Do you know God’s plans for your life?
Many of us, myself included, don’t know the complete mind of God when it comes to this. I’ve had more moments of anxiety and fear about not only the next steps but seeing the whole picture than about anything else (including finding a husband).
The simple truth is we want to know that our lives matter.
Growing up, we believe that marriage and children will be the ultimate ways this happens. As we graduate college and enter the work force, we believe our careers will define us and give us worth. Eventually, we’ll end up frustrated when we discover that who we’re married to or whatever way we’ve tried to define ourselves isn’t what gives us purpose.
A Woman Possessed
One of the most misunderstood women in the Bible is Mary Magdalene. She’s been called a prostitute and the wife of Jesus (she was neither!). Scriptures don’t go into detail about her background but there are some things we do know:
Now it came to pass, afterward, that He went through every city and village, preaching and brining the glad tidings of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with Him, and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities – Mary called Magdalene, out of whom had come seven spirits… (Luke 8:1-2)
It’s difficult to think about what Mary Magdalene could have looked like before meeting Jesus. Perhaps she had dark circles under her eyes and sunken cheeks, hair matted and clothes torn. Her thoughts may have been deranged, filled with paranoia, anxiety, and hallucinations. But like the storm out on the Sea of Galillee, one word from Jesus’s lips “Peace” and her mind was stilled. After meeting Jesus, Mary Magdalene’s life was never the same. I believe Mary Magdalene became a woman possessed to a woman with purpose.
So the question is how does this look like for you and me?
A Woman Of Purpose Isn’t Defined By Her Past
Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for His needs. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons. (Matthew 27:55)
While her background is pretty hazy, Mary Magdalene comes from the town of Magdala, which seems to have been a thriving town on the coast of Galilee. From what historians know of this town, we could believe that she came from pretty comfortable means and since she was free to follow Jesus, she was most likely single. Whatever she had in her possession, she used it to help Jesus financially so He could spread the gospel. This could have been supplying food and other life necessities. As Jesus traveled all over Israel, He or His disciples never asked for money, which could have been because of Mary Magdalene and the other women who gave what they had.
If Only They Knew
Many of us have not been possessed but we’ve been dead to our sins. We think to ourselves, “If they knew what I’ve done in the past, they would see me differently.” Whether in the church or outside of it, we’ve all experienced having labels put on us and they can stick for a very long time. Mary Magdalene could have been called “crazy” and “unclean”, probably deserving of the demons possessing her as a punishment for her sins. People in your life may have told you something similar
Darling daughters, Jesus doesn’t hold on to our past. We can shake off our past because there is so much in our future that is waiting for us to step into.
Shame and guilt will bind us to the past. I believe when Mary Magdalene looked into her Savior’s eyes she saw no condemnation only unconditional love. That kind of love will move mountains. In complete thankfulness, her unwaivering loyalty to her Teacher is permanently written in the Bible.
A Woman Of Purpose Loves Much
“Woman, why are you weeping?”
She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not where they have laid Him.”
Now when she said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?”
She, supposing Him to be a gardener, said to Him, “Sir if you have carried Him, tell me where You have laid Him and I will take Him away.” (John 20:13-15)
I don’t doubt she would have tried to take His body away all by herself. For a moment, she believed He was in danger even while believing He was dead.
A Woman Of Purpose Knows Who She’s Serving
…Then the King will say to those at His right hand, ‘Come you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’
“Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You in sick or in prison, and come to You? And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ (Matthew 25:34-40)
In these verses we see God’s heart for those who are in need. They have no food or drink, home to call their own, or no true community. If you’ve been struggling as to where to serve, this is always a good place to start. Whoever it is God calls you to serve, you are always serving Him.
A Woman Of Purpose Is Spiritually Awake
This can be such a hard one to get deep into our hearts because we have a tendency to focus on ourselves instead of what is going on around us. After she was cleansed of the demons, she knew that Jesus was IT. Her life no longer became about fulfilling the status quo of her day. Of getting married and having children. Instead, she followed Him whenever He went and believed He was the Messiah.
As the years go on, it can become so easy to forget what God has done for us. We only see the ways we feel He is not providing. We make it about ourselves and what we want for our lives that what God wants for His beloved creation. Being spiritually awake means that we know God is working even when we can’t see it. His Holy Spirit is still moving even when the news and our televisions tell us otherwise.
Friends, Mary Magdalene caught the vision of the supremacy of God’s work and she joined Him wholeheartedly.
Are You Following Wholeheartedly?
Can you say that you are wholehearted in your walk with Him? Let me be the first one to be honest and say that I’m not. I get more concerned about the things of this world than I do about the new one God has called me to be a co-heir to.
Whatever your past, whatever your circumstances, God has created you with purpose! Can you truly receive that with all of your mind and heart?
God has called you out of darkness and has spoken so many good things over you. There are too many beloved daughters in the world who are doubting and denying God’s inspired word. It is never by our own will that we become clean, set apart, or given purpose. It is only by His will and His death-overcoming love.
I’d love to know – Do you believe you have a purpose in God’s story? If so, please share and tell us about it!