The Heart of A Woman Bible Study
The 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.

 

 

It is our last week together, ladies. I am excited and sad, a little, to see the study come to an end. I am expecting God to do big things in your lives, and hoping to hear about them as well.  This week we are going to study the lives of 2 special women in the Word of God. They are examples of lives fully restored by the power of a mighty God.   It’s a long post, but if you go to the end you will see the surprise I mentioned.  Before I go any farther, please allow me to say Thank You for letting me spend time with you this summer.  And a huge thanks to Jen, for the opportunity to share.

Scripture gives us examples to teach us lessons.

I love to find the stories of women, exemplified in scripture, retelling of their lives and teaching us lessons.  Each woman holds a precious place of honor, in just the very mention of their names in the sacred book of God’s Word, but also their stories. I am consistently drawn in when I can recognize something in my own life that resonates with theirs. My hope takes flight when I can grab on to those truths and faith seems to grow a little more.

I love spending time in the Word of God.  I delight in His Word and the promises layered from Genesis 1 to Revelations 22.  Psalms 37:4-5 reminds us to, “..delight ourselves in the Lord and he will give us the desires of our hearts; to commit our way unto the Lord so that he would be able to make a way for us.”

I see this commitment in the women we read about in scripture.  They were strong and confident; they stood out because they chose to clothe themselves in virtue, grace, and honor. They were placed in the hallowed halls of legendry because God saw in them eternal promises that He also sees within  each of us.  Psalm 119:105 says, God’s Word is a ‘lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path.’ It  is profitable for our use and good for our understanding.

When we come to the Word, we need to recognize it as sacred, as Holy. We need to delight in it, like Psalm 37 says so that when we look to the promises we pause and reflect at what is before us. We need to allow ourselves to be built up and fashioned into precious gemstones, like we read about in Isaiah 54, becoming a shining city, rare and treasured, yet etched with the fingerprint of God so that we not only reflect HIM but shine bright onto the darkened path that lays ahead.

Women, whose hearts are held, are confidant of their location and vocation… Restored.

The women of the Word reveal part of His heart to us in the examples that they relay.  They show us the beauty which He sees deep within our hearts. Simply because they were real women, just like you and I, each at different stages of faith and knowledge of the Holy, but all were changed and ruined for the ordinary because they finally realized they were EXTRAORDINARY!

Are you ready to take off the old garments that have identified you as a slave to the chains you wear?

It is time Woman of God to recognize that the very Heart of a Woman is held carefully in the palm of God. God can and does look past the broken shell that holds us in to see the vibrant beauty which is near to bursting when bathed in His love.

We are going to look at 2 of my favorite ladies whose stories reveal lives restored by God.  Neither of them is named in Scripture, though through my research I found that the first ladywe’ll meet was referred to as Veronica by the early church Fathers.  What touches my heart about these women is the precedence which Christ set in his very limited relationship with them.  It is not recorded anywhere that they knew Him or had met him before their moment of restoration, so it is easy to assume that the initial meeting was the moment of healing and restoration. That, friends, is significant to you and I.

When Christ comes in our mess, He can change it in an instant. Our restoration is fully dependent upon the extension of His Grace toward us, not on our approach, our past, or our heritage. We simply must choose to believe Him and the virtue and power that He brings into our midst.

His virtue is enough to beat the issues we face.

Mark 5:25-34 introduce us to a woman who had endured a lengthy illness.   Three Gospels talk about her, yet Mark’s testimony is one of my favorites.  This woman is dear to my heart, because at a time of a health crisis in my own life, her faith gave me hope and encouragement.

She was literally the definition of barren. She had exhausted every resource and received no help from all the physicians and men of knowledge.  In the Jewish culture she was a marked woman who would have to declare her infirmity wherever she went.

Can you imagine that? It would be like wearing a sign to tell everyone EVERYWHERE all your issues as you walked about, warning them of your uncleanness so they could deter from your path.  It makes me think she had very little social interaction, other than the physicians treating her. It had to have been lonely.

Here is what we do know about her, from the Word of God:

  • She had a disease that caused her to bleed for 12 years.
  • No one could help her.
  • She was broke.

However, I want to challenge you to look beyond the obvious and see the potential because that is how God looks at us.

  • She was determined
  • She had faith
  • She acted on that faith
  • She got healed.

What we know about this woman of faith is that she pressed through the throng to get to Jesus. She pursued God. What else did she have to lose? Because she purposed to seek God, she was restored, immediately. She knew she had to only touch the hem of his garment and it would fix all her problems.  What she didn’t bargain for is that He would know.

It is interesting that this story of healing is situated in the middle of his journey to raise a young girl to life.   Jesus was in no hurry because He KNEW the outcome, just like he KNEW virtue went out of him, even by the mere touch upon the hem of His robe. He knew what each individual present needed, which testifies to the very nature of his omnipotence .

Let’s look at the verses together:

And a certain woman, which had a issue of blood twelve years,  and had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse. When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind and touched his garment. For she said, If  I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.  And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.  And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press and said, “Who touched my clothes?” -Mark 5:25-30

The word for virtue here, in the Greek is dynamis, meaning miraculous power.   This was that strength that He felt released the moment she reached out to touch His hem. The words immediately knowing  in Greek mean that at the very moment of the reach of faith, Christ acknowledged the result, directly.

And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing.  But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth. And he said unto her, Daughter, your faith has made you whole; go in peace, and be whole of your plague. –Mark 5:32-34

It wasn’t any power within the fabric of the garment which cured her, but it was the act of faith. Faith is written as pistus in  Greek, the definition means persuasion and moral conviction. It was this faith which pushed her beyond her comfort zone enough to change the circumstance she found herself a part of.  Faith in His ability, knowing exactly who He was, became the catalyst to ignite the spark that her healing required.

 

When His life ignites your light, no matter where you are, that spark does not become extinguished. You are kindled.  You are a spark that just needs a little flint and stone to start a flame. Never discount the gift of God within you. It is powerful and you have a purpose. You matter. It alone gives you the foundation to be restored and become an extension of grace to others.
 

Don’t miss the significance here. Not only was Christ revealing the dynamis power that resided within Him, so strong that it merely took a touch of the garment he wore to activate the faith healing the woman received, but the sovereignty of God in every impossible situation. You see, Christ not only dealt with the healing, he restored her reputation as well.  He did not have to make her situation known but He built her up, creating a new wall and border on the foundation of His righteousness. Her very private healing became public knowledge, not just so God would be glorified, that is a given, but so that she would be restored in all areas of her life.

Each woman of restoration we meet has a lesson of faith, but she also has barrenness at the root of her identity.  No matter where you are, in your walk with the Lord, you need to know that He has seen you from before your days ever took shape and He has loved you with an everlasting love. It is real. It is tangible. It has already been offered to you. Step out in faith by believing and receive the promises he has already given you.

God goes beyond the boundaries to pursue restoration in you.

We meet another precious heart in the book of John 4 as she was making a trip to a well.  Jesus and His disciples were traveling from Judea to Galilee, and as it was Jewish custom to go around Samaria that was the expected course.  Yet this time they didn’t.  The Word says Jesus was tired so he sat down at the well and sent the disciples for food.  He saw her approach long before she saw him, but you can bet that she saw a man waiting at the well and was guarded as she approached.  This Samaritan woman had a lot of baggage she was carrying with her, beyond the weight of the water jar.

It is clear that her lifestyle was a large part of why she approached the well in the heat of the day rather than in the morning when the rest of the women got their daily supply of water. I love that it is around a well of water, because so many times Jesus refers to the gift of himself as living water. It is here, in the midst of the revelation of the living water that Christ offers the opportunity of transformation and a restoration story takes place.  The encounter was obviously of divine proportions, and if we think back to the concept of math and God, we know that the result included abundant fruit.

Christ chose grace and love over the customs that kept people bound.

Jesus made choices that were not always popular to the leaders of His day.  He made the choice to break the mold which culture dictated was taboo.

  • He spoke to a Samaritan.
  • He spoke to a woman without her husband present.
  • He asked her to give Him water.

All three things were not allowable for a Jewish man to do.  Everything He did while talking with her was offensive to the people he was sent to;  therefore making him what most Jews and The Law considered unclean. Being a Samaritan, she had some knowledge of the Law and questioned Christ’s conversation and request.  I love this conversation between the two because it shows the nature of her heart and the passion of His for her.

Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour.  There came a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus said unto her, “Give me to drink.” (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.) Then she said to him, ‘How is it that you, being a Jew, asked  me , a Samaritan and a woman, for a drink? For the   Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.’  Jesus answered, “If you had only known and had recognized God’s gift and Who this is that is saying to you, Give Me a drink, you would have asked him [instead] and He would have given you living water.” – John 4:6-10

 

Throughout the conversation we can see that she tells him much of what ‘she  knows’ about him, faulty as it may be but colored by her experience and by her lack of faith in others.  He, however, out of the abundance of His love for her continues to reveal the truth that He has seen, both in her past and in her future.  Not one time throughout their conversation was his tone anything other than kind and grace-filled, and when the scales began to fall from her eyes, she responded in the same manner of grace and repentant hope.

I think my favorite passage comes at the moment that He reveals Himself to her, and in her simple faith she believes Him. Through their discussion we see how He takes time to teach her how God views her heart, that she is important.

Jesus said, “I Who now speak with you am He.” Just then His disciples came and they wondered  to find Him talking with a woman. However not one of them asked Him, What are you inquiring about? Or what do You want? Or Why do you speak with her. Then the woman left her water jar and went away to the town and she began telling the people, ‘Come see a Man Who has told me everything that I ever did! Can this be [is not this] the Christ? ‘ – John 4:26-29

{Do you see it?} She is the first person in scripture who Jesus reveals Himself to as the Messiah.  What really makes my heart pitter-pat is the fact that before the disciples even began to understand WHO He was, she understood at once with the simple statement He gave her, I AM HE.

When the scales were removed, by the grace of the love of God over her, she believed and immediately she dropped her jar and ran to tell someone. She was the first evangelist! As you go through the rest of the chapter you will see the fruit of her belief was a town that rushed to find the Messiah and were converted.

The purpose of restoration is to pour life into someone else.

You see, she knew the truth as soon as He revealed it to her. Sometimes we need to catch on to that train. We need to be filled with the knowledge of all truth and spiritual wisdom that is found only in Christ Jesus, but we CAN’T hold it in… WE. NEED. TO. SHARE. IT.

DL Moody once said, “I wish we had a few more people like the woman of Samaria, willing to confess what the Lord Jesus Christ had done for their souls.”

You see, the point of restoration is that we are meant to share the fruit of our heart’s season with God by pouring liberally into the lives of others.

Just like the work and effort it takes to till, tend, and keep a garden, the ultimate product is to have a harvest, right? So, too, is God working in the soil of each heart belonging to  those of us who have come to the well seeking living water. He is willfully growing and nurturing you in this process of restoration so that you will produce a fruit that will not wither or die on the vine, unused and wasted, but purposely to sow seeds of righteousness into someone else.

The garden of our heart is like the fruits of the spirit which blossom as we abide in Christ, the harvest is never meant to be kept but given away.

The Heart of a Woman is the very place He makes His home, and He makes it fruitful.

These women show us the beauty of a life restored.  The stories reveal just a glimpse of what results from a transforming  encounter with Christ.  You see, God is not content to leave us where He found us; He is bringing us under the His dynamis,(miraculous life-changing virtue), which  flows from the relationship that is established when we come to the Cross.  He rescues, redeems and restores us for the purpose to bring us close to him and to fill us with the power to share it with others.

Charles Stanley said, “God is looking for imperfect men and women who have learned to walk in moment-by-moment dependence on the Holy Spirit. Christians who have come to terms with their inadequacies, fears, and failures. Believers who have become discontent with surviving and have taken time to investigate everything God has to offer in this life.”

Let’s go back to the beginning:

Sing out, O barren one, you who did not bear: break forth into singing, and cry aloud, though that did not travail with child: For more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, says the Lord. Enlarge the place of they tent and let them stretch for the curtains of your habitations; spare not, lengthen your cords, and strengthen your stakes: Fear Not; For you shall not be ashamed: neither be confounded; for you shall not be put to shame: for you shall forget the shame of your youth, and shall not remember the reproach of your widowhood anymore. – Isaiah 54:1-4

God is rescuing each woman in His heart for the purpose of redemption’s hope and restoration’s goal. We don’t ever have to doubt the power of His ability to meet us, lift us, save  us, and fill us. It is not diminished and because of that we can thrive in the hope that Isaiah 54 is offering to us.

Be women who hold His promises deep in the reservoir of your heart so that your foundations will not be shaken in the storms that life will bring your way.  Let Him rescue you in your broken state so that you can be rebuilt in beauty.  Embrace the intimacy that the redeemer is seeking with you in order to protect you and call you His own. Yield to the fruitful bounty that restoration provides allowing the abundance to be the calling card of grace’s gift.

Recognize you restoration moment and hold on to hope!

It has been such a blessing for me to share with you and pray for you over the last 13 weeks. I want to encourage you to keep working with the tools of the prayer box, the prayer cards, and the prayer journal.  Take time to actively sing over those barren places in your life calling forth God’s bounty in the midst of your trying times. Let the lessons you are learning be the seeds of His planting and look for the harvest to sow into the lives of those He is laboring to bring to you.

Your valleys and your dry places, the years of famine and drought in your life are not lost on God. He sees you. He has a plan. You just need to begin to recognize the restoration moment in your life and you can begin to hold onto hope for yourself.

I am so excited for what He has planned for you!  If you would like to share what you have learned, please leave a note  in the comment section. Just know I am praying for you and I am grateful for this time to pour into your hearts some of the fruit He has made grow beautifully in my own.

I haven’t forgotten the surprise! I have a care package I want to sow into someone’s life with prayer cards, a journal, a watercolor print of Isaiah 54, and an Isaiah 54 necklace. Everyone who leaves a comment below or emails me at dawnboyer@journeysingrace.com with a note,  or prayer request regarding this study  will be entered into the drawing. I look forward to hearing from each of you.

 

With much Love and Blessings!

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Dawn bio photoAuthor, 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)

 

 

Week 13 Worksheet Restored to Produce A Womans Heart

Section 3 Questions

Originally Published on Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood