Sunday, July 3, 2016

"On Fire": Are You 'Properly Dressed'? #PROVERBS31

Godly Dating 101, Every Jewel begins with J ……..Jesus:

OK...

I think what he means is a godly woman *couldn't* care less. I still dig the quote, tho.

Anyway, as I was doing some praying about the "On Fire" women earlier this week, a line in Proverbs 31 kept running on repeat in my mind. Over and over and over:

"She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future."
---Proverbs 31:25(NLT)

If you do research on the historical context of Proverbs 31, it was apparently the eulogy that Abraham wrote for Sarah. I believe I've shared that before. It's good to keep in mind because a eulogy shares what's happened over the course of someone's entire life. That alone, should take some of the pressure off to be this kind of woman---all at once!

However, if there's one part of it that should be a constant, whether single or married, it's that we all should strive to be the kind of woman who is clothed with strength and dignity. The kind of woman who laughs without fear of the future.

These are some of the characteristics of a virtuous woman...
Can you say that you have them?

A strong woman is a woman who is "physically vigorous".
A strong woman is a woman who is "mentally powerful".
A strong woman is a woman who is "able and competent in a particular field".

How strong are you?

A woman with dignity is a woman with self-respect.
A woman with dignity knows that she is worthy of honor.
A woman worthy of honor is worthy of integrity, honesty and favor.

A woman who is clothed in dignity doesn't undress for a man who is not her husband. 
A woman who is clothed in dignity doesn't say one thing and do another. #integrity
A woman who is clothed in dignity is honest. With herself and those around her.

How "dignified" are you?

And what I really like is a part that I hope we all pray more about...

A VIRTUOUS WOMAN LAUGHS WITHOUT FEAR OF THE FUTURE!

I talk to a lot of women who lack this part of the "virtue requirement". They are good women but they live in a lot of fear. Even though God does not give us fear (2 Timothy 1:7) and perfected love casts out fear (I John 4:18). You know, while a lot of us are praying about being married, what we need to be praying more about is being delivered from fear!

Fear is not only "a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid". Fear is also "concern or anxiety; solicitude". The Word doesn't say "You might not want to be anxious so much." The Word instructs us "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7--NKJV) That is not a recommendation. THAT IS A COMMAND. When we're anxious, we need to pray. With a spirit of thanksgiving (that is key)!

Why? Because God is the Alpha and Omega. The beginning and the end (Revelation 1:8). He is the One who makes everything beautiful in its time (Ecclesiastes 3:11). He is the One who determines if we're mature enough for marriage. Or not (Matthew 19:11-12). He is the One who decides who truly is the "good and perfect gift" in the form of a husband (James 1:17) for us. He is the One who makes our way perfect (2 Samuel 22:33). He is the One who joins husbands and wives together (Matthew 19:6). He is the One who uses us to bring favor into a man's life (Proverbs 18:22) and appoints husbands to love us as Christ loved the Church (Ephesians 5:25-33).

I'll be the first to say that oftentimes we don't need to be wondering where our husband is...
We need to be getting into the Word so we can remind ourselves about who God is!

Come on young girls! Believe this! GODLY | Proverbs 31 Woman:

Case in point...

One day, prayerfully, I'll share a journey that I've been on. For now, I'll just say that although God does not tempt us (James 1:12-13), he does test us at times (ask the Lord to reveal to you the difference in your own walk--Psalm 7:9). We can't please him without having faith in him (Hebrews 11:6, Mark 11:22) and believers are called to walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).

That said...

Due to some tests I've been through lately, on Friday night, I asked God to provide me with a clear sign about whether or not I needed to continue to do some things I've been assigned to. I am very much a signs and wonders kind of person (Daniel 4:2-3). God tends to speak to us in the way *he created us* to hear from him (that differs from person to person---Psalm 33:15).

Anyway, I made my request, went to bed and woke up with an email from a girlfriend of mine asking me to call her. A girlfriend of mine who "pops up" at the most "random" of times (Proverbs 16:33--AMPC) in the journey with dreams that she has...about my journey.

This time, she was geeked to tell me that *Friday night*, she had a dream about my wedding day. She said what moved her so much was I tend to remain pretty even with my disposition. "Shellie, you already know what you rarely get excited about ANYTHING but you were SO EXCITED on your wedding day. It got me excited! I just wanted to tell you that."

Couldn't make it up if a tried!

I haven't talked to my girlfriend about my journey in months! I've become more prayerful than talkative about it. So, she was a confirmation sent to me, from the Lord, for sure! A confirmation that when you strive for virtue, God handles the rest. There *is* no reason to fear about the future. He's already there! Don't you *ever* forget that!

It's a new week...

As you get ready for each day, ask yourself...

AM I PROPERLY DRESSED?

In strength...
In dignity...
In fearlessness about the future!



Proverbs 12:4,

SRW

 

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