Tuesday, August 12, 2008

What Happens When Women Walk in Faith Blog Bible Study: Chapter 10&11

This journey of reading through Lysa TerKeurst's book "What Happens When Women Walk in Faith" has been so inspiring. Each chapter has effected the here and now of the journey my husband and I now walk. The book is broke up into sections (phases) and each section contains four chapters. Lysa identified one's walk of faith in phases: leaving, famine, believing, death and resurrection. This walk of faith does require going through each of these phases and I had never seen it this way before. But of course, I thought I had been walking in faith in my past and in reality, I haven't. Our two chapters this week are in the believing phase of this study. Be sure to go to Lelia's blog site, our host for this Bible study, for insight from more bloggers involved. It is so uplifting to see everyones thoughts and revelations!
I have found in this new walk of faith that I have indeed had to leave behind the past. I have had to step outside my comfort zone, and I have had to be willing to go towards the unknown and the unseen. In the unknown and the unseen I have experienced dry spells, emptiness, resulting in a famine phase of seeking and searching God's will for my life. In doing so, I have capture a peace that can only come from God. My faith has grown, my dependence on God has become secure. There have been road blocks (chapter 10) but with each road block my relationship with God has become more full (chapter 11).
"We must continue to grow and embrace God's plan for the life we've been given. We don't grow by changing the adverse circumstances. We grow by embracing God's plan for the circumstances and allowing Him to have His full way in us. Allow Him to work out kinks and imperfections in the core of your soul. Let Him help you find a perspective beyond your own. Only then can you find incredible peace in the storms of life." (pp.98)
Joe and I are choosing to walk in faith towards what we feel God has called us to. It involves releasing jobs that give us financial security to allow us to live in the passion God has placed in our hearts. Though there is uncertainty there is peace. Though we have hit resistance in that what we are doing is not "good" for the family and our financial security we still have this incredible peace. God will provide. God will take care of us and our needs. We will not shriek away from any of our financical responsibilities but choose to live differently now.
"In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,” says the Lord. “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.” ~Jeremiah 29:12-14 (NLT)
We have been living in captivity of our past sins and in jobs that have prevented us from being all that God has called us to be. We have begun a new walk of faith ad have actively sought God with all our heart, mind, and soul and we are beginning to see amazing things happen in our lives. We are coming home to God and serving Him like never before.
"Take your eyes off the problem (loss of job, finances, past sins) and focus on the good and loving God who has great plans for you (we are Lord). Watch for God to rain down more than you could ever even thought to ask for. (OK Lord, I'm asking but only for Your glory). He will restore what has been taken from you in His perfect way (indeed Lord, the process has started and we thank you for your redemptive grace, restoration and spiritual blessings you have just begun to give us!)." (pp.101)
Where we have come from has a purpose. Though we have failed in our walk of faith in the past, it is now being used to serve God in a new and better way because it is all about glorifying him and not ourselves.
"To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul; in you I trust, O my God. Do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me." ~Psalm 25:1-2
Over and over what others have meant as harm, God has turned into good. We are so thankful for His provision and protection! My heart is open to God in all things. My husbands heart is open to God in all things. We are seeing and hearing Him. We are experiencing Him. It is worth enduring all the others negative things that we face!
"Though I may fall short in many areas of my life, I will not close my heart to God. I will rejoice in really believing Him. The purpose of this phase will then be fulfilled when I know He is too real to deny. In every circumstance I face, I know God makes a way, not because life is always hunky-dory but because I've chosen to experience Him too many times to live any other way." (pp. 111)
Amen Lysa-you have written the words that speak my heart at this very moment!! Thank you for following God in this.
Ladies...it is only in believing that we can fully experience Christ richness in and for our life. This morning in my quiet time, God gave me the following verses to remind me of what my faith will produce:
"But thank God! He has made us his captives and continues to lead us along in Christ’s triumphal procession. Now he uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume. Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing. " ~2 Corinthians 2:14-15
May your faith, your trust, your belief that God is be reflected in your life as the sweet aroma of Christ to others!!

In Him~Pamela (MrsJoeB)


Jill said...

I enjoyed reading your thoughts about the book. It's great to read Lysa's words, but it's been a real blessing to read others thoughts on it as well. Your closing challenge is a good one, just last week in our Bible study we were studying Moses and even my 5 year old was impressed with the video he helped me preview!! He's even reminded me how we're suppossed to shine because we know Jesus!! Pretty cool!

I read your post that followed and would have to say I agree with some of the disconnections you shared. It can be hard, but like you say our relationship with Christ is all that matters.

Blessings as the journey continues,

You have a beautiful family by the way!!

Mari said...

May I just say you are definitely "sweet perfume". Your obedience is such an inspiration. I know God will continue to "rain down righteousness" on you. Blessings to you my sweet friend!


Laura said...

I'm so proud of you for following God's call, Pamela! I will continue to pray for you as you walk this journey. We know that He doesn't always call us on a walk that is easy, don't we? Your obedience will be honored!

Shabby Olde Potting Shed said...

H Pamela!

Just dropping in to say hi, and read your thoughts. I liked what you wrote about focusing on God and not our problems. In doing that, I find myself taking a great big deep breath and letting out the worry don't you?

Have a great night,

Luanne said...

You have wonderful use of scripture in your posts. And I love the way you incorporate Lysa words with your story. Excellent post Pamela.


lisalyn said...

Thank you for sharing. I enjoyed your thoughts. It is truly a step in faith when you make changes that seem questionable to others. I think it makes the journey even harder when you don't have all the support you want from family. I guess our support comes from HIM so the rest doesn't matter so much.

I love how you made the scriptures in your writing so real.

God bless you as you continue to serve Him.

much2ponder said...

Though I am not reading the book, I still pop in here to see what the Lord might be up to in your life. God is good and faithful and sometimes I find just the morsel of food I need for the moment.

Joyful said...

Pamela, thanks for all your sweet comments on my blog. LOVE your new profile picture - beautiful.

Have a wonderful day!

Lelia Chealey said...

Great post Pam!!! I read this in my study the other day and when I got your text message, this is what I wanted to send you and your husband. Keep walking on this path of faith God has the both of you on!
Revelation 3:8(The Message)
"I see what you've done. Now see what I've done. I've opened a door before you that no one can slam shut. You don't have much strength, I know that; you used what you had to keep my Word. You didn't deny me when times were rough.

Love ya!

LynnSC said...

Pamela... what a great post. I know that you are experiencing a peace that no one else understands as you step out in faith and follow God. God is so good to us. The peace of God is always outweigh the financial security and approval of others.

Great step of faith!!

Laurie Ann said...

I'm sorry I'm so late in commenting. I finally got my post up last night.

I loved reading your post. It resonnated strongly with me and was an awesome one. God has been teaching me lately how to focus on Him and not my problems, so your post and the chapters Lysa wrote were timely indeed. Great post!