Do you ever ask, “Why can’t I hear God’s voice more clearly?” I am sure many if not all of us in women’s leadership find ourselves struggling from time to time to really hear what God is trying to say to us. Guest blogger Stephanie Edge, Director of Women’s Ministry, Poplar Heights Baptist Church, Jackson, TN, shares how she is learning to listen and hear God speak to her.
This week, the women at Poplar Heights Baptist Church began a study by Anne Graham Lotz entitled Pursuing More of Jesus. At the onset, you are captured by the beautiful, breathtaking scenery in the background of the video. Then, immediately, you are even more captivated by Anne’s words. She poses a question that speaks directly into the lives of today’s woman. “Do you sometimes have a hard time knowing the voice of God? … I have so many voices telling me what I should do or what I shouldn’t do, what is right and what is wrong, what will make me happy and what won’t. Sometimes, I’m confused.” (Session One, Intro)
Today’s woman hears more voices speaking than ever before. A multitude of information is literally at her fingertips and that information is instantaneous. Blogs, podcasts, tweets, emails, etc. continually vie for our attention. Radio and television broadcast twenty-four hours a day with the last news. Commercials, popular television programs, movies, music, magazines, and newspapers shape our culture, values, opinions, and ultimately our decisions. In addition, friends, coworkers, and family freely offer their advice as solutions to the problems of the day. It can get very NOISY! Anne refers to these inputs as static. With all of these voices speaking constantly and loudly, how can we discern the voice of God? How can we as women avoid being “… led along by a variety of passions, always learning and never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.” (2 Tim. 3:6-7)
Anne expresses the desire of her heart, “Dear God, please, I want more of Your voice in my ear. I want to be able to discern the spirits. I want to know how I can determine when somebody comes up and speaks to me and somebody speaks from a platform that it’s your word speaking to me.” She continues by admonishing, “It’s time you and I are women of the Word.” Indeed, it is time that we are women of the Word. (Session One)
The responsibility of a women’s ministry leader is two-fold. First, we must pursue the voice of God in our own lives and secondly, we must teach women in our churches, in our spheres of influence, and in our families using our words and our own examples to discern the voice of God. As Anne teaches, we can know God’s voice through His Word.
Recently, I read the words of Ezra 7:10, “… because Ezra had determined in his heart to study the law of the Lord, obey [it], and teach [its] statutes and ordinances in Israel.” The principles found in this Scripture rightly describe the relationship of a women’s ministry leader to the Word of God.
- Women’s ministry leaders must study the Word of God. In order to study the Word, we must first value Scripture. The Word of God is relevant to our lives today. It is living, active, and judges our very thoughts and motives. (Heb. 4:12) It is the Word of God that prepares and equips us for the work of the ministry in order that we may equip others. (2 Tim. 3:16-17) We will not know the voice of God apart from the Word of God.
- Women’s ministry leaders must obey and live by the Word of God. God’s Word is the standard by which we are to live and base our lives. Not only are we to study and hear God’s Word, but we are to put into practice the principles therein. “But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” (James 1:22) And, “In any case, we should live up to whatever truth we have attained.” (Phil. 3:16)
- Women’s ministry leaders must teach the Word of God. “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed, correctly teaching the word of truth.” (2 Tim. 2:15-16) We must study God’s Word in order to teach God’s Word. In addition to our words, we teach loudly through our actions. We serve as living examples of Christ’s disciples.
As Anne prayed, I now pray that we as women’s ministry leaders may pursue and hear more of His voice through the pages of His Word. May we find ourselves spending more time in personal study. May we walk obediently, worthy of the calling to minister to women. (Eph. 4:1) And, may we diligently teach the Word of God. (Rom. 12:6-8)
Stephanie Edge is the Director of Women’s Ministry, Poplar Heights Baptist Church, Jackson, TN and a LifeWay Ministry Multiplier. She graduated from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary with a Masters of Divinity. Stephanie also completed a Masters of Theology and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Christian Education from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Stephanie currently is an Associate Professor at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee and an Adjunct Instructor of Women’s Ministry at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. She has a passion for God’s Word and ministering to women.