Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Yes to God Tuesday... on Wednesday again



This is part of a book study that we are doing over on Lelia's blog. We are reading Lysa Terkeurst's book What Happens when Women Walk in Faith. Each week we read two chapters and discuss what really spoke to us. This week we are finishing up the Famine Phase and beginning the Believing Phase. This is a great book... an easy read. It is not too late to join in with us if you would like.

Chapter 8 Refusing to Get Bogged Down in Bitterness

Lysa started off the chapter by reminding us that the Famine phase is a season of learning to depend on God. She then pointed out:

"As a result, things will be stripped from you that hinder the relationship He wants to have with you. You may experience a shake-up in your finances, your friendships, your position of leadership, your expectations, or one of a thousand other things that we put our trust in. God wants our complete trust. So whenever He strips something away, He does it for our good and not to harm us."

Well... we seem to be in a shake-up stage at our house. But... I will have to say that God chose just the right things to shake-up to get my attention. I have been forced to trust Him completely... not our finances (an understatement), not my husband, not my friends, not my family, only HIM. He is the only one that I can take my heartaches to. He knows my situation... and offers no condemnation.

Not being bitter is a choice... a conscious choice not something that comes naturally. Lysa talks about Joseph in Egypt and says,

"He chose not to. (be bitter) He made the conscious choice to honor God with his actions and his attitudes, and God honored him. Notice that God didn't immediately pluck him from the situation but rather honored him in the situation. How many times do we ask God to take away an unpleasant circumstance, and He doesn't?? Seek to honor him and then remember to look for the ways He's honoring you, not by removing you but by sending blessings to you in that place."

Honoring God is a choice that has to be made. He will not force us to make it... but will honor us when we make it.

Lysa also reminds us,

"People want to see if your claims about God's faithfulness hold true even when life gets hard."

"They (her Liberian sons) didn't get stuck in the bitterness that surely came knocking at the doors of their hearts."

You can bet that bitterness will come knocking at our hearts door any time there is a shake-up. If we focus on "Me" and not on God... we will most likely open the door when bitterness knocks.


Chapter 9 A Most Unlikely Path

Many times, the things that I plan.... well, they just don't come to pass. They might have been good plans... plans to do "something" for God... plans for my family... plans for a certain amount of money I have stashed away... but something goes wrong... or at least according to MY plans. Lysa reminds us,

"God knows the best routes for us. He sees dangers and temptations that we don't see along the way. Sometimes we get frustrated with God when He takes us through places we hadn't planned on going. His route sometimes appears to be out of the way, inconvenient, tiresome, and confusing."

I love the part where Lysa tells us,

"Feelings will follow correct behaviors, not the other way around. Make right choices to honor God, and your feelings will eventually catch up."

I really needed to hear this again... I need to make it a habit. I have done this in the past about my children going to public school... but right now... doing the right thing and honoring God are hiding behind my "not so happy" feelings. I know what the right thing is... I am just not following through with my actions. I need to just do the right thing... and my feelings will catch up later.

Okay... I know that this post has been long, but I couldn't pass up this next quote,

"Have you ever dared to ask this? Have you ever dared to say to God, Lord, whatever Your will for my life is, that is what I want? Believing God is not for the weak at heart. It's only for those who want to discover the rich blessings of walking close enough to God to hear the constant drumming of His heartbeat."

That speaks for itself. I want to be walking so close to God that I can hear the constant drumming of His heart. I want to hear that on a daily basis... not just once in a while.

There are many other things that I would like to list... but this has been pretty long. I also want to tell you about the Beth Moore simulcast... but I will have to do that later.

If you want to see what spoke to others doing this study... just click here.


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8 comments:

Yolanda said...

Lynn,

I'm so honored that God chose this group of women, and allowed me to participte, to walk this path this summer in this particular study. AMAZING!

Thank you for your heart that is tender towards the God of the Universe!

Love,
Yolanda

lp8265@gmail.com said...

I'm so glad I'm not the only one who posts late to Lelia study. Thanks for not making me feel alone.

Not being bitter is a choice* so true isn't it. I went through that when we had to divide my dads estate and each came into with their own sense of what fair was. I'm so glad God was walking with me thru it all to help me realize that loving my siblings was worth more than material possessions. We all made what we considered sacrifices and God kept our relationships in tact.
Your post helped me see something I hadn't gotten from reading the book.
Thats what I love about doing the study together. Sometimes I even get more out of our blog study tbe I do a regular study because we get to hear more of what the other person has to say. I don't want this to end.
Thanks for your post. It was insightful.
Luanne

Amanda said...

Feelings follow obedience. Needed to hear that again as well. Thanks for sharing! I have this books, it's just been a while since I read it!! Good reminders! Been on a blog break, but just wanted to stop by! Blessings!

Runner Mom said...

Hey, Lynn!
I loved the part that Lysa wrote: "Feelings will follow correct behaviors, not the other way around. Make right choices to honor God, and your feelings will eventually catch up." I have been focused on that today. I know in my heart that it's true, but actually doing it is difficult! But I'm praying!!!

Thanks for a wonderful post!! You, the "Pinkshoe Lady", and I need to meet at the outlets in Gaffney for some shopping and chatting!! Think about it!!

Love ya,
Susan

lisalyn said...

I get so much out of not just reading the book, the Bible verses that go along with the study, but everyone's notes on the study. Thank you so much for sharing what you learned in the study. I think (hope)that the more I read and re-read on this study, the more it will sink in to me! And it helps to know that others really do struggle with the same issues that I do.
Lisa

Jill said...

Lynn,
Once again your words were right on! The part about others watching to see if our faith is real when life gets hard is so true. Our pastor says, "Our adversity is God's university." He not only uses the struggles to teach us but the onlookers as well. The life we live can be a great testimony.
It's interesting to read your thoughts with homeschooling. Our decision to homeschool creates mixed emotions as well - I too know it's the right thing, but the world around me doesn't always see that and I can let their words influence my feelings. Thankfully that has not impacted my actions, but I understand what you are saying - the temptation is always there. Thanks for sharing, Jill

Amy said...

Great post, Lynn!

Like you, I have been "stripped" of many things that I have trusted in, and not "plucked" from difficult situations that I desperately wanted out of.......But He definitely has blessed me in both situations.

I have been "bitter,"....and then I have gotten "better."
It is most definitely a choice.
A choice that I wish I would always make quickly...but I am a work in progress.

Joesph's example of not choosing bitterness is a powerful, humbling one. One that I need to keep in mind as I face the choice in the future.

God Bless,
Amy:)

Amanda B. said...

Lynn,

I've been waiting and watching to hear how you enjoyed the conference last weekend! I thought it was AWESOME!! I'm sorry that you have been having so many struggles with your finances, but I have to tell you that you are absolutely right! God will strip out whatever we are doing that keeps us for COMPLETELY depending on Him...even if it is something that we think is a good thing.

I didn't realize it until this past week that the reason my SS was taken away and I was put in a place where I felt so alone, was because I had started to "substitute" my close friends as my God. I was going to them to share my heartaches and "prayer requests", but I wasn't giving adequate time to talking it over with God and studying His word. It wasn't until He took them away from me that I had to "force" myself to get up early every morning and seek Him for my comfort and answers. Since I have started that, I have seen prayers that I thought would never be answered come to fruition. Even my alcoholic father has turned to Christ last week. I am on cloud nine and I now realize that while godly friends and counsel has its place, it can never be substituted for going to the true source of power.

I KNOW GOD WILL come through for you on your finances. You just cling close to Him and press His word deep into your heart...and don't let the devil steal it away. He will make you "competantly competant" for this time if you will continue to do just that!

Your "siesta" in Christ,

Amanda Bowers