(Above photo illustrated by Rachael Milner) We are entering week two of our Proverbs 31: Women of Dignity, Washed in Grace study, and my heart could not be more expectant and full. God has already begun stirring up truths in our hearts that are breaking the shackles that have been placed on our feet for far too long! He is teaching us that true, gospel-centered womanhood is about Jesus and not “me-centered” womanhood. When we take a step back to look at our hearts, God gives us a magnifying glass to see blind spots and an eraser and sharpie to wipe away the lies and write truth. I wanted to share with you a few truths He taught me in last weeks study and I would love to hear what God is teaching you!
The Gospel Cleanse
Each time God calls me to write something, He doesn’t allow me to pick up the pen (or grab the laptop) until I have obeyed Him first. I cannot teach what I do not know. I cannot speak what I do not live. This may seem like a simple concept, but it is one that has made Life Lived Beautifully into more than a blog, an Instagram, and a business. God has called me to more than writing, taking pictures, and selling products to equip women. He has called me first to obey, to follow Him, and to be led by the Spirit. This cannot happen apart from the scrubbing brush. When I was little, my mom would give my sister and I small tasks to teach us the value of cleaning. For some reason, my sister caught on quickly and loves to clean to this day! She would even claim the “mopping privilege” when mom would tell us we were going to clean. I quickly gave up my “mopping privilege” to her every time and realized when I got married that I never learned to mop!
Instead, I would choose the “easier” tasks. Mom would give me newspaper and window cleaner and I would clean all the windows in the house. After that, I would wipe down the mirrors in the bathrooms that had become hard to see from due to the daily use from me, my parents, and my siblings. Essentially, I was wiping away the mess so we could all see more clearly. God does the same thing for us. Through the Word of God, He wipes away the mess that clouds our vision so that we can see the gospel more clearly in our lives (as well as our need for the gospel). That is what God has doing to my heart as we have opened up Scripture and studied the Proverbs 31 woman together. He has been using the Words of Scripture to wipe away the mess the world splatters on my heart.
One area of my life that God has been wiping clean is my intense need to be “perfect.” Even on day one of our study, I found a spelling error. Yes. In the first verse. Immediately, Satan began whispering lies and pointing out every fault in my heart through that error. But God, in His rich mercy, pointed out to my His grace. The truth is, I will never be perfect. Especially when you consider the world’s definition of perfect which has everything to do with looks, followers, and fame, I will never measure up. But that is the whole point! We can’t, but Jesus did. I love this statement that my pastor regularly says – “The law says do, the gospel says done.” As women who follow Jesus and have been washed in His blood, we live in the “done” category. We daily sing “Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe, sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.” This is our anthem, sisters. This is our battle cry!
Releasing Perfection, Embracing A Perfect Savior
God has been teaching me to sing again. Not just the tunes I feel like I should sing. He is teaching me to sing a new song of love, adoration, joy, and affection to Him. He has been reminding me that Jesus is the perfect I seek. Jesus is everything I need. Sisters, the more I read His Word, the more in love with Him I become. It is one thing to hear authors, speakers, and preachers teach about the majesty of Jesus. But it is another thing to taste and see for yourself and to open up the inspired Scripture and get to know Him!
That is what I long for through this study. That is where I believe God is bringing us. He is washing us with His Word so that we know Him intimately and are led by His Spirit. He is leading me there each day. He is scrubbing every which way at my heart that desperately needs to be cleaned. And you know the beautiful result? His reflection. Don’t fear the soul scrub. As a matter of fact, embrace it as His loving affection towards you. Don’t run in the endless pursuit of perfection. Look to Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of your faith.
And sing with me this love song to our Savior –
I hear the Savior say,“Thy strength indeed is small;Child of weakness, watch and pray,Find in Me thine all in all.”
Jesus paid it all,All to Him I owe;Sin had left a crimson stain,He washed it white as snow.
For nothing good have IWhereby Thy grace to claim,I’ll wash my garments whiteIn the blood of Calv’ry’s Lamb.
And now complete in HimMy robe His righteousness,Close sheltered ’neath His side,I am divinely blest.
Lord, now indeed I findThy power and Thine alone,Can change the leper’s spotsAnd melt the heart of stone.
When from my dying bedMy ransomed soul shall rise,“Jesus died my soul to save,”Shall rend the vaulted skies.
And when before the throneI stand in Him complete,I’ll lay my trophies downAll down at Jesus’ feet.
One day we will all fall down at His feet in worship. I want to practice that soul-stirring, heart-singing worship today. Not tomorrow. As we begin studying week two of our study on the Proverbs 31 woman, let’s lay down at His feet in worship. Because He is everything, we “stand in Him complete.” This is the life we live. This is the Proverbs 31 woman – a woman of dignity, washed in His amazing grace.
Excited to study with you,