Throughout the centuries, men have tended to regard women as inferior. This judgment upon women is a judgment upon God who made women and can only quench the Holy Spirit in men who make such judgments.
Lydia is a good example of God’s great work through a woman. Overnight, the history of Europe began to change because Lydia heard the voice of the Holy Spirit speak through Paul. She responded and became Europe’s first convert.
Because of her faithfulness to the message she heard, the gospel spread to those around her, like a stone whose ripples spread out over a pond.
Lydia serves as an example to both men and women of how the Holy Spirit can work in anyone to change the world in the name of Christ.
- God opened Lydia’s HEART to do a work of grace in her life. God alone ordained her time to come to Christ and to use her conversion as a means to ultimately change the direction of a whole continent and the rest of the world. Through her witness, her entire household believed and received baptism. Through her and her household, the church at Philippi was born. That church became a strong witness for the Lord and served as a model for future churches. All of this began with the conversion of one woman. There are no small people in the kingdom of God. We must open ourselves to all that God chooses to work through our lives.
- Lydia opened her HOME for God’s servants and fellow believers. Like Lydia, we all show our gratitude to God by the way we treat God’s servants and our brothers and sisters in Christ.
- Lydia offered her HANDS to minister to others. Lydia took Paul and Silas into her house to nurse their wounds from jail and beatings and help them recover. A helpful spirit is not just “woman’s work.” A helpful spirit is an effective witness for Christ in men and women alike. A helpful spirit is a spirit of salt and light that preserves and enlightens families, cultures and nations with the power of Christ.
- Lydia had a good HEAD for business and practical affairs. Lydia was a prosperous businesswoman. Lydia is a good example of a wealthy servant–one who regards all wealth and personal possessions as gifts from God to serve Him and others in need of His transformation.
Since Lydia’s generation, the Spirit of God has worked in the hearts of other women to do great and mighty things. Think of Amy Carmichael who ministered to girls caught in forced prostitution. She modeled ministries in India later founded by men.
Think of Monica, mother of a wayward youth named Augustine who became one of Christianity’s most influential theologians because of her prayers.
Think of Susannah Wesley, mother and faithful teacher to 19 children including John and Charles Wesley.
Think of Elizabeth Elliott, wife of martyred missionary, Jim Elliott, who took up her husband’s mantle and served as God’s instrument to change a savage culture for Christ.
As followers of Jesus Christ, we depend upon God’s Spirit. Let us all thank God for such boundless grace that works in so many ways. Let us especially make sure we accept all the grace He reveals through His chosen women.