The Heart of A Woman Bible StudyThe Heart of A Woman Bible study, based off of the promises found in Isaiah 54, is for every woman who has a place of barrenness, emptiness, lack of faith, or fear keeping her from experiencing fruitfulness in her life. If this is you, won’t you join us as we journey to a deeper more abundant life of faith together? The Heart of a Woman is all about finding the heart of the Father towards the daughters He lovingly calls His own.

©dawnboyer 2014 Journeys In Grace  www.journeysingrace.com

Originally published on Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood www.solideogloriasisterhood.com.

 

 

Restored to receive an Inheritance

We are finally to the last verse of Isaiah 54! This verse is the conclusion of the chapter and ultimately am open door for us to choose to walk through in our faith walk with Christ.  As with any good conclusion, we need to be reminded of the thesis statement, ‘what is the sole purpose for this chapter and why do we need to study it’. Verses 1-4 and 11-14 reveal the spiritual abundance that comes only with the restored relationship found in verses 5-10, yet verse 15-16 reveal the security we have in our standing with Christ, while 17 sums it up reminding us that our full portion is ultimately God alone.

As we think of what we have studied over the last 12 weeks, remember that He is setting us up to claim our inheritance.  He has crafted a last will and testament and it is being read daily in our hearts. He initiates the providence that blessing affords and He alone is the one who controls the outcome. Do you believe that?

I love how God mirrored so much of not only the gospel message but the beauty of restoration throughout his Word in the living examples of faith in action.   Although Verse 17 concludes the chapter, Isaiah points us to a necessary truth we need to keep at the forefront of all we do: God alone is the one who gives us a heritage. 

When I think of the word inheritance it reminds me of how the two words heritage and legacy are connected.  A legacy and a heritage are something we will leave behind. What will they say about the lives we lived and the people we loved?

Psalm 16:5-6 discuss the concept of heritage and legacy well. Most importantly, they reveal our inheritance in such a beautiful image of love.

The LORD is my chosen and assigned portion, my cup;  You hold and maintain my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; yes, I have a good heritage.

I shared these verses at my grandmother’s funeral in January.  As I considered how I would honor her, I knew the cornerstone of my speech would hinge on what she left to those of us who were connected to her.  She left a legacy and a heritage which spoke volumes.   Psalm 25:10 speaks of the path of the covenant keepers and the heritage which is promised to them.

All the paths of the Lord are mercy and steadfast love, even truth and faithfulness are they for those who keep His covenant and His testimonies.

You have a rich and blessed heritage as children of the Almighty, but the key to the whole promise is the requirement to serve the Lord.  See, as servants of the Lord, no weapon formed against us will be able to prosper, but it will be destroyed by its own destiny.

Our Scripture Focus this week will be Isaiah 54:17:

But no weapon that is formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgment you shall show to be in the wrong.  This [peace, righteousness, security, triumph over oppression] is the heritage of the servants of the Lord [those in whom the ideal Servant of the Lord is reproduced}; this is the righteousness or the vindication which they obtain from Me [this is that which I impart to them as their justification],says the Lord. – Isaiah 54:17  (Amplified Version)

 

Reminded of the purpose in the conclusion:

Verse 17 concludes the security presented in the previous 2 verses of Isaiah. Last week we discussed how the sovereignty of God was our security against the attack of the enemy. Not only does Isaiah continue with this concept in verse 17, He is ultimately reminding you that from the beginning the key to our inheritance is to have faith in the one we have committed to love and to serve.

When the enemy of our souls attacks us, with the intent to destroy, we need to remember that with God the result is always one of survival, even thriving.   When the devil speaks lies into your hearts,(or the friend with the critical spirit arises), it is a creation that is not good. It does not have the power to stand against the truth of His promise and assurance.

Through inheritance we can see clearly how the promise of restoration and redemption is possible.  The phrase used here in verse 17, ‘inheritance of the servants of the Lord’, is meant relationally.  That is the  major concept we have to come to terms with, our inheritance is tied to our relation to God.  Sometimes the barren areas are allowed and sometimes there is no fruit because we are not connected to the life source.

Restoration and Relationship are connected to our inheritance

Restoration starts first and foremost in our relationship to God. That is why there is no power in any attack of the enemy on our lives, livelihood, or legacy that should give way to fear. Ultimately, summarizing verses 15-17 reminds us that we have been given full assurance that we are free from the reach of one who has no authority over our lives because we are established IN CHRIST.

I want to share a major stumbling block that I found while studying this chapter on my own.  This revelation rocked my world a bit when I realized it; I am even still ‘just getting’ it. My physical barrenness was nothing compared to my spiritual barrenness. Whatever I was lacking in the physical didn’t compare to the emptiness I had in  my spirit when I didn’t let Him in.

When we get everything lined up, under the authority of the restoring relationship we (us and God) both are seeking, then the life source(God) meets the branch(us) and the blood flow is established.  There is no hindrance in receiving the valuable nutrients that a connection to Christ imparts into the broken barren places of our lives.

The truth is that we are connected, intimately, to the husband-redeemer who fills us with His life. We have no control over the fruit that grows but  can expect to be prosperous as a result of that relationship. In order for us to produce the best fruit, however, our branches need to be pruned.

The most important aspect of the pruning we endure is being obedient to His will for our lives. We need only submit to His pruning and trust that He is cultivating a heart of beauty out of the shell we have become.  He will be the reason, the sole reason,  that our fruit will grow, be nurtured, and bloom abundantly.

Established in Hope  +  Founded on Love = Faith.

He is establishing you and I on the foundation of hope and love that we can’t truly comprehend this side of heaven.  A comprehension of the Holy reveals the awareness of areas not yet seen, and leads to the building of a faith which is unshakeable even when the trials come.

Now FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses.] – Hebrews 11:1

Faith is evident within us when we walk foreword assured that what He says is exactly what will be done.

But without faith it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to Him. For whoever would come near to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He is the rewarder of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him [out]. –Hebrews 11:6

Fear, shame, emptiness, loneliness, and barren places have no structure to become erected when faith constructs our fortress within the blueprints He has already drawn for our lives.

Consider this: His ability to restore, to redeem, and to rescue all reveal that HE IS GOD. If you believe that then what are you going to do about it?

His Word testifies repeatedly that He is who He says He is. (Heb 11:6)  When we take Him at his Word we receive an inheritance of immeasurable proportions.

So I want to challenge you to take time this week to answer the following questions for yourself.

  • {Where have you given up on God?}The truth of this answer in my own life revealed that I had weakened faith in a few key areas.  His Word gives us a standard that we need to follow. Weak faith revealed in my own life a lack of understanding of just who my God really is.
  • {Do you believe He hears you when you pray and will answer you or are you holding something against him?} When a debtor withholds payment to the creditor, there is often a withdrawal of services. However, when the account it settled the service is freely restored as if it never changed.  Everything we see in the natural is a lesson to apply supernaturally as well, friends.  Think about this simple concept with me. What if we choose to take God at his Word? Trust, Honor, Praise, Revere… Be BOLD, Ask Big, and Just believe…  Would your circumstances change? Or better yet, would you change first and the way you see your circumstances follow suit?

Consider how math and history reveal the connection of blessing and oppression.

Living on this celestial orb that rotates the sun and hangs in the universe on the laws God alone established, we assume, for the most part, that we are creating history. Yet, Ecclesiastes 1:9 reminds us that history is cyclical and in chapter 4 of the same book it declares there is nothing new under the sun.

So, history should really teach us some lessons about both God and living. In the history of man, every attempt to destroy what God has called good has resulted in the multiplicative law of association.  By associating with God, we are quickly multiplied. His power is exponential.  In many examples those things which were bad and intended to bring an end to something usually brought about reformation, redemption and restoration. For instance consider how the 2nd World War was initiated with a decision to remove a nation of people and  at the end there was an establishment of the Nation of Israel on the earth, geographically, for the first time.

Much like our own lives, when the world is pressing in on all sides, we are sure that we will not stand. Yet God’s Word reminds us of the strength we have as we are founded upon Him.

We are hedged in (pressed) on every side [troubled and oppressed in every way], but not cramped or crushed; we suffer embarrassments and are perplexed and unable to find a way out, but not driven to despair; We are pursued (persecuted and hard driven), but not deserted [to stand alone]; we are struck down to the ground but never struck out and destroyed;  -2 Corinthians 4:8-9

This all has to do with our inheritance, ladies; the legacy of love, which is our heritage and keeps us safe. Because He loves you, deeply and intimately, He is working out those barren places when we offer them in faith to His security. Don’t forget, He has a vested interest in our outcome because we carry His name. I love God’s Math, don’t you?

Your inheritance gives you  legal rights.

The Hebrew word for inheritance in this verse is nahala. This word specifically means that something is given to you, a portion or a  possession which you have received due to a relationship which gives you legal claim to ownership. Interestingly, the word for heritage, kleroo, means to cast lots or to choose by lot and assign a portion.

In the context of this verse we need to understand HE is our portion. The word inheritance is often   acquainted with an act of restoring something to someone else; something that may have been lost, or that is now to be passed along. In Isaiah 54:17, there is a dual meaning.

Jude 1:5 tells us that security and victory are the heritage of each servant of the Lord.  The part, portion, and privilege of our heritage come from inheriting the undefiled incorruptible blessing of heaven: an eternal relationship with a Holy and righteous God that moved heaven and earth to meet us.

You dear woman of God were made for a purpose that nothing in this natural world can get in the way of. So if that is true, and we are holding on to the barren places as if they are sacred, then we are the ones who are limiting our inheritance and our restoration work is put on hold. 

Look at Ephesians 1:11:

In Him we also were made {God’s} heritage (portion) and we obtained an inheritance: for we had been foreordained (chosen and appointed beforehand) in accordance with His purpose, Who works out everything in agreement with the counsel and design of His [own] will.

Because of Christ we inherit the outcome He provided.  We are His beneficiaries. If that is the case, then we need to also walk in faith and believe in the providence and provision of the Father as we leave all our needs at the foot of the Cross.

Built up in faith, we are protected from the arrows that are meant to wound.

One of the most destructive forces in this world is the power of words. It has often intrigued me that the power He gives us to redeem and restore with praise(good words) is also, when perverted, one of the most destructive to our souls(bad words).

If you have ever felt like you were cut down and attacked by the words of another, then grab a hold of God’s promise here from Isaiah.  Though it may touch you, it may even pierce you, it doesn’t have the power to prosper.  In light of looking at a woman’s heart as the garden of God we need to see that God will use what is intended for pain and destruction to be limited and lose power. Ultimately, God will work on your behalf using his garden tools to form a trench in the soil of your heart preparing it for the sacred seed and the life giving waters that bring rescue, redemption, and restoration.

We have to be ever so careful because our words are like arrows and they can hurt one another.  They are often more abusive than a physical blow.  However, God promises to protect us from unrighteous slander when we understand righteousness and the value of speaking truth.

“Satan leaves no stone unturned against the church of God. He uses not simply the hand; but what is oftener a sharper weapon, the tongue. We can bear a blow, sometimes, but we cannot endure an insult. There is great power in the tongue. We can rise from a blow which smote us to the ground, but we cannot so easily recover from slander, that lays the character low.” –Charles Spurgeon

Many times it is within the Body of Christ or our own families that we feel attacked and those are the hardest and most painful wounds to recover from.  As you consider yourself a restored city unto God, always lean upon His Words as the foundation of your value and beauty. Rejoice in the outcome because we can trust that God is working it all out.

Charles Spurgeon finished the above quote like this:

“The more accusers, the more acquittals; the more slander, the more honor; so the enemy  may slander us as much as he pleases.”

In reality dear heart, let God be your defender and trust that every weapon that is formed against you will never find its mark because you are tied to an eternal hope that both protects  and establishes you

The Beauty of Restoration reminds us of rescued redemption.

As we consider the focus of the restoration that God brings exemplified in Isaiah 54 lets also review what we have learned:

  • The first 10 verses tell us how he does it and the next 7 tell us the benefits of that process.
  • The theme is the love for his chosen and because we know that love produces abundance we can sing for joy in our barren places, expand our habitation, and live in confidence.
  •  As the rejected fruitless heart is restored to her husband (God), nothing will keep him from loving her; she will be fruitful.

He is restoring us for a legacy.

We know this because He promises :

  1. Abundance from emptiness
  2. Honor for shame
  3. Eternal love for loneliness and despair
  4. Divine protection

The definition of the word RESTORE means to bring back to a former or original condition.  However, in scripture restoration is equated with increase or multiplication.  Think of the seeds planted in the garden, we always harvest more than what we planted, right?

James Robinson writes: “God multiplies when he restores, and so in His restoration work today, God is not simply restoring the church to the former glory but to resort to a more powerful majestic glorious state.’

He is not looking for a wimpy church to bring in the harvest friends. He is looking for the strong and the willing to sow fruits of righteousness and reap the bounty.  And he wants bold women of faith to be both seed planters and gathering harvesters.

Activity: Create a Prayer Journal.

This week I want you encourage you to build a Prayer Journal asking yourself how to apply what you have learned through this journey through Isaiah 54.  In the worksheets each week I have encouraged you to write out your prayers. Take some time to go through the steps of our study: Rescue, Redeem, and Restore and contemplate how God has met you through this.

I have created a guide to walk you through the process which you can download here: Prayer Journal The most important thing is to actively write down what He is teaching you and willingly obey Him as He leads. Write down those songs He has been placing in your hearts this summer. Sing them!

Next Week: We are going to meet some restored women found in Scripture and  a surprise!

Our final week  of study is one week away, I can’t believe it! We are going to meet up with some very special ladies in the Word who God restored in a beautiful way when they stepped out in faith.I may just have a surprise waiting for you as well.

I want to leave you with this beautiful song “How Emptiness Sings” by Christa Wells concerning singing in our emptiness. It fits beautifully into all we have studied together.

I am praying for you  to be singing joyfully about your inheritance this week. Please feel free to share any prayer requests at dawnboyer@journeysingrace.com or in the comments section.

 

Blessings In Christ,

 

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Dawn bio photo

Author, writer and speaker, Dawn is passionate about many things:  God, Family, Prayer, Food, and the Word. You can find her writing about those hard questions, reasoning and rejoicing in God’s grace and mercy for those who are walking this journey to grace on her website, Journeys In Grace.(www.journeysingrace.com)

 

 

Download this week’s worksheet/resource here:

Day 3 activity Journal what you learn

Week 12 Worksheet Restored to Receive an Inheritance Day 3 activity Journal what you learn

Originally published on Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood