Welcome to Yes to God Tuesdays. We're reading Lysa TerKeurst's book "What Happens When Women Walk In Faith". What a treat this week as we begin doing two chapters a week. How will we stand all that excitement??!! Be sure to check out Lelia's blog with links to everyone else's comments
CHAPTER 4 - Loving God More Than My Dream
Right from the title I was searching my heart. Did I love God more than my dream? Some days I feel yes and others I feel no. So I've been on my knees asking God to make Himself more important than my dream. I just want to be sure is all.
Lysa wrote: Walking with God will indeed take you to some amazing places - but it won't always be where you thought you wanted to go, and the road won't always be easy.
Oh yes, that's the truth. He's asking you to give up stuff. He's asking you to do things that are beyond, and I mean way beyond, your comfort zone. He says risk rejection. I answer "Pardon?!" It's not easy at t'all. And yes, sometimes you're looking around saying "Lord this does not look like where I thought we were going." He just smiles and says "I know. It's better then that!" Oh how I want to believe Him. But that isn't always easy either.
What might God be calling you to leave?
This took me a while to figure out. God gave me the answer this afternoon. Leave behind your expectations. Leave behind your need to know the plan and trying to make it happen in your own strength. Leave behind your fears. All I can say is "Yes, Lord."
Lysa then said this: Don't second-guess what God is doing. Rather, look for ways to dig deeper into His Word, His character, and His faithfulness in this time.
You know what? He provides a way for us to do this if we keep our eyes open. Before She Speaks, I purchased the book "For the Write Reason." It included a 30 day bible study. Through this book/study, God was able to speak to me about what He did and did not want me to pursue at this time. It also led me to places in the Scripture that made me want to dig a bit deeper. I felt that I needed to be more committed to my quiet time and extra time in the Word. I went to the conference already on the road to a deepened relationship with Him. And He was able to work in me a radical change there that would not have been possible if I had not dug deeper.
Our heart must beat in tandem with His. The only way for that to happen is for us to constantly take our dream to Him with open hands and willingly declare, "Yours, Yours, Yours!"
This will become my daily prayer, "Yours, Yours, Yours!"
I'll leave you with one parting thought for this chapter. No commentary from me is needed. Just know that it's one of the most significant things I highlighted in this chapter:
He wants to be the first one we turn to when our hearts are broken, the one we go to seeking wisdom for a problem, and the one to give us a big thumbs-up when we are victorious.
CHAPTER 5 - The Adventure Our Souls Were Made For
In this new place of surrender, God will take you outside your comfort zone, and you'll learn to depend on Him like never before.
I am experiencing this now. I have merrily been writing my little articles and devotionals. Early this morning He prompted me to write an article that I can tell you I had no intention of writing. You want to talk about exposing your warts. Mercy! I was extremely uncomfortable but I just could not stop writing. I was thinking, "I'm never submitting this." But I will because He's told me I will. One of my "dirty little secrets" will be out. But it might help others so, comfort zone or not, I have to surrender.
Lysa told the story of a young Liberian boy names Seebo. She said of him: Though his life circumstances had been void of the things that bring joy, hope, peace, and love to most children, these qualities were evident in his life because God reigned so richly in his heart.
You think she could have given my toes a break for one week, huh? I had to ask myself, when my life circumstances are not what I'd prefer (much less what I need as in Seebo's case) do the qualities I exhibit show that God reigns in my heart? Not always, definitely not often enough.
Finally she says: How vitally important it is for us to surrender our hearts to God and ask Him daily to reveal His plans and perspectives to us so we don't miss His activity and His glorious plans for our future.
Hmmm. I think I am usually praying "Lord how do I do this thing I think you've called me to." Seems to me after reading this I need to be saying "Lord show me in a tangible way I can't miss what You have for me to do today. Open my eyes to Your clues for me to go here, stop that, proceed, linger or whatever else You need me to do today. "
In the exercises Lysa asked us to write in our notebooks anything we needed our hearts to be cleansed from. I'll share a couple of things I wrote:
- Cleanse me from envy of others whose kids seem to be "better behaved, smarter, more loving" than my own
- Release me from the need for the approval and attention of others. Whatever I do, let it be to glorify you, even if no human notices or approves
I'll also leave this chapter with a quote from Lysa. Ponder it. Live it out!
Determine to delight yourself in Him, and trust Him to work out the rest.