HOUSTON (BP)–Maybe you’ve worked through a Bible study written by Beth Moore, heard her speak at a conference or read one of her books –- and sensed that she’s like a friend who understands what you’re going through because she’s been there as well.
“I don’t struggle much anymore with trying to appear to be something I’m not,” Moore said. “I think that’s a struggle especially for believers because there’s such an expectation of what ‘church people’ ought to look like. And in all fairness to the body of Christ, we also want to be that way.
“In my young adult years, I wanted so much to be a righteous young woman, so I certainly wanted to appear that way and behave that way as much as I could,” Moore said. “I used to look around and think everybody had it together, and I was the only one cycling in and out of a pit.”
But, Moore said, now that she is a middle-aged woman she understands that others didn’t have it all together. “The fact that they acted like they did, though, left me feeling hopeless. It’s so harmful.
“I want people to know I struggled because I want them to feel hope,” she said.
As a young woman, “I really did have a heart for God,” she reflected. “I wanted so much to be good, but I had a very hard time figuring out how to do that on any kind of consistent basis. I had so many hurts, so many things I was dealing with that were not very obvious in a lot of ways from the outside.
“I became desperate and began to act out of my handicapped state — and by ‘handicapped’ I mean of heart and of mind.”
Through years of ministry, she has realized that literally thousands of women feel the way she used to feel.
“They think, ‘If people really knew I’m struggling with this in my home … or I have this temptation or that, they would think I’m a terrible person and I can’t get my spiritual life together,'” she said. “We need to just say, ‘I am so challenged to live in any kind of consistent victory, and I need help learning how.’ That’s where we need to be.
“We have to learn to be more honest with one another in the body of Christ and certainly more honest with God,” Moore said. That outlook, she said, has become “a great help to me.”
A big part of Moore’s ministry is challenging women to pursue the call of God on their lives — the good work He desires to complete in each of them, whether it’s vocational ministry or something else.
But she is concerned that many women never come to understand their calling.
“We may do good works and noble things, but we will not be able to make the mark God desires for us to make for His kingdom,” she said. “That’s why it’s critical that each believer seek to know God through His Word — because that’s where it’s going to be revealed.”
It was a head-on collision with God and His Word that healed Moore’s heart so dramatically and miraculously that she wanted to share it with others.
“My ministry was born out of pain and of finding that His Word was my prescription, and He was my healer.”
Another major spiritual breakthrough occurred when she grasped the difference between really believing God and simply believing in Him.
“Our salvation,” she said, “begins with believing in God, of course,” coming to a place of acknowledging that Christ Jesus is the Son of God and thus believing in Him unto salvation.
“Believing Him means I take that step past believing in Him — I believe what His Word said is so; I believe He is who He said He is; I believe He can do what He said He can do; I believe I am who God said I am. There’s a world of difference between those two.”
Now, instead of looking to God simply as a source of answers or direction, she asks God to cause His Word to “literally jump into my belief system and flow in my bone marrow. I want it to become part of me; I want it to change the way I think.”
Realizing that absolutely nothing is impossible for God has changed her radically.
“I am proof that He can pull any life out of a pit,” Moore said. “And that He would be gracious and merciful enough to forgive and redeem and dare to use me — that He would have chanced His good name on someone like me — is inconceivable.”
Leslie McKellar is a freelance writer and photographer in Charleston, S.C. This article was adapted from HomeLife, published by LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. The magazine can be ordered by going to lifeway.com or calling 1-800-458-2772. (BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: NEW VISTAS.