In celebration of the release of Leslie Ludy’s new book, The Set Apart Woman, I’m giving away one copy of it! I had the opportunity to read through this book in March before it was released and have been deeply stirred by the truth inside. Being a busy mama, I don’t have the uninterrupted hours for reading that I used to, but since I am also a bookworm, I do make time for reading whenever I can! I often read through five or six books at a time, but when I got this book, I read it straight through. I will readily admit that I rejoiced and winced my way through it because God was touching upon compromise in my life and asking for renewed consecration. It was like cool water for my thirsty soul.
The past two years of my life have been full of surprises, challenges, and transitions. Some hard, most of them wonderful. Yet I have to be honest and confess that I did not walk through most of the hard things in a way pleasing to God. When a “trial” arose, I often gave into frustration, condoned my complaining, and half-heartedly tended to my relationship with Him. I cringe as I remember the many bad moods and pity-parties I indulged in. My heart and life did not display steadfastness; I went up and down with my circumstances and emotions.
But praise God for His faithfulness, His lovingkindness, His mercy, and His grace! Day by day, He has enabled me to see clearly again, to cling to truth again, and to walk in the power of His Spirit again. The beginning of this year brought so much newness of life and for that I am so thankful. It was like falling in love with Him all over again, just like I did during my first semester at Ellerslie. This year has been a beautiful time of drawing closer to God and Him drawing nearer to me, all the while experiencing the refining fire that is so very necessary for greater intimacy with Him.
I was SO excited when I heard that Leslie was writing a new book specifically for women, since many of her other books were written for younger, high school or college-age girls (though I am still edified by each of them and can’t wait until I have daughters old enough to read them!). Her books have played a very significant part in me coming to know the Lord and I expected this one would be no different. Even before I truly surrendered my life to Jesus, her books always left me desiring to really know Him.
If you’ve read Leslie’s other books and you are thinking that there isn’t anything new in this book, well, you’re right! Leslie doesn’t stray for a moment from her classic message of making (and keeping) Jesus at the center of your life. However, she does get very specific in addressing many of the common challenges that women face. I love this because as women, there are certain areas of sin and compromise that we have a tendency to excuse and downplay. These issues include fear, worry, gossip, addictions to media, self-promotion, legalism, etc. Leslie approaches these topics and then turns right to Scripture, leaving us with empowering Gospel truth – and without a single excuse for our sin and compromise.
I’ve read some negative reviews of this book and I completely disagree with those who say that Leslie’s message of pure devotion to Christ is legalistic and strict. Leslie actually wrote a section called Set-Apartness Vs. Legalism in chapter three, clarifying the difference between the two. Here’s a great quote from that section:
Legalism and true set-apartness are two very different things. Legalism oppresses, but true set-apartness liberates. Legalism chokes life, but true set-apartness gives life. Legalism is based upon self-effort, but true set-apartness is based upon the supernatural enabling grace of God. Legalism is based upon rules, but true set-apartness is based upon a relationship with the King of all kings.
The Set Apart Woman is incredibly convicting, but it has brought so much life to my soul. I know my struggles and my weaknesses, and I don’t need a book that ‘helps me become myself’ or promotes fruitless introspection. My soul needs a message that is going to set my eyes on Jesus, His worthiness, and His ability to make me more like Him. If you feel some stinging as you go through this book, my encouragement is to embrace the loving conviction of God. As my friend Mandy says, “We will find that fuller life and deeper joy in Him awaits us just beyond the brink of repentance – that’s the beauty and blessing of God’s refining!” On a practical note, there are thought-provoking study and reflection questions at the end of each chapter. These will help you take the message of true set-apartness even deeper. They’re perfect for discussing in a Bible study group or working through on your own in your journal. And I just have to mention… isn’t the cover of the book just so lovely? It is so inviting and really reflects the sacred message you’ll find within its pages. Whether you’ve been walking with the Lord for two years or twenty years, I hope you’ll read this book!
To enter my giveaway for a copy of this book: leave a comment and share with me one of YOUR favorite books on Biblical womanhood and why you love it. I’m looking forward to hearing from you!
The giveaway is open until Saturday, May 31st, 2015, when I’ll randomly select a name and notify the winner by email. Open to United States residents only.