Ruth: A beautiful woman in God’s eyes.

Beautiful Ruth was a Moabitess, a young widow, an immigrant and a pauper. You can decide to see her in this negative light or through God’s own eyes. She has a whole Bible book allocated to and named after her. You can be sure she was one of a kind for her story to be given such significance. Beautiful Ruth had qualities that made her stand out as a woman, beautiful in God’s eyes. You bet if God sees you as beautiful, then you must really be beautiful. Let’s take a look at Beautiful Ruth’s lifestyle!

1. She was a woman of devotion and resolve(Ruth 1:16-18)

After the death of her husband, brother-in-law and Father-in-law, Naomi her Mother-in-law decided to return to Bethlehem, Judah (Naomi’s place of birth) from Moab. Ruth decided to follow her. Elderly Naomi was against it and tried convincing beautiful Ruth to return but she refused. Here was Beautiful Ruth’s reply;

“Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. Wherever you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord punish me severely if I allow anything but death to separate us!” When Naomi saw that Ruth was determined to go with her, she said nothing more.

Ruth 1:16‭-‬18 NLT

I want you to know that Ruth’s decision to follow her Mother-in-law to Bethlehem wasn’t an easy one. The scriptures doesn’t state clearly why she made that decision but we get a glimpse of why in verse 12b of Ruth chapter 2.

“May the Lord , the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge, reward you fully for what you have done.”

Ruth 2:12 NLT

We were made to understand in this verse that Ruth decided to follow Naomi to Bethlehem because she was seeking for refuge in the God of Isreal(the only true and living God). All her life she served different gods but now she is making the decision to serve the God of Israel. This single decision of hers would cost her her place among her people because she would have to turn her back against their sinful ways. This decision would cost her to live among a people who would exclude her from their congregation based on the law God gave them in Deuteronomy 23:3-4. This decision can cost her the prospect of ever remarrying because Israelites don’t marry a foreigner according to the law God gave them in Deuteronomy 7:1-4.
If she wasn’t a woman of resolve she wouldn’t have being able to make such a decision and stick to it. By the time you read through the book of Ruth you will see that Ruth was devoted to God all the days of her life and God rewarded her for it. Have you made the decision to serve the only true and Living God? Are you living a life of devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ?

2. She was resilient (Ruth 2:2-3): She had every reason to wallow in self-pity like her Mother-in-law did in Ruth chapter 1 verse 19 to 21 but instead she decided to move on with her life (Ruth 2:1-3). She decided to do what she could do today to make her situation better.

So the two of them continued on their journey. When they came to Bethlehem, the entire town was excited by their arrival. “Is it really Naomi?” the women asked. “Don’t call me Naomi,” she responded. “Instead, call me Mara, for the Almighty has made life very bitter for me. I went away full, but the Lord has brought me home empty. Why call me Naomi when the Lord has caused me to suffer and the Almighty has sent such tragedy upon me?” Ruth 1:19‭-‬21 NLT

Now there was a wealthy and influential man in Bethlehem named Boaz, who was a relative of Naomi’s husband, Elimelech. One day Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go out into the harvest fields to pick up the stalks of grain left behind by anyone who is kind enough to let me do it.” Naomi replied, “All right, my daughter, go ahead.” So Ruth went out to gather grain behind the harvesters. And as it happened, she found herself working in a field that belonged to Boaz, the relative of her father-in-law, Elimelech. Ruth 2:1‭-‬3 NLT

What about you my dear friend are you living in self-pity? Are you choosing to put one foot in front of the other? Are you doing what you can today to make your life better? Are you living in the past or you’re fully present in the now and here watching to see what God will do if you yield to Him?

3. She was courageous(Ruth 2:2 &7): Have you ever traveled to a foreign land preferably a place you’ve never been and among a people whose language you do not speak? I’m sure you looked forward to your stay there anxiously . This exactly was how Ruth would have felt. Her own case was even worse because she was a widow. Widows then had no one to protect them or stand up for them so, they were vulnerable. This could have made Ruth hide inside the house she shared with Naomi but instead she took a step of courage to go outside her comfort zone. This act of courage made her to have her first contact with her Kinsman Redeemer, an opportunity she could have missed if she didn’t take this step of courage.
Is there something you know you should do but you are afraid to step out in faith? Are you living in your comfort zone when God has called you to walk on water? There are some things you will not get in your comfort zone. You will have to reach out for them and doing so will stretch you. It is in this process of stretching that you grow. Girl, Bold is beautiful! Be Bold!

4. She was accountable and obedient (Ruth 2:19-23, Ruth 3:18): Ruth could have made decisions without seeking for Naomi’s input but she didn’t do that. She involved Naomi in every step she took and she heeded Naomi’s advice. She could have decided that Naomi was an old woman who doesn’t know what was in vogue but she submitted herself to Naomi’s leadership. This act of obedience enhanced her relationship with Boaz who later became her husband and the father of her son (Ruth 4).
Who are you accountable too? Who can tell you the truth? Who can call you to order and you will listen too? In the midst of counsel there is safety. Don’t walk the path of life without having an older woman you are accountable too.

5. She was kind and selfless(Ruth 2: 11, 14 &18,):

Now Boaz said to her at mealtime, “Come here, and eat of the bread, and dip your piece of bread in the vinegar.” So she sat beside the reapers, and he passed parched grain to her; and she ate and was satisfied, and kept some back. Then she took it up and went into the city, and her mother-in-law saw what she had gleaned. So she brought out and gave to her what she had kept back after she had been satisfied.
Ruth 2:14‭, 18 NKJV

Ruth was concerned about Naomi’s well being. No one would question her if she didn’t keep some of her food for Naomi but she did. She sought for ways to be a blessing to Naomi. She does not think about herself alone. Whose life is made easy because of you? Are you kindhearted and selfless?

Dear friend, we’ve spent some time looking at the Biblical Ruth through God’s eyes and I hope you will agree with me that she is indeed a beautiful woman. You too can walk in her steps by the power of the Holy Spirit and become BEAUTIFUL as true beauty is really what you are on the inside. I enjoin you to spend sometime studying the book of Ruth and allow her story come to life on the pages of your heart.

Your Sister-in-Christ,
Esan Praise.

The Discipline of Prayer.

“Be persistent and devoted to prayer, being alert and focused in your prayer life with an attitude of thanksgiving.

Prayer is one aspect of my walk with God where I struggle a lot. I struggle with concentration, I struggle to make time for it, I struggle with consistency, you name it… My struggle is endless but I have learned a couple of things that has helped me to grow in this discipline of prayer. Prayer is a discipline because it is work. It is a work that your flesh and the devil would not want you to do. They would not want you to do it because of the blessings that comes from it.

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another [your false steps, your offenses], and pray for one another, that you may be healed and restored. The heartfelt and persistent prayer of a righteous man (believer) can accomplish much [when put into action and made effective by God—it is dynamic and can have tremendous power].

It is important for you to note that prayer is one way you give God the permission to intervene in your affair. And the beautiful thing is that He delights in listening to and answering your prayers.

“For the eyes of the Lord are [looking favorably] upon the righteous (the upright), And His ears are attentive to their prayer (eager to answer), But the face of the Lord is against those who practice evil .”

The fact that God delights in listening to and answering your prayers should encourage you to pray more often. You can develop the discipline of prayer by doing the following:

1. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you the desire to pray and to help you to pray

The truth is you cannot pray effectively without the help of the Holy Spirit.

“In the same way the Spirit [comes to us and] helps us in our weakness. We do not know what prayer to offer or how to offer it as we should, but the Spirit Himself [knows our need and at the right time] intercedes on our behalf with sighs and groanings too deep for words.

When you ask the Holy Spirit to strengthen you in the place of prayer, you will discover that prayer will be less of a struggle but a time of communion with your Heavenly Father who loves you deeply.

2.Choose a time and place

Make prayer a priority in your schedule and pick a place you wouldn’t be disturbed to do it. Having a specific time and place will help you fight against procrastination. Immediately you choose your time and place, make sure you show up to your appointment with God and pour out your heart to Him. It might be a struggle at first (remember the enemy and your flesh wouldn’t want you to do it and they don’t give up easily) but keep at it. It gets better.

3. Use a prayer journal

You will find this helpful if you struggle with concentration and consistency in prayer like I do. The act of writing your prayers will help you tame your wandering mind and help you keep track of God’s faithfulness in answering your prayers. It also helps you to keep the prayer request of your family and friends.

4. Prayerfully choose a prayer partner

Your prayer partner should be someone who has a similar desire to pray. Prayer should be your priority in your relationship with the person. Your prayer time shouldn’t be spent doing any other thing other than prayer. Your prayer partner can be one of your friends or a seasoned believer in the faith. I would advice that you choose a female as your prayer partner since you will have to spend a lot of time with the person and you don’t want the emotional attachment that comes from spending too much time with a member of the opposite sex. Having a prayer partner helps to keep you accountable and encourage you to keep praying on days you don’t feel like it. Make sure whoever you choose as your prayer partner is faithful and trustworthy. The person must be trustworthy because you will have to be open and vulnerable in your relationship with her. And you don’t want a gossipmonger as your prayer partner. Be wise!

5. Read books with the ability to whet your appetite for prayer

Books like Fervent by Priscilla Shirer, Becoming a Woman of Prayer by Cynthia Heald, Power of persistent prayer by Cindy Jacobs, Why Revival tarries by Leonard Ravenhill, The Daniel Prayer by Anne Graham Lotz, The Watchman Prayer by Dutch Sheets and Fire Brand by Debola Deji-Kurunmi are few of the books I’ve read over the years on the subject of prayer. And these books have helped me to be better equipped to pray.

Prayer can be something you look forward too if you are diligent to start where you are. Pray until your joy is full. Pray until prayer becomes your life. Pray. Pray. Pray!

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