She seeks wool and flax, And willingly works with her hands. She is like the merchant ships, She brings her food from afar. She also rises while it is yet night, And provides food for her household, And a portion for her maidservants. She considers a field and buys it; From her profits she plants a vineyard. Proverbs 31:13-16 NKJV
This woman seems extra blessed by talents and productivity, if one simply reads through these verses quickly.
Only upon closer inspection do we see the point.
This woman willingly works, serves those she lives with, and uses her money wisely.
Although, weaving cloth, providing portions for our maidservants, and planting a vineyard are not things most women in Western civilization do, it doesn’t mean we can not follow this example.
It is important that we have a willingness to work with our hands.
We can work to supply our families needs, create a healthy home environment, and make nutritious meals.
We can be wise with our finances, and open to opportunities the Lord provides to invest whatever we have leftover.
The Proverbs 31 woman is not looking to fulfill her own needs, she’s trusting God to do that, and being diligent with the tasks at hand.
Let’s take our example from this woman and fix our eyes upon the face of Christ Jesus, pick up our laundry basket or car keys or whatever is waiting for us to be accomplished, and serve with gladness.
Matthew 5:16 KJV — Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Your instruction to us as women. Lord Jesus, I know this example of a virtuous woman is able to do and be all that she was, because her life was totally surrendered before You. She was living to the fullest because she understood her life was not her own, but it belonged to You. Lord, I too understand that truth. I thank You for purchasing my life at such a high price. Thank You for the things You have supplied for me and the ways You have walked with me. Lord, You know my limitations, please help me to be a Proverbs 31 woman through surrender before You. Help me to take my focus off of what I can’t do and keep it upon what You have called me to do. Lord Jesus, thank You for Your patience. Thank You for Your blessings. Thank You for walking with me in so many things and directing my steps. May my life reflect Your love and truth that others might find the truth and love You have for them. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.
Our church has adult Sunday school the hour before service.
We’ve enjoyed attending since we learned about it not long after we moved here.
The usual way to begin is to open the floor for anyone to testify to the goodness of God that week.
It was a bit quiet at first, but a few people had spoken, then one gentleman told us of his gratitude for the Lord’s protection.
His arm was in a sling and he explained that he’d hurt his shoulder trying to start the pressure washer to use at the church the next day.
His words were all encouraging, speaking about how thankful he was that he wasn’t hurt worse and asking for prayer as he’d torn his rotator cuff before.
A couple others spoke and then one man stood and said,
“We haven’t done this in a long time, but I just really feel God would have us pray for our brother’s shoulder right now, that he would come to the front and all the men would pray for him.”
He’d already spoken to our pastor about this and Pastor agreed, so within a short period of time, the man whose shoulder was hurt by the pressure washer was seated and the men surrounded him so much he disappeared from sight.
We all prayed and it was lovely.
When they were finished, I heard my name being called.
The ladies were going to pray over me!
I felt surprise and blessed, but I was totally unprepared for what took place.
One person after another prayed thanking God for my joy, the way I shined Jesus’s love to everyone, and thanking God for my ministry with signing.
Tears ran down my face as my heart was so full of gratitude.
God knows one of the things which had been difficult for me about being unable to speak was feeling hindered in my ability to share Jesus and His love to others.
I had no idea God was shining through me, but it was an answer to prayer and a testament to God, for He is not limited to work no matter what we think might be hindering us.
After they finished praying for me, we all agreed another lady who recently suffered a stroke be seated.
Then we prayed for another lady whose so crippled with age and pain she’s always doubled over unable to lift her head.
Lastly, we prayed for another gentleman whose recently heard something is wrong with his kidneys.
When we finished praying we realized that it was just a few minutes before church.
Sunday school had been all prayer this morning and we all felt it was time well used.
The faces of others reflected my own emotions of gratitude and surprise at the unexpected morning with God.
The service continued and God was so present.
I actually had to work at focusing on the words of the music, because my heart was so full.
The sermon was wonderful and our time ended with communion, which was the perfect finish to our time together.
My heart continued to swell with joy, for this Sunday was a miracle for me.
I’ve not been able to speak at our church since we moved here.
In fact, my trouble with losing my voice has been getting worse, places I used to be able to speak in have been lost.
The Lord spoke very clearly to my heart during my week about totally surrendering my voice to the Lord.
I thought I had, but the truth was revealed when the Lord asked me if I was willing to lose my ability to speak completely.
“No, Lord, I’m not, but I will. My voice belongs to You.”
To bring myself accountability, I told my husband about it all.
I’ve been working at giving the Lord my voice whenever it’s troublesome, to just be thankful when I can speak and thankful when I cannot.
The surprise wasn’t small when God gave me my voice yesterday.
I was so blessed to be able to pray aloud for the other women during Sunday school, when we closed in song, I was able to join in the singing with my voice.
Surprise and wonder were expressions common while I spoke.
Several people commented on “never hearing my voice before”.
Including our WWII veteran who sits in front of us.
He’s quite elderly and wears double hearing aids.
He smiled at me and said,
“You sure do have a beautiful voice. I love hearing it. I hope you get to keep it.”
I smiled back and replied, “Whatever the Lord wills.”
He nodded and smiled, “That’s right, whatever He wills.”
And God’s will was to let me speak all day long.
We were blessed to have friends and family over and I didn’t struggling at all.
I don’t know how long the Lord is going to grant me a voice, but I’m so thankful for His miracle this Palm Sunday.
The Lord had shown me an area I wasn’t completely surrendered in.
He revealed to me His answer to my prayers to be a light of His love even without being able to speak.
God added just an extra blessing and reminded us all that He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Hebrews 13:8 NKJV — Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your incredible love. Thank You for answering my prayers, that I have been reflecting You even though I’ve been unable to communicate well. Lord, thank You for each of those we prayed for. Please touch them and give them exactly what is needed. Lord, let our lives be a continued testament to Your glory, Your goodness, Your ways. Lord, please help us to remember that when You walked this Earth there were those who rejected You, hated You, and even wanted to harm You, yet Your Word was truth, Your ways honorable, even Pilot couldn’t find any reason to
Lord, my heart is not haughty, Nor my eyes lofty. Neither do I concern myself with great matters, Nor with things too profound for me. Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul, Like a weaned child with his mother; Like a weaned child is my soul within me. O Israel, hope in the Lord From this time forth and forever. Psalms 131:1-3 NKJV
Dear Lord Jesus, Thank You for Your salvation. Thank You that we need not fear. Our lives belong to You. Lord Jesus, thank You for teaching us daily and speaking so clearly to the humble in heart. Lord, thank You that You use those who completely surrender before You. Lord, I choose to completely surrender before You. Lord, this day, this body, this life does not belong to me. They are Yours alone and I acknowledge Your Sovereignty in all things. Lord Jesus, please continue to help the helpless, to provide for the needy, to return the prodigal, to protect the innocent, and to save the lost. Lord, I thank You for all Your wonderous works. Amen.
15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:15-16 NKJV
Scripture clearly and succinctly warns that the days are evil, we must walk in God’s wisdom if we want to be party to His redemption work.
And how fitting that these words begin a list of instructions to the believer as to how to live wisely in these evil days.
Verses 16-21 are excellent individual instruction, then the focus turns to marriage.
Wives are instructed first.
22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Ephesians 5:22-24 NKJV
Again, scripture is teaching us how to walk in unity.
A wife who respects and submits to her husband as the head of the house is choosing to place herself in unity with him.
A wife needs to understand and practice submission to the Lord Jesus Christ, because in learning to trust Jesus with her life, she can also learn to trust Him with her husband’s.
Because submission to her husband is trusting God to direct and guide him as the head of the family.
Walking in submission to our husbands is another layer of walking in surrender to our Savior.
If a wife refuses to submit to her husband she is refusing to surrender to Christ Jesus, unless the husband is asking the wife to sin which divides her from Christ.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. 30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. 31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” Ephesians 5:25-31 NKJV
The husband has a great responsibility indeed, it is his privilege and responsibility to live a life of love.
Christ’s love of the church is how husbands are to love their wives.
Not a life which is unstable, irresponsible, or self-centered, but a life surrendered to Christ, walking in the Word with diligence, patience, and integrity.
A husband is to set the needs of his wife before his own, to lovingly care for her with understanding and wisdom.
He is to nurture his wife as his own flesh, because God’s Word tells us that is unity.
When two people, who are one flesh before God, choose to surrender themselves first to Christ and then to one another they are living in unity, and partaking in His redemptive work.
Because a house divided against itself can not stand.
Psalm 127:1b NKJV …”Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it;…”
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for teaching us these truths. Thank You for giving us such clear instruction as to how to join with You in redeeming the time. Lord, please help me to surrender to You in all things. Please help me to walk in submission, being wise and understanding Your truths. Lord, please help wives to learn these truths and to practice them daily. Lord, please help husbands to understand what You have called them to do. Please give them the courage to live in unity with You and their wives. Teach them what true love is. Lord Jesus, build our families upon Your Word, that we might not be divided. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.
I wanted to write to you and let you know what God has been teaching me.
I’m also praying for you, as I don’t know all you are going through, but Jesus does.
Uncertain times can bring fear and doubt, but for those of us who know Jesus, it is a place of surrender.
Which is where we should live as believers.
In fact, surrender is a pleasure, because it frees us of thinking we are in charge or that we have to do or must be whatever.
With total surrender we get to wait upon the Lord in peace.
To walk forward in Him and not worry.
It’s what Paul said:
Philippians 4:11-14 NKJV — Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Paul had learned the practice of daily surrender and he knew there was nothing that he could not endure, because Christ was his Master and through him he could walk whether hungry or full.
Too often, especially in our culture, we think we “have to do…”.
Yet, it is only true if we were given the task by God.
Him and His Word is what we must obey and listen to, not our flesh, not our family, not our neighbors.
At least not any of those before we listen to God and His Word. (We should always check what we “heard” to make sure it aligns with scripture. God doesn’t contradict Himself.)
We must have a teachable spirit, because often God will guide and direct us through the voices of others, but that’s why our relationship with the Lord and studying His word must come first.
Only with a heart completely surrendered before God can we truly hear those around us.
Life was not given for us to live unto our selfish desires.
Nor to achieve our own made-up priorities.
Life was given as a gift, but we should give it back.
Sin has marred the heart so much that we can never find true life without first giving ourselves to God completely, without even a piece left out.
True surrender means Job:
Job 1:21 NKJV — And he said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD.”
This is surrender.
Job understood all that had been trusted to his care was not his and could be removed at any time.
His life was not his position, family, experience, nor his stuff.
His life was God’s and he would praise him no matter the circumstances.
That is where true joy is.
In finding that one can truly praise God no matter what is occurring.
That I can trust Him no matter the obstacle or the emotion.
There is nothing to despair, because my Savior lives!
There’s nothing I need to prove to others, because my Savior lives!
What does man think of me? It doesn’t matter.
My Savior lives!
What blessed joy!
What grand design!
How great is our God!
May God bless and keep you my friend,
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You so much for Your love! Thank You for salvation! How grateful I am to You for Your gift of friendship to me. I’m so blessed to have such wonderful friends and family who love me as they do. Lord, please lift up my friend and bring them to a place of rest and trust in You. Heal their heart of past hurts and restore them to faith in You. Lord, let them see themselves and others as You do. Let them walk with understanding and truth. Lord, please open the scriptures to them, that they might find the Way. Let their hearts find peace in surrender. Let them put all their trust in You. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.
Dear Lord Jesus, Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Your faithfulness. God, You alone are worthy of all honor, all praise, all glory. Lord, please let us see clearly, that we might humble ourselves before You and give all glory and honor to You. Lord, please help us to love as You do. Please teach our hearts to trust in You in all things. Lord, please let us stop learning on ourselves and not plan our ways, but instead surrender completely to Your authority, Your will, Your way. No matter what that looks like, no matter the sacrifice, for You have given so much more than we could ever give. Lord Jesus we praise Your holy name! Thank You for Your mercy. Thank You for Your truth! Thank You for all Your ways are good and truth is found only in You. Lord Jesus, we lift up the hurting, the sick, the wayward, the needy, and the lost. God, we trust You to reach these and if it be possible use us. Lord, we love You. May the whole Earth be filled with the knowledge of the glory of God. Amen.
Unto the upright there arises light in the darkness; He is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous. Psalms 112:4 NKJV
Dear Lord Jesus, Thank You for being our light! Thank You for being upright and righteousness. Lord, thank You for being merciful and kind, full of compassion and understanding. Lord Jesus, please help each one of us to completely surrender ourselves before You. Help us to be aware of those things which would hinder our relationship with You, those things we have allowed to bend our perspective away from completely following You. Lord, please remove anything which would ensnare us. Lord, please break off the chains of sin and help us obey Your Word with zeal and humility, not as puffing ourselves up, but instead resting in Your strength and Your Sovereignty. For You do not see as man sees. Lord Jesus, help me to relinquish every part, every piece of my life to You. Please help me to walk in wisdom, honor, and love. Please give me Your perspective and set Your Word upon my heart. Thank You for all Your wonderful works. Lord, I humbly lift up the hurting, the sick, the lost,the caption, the prodigal, and the innocent before You. Please, touch each heart and bring them all they need. Thank You. Amen.
I pushed a wheelbarrow in front of me, trying to contain the emotion which threatened to bubble over into a froth of rage and anguish.
My heart was so hurt and my mind kept screaming at the Lord, “Why?! Why are You letting this happen? This isn’t what I want…!”
And I hope I never forget what happened next.
Why are you angry?
The words were a whisper in my heart, but they blew away the self-absorption I’d been focus on.
I stopped filling the wheelbarrow with fire wood
Tears of surrender.
This was years ago, but the affect of seeing myself from God’s perspective has been a lasting one.
Because the truth of why I was outside in the dark and rain gathering firewood was me.
I hadn’t realized this, but it was because all I was seeing was my own needs, my own priorities, my own opinions on life.
But in that moment God showed me I was suffering due to my choices.
I had not surrendered anything before Him, instead I was trying to fix it, to manipulate or work harder to get what I thought was needed.
Instead, what was needed was for me to place it all in His hands and trust Him with the results.
How our lives have changed since that moment!
And I’m so glad.
Although, I’m still learning complete surrender, (I expect it’s a life long lesson in learning) I have found such peace.
No, I can’t say everything is always good, infact life had been hard and didn’t get easier, but I could live in the difficult with a completely different outlook.
And that is what complete surrender is about.
It’s living life unto Jesus Christ alone, without personal stipulations.
It’s a servant who lives for what their Master gives or tells each day, without concern as to the future or personal sacrifice.
When the master is Jesus, the service is a pleasure of daily learning and serving the greatest, gentlest, most caring Master of all time.
Every person serves a master of one sort or another.
It could be self, a job, a hobby, a status, an addiction, the list is long, but only one master is worthy of our service and He is such an incredible master.
Matthew 11:28+30 NKJV — “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Do you know why His yoke is light?
It’s because He carried it Himself, all the way to Calvary.
All we have to do is follow.
Complete surrender to Jesus is the best decision I’ve ever made and I plan on making everyday for the rest of my life.
I pray you have found freedom in this choice as well.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You so much for salvation. Thank You for that moment in the woods which got ahold of my heart and taught me how I was struggling to do life on my terms. Thank You for setting me free from that and for showing me how much better it is to live in Your will. Thank You for speaking so clearly to me. Thank You for forgiving me for the years I tried to serve You “my way”. Lord, even now I realize it wouldn’t take much for me to slide backwards into doing things in my own strength. Please keep me from that. Please keep my feet firmly in Your will. Please keep pride far from me, that I might not sin against You. Lord Jesus, You alone are worthy of all praise, all honor, all glory, and I love You so much! Thank You for saving me. Thank You for first loving me. Amen.c