Tag Archives: Proverbs 31 Ministries

What Is God’s Will? by Lysa TerKeurst

decisionsI used to think it was crucial for me to know God’s will. If I knew His grand plan for at least this season of my life, then I could direct all my decisions to fall in line.

Is it His will for me to stay in this job or change to that one?

Is it His will for me to send my kids to that school or make another choice?

Is it His will for me to teach that Bible study, serve on that committee, or go on that mission trip?

I ponder and I pray. I ask friends. I read the Bible. I look for confirmations that point in one direction or the other.

I assume there is one right answer and in order to stay in God’s will I must make the right choice.

That’s a lot of pressure for a simple girl like me. After all, I’m choosing between one good thing and another good thing. And so I fret and wonder, which of these things is God’s will?

But what if I’m wrong?

What if God’s will is more simple than that?

It’s great to pray, ask friends, and look for confirmations. But what if God is more concerned with us looking for Him than looking for answers?

What if God just wants us to pay attention to Him in the midst of whatever choice we make?

Recently I heard a story that shook me to the core. It had been a busy day at a restaurant with lots of customers coming and going. But at one point a guy came up to the manager and handed her a card. He told her, “This is for your staff.” And with an emotional catch in his throat, he said, “I just wanted to make sure they knew.”

The customer then turned and left as the manager tucked the card into her apron pocket.

A little while later, she had time to open the card.

It was a note directed to the staff thanking them. It wasn’t for their service or for the food. It was for their smiles.

He explained in the letter that he’d made plans to take his life that day. But their gift of simple conversations with simple smiles gave him the gift of hope.

As I heard the story, I cried.

Something stirred deep inside of me.

I got this overwhelming feeling that this is such a beautiful picture of how God’s will works. He intersects our lives with people that need His hope and whispers to us, “You have the hope they need… give it to them.

Maybe it’s to offer them a little of our time. Maybe it’s to share a little of our story. Or maybe, like with this customer, it’s to simply offer a smile. And when we listen, a shift happens. It’s like the world splits open with each of our simple acts of obedience to God and His light breaks apart the world’s darkness.

God instructs us to let our light shine. This is His will. This is His plan. This is His instruction.

And when we get in the habit of obeying His instruction today, we’ll develop a keen awareness of His direction for tomorrow.

The more we pay attention to these moment-by-moment instructions by God, the more our thinking starts to line up with God. Our mind gets in a new rhythm of seeing what He wants us to see, so that we can do what He wants us to do.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2, NIV)

This is why I wrote The Best Yes. I want to unrush my schedule, unrush my life, unrush my soul… so I can have enough space to pay attention to God. To see those divine opportunities with people who need hope and to be able to say yes to God’s instruction. These are my Best Yes moments. And I don’t want to miss them.

I suspect the same is true for you.

Rejection, Heartache and a Faithful God by Lysa Terkeurst

No person’s rejection of me can ever exempt me from God’s love for me.
A Gut-Honest Look at Love.” That was the title of my first blog post of this year. Based on 1 Corinthians 13, I wrote, “Love isn’t what I have the opportunity to get from this world, love is what I have the opportunity to give.
This perspective on love has been a lifeline during the most painful season and decision of my adult life. I so wish we were sitting face-to-face so you could see my tears and hear the deep grief in my voice as I share this with you. My husband, life partner and father of my children, Art TerKeurst, has been repeatedly unfaithful to me with a woman he met online, bringing an end to our marriage of almost 25 years. For the past couple of years, his life has sadly been defined by his affection for this other woman and substance abuse. I don’t share this to harm or embarrass him, but to help explain why I have decided to separate from him and pursue a divorce. God has now revealed to me that I have done all I can do and I must release him to the Savior.

Anyone who knows me and Proverbs 31 Ministries knows how seriously I take marriage. I’ve always encouraged women to fight for their marriages and to do everything possible to save them when they come under threat. So, for the past couple of years I have been in the hardest battle of my life trying to save my marriage.

When I first found out about Art’s infidelity 18 months ago, I made the decision not to divorce him. I had just finished fasting and praying for 28 days and really felt led by the Lord that I was to love Art in my reaction to this shocking news and trust God for every step moving forward. I was still committed to doing everything I could think of to make our story one of restoration, even in the face of the worst kind of betrayal imaginable. I prayed continually. I sought counsel from family and other wise friends. And Art and I even made repeated trips across the country together for intensive counseling especially designed for marriages in crisis. But sadly, though I have repeatedly forgiven and accepted him back, he has continued to abuse substances, be unfaithful, and refused to be truthful to me and our family.

I believe I have the capacity to love Art and to forgive him, but his steadfast refusal to end the infidelity has led me to make the hardest decision of my life. After much prayer and consultation with wise, biblically-minded people, I have decided that Art has abandoned our marriage. Yet, the Lord has been so faithful to help me at every step of this very painful journey and has now assured me I’ve done all I can do.

I am brokenhearted beyond what I can express. But I am more committed than ever to trusting God, His promises, and His plans, whatever they are from here.

As many of you who have followed our ministry know, I’ve never shied away from sharing how God has gotten me through tough seasons and even grown me through my struggles. Thankfully, my story has been one of learning that I’m not defined by my circumstances. I’m Lysa, a beloved child of the one true God. My true identity doesn’t shift or fall apart under life’s strains, failures, my own imperfections, setbacks or heartaches. While people—even God’s people—change, I’m so glad I serve a God who doesn’t. I love this verse in Malachi 3:6—“I the Lord do not change; therefore you, children of Jacob, are not consumed.”

So what does all of this mean for Proverbs 31 Ministries and for me? Well, for over 20 years I’ve had a calling supported by my family for equipping women to deepen their relationship with God, study His Word, and to share their stories for God’s glory. Though my heart is so heavy that I’ve certainly pondered giving up, I’m determined not to let darkness win here. Therefore, after a season of rest and continued Biblical and professional counseling, I will continue to do ministry with an even deeper belief in the goodness of our God and a greater empathy for the deep heartbreak that happens to us all in this broken world.

Many people think Proverbs 31 is a picture of a perfect woman; but the Proverbs 31 woman is, at her core, someone who seeks the Lord in everything she does and trusts Him wholeheartedly with her life. Our mission is to meet women where they are in the real, hard places we all experience, and to intersect God’s Word right there. We are simply a group of women sold out to saying yes to God—and He truly does the rest.

“I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” That’s what the Psalmist wrote long ago (Psalm 27:13) and it beautifully reflects what I’m holding on to in the midst of the deep grief my children and I are now walking through. We have some amazing counselors and pastoral leaders who are committed to helping us pursue healing and learn how to move forward.

What can you do for us? I’d simply ask you to pray. Pray for my precious children and grandchildren. Pray for me. Pray for our team at Proverbs 31. And yes, please, please pray for Art.

I love you all. Most of all, I love the Lord, who first loved me.

 

Leading Women on the Adventure of Faith

© 2016 LYSA TERKEURST ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Fantastic Post on Martha of Bethany!

A Woman Who Dishes Out Truth by Liz Higgs

From (Proverbs 31 Ministries)

“‘Yes, Lord,’ she replied, ‘I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.’” John 11:27 (NIV)

All my best friends are Marthas. They may be named Annie or Elizabeth, but they all share the gift of hospitality with a certain Martha in the Bible who opened her home to a bunch of ragtag disciples.

Over the centuries, Martha has gotten a bum rap for wanting her sister, Mary of Bethany, to stop sitting at the feet of Jesus and start serving the meal. “Tell her to help me!” (Luke 10:40, NIV) Martha demanded of their guest of honor.

Jesus was gentle with Martha, but firm. “You are worried and upset about many things” (Luke 10:41, NIV), the Lord told her, discerning the real problem — Martha thought her efforts were of greater significance than Mary’s. Those of us who are talkers and doers often discount others who are listeners and thinkers.

The good news is, Martha learned from Mary’s example, and most of all, from their Master Teacher.

The next time Jesus came to Bethany — summoned by both sisters on behalf of their dying brother, Lazarus — Martha leaped to her feet and ran out to greet Him. “‘Lord,’ Martha said to Jesus, ‘if you had been here, my brother would not have died’” (John 11:21, NIV).

Wait. Was she scolding Jesus? Was she saying this never would have happened if He’d returned sooner? We’ve seen bold Martha in action before, quick to speak her mind. Was she disappointed or frustrated or confused?

Her next words give us the answer: None of the above. “But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask” (John 11:22, NIV). Instead of being fueled with anger, Martha was filled with faith, certain of the Lord’s ability to restore her brother to life. When she said, “God will,” that shows how trust is talking, not doubt or fear.

Jesus pushed her faith to the next level in telling her “I am the resurrection and the life.” (John 11:25b, NIV) Then He made a mind-boggling, eternity-spanning promise that “whoever lives by believing in me will never die.” (John 11:26a, NIV)

But won’t our bodies eventually wear out? Won’t the usual procession of flowers and sympathy cards and memorial services follow in the wake of our passing? Yes, but our souls, the eternal part of us, will live forever because of Jesus.

Finally, He asked Martha the Big Question, the one we all must answer: “Do you believe this?” (John 11:26b, NIV)

This means all of it: Who He is, and why He came and what that means for us.

Martha’s response was swift and sure, a courageous expression of faith and our key verse today: “‘Yes, Lord,’ she replied, ‘I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world’” (John 11:27).

Go, Martha! When Jesus said, “I am,” she affirmed, “You are.” Her “I believe” confession is remarkable because she stated His title, His divine nature and His calling. Neither Peter nor John made this bold proclamation that day in Bethany. But a woman did. God’s woman.

Martha’s faith was now as solid and unshakable as her sister Mary’s. She who served the food also dished out the truth: “It is for Your coming that the world has waited” (John 11:27, AMPC).

What Martha did is something you and I can do as well: Profess our faith. Proclaim His truth. Promote His kingdom. This isn’t a one-hour-a-week Jesus we’re dealing with. Someone we sing praises to on Sunday morning, but forget about on Sunday afternoon. Jesus expects and deserves nothing less than our total commitment.

We don’t all need to be dazzling hostesses or confident cooks, just women who throw open the doors of our hearts and make Him welcome.

Lord, teach us how to be as faith-filled as Martha, and trust Your promises, no matter how impossible they seem. Remind us that with You all things are possible, including Your resurrection and ours. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY: Romans 6:5, “For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his.” (NIV)

RELATED RESOURCES: Encounter the Savior with Mary of Bethany, Mary of Nazareth and Mary Magdalene: The Women of Easter, a new book from Liz Curtis Higgs.

CONNECT: Liz invites you to celebrate the Easter season on Facebook, on Twitter with daily tweets from The Women of Easter and on Pinterest with colorful boards for three women named Mary, each of whom has a life-changing encounter with Jesus.

REFLECT AND RESPOND: Jesus said, “You believe in God; believe also in me.” (John 14:1, NIV) Faith in Him and in His Word is the very heart of Easter. This year if someone asks you, “What makes you so sure Jesus rose from the dead?” … what will you tell them? –

© 2017 by Liz Curtis Higgs. All rights reserved.

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Proverbs 31 Ministries