Today, I went through my photos, and each had a story. Beyond what the eyes can see, each brings back memories. I guess that is why Thursdays are called TBT. ( Throwbacks Thursday) I went down the memory lane, and all I can say is that through it all, the Lord has been faithful
This reminded me of a sermon I recently shared with the Women Ministers Network. Enjoy the sermon notes as compiled by our network secretary Irene Njoroge.
• “I am in your story” that is what God is saying. In a story there is the plot, the venue where the story is taking place, and the end. God is in our story from creation, to now, and to the end. You may not know what lies beyond the corner but God the author knows. The story gets twists and turns and you wonder where the story is going. Sometimes you ask, “Where was God when this was happening?” But just know that God is in the story.
• Ruth gets married and her husband dies before she gets a kid, then gets married to Boaz. God was in her story.
• Orpha on the other hand got married, her husband dies, but she goes back to her home place, and that was the end of her story. Don’t quit before God writes your story.
• Ruth follows Naomi. She tells her, “Your people will be my people.” She wanted to know where her story was heading. She cringed to Naomi
• Think about Ruth. Your situation where you didn’t know what is happening. Our stories are read at the end of our life experience, at our funeral. It is our prayer that none of our story will be cut short because God is in our story.
• Ruth 3: 1-5 God had said that when you harvest leave some for the poor. Ruth and Naomi are the poor. Naomi says, “Don’t call me Naomi. Call me Mara.” But Ruth reaped in a rich man’s farm. There is another chapter in her life. I don’t know how you are dealing with your chapter but there is another chapter because, God is in your story.
• Verse 5, “All that you say to me, I will do.” This is an attitude of obedience. Naomi knows Ruth wants security. God in our story knows what we need. At Highest praise international, in Pst Lucy Paynter’s sermon, Mary said to the angel, “Let it be as you say to me.”
• Naomi gives clear instructions. Some chapters in your story makes you down trodden, some are for preparation: wash anoint yourself, put on the best garment. Your attitude should portray the glory of God even if the chapter isn’t good. Don’t feel sorry for yourself. Naomi is showing Ruth that there is no time for pity partying. Wash yourself, anoint yourself and put on garment. Are we prepared for the next chapter; the latter glory cum revival. This network is a fulfilment of 100 years ago prophesy that said that women would bring the latter glory.
• “Go down to the threshing floor.” It would be in vain if Ruth prepared but didn’t go out. In the threshing floor is where wheat and barley are threshed. Go where the action is.
• Some complain that they are not noticed or are not given an opportunity. Go to the action.
• God makes everything beautiful in its best time. Some don’t have the discipline of secrecy. We get to the threshing floor and start announcing ourselves. God help us wait for the right time. Waiting is a virtue. Some are there but keep saying, “I am coming out.” Don’t talk until Boaz has finished eating. David said, “I waited patiently….” Some have moved their eyes from the threshing floors that when it’s time to occupy, they didn’t know. Be focused and know that “My help comes from the Lord,” not people. Ruth focused on Boaz.
• It’s not everywhere you are supposed to go in. She had to notice the place, then go in. “Go in, uncover his feet, then you will find a place to lie down.” At the feet of Jesus, like in the case of Mary, is a very secure place.
• Ruth follows Naomi’s instructions. She lies and waits. At midnight, Boaz realized there was someone at his feet. How much time do you spend at the feet of Jesus until God realizes there is someone?
• Boaz asked, “Who are you?” You should be intimate with God until He asks, “Who are you?” like the lengthy wrestling with Jacob until God had to ask, “Who are you?” God knows its Jacob but there is a place you tarry: under the feet of Jesus until God asks, “Who are you?”
• In Form Two, Pastor Lucy Paynter was told to write, in the Social Ethics subject, “Who am I?” It was so confusing.
• Ruth said, “I’m just your maid servant, take me in your wing.”
• Boaz however calls her, “My daughter.” The angel addressed Gideon as, “Man of valor.” And Gideon wondered, “Who are you addressing? I am not mighty!” You will not observe your story as if it is of someone else, for you will tarry at the feet until God notices you.
• Verse 11: And now my daughter, do not fear. For all in my town know you are a virtuous woman. Even Boaz knows. Ruth thought they were calling her servant, maidservant, widow etc. but know you are a virtuous woman.
• Doesn’t matter which chapter you are in. God is saying, “Daughter, do not be afraid. I will do all your request, for you are a virtuous woman. Do not be afraid. At the feet of Jesus, you will encounter God.
• Probably you are wondering, “How about this anointing? All the prophesies in my life! Just know you are at the feet of Jesus. Thank God for you are in our story and are calling us virtuous woman. We are not defined by the chapters in our story. We will not drive through, we will tarry at the feet of Jesus.
• The next chapter, Ruth became the land owner. In the next chapter we will sing the song of victory. It can only get better, after tarrying at the feet. The story of Ruth doesn’t end there. She ends as the grandmother of Jesus. There is a next generation. There is a shift in our story. Doesn’t matter how it began. My next chapter is interesting. It is only getting better.
• At this point all arose and sang, “ /Look at me I am a wonder/ Doesn’t matter what you see now/ I’ll shine with glory/ Coz I know who I am/ I am walking in power/ I am walking in miracles/ I live a life of favor/ Coz I know who I am/ We are a chosen generation/ Called forth to show His excellence/ all I require for life God has given me/ Coz I know who I am/ I know who God says I am/ What He says I am/ All He says I am not/ I know who I am.”
PASS Through The Gates! ♧No limitations nor hesitation when the season is here and the grace is available pass through the open doors.
Pass through, pass through the gates! Prepare the way for the people. Build up, build up the highway! Remove the stones. Raise a banner for the nations. Isaiah 62:10 NIV
♧It is not just about changing locations or the environment. Understand the assignment, you have a work to do through the gates. There is no room for self or selfishness. It is about the people! 1. Prepare the way for others. 2. Build up the Highway 3. Remove Stones 4. Raise a banner for Nations.
♧ The fact that you struggled and waged warfare before this breakthrough does not mean the others behind have to pay the same price. Or entince you to get the tips on how you did it.
♧Freely you have received freely give.
As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give. Matthew 10:7-8 NIV
♧ If the Lord chooses you as a pioneer to pass through the gates, then prepare the way for others, build a highway, remove the stones and raise a banner! Let as many as possible who are connected to you be able to pass through too.
♧The Lord open doors and gates for us. But the responsibility of going through and entering is on us.
I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. Revelation 3:8 NIV
♧Staying in the proximity of open doors and gates is not enough. There is a call to trust wholeheartedly and push in obedience to His command to experience what’s beyond the open doors.
♧ Acknowledging our little strength or limitations is good, but what are you going to do about it? Excuses and complacency will get us nowhere.
Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. Acts 3:2 NIV
♧Like the man at the gate called beautiful, many are ok with the assistance we get to the gate, but it’s time to stir up a desire to go through the gates.
♧We got a promise, we are not alone, the one who opens doors is holding our hand. ARISE! GO THROUGH! HIS HAND IS HOLDING YOU!
“This is what the Lord says to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I take hold of to subdue nations before him and to strip kings of their armor, to open doors before him so that gates will not be shut: Isaiah 45:1 NIV