For the past four months I have been on a journey with two ladies. We meet weekly – eat together, connect and pray for one another and study God’s Word. Throughout this time we have encountered many challenges but as we interceded for each other, we have been strengthened by God’s Word. His Word is indeed “a lamp to our feet and a light to our path”. His Word has also restrained us from doing the wrong thing or making the wrong choices. It has corrected negative attitudes and prevented us from straying from God and His truths. We have come to appreciate God’s Word even more and are grateful for this intentional discipleship journey the Lord brought us into.
As women of God our desire is to become more like Christ – to exude the fragrance of Christ and to touch the lives of people who are close to us and also to touch those who may not necessarily appreciate or even like us. As His disciples our desire is also to depend on God for all our needs – that we do not depend on our own abilities or wisdom but always on the resources that God gives to us so freely through His Spirit and Word; that our lives will be a testimony of His work of grace daily in all that we do, whether we try to live godly lives or testify about the God we worship and serve, doing everything with His grace and strength.
Being self-sufficient, independent and capable women in ministry and in the market place, it is always a struggle to be dependent on resources other than our own. So these special times of connections, prayers and sharing God’s Word have been constant reminders that without God, we can do nothing of any consequence but with Him, we can do all things, especially the impossible! The impossible right now is how to bring our loved ones to Christ and how to encourage those who are struggling to keep their faith alive and strong.
One disciple was concerned for her mother’s salvation. We had been praying earnestly for this. One day the mother landed in hospital and there she had the opportunity to hear the gospel once again. This time, she did not harden her heart but willingly prayed to receive Christ and confessed Him as her God. The current challenge is to see her grow spiritually despite her physical limitations. Our prayer is that God will encourage her to take baby steps of faith and that her daughter will be assured in her own heart that her mother has indeed embraced Jesus Christ as the only true God.
Another disciple has some health challenges. We also have been praying earnestly for this matter and seeking God’s intervention and comfort. The challenges have escalated but the disciple’s faith and trust in God is growing stronger. Her joy in the Lord is evident and she is intentionally seeking opportunities in the market place to be an example both in her life and in the proclamation of the gospel.
Each of us has been praying for people on our “heart for heaven list” and are asking God to enable us to be intentional in planning these encounters with them so that at the right time, God will give us the opportunity to share the good news with them. We are also actively sowing seeds wherever God has placed us so that He will use us to proclaim the good news. We know that this too is the work of God and He can either use us to water and harvest or use some other people to do that but He requires obedience, faithfulness and trust daily from us.
We don’t claim to have it altogether as we struggle with our frailties and sinful nature but thank God we are “work in progress” as God’s “works of art”. He, the Master Craftsman, is weaving His design daily to mould and hone us to become more and more like Him. May we, His workmanship, become more pliable in His hand and walk faithfully to accomplish all He has for us to do in 2015.
By Dr Violet James, Deaconess (YCKC Bulletin 24&25 January 2015)