After John Piper finished his session, a “True Woman Profile” played on the screen. It was the story of one of the women at the conference and told of her conversion to Christ in prison. This was followed by the Getty’s singing “The Power of the Cross” and “When I Survey.” And then it was Nancy Leigh DeMoss’ turn to speak and she took as her text Romans 11:33-36. “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! ‘For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?’ ‘Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?’”
This passage offers a grid to respond to God’s sovereign control over lives and she spent some time looking at the character of God as it is revealed in this text.
She focused first on the word “depth,” saying and emphasizing that there is much more depth to be found in the person and character of God than in anything else in all of creation. And there are riches in God that far surpass any riches this world can offer. God has complete wisdom and knowledge, knowing everything about everything not just on the macro level but also on the micro. He knows all there is to know about the past and the future–your past and future. God’s ways are beyond understanding–they are unfathomable or past finding out. She quoted John Piper who once said, “In every situation, God is always doing a thousand different things that you cannot see and you do not know.” And so she progressed through the passage, providing teaching about each of the phrases.
And then she ask asked what the response is to be to all of this. Paul’s response was simple: To him be glory forever amen. The response is to put God in the spotlight where he belongs. We worship him and give him the glory, submitting lives to his holy, eternal purposes. What does this have to do with being a true woman? It has everything to do with it and DeMoss offered three points of applications.
1. A true woman lives a God-centered life. She lives for God’s glory and pleasure and not her own. When the true woman sees the magnitude of God’s greatness, it gives context to her puny challenges (even challenges that may seem so huge).
2. A true woman trusts God. We live in a fearful world but God has a plan and his plan cannot, will not, be thwarted. God is the one who defines good and the true woman trusts in him and in his definition of what is good.
3. A true woman says “Yes, Lord.” You can’t call him “Lord” and say anything other than “yes.” The true woman recognizes that her life is not her own and she lives for the glory of God. She affirms that God’s purposes for creating male and female are good and wise. She accepts the way God made her and who she is. She does it with a grateful heart. Saying “yes” may mean saying “no” to a lot of other things.
It really comes down to this: trust and obey. The pathway may be scary since we walk by faith and not by sight, but like Paul, eventually we will get to the heights and take in the beautiful vista of God’s will and plan. And then we will stand and be amazed.
At this point DeMoss asked the women to take from the tote bags they were each given the white hankie. This is to be used throughout the event as a symbol of surrender–a symbol of saying “Yes, Lord.” As the women find themselves surrendering to what God is teaching them, they can wave this flag as a visible symbol of a spiritual, inward reality.
And with a final hymn, the first day of the conference came to an end. And just like this, my day needs to come to an end. I’ve been awake for a long, long time now. I’ll be back tomorrow with more updates.