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)