2 Corinthians 6:17-18, "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty."
We continue our meditation from the last two weeks as we seek to dig up the things that are precious to God and separate them from the worthless. If you haven’t read the previous two devotions, go back and read them too, so you can understand what has gone before.
Lamentations 4:2, "The precious sons of Zion, comparable to fine gold…"
Do we look upon God’s redeemed people as precious? Or do we destroy them by gossip and judgmental attitudes? Let’s ask God to see His people as He sees them.
Let’s look at how the psalmist viewed God’s people. Psalm 16:2-3, "O my soul, thou hast said unto the Lord, Thou art my Lord; my goodness extends not to thee; but to the saints that are in the earth, and to the excellent, in whom is all my delight."
When the psalmist was overflowing with love and praise the Lord, he extended it not only to the Head, but also the body - the saints in whom he delights. He calls them "the excellent" which is a powerful word. In the Hebrew it is addir, which means ‘mighty, gallant, great, powerful, glorious, majestic, splendid, stately and distinguished.’ It is also used of God in Psalm 8:1.
This may not be how the body of Christ is truly portrayed today. However, it is a picture of the triumphant bride who will emerge in the last days "not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing." In the meantime, instead of judging, let’s pray that God will truly be revealed in each individual believer and consequently in the corporate body of Christ.
A GENTLE AND QUIET SPIRIT
1 Peter 3:4, "Let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible ornament of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is." very precious in the sight of God
This is the kind of spirit God is looking for in His women. It is very precious to Him. The Greek word is poluteles and it means ‘extremely expensive, very precious, of great price, very costly.’ If it is so very precious to God, don’t you think it should be precious to us too? Shouldn’t we seek after it with all our hearts? Shouldn’t we separate it from the callous, hard, independent and rebellious attitude we often display?
This is the same attitude God talks about in Philippians 2:5-8, "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God; But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross."
Seek God to help you be gentle in mothering and nurturing your children. Seek God to have a quiet and submissive spirit to your husband whom God has placed as head of your home. This attitude may be laughed at by the world but it is of surpassing value in God’s sight.
A VIRTUOUS WOMAN
Proverbs 31:10 AMP, "A capable, intelligent and virtuous woman, who is he who can find her? She is far more precious than jewels and her value is far above rubies or pearls."
Who is a virtuous woman? The word virtuous in the Hebrew is chayil. It means ‘virtue, valor, military strength.’ A virtuous woman is one who is strong in character. She is not strong in independence but strong in the precious qualities that God longs to see in his female creation.
Her strength of character enables her to submit to her husband instead of jumping up and down and demanding her own way.
Her strength of character enables her to guard her mouth, instead of spitting out harsh and hurtful words.
Her strength of character enables her to stand strong against temptations of lust. She is strong in morality and purity. She will be true to her husband as long as she lives. She lives only unto him as she vowed on her wedding day. In fact, her strength of character enables her to stand true to her marriage vows no matter what difficulties she faces – "for better, for worse, in sickness and in health…" etc.
Her strength of character will keep her calm and trusting God even when life is overwhelming and full of trials. The virtuous woman is one who knows how to trust in her God, no matter what is happening around her.
Her strength of character will save her from getting sucked into the humanistic mindset of this world. She is not swayed by the crowd and what everyone else is doing. Instead, she searches the Word of God to see what God says. Her life is lived by the eternal principles of the God’s Word rather than the mindset of current society. She is prepared to do it God’s way even if no one else is following!
Her strength of character will save her from lowering herself to gossip and worthless words. When she speaks, she opens her mouth in kindness. Proverbs 31:26 says, "She opens her mouth with wisdom, and in her tongue is the law of kindness."
Her strength of character saves her from being taken up with herself and thinking only of her own needs. Her heart is big and open to the needs of others. Proverbs 31:20 says, "She stretches out her hand to the poor; yes, she reaches forth her hands to the needy." Read also 1 Peter 5:10 for a description of a woman who lives the way God intends.
Her strength of character enables her to work hard and make sure that her family is fed and clothed. She "looks well to the ways of her household, and eats not the bread of idleness." Proverbs 31:27.
This woman is very precious. But dear mothers, don’t despair if you don’t feel that you have arrived. You cannot wave a wand and become a virtuous woman. You will grow into it as you seek God, seek His precious Word, and seek wisdom.
TRUSTING GOD WHEN HE DOESN’T ANSWER
Jeremiah 15:18-19, "Why is my pain perpetual, and my wound incurable, which refuses to be healed? Wilt thou be altogether unto me as a liar, and as waters that fail? Therefore thus saith the Lord, If thou return, then will I bring thee again, and thou shalt stand before me: and if thou take forth the precious from the vile, thou shalt be as my mouth: let them return unto thee; but return not thou unto them."
We now come back to the first scripture with which we started this meditation two weeks ago. What is happening in this story? Jeremiah is really down in the dumps. He doesn’t trust God’s promises any longer. God isn’t coming through the way he wants him to. God isn’t answering his prayers. He feels that God has failed him and tells God so!
What is God’s reaction to Jeremiah? The Living Bible says, "The Lord replied: "Stop this foolishness and talk some sense! Only if you return to trusting me will I let you continue as my spokesman."
God says it is vile to Him when we complain that He fails us. He wants us to separate from our complaining and grumbling spirit and to trust Him, even when He does not answer us. Can we trust Him even when we don’t see an answer in sight? Can we trust Him when we can’t even feel God?
Habakkuk 2:20 says, "The Lord is in His holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before Him." In other words, God does not have to answer to mankind for what He does. He is God. We can have no arguments or queries against Him. All we have to do is trust Him – for He knows what He is doing.
God doesn’t have to answer our prayers. He doesn’t have to do it the way we want. He is the Sovereign Lord. All we have to do is trust Him no matter what. This attitude is most precious to God.
Love from NANCY CAMPBELL
"Oh God, please forgive me for when I have not believed you. Help me to understand that I can trust you even when I can’t see you at work. Help me to separate this vile complaining spirit from me, so that I can say with all my heart, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him." Amen."
"If you cannot trust God for temporals, how dare you trust him for spirituals? Can you trust him for your soul's redemption, and not rely upon him for a few lesser mercies? Is not God enough for thy need, or is his all-sufficiency too narrow for thy wants? Dost thou want another eye beside that of him who sees every secret thing? Is his heart faint? Is his arm weary? If so, seek another God; but if he be infinite, omnipotent, faithful, true, and all-wise, why gaddest thou abroad so much to seek another confidence? Why dost thou rake the earth to find another foundation, when this is strong enough to bear all the weight which thou canst ever build thereon?" Spurgeon.