As our name suggests, our purpose in our Bible study ministry is to equip women, and we do that with Hebrews 13:20-21 in mind:
“May the God of peace … equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ”
To be well equipped, we’ll need to pack our spiritual bags with 3 important items:
The first is peace. Many of us are still waiting to land in a peaceful season of life, but
peace has nothing to do with time or circumstance. Peace is a Person: Jesus. Is Jesus your Peace?
The context of these verses in Hebrews tells how Jesus is the Great Shepherd of the sheep. Of all the roles Jesus plays, the one of Shepherd gives the most accurate picture of peace. Sheep cannot know peace on their own and must constantly rely on the shepherd. We must rely on our Jesus as our peace.
Secondly, we need to pack our bags with purpose. That’s found in the phrase, “equip you with everything good for doing His will”. The Amplified Bible says we are “strengthened, made complete and perfect” to carry out His will.
HIS will … not MY will.
I’ll admit, giving up my will for God’s is never easy.
I find myself disagreeing with the way God does things.
But … my purpose is to do His will, so I need to understand the difference and let go of my desire to do things my way.
Isaiah 55:8-11 remind us:
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
How long does it take for rain and snow to produce bread?
Could we trace a drop of rain to a grain of wheat that would eventually be part of a loaf of bread on our table?
We cannot … but God can!
If God can do that … I can trust Him and His purpose for my life. How about you?
Finally, a well-equipped bag includes pleasing Him … Do you feel the delight of God?
This is a deeply personal thing, isn’t it?. But when you are involved in what pleases God, you are living in step with Jesus. The idea is that God is working in us to make us pleasing, while at the same time, we are pleasing Him.
It’s about relationship!
When you are in a deep and growing relationship with your heavenly Daddy you understand that He delights in you.
I love Psalm 42:8 … “God promises to love me all day, sing songs all through the night! My life is God’s prayer.”
Many nights, I wake up with a song in my head and I know that’s the tune He’s been singing over me, so I sing it back to Him. I choose to live out the truth of those words instead of the fears that come in the night. That is pleasing to Him.
Recently, I woke with just a simple phrase of an old hymn running through my mind … “Ponder anew what the Almighty can do.” Those words stuck deep and still do as I choose to live with expectancy for what my Almighty God might redeem in my life and the lives of people around me.
I have no idea when that rain drop of a hymn first fell on my heart.
I can’t tell you when it sunk into my soul.
Probably decades ago.
But there is was, a fully-baked loaf of truth that showed up to feed my life today.
It brought Peace …
It spoke of my Purpose …
It reminded me that I am Pleasing to Him.
In that, I am equipped for the months ahead of leading and teaching on Tuesday Mornings … I pray for you to be equipped as well …
Gentle Shepherd … thank you for bringing peace when our minds and hearts are stirred up. How we need Your rest for our weary souls. Thank you for filling our days with purpose and leading us to do Your will. Help us realize when our will gets in the way and we need to release it to Your care. And may each person reading this today step into the Light of Your Spirit that warms them through and through with the assurance that You delight in them. May we live loved. Amen