Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Yes to God Tuesdays (on Wednesday)

** Direct quotes from Lysa are in purple **

We’re clipping right along in our study of Lysa TerKeurst’s book What Happens When Women Walk In Faith. I know I’m a day late, but I think that’s okay for one week. So join me for Yes to God Tuesdays on Wednesday!

This week we are looking at chapters 8 and 9. Come along on the journey!

Chapter 8 – Refusing to Get Bogged Down in Bitterness

Lysa begins the chapter speaking about not getting bogged down in bitterness during the famine phase. She says “…things will be stripped from you that hinder the relationship He wants to have with you.” I don’t know about you but that’s a scary thought. We already don’t really know where God’s taking us exactly and now we can’t even have our little security blanket. Linus (from the Peanuts) would be appalled! Heck I’m appalled. But the good side of it is that God wants us to use Him as our security blanket. You can’t get more secure than the Creator and Sustainer of the universe!

Lysa tells the story of Joseph. If anyone had reason to be bitter, it was Joseph. He went through so much. He could have had the most foul-smelling attitude. However he did not. Even though God did not immediately pluck him from the situation, Joseph still remained faithful and true to trusting ad honoring God. As a result, God honored Him. I could sure learn a lesson here! The next quote really gave me reason to pause. It was something that had been on my own heart recently and to see it in the study confirmed that I need to be more diligent in this area. Lysa commented, “People are watching you. Even when you think they aren’t looking, they are. They want to see if your claims of faithfulness hold true even when life gets hard.” Hmmm. I don’t do to well with this one at work. That is my biggest area of challenge. God is truly prompting me to not cave in to bitterness and complaining there. He wants to be shown strong at work too. I’m not helping people see that. It’s a stressful place and some of the things I’m going through now are extremely hard to deal with. I know I complain too much. I show my bitterness way too often. So I have resolved and prayed for the Holy Spirit to be evident and working. That’s what God wants my co-workers and superiors to see.

Lysa gives some advice for when bitterness comes knocking at our door. “Don’t answer that knock. Don’t listen to the voice of bitterness. Don’t even crack the door to peek outside.” All I can say is AMEN!


Chapter 9 – A Most Unlikely Path

In Chapter 9 we move into discussion about phase three, the believing phase. Lysa tells us “God knows the best routes for us. He sees dangers and temptations that we don’t see along the way.” This is why it is important for us to just follow Him. We tend to argue when we know He’s right (and I am guilty as charged here). I especially liked when she gave a response to our “I don’t feel like doing that Lord” argument. She said “Feelings follow correct behaviors, not the other way around.” I need to remember this moment by moment. Do you?

She also said “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.” I plan to pray daily to not be weak at heart. I do want to discover God’s rich blessings. Sometimes I pray for Him to send me a neon sign because I want to make sure the whisper I heard was Him. But my desire is to be able to know His whisper and be sure that I understand what He means. As I continue to walk with Him in faith and say yes, I know this will happen. And I will be thrilled!

Start believing God today! Whatever situation you are in, believe in God’s plan. He’s always reliable because He is perfect. Amen!

Stop by Lelia's blog to see what others have to say about the study this week!

10 comments:

Jill said...

Mari,
You're reminder of Lysa's words about feelings was a needed thing for me this morning. Awhile back I heard someone ask, "Did Jesus allow feelings to dictate his actions?" Obviously not, so why should I?? Blessings on the day, Jill

Amy said...

I have really enjoyed what all of the women in this study have shared about these two chapters. The message is very powerful.

This statement of Lysa's that you had really touched me.~

“People are watching you. Even when you think they aren’t looking, they are. They want to see if your claims of faithfulness hold true even when life gets hard.”

I have really been made aware of this for the last 2 months of my life while dealing with my back injury/surgery. I had many days that my faith and sense of humor were very strong, and then I had days where it felt like I had absolutely none of either.
Following those days of weakness, I felt so much like I had let God down, by not being a positive role model for my boys and family and friends.

I know that God forgives us when we have our doubting (weak) times, but it hurt me so much to realize my "spiritual" weaknesses. I want to be strong.

I like your Linus example...I need to hold tight to God and his promises, like Linus holds tight to that blue blanket.

One of my favorite lines from the Christmas episode is when Linus is asked what he is going to do with that blanket when he grows up, and he says something like, "Maybe I'll make it into a sport coat." Linus has the right idea...never to let go of his security. I need to follow his lead.:)

God Bless,
Amy:)

Luanne said...

Mari,
Knowing people are watching to see if we are who we claim to be is scary. It is so easy to mess up.
I think the thing that helped me as I watched others was when they admitted they stumble but you could see them trying to get it right. For me they seem more genuine then someone that always seems to have it together.

Great post.

Luanne

Pamela (MrsJoeB) said...

To hear the constant drumming of his heartbeat...that is so what I desire too!!

You are a blessing friend!

In His Graces~Pamela

Leebird said...

Hey Mari!

My computer crashed Tuesday night...great news for an aspiring writer, right? Anyway...my hubby will get the info off my hard drive when he returns from Israel in two weeks. In the meantime, I don't have any of my email contacts or the email that contains Kris's chapter I was supposed to be critiquing. Can you email me that attachment again? AND......drum roll please......can you pass on to the group that I just got my first promise for magazine contract today!!! Pray Magazine wants to publish a short version of my prayer texting article! If you send your message to me, too, I'll have everyone's info again. Cliff got me a loaner computer up and running to last me the two weeks he'll be gone. Love, Lee

lisalyn said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on these 2 chapters! It's so interesting to see what others get from the book.
I don't even remember reading this....“People are watching you. Even when you think they aren’t looking, they are. They want to see if your claims of faithfulness hold true even when life gets hard.”.
I am so in the same boat as you with getting bitter and dealing with stuff at work! Somedays,it is SO hard to be a good example of our Creator! Honestly...I fail. Must keep praying about it that's for sure!

Melissa said...

Mari,

I just love this whole book!

It's true, people are watching us, especially when we don't know it. That's also why it's so important for us to be authentic and admit when and that we don't have it all together. We are human. As Christians, yes, we strive to keep our walk and witness at all times and hopefully most of the time we do.

Admittedly, it's a struggle for me to be aware that others are indeed watching me, but for me not to be too consumed that others are watching me. Make sense?

Anyway, great post.

Blessings:)
Melissa

Lelia Chealey said...

Great points, Abby is it? ;)
I loved when Lysa talked about how God will strip us of stuff and your visual you gave of Linus was great!

Have a wonderful weekend!! Let's just keep moving forward with Him!

Audra Krell said...

Hi! I found you at TWV2 and am stopping by for the first time today. I really enjoyed your post. I am right in the middle of a bad family situation with my extended family of non-believers. They are constantly watching me to see how I'll react in faith, throughout the disagreements. I haven't been doing so great, so I found your post to be very inspiring.
Also, I LOVE your title for your work in progress, it is so creative and just, perfect!
I just put you on my blogroll and would be so happy if you would do the same. www.audrakrell.com

Pamela (MrsJoeB) said...

Mari-where have you been?!?!?! It was good to hear from you!! I hope all is well. Saying a prayer for you just the same. i am not ready for summer to end....it went way too fast! Keep posting!!

In his Graces~Pamela