Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Yes to God Tuesdays - Chapters 4 and 5

**Pink writing is a direct quote from Lysa**

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.

9 comments:

Pamela (MrsJoeB) said...

It is about delighting in Him no matter what and God will take care of it. I am walking that right now and I so enjoy the peace I am expereincing verses the stress I would normally be living under.
Awesome study isn't it?!?!?
Blessings!

In His Graces~Pamela

Leebird said...

Great insights Mari-girl! I read that book earlier this summer....I'm getting ready to read the "Yes" book...:)

Loving God more than my dreams...I'm torn on that one, too!

Lately, since God has been giving me more "public" opportunities to write, I keep having these thoughts of, "Wonder if something I wrote on my blog will attract a publisher?" It's like I have impure motives for my writing. But, honestly, Mari, I want to just write for God's glory and the edification of the Body of Christ....but the devil keeps tempting me with ambitious thoughts....I've gotta take those puppies captive! Lord, change my mind!!! Give me the mind of Christ!

Mari said...

Lee:

Right there with you girl! As much as I want to write (and I know He's called me to this) I know it has to be solely for His glory. What a hard thing to balance my "flesh" desires with God's desires.

Mari

LynnSC said...

Hi,
Looks like a lot of the same things spoke to both of us. Great Chapters!

Thanks so much for the sweet comment on my blog. Life is tough... but I will still trust Him. There are so many unknowns flying around in my heart (funny... I was going to type head and my fingers typed heart... wonder what all that is about??) But I will do my best to dig deeper into Who He is.

"Cleanse me from envy of others whose kids seem to be "better behaved, smarter, more loving" than my own"

Whoa!! that quote kicked me right in the leg. I struggle with some of that same stuff. Better behaved... and the more loving. I have one that will not let me love her at all, difficult to say the least. But God continues to give me the strength (yes, strength... because it is not easy, nor do I want to some times) to love her and try to reach her. I needed to hear than. Only God can change her. And... God can also change me... and right now, I may be the only party willing. Thanks so much!!

Lynn

Yolanda said...

Mari,

What a great re-cap! God is showing me that His dreams are much bigger than the dreams I could ever dream for myself. Can you even imagine?

A cleansing for me is not comparing my own sibling relationships with others. Nor my husbands with others; we seem to have some of the same situation going on in our families, and so dysfunctional. And then I'm around someone that has a great relationship with siblings, I desire that, but I can't make that happen.

God is my family! ;0) And my husband; etc.

He is my worth and value; not things of this earth.

Lovingly,
Yolanda

tiggerdaisy said...

"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."

Girl, that hits me like a hammer hits a nail head. Thanks for sharing this. Good stuff; great insight!

Prayers and blessings,
Rebecca

Jill said...

Mari - thanks for the recap on some great insight from Lysa. It amazes me how at times I think I am the only one with a certain struggle and then I'm comforted hearing others speak about similar things. The bit about others more loving children and in my case I think of their behavior... Thanks for your words and encouragment. Jill

Beachy Mimi said...

You mentioned something here that really spoke to me. Wow. I needed the reminder because I forget that I'm doing it...seeking approval. Totally wrong. Thanks.

Laurie Ann said...

Your post was so encouraging and inspiring. God bless you for sharing your heart! Weren't these chapters wonderful?