are the keys to help others unlock their faith. We are the keys to our home and our community.

Our enemy wants to knock us down — blow by blow until we are so bloodied and wounded in our hearts and minds that we lose sight of Jesus.

He wants us so focused on the mess, the hurt, and pain that we forget God’s promises of who we really are: Heiresses to His Kingdom. And the “brutiful” (beautiful and brutal) truth behind this: you will then help others through the sifting.

A godly woman isn’t something that just happens without the “becoming.” Look at our savior:

  • It’s what Jesus did
  • He helped others through the sifting
  • He demonstrated the process of becoming
  • He was the light of God in a world that didn’t even want Him
  • Like Jesus — bold women of faith lead others to God 

The word “godly” in the Bible means pious or holy. This means we are set apart from all others. Holiness is achieved when we are made new creations in Christ.

2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” Born again Christian women are indwelled with the Holy Spirit.

In Him, we produce godliness that molds and shapes us into the image of Christ. A godly woman controls her thoughts and takes them captive, making them obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). She also controls her tongue and uses her words to encourage and build up others.

Godly women inspire change. They question tradition for tradition’s sake. They lift up other women gunned down in the trenches.

They impact their community. Their table always has room for one more. They friend the unwanted. They love the rejected.

They speak for those who do not have a voice. They change the world right where they are at all the while keeping their hearts and minds focused on Christ.

Becoming a godly woman means stepping into your God-given leadership. Let God’s voice speak louder than all the others. Here are a few ways to be a godly woman within God’s parameters for us.

Five Ways to be a Godly Woman

1. Always stay in God’s Word. Know what the Bible says. Study it. Read it every day. Understand what scriptures say within context. God’s Word is our go-to source for wisdom, encouragement, and nourishment.

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16).

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect (Romans 12:2).

2. Pray. Ask God to use your gifts, your personality, and your community to further his kingdom. Ask God to reveal to you the things that matter to Him.

Take all of your hurts, worries, dreams, and petitions to God! Ephesians 6:18 is our battle call, “Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.”

“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life” (John 5:24).

“Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known”(Jeremiah 33:3).

3. Know the things that matter. Hold firm to the beliefs that God has placed heavily on your heart. When you make a stand for these issues, make sure you know why God stands for them too.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things (Philippians 4:8).

4. Speak with gentleness. Always remember who you represent every time you open your mouth to voice an opinion or idea. And always, always speak with love. Proverbs 15:1 reminds us, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15).

5. Respect authority. All authority comes from God and He calls us to respect those He places in authority over us. This includes husbands, fathers, pastors, elders, and other leaders.

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything(Ephesians 5:22-24).

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God (Romans 13:1).

Yet, John Piper once said, “The deepest root of Christian womanhood is hope in God,” and “this hope in God yields fearlessness.”

Becoming a fearless, bold woman of God didn’t happen overnight. Those two years of lost time were spent on my knees in prayer for our hearts and health.

What seemed like wasted time was actually the refining fires that created a boldness for believing God’s truth and promises for my family.

And the more I spent time with him, the more he began to send others in need of a good dose of Jesus’ strong courage my way.

Each of us has causes that make us come alive, things that move us and make us eager to share our vision.

Each woman has a chance to embody what it means to be bold, brave, and fierce for the life she has given. Even though you are not Maya Angelou, Malala, Mother Teresa, or Mary — mother of Jesus, you are still changing the world one breath at a time.

Why? Because being a woman of bold faith is what we have been called to.

Boldness is not a personality trait. Boldness is acting by the power of the Holy Spirit, on an urgent conviction in the face of some threat.

A shy, soft-spoken, introverted, calm person can be bold at a time when a typically driven, outspoken, brash person shrinks back. A Bold Woman for God contains these ingredients.

Spirit-Empowered Courage, Conviction, and Urgency

Meaning — every woman must get uncomfortable for the sake of the gospel. A bold woman:

Seeks God every morning (Psalm 5:3).

Looks for one person to share the gospel at the grocery store, meetings, appointments, or the park (2 Corinthians 5:20).

Hosts without grumbling. Open your front door and add one more spot at the table (1 Peter 4:9).

Welcomes fellowship in difficult seasons — all seasons (Hebrews 10:24–25).

Adorns herself in His word through good works — not the latest trends (1 Timothy 2:9–10,4:7–8).

Takes time to disciple and discipline your children with grace and love (Titus 2:3–5; Hebrews 12:5–11).

Christian women, we have nothing to fear and nothing to lose. Let’s live like we have the greatest hope to offer the world.

Let’s get uncomfortable by hoping in God and not in what the world offers. Let’s not be conformed to the world in its apathy toward the things of God.

Let’s take risks for the sake of the gospel to the glory of God.

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** By Heather Riggleman at Christianity.com / Photo by Ellagrin at Shuttershock

The Parable of the Mexican Fisherman

An American investment banker was taking a much-needed vacation in a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. The boat had several large, fresh fish in it.

The investment banker was impressed by the quality of the fish and asked the Mexican how long it took to catch them. The Mexican replied, “Only a little while.” The banker then asked why he didn’t stay out longer and catch more fish?

The Mexican fisherman replied he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs.

The American then asked, “But what do you do with the rest of your time?”

The Mexican fisherman replied, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos: I have a full and busy life, señor.”

The investment banker scoffed, “I am an Ivy League MBA, and I could help you. You could spend more time fishing and with the proceeds buy a bigger boat, and with the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats until eventually, you would have a whole fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to the middleman you could sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You could control the product, processing and distribution.”

Then he added, “Of course, you would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City where you would run your growing enterprise.”

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But señor, how long will this all take?”

To which the American replied, “15–20 years.”

“But what then?” asked the Mexican.

The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich. You could make millions.”

“Millions, señor? Then what?”

To which the investment banker replied, “Then you would retire. You could move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”

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** Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh at pexels

The Preciousness of Contentment

“For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.” – 1 Timothy 6:7-8

“Godliness with contentment is great gain.” (I Timothy 6:6)

How can I say, I am happy to walk with Jesus if I am neither content with who He is in my life, nor with His provisions for me to live in this world?

Am I content with who I am in Christ?

It is wise to never compare ourselves with anyone. God created us unique in every way in His very own image. He doesn’t looks at us as the world does. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart (I Samuel 16:7). “I will give thanks to You for I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14). “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised” (Proverbs 31:30).

Only we ourselves are responsible for fulfilling God’s purpose that He has designed for us as disciples of Jesus, and as wives and mothers. God has entrusted our husbands, children, relatives and friends to us, to whom we can minister in specific ways. We are not perfect but God says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Like Paul, most gladly, therefore, we will boast about our weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in us (II Corinthians 12:9). There is now no room for us to compare ourselves with anyone, because it is Christ who dwells in our hearts (Ephesians 3:17).

Each of us has specific gifts of the Holy Spirit to bless the body of Christ; we don’t have to long for someone else’s gift. As it is written in I Corinthians 12, God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, exactly as He desired. Since we have gifts that differ, each of us is to exercise them according to the grace given to us (Romans 12:6-8). So let us value one another, whether eye or feet in the Body of Christ. Whatever may be our function in the Body of Christ, let us do it cheerfully instead of comparing ourselves with others. That will only lead to feelings of incompetence. The woman who poured out the alabaster oil over Jesus’ feet did not worry about what others would think about her. She was forgiven much, and so she loved Him much. Her service to Jesus was out of much love!

Am I content with God’s provision for me?

Happiness does not come from getting all that we want, but in enjoying all that God has provided for us with a thankful heart. Our children not only observe our attitude towards material things, but also absorb it. Where our treasure is, so is theirs! They watch us in what we seek and how we seek it.

God has never failed anyone who has put their trust in Him, so we can totally trust Him for all our earthly needs. What Jesus said in Matthew 6:33 is absolutely true: “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

We don’t have to compare our household income, the size of our home, the amount of furnishings or gadgets, our education, or anything of earthly value with anyone else’s, because Christ dwelling in our home and in the midst of our relationships is more important than any earthly possession. That, rather than material things or our qualifications, makes our home a blessing to others.

When we constantly desire more, such coveting inhibits our fellowship and relationship with others. Jealousy arises when we count others’ blessings instead of our own. Let us learn to count our own blessings so that our hearts will be filled with thankfulness! A thankful heart is a happy heart.

We also need not belittle ourselves because of something we don’t have. Our worth does not come from our earthly possessions, but from Christ who valued us so much that He died so that we could be reconciled with our Father in heaven. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever (I John 2:17).

There is nothing wrong in asking God and making our needs known to Him in prayer or even talking to Him about our heart’s desires, because He is our Father who supplies all our needs (Jehovah Jireh)!

“God has promised to supply all our needs. What we don’t have now, we don’t need now” (Elisabeth Elliot).

We can then say like Paul, I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therein to be content (Philippians 4:11).

“For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. But flee from these things, you [woman] of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness.” (I Timothy 6:10-11).

As godly women full of contentment, we can be a great blessing to our family and our church, Christ radiantly shining in us! Such a woman is far more precious than rubies (Proverbs 31:10).

by Pradha Chakravarthy

**many other wonderful articles by Pradha can be found at RLCF’s women’s page.