Wednesday, July 30, 2008

What Happens When Women Walk in Faith by Lysa TerKeurst- Chapters 6 and 7

I'm late! We visited with the in-laws yesterday and I got behind on some things but I'm here NOW. Hope that's alright. Better late than never? Mea culpa!

These were awesome chapters! Let me start with some quotes that stuck out in Chapter Six and the Personal Bible Study, then I'll go on to Chapter Seven. I like to do it that way.

Chapter Six

Quotes by Lysa in blue:

My heart was filled with joy as suddenly memories filled my mind of the years of spiritual training God had taken me through to get me to the place where I could be called a woman who says yes to God. This reminds me to praise God for the trials in my life, where He's either shut doors that I've tried to force open and finally learned to let go and follow His will...

My involvement in God's perfect design began with one simple answer: Yes. Yes, God, I will embrace what You have for me. Though it's hard and doesn't even seem to make sense, I will embrace it as Your perfect design because Your ways are higher than my ways! Oh, how true! His ways are infinitely higher and His plans are always greater than we could ever plan for on our own!

Being a follower of Christ is a continual process of learning, growing, stretching and trusting. Each day we can look and listen for God's invitation to join Him in His wonderous work. It is a continual process, and though the stretching phase hurts, we can look for the joy as she mentions below.

But this life is not about me. It's about joining hands with Jesus to fulfill whatever tasks He sets before me and to share His love with all He brings my way. Don't miss the point - though the famine phase is hard, it does not have to be void of joy. Look for the joy. It is there. Answered prayers, treasures of wisdom, and the peace of God's provision are waiting for you in this phase. I learned this truth over 8 years in my life. I was in a famine phase but it was not void of joy. I found God's provision and realized that I was not in a dry and dusty desert. I was smack dab in the middle of God's lap!

Breakthroughs happen when we get about the business of honoring God moment by moment, step-by-step, day by day by what we do and, more importantly, with the thoughts we thing while we do. This is a truth, ladies. It's not just advice or encouragement or even inspiration. It's fact. I have lived this when I was in the famine of infertility. My life did not stop, praise God! My breakthroughs came in ways I never imagined, but they were breakthoughs that happened because I remained active in honoring God. As I remain active in honoring God during this phase of my faith journey, I trust that He will continue to provide the breakthroughs I long for.

Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. ~ Proverbs 16:3

God has called me to do different things in my past, but now He is calling me to do a whole new thing. To honor Him in my writing and in my life. My dream is to be published in a Christian magazine. I pray that I can lay down my self, and all the burdens, anxieties, fears, doubts, and lies of the Enemy to make it through to fulfill my dream. He tells me I'm not good enough, but God tells me differently. He says my dream can come true if I commit it to Him. (He just doesn't say when!)

"Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." ~ 1 Peter 5:7

I'm casting it, Lord! I trust Your Word, which tells me in Proverbs 23:18, "There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off."

Chapter Seven

So I continued to pray and watch for God's answer. I would stop trying to figure it all out and simply wait for God. Oh, Lysa! How I have been there! During a previous famine after I stopped trying to figure it all out and simply wait for Him, I waited a year. I continued to pray but my prayers were more liberated, for lack of a better word.

Jesus is the way, our certain path in life, our way out of the famine. He is the truth, God's promises made real. And He is the life - the only way to live with purpose now and the only way to receive life eternal.

I can live with my limited vision, convinced that there is no way and overcome with uncertainty in my time of famine, or I can take God's hand and confidently proclaim Him to be my way. Amen! Our visions are so limited when we view them through our earthly eyes, but our Father promises to guide us and give us confidence for the journey!

I am amazed that God so freely gives His help when I ask for it. I continue to be amazed, awed, and just so hyper-aware of His love for me when He gives that help so freely. Mercy and grace abound!

During this famine phase, many people are tempted to doubt and sometimes even give up. Maybe we heard God wrong. Maybe God isn't with us. The doubts bombard us and steal our passion to press on...Don't try to make your whole dream come true at once. Just fulfill the small part of the mission He's asking you to do today. Just carry that one rock. Ask God, "What is my assignment for today?" Do that part and be satisfied that God is pleased. Be encouraged and press on! Satan tries to bombard me with all kinds of doubts. I wonder if what I write is even worth posting in a blog. I wonder if it's even worth blogging on and writing what God has laid on my heart? And then God says, "Laurie Ann, just do it. Don't feed those doubts, because if you do, they'll just grow. Starve them and believe the encouragement you receive. You're writing for Me, anyway, aren't you?" Yes, God. It's all about you, not me!

His ways are perfect. His timing is surely different than ours, and He takes us through seasons of our dreams. I look back at previous blogging attempts from before I started again, and I see that they were my own efforts, not for God. I see that I got caught up trying to write "my way" and not God's. It's so easy to forget that the success we have planned for ourselves may be a success we are living today through God's dream for us.

Lysa prompted us..."Using the concordance of your Bible, look up the word "success" or "succeed" and find out what God has to say about success. Remember to keep seeking God in all that you do, and success will follow."

Here are some of my favorite success and succeed verses:

Genesis 39:3 - "When his master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD gave him success in everything he did," - Joseph, when he lived in the house of the Egyptian master after his brothers sold him into slavery.

Joshua 1:6-8 - "Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful." - God's encouragement to Joshua after Moses died.

1 Samuel 18:5 - "Whatever Saul sent him to do, David did it so successfully that Saul gave him a high rank in the army. This pleased all the people, and Saul's officers as well."

Ecclesiastes 10:10 - "If the ax is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed but skill will bring success."

Proverbs 16:3 - "Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed."

Visit Leila, our host for Yes to God Tuesday's for more on Chapters 6 & 7.


Why 2nd Cup of Coffee? said...

I love the one about our thought process as we're "doing." Now that hits home!

Denise said...

Great post... and I love how God changes us in the seasons of our lives..... I too want to write and have been encouraged by two or three of the ladies here to put my devotionals to print..... I am praying about that........ We can touch lives that we will never know until we go across into that land...... Our words speak healing and joy to others........ You go girl and see where the Lord is taking you..........

Stop by and put your name in my pool pot for some nice gifts!

Laura said...

There was this: "His ways are perfect. His timing is surely different than ours, and He takes us through seasons of our dreams."

Pamela (MrsJoeB) said...

Your reflective thoughts are very similiar to mine. our hreat and minds seems to think and feel the same way! Being here has been a blessing.
Thank you!!

In His Graces~Pamela

Denise said...

Praying for God to bless you sweetie, may your dream become a reality.

Jill said...

Laurie Ann, I can relate to so much of what you said - especially your comments about satan planting doubt. Starving those thoughts is a real challenge and I think you mentioned one of the best ways to do so - remain active in honoring God. Even when it doesn't make sense, we need to follow Him. Continue doing that because He is using your words. Thanks so much for sharing and if you're interested I too am feeling led in the writing direction, but doubt consumes me all too often. I actually posted a question yesterday and would be honored to hear your response. Blessings and keep moving forward with Him, Jill