My wife, Sonia, just returned today from a Beth Moore Conference in South Carolina. Although she was exhausted physically from her 7-hour trip, spiritually she was pumped. In the few hours that she’s been back, she has used words like “awesome,” “incredible,” and “encouraging” over and over to describe what she experienced and learned.
I put Sonia on the spot tonight and asked her if she would lead our family devotion time. To help persuade her to share, I pointed out that one shouldn’t keep all that newly-gained spiritual wisdom inside! It didn’t take much coaxing, though, because she was so full and excited.
Thus, our two sons, Stephen (age 11) and Justin (8) and I (42) listened attentively as the wife and mom of this household began to talk about the overall theme of the conference and what it meant to her. She said the entire conference was on trials and how God allows difficulties to shape us more into His image. Sonia’s voice grew more intense and her words came more quickly and easily when she told us how Beth shared personal details about her childhood. She was abused by members of her own family. Sonia was clearly impacted by how Beth said that God took even these most ugly and cruel trials and turned them toward her good and growth in the Lord.
I was incredibly grateful to hear that Beth built every teaching session of this conference around God’s Word – James chapter 1, to be exact. For those of you who know of Beth and her reputation, the fact that she leaned so heavily on the Bible comes as no surprise to you. Beth has apparently always been careful to focus on the infallible and only written Word of God as her textbook.
I thank God for how He used Beth and her staff to encourage my wife and the 18,000 other ladies who were there in SC this weekend. I thank God for the tremendous discipler and mentor she is to countless thousands. I thank God for the way God has elevated her to sell out crowds in coliseums for the sake of worship and the Word. Even more, I thank God for the God that flows out of her to touch so many people and change so many lives for His glory.
Sonia also led our prayer time tonight at the end of our family devotion. In her prayer she, too, thanked God for Beth Moore. Then she said something I hope will always be a reminder to me in my own life and ministry. Beth obviously made something profoundly clear to my godly wife and to the thousands of others in that huge hall. When she prayed, Sonia said, “Lord, thank you that Beth is so humble. She knows You are the One who works through her. You are the one she depends on and loves so much.”
You see, my wife didn’t walk away from that conference mesmorized by Beth Moore. She didn’t come home singing Beth’s praises. Beth had pointed those ladies away from herself and toward her King – And that is perhaps what I thank God for most when I thank Him for Beth Moore…