“What is the secret to great living? Entire separation to Christ and devotion to Him. Thus speaks every man and woman whose life has made more than a passing flicker in the spiritual realm. It is the life that has no time for trifling that counts.” -Amy Carmichael
History is filled with amazing examples of stunning set-apart women, wholly devoted to Jesus Christ. Their awe-inspiring examples of radiant femininity put modern young women (myself included!) to shame. Here are two of my favorites:
Vibia Perpetua, one of the earliest Christian martyrs, was thrown into an arena among wild beasts and then killed with a gladiator's sword because of her faith in Christ. A beautiful young woman of high education and noble birth, she gladly gave up all worldly comforts and applause for the cause of Christ. The mother of an infant son whom she dearly loved, she could have obtained life and freedom simply by denying her faith in Christ. But as it says in Revelation 12:11, she loved not her life unto death. Vibia greatly rejoiced that she was counted worthy to suffer and die for her Savior, and she endured the wild beasts’ attacks while singing a Psalm and exhibiting a joyful, radiant countenance. She walked confidently toward death, as Christ walked to Calvary, and was given victory over her senses, feeling no pain but only a deep oneness with God. Just before she died, she exhorted her onlooking brother to stand fast in the faith. Like many other martyrs, Vibia’s blood became the seed of the early Christian Church. Because of her courageous spirit and sublime faith, the Church attracted countless people who could not ignore the hope and heroism displayed in the life and death of this radiant daughter of the King.
Gladys Aylward was 25 when she met Christ and offered her life to Him fully and completely. He placed a heavy burden upon her heart for the suffering and unreached people of war-torn China. But she had no money, did not speak the language, and was unqualified to go alone to a dangerous and hostile land. Then one day she heard a challenge from her Lord, and she knew she had to go exactly where He was calling her. At the age of 26, she boarded a train to China with only a small handful of coins in her pocket and embarked upon one of the most extraordinary adventures of all time.
Over the next 20 years, Gladys preached the Gospel to thousands of Chinese men and women, tended to hundreds of wounded soldiers during the war, single-handedly stopped a deadly riot at a men's prison, cared for the sick and lepers, and adopted more than a hundred orphans, often going without food so that they could survive. During the Japanese invasion she was on the "Dead or Alive” most wanted list, and at times narrowly escaped pursuers seeking to end her life - her clothing riddled with bullet holes.
She led 200 orphans on a six-week journey across the mountains to bring them to safety, a journey so exhausting that she lapsed into a coma as soon as the task was completed. Gladys' life of complete abandon to Jesus Christ literally changed the face of a nation. At the end of her life, she wrote: "My heart is full of praise that one so insignificant, uneducated, and ordinary in every way could be used to His glory for the blessing of His people in poor persecuted China." Though ordinary and insignificant, Gladys lived one of the most spectacular displays of triumphant femininity this world has ever seen, all because she staked everything upon the faithfulness of her God.
The sacred call God placed upon these incredible women's lives is the very same call He has placed upon yours and mine. Only one question remains. Are we willing to lay down everything else and take up His set-apart commission?
God's sacred intent for us goes far beyond just saving sex until marriage, wearing one-piece swimsuits instead of skimpy bikinis, or idolizing Christian bands instead of secular ones. It is not just making sure we tack on some Christian morality to our self-indulgent lives.
His sacred intent for you and for me is nothing short of absolute abandonment to Jesus Christ, entire separation from the pollution of the world, and ardent worship of our King with every breath we take.
About the Author:
A little peek inside the life of Leslie Ludy
"First and foremost, I’m a wife and mother of four precious little munchkins. My husband, Eric, is the love of my life. More than sixteen years ago, God scripted an amazing love story for us, and we’ve been in ministry together for most of our married life – writing, speaking, training, discipling, and experiencing the grand adventure of God’s amazing endless frontier. And more recently, we’ve tackled the adventure of raising four sweet little kiddos together – all under age six! Our life – both at home and in our ministry world – is an exciting daily journey of leaning on the faithfulness and grace of our God!"