Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Week 1: YES to GOD Tuesday study

To week 1 of the Yes to God Blog Bible study featuring Lysa TerKeurst's book "What Happens When Women Say Yes to God"
Blessed to have you join us. All are welcome!

Chapter 1: A Soul That Longs For More

Okay, first of all the plane ride with the Bible give away. Wow!

This morning as I thumbed through my Bible I thought, if God asked me to, could I part with this? To a total stranger at that? When a verse comes to mind,it's the markings I have on that verse that I picture. I have things written on the front and back inside covers that I obviously wanted to remember. When I bought this Bible I was at Barnes & Noble with my friend Bruce who I used to be his caretaker. It was such a fun outing and now he is home with the Lord. Part of Genesis is missing from it. I love my Bible. Could I give it away to a stranger if asked to by God?

The human part of me says, No way. I'll buy them a new one, but I will not part with this one. Then the woman in me that longs for more of Christ screams, "Let go of the Bible Lelia!!" By one act of obedience up in the clouds, God used Lysa to change lives. The guy on the plane, the woman crying sitting in the window seat, the e-mails she's received referring to the "Bible man" since then show that God is still using her "yes" for His Kingdom gain. Oh how I want to be like that.

Page 12:
"When I said yes that day, I caught a glimpse of eternity."

I really loved that line of truth. I loved how Lysa reminded us to not wait for heaven, but she encouraged us to say yes on this side of eternity.
I also felt encouraged to know that we "don't need perfect circumstances to be a woman who says yes to God." (pg 13)

I know I'm not alone when I say how I feel like I'm so incapable of being used by God. What a lie from the enemy. The truth is ladies, that no matter what messes we have going on in our lives, the King can handle them. Lysa tells us at the bottom of page 13 that we don't need to clean up our lives, but that we "simply have to surrender all that's clamoring for attention in your heart with the answer God is longing to hear spill from your lips, "Yes, God".

I was particularly touched when she wrote: "Women who say yes to God will see life like few others." (pg. 14) AMEN!! I know the truth of this because I've lived both sides...saying yes and giving God a solid "no". Trust me when I say the "no" side of life is really miserable! Don't you ever wonder what we've missed out on from God when we don't cooperate? I do and I'm sure it's a whole lot of blessings for us and others! Makes me sick to think He can't depend on me to always obey Him whether I agree with His plans or not BUT that's what led me to read this book, because my hearts' desire is to follow Him everywhere.

Lysa reminds us on page 16 that once we say yes to God, we don't give up, we don't quit because we run into the unexpected or life suddenly gets hard. Anyone who has walked any length with God knows that we are not going to be skipping around singing Jesus Loves Me. Being a Christian
doesn't mean that we'll suddenly have birds landing on our window sill singing with us while we clean our home. Amen?

Truth is, life is just hard. And I know that in my heart I want to be a woman that recognizes tough times, but that continues to say "Yes God". So often I try to handle things on my own and all I do is create a bigger mess. I need to let my yes be yes and just trust in Him.

Oh Ladies....listen to Lysa's words here: "God absolutely loves to take ordinary people and do extraordinary things in them, through them, and with them." Oh wow, that just gets me!! It gets me because I am ordinary and when I allow Him to come in and take over suddenly things begin to happen that I just have to give Him the credit for because it's beyond my abilities. To know that GOD wants to work in me???? Oh boy, that gives me goose bumps just thinking about it. We got to learn to say Yes so that He can do His thing through, in and with us ladies!! We have to!

I want to end with this. On page 20 Lysa tells us, "Whatever God says do, do it." For years now we have been bombarded with Nike ads telling us to "Just do it". When I go to the shoe store and buy a pair of shoes to "just do it" they don't give me the instructions of how to "just do it". I have to come up with my own game plan. I can't call Michael Jordan up and ask him how I go about just doing it. After they get my $100.00, I'm on my own.

That's the difference between doing it the world's way versus God's way.
When we say Yes to God we are given instruction...the Bible.

We have 24/7 communication available to us...Prayer.

We have teammates that will encourage us...Sisters in Christ

Ladies, there is so much to living this life of obedience to God. It's not about "well, back in 1985 I said yes to God, but since then He hasn't really given me anything that looked interesting to me." No, it's about living a life that is obedient to Him all of the time whether we think what He's asking us to do is crazy or not. Like giving away our sentimental Bible to a complete stranger. We can't pick and choose what we say yes to when it comes to God or we're missing what true obedience is all about.

Enough from me, let's hear from you.
In the Bible study part of chapter 1 let's answer a few of Lysa's questions. I'd love to get your insight to these.
If you have a blog, answer question one in the comments here and answer question 2 on your blog. Plus, anything else in the chapter that you want to share, go for it. Just sign up below so we can come visit you!

If you don't have a blog: answer both questions here and please feel the freedom to share whatever else God puts on your heart! I'd love to hear from anyone and everyone as we can all learn from each other!

Ladies, this has been awesome and I look forward to every Tuesday with you for the next 8 weeks! Invite others to join us, whether they are reading the book or not. If you don't have time to read or do the study, come by anyway!
See you next Tuesday to discuss chapter 2 along with the Bible study questions!

Have a great day and let's learn to become the type of woman who would give away her favorite Bible to a stranger without any hesitation or anything else He asks of us.
Our obedience just may keep Jesus busy preparing places!

~Many Blessings~


1.) Did the story about the man on the airplane and giving him the Bible inspire you? How?

2.) Is there something you might need to let go of in order to have the freedom to say yes to God? If you don't want to go into any detail, "yes" or "no" is just fine.


MrsJoeB said...

Lelia-I am like you in response to question one in the study section. When I read the part of Lysa giving her Bible to that man I asked myself if I could do that. It's one of my most cherished pocessions! My husband gave it to me for a wedding gift and inscribed his love to me on the front cover. The thought occurred to me that maybe I should carry around with me a different Bible, just in case God calls me to do the same thing!! I want to obey!!
The thing I took most from this chapter is the prayer on page 14. I prayed it in my journal the first time I read this book last year but have been praying it daily since re-reading chapter one this weekend: "God, I want to see you. I want to hear you. God, I want to know you. God, I want to follow hard after you. And even before I know what I will face today, I say YES to you."
I am an ordinary women, full of a rugged past, forgiven and made clean by His blood and I am asking God to do something extraordinary in and thorugh me for His eternal gain.
God is good. His love is amazing. We are blessed to have this relationship with Him. I can't get enough of Him and it is apparent your heart is that way too!!
Happy reading!
In His Graces~Pamela

valerie said...

I ordered the book today from our local Christian bookstore. It won't come in until next Thurs. :(
Also, he was looking it up on the computer and he said there was one for $9.99 (more recent version...he said) and one for $11.99. I wasn't really sure which one to order, but chose the $9.99 since it was more recent.
I'm heading back to work, but can't wait to read your post and the others.
Thanks for your sweet, encouraging spirit.

Amy said...

"Oh Ladies....listen to Lysa's words here: "God absolutely loves to take ordinary people and do extraordinary things in them, through them, and with them." Oh wow, that just gets me!!"

Amen! Amen!
It's so comforting to know I don't have to go through some kind of special training for my life to matter for God.

Thanks for stopping by my blog.
Please let me know how you like the muffins. If you like them, maybe you could convince my boys to try them.:)
You have a beautiful blog.
I'll will definitely be back.

God Bless!

Joyful said...

I LOVE the "Bible Man" story. It doesn't matter how many times I hear it, that story is powerful. I find myself questioning...would I give my Bible away? Would I even recognize God's voice telling me to give my Bible away? I have a love/hate response to it every time I hear it...would love to obey God that completely, but hate that I must admit I have said 'no' so many times and have missed opportunities to share His love and His message.

Lysa's prayer on page 14 is the cry of my heart: "God, I want to see You. God, I want to hear You. God, I want to know You. God, I want to follow hard after You. And even before I know what I will face today, I say yes to You."

Oh Lord, may that be true in my life.

Psalm 119:60 "I will hurry, without lingering, to obey your commands."

Desiring to say yes to all He asks of me,

Amy L Brooke said...

Okay, so are we suppose to leave our answers here or use Mr. Linky and leave them on our blog?

Either works, just curious!

I'm a born perfectionist, ya' know.

tiggerdaisy said...

Hi ladies! Yes, the Bible Man story inspired me. I have actually given my Bible away to someone in the congregation who had been visiting our church. He was about 11 years old and had no Bible at home. I took out all my papers and handed it over. Before you go thinking that I was all that, let me tell you that it was a fairly new Bible (like as in almost brand new) with no markings in it. So it wasn't that much to give up, not much of a sacrifice...just what it cost me to purchase it. But I couldn't just hold onto my Bible and wait until I could go to the store and buy him a new one either (yes Lelia, I had that thought, too)...I had to give it up right then. The prompting was strong. I haven't seen that young man in quite a while, but I hope the Bible I gave him is drawing him closer to God in some way.

What do I need to let go of? Oh, the list is so long. But it all comes back to one thing...myself. I just need to let go and stop thinking/analyzing every little thing. Why oh why do I have to question everything? Pull every little detail apart to see what if this and what if that?? ARGH! I irritate myself sometimes! haha Pray for me in that ladies. I have no problem being submissive to my husband (and that was all God mind you, but that's a story for another day), but sometimes I just don't allow myself to be fully submissive to God. I let myself, the world, and the pesky old devil get in my way all too often. Pray, pray, pray for me.

I agree with Mrs. Joeb and Joy, I love Lysa's prayer. We should all say that prayer before our feet hit the floor every morning. To go ahead and say yes to Him before we even know what we are agreeing to....before we can "analyze" it! :) But the one thing that caught my eye is on page 10. Lysa shares at the end of the 2nd full paragraph that "Sometimes the God of the universe pauses in the midst of all His creation to touch the heart of one person. Today, He paused for you." I LOVE that! I've always known that my God is a personal God. That He cares for even the tiniest things going on in my life. Yes, He's got the whole universe and all it's inhabitants to look after, but He chooses to spend "God moments" with each of us every day...all throughout the day. How cool is our God y'all? (Yes, I'm from the comments please! haha) Gives me goose bumpers just thinking about how God chases after me...spends time with me...pauses for ME. Whoo-Hoo! If that doesn't just get you just jumping up and shouting praises to our Heavenly Father I don't know what will!

Okay, I've written way too much, so I'll stop for now. I look forward to spending time with you guys over the next 8 weeks. Let's not forget to pray for one another and encourage each other throughout this time. Thanks for this forum ROCK girlie!

Prayers and Blessings!

Samantha said...

Hey everybody! I'm so pleased with the book so far. It's so easy to read :D Thanks Lelia, for recommending it.

The story about the man and the Bible was so touching. I've got 4-5 Bibles, but there is one that was my grandfather's (who I'm named after and who died when my father was a child) that is all written in and beautiful and worn. I don't think I could give it up. But with reading the book, and hopefully listening to God and His word, I would hope that if I ever felt called to do something like that, I would be able to say YES!

I'll be answering #2 on my blog, so stop on over...


Susan said...

Hey Lelia,

I don't have the book, but I'll look forward to coming by each Tuesday to read what you share. If I have an answer I'll share one, or maybe even blog about it. Hope that is OK?

Blessings to you. This is so neat you are doing this...

Let me know how the doctor visit went for baby girl!!

Lizerd said...

I ordered my book when I signed up last night, but I will read and catch up. I love this and look forward to what God has to teach me through this! I am enjoying reading so far and will contribute my answer a little late. I am sorry.

Yolanda said...

"We can't pick and choose what we say yes to when it comes to God or we're missing what true obedience is all about." Lelia, what an absolutley true statement!

1. I love getting outside of the box with God! Sometimes I do absolutely the craziest things for Him, but I have to agree with you on giving my bible, Lelia. When I read this chapter prior to flying 3,000 miles from home, I honestly thought about picking up a bible I hadn't written in to come on vacation. :0)


But I'm here, and He hasn't asked me to do so. But if He did....I can't imagine what He would do next. Because it simply is always a RIDE!!!

2. Letting go of....generally it's always "self". Getting Yolanda out of the picture....

Lelia Chealey said...

WOW!! I loved ALL of your responses! You ladies are all incredible women of God. And Rebecca, write on girl! Don't ever apologize, this stage is yours so dance until you're out of breath!! :)
I am so excited about where God is going to take us here. Make time to visit the other women's blogs because I promise you, you'll be blessed. And as Rebecca reminded us, let's lift each other up in prayer. Our God is so deserving of our attention, devotion and desire to see our fellow sisters in Christ grow!
Love you all,

Anonymous said...

Oh Ladies....listen to Lysa's words here: "God absolutely loves to take ordinary people and do extraordinary things in them, through them, and with them." I LOVE THIS!!!!! God has made a habit of this since the beginning of time...and nothing has changed in this regard :o) GOD is so good!!!

Jenny said...

I gave Chad's Bible away once and he got a little mad! Maybe I need to let him read the first chapter. You know what is so sad, I easily gave Chad's Bible away because I knew I could go buy him the exact Bible again. But MINE, that would be hard! (Maybe impossible)

I'm thinking I may owe him a long overdue "I'm sorry".

The part that hit me the hardest was radically obedience is Biblical obedience. Just last week when I was reading in Luke 17 Jesus tells a story about workers who work all day coming in and then wait on the having to wait on the master, serve him dinner and then they get to eat. The thing Jesus says at the end is "when you have done everything that you were told to do, you should say, "We are unworthy servants, we have only done our duty." Luke 17:10 NIV

What I took from that was, God expects me to follow him and do what I'm suppose to, that doesn't set me apart, its only what is expected, obedience. What sets me apart is when I do what I'm suppose to then God shows up and makes it special. Like Lysa giving the Bible away, that is expected from us, everything is God's and if He says give away, give away. She obeyed. The special part to me is how God showed up and made it SUPER!

Does that make sense or am I rambling and making no sense?

That is what I want to do what is expected of me!


MrsJoeB said...

Okay, I am late but I finally posted my response to the second question!
In His Graces~Pamela

Mary said...

Reading about giving the Bible away reminded me of something I did years ago. I was sitting at the piano at church and felt a real impression to take the angel pin from my dress it to a young girl sitting on the front row that had lost a baby, if I remember correctly. The angel was very special to me because I had admired it and my husband bought it for me.
After giving her the pin I went back to the piano and in my mind heard so clearly, "You are a fool!"
And yet I felt a peace that I had done the right thing. I have never seen the girl again and have no story to tell EXCEPT I still feel a peace that I was obedient.
Nothing can take the place of that inward peace!

Anonymous said...

Jackie Roth~

1. I was inspired by the "give the bible away". That would be a tough one. I want to say "yes" to God and have Him work in my life to bring Him glory. What an honor. BUT my question is how do you know if it's God or your
imagination asking you to do something. I have a wild
2. I think intimidation holds me back. I feel so ordinary,I mean really ordinary, more than all of the rest of you,that
I wonder how can God really use me. I know everything with my head, like He uses ordinary people, and He wants to work in my life,but in my heart I'm thinking yeah right,not me.

Samantha said...

Lelia -

I just wanted to thank you so much for recommending this book. I can hardly put it down! Lookin forward to next Tuesday :)

Blessings be yours,

Heather@Mommymonk said...

I'm teaching out of this book at our church ladies bible study this quarter and it has been so awesome. The thing that caught me in this chapter was: Extraordinary things out of ordinary people. I often dimish my value in the kingdom if I'm not doing something amazing. But following His lead IS amazing.

Sherlyn said...

One of the things I cherish most in life is my Bible. My husband gave it to me as a birthday gift the year my life really began - the day I commited to having a personal relationship with Christ. To be in Lysa's situation would be really hard - I would want to say yes to please God but I know the human side would say but God my husband gave this to me, but God my personal notes are in this Bible, but God my markings and prayers are in this Bible. I want to listen to God and not the worldly me. So if I am ever in this situation I pray that God would remove the "me" and give me the wisdom and knowledge to please him.