Discovering God’s Bold Agenda For Our Lives
Princesses of the King International Conference July 29-31, 2011
We are going to look at scriptural guidelines for discovering God’s calling, God’s purpose for our lives as women of God and how to competently apply scriptures to our lives to bring about a fulfillment of God’s plan, purpose and will in our lives. My Intention is that iron will sharpen iron for a richer spiritual growth in our lives.
What comes to our mind when we read the above topic: God’s bold agenda? Some of us at the conference responded with answers like plan, purpose and will. These are all right answers.
Our Scripture passages are Psalm 139, John 15:1-17, Proverbs 3:5-6, Jeremiah 29:11-14, Roman 8:28–30, 10:9-10. What are God’s bold agenda for our lives as women of God? I identified the followings:
- We are created to Know God: John 3:3, John 14:6, Ephesians 1:17-19.
- We are created for God’s glory to praise & worship Him Psalm 86: 9 & 12, Philippians 1:9-11.
- We are created to grow the fruit of the spirit: Galatians 5:22-23, Colossians 1:9-12.
- We are created to spread the Gospel of good news: Psalm 96:3, Isaiah12:4, Matthew 28:19-20
- We are created to be holy: Leviticus 19:1-2, 1 Peter 1:15-16.
- We are created to use the gifts that God gave to us. Luke 19:1-26, Matthew 25:14-30, 1 Corinthian 12:4-11.
- We are created to follow Christ & share in His suffering: Philippians 1:29.
- We are created to acknowledge our natural depravity & to trust in God as our heavenly hope. Ephesians 2:3-4.
- We are created to destroy the works of the devil. 1 John3:8.
- Woman is created to be man’s helper, to meet his need, body mind and soul so that we might together both grow in spirit and truth. There was a lack. Man was lonely. God said it was not good for man to be alone. We are created so that we might encourage man and spur one another on in all things and that we might more fully in our finite minds understand the inner workings of God & His role in our lives.
How are we going to attain or achieve these goals that God has set before us and in what domain?
God gave us 2 commandments . God’s bold agenda can only be achieved or attained when we obey the 2 commandments. This commandment is in Mark 12:30-31. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength, The second is this: Love your neighbour as yourself. There is no command greater than these” (Luke 10:25-37).
We love God with all of our heart when we love Him with all of our feelings and emotions. The heart is where we feel. We are women. Let us talk to God honestly about our feelings, emotions, weaknesses, failures while acknowledging God’s strength (Proverbs 23:15-16, Proverbs 4:23, Proverbs 7:25, Matthew 6:33).
We love Him with all of our soul when we discuss our plans with Him; when we commit them into His hands; when we ask for His will and not ours; when we align our will with His and when we make Him the decision maker in both big and small matters in our lives. Let’s involve Him in all of our life decisions (Proverbs 19:21).
We love Him with our mind when our thoughts, impressions, intelligence and learning glorifies Him. Our mind is where we think. Faith in God does not mean that we stop thinking (Philippians 4:6-9, Romans 12:1-2).
We love Him with our strength when our heart, soul and mind is translated into real action in the real world. Our strength is where we physically interact with the world around us. This means we put love into action (James 2:14-18). We cannot learn to love if we have no one to share love with. God is love and we who are created in His image must mirror that love in our being and lives. So let us roll up our sleeves for God and begin or continue in the good works of faith that He has equipped us for.
This commandment would only be lived in Relationship and the truth of the matter is that relationship is painful and wonderful. Relationship is a risk that is worth it. We all live in the drama that plays out between these two truths. Human existence is defined only in relationship. No man is an Island. From the time we are conceived in the womb till the day we die, we are in relationships. We begin from the womb as a child of somebody when we are born into a family. We have relationship with our parents, with our siblings and their families, Parents’ nucleus and extended families . We become aware of our need for our Saviour and we begin a relationship with Him and become a body of Christ. We have our circle of friends and brethren. We expand and become a man’s wife, a daughter-In-law , a friend, a sister in Christ, fellowship member, congregation member, a neighbour, an employee/staff, a co worker, team/professional member , a citizen of a nation or nations and on and on the list goes on.
In all of these relationships, we wear different hats. We have different roles. These can be overwhelming sometimes. How can we succeed? Hear it today that God’s agenda for us is to succeed (Jeremiah 29:11-14). However, for us to succeed, we have a part to play. There must be a balance of man’s responsibilities and obedience with God’s plan & strength. Hence,
- We must obey God’s commandment. We need an obedient heart (John 15:1-17).
- We need a guide. The Holy Spirit of God is our guide and we must obey him. He does not live in us to obey us. He is our navigator in the wilderness of life (John 14:16 & 25-27, Joel 2;28-29, Acts 2:17-18, John 16:5-16, Proverb 4, Proverbs 3:5-7, Proverbs 13:1).
- We need truth which is the word of God. The fire of God’s Word must be alive and burning within our hearts. It is this fire, this dynamism, that will burn away the evil within us and around us and cause holiness to burst forth, healing and transforming the society and culture surrounding us (2 Timothy 3:16-17, Psalm 119:9-11, 105-106).
What will God use to achieve His bold agenda in our lives?
God will use our relationships, our life situations and experiences, our weaknesses, strength and failures. God will use our gifts both spiritual, material resources and blessings from Him to accomplish His purpose in our lives. How are we doing in our relationship lives? What is it like? Are we growing & pleasing God?
God will use our talents, skills and abilities, desires and passions (Proverbs 3:9-10, Luke 19:1-26, Matthew 25:14-30, 1 Corinthians 12: 4-11). This is so that we can become Christ-like. We are clay that is been molded in the hands of the great Potter. We are branches of the vine that is been pruned, molded and shaped in the hands of the Gardener. Let us look at each individually.
Talent: means natural skills that is given by God to be able to do something that is hard for others. We do it without having to try hard. It is an ability that we are born with. Examples are music, sport, dancing, decorative talents. What is mine or your talent?
Skill: This is developed through experience and training. It is a learned capacity to carry out pre-determined results often with the minimum outlay of time, energy or even both. It can be divided into domain: general & specific skills. For example in the domain of work, some general skills may include time management, team work, leadership & self motivation skills. Whereas, domain specific would be skills required for a specific, for a certain profession, job or vocation e.g., Engineer, Social Worker, Nurse, Doctor, Architect, Lawyer etc. How are we doing individually in using our skills?
Desire: Universal to man, is a sense of longing or object, or hoping for an outcome. When a person desires something, their sense of longing is excited by the enjoyment and they want to take actions to obtain their goal. Do your desires align with God’s will? Begin to think seriously about this (Psalm 84:11, Psalm 34:10).
Passion: from the ancient Greek word “Pashko” meaning to suffer, is a term applied to a very strong feeling about a person or thing. It is an intense emotion, compelling feeling, enthusiasm, or desire for something. It may apply to a likely or eager interest in or admiration for a proposal, cause or love to a feeling of unusual excitement, enthusiasm or compelling emotion, a positive affinity or love towards a subject, idea, person or object. What are you passionate about?: Begin to identify your passions and ask God if they glorify Him. If they do, allow God to take it to the highest level. Seek God, Trust Him, follow His leading.
Motive: Means something as a need or desire that causes a person to act in a certain way. It implies an emotion or desire operating on the will & causing it to act. Are your desires and motives right & godly? (Psalm 37:4).
Ability: is the quality of being able to do something, especially the physical, mental, financial or legal power to accomplish something. It is a natural or acquired skill or talent. Capacity is another word for ability. These nouns denotes qualities that enable a person to achieve or accomplish something. Ability is the mental or physical power to do and capability refers to the potential for acquiring that power. What do you identify as your own personal God given abilities or capabilities?
Time: Time is precious. We do not yet know how precious time is, so we take advantage of it. We are accountable to God on a daily basis on how we spend the time He has given to us. Psalm 90 verse 12 ask God to teach us to number our days aright so that we may gain a heart of wisdom. With the Lord a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like a day (2 Peter 3:8, I Corinthian 10:31, Col 3:23, Ephesians 5:15). Let us be honest with ourselves and ask ourselves individually this question. What do I spend time on the most? If we identify them, are they in God’s will for you and me? Is time chosen carefully or wasted away mindlessly? Let each one of us go home and reflect on this. This is what God has called us to spend our time on: loving people, serving humbly, obeying God’s commandments instead of spending time on matters of less importance to God. Let us discover His bold agenda for us. He wants to reveal them to us. He is waiting for us to come. All that we have identified are His driving mechanisms that drives us towards His agenda and into His ultimate purpose, plan and will for our lives.
What is God looking for in us as women? (John 17:20-23, Ephesians 4:17-32).
- An obedient heart like Christ
- To be holy children of God in all of our ways and life styles.
- To have a loving and forgiving heart like Christ
- A humbling spirit like Christ
- A live of service like Christ
- A united body of Christ.
- He wants us to be filled with power
- He wants us to be long suffering and self controlled children of God as we live out our roles and positions in every relationship that God allows to cross our path of life.
Proverbs 31:10-30 pictures for us the characteristics that God wants us to develop as women of God. We are to:
- Be a commendable wife and mother.
- Live for our home and family.
- Be industrious.
- Be self-disciplined and orderly.
- Be a sharp business woman.
- Have good and refined tastes.
- Manifest the grace of hospitality.
- Be charitable in time of need.
- Be spiritually minded.
In what domain does God wants us to achieve all of these? Is there a limit or boundary that God sets for us to achieve His bold agenda?
Yes there is a limit. We have a boundary. We must remain in Christ Jesus as He told us in John 15:1-17. He said we cannot do anything outside of him unless we remain in Him. He is the vine and we are the branches. We cannot bear fruit unless we remain in the vine. Every follower of Christ must flourish in the courts of God. We are planted in the house of God so we must guard against the lost of the eye, the lost of the flesh and the pride of man. We must not wander away from the God we love. As human beings, we are very prone to wander away from our God. (Psalm 1:1-3, Psalm 92:12-15).
In the Parables of the lost sheep, lost coin and the lost son, both the lost sheep and the lost coin wandered away from the shepherd and woman. The shepherd had to go look for the sheep and the woman had to look for the coin sweeping the whole house but the lost son is a deliberate act of disobedience. Either way, we do not want to be the sheep, coin or the lost son. It is dangerous to be outside of the safe garden of the Almighty God. The enemy has access to us when we are outside of God’s boundary.
What are the barriers that would want to impede or prevent us from achieving these agendas of God in our lives? (John 16:33, Luke 21:10-19, 1 Peter:6-7). Let us examine this briefly too.
In discovering God’s bold agenda for our lives, we would be confronted by challenges and difficulties. The truth of the matter is this, expect to be confronted by challenges. Where do we think the challenges will come from? In our relationships and every domain of life that we have talked about so far. They will come from circumstances of life, issues of life, experiences of life, situations of life and so on and so forth.
What is a challenge then? It is an opposition that threatens us. It is the giant like Goliath that fills the land of inheritance.
What does challenges do to us? It causes FEAR and fear paralyzes us to change our thinking and focus, it causes distraction and division for the children of God. Why? The enemy knows that when we are united in love, in purpose and in spirit, he cannot stand or gain any ground. He just cannot do anything. What is FEAR? It is False Evidence Appearing Real. Dr Adegboye of Redeemed Ministry.
How should we respond to or deal with fear so that we are able to walk in God’s agenda and actually achieve them?
Our perceptions and attitude must change when we are going through challenges no matter how much the enemy tries, we must not let him win over us because we have authority over all his devices.
- We must change the way we think.
- We must change the way we speak.
- We must change our focus: Focus on God, not on our situation.
- We must change our behaviour towards God and man.
- We must act in the spirit and not in the flesh.
- We must refuse to fear, be weighed down or be unhappy.
Wrap Up and Caution:
- Let us all follow our God given dreams in all areas of our lives.
- Plan and then present your plans before God. In doing this, be honest with God. This is simply honouring him with our plans.
- We must not present our own personal agenda to God. It will not Work.
- We must not make important decision of live without consulting with God.
- We must let God direct and guide us into His bigger plans for our lives in every role, position and responsibilities that He has given to us.
- We must not minimize our role or God given gifts and abilities.
- We must not downplay the value of what we do for God because God does not.
- We must overcome jealousy and bitterness.
- We must remain faithful.
For unmarried women it is God who fulfills both the role of God and the role that will later be filled by your husband when the Lord brings him along but in the meantime, God also provides you with spiritual headship and fellowship within the body of Christ so that you receive all the support and guidance you will need to press on in the Lord. It is a good thing for a woman to desire a husband, to desire a man to fill the role of headship (Psalm 45: 9 –15).
We are all daughters of the King, married or unmarried, the older and married women must take great care in our instruction to you so that when your training is complete, God’s expectations of you might be fulfilled in every area of your life. You who do not have a husband yet, it may be that you yourself are not fully prepared to be a wife and mother, or you are just too young. Whatever the case may be, yours is a position that is to be greatly desired. As chief among all things, you are free in the things of the Lord. You may throw yourself headlong into the work of God, able to do His work night and day without constraint. He is your headship and your covering. He can deal with you directly and He will provide you with physical headship to watch over you so that you may not be alone and easily misled. He will provide you with counsel and wisdom from elders in the Lord who will pray for you and guide you in the truth and help you in your search for wisdom. He may even provide those of you who are not yet at a stage of maturity where you are able to thrive in the Lord with just spiritual headship with earthly parents who walk with Him to continue the nurturing care and development that is vital to you as a young woman in the Lord in gaining a full knowledge of how the Godhead functions. As an unmarried woman, your submission is to God and those He has or will place in authority over you as your covering and protection.
So let us all praise the Lord for the place each of us have in life as a wife, a mother, or unwed woman. All are acceptable and pleasing in His sight if we walk with Him and allow Him total access to our full being. Allow Him who sees you as all-glorious and beautiful within to bring forth in you that which He alone sees for now and in time will be seen by all around you. “It’s no longer I that live, but Christ that lives in me.” He is our champion, our Lord, and our King. Let the Master Sculptor begin to mold and shape you and me.