August 21, 2009
“…for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge….”
Ruth 1: 16
King James Version
“I’ll Go Where You Want Me To Go”
“Jesus calls us, o’er the tumult of our life’s wild, restless sea.”
Cecil Frances Alexander
If God called me, would my answer to Him be, “Whither thou goest, I will go?
“The responsible person seeks to make his or her whole life a response to the question and call of God.”
“If God has called you, do not spend time looking over your shoulder to see who is following you.”
Corrie ten Boom
Yesterday we began to look more closely at the “Prayer of Ruth,” along with the elements of this prayer that lead us to a closer walk with Jesus and a deeper, daily prayer life.
As I reflected on the word “entreat,” which means to “intercede,” I shared with you a thought that was new to me about the act of intercession. Just as Ruth entreated or interceded with Naomi on her own behalf, so we should develop the daily practice of interceding on our own personal behalf with our Father who has promised to give us “every good and perfect gift.”
In further study, I want to share with you the confidence we may have when we “entreat” our Father regarding certain circumstances in our lives.
Today I want to look at the first element of intercessory prayer on behalf of specific needs in each of our personal lives.
In Ruth 1: 16, Ruth said to Naomi, “Where you go, I will go, where you stay, I will stay.” These words of promise were Ruth’s commitment to walk in the footsteps of Naomi. Like super-glue, they were attached. Where Naomi went, so did Ruth.
Now let’s take these words and apply them to the relationship we have with our heavenly Father. I must confess, this part of today’s lesson is extremely close to my heart for at one time or another each of us feels the call of God in our lives. We feel His hand leading and His voice guiding, but our earthly fear paralyzes us as we attempt to take any steps forward. We hesitate. We tremble. We hold back.
And yet, we know God is calling us to move forward in the path He has forged before us. So, I asked myself, “What gives me the courage to take the first step?” I’d like to suggest that our heavenly boldness to move is born out of our commitment to intercede with God on behalf of His power to fill our lives in order that every step we take, will be within His purpose. As I considered intercessory prayer for God’s guidance in my own life, I thought back on the number of times I’ve plowed ahead with my own plans and designs. Times I’ve thought I could blaze my own trail through the wilderness rather than wait patiently upon God for His guidance. Even more to the point, I need to spend more time interceding with my Father regarding my plans so I insure they are His plans.
I’m always encouraged by the personal stories of those who have, when God called them, said without hesitancy, “Whither Thou goest, I’ll go. And where you stay, and stop to lodge, I’ll do the same.”
Gladys Aylward was just such a woman. Born to a working-class family in Edmonton, London in 1902, she had a “calling” on her heart to go overseas as a missionary. She studied hard and had great determination to be properly “fitted” for her role, only to be turned down by the China Inland Mission because her academic background was inadequate. Finally, her determination led her in 1930 to spend all her savings on a passage to Yuncheng, Shanx: Province in China where she founded The Inn of the Eight Happinesses. (Years later in a Hollywood movie about her life, the name of the Inn was changed to “The Inn of the Sixth Happiness.”)
I have found myself repeatedly inspired by the words of this strong woman who would not be dissuaded from God’s calling: “If God has called you to China or any other place and you are sure in your own heart, let nothing deter you…remember it is God who has called you and it is the same as when He called Moses or Samuel.”
I ask you today, has God called you, His daughter? And further, what will your answer be?
Perhaps like Ruth you are from a foreign country, considered by some an outsider. Perhaps, like myself, you are not a theological scholar. Yet, God has called you. Possibly you have suffered under a hand of hurt and abuse and don’t feel as though you are worthwhile anymore.
Well, I’d like to share this challenge penned by the great English social reformer, Josephine Butler:
“You are women and a woman is always a beautiful thing. You have been dragged deep in the mud but still you are women. God calls to you, as He did to Zion long ago, ‘Awake, awake! Thou that sittest in the dust, put on thy beautiful garments.’ You can be the friend and companion of Him who came to seek and to save that which was lost. Fractures well healed make us more strong. Take of the very stones over which you have stumbled and fallen, and use them to pave your road to heaven.”
Wherever you go I will go, and where you stay, I will stay. As author Veronica Brady observed, “Over the frontier, in the wilderness, it can seem as if the world is falling to pieces…and yet the call keeps coming, a call, I think, which is not so much to power as to community with all those others who are wounded, whose worlds or lives also seem to be falling apart, yet who are actually – giving birth to something new.”
Everyday, let us, as God’s daughter’s, intercede with our Father to show us His plan for our lives and then may we follow His footsteps, so like Ruth, we will declare, “Where you lead, I’ll follow.”
“Prepare to meet your God!
He chooses us, and calls
Our name, and life
Can never be the same:
Prepare to meet your God!”
“All the broken hearts
who are heavy laden,
whose eyes are tired
and do not see,
shall be lifted up
to meet with
their heavenly healer.
The battered souls and bodies
shall be healed;
shall be fed;
shall be free;
all the earthly children
shall regain joy
in the reign
of the just and loving one
coming for you
coming for me
in this time
in this world.”
Sun Ai Lee Park
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, ChristianBook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. You can also go to www.whenawomanmeetsjesus.com and purchase the book through Paypal.
If you would like to purchase When A Woman Meets Jesus at a 30%-50% quantity discount for your Women’s Ministry Program or for Bible Study Groups, please visit:www.direct2church.com or email direct2church@Bakerpublishinggroup.com.
For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.