Tuesday, August 26, 2008

What Happens When Women Walk in Faith Blog Bible Study, Chapter 14 & 15

Welcome to my thoughts on this most inspiring book we are studying What Happens when Women Walk in Faith by Lysa TerKeurst. Our host Lelia has more insight and you will find the other bloggers who are in this study at her site. It is such a rich experience to read everyones take from the chapters . Take the time to explore this study with us.
This study has come at a perfect time in the life of my husband and I-that's no coincidence-its a God thing! I love those God things! I can tell you as we have heeded God's promptings on our life to step out of our comfort zone and into His plan, some of which is still a bit unknown at the moment. We have both received such rich blessings and confirmation from within the chapters of this book. The chapters are broken down into phases: Phase one:Leaving, Phase two: Famine, Phase three: Believing, Phase four: Death and Phase Five: Resurrection. This week we are addressing two more chapters in the phases of Death as you walk in faith and that is right were Joe and I are in this journey. Again...not a coincidence...a God thing!!
As one walks in faith, leaving behind the past,sometimes walking in a desert, finding their way to their future, believing and trusting God in everything, the death of self , of old ways, of old desires is necessary. It's painful. It results in being broken. It results in loss. Yet...there is a future-the resurrection phase and I am anxious to get there!! Every thing in the dark blue/green is quoted from Lysa. Here are my thoughts on these two chapters....

Chapter14:Pressing Through the Pain

Can one experience death without some form of pain? I can not imagine so. But God does call us to press on and to depend on Him. As Lysa wrote, in this phase we are "Learning to depend on God, asking for His provision, and then remembering to look for His ready answer" (pp.141). Whether it is the loss of someone you love, or a loss of something in your life such as a job, we are called to trust God. He will carry us through. As a nurse I have seen death experienced in many ways. I have walked "through the valley of the shadow of death" with many souls. There is a lot to be said about the family who knows God and releases their loved one to Him. They experience pain but the whole process is so different than the family which experiences the death of a loved one that does not know Him. It s called hope. It is called eternity. As we walk in faith and leave behind what He has called us away from, our grief can be the same-one of hope for the eternal.

Lysa also wrote "my greatest secret desire must always be for more of God in my life" (pp.142). Sweet words fitting to our heart. In the good, in the bad, in the big, in the little, we have to crave more of Him in our life. Been there? Are you there now? Yes Lord!! It is in praising Him and seeking Him that we feed this desire.

Chapter 15: God Isn't Surprised by Death

This faith walk phase of death came for me in brokenness. Brokenness from my choices, not Gods. Yet He proves Himself faithful despite that. I love what Lysa wrote: "Brokenness is what must happen before God can put the pieces back in the way He can shine through the best" (pp.151). It is in brokenness that we are able to step out of our thinking and set aside our goals to allow God's perspective to take over.

I know if I am honest here, when I am living of my "self" or my "flesh" I am very good at manipulating my circumstances to meet my wants. Shamefully and painfully I have paid the price too. "God is good. He is more interested in developing our character to match our calling than in manipulating our circumstances to make us happy" (pp.150). Did you you catch that? Read it again...it's not about our circumstances but about developing our character. I am not the same person I was last year or ten years ago or twenty years ago. That is the beauty of God's grace...He grows us out of us!

Brokenness is such a beautiful thing. I cherish the insight Lysa gave us in the beatitudes of Matthew 5: 3-10 in relationship to brokenness. I know most of you have read this but for anyone who does not have this book to follow along, I quote from page 152 and pray your heart will also be enlighten in this walk of faith you are in:

Blessed are the poor in spirit...the broken people.

Blessed are those who morn...broken to the point of great weeping.

Blessed are the meek...weeping to the point of being humbled past worldly things.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness...humbled and desiring to be filled with God alone.

Blessed are the merciful...filled with God and able to overflow mercy to others.

Blessed are the pure in heart...freely extending mercy and living with a "yes" heart for God.

Blessed are the peacemakers...saying yes to God and bringing His peace everywhere they go.

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness...so certain in His peace that even when they face hardships, they trust and confidently walk with God no matter what.

In my quiet time this morning I read from Beth Moore's "Breaking Free Day-by-Day" and I find it fitting as consider walking in faith in the death phase:

"We must walk with Christ step-by-step through this journey for the sake of protection, power, and the unparalleled passion that results from it. None of these three things will be realities in our lives any other way. The enemy will be defeated. Believe it. Act on it".

I desire to live in brokenness. It is such a beautiful thing!!

In Him~Pamela (MrsJoeB)

8 comments:

Jill said...

Thanks for sharing your words, I really appreciate the closing quote. It's interesting to read your comparison of Christians and non's with how they handle death. I was visiting about that very thing today and how different it really is. I think as Christians the hope we have is really the ultimate gift God gives in death. Really that makes no sense to those who don't believe. I know I need to hang onto that hope in the little daily deaths and moments of pain as well because He always has a reason. Thanks for sharing and blessings as the journey continues, Jill

Laura said...

It really does sound like God timed this just right for you and hubs to hear His voice through this study! (Of course). Keep pressing on through that pain, friend! I love the Breaking Free study, and how appropriate! Keep us posted on your job and how things are going...

Amy said...

Thanks for your faithfulness in sharing all of the things that God is doing in your life. It's so encouraging.

The part that I have read on yours and a couple of other ladies blogs that jumps out to me the most is about "brokenness being beautiful!"

It makes me picture a story I have been told, and I am a very visual learner, so it helps me. I've just copied my comment on Lelia's blog.

~"Brokenness is what must happen before God can put pieces back together in the way He can shine the best."

I love this statement. I have not read this book (it's on the list though), so I don't know if what I am going to say is in the book or not. But I have heard this same type of brokenness compared to a stain glass window. It starts out separate pieces that separately look like your basic mess. But once put all together in the right places, the pieces form an unbelievably beautiful piece of art.

Much like ourselves when He shines through our brokenness.~

God Bless,
Amy:)

Yolanda said...

Pamela,

I'm right there with ya Girlfriend. Hanging on, as we hanging in brokeness!

Love,
Yolanda

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I want to live broken for Jesus too. It makes me wonder how I got to such a state of needing to be shattered in the first place. Good food for thought tonight.

peace~elaine

Lelia Chealey said...

Brokenness, I don't want it & yet it's such a necessity in my life to get me closer to Him.

This was a great post Pamela. I've told you this many times before...you are a great teacher!!

I love that you & Joe are stepping out in faith to follow God no matter what He asks you to leave behind.

Joy in The Truth (Sharon Sloan) said...

Hi, Pamela.

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Please know the "standard" we set for our home is not reached most days. But we are keeping the bar raised to honor Him! :) (I didn't want to give the wrong impression.)

Our Gather & Grow group is starting "Walk in Faith" next month! It's a great book...can't wait to see all He does and has for each of us!

Warm blessings,
Sharon

Mari said...

Amen! You said what needed to be said so eloquently. I struggle with brokenness but these chapters have certainly helped me. I know God is doing a mighty thing in you. Hang on!