The Lord Has Remembered!
The story of Ruth the Moabitess and Naomi is a familiar one in the Body of Christ. It is one of the greatest stories of redemption of all time. It illustrates wonderfully that no matter what your personal or family background is, if you align yourself with God’s purposes then He can break each and every curse that has followed you through life, and position you to give birth to a legacy that will never fade. As the Body of Christ poises to crouch and give birth to what has been promised in this season, there are some vital lessons and principles from Ruth’s story that we need to apply.
I want to share with you some of the most important ones for this season, as have been highlighted to me by the Lord in the last few days. We take our text from Ruth 2, beginning at verse 8.
You will listen, will you not?
“Then Boaz said to Ruth, “You will listen, my daughter, will you not? Do not go to glean in another field, nor go from here, but stay close by my young women.” (Ruth 2:8)
Because of the many things happening in the world and throughout the Body of Christ at present, you will no doubt find yourself encompassed by voices clamouring for your focus and attention. If you are unable to sift through them, you will find yourself surrounded by a great deal of noise and surrounded by potential distractions. However, the Father has promised that He will never leave us or forsake us, and has offered us His word as a lamp unto our feet that will guide us out of the noise and distraction. In this season, there is a dew upon His word that brings with it a freshness of focus and direction, and it is essential for us to be in it deeply enough to draw out all that it contains. It is when we get hold of this in its fullness that our faith collides with His truth, and we find ourselves walking into supernaturally-charged environments and into new degrees of deliverance.
Such was the case with Ruth. Ruth and Naomi had journeyed back from Moab to rebuild their lives, and would have been surrounded by many people with questions, suggestions, opinions and ideas. However, in Ruth 2:8, Ruth suddenly finds herself in a face-to-face conversation with the one person that would in fact change the course of her life forever. The very first thing he says to her, as her destiny with him begins to unfold, is “you will listen, my daughter, will you not?” Boaz knew what would work for Ruth and that it was important for her to hear his voice at that time and not everyone else’s. As we enter into the conversations with God that are about to change our lives forever, He is looking for us to confirm clearly within ourselves that we are ready to listen to Him, and that we are prepared to break away from the noise and every voice that would compete with His. When we are truly prepared to hear Him, He will speak to us and tell us what will work for us.
Listening for positioning
Boaz then provided Ruth with instructions, setting out clear boundaries to her for what she should and should not do. His instructions were strategic, and her obedience to them would put her in the right position for what was to follow. When we come before the Lord to listen, we need to be ready to hear and accept His strategic boundaries for the coming season. It does not make sense for us to ask for the Lord’s instructions, receive them and then go ahead with our own will or define what we think will work on our own terms. It is only within God-given boundaries that we will safely access the anointings and strengths needed for the season.
Ruth is told clearly in which place and with which company she will find protection and provision, and where she can safely operate without falling into conflicts or controversies that could wound her, derail her or disqualify her from future elevation. Today, we really need to take heed of God’s voice and direction about where to be and who to be with, so that we avoid unnecessary problems and wounding, and stay on track for spiritual liberty.
Boaz told Ruth told to stay close to his young women. This was a new setting and experience for her, but because she was appointed into it by the right person in the right way, she fitted in. When we operate under God’s direction and authority, He accelerates our transition into the new environments He calls us into. Being among the young women, Ruth would also have gained a deeper understanding of Boaz’s authority and how he operates, preparing her to know to honour him and work with him in their future relationship. Similarly, when we are placed correctly, we are not only provided for, but also prepared for the future dimensions of our lives and callings.
Places of grace
Let your eyes be on the field which they reap, and go after them. Have I not commanded the young men not to touch you? And when you are thirsty, go to the vessels and drink from what the young men have drawn.” (Ruth 2:9)
As a young woman and a widow, Ruth could have been vulnerable working in a field among young men. She could have attracted their attention unwittingly, and her own brokenness could have caused her to look for attention. However, Boaz had provided for her and her circumstances by instructing the young men not to touch her. His field was a place where she could work and be refreshed without being violated or defiled, and where her wounds would not easily be reopened. She was told to go after the young women and drink from what the young men had drawn, meaning that over time she would have had to interact with all of them, and would have learned how to work with everyone. The young men would have known that Boaz was interested in her welfare and would have acted to make sure that she was well looked after and protected while she was there. She would have become more accustomed to the ways of the Israelites and began to shift further away from her Moabite customs and habits.
God has people and places with the graces needed to handle the burdens we carry and the issues we go through, and where we can safely be healed from past wounds, be cleansed of issues deep in our bloodlines, and develop the disciplines we need for what we will inherit. We need to find the fields that God has made for us and work in them faithfully and obediently. In today’s Church some have run after many different prophets across many different fields and have had no deliverance from it, and have even been wounded by it. If this is you, perhaps it is time to rethink your approach. Maybe it is time to be loyal to your local church if that is the field in which God has placed you, and where he has instructed watchmen to protect you and prepare you for your deliverance and inheritance.
Humility and understanding
“So she fell on her face, bowed down to the ground, and said to him, “Why have I found favour in your eyes, that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?” (Ruth 2:10)
After Boaz spoke to Ruth, she asked him openly why she had received his favour. She was humble enough to recognise that she had come into a place of unusual favour, and desperate to continue the conversation with Boaz so that she could better understand it, and therefore partner with it and cultivate it. Boaz told her in reply that he had heard of all that she had done for Naomi, and of her sacrifice and her loyalty, and that God would repay her for the good she had done (v11-12). Staying in the conversation with Boaz, and not taking his favour for granted, helped Ruth to unpack and unravel the mystery behind the favour and to partner with the unfolding narrative of who she was becoming. She could see right there and then how her alignment to the God of Israel was changing the course of her life for better, and freeing her from the curses of her lineage. As we stay in conversation with God, he will help us to unravel the unfolding narratives of our lives, and show us how to consciously partner with the changes that will break curses. Nothing that Ruth had done had been forgotten, and all the good she had done in the past was now speaking for her. The same is true now. Today’s favour is the fruit of yesterday’s seed. God has remembered!! Ask of him what has brought you favour, so that you can understand His thoughts and His ways and partner with Him for the next level of deliverance.
Invitation and conversation
“Now Boaz said to her at mealtime, “Come here, and eat of the bread, and dip your piece of bread in the vinegar.” So she sat beside the reapers, and he passed parched grain to her; and she ate and was satisfied, and kept some back.” (Ruth 2:14)
When Ruth was invited to Boaz’s table, a conversation took place as they ate bread dipped in vinegar. The vinegar represents the bitterness of suffering, and the conversation represents the process of understand the meaning and the value of that suffering in order to move past it. Addressing the bitterness of the past is necessary in order to be delivered out of the old patterns of thinking and behaving that formed around it, and to break the curses that came with it.
After the vinegar, comes the grain. When the issues of the past have been dealt with, then provision for the future comes. This same process will bring about the release of provision in the Body of Christ. Very soon, many of you reading this will begin to see provision for church building, as you move beyond the old patterns. The provision of the Lord is in place, and he knows who has it and how to mobilise it.
The invitation to His table is an invitation to conversation and friendship. When He speaks to you, be sure to keep the conversation going. Friends continue conversations, and He reveals His secrets to his friends. In this season may we hear and partner with the Holy Spirit to understand His strategies, for truly the Lord has remembered His people!
Rev Betty King