What Has God Created and Shaped You For?
Purposeful Living: She Is Called Edition chapter preview
By Karla Camacho and Sonia Asbei Loera Castro
This workshop on what God has created and shaped you for is the third session in the ten-part She Is Called edition of Purposeful Living. It has been lightly adapted here for use as a standalone workshop but is best experienced as part of the full Purposeful Living process. This process is designed to help women embrace the term “leadership” and understand the calling that God has on their lives.
Welcome and opening prayer
Note: During this time, we talk about the session and its theme.
Expectations for the event
This collaborative workshop focuses on three areas:
- Personal growth: We hope to see each woman develop the capacity to direct her own life. Before she directs others, each woman should learn first to love herself, to understand the value God has created her with, and to be her own guide.
- Putting abilities into practice: As a woman grows and matures, she develops unique gifts and talents. These talents grow through practice. The same thing happens in ministry. All leaders should put leadership skills into practice. Leadership abilities can be learned and developed as we grow as leaders in our communities.
- Multiplying leadership: Leadership is not just about accumulating more followers but preparing others to lead alongside you. Women win over more women, helping them to love themselves and to value and lift up the gifts and abilities God gave them so that they may also serve.
Introduction and purpose
As we develop as people and live authentically, it’s important to remember that each one of us has a set of beliefs and values that shapes our character, behavior, attitudes, and decisions in life.
Although beliefs and values are interrelated, there is a distinctive difference between the two. Beliefs are based on the core convictions we have and that we believe are true, whether or not we have proof or evidence for them. Beliefs are very hard to change, and they come from what we see, hear, think, and experience. These create a foundation for our lives. Our core values arise out of the lessons we have learned through our experiences, both the good and the bad, and which we then incorporate into our lives. Core values are our “non-negotiables,” things that we will not forget about or set aside.
Exercise: Beliefs and values
Take ten minutes during which each woman can respond to the following questions:
- What are some of the essential beliefs and values you can identify in your own life?
- What did you learn about the difference between beliefs and values? How are they evident in your life?
- How can you take a step further in your intimacy with God so that his teachings and values are reflected in your life?
God's purpose for Rahab
Then Joshua son of Nun sent two men secretly from Shittim as spies, saying, “Go, view the land, especially Jericho.” So they went, and entered the house of a prostitute whose name was Rahab, and spent the night there. The king of Jericho was told, “Some Israelites have come here tonight to search out the land.” Then the king of Jericho sent orders to Rahab, “Bring out the men who have come to you, who entered your house, for they have come only to search out the whole land.” But the woman took the two men and hid them. Then she said, “True, the men came to me, but I did not know where they came from. And when it was time to close the gate at dark, the men went out. Where the men went I do not know. Pursue them quickly, for you can overtake them.” She had, however, brought them up to the roof and hidden them with the stalks of flax that she had laid out on the roof. So the men pursued them on the way to the Jordan as far as the fords. As soon as the pursuers had gone out, the gate was shut.
Before they went to sleep, she came up to them on the roof and said to the men: “I know that the Lord has given you the land, and that dread of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land melt in fear before you. For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites that were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. As soon as we heard it, our hearts melted, and there was no courage left in any of us because of you. The Lord your God is indeed God in heaven above and on earth below. Now then, since I have dealt kindly with you, swear to me by the Lord that you in turn will deal kindly with my family. Give me a sign of good faith that you will spare my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them, and deliver our lives from death.” –Joshua 2:1-13
Rahab was a prostitute who, at some point in her life, had heard about the God of Abraham. The story tells us that Rahab understood that God had sent the two Israelite men to spy on the land. She took courage and hid these men, protecting them so they would not be killed. In this way, Rahab, a woman of conviction, became a woman who would change history.
Often, we look at people and judge them for what they have done against God’s will, but we don’t stop to think that those same people can also be used by God. Hebrews 11:31 tells us that Rahab came to trust in God, and God saved her and her family from death.
In this passage, we see the story of a woman whom others did not think very well of, since she led a sinful life that was not pleasing to God. However, this woman’s understanding was enlightened about this God she had heard about. We can see that God had given Rahab a purpose. She was able to fulfill that purpose, and her beliefs and values began to change. Later, Rahab would marry a man named Salmon (Matthew 1:5), and the Bible tells us that Rahab the prostitute was an ancestor of Jesus, the Messiah, our Lord and Savior.
What has God created and shaped you for? It doesn’t matter what bad things you have lived through or done in your life: God created you with a purpose.
Exercise and closing
Each woman should write down two or three questions, each question on a separate slip of paper. The questions should not be addressed to anyone in particular but should be general questions; they can be serious, profound, lighthearted, or humorous. Explain that the questions are meant to help the group get to know each other and create healthy relationships. All of the questions should be gathered up and placed inside a container in the middle of the circle of women. Pass a small ball around to the beat of some music. Whoever is holding the ball when the music stops should take a slip of paper and answer the question.
Homework: Praise for the virtuous woman
In your personal journal, write about how God is speaking to you through these verses. Starting today, we will be reading three or four verses each week. Reflect on them, pray, and write what God is giving you. This week, we will read Proverbs 31:10-12.