Let’s get ready to learn more from Lydia!
Leadership Characteristic 3: Her heart was opened by God.
On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. “If you consider me a believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us. Acts 16: 13-15
Because Lydia was seeking God, when Paul came and preached the gospel, “The Lord opened her heart.” She became his first European convert! She made her enthusiastic public confession of faith by being baptized, and her family followed her. Cha-ching! For all of us who are spiritual leaders of the home (SLOTHs), isn’t this what we long for? Our family to follow us in our faith in Jesus?
As a newly minted Christian, Lydia began using her wealth to assist God’s servants in furthering the gospel. She genuinely cared for Paul and his apostles in practical ways. When they left prison, in verse 40, they went directly to Lydia’s home: “After Paul and Silas came out of the prison, they went to Lydia’s house, where they met with the brothers and sisters and encouraged them.” It appears that Lydia’s home had become the “church,” a center of Christian community, where the brothers and sisters gathered.
As the Spirit burned in Lydia, she was able to transition between her secular business and her spiritual calling. Her success did not get snuffed out by her spirituality. Nor did she did allow the secular business interests she held rob her of the burning glow of the Holy Spirit. She worked hard, enjoyed her accomplishments with quiet satisfaction, and never held back–using her income to support and serve the gospel.
As a spiritual leader of the home, with or without a husband, we have human limits to our heavenly endeavors. One thing we can control is our “seeker” behavior. If we seek the Lord, every day, some days nothing happens. But our time seeking is like a savings account. A few minutes doesn’t seem like much today, but over time, those minutes add up and prepare us for something really special. When that something special comes along, we are ready for it. How does that translate to our daily behavior? If we look at Lydia, she gathered with other like minded women and, according to the Jewish customs of the day, they prayed, worshiped and fellowshipped together. When Paul came, God had prepared her heart to receive his message.
If you are seeking God, God is opening your heart too. What could He be preparing you for today? Or your families? Keep your eyes open and let us know!
More on Lydia and being a Spiritual Leader Of The Home next Monday!
I am indebted to BibleGateway.com for their Women of the Bible eNewsletter which provided the historical data for this blog post. I highly recommend it!