Fearer and Worshipper

sam-2

samantha balal ndimalMy name is Samantha and I was born in Gabon-a country in Central West Africa. I grew up in Charlotte, NC and I currently reside in Fayetteville, Arkansas. I’m pursuing my Masters in Clinical and Mental Health Counseling at the University of Arkansas. I came to know the Lord when I was Fifteen- still the best and most confident decision I have ever made in my life. My life has not looked anything like I imagined it would, yet I couldn’t imagine writing a more perfect story for myself. Jesus changed my life and continues to relentlessly pursue my heart. My hobbies include thrifting, binging on Criminal Minds, and Crossfit-but really anything that’s competitive. I love to travel and value intentional conversations with anyone I meet, because life is too short for small talk… but that could just be the future counselor in me!

This week I heard from two separate pastors about a story that I seemed to have looked over when reading through the book of Acts. Honestly, I don’t know how I missed it, but I’m trusting that the Lord’s timing is perfect.

Some of you may be familiar with the story of Lydia-the woman who is known as a fashionista in the Bible. I must say, my curiosity to read about her encounter with the Lord stemmed from the fact that she’s known as a fashionista. As silly as it sounds, it made me want to know the role that she played in spreading the Gospel. As I read the few verses that tell her story and dug into commentaries, her trade seemingly lacked the excitement that first brought me to her story. The story of her salvation and her response to the Gospel is FAR more significant and exciting.

“We boarded a boat at Troas and sailed straight across to the island of Samothrace, and the next day we landed at Neapolis. From there we reached Philippi, a major city of that district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. And we stayed there several days.

On the Sabbath we went a little way outside the city to a riverbank, where we thought people would be meeting for prayer, and we sat down to speak with some women who had gathered there.

One of them was Lydia from Thyatira, a merchant of expensive purple cloth, who worshiped God. As she listened to us, the Lord opened her heart, and she accepted what Paul was saying. She and her household were baptized, and she asked us to be her guests. ‘If you agree that I am a true believer in the Lord,’ she said, ‘come and stay at my home.’ And she urged us until we agreed.” – Acts 16:11-15 NLT

Although this passage is short, there is so much to take away from it.

First being that, when Paul walks into the scene, the women he was sharing the Gospel with obviously weren’t saved. I learned through my research that the primary question people were asking during that time was “What must I do to be saved?”. So when Paul begins to preach the gospel to these women, they only knew OF Jesus. But even then, Lydia is referred to as “a worshiper of God”. One commentary even refers to her as a “fearer of God”. As Paul spoke, SHE listened, but THE LORD opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. This is such exciting news!

We know that she’s excited because she has the same response as the Samaritan woman; she {ran and} told everyone she knew. Her household (which may have included her immediate and extended family and her social network) were saved and baptized. What. A. Response! But even farther, she was so overwhelmed by this that she persuaded Paul and the others to stay with her-though that’s not something that they usually did (2 Cor. 11:7-9). The love she had just received just overflowed and oozed out of her!

I walked away from this story extremely challenged because here we see a (wealthy) woman, which kinda just sounds like an oxymoron for the time that this story takes place, because being a single or widowed woman should’ve put her at the bottom of the influential people list, make an impact in a major city for God. We see the Lord show up and NONE of the money she has, her influence, or even her relationship status matter. Everything changes.

My prayer is that as women, we would live intentionally using the gifts the Lord has given us and the very seasons or calling we’re in to spread His good news and to answer to the name we will go by for the rest of eternity. May we be women known for our fear of the Lord and the purity of our worship.

You are Loved,

Samantha

sam

Blazer & ruffled top: J.Crew • Skirt: J.Crew (Crew Cuts) • Loafers: H&M

“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others”
– Philippians 2:4

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Author: fashion meets God

Christ ambassador and faith & fashion blogger at fashionmeetsgod.com

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