The Powerful Influence of a Godly Woman
Kay Arthur: My question today—God’s question today—is what kind of a woman do you want to be? Because you have a choice. Proverbs 14, verse 1, says this: “The wise woman builds her house.” And that is our home, that is our structure, but putting it with us today, our house is His temple. And a “wise woman builds her house, but the foolish tears it down with her own hands.”
Precious one, the time for you to decide what kind of a woman you want to be is now. It is now. Life is not going to get easier. It is going to become more and more difficult. I believe with all my being that America is under the judgment of God. We have believed a lie. We have not given ourselves . . . I see the white hankies. We have not given ourselves to the Word of God. We have entangled ourselves with the affairs of this life, and we have forgotten that we are on the front lines and we are to please Him who has called us to be a soldier.
We have become lax. Our successes and defeats as women are written in His Word. And it all began with a woman. It began with Eve. Eve who believed the lie of the serpent. Eve who believed that she could know good and evil, that she could make her own decisions and that really God was holding out on her. That’s why He didn’t want her to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. She took the fruit of the tree. She ate it. She gave it to Adam, and Romans 5:12 says, “By one man sin entered into the world.”
From the Genesis account of Sarah, the wife of Abraham, the wife of Abraham who hoped in God. The wife of Abraham who obeyed her husband. The wife of Abraham—and you want to write this Scripture down, 1 Peter chapter 3, verses 5 and 6. The wife of Abraham—now listen carefully—who did what was right without being frightened by any fear.
Sarah was a courageous woman. Sarah believed God and if we had time, we could go into her life and learn many, many principles. But what I want you to see is from the beginning, from the first book of the Bible, Genesis all the way through to the book of Revelation, chapter 19, what we see is the great influence of women.
I want you to turn in your Bibles to Revelation chapter 19, and I want you to see in that chapter two women—the contrast of two women. One that is foolish and one because of her foolishness is destroyed, and one that is wise. In Revelation chapter 19, speaking of Babylon—mystery Babylon, the mother of harlots typified as a woman. It says in verse 2, “Because His judgments are true and righteous; for He [God] has judged the great harlot who was corrupting the earth with her immorality.”
I want you to know as I stand before you, and I’m not proud of it, but I am all right with it because I know what the blood of Jesus Christ does. I understand grace, and I understand redemption, and I understand forgiveness, and I understand that when Jesus hung on that cross, He paid for my sins once for all, and there is no more sacrifice for sin. I see the white handkerchiefs. There is no more sacrifice for sin, and I know that.
But I will tell you that up until the age of 29 when I received Jesus, I corrupted families, and I corrupted men, and I corrupted my children, and I corrupted me because of my immorality.
She is a great harlot who was corrupting the earth with her immorality, and it says, “And He [God] . . .” I want you to hear this. I want you to understand His justice. I want you to understand His righteousness. I want you to understand His holiness. I want you to understand that He may love you with every fiber of His being and He has, but like the rich, young ruler, He will let you walk away if you don’t come to God on God’s terms.
And this is what He says: “He has avenged the blood of His bondservants on her. And a second time they said, ‘Hallelujah!' Her smoke rises up forever and ever.” But contrast that woman with the Bride of Jesus Christ. Verse 7, it says, “Let us rejoice and be glad and give glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His Bride [now watch] has made herself ready. It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.”
It’s the righteousness of the saints. You and I need to decide what kind of a woman we are going to be because you and I from this point on are getting our bridal gown ready, and we are doing it by our righteousnesses, by our righteous acts.
So what you see from Genesis and the account of Sarah to Revelation 19, these two women, you can see the influence of those women who are not women of faith and those who are true women of God.
So my question comes to you again. What kind of a woman do you want to be? God has given you everything in Christ Jesus that you need in order to be the woman that is the Bride of Christ who is beautifully adorned for her husband when He comes in all of His glory.
In Psalm 68:11-12 it tells us this, that a woman who proclaims good things, who holds her post in the home reaps the spoils of victory. Do you want to be that kind of a woman? Listen to what it says. “The Lord gives the command; the women who proclaim the good tidings are a great host: kings of armies flee, they flee, and she who remains at home will divide the spoil.”
Like it or not, God has ordained that the home is the domain of the woman and that she is to be the worker of the home, and she is to be the keeper of the home. Do you want to be women who are at ease, complacent about the Lord, not listening to the Word of God?
You’re too busy; you’ve got too much to do. Women engaged in the culture thinking that you can step and live in the midst of that crooked and perverse generation without holding forth the Word of Life as He says. As a consequence just seeping and standing in it, you in turn are touched.
In Isaiah chapter 32, you want to write it down, verses 9-13, listen to what he says. “Rise up, you women who are at ease, and hear my voice; give ear to my word, you complacent daughters. Within a year and a few days you will be troubled.” Listen, it was in the days when Isaiah was prophesying of the coming judgment of God because Israel had played the harlot, because Israel had turned her back on God, because Israel had lifted up her skirts to every passerby.
And so He says, listen to me you complacent daughters. “Within a year and a few days you will be troubled, O complacent daughters; for the vintage is ended, and the fruit gathering will not come. Tremble, you women who are at ease; be troubled, you complacent daughters; strip, undress and put sackcloth on your waist, beat your breasts for the pleasant fields, for the fruitful vine, for the land of my people in which thorns and briars shall come up; yea, for all the joyful houses and for the jubilant city.”
Right now in the days of Isaiah things were going great, and they thought they had it made—just like us before the crash came. They didn’t know what was coming, and God had laid it on my heart to tell people and to warn people that God hates idolatry. He is going to pull the economic rug right out from the feet of America and put us on our faces because Colossians 3 says greed is idolatry.
But we don’t think it’s going to happen to us because we have a wrong concept of God. Listen to me carefully. Judgment is on the horizon. It cannot be—listen, listen, listen, women! It cannot be life as usual. We need to cry for God’s Spirit to be poured out on us from on high.
Do not be a foolish woman who in her bitterness because life didn’t go her way urged her husband to let go of integrity and curse God and die. Who is that woman? You know if you know the Word of God. You know it’s Mrs. Job. And you know when their whole world fell in, she just looked at Job and she said, "Why do you continue in your integrity? Curse God and die."
And listen to his response to his wife. “But he said to her, you speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity.” But God is sufficient. His power is perfected in our weakness. His sovereignty rules over all, and He is equipping us and refining us and getting us ready to meet the Lord and not be ashamed when we see Him at His coming.
So I want to ask you another question. Are you a woman seeking love? Are you looking for it wherever you can find it? Are you taught and tutored by wicked women rather than godly women? Do you get your philosophy of life from Oprah? Do you get your philosophy of life from The View? Do you get your philosophy of life from the magazines and the culture that are telling you and magazine cover after magazine cover how to have sex another way and how to do this, how to do anything but be righteous?
He says in Jeremiah chapter 2, verses 33-36, “How well you prepare your way to seek love! Therefore even the wicked women you have taught your ways.” He says, “Also on your skirts is found the lifeblood of the innocent poor; you did not find them breaking in. But in spite of all these things, yet you said, ‘I’m innocent.’”
How well you prepare your way
To seek love!
Therefore even the wicked women
You have taught your ways.
Also on your skirts is found
The lifeblood of the innocent poor;
You did not find them breaking in.
But in spite of all these things,
Yet you said, 'I am innocent;
Surely His anger is turned away from me.'
Behold, I will enter into judgment with you
Because you say, 'I have not sinned.'
Why do you go around so much
Changing your way?
Also, you will be put to shame by Egypt
As you were put to shame by Assyria.
God knows your heart. There’s no hiding from God. If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, He’s there. If I descend into the darkness, even there the light is bright about me. There is no hiding from God. He says, “Yet you said, ‘I’m innocent; surely His anger is turned away from me.’” And God says, “Behold, I will enter into judgment with you because you say [now listen], ‘I have not sinned.’”
We are living in a time and age when people do not understand sin. We are a nation that has lost our biblical moorings. We don’t know right from wrong. We do not know what the absolutes of God are. We have diluted Him and made Him a mamby pamby God that is not righteous and is not just, and you cannot do that to Him. Don’t be a foolish woman.
Or as Proverbs 6 and 7 says, are you a woman on the hunt; an evil, adulteress in pursuit of a man? Who is your house, your bed, the way to Sheol, the way to grave? Have you by your immorality, by your adultery reduced a man to nothing more than the price of a loaf of bread? That’s what Proverbs 6 and 7 talks about when it talks about the evil woman, the adulteress woman. Do you dress like a harlot? It talks about her attire as the attire of a harlot.
Are you a woman that worships at the shrine of expediency? The world sets your agenda, not God , because you bowed the knee to the feminist movement that began in the 60s, and you won’t let it go. It’s a rational matter of expediency rather than faith. That’s what your life is. Is that your life?
Expediency. "I don’t have time for in-depth Bible study." I’m so sick of hearing that! I’m so sick of older women telling younger women, “Oh, you’ve got to raise your children.” Now listen, that is the time to be studying the Word of God and going deeper and learning it inductively so that you know truth for yourself, so that you’re steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, not turning to the right and not turning to the left but observing to do according to all that God has commanded us.
Precious ones, listen to Jeremiah 7, verse 18. It says, “The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead dough to make cakes for the queen of heaven; and they pour out drink offerings to other gods in order to spite Me.” God is talking about His people, Israel. God is talking about Israel who He calls His wife.
God is talking about a nation that He has given clear commandments to and the first one is, “I am the Lord. I am a jealous God. You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not create any image in the heaven above, in the earth beneath or under the earth. You shall not worship them nor bow down to them.” And here they are making cakes to the queen of heaven.
So later in Jeremiah you read this in Jeremiah 44, verses 15-17: “All the men who were aware that their wives were burning sacrifices to other gods, along with all the women who were standing by, as a large assembly, including all the people who were living in Pathros in the land of Egypt . . .” Where they had been sent because of their disobedience to God. Well, they weren’t sent there. They went there in disobedience to God. Saying this, “As for the message you have spoken to us in the name of the LORD, we are not going to listen to you!"
I want to ask you a question. Do you have ears to hear what the Spirit of God is saying to the churches? Have you even opened the book so that you know what God is saying to the churches?
They go on to say, “But rather we will certainly carry out every word that has proceeded from our mouths.” In other words, the Word of man has precedence over the Word of God. And they say, “by burning sacrifices to the queen of heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, just as we ourselves, our forefathers, our kings and our princes did in the city of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem.”
Now catch this last line. “For then we had plenty of food and were well off and saw no misfortune.” God allows us to go through trials. It’s the trial of our faith that proves the reality and the genuineness of our faith. And if you’re going to go just by when you are blessed, then you are listening to the wrong message on TV. But the problem is people don’t know it, and they don’t understand it because they don’t know the Word of God.
Thus says the LORD of hosts, "Consider, and call the mourning women, that they may come; send for the wailing women, that they may come! Let them make haste and take up a wailing over us, that our eyes may shed tears and our eyelids flow with water. For a voice of wailing is heard from Zion, 'how we are ruined'" (verses 17-19, NASB).
Listen, we ought to be wailing for other women. We ought to be wailing for the condition of the women in the United States of America because, honestly, and I don’t mean this cruelly, but we are a generation of harlots that are raising harlots. We are destroying this nation with our harlotry, and a voice of wailing is heard.
When was the last time you wept, that you groaned for the sins that are going on in our nation among women?
When was the last time you were kind enough, bold enough, caring enough to talk to another woman and to call her to holiness and righteousness? It says,
Now hear the word of the LORD, you women. Let your ear receive the word of His mouth. Teach your daughters wailing, and everyone her neighbor a dirge. For death has come through your windows (verses 20-21).
In Jeremiah 9:23, the Lord says
Let not a man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands [Me] and knows Me (verses 23-24).
How well do you understand God? How well do you know Him? Precious one, are you just a New Testament Christian? You will not know God. You will not understand God until you get in Genesis. Yes, I see the white flags. You will not understand God until you start with the beginning, "God created the heavens and the earth" (1:1).
Every time Israel gets in trouble, you see it throughout the Old Testament, God reminds them: I’m the One that created the heavens and the earth. That’s why there’s such a battle over evolution and why you and I must know and understand the Word of God. It’s in the Old Testament that we get to know God. It’s in the Old Testament that we understand His justice and His righteousness and His holiness, and how we are to live. He says,
"Let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things," says the Lord. "Behold, the days are coming that I will punish all [now listen carefully] who are circumcised and yet uncircumcised" (verses 24-25).
Now, He’s not speaking just about men. What He’s saying is, "You’re circumcised physically, but your heart is not circumcised." The old is not cut away, and you have not become new. Are you a woman who tolerates sin, who white washes it with ungodly counsel, and in doing so, does not warn people of God’s coming judgment?
He goes on to say in Ezekiel, "Because you disheartened the righteous with falsehood when I did not cause him grief" (13:22). You’re giving wrong counsel. You’re saying that this is God. It is not Me, and you are giving wrong counsel. "But you have encouraged the wicked not to turn from his wicked ways and preserve his life, therefore, you women will no longer see false visions nor practice divination, and I will deliver My people out of your hand. Thus you will know that I am the LORD" (verses 22-23).
Listen, when you and I speak as a child of God, we’re going to be held accountable for what we say. We’re going to be held accountable for the counsel that we give. If it is not according to the Word of God, it is wrong because in this Book is everything and anything that you and I will ever need that pertains to life and godliness (see 2 Peter 1:3). I see the white hankies. It is so important.
Now, listen to what He says: Are you a woman who played the harlot and in the process sacrificed your children? What am I talking about? Abortion. It says therefore, oh harlot . . . You say, "I don’t like you to talk about abortion. I’ve had an abortion. It brings up bad memories."
I want to tell you something—and I do this in my book—it’s time to pull the plug on pain. If God has forgiven you, you are forgiven. Put it away and move forward. (Applause) But if you have not confessed it, then confess it, and He is faithful and just to forgive your sins and to cleanse you from all unrighteousness (see 1 John 1:9).
Therefore, O harlot, hear the word of the LORD. Thus says the Lord GOD, "Because your lewdness was poured out and your nakedness uncovered through your harlotries with your lovers and with all your detestable idols, and because of the blood of your sons which you gave to idols (Ezekiel 16:36).
You took your child, and you offered your child to a false god, and that’s what many people do when they get on the abortion table. They take their child, and they offer that child in their womb where they’re to be secure, on the abortion table because they have not listened to God, because they have not been the woman God wants them to be.
Do you want to be that kind of a woman? Listen, women are powerful. The way you live has greater influence than you know on your husband, on your children, on your church, on your community. It is influence for good or influence for evil or influence for nothingness.
You say, "What do you mean by nothingness?" Nothingness is this: "I’m going to remain in neutral. I’m not going to take a stand for anything. I’m not going to call sin, sin. I’m not going to call people to righteousness because I want people to love me and because I want to be accepted." What kind of a woman is that?
Are you a woman who has raised your children as 1 Timothy 2:15 says to walk in faith, to walk in love—now, listen carefully—to restrain themselves. They don’t run all over the church. They don’t run on the pews. They don’t stand on people’s furniture. Are you that kind of a woman rather than women who abandon their children on the altar of their career or before the idol of self or who would assume that they, not God, are the provider? Do you understand? "I can’t stay at home, God. I can’t take care of my kid." Have you thought about down-sizing?
I want to be careful here, and I understand there are extenuating circumstances, so please hear me that I know all of that. But I don’t believe that God ordained for you to have children and have someone else raise them, including your mother or your in-laws. God gave you a child for you to raise, and you are accountable. (Applause and cheers)
But you say, "I’ve got to provide." God promises to provide all of our need according to His riches in glory. You and I have to believe. We have to be women of faith. We have to trust Him, and God will come along.
You say, "But my kids’ education . . ." Listen, God loves your kids more than you love them. God is wiser than you, so don’t lean to your own understanding. Lean on the person of God. Embrace His precepts for life.
From Deborah and Yaw El, in the days of judges, in the darkest hour of those days, there was a woman that was an out-front leader. There was a woman that stayed at home, and both of them conquered the enemy because both were women of courage. One took the tent peg and nailed the enemy to the floor, and that’s what you and I need to do.
From them to Mary who, in the fullness of time, when God sent forth His Son, a Son that would deliver men and women from sin, from its penalty, which is the wages of sin is—what?—death—from its power so that I am freed from sin. If the Son shall set you free, you shall be free indeed.
On July 16, 1963, I went down on my knees, an immoral, divorced woman, telling my husband to commit suicide when he said he was going to, and later on he did. But I came up a brand new creature in Christ Jesus, "old things passed away, all things became new" (2 Corinthians 5:17). I’m telling you, I was delivered from the power of sin, and if you haven’t been delivered from the power of sin, you do not have Christ in you because that is part of the work of the Holy Spirit.
What kind of a woman do you want to be—condemned in your sin or cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ once for all and cleansed daily by the washing of the water of the Word? Do you want to be a true woman, what God intended you to be—godly, righteous, loving, faithful, holy, fulfilled, not frustrated, triumphant, and not defeated?
If you’re going to be a woman of God, this Book has to be your daily bread. He said it in Deuteronomy. Jesus quoted it to the devil in Matthew 4:4. He turns, and He looks at the devil, and He says, "It is written, man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes out of the mouth of God."
What you and I are holding is the very words of God. In 2 Timothy chapter 3, He says this in verse 16, "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God" (KJV). The word is only used once in the whole New Testament, and it means "God-breathed." All Scripture is God-breathed. These are the very, very words of God.
What are you doing preferring the writings of men and women and reading those above reading the Word of God? What is your favorite book? If it’s not the Bible, something is terribly wrong, and you can turn it around by coming to know the Word of God, because these words are spirit and life. Jesus said, "The words that I speak are spirit and life" (John 6:63, NKJV). They are a discerner of the thoughts and the intents of the heart, as Hebrews says.
So in 2 Timothy 3, verse 14, He says you, "however, continue in the things that you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have heard them." This is Paul’s last letter to his son. He’s going to die, and he says, and "from childhood you have known the sacred writings" (verse 15).
Now, what are the sacred writings that Timothy knew? Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges . . . all the way through the Old Testament. That child was taught the Word of God. This is the foundation for all of your Christian life. And he says "all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and it is profitable for [teaching]" (verse 16, KJV).
It is profitable not only for teaching, but for reproof, to show you where you’re wrong. How do you know you’re wrong if you don’t know the Word of God? That’s why our society is in the mess that it’s in because we know what the world says, and we listen to the Christian TV, and the Christian radio, but we are not listening directly to God, and God wants you to know Him. God wants you to discover truth for yourself.
He wants you to know that this is not what this person thinks or what that person says or this one preaches. "This is what I’ve said, and this is My Word, and it is profitable for what you believe. It is profitable for reproof, and when I reprove you, I’m going to show you how to correct yourself."
It is profitable for correction, and it is profitable for training in righteousness so that you know how to live and how to be a true woman of God and how to be a child of God that pleases Him, "so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work" (verse 17).
What he’s saying in essence, if you look at the play on the Greek word, he’s saying this: There is not any situation in life that can come your way, that can throw you for a loop if you know the Word of God, if you are established in the Word of God. There’s nothing. He’s got every base covered, in principle and precept.
That’s why in Psalm 119, he says, "I love Your precepts. Through Your precepts I get understanding, and I hate every false way." (Psalm 119:104).
Precious ones, I want you to know, and I want you to understand one thing, and that is this: "Faith is the substance of things hoped for. [It is] the evidence of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1, KJV). If God has said it, it will surely come to pass. He says, "I watch over My Word to perform it" (Jeremiah 1:12. ESV). As He has purposed, it will come to pass.
You and I need to live by every Word that comes out of His mouth. My whole passion, my whole life, the whole life of our ministry is to establish people in God’s Word. In Psalm 119, verse 102, he says, "I have not turned aside from Your ordinances, for You Yourself have taught me."
God has given you the resident Holy Spirit, your Tutor, to take the Word of God and to teach it to you so that you might be the woman that God intended you to be. If all other women don’t stand, you will stand anyway because you love your God, and if you love Him, you will obey Him and keep His commandments.
Let’s pray. Father, seal it to our hearts now, in Jesus’ name we pray. Don’t let us get away. Oh, Father, tether us, as Nancy said, to Your Word. In Your name we pray, amen. (Applause)