Transformation Garden - Feb. 2, 2010

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EXPLORATION:

"Invincible" - incapable of being conquered, over-run, or subjugated.

Is there something in my life that God's courage will help me do?

Is there something in my life that God's courage will help me change?

Is there someone in my life whom God's courage will help me forgive?

"What is more mortifying than to feel that you have missed the plum for want of courage to shake the tree?" 
Logan Smith

INSPIRATION:

"I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me (I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me: I am self-sufficient in Christ's sufficiency." 
Philippians 4: 13, Amplified Bible

Yesterday, our devotional study focused on the life and leadership of Deborah - a woman who, with God's help, courageously led the children of Israel out from under the tyrannical rule of Canaanite King Jabin.  In Deborah's story, you and I found where our courage comes from.  And it comes from God.

Today, we will take a glimpse into the life of another Old Testament woman we have studied -Ruth.  She was also a woman of courage. But rather than the "invincible" courage of God leading her into battle like Deborah, Ruth faced a different challenge.  And this challenge required courage to change everything she had known all her life, including her family, country, location and "god."

Because of famine in Judea, a man named Elimelech, along with his wife Naomi and two sons, Mahlon and Chilion, moved to the country of Moab to find food.  Moab was a nation that, in biblical times, did not honor the God of Israel.  With two sons of marrying age, it is not surprising that the young men married Moabite women named Ruth and Orpah.

Not long after arriving in Moab, Elimelech died. Later both sons died leaving three widows.

Naomi, as she grew older, longed to go back to the country of her ancestors…the country of her God.  So she packed and decided to begin the long journey back to Bethlehem. At first both daughters-in-law said they would go with her - a courageous decision leaving family and friends behind.  But as the trip progressed, Naomi urged the girls to go back home to their families. Orpah kissed her mother-in-law and said goodbye and back she went to Moab.  Ruth, on the other hand, stayed with Naomi and in one of the most beautiful Scriptural passages said:

"Urge me not to leave you or to turn back from following you: for where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people and your God my God.  Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. The Lord do so to me, and more, also, if anything but death parts me from you." 
Ruth 1: 16, 17, Amplified Bible

What courage is reflected in Ruth's response. This girl from Moab gave up her comfort-zone for a new land. She gave up her roots in a foreign country to plant a tree in Bethlehem. And if we follow Ruth's "new" family tree, we find she married Boaz and had a son named Obed who was the father of Jesse, "the father of David (the ancestor of Jesus Christ.")

Deborah was "quite" a woman.  A courageous warrior for God. Ruth was a "quiet" woman. A courageous witness for God. Deborah's invincible spirit led her to arise and fight for God. Ruth's invincible spirit led her to arise and change for God! She changed who she was related to.  She changed who she was tied to. She changed who she was connected to. Her past life in a heathen country was exchanged for a future life in a new country as a mother in the family lineage of Jesus all because she had the courage to change when God asked her to.

An invincible woman is courageous because of "Who" she trusts. An invincible woman is courageous because of "How" she answers God's call in her life.

May you and I never forget Who our courage is. And may we have the courage to obey His call.

"Courage is not the towering oak that sees storms come and go; it is the fragile blossom that opens in the snow." 
Alice M. Swaim

AFFIRMATION:

"Take courage! Don't be intimidated…we have our God to help us and fight for us." 
II Chronicles 32: 7, The Message

"Flowers grow out of dark moments." 
Corita Kent

Your friend, 
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author 
When A Woman Meets Jesus 
Dorothy@Transformationgarden.com

P.S.  My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, Christianbook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian.  You can also go to www.whenawomanmeetsjesus.com and purchase the book through Paypal for $8.00.

If you would like to purchase When A Woman Meets Jesus at discount for your Women's Ministry Program or for Bible Study Groups, please call: 1-888-397-4348. 

For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.

 
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