Thursday, March 6, 2008

Theology One - Soul Food for the Hungry Heart

The following article was written for the final in my Leadership Training for Women class. Please do not let the word "theology" deter you from reading it. It is my prayer that you will be pleasantly surprised and motivated to pursue the very thing that you might now think timidly about - theology. This article is lengthy, so I will be dividing it into meal-size portions.


In the spring of 1975, God delivered me from a life of nominal Christianity that had failed to ease the searing ache of loneliness within my heart or enable me, timid as I was, to face life with even a minuscule amount of confidence. Nor did my puny profession assuage the guilt that ate like a cancer at my conscience as a result of a lifestyle of sin that my religion had allowed.

Jesus spoke to me in a moment, and in the days, weeks and years that have followed I have continued to hear Him say, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Mt. 11:28-29) He spoke, I heard Him and obeyed, and my life was wonderfully altered forever.

Outward things began to change immediately - my geographical location, my church and my friends - after the initial inward change. God shepherded me to a church where He was honored and His word was taught. The change of location proved to be a physical manifestation of my spiritual translation from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of God’s Beloved Son – the Kingdom of Light.

There, in that Light, I saw the bounteous table set before me. Jesus was feeding the hungry again. I had taken on His yoke and was now learning of Him and resting as a result. The first thing God served me from His menu of spiritual sustenance was the nourishing truths of Himself – His attributes. “Theology proper” became my first spiritual health food. Served alongside this course was soteriology, specifically, my union with Christ. But I had no idea that “soteriology” or “theology proper” were the terminologies for what I was learning; and had you asked, “Would you like to take a course in ‘soteriology’?” I would have cowered in the corner, intimidated by your language (as would most Christian women, young and old).

But God put this theology before me in terms that were spiritually nutritious and healing, in terms that I could understand and apply. His love, eternality and immutability translated into solid truths that were entirely practical: God loved me from eternity past and nothing would ever change that (Rom. 8:35-39)

In learning about His righteousness, I was assured that my sins were forgiven now that I was clothed in Christ’s righteousness (soteriology), and it no longer mattered what anyone else thought or even what my own conscience whispered at times. These precious discoveries about my Heavenly Father and Savior outfitted me with a new-found confidence and comforted me as I faced life without the consolation of a human companion, without the camaraderie of a man who could love both my children and me.

The courses I partook of in that rich environment were just part of the larger “thanksgiving meal” I have been fed ever since from God’s word. As a result, God became a husband to me and a father to my children. I found, like Jesus had promised, that I could rest and trust Him to meet my deepest needs. I discovered that He is faithful and true to His word. He cared infinitely about me and so I surrendered my situation to Him and gave up my quest for the perfect man. Moreover, where could I find the perfection that was in Christ? I knew He would never disappoint me and I was confident to wait for God to furnish a needed companion if He deemed this best for me.

And of course, it was not long before He provided and proved Himself to be even more gracious than expected. It chills me now to think about how different my life would have been had those theological studies been absent from my spiritual diet. A malnourished Christian lives like the rest of the world, regardless of whether she makes her home in a sophisticated developed culture or in a primitive one. Surely I would have continued to flounder in the kingdom of darkness, with a hunger for the milk and meat of the word, but without any understanding of how to feed myself.

As I continue with this theology-theme, the "whys" of theology for women will be presented. Stay tuned for this very practical and relevant aspect of the godly woman's walk.

Newer Post Older Post

    Share This


  1. Sharon,

    I love seeing that email in my inbox that says you have added something new!

    I have that anticipation......... like curling up in a corner with a great book, I am refreshed and renewed every time.

    This article was a wonderful and as always, I look forward to the next.


  2. Dear Sharon,
    I was really encourage by your article on theology. It made me hungry for more!
    Thanks so much for sharing!