****All purple text are direct quotes from Lysa****
Chapter 16 God's Portion, Position and Promise
I'll start with a quote: Understanding God's portion, position, and promise will be key as we progress from the death phase to the sweet promised land of resurrection.
God provides exactly what we need. Just as Lusa illustrated how God provided Manna for the Israelites, He does the same for us. It's not manna but maybe it's patience or wisdom. Perhaps it's a financial windfall or just the right babysitter. He knows what we need and He will supply it.
Lysa stated that "It's easy to get so consumed with our promised land that we forget the promise Maker." "Ask yourself this question: What do I want more than anything else? If your answer is anything other than more of God in my life, then you are worshipping an idol of some sort. About a year ago my husband and I became consumed with the possibility of saving for and buying a house. I was thinking about it constantly. It dominated my thoughts and eventually my prayers. I soon recognized that it had become an idol. I had to immerse myself in the Word to restore God to His rightful place in my heart and mind. We still hold that dream but it is no longer an idol for me. If God makes a way for it, great. But I do not let it consume me anymore.
Lysa states: "God is interested in my character, not my comfort". Well now. Lysa tells the story of how pure smooth silver is made. Here is the process: Heat, pound, turn, heat, pound, turn, heat, pound, turn. You get the picture. This is the same process God uses to purify and "holyfy" us (yeah I know I made that word up but it works for me!) Lysa says: "Don't rush through what God intends for you to learn today. Stay close to Him, be open to His teachings, be faithful in the rehearsals - opening night is on its way. "
In the personal questions Lysa asks us to write a prayer thanking God for His hesed or unfailing love. I'll share mine:
Thank You Father God for Your hesed. You have never forsaken me, even when I felt as if You had. I've been in the desert Lord and it is a hard place. But You were and are always there for me. May I never forget how much You love me and how faithfully and consistently. Thank You for loving, caring, preparing, protecting and guarding me. Amen
Chapter 17 God's Dream, God's Way
Chapter 17 starts the resurrection phase. We're not at the fully realized dream yet but we are close. As Lysa describes it, I was reminded of baking cookies. As the cookies bake you can begin to smell their wonderful aroma. Oh yes, you can almost taste them. But if you take one out now, you'll be eating half-baked cookie dough. YUCK! Our dreams are the same way. If we try to run ahead of God and make things happen, we wind up with a half-baked mess that doesn't quite resemble our dream. In fact it's disappointing.
Lysa says that "God's dream must be experienced God's way." What that means for us is that we might have to wait. Oh how that feels like we're wasting time. At least for me it does. Lysa though gives us something to do while God finishes His preparations, including preparing us.
- Do not lose confidence in God's goodness
- Be strong
- Do not lose hope
- Let God be your shield and your help
- Be patient
- Continue to cry out to God
- Cling to His Word
- Watch for His answers
- Trust in His unfailing love
- Rejoice in His redemption
Hmm that sure doesn't sound much like "waiting" as we generally think of it. So I encourage you as I encourage myself to wait on the Lord. Just as the timer tells us our cookies are done and ready to eat, God will let you know when the promise is fulfilled. And there will be nothing half-baked about it!
I look forward to meeting you back here next week as we study more about the resurrection phase. Be blessed and don't forget to stop by Lelia's for more insight into this week's chapters.