Be a Ruth, not an Orpah

When the Holy Spirit dropped the name RESOLUTE WOMAN in my heart, I started to research what the definition of resolute is.

Resolute firstly means:

Marked by firm determination or resolve.

When you are resolute, you have decided to be determined and stand firm in that decision. You are marked with determination — you have a character of determination.

When I think of a resolute woman, I am reminded of Ruth. We read in Ruth 1, that Naomi was returning to Judea after the hardships of losing her husband and sons. Naomi persisted that her daughters-in-law, Orpah, and Ruth stay behind. Orpah left to go back to her home, but Ruth clung to Naomi. The passage continues:

Ruth 1:15-18 AMP ”Then Naomi said, “Look, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; turn back and follow your sister-in-law.” But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people will be my people, and your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD do the same to me [as He has done to you], and more also, if anything but death separates me from you.” When Naomi saw that Ruth was determined to go with her, she said nothing more.

Ruth was determined to go with Naomi to her homeland and follow her God in spite of Naomi’s persistence to stay. She also did not follow after her sister-in-law to go back to her old life and gods. Ruth wanted to follow Naomi in every aspect or detail of her life, even though it was an unfamiliar journey that involved many challenges.

She was determined to follow Naomi. Her resoluteness was the beginning of a whole new life for her, Naomi, and her future family. Leaving the familiar, she remained determined through challenges that lead to her following the true God, being redeemed by Boaz, marrying him, providing a better life for Naomi in the process, and becoming the great great grandmother of King David. She was in the lineage of Jesus Christ and part of a much bigger plan and purpose. She left an amazing legacy, which began with a decision of determination to follow in the right path.

When we follow God and His ways, it always leads to good and something bigger than we could ever imagine, not just for ourselves, but also for others we impact. Just like with Ruth. She could never have foreseen to marry again and to be part of the lineage of David and Jesus Christ. It all started with a resolute mindset.

In current times, the world is challenging, fearful, uncertain, compromising, self-seeking, fickle and lost. God requires his daughters and sons to take a stronger stand for Him and His kingdom. In 2020, more so than ever. To take that stand we first have to decide to be resolute in our following of Christ despite possible rejection, betrayal, hurt or mockery. Resoluteness is a mindset or attitude that helps us to endure and persevere.

Ask yourself this: ”Have I ever made up my mind to keep following Jesus?”

No matter what suffering I need to endure? No matter what unexpected changes occur in my life? No matter the circumstances? No matter the sacrifice? No matter the unfamiliar? No matter what others might decide to do?

It is easy to say that we have decided to follow Jesus during all seasons of our lives. But, the reality of that decision will only be evident in our response or behavior when we are experiencing trying times. All of us are going through our own challenges at this very moment. How are you holding up? Will you keep following Jesus even when He takes you to places spiritually and physically, which is hard and different from what you envisioned for yourself and your family? Will you be a Ruth or an Orpah?

A test of resolute faith is when you do not see your end destination or outcome but still choose to trust God in spite of it. You cling to God like Ruth clung to Naomi and you don’t look back.

So, you have made the decision to become born again, but have you decided to be resolute or determined to stay the course even though life is different from what you expected when you gave your heart to Christ? Even when you may be persecuted and asked to deny Christ? Jesus, Himself, did not promise that life will be easy (John 16:31 – 33), but He did say that He has overcome this world and He gives us His peace. I think with the era we live in, it will become more challenging to follow Christ whole-heartedly without compromise. We will require a fresh resolve.

I am reminded of that old song with the lyrics: “I have decided to follow Jesus. I have decided to follow Jesus. I have decided to follow Jesus. No turning back. No turning back.” I never knew the story behind the song. I came across some information and videos online, explaining how a missionary lost his family and own life through persecution because he would not denounce Jesus Christ. He kept on repeating the phrase: “I have decided to follow Jesus” when asked to denounce his faith even as his wife and children were killed in front of him. That is resolute faith.

Ruth could follow Naomi to Judea, even though everything was unknown to her because she loved Naomi and Naomi loved her. She trusted Naomi and probably saw the truth of the only God in her life. She trusted the person (Naomi) and not what she could receive because of her dedication. She did not know then what her journey entailed, but made the decision and remained firm in it.

In the same way can we have the resolve to follow Christ, because of the relationship we have with Him. Our Lord is a God that loves us and remains in control. In the end God had an amazing life planned for Ruth, and He also has for us.

God cannot make your mind up for you. You have to. You have to be resolute to keep on making the decision to follow God, in all circumstances. That puts the mark of God’s character on you. When you are able to follow the Lord in the good and bad, people will notice that difference in faith and will be drawn to you. That is a powerful testimony.

The writer of Hebrews encourages us with:

Hebrews 10:35-39 AMP ”Do not, therefore, fling away your [fearless] confidence, for it has a glorious and great reward. For you have need of patient endurance [to bear up under difficult circumstances without compromising], so that when you have carried out the will of God, you may receive and enjoy to the full what is promised. FOR YET IN A VERY LITTLE WHILE, HE WHO IS COMING WILL COME, AND WILL NOT DELAY. BUT MY RIGHTEOUS ONE [the one justified by faith] SHALL LIVE BY FAITH [respecting man’s relationship to God and trusting Him]; AND IF HE DRAWS BACK [shrinking in fear], MY SOUL HAS NO DELIGHT IN HIM. But our way is not that of those who shrink back to destruction, but [we are] of those who believe [relying on God through faith in Jesus Christ, the Messiah] and by this confident faith preserve the soul.”

As children of God, we live by faith and we please God with our faith. God also promises that He rewards our faith.

Let’s be resolute in our faith and decision to follow Christ every day despite what the world throws at us. By staying the course day by day, we become RESOLUTE WOMAN with a character that pleases our Heavenly Father and draws others to Him.

I encourage you to read the book of Ruth. Put yourself in her shoes. See her resolute character and see the amazing love that Jesus Christ has for you as your Boaz.

I pray that as you read this post, the Holy Spirit will minister to you and awaken in you a fresh resolve to follow Christ with all your heart. May the Holy Spirit strengthen you to remain resolute in all seasons and areas of your life. Especially during these uncertain times where you do not know what the future holds. Know that God holds you and your future in His hands. May God reward your faith and remind you of the eternal reward awaiting you as you follow His lead, mature in Him and do all you can for His kingdom.

Stay resolute my friend.

Talita

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