Wednesday, January 27, 2016

She is Clothed for the Glory of God

Grace Balint, one of our daughters, on the set 
of the TV show, Criminal Minds,
 in Hollywood, CA

“She is clothed in strength and dignity...”
(Proverbs 31:25)

Uh-uh, Sisters, we're going to talk briefly about two passages in Proverbs 31, but we can’t skip over this devotion just because the woman described in Proverbs 31 intimidates us with her godliness and wisdom! This passage is meant to show us the significance of being wise and the influence we can be in this very dark world if we have a teachable heart. 

In all the years of women's ministry, I've often heard women moan about studying the woman in Proverbs 31:10-31 because she's described as "an excellent wife" (v.10), "works with willing hands" (v. 13), "provides food for her household and portions for her maidens (v.15), "her lamp does not go out at night" [WHAAAAAT?] (v.18), and so on. Ladies in previous studies have asked,  "How can I ever measure up to her?" and "Who does ALL those things?" and even "Ugh, can't we study something else?" 

Let's put our Big Girl panties on and let God build our character so we, too, by choosing to spend more time with Him. Then we, too, can keep getting stronger in  strength and dignity because we have a close relationship with Him!

So let's not buy into the lie that Scripture was written to intimidate us! No! It’s a handbook for life that teaches us how to live godly lives, and thereby we glorify God and bless others. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the [wo]man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16).

God’s word is a powerful weapon in the hands of a Christian and is "sharper than any two-edged sword" (Hebrews 4:12). It’s full of wisdom, knowledge, love, and grace for a child of God.  Daughters of King Jesus should be running to God’s word to satisfy our hungry souls. We should be fueled His strength!

Let's be honest. We want peace. We want to do what’s right. We’re tired. Ok, fine, so let’s each decide to take our own personal time each day to leap into the godly character traits in Proverbs 31:10-31 and set them as a goal, a focus for our lives. We should see them as a gift from God for us. 

“She is clothed in strength and dignity” (Proverbs 31:25). That’s definitely not a store-bought outfit. We can’t get that Holy Designer wear in any mall. Nope. This passage is talking about spiritual attire from the heart and hands of God alone. He is the Master Designer of all. These clothes -- strength and dignity --  will always fit us. They never go out of style or out of season! They are tailor made by God for His daughters. But we have to do something to get this kind of character...we have each seek God with our whole hearts.

Make no mistake, Precious Sister, the Mrs. Proverbs 31 Woman  cannot conjure up this strength by herself, no, it comes from God and even then she's only strong because she walks closely with her God! "Apart from me you can do nothing" Jesus warns in John 15:5. And it is her God who equips her to persevere in doing good, as well as to stand firm in His strength against powers of darkness.

What are we wearing today? Leggings of laziness? Shawls of shame? Garments of guilt? We need to dump that old wardrobe and get dressed in a “garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair” (Isaiah 61:3). How? Draw near to God. Call on His name. Pray to God and tell Him you want to be clothed in strength and dignity. I'm serious. We can pray to God about anything! Pray daily and seek His face. Believe me, Sister, He is not going to ignore a prayer like that! Pray faithfully and unceasingly and expect Him to answer you!

When God was restoring Israel, He clothed her beautifully, too: “ ‘As surely as I live, declares the LORD,  ‘you will wear them all as ornaments; you will put them on like a bride.’” (Isaiah 49:18) These ornaments are symbols of strength and joy. (NIV commentary.)

And another thing, our Wonderful Father God wants us to have joy in our life journey: “...she can laugh at the days to come” (Proverbs 31:25). The reason she can do this is because she trusts her LORD and is free from fear and anxiety. What freedom! Every woman wants that! She confidently stakes her life on the promises of God: “my God will meet all your needs…” (Philippians 4:19), “the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold” (Psalm 84:11), “perfect love drives out fear” (1 John 4:18), and she even has “confidence on the day of judgment” (1 John 4:17). She knows Him! Do we know Him like this?

“I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels” (Isaiah 61:10).

Our goal, Sisters, is not to strive to be the Proverbs 31 woman. No. The purpose for each of our lives is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever! God has already told us how to dress for His glory and when we do, we will be "clothed in strength and dignity" and we will be able to "laugh at the days to come!" He'll see to it!

For His glory,
"Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt His Name together!"
Psalm 34:3

This devotion is an updated version of my second book, Totally Devoted 2,
 in preparation for a Kindle edition! 
Copyright 2016 Totally Devoted 2