Friday, July 2, 2010

#27 - Proverbs 31 - The "HOW TO"

Buenos dias! Como estas? Todo bien en Columbia, SC. :)

HI! Well, this morning is going to be a bit different of a post. This morning is going to be a "HOW TO." HOW TO become this Proverbs 31 woman. The purpose of this "devotional" in your life. Your responsibility outside of this devotion. Like the "wise saying" answering the question: "How do you eat an elephant?" - Answer: One bite at a time. 

This morning we are going to discuss the "one bite at a time" in becoming this woman. As you have studied Proverbs 31, have you at times felt overwhelmed? Have you, like me, thought, "Man, she is literally like super-human. She is everything. Is she just an idea? She is perfect. She is good at everything. Ahhhhh!" When you read through her qualities, characteristics, strengths, accomplishments.... truly it can be a bit overwhelming. Like a, "I'll just quit while I'm ahead".... "I'll just stop before I even start."

The purpose of this devotion, this study through Proverbs and the Proverbs 31 woman is to take you deeper. One verse at a time, to help you see real life examples. Since each blog-post covers only ONE verse about the Proverbs 31 woman, the goal is to take you deeper on the topic. Take you deeper on that verse. Maybe give you different insight, allow you to see Hebrew text & meanings, see cross reference scripture of other parts of the Bible. Why are the cross-references good? Because the Bible ALL is one, WHOLE book. The Bible is ALL true. NO verse contradicts another. The Bible works together as a whole to deliver one package and message. True, within it, within the inspired Words written thousands of years ago, we find many messages, many areas in which we can learn or work on but all working together. One package. One book of truth. The cross-referencing just brings more validity to what we study about this Ultimate Woman, this Proverbs 31 Woman. The cross-reverencing brings more depth or insight into who she is. 

The purpose of this devotion is to take you deeper. Give you a deeper look. 

When you just read Proverbs 31, it can be a bit overwhelming. It could be easy to give up before you even start, but I encourage you, KEEP GOING! There are obvious areas that may jump out at you that you know are strengths of yours, then maybe some obvious areas that may be areas of weakness. What is our goal? One quality, one characteristic at a time, to work on that area and make it part of your life. To make it a strength. We are not trying to be the WHOLE PACKAGE TODAY! We are working towards the whole package. This is MOST DEFINITELY a JOURNEY! A journey that may very well take a life-time, but most likely will take years and years. Will we ever "arrive"? I'm not sure, but I DO think that we can get to the point where we ARE operating in all of these strengths! I believe "SHE" is innate in "US"! I believe God made us to BECOME this Woman of God! I believe deep down, in each of us, THERE she is! She is there! Our job now is to just mold, develop, kneed these areas until they are thriving in our lives. Let's look at some REAL examples and some real ACTION steps!

Read Proverbs 31:10-31, daily. As you read, truly read, open your ears and listen as the Words go through your mind. As you are reading and listening, you will feel a JUMP in your spirit... or for me, in my mind it is often as if I see a RED FLAG go up, the red flag saying, "Look at ME! Look at ME! Here I am! Work on ME!" Sometimes when the "flag" goes up, that's all the further I read. I know that that specific verse is what I am suppose to work on, to meditate on, to begin establishing that quality or characteristic in my life. Let's look at a real life example...
Proverbs 31:17 - She girds herself with strength [spiritual, mental, and physical fitness for her God-given task] and makes her arms strong and firm.
 - I currently work out four days a week. Usually Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. I do not work out on my DOR (Day of Rest - which is usually, but not always, on Wednesday). And, on the weekends, we usually may go on a walk with the boy, talk... we are "moving". We may walk around our block which is a mile. WELL, to make sure I am always working on this verse, what do I do??? On the days that I work out, I always incorporate an arm exercise. Something to make my arms strong and firm. It is something easy that I can incorporate into my work-out. I can do it daily. And because I am doing it on a regular basis, before long, my arms WILL BE very strong & very firm. Say, "SO long to arm jiggle! So long to arm flab!" I have incorporated maybe 1 minute of push-ups, 1 minute of curls, 1 minute of lat-pull downs. This is not in a gym, it is right outside my house using a "Green Band". I believe you can get them at Dicks Sporting Goods, maybe even somewhere like a Wal-Mart. But, the great thing about it... if I am doing curls, I can step on the band in a spot which is "higher up" and give myself a harder resistance. So, you don't need to have an expensive gym membership to get firm arms or become this part of the "Proverbs 31" woman. 
Now that I am regularly working on the "firm arms"... I am past the point of "thinking about it." Or past the point of it really being a struggle to incorporate into my life, I am doing it regularly without even thinking about it. It is now part of my routine. Once past getting that into my routine, I move on to ACTION STEP #2.

So, once you have ONE verse that you feel like you have under your belt pretty good.... ADD another one. Go back to ACTION STEP #1. Read through it daily until something jumps out at your spirit. When something does, ADD that as an area to work towards. For example...
- Waking up early has always been a struggle? But, you see in Proverbs 31:15- "She rises while it is yet night and gets [spiritual] food for her household..." - As you read through Proverbs 31:10-31, that verse just continues to jump out at you, pricking you, pricking your heart. You KNOW that you need to get up early. You know that you need to be getting in the Word before the day starts and begins to get busy. So, finally, against what your flesh wants to do, you decide to work on this area. To finally CONQUER this area that has been a weakness for so long. Begin. Just begin. Set your alarm clock a little bit earlier. You usually wake up at 6:30, set it for 6:00. Decide by the time you "wake-up" and get into "position" it will be 6:10... so you will have 20 minutes to get in the Word, pray, etc, before you need to start getting ready for work. 
You are not perfect. Will you have those mornings where you sleep in? You sleep through your alarm clock. You hit snooze 3 times instead of getting up. YES. You may have those mornings. That is why we are only choosing ONE VERSE at a time to work on. Start again tomorrow. Begin again. Every day, begin again. Until, eventually, you will surprise yourself. As you continue waking up, you will find you are REALLY enjoying this intimate time with your Father. You are really starting to look forward to it. You wake up hungry. Hungry for the Word. Before you know it, you are awake 5 minutes before your alarm goes off. Then you start waking up a little bit earlier because you are finding that when your time comes to an end each morning, you just want more. You just want more time. You have accomplished this verse.... now, it's time to go back to ACTION STEP #2 - Build upon this verse and ADD another one to your arsenal. 

Can you see how doing this you are "EATING THE ELEPHANT ONE BITE AT A TIME." You are not overwhelming yourself to be the WHOLE PACKAGE today or tomorrow. You are BEGINNING. You are doing the Slight Edge: Those things that are easy to do, but equally as easy not to do. You are establishing habits. You are building Proverbs 31 habits. One upon the next upon the next. You are on the path to REALLY becoming the Proverbs 31 woman, not just thinking or talking about it! You have an ACTION PLAN in place! You REALLY are working towards an end result! 

In closing.... I encourage you to begin. You will be surprised on this journey, not only will you feel great about accomplishment, but as you are pursuing the things of God, He may very well just drop "witty inventions" in your mind. As you are working on these areas, he may just drop ideas in your mind of something to create. Something the market needs. Where, as you are on your journey to be the woman God wants you to become, you find success & joy. You find that truly wealth and riches ARE in your house, you just had to unlock it. Million dollar ideas. The ability to do what you love and get paid for it. Living out your dream. Living out your passion. Impacting the Kingdom. It almost seems wrong because you LOVE it so much! You no longer will work a day in your life because walking in your calling is not work. You were BORN to do this very thing. I would bet, on your journey to become this Proverbs 31 woman, you may very well find or begin doing what you love to do. At least that is my prayer for you. More people need to be living and walking in their calling, not just working for a dollar bill just to get by. There is so much more than just getting by. It begins with beginning. 

Enjoy this journey as you are becoming....
                                             The Ultimate Woman.

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