NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–By the sound of it, the thousands of women who passionately sang the old hymn “The Love of God” are convinced of the very words they harmonized.
The lyrics proclaiming God’s pure and measureless love echoed through the Sommet Center in Nashville, Tenn., where more than 21,000 women gathered for “Deeper Still,” an event sponsored by LifeWay Christian Resources. Overflow crowds gathered at nearby Belmont University to watch a simulcast of the event.
The two-day conference featured Priscilla Shirer, Beth Moore and Kay Arthur, a teaching trio representing three generations of women whose full-time ministries focus on teaching women to love God and love His Word.
Shirer, founder of Going Beyond Ministries in Cedar Hill, Texas, launched the weekend’s David-themed study and taught from 1 Chronicles 14, exhorting women to have the same mindset as David and recognize that God is the author of all achievements.
“The knowledge of Whose we are will help us in a myriad of situations,” she said at the Sept. 7-8 conference.
Shirer taught that when David was anointed king, he faced opposition from the Philistine army. In the same way, Shirer said modern Christians will face opposition. Christians should have a “God consciousness” that affects their daily duties at work and home. Though the anointing will bring opposition, Shirer also taught that the Holy Spirit brings access to God.
“Prayer is the most potent weapon we have,” she said, noting that while David prayed to God for guidance during his reign, the anointing guaranteed specific divine direction from God.
“God has specific directions for you,” Shirer told the audience, just as He had specific directions for David. “The more you know Him the better you can hear Him, so get to know Him.”
Moore, founder of Living Proof Ministries in Houston, continued the teaching on David’s life and focused on 2 Samuel 6-7. Moore outlined ways women can cooperate with God to complete their calling.
First, women must move past their devastation with God. As outlined in 2 Samuel 6, David became angry when God killed Uzzah for touching the ark of the covenant.
“When God does something we don’t understand, we can feel angry and we can hold our hearts far from Him because we don’t trust Him,” Moore said, warning the women not to continue in bitterness over a tragic event in their lives. “Don’t stay there and don’t let the enemy keep you there because God works all things for good.”
Moore then exhorted the women to return to wholehearted obedience. Though David had been angry at God, he recovered from his grief and danced before the Lord as the ark of the covenant made its way into the city.
Finally, Moore encouraged the women to have the courage to see the fulfillment of God’s promises to them. As cited in 2 Samuel 7:18, David realized the promises of God and asked, “Who am I, Lord God, and what is my house that you have brought me this far?”
Arthur, founder of Precept Ministries International based in Chattanooga, Tenn., issued a clarion call for the women to choose God when they come to crossroads in their lives.
Using the story of David’s adultery with Bathsheba, Arthur said that sin that is not dealt with will take a person farther than they intended to go.
David “sank into a pit that he dug with his own hands,” Arthur said, which included the subsequent murder of Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband.
Illustrating the confrontation with the prophet Nathan (2 Samuel 12:9), Arthur explained that God is holy and does not tolerate sin. The prophet Nathan reminded David that his sins were evil in God’s sight. In the same way, Christians should avoid sin and follow God’s law for their lives.
Arthur reminded the crowd that 1 Corinthians 10:13 states that God provides a way of escape when one is tempted. When Christians do sin, God provides grace.
“Grace is powerful and it will take you through anything. Grace is not a license to sin; it is the power to overcome sin,” she said.
The event in Nashville drew attendees from several states.
“This weekend has been an incredible experience. I have laughed, cried and grown closer to the Lord,” said Teresa Terrell, one of 45 women from Hillsdale United Methodist Church in Advance N.C., who traveled nine hours to get to the conference. “I have learned that I need to pray more and be honest before the Lord. I have also learned the seriousness of sin as Kay pointed out in her message.
“The title Deeper Still fits this conference because I have been encouraged in my relationship with God to go deeper still,” Terrell said.
Deeper Still events for 2008 are scheduled for June 27-28 in Atlanta and Sept. 5-6 in Las Vegas.
Kelly Davis Shrout is the employee communications editor at LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.