Being a Confident Christian Woman part 2

“My identity must be anchored to the truth of who God is and who He is to me…the closer I align my truth to His Truth, the more closely I identify with God–and the more my identity really is in Him…when my identity is tied to my circumstances I become extremely insecure because circumstances are unpredictable and ever-changing.”
~Lysa TerKeurst, Uninvited, pg. 17

Hey ladies! It has taken me longer than anticipated to finish writing out part 2–thank you for being patient! Did you read Part 1? If not, let me encourage you to head on over and do that! 🙂

Now, let’s talk CONFIDENCE sisters! Not confidence in ourselves the way the world sees it (my stuff, my abilities, my physical strength, my popularity, my income…), but confidence in what GOD can do THROUGH us–His daughters, His warriors. We know by now that the first step in being a Confident Christian woman, is an active prayer life. The next step, is knowing our purpose. Who am I? Why am I here? Where should my focus be? What is my goal? How do I know God’s will over me?

What is my purpose? In a nutshell: to glorify God, ALWAYS. When we look at they life of Jesus–our ultimate example of righteousness and after whom we mold our lives–we see time and time again His work was for the Father.

John 4:34
Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work…”
Hebrews 5:8-9
Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered.
And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him,

Jesus learned obedience to the Father’s will, glory, & purpose.  Our lives should be no different as followers of Christ. But to make it more clear, let’s look at what Jesus said in Matthew 5:13-16:

13 “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

So, not only are we ourselves to glorify the Father, but we are to act in such a way that OTHERS will see our example and be motivated to praise God as well. That is our mission, sisters.

Well what else? How can we go about this daily endeavor of glorifying God and motivating others to do the same? A HUGE way we can do this, is by raising up Godly souls–no matter the cost.
Do your children (nieces and nephews, grandchildren, students, or friends’ children) know your priorities? Do they see you making worldly sacrifices for spiritual gain? Will they one day know, that you are someone they can come to for answers about the Bible? What about putting biblical concepts into daily practice—can they come to you for wisdom and advice on that?
These are all questions worth asking ourselves, to help us see if our lives are aligned with our purpose. Having children has taught me so much about God as MY Father and you know what? Satan’s biggest threat and the Kingdom’s greatest asset, is a Godly family.  Let’s make sure we are on the RIGHT side of the spiritual battle taking place, by purposefully raising Godly children.
“But, Rachel, how do I do that? My kids have to make their own choices…”
I hear you. And yes, when they become adults they WILL make their own choices while you have to sit back and watch–offering advice and wisdom when you see fit. But while your kids are in your care, God is holding a responsibility on your shoulders that you must take seriously.
Three ways to do that:
1) BE the person you want them to emulate. Be the example. Teach with your words (and HIS WORD), and your actions.
2) Teach them to worship the God who created them, NOT to worship you. Your children are going to idolize you to some degree.  And some day, the way they see you will either HELP or HINDER the relationship they build with God. Therefore, do everything in your power to take glory off of yourself and place it on the Father where it is due. (Check out Matthew 10:34-39.) Finally
3) Ask yourself this question: am I making it easier or harder for my children to idolize the things of this world?

Alright sisters! Do you have a handle on your purpose now? I hope so, but to further illustrate I want to discuss what our purpose is NOT.
1) My purpose is NOT to save souls. Yes, you read that correctly. Stay with me, though. Saving souls is GOD’S job! It has ALWAYS been God’s job. MY job, is to PLANT and WATER.

What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building. ~1 Corinthians 3

When we are out fulfilling our purpose (Glorifying God and Motivating others to do the same by being Salt & Light), we can misguidedly think saving souls is our doing. When we get puffed up over the number of people we bring to Christ (or perhaps discouraged because we aren’t bringing MORE people to the water), then we are putting too much focus on ourselves.
Sisters, we are not serving others or living out His example in our lives for our own recognition, are we? No. We are but EMPTY VESSELS (2 Corinthians 4:7-18), ready and willing to be used BY GOD for HIS PURPOSES. Will souls be saved in that process? ABSOLUTELY! Because that is God’s ultimate will—“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)
So sisters, let’s focus on planting seeds of the Gospel into the hearts of all who will listen, and water seeds others have planted by words of encouragement, kindness, and displaying Christ-like behavior towards all. And when that planting and watering comes to fruition, let’s give God ALL the glory!

Keep an eye out for part 3–Peace! Also, I want you to consider another Bible Marking topic by Kathy Pollard entitled “My Purpose.” This study will walk you through the scriptures as you define your purpose from God’s perspective. You will be blessed by it, so please consider grabbing your Bible and taking a few minutes to complete it.

Thank you for taking the time to dive into this with me today. I’d love your feedback; feel free to comment! 🙂

The Confident Christian Woman part 1

I had the honor and privilege of speaking at a “Ladies Day” last week.  It was such an encouraging day for me, and I pray I have opportunities to experience many more like it! We talked “Being a Confident Christian Woman” and what we need to put in practice to make that happen! Here is part 1, I hope you find it helpful!

I can only speak for myself, but I STRUGGLE with Godly confidence.  I am either blasting myself with negativity bombs, or I’m stuck in “I got this” mode…aka pride. Neither represents the Godly woman I long to be, and more importantly, the woman God CREATED me to be.  Through this study, God has opened my eyes to the woman He is yearning to mold in me, and I am so excited to share her with you.

This study is based in SCRIPTURE, so grab your Bible and pray that God shows you His Truth and that your heart will be open to receive it with gladness.
But first…What does the World say about confidence? The world says:
-“Women! You can do ANYTHING!”
-“Believe in yourself!”
or the actual definition I found: A feeling of self-assurance.
At the surface, I look at these phrases and think, “sure! yes! I’m on board. I want my daughters to feel strong, independent, and capable… why NOT instill these mottos in them?”
Or maybe you don’t have daughters, maybe you own your own business or are in a position at work to go to the top… maybe you’ve said these words to yourself (like I have!) to help propel you forward and to gain worldly success.  If I were to flip these phrases around, as if I’m saying it to myself, they sound like this:
-“I believe in me”
-“I can do anything”
-“I am all I need.”

If you are reading this today then you are striving to be a godly woman, and I hope your back sat up a little straighter as you heard the error in those phrases… because as women of God, the “I” in us is dead.
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but CHRIST who lives in me…” (Galatians 2:20)
I am dead. If I am dead, how then can I possibly do ANYTHING with my own strength? How can I be all I need when I myself, am empty? How can I have confidence as I continue in this world?

Here’s a new definition of confidence I want you to take with you: believe in what God can do THROUGH you!
Turn to 2 Cor.4:5-11. (Go ahead and read it, I’ll wait. 😉 )
We are empty vessels, my sisters. Empty jars of clay ready and willing for God to pour into us the Light of His Son…every single day! This isn’t something that happens once at our salvation and is done, but something we purposefully and mindfully do every day.

Turn to Prov. 3:21-26. (read it) Now flip back to Ps. 27:1-3. David was wrestling with actual flesh and blood enemies.  He had a reason to be afraid, didn’t he? Saul’s armies were searching for him, to kill him. BUT his faith in God was greater than any fear of death. Thankfully, we don’t have armies singling us out and searching to bring us down.  We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, do we? We fight against Satan and everything he stands for. Sometimes that manifests itself in other’s—but ultimately they are NOT the enemy.  And if people aren’t our enemies, and God has already won over Satan, what on earth is there to be afraid of? For women in Christ who keep that in mind, nothing.

We say it a lot in the Christian realm, but what does it mean to be “in Christ”? If you have ventured over here today, I believe you take God and His Word seriously! You want it to change your life for the better, and you want a home in Heaven!  If you have ever wondered what “obeying the Gospel” means or what it means to be “in Christ,” of if you ever question your Salvation, please take a minute today to try this Bible Marking topic. These verses are also helpful: Romans 6:1-4, Matt 7:21-27, and John 3:5.
Ultimately though, OBEDIENT FAITH makes a Christian. Before obedience occurs, belief and faith are simply lazy intentions.  BUT, that’s not the focus for today. If you have questions feel free to contact me!

Now, let’s get to the MEAT! How can I be a Confident Christian Woman? Three points to consider: PRAYER, PURPOSE, and PEACE.

For this study, we are going to tackle 5 characteristics of our prayers.
Going to our God: our Maker and Sustainer, King and our Father… is a BIG deal.
We cannot be flippant with how we speak to Him or how we approach Him. That being said, we can come to Him with reverence and awe, BOLDLY.

“Let us then with Confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” ~Hebrews 4:16

Turn to Hebrews 10:19-22.  Now to Eph. 3:12–Sisters, we can have confidence and boldness in our prayers to God because of Christ. What He went through, the obedience He learned, the suffering He endured on our behalf—gave us access to God’s throne. And when we have Christ, we can approach God with a BOLD confidence.

Number 2: Specific. Don’t be afraid to petition God specifically, and also don’t get lazy and forget to THANK Him specifically. There is something very powerful in approaching our Father on someone else’s behalf. How many of us have children? I have 2 beautiful girls, and when one of them comes to me asking for something for the other one—wow! That warms my heart.  Selfless requests from my girls are almost always answered in their favor. What about a birthday request? Aren’t we more likely to search out the 1 thing they’ve asked for, imagining the joy on their faces as they realize we listened to their request?

“If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him?” ~Matthew 7:11.

Number 3: Honest. Over the last year or two, this word has become so important in my walk with God.  Knowing myself enough to be honest with Him, is a big deal. As a parent, little frustrates me more than when I ask my children why they did something and they say “I don’t know….” Usually I know the answer, because I’m the Mom, right? But I am much more appeased if they can truly see their error, and know what went wrong. (Who am I kidding? My kids are 6 and 5 years old… that doesn’t happen often at this age—which is why I have to talk it out with them.)
Why did they choose that act of disobedience? Was it ignorance, or willful? Did they just not pay attention to their surroundings?  Were they being careless?
Do you see the connection? Of course our Father will always know us better than we CAN know ourselves, but we must constantly be evaluating our motives. Do our intentions line up with our actions? Why not? Being honest with ourselves before God is humbling and necessary in knowing our place before Him and allowing Him the reverent and Holy place He deserves.
(Read Ps. 24:3-6, Luke 18:9-13)—In Greek the word “confession” is Homologeo, which literally means to speak the same thing. We’ve got to acknowledge our sin the SAME way God does.  We can’t continue to call sins “mess-ups” or “slip-ups.” We have to speak the same thing to truly have an honest heart before God.

Number 4 (and this one is IMPERATIVE): Faithful.  “Without faith it is impossible to please God, for whoever would draw near to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord…”
~James 1:5-7

Wow. Have faith my sisters.
“Well Rachel,” you might say, “I had faith. I prayed with all the faith I could muster and I was bold and specific and honest! I prayed and God said no. How then am I supposed to continue to pray? What does it matter?”
I’ve been there. When pain is pressing in on you, and all you can think is: “Why?! What good can possibly come of this?!” He hears you, and your prayers matter. YOU matter to Him.
Our Father is a good, GOOD Father. Who wants good things for His children—do you believe that? Then you should believe that WHATEVER the outcome of our prayers, God has our good and His glory at heart.

 “And this is the confidence that we have toward Him, that if we ask anything according to His will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked him.” ~1 John 5:14

Also, one of my favorites: Romans 8:28, “and we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.”
His will. Our good. His glory. He is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think (Eph. 3:20-21). Believe it!

Finally: Thankful. Our prayers are to ooze with an overwhelming thankfulness for everything He has bestowed upon us. Our days should be lived out in constant gratitude for who He is and who we are in Him!

When we are bold, specific, honest, and faithful, the response of our hearts should be a place of abundant joy because of our rich blessings (spiritual AND physical). When we refuse to give God glory and thanks where He is due, our faith will falter and our Christianity is compromised.

Romans 1:21-22 “Although they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks to Him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools.”
Everything we have, we have because He decided to give it to us.  I can claim NOTHING of my own accord—God owns it all, I am merely a steward of what He’s given me. Our mentality toward what we have can greatly affect our thankfulness.
Read down in verse 28: “And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice…”
Be thankful. Recognize every blessing in your life and give glory back to the Father who richly gives us all things.

Purposefully applying these 5 characteristics to our prayer life will greatly influence our Godly confidence. It will help point us to our Purpose (part 2) and give us the Peace (part 3) we daily desire. Let’s open our hearts and pray ladies!

Stay tuned for parts 2 & 3! I LOVE getting into God’s Word with you! 🙂