SHE HEARD is the first for-purchase devotional published by Deliberate Women. Over the next eight weeks, we'll be reading reflections written by our readers of the eight Biblical women featured in SHE HEARD. Up today: MARY MAGDALENE
There is something about Mary Magdalene that is to be admired and sought after. Her complete and utter devotion to Jesus is unparallelled. She is the perfect example of someone who had been delivered by Christ from great anguish and let that serve as a foundation for her relationship with Him.
I examine my life and know that I have a long way to go in the devotion area. I love the Lord with all of my heart. God, in most ways, has been and is all I have. He has been the only constant and consistent force in my life. I pretty much grew up like an only child, an orphan in many regards.
That has been hard but necessary. I honestly don't know that I would want it any other way. My experiences have shown me how to fully depend on God for love, healing, provision, purpose, hope and my very life. I suspect Mary Magdalene viewed Him in the same way.
[In answering the Digging Deeper Questions found at the end of Mary Magdalene's chapter:]
1) Mary Magdalene had the same call that all of us do...to love God and make Him known. To follow Him is by no means easy, but it is simple. He is never the one who complicates this faith walk.
2) I became a Christian in my Sophomore year of college. I threw myself into my pursuit of Jesus. I joined numerous Christian ministries on campus. I started going to a local church and college Bible studies. I began leading youth and going on mission trips. This year, I will have been a believer for 17 years. That blows my mind! I have learned and grown. I have failed in my attempts to be like Christ, but He is more faithful than I could ever hope to be. I can say that almost 20 years in, I am more in love with Him than I have ever been. He has been so good to me to have placed me in strong and godly community that never let me stray to far from the truth of God's word and love for me.
3) Following Jesus is rarely glamorous. It is filled with a ton of seemingly inconsequential, mundane moments. The valleys can outweigh the mountaintops. Even so, He is worth it. His will, His way can often be small. But know that in eternity, it's the small things that have a lasting impact.
4) Recently, the subject of spiritual gifts has been surfacing at every turn. We all want to know how God has wired us and what we have been created for. I believe that faith is one of mine. I surprisingly don't struggle with the abstract areas of Christianity. I'm pretty good at standing strong in my convictions. That's the joy of being 35. The thought of persecution, in any form, almost strengthens my convictions. Again, having solely God to fulfill my every need has created this white hot devotion for Him. More and more, I come to acknowledge the non-negotiables of following Him. It makes dying to myself and taking up my cross a delight.
5) I hope that I know His voice well enough to recognize His voice. I have been in situations with people where I have given them a word of encouragement or challenge. Time after time, they tell me that they know it was a word from God and that I shared it at just the right time. Those are the moments when I know that I have poured myself out in order for Him to fill and flow through.
6) I believe that I have and continue to follow godly direction in my life that will lead me to the places God has for me. I'm not one for making snap decisions. I tend to be methodical and a planner. I'm not a risk taker. I move with extreme caution. The Lord has faithfully been revealing His purpose for me and faithfully surrounding me with community to encourage me and support me in it. I don't want to rush this process. I want to wait for His best plans and His best timing.
May we all be like Mary Magdalene...
This is the life that has been forgiven, healed, saved, delivered and responds with nothing but a life of worship.
Karina Allen is devoted to helping women live out their unique calling and building authentic community through practical application of Scripture in an approachable, winsome manner. You can connect with Karina through her blog, For His Name and Renown, monthly at incourage.me and purposefulfaith.com or on Twitter. She is featured in Dawn Camp's most recent release, 'The Gift of Friendship'.