The Story of Mary Magdalene: A Woman of Fierce Faith – Woman of Faith Blog Series
Can Jesus forgive and save an adulteress? Yes. Take a sneak peek into the life of Mary Magdalene.
Hello, beautiful people! I pray that God’s grace has kept you longing for His love in an entirely new way these past few months…I also pray that you’ve been growing in Him and in His Word! I’m so sorry that it has taken me sooo long to add my new installment to the Women of Faith blog series…much has happened since my last blog post – all great things for the glory of the Lord, though! He is so amazing. He is so good. His goodness, His grace, and His mercy is matchless. His love is incomparable. I’m so honored to be a daughter of His and a vessel to carry out His perfect work. He’s been working on me, in me, and through me – which is a continual process, and will never cease for as long as I live on this earth. It is a privilege and an honor to be deeply loved, deeply adored, and deeply cared for so much by my Father that He will do whatever needs to be done to sanctify and consecrate me for His glory and His perfect work.
With that said, it feels great to be back! 🙂 I am SO excited to share with you Part 2 of the Women of Faith blog series! If you have yet to read Part 1 – The Story of Ruth: Fearless Faith, I encourage you to do so! It will certainly encourage you, uplift you, and strengthen you in your faith walk with Christ.
Allow me to tell you when God initially began depositing this particular blog post in my heart and in my spirit: Many weeks ago, I had a conversation with someone close to me about a few influential people in the Bible. As we talked, we went from speaking about influential men and spiritual leaders to honing in on a few of the influential women…and Mary from the Bible came up. As the conversation continued, I realized (and proceeded to vocalize) that there are actually three well-known women by the name of Mary in the Bible: Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus; Mary, the mother of Jesus; and Mary Magdalene, a devout follower and disciple of Jesus Christ – and the woman who had the privilege and honor of walking alongside Jesus during His mission and ministry on earth, even witnessing His resurrection three days after His crucifixion and death. All three of these women are phenomenal women, and my hope is that I have the opportunity to highlight each of them in the Women of Faith Blog series. For this blog post, I feel it is very fitting (especially after the pruning process I just went through!) to highlight Mary Magdalene: a woman who few talk about. A woman who had a background that wasn’t picture perfect but was so unbelievably committed to her Savior that she sat at the tomb where He was buried and waited for Him. I mean really waited. And wept. Her faith, her commitment, and her devotion inspires me so very much. There’s something very special about this woman, and I want to talk about it! 🙂
Mary Magdalene was a woman who was sweetly broken. Bitter yet sweet. Her brokenness was sweet because it allowed God’s power and strength to shine bright in her life and be a perfect example of His goodness. And as He does so well, God took her brokenness (broken mess) and made something beautiful out of it. Mary’s story is a prime example of beauty emerging from ashes. Mary Magdalene was a woman who had what we would call in today’s time a “sketchy” past. She was believed to have been pretty sexually promiscuous in her day. She was unchaste. Her job was assumed to have been prostitution. Her sins were lust, pride, sexual immorality, adultery, and covetousness to name a few. She was a woman who had also been plagued with seven demons that would not leave her (Imagine that for a minute!) until Jesus had cast them out. But this woman also had a fierce faith. She trusted God to heal and deliver her when nothing else had worked before Him. She honored her Savior at all costs; she clung to the power of God for dear life. She wept for His return (resurrection). And she witnessed His resurrection. She was right there. How amazing is that?! What an honor! But what’s more amazing is that He pursued her. Relentlessly. She was destined to be a daughter of God. By His grace.
I can identify with Mary Magdalene in many ways. I’ve been broken. I’ve been desperate for God. I’ve been plagued with demons that haunted me and tried their best to take me under – demons of depression, oppression, hopelessness, fear, idolatry, pride, and self-righteousness. And they still seek to defeat me at times. The enemy will never cease in trying to defeat God’s children; but this just further confirms who we belong to. It’s a never-ending battle between the spiritual forces of darkness and the forces in the heavenly realm, and we must fight until the end.
I’ve had some intense pruning/growth/sanctification time since my last blog post. This week, the adversity seemed to hit me a bit harder for some reason. (Maybe because the enemy knew this blog was so close to being written, and he wanted to disrupt that plan. Welp…didn’t happen!) But there were so many things going on all at once in my life, in my heart, and in my mind over the span of several weeks. And this week, just like Mary Magdalene, I wept for the return of Jesus. I realized how much I yearned for something more than what the world has to offer. I realized how much I wanted to see Him at the Second Coming. I realized how much I wanted to be with Him for the rest of my life and for eternity. The weight of my suffering is what brought me to the realization of what I am enduring this life and everything in it for – for the object of my faith…for eternity with Jesus. And suffering always brings me to this realization.
I’ve wept for His return in times past. I’ve even asked for Him to call me home if I had to continue to feel this type of pain. But instead of removing the pain and my desperate longing for Him, He helped me to endure the pain, the hurt, and/or the disappointment so that I could continue to live and work for His glory. He keeps me dependent on Him, and I absolutely love it. I am in awe of it. And I know because of His sovereign will: When it’s my time, it’s my time. But my time isn’t now…because I’m still here.
I would like to think that Mary Magdalene felt that same kind of pain that I described at times. Actually, maybe even more. In fact, she has often been described as a woman whose eyes were often red from weeping. But what I would like to tell you this day is that God’s power – and His saving and sustaining grace – is greater than anything Mary, you, or I could ever face in this life. God’s power and grace was (and is) greater than Mary’s sexual past. It was greater than the seven demons. It was greater than her brokenness.
And…did you forget that demons tremble at the mention of the name Jesus?
God completely washed away Mary’s sins with the blood of Jesus Christ that was shed on the Cross. He granted by His grace that she be healed from all of her infirmities. He restored her mind, body, and soul in Him, and called her to be a witness of His glory and resurrection. She was the first to witness the Risen Lord, and announce His resurrection. In the four Gospels, she was mentioned at least 12 times – more than many of the apostles. That’s pretty profound.
I too am a witness of His resurrecting power. You too are a witness. Speak, woman of God. Yearn for His love. Exercise your fierce faith.
If God can take my broken pieces and make something beautiful out of it…creating a masterpiece; If He can make it work for my good (Romans 8:28-29), He can do the same for you. And He can do the same for anyone. Don’t doubt His unfailing love and His transforming power.
There are a few more things I would like for each of us to take away from Mary Magdalene’s story:
-If God can deal with other people’s mess, then so can we. And it certainly isn’t done in our own strength. Embrace the broken, the unloved, the outcasts, the poor, the fatherless, the widowed, and the oppressed – and love them back to life. Love them back to Jesus. Jesus is life.
-Own your personal story and truth, then vow to love God with all of your heart, mind, soul, and strength (Mark 12:30-31). Accept what is true about you through HIM and live and thrive through His truth.
-God’s love doesn’t make sense to the natural mind. We need supernatural intervention to even grasp the tiniest bit of His love – because it extends far beyond our natural human capacity. We truly need Him in order to love like Him.
-Rebuke and correction is necessary as we seek to grow in God and as we teach others to do the same; but instead of rebuking every single thing in a person, consider how we might apply some love to that situation. Consider how we might apply some healing and deliverance to that situation through Christ. Just as God our Father did for Mary Magdalene.
-Everything God makes is beautiful. Nothing He makes or creates is ever less than perfect in His eyes. Our entire lives and our stories are for His glory alone. And as the Christian gospel group Gungor sings so perfectly in their popular single Beautiful Things: “You make beautiful things…you make beautiful things out of the dust. You make beautiful things…you make beautiful things out of us. You are making me new…you are making me new.”
-Grace makes all of the difference. I don’t have a thing to boast about apart from Him. Ephesians 2:5-9. And neither do you. That’s what I love so much about Mary Magdalene’s story.
-Love conquers all. Always remember this. God is love. His Word says that if we do not have love, we have nothing – and we are nothing (1 Corinthians 13). Live in love.
Mary Magdalene’s faith and love for her Savior is admirable. I wanted to highlight her because she is an unlikely pick; and God loves to choose the unlikely to be a display of His love and goodness. May this give you hope.
He is making you new. Allow Him to do it, dear soul. Endure the process and the frequent tests and trials of your faith. Conquer fear, conquer hurt, conquer pain, conquer unforgiveness, and conquer whatever else so that you can become a woman of fierce faith.
As always, I encourage you to take personal time to study this particular woman of faith on your own. Study the Word. Meditate on it. Read some articles and posts from reputable sources (or from people who just love God and study His Word to show themselves approved!) Listen to a few sermons. Again, in this season, I’m encouraging you to study on your own more.
I have referenced a few scripture passages to get you started: Luke 8:2; Matthew 27:55, 61; Matthew 28:1-10; Luke 24:1-10; John 20:1-2, 11-18
But if the Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. Romans 8:11
Be strong, woman of God. Be fearless. Be bold. Be courageous. Be different. Be fierce. I love you! And God loves you so much more.
Soli Deo Gloria,
If you have not purchased my book yet, now is the perfect time! I talk about it all…even sexual promiscuity and prostitution, and so many other things in our culture that are aiding in the enemy’s agenda. This book fights against them all. Bless another young woman’s life. Bless your own life! My own book blesses my life in ways you’d never know. This is Gods work, not mine. And as biblical women of God, we grow in love. God is love. God Bless you! Happily Ever After: Biblical Womanhood, The Pursuit of Christ…and Marriage by Porsche R. Armstrong