From Barrenness to Blessing

by | May 31, 2006 | Charisma Archive, Uncategorized


Almost 40 years ago a young missionary from Tennessee named Naomi Dowdy ventured to the Marshall Islands to begin her ministry. She battled loneliness, sickness and culture shock while learning to love rice, Chinese noodles and all things Asian. She eventually planted a church in Singapore that grew to 5,000 members in 30 years.

After turning the leadership of Trinity Christian Center over to the man she trained, Naomi began traveling all over the world, teaching pastors how to grow churches. Today, while many women her age are taking dream vacations or playing bingo with friends, Naomi is more passionate than ever about claiming nations for Jesus. How I wish there were more Naomi Dowdys in the world.

I have had the privilege of sitting under Naomi’s teaching ministry and sharing the pulpit with her for the last two years, and she has become a true spiritual mother in my life. That’s why I am so thrilled to introduce you to her in this issue of SpiritLed Woman. I hope that when you read her article on page 16 you will receive a boost in your faith.

By watching Naomi I have learned that women have so much more potential than most church leaders recognize. Some religious traditionalists would be happy if all women sat in the back of the sanctuary. Actually, God has placed a desire in women to engage in spiritual battle and to join men as equal partners in building His kingdom.

Perhaps we have forgotten that when God called Abram to be the father of our faith, he also called a barren woman named Sarai. Both Abram and Sarai struggled to believe they could be the parents of “many nations,” as God had promised (Gen. 17:4,16).

Even though the promise was reaffirmed seven times, Abram and his wife wrestled with doubts. Both fell into the trap of rationalizing their promise away. And both came to the conclusion that they were too old to ever see the fulfillment of what God had guaranteed.

But in the end, after God changed both Abram’s and Sarai’s names, they believed. They became heroes of faith. Even though Sarah had laughed to herself when she heard about God’s promised miracle, ultimately she received the ability to conceive—at the age of 90! That little baby Isaac is the best proof that God produces His biggest miracles in the midst of human brokenness.

What about you? It’s likely that God gave you some special promises many years ago. You may have put some of them on a shelf, or perhaps you even laughed them away—thinking to yourself, “That could never happen to me.” Or perhaps you gave God a list of excuses:

“I’m too old. I’ve missed my chance. I’m not qualified. I’ve made too many mistakes.”

The devil loves to play those messages over and over in your ears. You must fight back by pushing the eject button.

I’m glad my friend Naomi Dowdy didn’t listen to the voices of doubt. Instead, like Sarah, she held fast to the impossible dream. Today, even though she never married, Naomi has countless spiritual sons and daughters ministering all over the globe. And her life is now inspiring a new generation of women who are called to be nation-changers.

It’s not too late to become a woman of faith. Tune out the shame and condemnation. Quit rationalizing. Don’t laugh at the impossibilities. Stop looking at the darkness of your circumstances and instead gaze on the bright promises of His Word. He is eager to turn your barrenness into joyful shouting.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Spirit-Filled Pastor: Can I Ask God for Confirmation?

Spirit-Filled Pastor: Can I Ask God for Confirmation?

There are many incidents of God giving people a sign throughout the Bible. Although I believe God still does this, I also believe that we must be careful. Asking for a sign can be misleading if other factors are not taken into consideration. In Genesis, we find an...

Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: Are You Ready To Meet Jesus?

Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: Are You Ready To Meet Jesus?

The last words Jesus spoke to me in my 23 Minutes In Hell vision were, “Tell them I am coming very, very soon.” Then He repeated Himself and said again, “Tell them I am coming very, very soon.” The Bible is clear that Jesus is coming back to rapture His believers,...

The Best Way to Love Others and Yourself

The Best Way to Love Others and Yourself

I believe that other than the gospel regarding salvation through faith in Christ, learning to walk in love is the most important lesson in God’s Word. Jesus says that love is the most important commandment (Mark 12:28–31). The apostle Paul writes that love is the...

Prophecy: The Breach in Our Nation Will Be Repaired

Prophecy: The Breach in Our Nation Will Be Repaired

Praise be to Almighty God, righteous judge, holy of holies, the King of kings and the Lord of lords. The earth is His footstool, and to His kingdom there is no end! Breached Births The Spirit of the Lord says this day: “There has been a breach—breached births, My...

10 Reasons the Apostolic Movement Is Essential to Gospel Expansion

10 Reasons the Apostolic Movement Is Essential to Gospel Expansion

The global apostolic movement is the most significant expression of Christianity today. This is the view expressed by historian Philip Jenkins. He talks about the rapid expansion of the church in the global south, much of which is reminiscent of the first-century...

Experience a Better Kind of Love in Your Relationships

Experience a Better Kind of Love in Your Relationships

Do you have any relationship struggles? Perhaps you want to learn how to love, for real. Too often today, people search for a fairytale love and are disappointed when the fairytale fizzles, which it will. Michael Gibson, author of Real Life Love, challenges folks to...

The Power of Godly Words Over Another Life—and Yours

The Power of Godly Words Over Another Life—and Yours

Have the words that others have spoken over you ever significantly impacted you? Words can birth destinies on the inside of us and bring hope to our hearts for the future. They have the power to ignite our dreams and give life to our souls. At the same time, negative...

RECENT ARTICLES

How You Can Foil the Plot Against Your Life

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” Jesus warned us that we have an enemy, and he is a thief. He steals our joy, purpose,...
Activating Introverts in Evangelism

Activating Introverts in Evangelism

 Many believers mistakenly think that evangelism is only for charismatic, extroverted personality types. If they aren’t called to be evangelists, they shrink back from sharing the gospel with the lost entirely. The scriptural reality is that fivefold ministers, and...

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]