Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Week 4: YES to GOD Tuesday study

Okay, one would think I just gave birth a week ago instead of my daughter. I tell you, this whole experience of helping Mommy out in the middle of the night is really taking its toll on me. For some reason 37 doesn't take well to getting her sleep interrupted. She wakes up in such a state of confusion. No telling what lullaby comes out of my mouth at 2am.
Oh well, my little Amiyah is so worth any loss of sleep.

Here is a button if you'd like to add it to your blog, compliments of the wonderful Karla!
Isn't it just so pretty? Please go visit Karla. She has an awesome blog and she was the winner of the She Speaks scholarship P31 held a few months ago. Her blog will be worth your time. Thanks for blessing me Karla! xoxo

Okay, YES to GOD, let's we dive into Lysa TerKeurst's awesome book
"What Happens When Women Say Yes to God".

CHAPTER 4: You never know how God will use you until you let Him.
First of all, don't you just love the title of this chapter?? How true it is.

"In following the path of radical obedience, I have tasted the mystery of the sacred fellowship that comes when two or more are gathered in His name, and it has added a richness to my life that I would never again want to live without. "
Sacred fellowship. I love the times I have with God that is only between me and Him. I love those moments with God that you just bawl for no reason except for the fact that He invaded a new area of your heart.

Further down on page 59, Lysa says this, "Radical obedience is not just following a list of right things to do. Nonbelievers can do that and call it "good." Radical obedience is choosing to exchange what is "right" for God's righteousness. Only the pursuit of God's righteousness lead to His best. "
Choice. Everyday we're faced with the choice of following God. Exchanging what is right for God's righteousness. Isn't that just strong? Exchanging what we think is good or right and saying here God, now give me your best. Pursuing God leads to His best. That last sentence just gets me. How many times do we throw our hands up in frustration because we didn't get the "best" when we thought we were due to have it? I don't even want to think about all the "best of God's" I've missed out on due to selfishness and impatience.

On page 60 Lysa boldly tells us that Jesus Christ is our source and should be the ONLY object of our pursuit.
"When we accept Jesus Christ as Lord of our life, we exchange our worthless sin for the immeasurable worth of His righteousness."
OH I loved how God had Lysa word that truth for us!!! As my husband would say, "Go on girl!" Think about that sentence of honesty. When we give up the meaningless, worthless things in our lives that we think we can't live without, we are exchanging it for God's righteousness that cannot even begin to be measured!

I love jewelry. Let's say I wore a cubic zirconia ring on my ring finger and when Gene proposed to me and tried exchanging my fake diamond for the real stuff I said, "no thanks, I'd rather wear this". There is no way I would've done that. So why do we do that with God?
We are so quick to settle for stuff that we'll look back on and say "OH my goodness that was so meaningless, what was I thinking?" instead of exchanging it for a testimony of God's presence in our lives.

So how do we get started in becoming a woman who pursues obedience? Lysa tells us that "becoming women who say yes to God starts with Jesus, and it is His amazing love that compels us."

Okay, so Christ's love drives us to obey. Lysa teaches us that an obedient heart isn't our way of earning God's favor; nor it is the path to prosperity. God's favor is with those who love His Son, and our promise of prosperity lies in what we have waiting for us in our eternal home. At the end of this section on page 61 Lysa asks us a few questions:
Do we really want to be interrupted in the middle of our busy lives to see God, hear God, and pursue God? Do we really want to be compelled by the love of Christ? Do we really want a Lord of all of our life?
She answers exactly what my heart desires but so often the flesh part of me defies:

I don't know about you, but sometimes this pursuit of God is just down right tiring. I want things now instead of kids are doing things that they shouldn't be...some days I just want to be single and kid less...finances are choking us. I mean really, don't you sometimes feel like you have had enough??
I KNOW I'm not alone here. I just need to stay focused on Him because He is so worth any discomfort during the journey.

I get just tired and there are many times that I've experienced the unfortunate consequences of acting like a spoiled brat and doing things my way instead of just keeping my mouth shut and keeping my face buried in His Word. I know He has plans for me, but so often I choose to do it my way.

1.) Christ is the source of our radical obedience
2.) His love is what motivates us
3.) His power enables us to do what we're called to do.

I love Beth Moore's statement: "He's developing the character the calling requires."
Sometimes God asks us to do some things that we just know we can't do. Things that we can only do through His power. I believe those are the moments His glory shines the brightest is when the impossible is made possible through Him. There's nothing more beautiful then when He takes a woman that is so uncapable and does what He knows she can't until she cooperates.

Listen to this warning Lysa gives us about Satan:
"Know this: Satan will do everything he can to convince you to say no to God...He wants you to deny Christ's power in you. He wants to distract you from God's radical purpose for you."

This past week when my daughter gave birth she asked her nurse for an epidural when her pain passed her line of tolerance. Before the pain reached it's height, she was distracted from her contractions because of what was running through her IV. She was so comfortable that she even slept between some contractions. We even had to tell her when to push by watching the contraction monitor. How often does that happen in real life? The minute we start to feel discomfort we opt to have the enemy's epidural. Now in my daughter's case, she still got a beautiful baby girl at the end, but in real life, we miss out on the beauty of what God has for us when we allow the enemy to come in and distract our hearts. Sometimes we need to experience those pains in order to grow. We just have to bear down through life's hard contractions because when we get through it we'll be met with a Father who values our obedience.

Lysa asked us if we want to chase after the world's emptiness instead of God's fullness over on page 64. I once heard a pastor from Atlanta, Rick Snow, put it this way:
"When we don't listen to God, it's as if we're running on an indoor track and God is on the sideline telling us to 'take another lap'".
I hated track growing up, but somehow I have become a marathon runner as God is motioning for me to keep going until I get it.
Oh Lelia...

I leave you with this statement of Lysa's found on page 70.
"I remind myself often that people don't care to meet my Jesus until they meet the reality of Jesus in my life."

Let's learn to be real women of God who aren't just talking, saying or writing what sounds good. Let's allow God to do what He wants when the word YES rolls off of our lips.
Let's let people meet the reality of Jesus in our lives. Everyday. Every hour. Every second. He needs to be evident for others to see and hear.
For when they see Him in us they too will want to say YES to GOD!

There is so much more in this chapter that I could share, but the floor is yours. Please leave a comment and share what God is doing in your life. I love reading what you share and I learn so much from all of you. If you have something on your blog you want others to come read...please sign up below so we can come visit.

God Bless you all and I promise next Tuesday this will be posted before noon central time.
Thank you all for your sweet comments to Alyssa and about Amiyah.
Life is just so much better with her in it and it's only been 6 days!

Love ya,


Amy L Brooke said...

Great thoughts Lelia! I hope you get some sleep.

I was really struck by how much it is a moment by moment decision. We say "Yes" in a big way when we are saved, but walking it out day in and day out it takes a lot!

Thanks for sharing your heart.

MrsJoeB said...

Lelia-I wrote my comments yesterday anticipating you would be busy with that baby and you should be!! I found it hard this week to find time to read this chapter again but I am so glad I did. It is such powerful stuff!! I think what I enjoy most is sharing it with all these beautiful souls who are just as hungry as me to be more like Christ. What a wonderful support group!!
Thank you for keeping up with us and facilitating this study. And sharing your journey has been such a joy and blessing!! It's like we can laugh at satan and say "ha!-you didn't win in this one!!

God's blessings as always!
In His Graces~Pamela

Kristen said...

Lelia -
Thanks for posting on my blog..and CONGRATS on your new little one!She's absolutely adorable! I hope your daughter is recovering well and getting as much rest as a new mom can! :)
May you all enjoy this new little life God has blessed you with.

Becoming Me said...

Such great stuff. I cannot wait to get this book. I have been saying yes lately and it has really driven me out of my comfort zone. I felt the Lord nudging me to share about my horrific struggles with PPD and I really didn't want to, but saying yes and sharing anyway has been such a blessing and the Lord is getting so much glory.

HisPrincess said...

Thanks so much for sharing Leah. You do have a way with words!

I think in my life I need to say YES to God more. I still tend to have him in little boxes, I take him out here and there but I'm certainly not radiating his love for all to see.

I am one of two Christians in my workplace. Thats not a very high percentage! The other Christian who works here is open about it and faces ridicule behind his back all the time. He doesn't hear it but I do. I need to stop worrying about what people think, and caring about whether they like me. It's a huge leap for me to take and I'm not sure I can do it.

Love reading your blog, congratulations on the birth of your little one! You are not too old! One of my dearest friends had her last child at 38! (shudders) not a choice I would have made but she is doing really well!

Jenny said...

When my nephew was little he stayed with me a couple of times and I could not handle the getting up in the middle of the night either!

Thank you for hosting this study with so much going on in your own life! I can't wait to get to She Speaks and see you!

Have a great day with that little one!

Laura said...

I am so honored to be your quote for the day person! It is so true, though, even in the little things; if I give them to God, He works it out so much better than I!And...
I have to get this book! I am so enjoying going through it with you. I loved the quote about "sacred fellowship". Isn't that the truth? And bawling for no reason? I'm with you girl! I just started another book of Lysa's that has been sitting on my shelf: A Woman's Secret to A Balanced Life. It's very good too. Aren't we blessed to have such awesome teachers? Still praising God for you in your new Amiyah!

Amy said...

Another wonderful post, Lelia...
I put up a post I did back in February about Noah and his wife...they both said, "Yes" to God, even though they looked like fools to the world.

The testimony of Noah's wife touches me so much. She did not have a Blogging Bible Study to turn to for encouragement, no girlfriends to go to for support, because every one thought her man was crazy.

The faith she had overwhelms me. She was radically obedient, in the face of complete opposition.

It humbles me.
The post I am sharing on Mister Linky is just about my thoughts on Noah and his wife.

I loved what you said here:

"Sometimes God asks us to do some things that we just know we can't do. Things that we can only do through His power. I believe those are the moments His glory shines the brightest is when the impossible is made possible through Him."

That is definitely true of Noah's wife....I want to be a wife like that to my husband....And obedient like that to God.

Thanks for sharing your heart again today, Lelia.
Congratulations again on your little "Beloved".
God Bless,

Joyful said...

Another great chapter - thanks again for doing this Lelia.

As I began reading this chapter, a sentence in the first paragraph jumped off the page at me - "...there had to be more to Christianity than just Bible study, fellowship times, and prayer." It was this very thought years ago that ushered in a year of depression, but ultimately led me to a place of intimacy with the Lord that is breathtaking.

Lysa encourages us to respond to God's promptings immediately. One of the Pastor's at my church has said, "Obedience is the volume dial for God's voice. The more you obey, the clearer you'll hear God's voice."

I also valued the teaching on God's power. My Senior Pastor just shared a message recently entitled, "Is God's power available to me no matter what?" He gave 3 directives:
1. The power of God is available to the people who possess the presence of God. The presence of God always proceeds the power of God.
2. The power of God is available to people who practice the presence of God. He said that if Satan isn't attacking you, probably nothing of God is going on in your life. To position yourself in a situation requiring God's power without having God's presence will result in significant personal loss.
3. People disrespecting the Name of the Lord Jesus by warehousing impurity in their lives should not presume on the power of God.

Power is released when we step out in faith and let Jesus live His life in us.

Lysa encouraged us to trust God no matter what (pg.65). This reminded me of the movie, "Facing the Giants" when the wife finally surrendered her dreams of having a child, and through tears told the Lord that she would love Him regardless of ever being able to conceive a child. A tough surrender.

We don't know what the future holds and what circumstances will come into our lives, but we still must trust and obey. I heard Beth Moore say once that God will shake what can be shaken so that we will discover what cannot be shaken - God!

Joe Stowell writes that "when you are faithful and patient through trouble, God will, in His time, exercise options of deliverance that are far beyond what you ever dreamed."

My favourite quote in this chapter is on page 70, and with this I close, "I remind myself often that people don't care to meet my Jesus until they meet the reality of Jesus in my life."

May I be faithful to live for Him today,

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Hang in there with the sleep deprivation. I had my last child at 36 and it nearly killed me, but at 42, I am living proof that you will survive this season!

Been thinking about you all since reading your story.


Yolanda said...

I simply know that since January of 2007 when I said YES TO GOD for the life of ministry that He had planned for me, that He has totally rocked my world.

You touched on many things Lelia, that I had underlined in this chapter. Can't help but think, that God is leading the women that are saying YES along a similiar path. Simply, that God thinks outside the box. Perhaps we should also?

Love ya!

Lizerd said...

What a great chapter! I loved the encouragement, and reading everyone else's thoughts and lessons was such a blessing.
I loved what Lysa said on page 70..."I am not a woman who should be labeled unable. I am a woman on a journey of learning how to make sure my reactions don't deny Christ's presence in me." And yes, ...people don't care to meet my Jesus until they meet the reality of Jesus in my life" Amen!
So many times I have failed in this. Sometimes I have not. The wonderful blessings of being used by Jesus when you say Yes to Him is indescribable.

Michelle said...

I am enjoying reading everyone's thoughts. It is powerful not only to experience what God is doing in my life through this book but also to witness it in the lives of others. Thanks proud Grandma for hosting this!

tiggerdaisy said...

Whew! Good chapter! Thanks, Lelia, for your thoughts and comments!!!

Ladies, you have hit on so many of the points that I had as well! One thing that really stuck out though is what Lysa said on page 60--"He must be Lord of all if He is our Lord at all." Ladies, that really spoke to me. We have to give Him EVERYTHING...not just the things we want Him to have. That is hard to conceive at times, is it not?

I don't have time to post everything I would like to post. My husband, my 7 month old daughter, and yours truly have been sick for the past two weeks AND are just now seeing some significant improvement. YIPPEE GOD! :)

Talk to you all soon! I loved reading your thoughts!

Prayers and Blessings!

Yolanda said...

I simply HAD to come back and post another comment.

I love the statement that Lysa used in the question area about Psalm 84.

"This is a person who has decided to chase not after the world's emptiness, but rather God's fullness."

I want to be that person!