Greetings and Solutions to all of you!
OK. That was supposed to be “Salutations” but ”solutions” works, too.
This was intended to be the final Coffee Break for the year 2012, but events conspired to hold it up until January. Nevertheless, I want to finish up this discussion on the virtuous woman.
This is also the completion of our eighth year of publication of these articles and discussions and the beginning of our ninth year. For those of you who may not have yet noticed, or gone there, http://www.RegnersMorningCoffee.com is our new site. Rich Hoffman has done a spectacular job of transferring eight years of articles, photos and music to the new site. Recordings which sample many years of praise and worship in our gatherings are available for download free of charge. Just click on the tab that says “Music,” and you'll see a wide assortment of available recordings. Changes and refinements to the website will continue for awhile.
As I write this Coffee Break, I’m in Anchorage. Della and I are staying with our daughter, Danielle, and her husband, Anthony, (and, of course, their two boys, Anthony, Jr. and Joseph) during the transition period until we complete the purchase of a new home here. That will hopefully be completed by the end of January. We just realized that this is the very first Christmas holiday season we’ve gotten to spend with Danielle, Anthony and family in the 20 years they’ve been married. We’ve had Christmas with most of our other children at different times, so this year was a treat for us.
Although we will likely commute back and forth fairly frequently to the Yakima Valley for the foreseeable future for continuing ministry there, the primary responsibility for the fellowship has been transferred to Gary and Vicky Hyndman. Gary & Vicky are a brother and sister in the Lord who have a rich and seasoned background and heritage in the Lord, and with whom we have had the joy of fellowship and communion for the past couple of years.
One of the joys of being able to move on with freedom and liberty in the areas of ministry God has called Della and me to – and especially the upcoming labors in the arctic – is the backing, the unwavering prayer and intercessory support we have from the families to whom the Lord has joined us during the past seven years of ministry. There is a level of confidence that no words can properly express. We have a constant sense of having been joined by Holy Spirit in Ekklesia, along with the sense of teamwork and koinonia that comes with Ekklesia.
That said; let’s get on with today’s discussion. Here again is the passage from Proverbs 31.
"Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar. She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.
"She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night. She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet. She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.
"Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land. She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant. Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.
"Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates."
I’ve said this before, and it bears repeating. For years – many years, in fact – I always regarded this passage as a model of perfection for a wife, and one that was more theoretical than practical. How in the world do you find a wife who meets all of those qualifications?
Of COURSE it was the Word of God! Of course it had to be real because the Word clearly says so! But that was a long ways from reality for me – and just about every friend or acquaintance I knew! That’s no put down, by the way, of my Mother. The Lord obviously designed her specifically for my Dad, and particularly, to flow with him in an extraordinary way in laboring under sometimes nearly impossible conditions in the arctic. Mom was an unusual individual. She was a one-of-a-kind, and everyone who ever knew her would agree! There simply wasn’t another one like her – but that’s another topic, and I won’t go there today.
Not until the Lord joined Della and me, and the years began to unfold in our relationship, did I realize that this picture of the virtuous woman was more than a theoretical ideal. It was and is a reality, and I’ve had the privilege of living it and seeing it unfold in front of my eyes for nearly thirty years. It made the Song of Solomon come alive to me and peeled away layers of revelation in the Word which had been hidden.
Consider the picture in the Song of Solomon. This is a slightly different kind of woman, but from every standard of measure, she is without doubt a virtuous woman. I’m quoting from my own amplified translation of the Hebrew metaphors that abound throughout, and picking up in Chapter 1, verse 4:
(1:4) (Much later as the radiant Shulamite leaves the bedchamber, the young maidens gather around her.) "We have prepared a celebration -- a feast of wine -- for you" (As they all gather together, the obvious questions arise.) "What makes you so different from us? Why did He choose you? We have a real desire to know and understand so that if an opportunity arises for us, we will be ready! Your obvious display of love together gives us something to contemplate and consider. You have our sincere appreciation! We are genuinely blessed by what you have shown together.
(1:5) (Without hesitation, she responds.) "Although I am beautiful and desirable for Him to look upon, the real answer goes much deeper. There is a "search" that goes on in the heart of every person -- a seeking after one's counterpart -- for their "other self." I have spent my life searching for the man who is my "other self," knowing deep inside that when I found him, an inner joining would occur -- a linking up to form a whole being instead of two partial beings. That inner joining occurred when we met and came to know each other. Just as our society views the tents of Kedar as a symbol of strength, authority, loyalty to family, protectiveness, and the absence of pretense, so does my lord, the King, see built in me a commitment to those values. He sees in me a mobility, a flexibility, a willingness to pick up and go -- to follow him wherever he desires to go. In the same way that the curtains of his chamber shimmer and ripple in their color and transparent beauty, so also does Solomon see an inner transparency to me -- and a physical body which shimmers and ripples with movement, to his great delight! This is what he looked for in a bride, and why he chose me."
(1:6) "Because you normally expect a woman who is taken in marriage to have been prepared indoors, away from the sun, with oils and spices and perfumes for several weeks or months, you look on me with shock because my skin is deeply tanned. Ignore that! My preparation came another way! Instead of scrubbing my skin, washing it, and rubbing it with oils and spices, my spirit and inner being have been scrubbed through the washing of trying experiences. For years have I been in the furnace of affliction with my supposed "friends" and family. They hated me. They were angry and extremely jealous of me. My family thought to rid themselves of my presence by forcing me to tend the vineyards. I was made vulnerable to wild animals, thieves and robbers. They exposed me to the elements of nature: the storms, the wind and the rain, and the hot sun. I became responsible for work my brothers were supposed to do. Because I was responsible for keeping several vineyards, I couldn't keep up with all of them. Consequently, my own vineyard fell into neglect, and my reputation went with it. The constant exposure to danger and hard work with the attendant problems, and watching God's provision and deliverance through those years, developed something in my spirit more important to the King than scrubbed skin, olive oil and spices..."
The virtuous woman is more than an exterior beauty. She is much more than what the world today refers to as "a trophy wife." As we all know, physical looks and youthful beauty seem to fade through the years for most of us. Appearance has its place, but of long lasting importance and significance is character, integrity, honor and grace -- all of which exist in an atmosphere of true love. Along with that goes patience, commitment, initiative and a willingness to take on things that are greater than oneself. Now, add to all of that the willingness and purpose of this virtuous woman to fit herself into the very makeup and personality of her husband, to complete those areas of him that are lacking or insufficient, to round him out into a complete being.
What am I describing, folks?
We're talking about the Bride of Christ!
This passage from the Song of Solomon is descriptive of a preparation process that takes place. Notice that the Shulamite has been through the fire, in a manner of speaking. She has been exposed to every form of danger. Yet, she has not only tended to a business of her own (albeit falling short because of her care of the business affairs of "friends and family"), she has ministered to the needs of the aforementioned friends and family and maintained a right spirit in the midst of everything.
In case you missed it, folks, that's pretty rare in the world today! She is an admittedly beautiful woman to look at (Solomon wouldn't have chosen someone who wasn't), but more than that, she has the kind of beauty that shines out from within a character that has overcome obstacles, the storms of life, persecution and opposition on every hand. She exhibits a peace and tranquility and a self-confidence that comes from the constant presence of the Lord. Besides all that, she has the self-possessed attributes that come from watching the deliverance of the Lord and His protection over her no matter what she went through.
Now, go back and take another look at the woman described in Proverbs 31.
This woman has the best interests of her husband and her husband's reputation at heart. She looks after the needs of her children and even the household retainers -- the servants, the maids, etc. She's not afraid of hard work and puts "the pedal to the metal" in order to ensure that her business endeavors are successful. She is particular and tasteful in her choices. She has a vision for the future -- not only for her own labors, but also for her husband's esteem and reputation in the community.
Out of her mouth comes grace and peace. Out of her spirit comes wisdom and understanding. Her counsel is sought after by her husband, her children, her family at large and the community of which she is a part. Her words are backed with integrity.
In spite of her personal successes and the praise she receives -- not only from her husband, but her children, her family in general, and the community at large -- she has a clear and uncompromised understanding that everything she has and everything she does can be directly attributed to the favor of the Lord.
Now! We've been speaking somewhat in metaphors and similes, but let's bring this down to earth a bit. This, my friends, is exactly what the King of Kings, our Lord and coming Bridegroom, has been after in His Bride: the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31.
Jesus Christ is coming back for a virtuous woman. Consider what John saw and wrote in Revelation 19:6-7:
"And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready."
Contrary to a lot of unfortunate and erroneous doctrine which has been preached throughout the body of Christ for well over a century, the Bride of Christ is NOT going to be made ready WHEN Jesus returns. The Bride of Christ will have readied herself so that Jesus will have something and someone to come back to and for!
This is no namby-pamby, Caesar-Milquetoast, quiet and meek lady! This is an overcomer! This is a warrior! This is a lady who wields the sword of the Lord boldly, but carefully and accurately, tearing down the Enemy's strongholds. This is a virtuous woman whose integrity is that of the Lord Himself! When she opens her mouth to speak, it is the authority of Jesus' voice you hear.
When she ministers to the needy, she doesn't just "fix" the short-term problem; she gets to the heart of the issues and brings the necessary healing and correction needed so that the "healed" can go forth in the power of that healing and duplicate what they've received. Whereas the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31 might well have been considered a "miracle worker" because she was able to juggle so many different things at the same time and accomplish them successfully, the virtuous woman Jesus is after is literally immersed in Him, in His character and makeup, in His personality. She's not just "supernatural"; she is naturally supernatural, and supernaturally natural!
That's because she and He have been blended together into a complete being! You'll excuse me, I trust, for using this personal example, but when people see Della, they see me. When they see me, they see Della. It's simple, really. I'm me because of, and with Della. She is who she is because I am blended into her personality and character. We complete each other.
So it is with the virtuous woman prophesied of in Proverbs 31. She fulfils, she completes, she rounds out everything that Jesus is. She is the expansion of His personality. She is the augmentation of His love, His authority, His grace and His power! She is everything He has been looking for and waiting for these thousands of years since the first words of Creation were first spoken.
The virtuous woman is the "what and why" Jesus suffered and died, and rose again destroying death in the process in order to win for Himself. Jesus is returning for this virtuous woman, but He's not coming today or tomorrow. The Bride is yet to be completed, and there is no cry -- either among the Bride, or coming from Holy Spirit -- which even begins to sound like, "Come, Lord Jesus." Nope!
C'mon, Family! It's time to wake up and realize that Jesus will not return until He has a disciplined Bride who has conformed to His image -- not their religious image of what they are supposed to be. This is a people who, when He comes, will make Him proud, joyful, and absolutely pleased in every respect with what He receives!
See you again, soon!
Bobby Connor is a brother in the Lord whom I first met back in the 1970's. He is a strong and clear prophetic voice to the body of Christ in this hour. Here is a portion of a prophecy recently delivered by him:
God's Holy Spirit is stirring His people! The King of kings is awakening warriors to take their place, to join the victorious, joyful band of Believers known as the overcomers, those who stand strong for King Jesus and carry His glory and love throughout the earth (1 John 5:4)!
As followers of this glorious King, each one of us is called and commissioned by the Spirit of God to become mighty warriors of God. What is a warrior? One who has experienced many battles and has defeated every enemy. One who succeeds without fail! The warrior, however, is not a common soldier. Warriors demonstrate nobility and honor, bravery and fearlessness, and, above all, radical devotion to their Leader. Warriors will die for their king!
You may well be asking, "Me? A mighty warrior?" Yes, you! Does this calling sound impossible? It is! Is this beyond your strength and ability? Absolutely!
Our identity as warriors of God is only possible because we, in ourselves, are now dead! We have been crucified with Christ. We no longer live: our lives have been bought by His Blood at Calvary. Christ now lives as God's Warrior in and through us!
"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me." Galatians 2:20
During these perilous, dark days, we can be fearless champions because Christ, living within and through us, has already "overcome the world" (see also Joshua 1:7). We don't have to overcome; Christ already has. He is the mighty Lion of Judah! He is the King of kings! Remember His promise: "Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world" (1 John 4:4). The apostle Paul reminds us that we are NOW more than conquerors in and through Christ Jesus (Romans 8:37).
(For the rest of this prophecy, go to: http://www.elijahlist.com/words/display_word.html?ID=11756.
Blessings on you!
Sunnyside, Washington 98944
Email Contact: Admin@RiverWorshipCenter.org
Coffee Break articles are copyright by Regner A. Capener, but authorization for
reprinting, reposting, copying or re-use, in whole or in part, is granted
–provided proper attribution and this notice are included intact. Older Coffee
Break archives are available at http://www.RegnersMorningCoffee.com. Coffee Break
articles are normally published weekly.
If you would like to have these articles arrive each morning in your email, please send a blank email to: Subscribe@AnotherCoffeeBreak.com.To remove yourself from the mailing list, please send a blank email to Unsubscribe@AnotherCoffeeBreak.com.
CAPENER MINISTRIES is a tax-exempt church ministry. Should you desire to participate and covenant with us as partners in this ministry, please contact us at either of the above email or physical addresses, or visit: http://www.RiverWorshipCenter.org.