An “on the go” kind of girl who loves Jesus, Andrea is a Bible teacher whose life calling is to teach women to know the truth, live the truth, and share the truth. Her passion is honest conversation about the topics that drive our everyday lives, and how we can always weather the storms of life through the love and power of God and His Word. Andrea is a 2004 graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. She has written and published multiple books and Bible studies. Andrea hosts a podcast called Inspire on the Go with Andrea Lennon. She also serves as the Women’s Ministry Specialist for the Arkansas Baptist State Convention. She is the founder of Andrea Lennon Ministry and lives in Arkansas with her husband, Jay and two sons, Jake and Andrew. Please connect with Andrea at www.andrealennonministry.org
A few years ago, I was sitting in a room full of pastors’ wives from Arkansas. Each lady shared her story of how she came to faith in Jesus Christ. Most of the stories began with, “At the age of six, Jesus saved me.” Or, “I grew up in church, and I can’t remember a time when I didn’t know God loved me.” I will never forget how one lady’s story was vastly different. She told us she grew up in a family where God was not acknowledged. She told us about the patterns of hurt and sin spanning the first thirty years of her life. Then she shared how shocking it was to her when she encountered the love of Jesus Christ and the forgiveness He offered. “Every day I am thankful for my salvation. It makes a huge difference in my life,” she shared.
In the Bible, we find a similar story. It’s the story of Ruth. Ruth was from Moab. The atmosphere of Moab during Ruth’s day was terrible. There was no respect for the One True God. The chief god of the Moabite people was Chemosh. Worship of Chemosh and other gods included child sacrifice and sexual promiscuity. We don’t know the details of Ruth’s life, but I imagine her past left her with some scars.
Not only was the atmosphere of Moab terrible, the Moabite people were enemies of God’s chosen people the Israelites. All of this made Ruth an unlikely person to be chosen by God. Amazingly, that is exactly what happened. In the midst of disfunction, God chose Ruth to play an important role in His unfolding story of love and redemption. As a result, I feel certain Ruth would have described the grace of God and the family of God as “difference makers” in her life.
You may be wondering what God called Ruth to do. For starters, God called Ruth to move from Moab to Bethlehem. This move set the stage for Ruth to be included in the lineage of Jesus Christ.
Without a doubt, there was a difference between Moab and Bethlehem. As previously stated, Moab and the people who lived there were enemies of God. Moab represented darkness. Bethlehem was different. It was a special place in the Promised Land where God provided for His people. In the midst of darkness, Bethlehem represented light.
For a season of Ruth’s life, Moab was where God allowed her to live. Although the dark environment grieved God, it served an important purpose. When it came time for Ruth to move from Moab to Bethlehem, the differences between the two cultures would speak volumes about the character of God. You see, there came a point in Ruth’s life where she had to long for something more than Moab. She had to believe there was a chance for her life to be lovingly directed by the One True God.
I wonder if you can relate to Ruth’s story? Do you have a “Moab” in your background? (A place of darkness or dysfunction.) These past circumstances can paralyze us. They can cause us to accept less than God’s best. Thankfully the story of Ruth helps us to see the heart of God in the midst of these moments. God values everyone no matter their age, gender, background, race, social standing, or past choices. Throughout history, God has enjoyed using unlikely people to display His amazing grace!
Would you describe yourself as an unlikely person? If so, take heart! You are just the kind of person God loves to use. Right now, you can know that God loves you. Your past does not have to define you. It’s a new day and you can embrace a new future. Take a moment and ask God to help you. Then read this verse of scripture that describes Ruth’s walk with God. Ask God to show you practical ways to apply this verse to your life. Boaz said to Ruth, “May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.” (Ruth 2:12, New International Version)
Like Ruth, you can take refuge in God. This means you can trust Him as you follow Him. The result? You will experience a life that is vastly different from anything you ever imagined. It will be a life filled with God’s hope, peace, and direction.
To learn more about the story of Ruth, visit Andrea’s website and check out her book called On the Road with Ruth. Be sure and take advantage of the On the Road with Ruth teaching videos available for free in the video library.