Heart of a Woman study has concluded, and something really amazing has happened. If you know me personally, then you would know that my whole life I have identified as a Christian. But in this study I have found that I am a fairly new believer. This has been a pivotal moment in my life. For so long I had this mindset that because I grew up in church, I had been a believer. I mean, I seriously thought that I had been working at this thing for over 16 plus years. But it wasn’t until I got into this ministry, and this study particularly, that the Holy Spirit showed this to me.
My ignorance of God’s Word and lack of motivation to seek Him out did nothing for my walk with Him. I thought because I walked up to the front of the church every Sunday for a number of years, this meant I was going to heaven. To make a long story short, I thought because I said, “I believe,” and openly identified as a “Christian” to others, this was all that needed to happen. I was able to see that I was only seeking the benefits of heaven and everlasting life and nothing more. In Matthew 7:21-23, Jesus says, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’”
I mean, that could have been me! That could be a lot of us. I need you all to understand how humbled I am by this revelation. The incredible weight of not being able to reach this impossibly high standard at this time in my life began to feel lifted. Struggling with issues, beating myself up, saying, “LORD! Why can’t I just be a good Christian like her?” comparing myself, and going even further to say, “Why don’t I have the wisdom she has?” was gone! I don’t feel the need to compare any longer because I am understanding that this is my walk with Christ. And only in His timing can anything be revealed, or changed. I am brand new to seeking Him in every area of my life. Ladies, and anyone else reading this, the study was so uncomfortable in the start because I saw nothing good in me while asking the Lord to search me. But we were always reminded from lesson one through nine, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1). Just seeing your heart in all of its ungodly ways is at times gut-wrenching, and not seeking the Lord and meditating on Scriptures like Romans 8:1 can make you feel stuck in unworthiness. But I now rejoice in the unveiling of my sin. It tastes so sweet to know that He is my advocate and that I find refuge, strength, love, and counsel in Him. I am reminded of Psalm 34:8: “Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!” My prayer is that I take such refuge in the Lord to the point that you can’t see me anymore. Not me, but you, Lord, is what I want for those around me to see.
In the next few blogs I can’t wait to share a new journey with you. In the ensuing months we will be reading a set of books that Thistlebend has prayerfully selected for us. Let me just say, the first book I am reading is titled What is the Gospel? by Greg Gilbert. I feel like this is a perfect transition for me out of the Heart of a Woman study. I was thinking just how cool it was that Greg Gilbert is a pastor right here in Louisville, KY and leads a church that is a stone’s throw from the church I grew up in until about three years ago. I passed this church every Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday for 21 years of my life.
I went into reading this book with preconceived notions regarding the answer to the book’s title. Just like I thought I knew that I was a believer (in words only I might add), I thought I knew what exactly the gospel or the “good news” was. And I will admit, those notions have been shattered within the first few chapters. I am humbled by feeling like I am learning everything all over again, and yet so invigorated by this overflowing joy and encouragement that I have found in having faith in Jesus Christ as my Savior.
All for His Glory