Debbie Stuart offers a great challenge as we think about the year ahead. Whether you make new years resolutions, and I don’t exactly either, you still need to consider how you will lead women this year. This is a great way for us to check what our “fire” is!
Recently I spent some time at our camp which affords me much needed time to rest, to THINK and sharpen my focus on the Lord and His desire for Women’s Ministry for 2012. And girl, did I get an unexpected lesson in leadership!
One of my favorite things about the camp is the campfire! I can create (keep those 3 words in mind) quite the campfire…and I love every minute of it and others enjoy it as well. For several months I have been studying through Isaiah, I was at Chapter 50 during my little camp retreat. And I read these words, in Isaiah 50:11– "But watch out you who live in your own light and warm yourselves by your own fires" (TNLT). Uh, excuse me?
Read it again, give it some thought, what do you think the Lord means by that?
This is what I learned from it: As a leader among women it is absolutely imperative that I do not “create” my own thing that can draw a crowd. Never before has our need to rely on God (and not in our intelligence, ideas and creative thoughts and trends) become so essential to meaningful ministry. I can create…is extremely dangerous! Vs. 11 goes on to say that if you do your own thing, “This is the reward you will receive from me: You will lie down in great torment”. Original Hebrew language defines torment as, a place of sorrow, great pain and grief.
So what’s a leader to do? The answer is found in verse 10…”If you are walking in darkness, without a ray of light, trust in the Lord and rely on your God.” I love the KJV – “Let him trust in the name of the LORD (The Existing One) and stay upon his God”. In Hebrew, stay means lean on, support oneself upon. It indicates we are not able to do it on our own and we would be causing great sorrow, pain and grief to do so.
Caution: Don’t walk by the light of your own fire. Let’s remove any smoke screens of self sufficiency and flames of personal desire and give ourselves entirely to walking by the light of God’s Word, obeying Him and leaning on Him especially in the dark places of our life where there is no light. In the words of F.B. Meyer – “May we be used fully for Gods glory, with deep convictions, spiritual passion, individual holiness, active faith, complete devotion and absolute surrender”. And may I add: leaving no room for our own light.
Missionary Hudson Taylor said: “God’s work done in God’s way will never lack God’s supply.”
Isaiah 66:9 says: “Shall I bring to the point of birth and not give delivery? … Or shall I who gives delivery shut the womb?” Don’t fear the unknown future. Receive new strength from the Lord as you step into this new year of leadership and directing/teaching women how to walk with the Lord, especially in the dark places.
Stay Upon Your God!
Just Enough Light for the Step I’m On by Stormie O’Martian
Debbie Stuart is Women’s Ministry Director, Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, TX and a LifeWay Ministry Multiplier. She earned her Women’s Ministry Advanced Certificate from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is a member of the Association of Women’s Ministry Professionals . In addition to being a conference and retreat speaker and Bible study teacher, she was the founder and director of Network Extravaganza in the Shreveport, Louisiana area. She is married and has two young adults.