Saturday, November 27, 2010

How To Prepare Yourself by Bob Gass

So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. (Ruth 4:13) 

Look at the instructions Naomi gave Ruth for approaching Boaz, her future husband, and you'll see that there's a certain protocol involved in walking with God. Once you understand it, the things you've been waiting for begin to happen. So:

1) Be sure it's God's will for you. Ruth wasn't looking for just any man, she had a specific one in mind. And because Naomi had done her homework, she was able to tell Ruth where to find him: '... he is winnowing barley tonight at the threshing floor' (Ruth 3:2 NKJV). Research what you want from God before you start claiming things in prayer. Be sure it's what He wants too! If your name's not on it, don't pursue it. Don't go after something because it looks good in someone else's life. God has a plan for you-one that's unique and specific. Seek Him and He will reveal it to you. 2) Deal with your past. Naomi said to Ruth, '... wash yourself... ' (Ruth 3:3 NKJV). 

In order to gain acceptance with Boaz, Ruth couldn't approach him looking and smelling like Moab, the famine-stricken place she'd come from. She needed to settle her past so it didn't sabotage her future. God will open the door for you, but until you've resolved your old issues you won't be able to walk through it. You can't receive what He has for you now if you're still contaminated by what you went through then. Whether it takes six months or six years, sort out your emotional baggage. God says: 'Forget the former things... I am doing a new thing... I am making a way... ' (Isaiah 43:18-19 NIV).

In order to prepare Ruth for meeting Boaz, her future husband, Naomi taught her two important principles about succeeding in life:

1) You must have the right attitude. Naomi said to Ruth, '... anoint yourself... ' (Ruth 3:3 NKJV). In Bible times people anointed themselves with oil in order to be refreshed and renewed. So Ruth was, in essence, adopting the right attitude. If you're praying for a good job or a suitable partner or a favourable outcome in a particular area but it hasn't happened yet, don't automatically blame Satan-check your attitude. 'Let God re-make you so that your whole attitude... is changed' (Romans 12:2 PHPS). To get the right result, you need the right approach. 2) You must be willing to stand out in the crowd. Naomi instructed Ruth, '... put on your best garment... ' (Ruth 3:3 NKJV). But why get dressed up for something that hasn't happened yet? Because God blesses prepared people! When your time comes you must be ready. 

Ruth's story teaches us that it's those who are willing to stand out in the crowd who get noticed. Any time you dress for where you're going, there's a good chance you'll look out of place where you are. That's okay. Your highest priority should be God's approval, not man's. You must know you have a definite destination, otherwise you'll be tempted to make excuses and try to explain why you're so different from everyone else. When you know where God is taking you, you won't care. The truth is, when others look at your preparation they should be in no doubt as to your destination.

Observe two more things Naomi taught Ruth, in preparation for meeting Boaz:

1) Make sure you're in the right place. Naomi told Ruth, 'Go down to the threshing floor' (Ruth 3:3 NKJV). Why? Because that's where Boaz was! To receive what God has for you, you must be in the right place spiritually. Satan will tell you you're unworthy. He will try to convince you to stay where you are and to listen to those who'd keep you from where God wants you to be. He will make you feel out of place even when you're in the right place. Don't believe his lies; when God calls you He equips you, empowers you, and uses you for His glory. 

2) Understand the importance of timing. 'Do not make yourself known to the man until... ' (Ruth 3:3 NKJV). Ruth had waited a long time for this moment; now she had to learn to be quiet because the person God planned to bless her through was sleeping. It's hard to be all keyed up about something nobody else is excited about; you want to get them excited too. But sometimes God says, 'Wait.' Stop working to make things happen before their time! Don't try to promote yourself. 'The vision is yet for an appointed time... 

Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come' (Habakkuk 2:3 NKJV). God may not respond when you think He should, but His timing is perfect. He has blessings with your name on them, and no matter how many others want them, when the time is right He will give them to you.

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