Sunday, October 5, 2008

Behind Those Eyes, Ms Confidence (Chapter 3)

You know what I find so amazing about this Bible study? Your reflections! I have been so motivated and convicted by what others in this Bible study are taking from each chapter. To have the books author, Lisa Whittle, involved and responding to our responses is such an added bonus. To read her reflective thoughts after having followed God's direction in writing this book is powerful. Then there is Lelia, our host, one of the most amazing women of God that I have come to know and love. What a wonderful vision she has had in this ministry and we need to especially pray for her because satan is attacking her so severely for walking in God's truth.
May I boldly suggest we pray for each other? It seems we are all experiencing chaos as we venture through this study. Satan knows the outcome of our hearts and mind are not in his favor!! I try hard to get to everyone's posting but time does not always allow it. So I will commit to bless each Bible study member in prayer each week. I cherish your prayers too.

Chapter 3: Ms. Confidence
"Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God. ~2 3:4
This week I had no questions about the verse at the beginning of this chapter. No argument here that our confidence only comes from Christ. The world and my own inabilities may have taken my confidence away, sometimes daily, but as I have grown in my relationship in Christ I have learned that even though I may be weak from outward appearances (or personal reflection), I have such peace because of the redemptive grace I have receive from my God.
"The truth is we really only need God."
Some of us have learned this lesson the hard way. My husband and I are trying to teach and demonstrate this truth to our girls. Why is it a lesson that has to be learned? Why can't they just take our word for it and adjust their life accordingly? Wishful thinking. The reality is that it is painful for us as parents to grow stronger in Christ and not see this evidenced in our kids life (I know your pain in raising me mom). Our biggest frustration is not knowing where we are going wrong.
We keep on our knees and trust God to overcome this concern. We are the current youth leaders in our church and we feel that our kids are getting too much of us. We are praying that God will send someone of a different influence into this role so our children will have more spiritual influences within their life. Pray for this with us won't you?
"...women who are open and vulnerable and real and genuine and without pretense. Those are the things that truly take strength"
There is a bite to this. I have tried to hide from my past though that has been difficult. I struggle with others not wanting to come to Christ because of it. Lelia challenged to address Lisa questions in the study section for thischapter "Is it hard for you to admit your vulnerabilities to others? To God?" I struggle with being real, open, vulnerable and without pretense to others, not so much with God. I find this vulnerablility with others is a part of the letting go phase. I know I am not alone. I find myself in a "desert" phase. My work schedule is preventing me from being all that I desire to be in ministry. Yet my heart aches to serve and honor God more fully in ministry. However, God seems to be calling me to solitude, to step back and soak Him in more. I am seeing that in this time of solitude-in this desert-I am learning to be confident in Christ and in that I will be able to be more confident in ministry when God's timing is opened up. I need more patience in this. It will help me to be real, open, vulnerable and without pretense.
"It all comes down to who our confidence is in,where it lies, and why we have confidence to begin with."
Reality, I have no confidence in myself. When I do, something usually brings me back to how vulnerable I can be, whether it is work related or correlated to my spirituality. There are days that I have thought that living in a monastery would be the perfect life (and I am not Catholic). I mean really...have you ever been to one of these things? I have for a silent retreat and it is wonderful. They are beautiful in so many ways and to be able to spend 24/7 soaking up God. WOW. Yet, God has placed such a burden in my heart to help other walk through healing from life's failure. I can't do that in a monastery except by prayer. It's all in God's timing. That is where my confidence lies!
Lisa referenced confidence at the end of this chapter as strength. The confident women is a women whose knees are callous from prayer, she is courageous amidst her fears, and she gives the best of herself to others. She "realizes life's mistake can be God's blessings and capitalizes on them". She knows that God is always present to "catch her when she falls". She wears grace and her "strength has faith that is in the journey that she will become strong". She is fearless, strong, empowered, independent, emotionally healthy and strives to accomplished God's plan in her life and not her own. Do you have a vision here of the Proverbs 31 women? I just did. It is thought that Solomon is describing in that passage his mother Bethsheba. What a powerful life testimony she has! Think about the journey she came from to be remembered like that!
"Our confidence comes from knowing not only whose we are but also who He is".
I may be in a desert, but like Paul when he was in chains, I see this as a period of confidence building and not frustration. For in the end...
“’Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past. Behold I will do something new, now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.’” Isaiah 43:18-19 (NAS)
God is preparing us for something big...big for Him. I am willing to be made willing. Are you? We are required to work on being confident in Him and not our self. Amen? Amen.

In Him~Pamela (MrsJoeB)


15 comments:

Lisa said...

Such great insights, Pamela. It is my highest privalege to journey through this book with you...the women I wrote it for, including, me. :)

Wonderful thoughts. God is stirring in your heart, and I can hear it in this post. I am hearing it in many of the posts of those in this study, and it makes me want to shout out loud, "Thank you, God! This is YOUR message and it's launching in our hearts!"

Keep seeking Him, sister. He is eager to be found.
Lisa :)

Connie said...

Pamela, I agree about praying for each other because Satan does not like that we are all focusing on God. I have been there with you in the desert. Isn't it neat that God is focusing in different areas using this one book. Amazing...Connie

LynnSC said...

"Why can't they just take our word for it and adjust their life accordingly? Wishful thinking. The reality is that it is painful for us as parents to grow stronger in Christ and not see this evidenced in our kids life."

Yes, this is quite painful. It is also painful as we look around to others, not just our children, and wish that we could see more "growth".

This is quite a study. I am so glad that I am on this journey with you.
Lynn

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Pam:
Let me know when you're heading to the monestary. I'm not far behind, friend!

Truly, God has been convicting me in this one particular area. I can easily become cloistered behind my walls, preferring the solitude of just Jesus and me; still and yet, he requires that I live and breathe in community. Thus, there are days when I've got to shut down this computer and just get out into the world and be. Because I don't work outside the home, there is a temptation to withdraw.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I'm not a "withdrawer"...I'm a people person who needs the energy of others. Thus, I'm a bit worried about my current desire to be alone. Does that make sense?

Anyway, love Lisa's book. I'm now in my 2nd reading and corresponding with her about it. She's a treasure. Thinking of you this week.

peace~elaine

Carol said...

Pamela, I love that you asked us to pray for each other. I've been holding this group up in prayer. Especially Lisa and Lelia. I will comit with you to praying for each other. I can see God moving and molding all of us. It's a tough journey but a good one.

I have to laugh I really thought that this would be a lot lighter study, but each chapter has challenged me and opening up areas that I've walled off.

Carol

Amy said...

Pamela, I want to encourage you while you are in the "desert," friend. I am also in the desert right now in my own life, but the One thing that gives me comfort is to know that in the desert, I am in Good Company. Jesus, too, was in that desert right after hearing His Father's Voice come down from Heaven and say, "This is My Son, in whom I am well pleased!" So, I know with God Confidence, that Jesus is in the desert with me. Amen?:) And He's with you too, friend!

God Bless,
Amy:)

Lelia Chealey said...

Pam, once again you are awesome. I've told you before what a great teacher you are. I will be praying for you & Joe and the direction God has for you. Our kids watch us so closely & when they are older will probably admit to us how much we unknowingly taught them just by living.
You my friend are a blessing. You know I have much love & admiration for you. You are the true witness that God's glory shines bright in our lives if we let Him.
Love,
Lelia

Lelia Chealey said...

Also,
Awesome call to pray for each other!!

Jill said...

We are to work on being confident in Him and not our self!! How true!! Not always easy though and I too will pray right along with you as we all journey forward with what God wants us to do! Thanks for sharing from the heart.

Tammy R said...

So much of what you wrote,spoke to my heart.
I know what your mean about our children,it would be nice if they would skip over the mistakes and go straight to God's will:)

Great thoughts!

rusty'swife said...

Pamela,

Thank you for the reminder to be praying for one another.

I heard a statement somewhere, that stated "I had rather be in the desert with God, than a mountain top without Him. This is so true. I am finding that the times of solitude are some of the best growing times.

Stay with it, God has a wonderful plan. I will be praying that God will bring Godly men and women to mentor your children.

Sallye

much2ponder said...

Hey Pam, just stopped by to see how the study is going. Looks like things are going well. I am in the middle of a different study with the ladies at our church, wrote about it a couple of posts ago. Fight Like a Girl, by Lisa Bevere. We are in our fourth week. If not for that study, I would have gotten into the one you are doing. Blessings:)

much2ponder said...

Hey Pam, me again...I posted about that book on September 23rd, if you want to go back a couple of posts on my blog you can read a little bit about it there, or you can look for Lisa Bevere on line. Hope all is going well in your corner. I am praying the Lord bless you today:)

Liz said...

Wonderful post, great insight and you are not alone. Prayers!

If you have time for something light hearted and fun- I tagged you on my blog if you want to come play.

~Liz

HIS Daughter said...

Pam,

I would love to be your friend and sit down and have coffee with you!

You and I have so many of the same issues to face. I live in the tiny little town that I committed my huge messes and so does my husband. EVERYONE remembers what we did and when we did it. It was the big thing when it happened.

Just like you, Satan would love to remind me that I can't be used for HIS glory because I am tainted in the eyes of those in this town.

His job is to accuse me and lie to me and try to destroy my testimony of forgiveness and healing.

I was guilty and "there was a warrant for my arrest and execution" for the sin I committed. GOD gave his son - HE stood there silently while they beat HIM and cursed and spit at HIM. HE was executed on a tree with nails and HE bled there while they taunted HIM - for my sin of adultery.

If I give HIM all the glory due HIM for saving my soul, it would never be enough. So no one in my town or Satan will stand in the way of me giving my GOD the glory and honor and praise and love HE is due.

You are a blessing and you are forgiven and you just keep giving HIM glory. HE never said we wouldn't be persecuted...in fact HE said we would....so we will get our strength from HIM and with HIS grace - ENDURE!!

Love you and praying for you,
Teri