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Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Week 7: YES to GOD Tuesday study

CHAPTER 7: KEEPING OUR VISION CLEAR

I can't believe we're halfway through the book & Bible study, "What Happens When Women Say Yes to God" by Lysa TerKeurst. I'm sure she is getting prepared for She Speaks coming up in June. If you have a minute click here to go to her blog and let her know what God has done in your heart through her book. I'm sure at this busy time in her life your words will encourage her heart. Let's get started...and by the way, anything in blue means I'm quoting Lysa from the book.


Lysa begins this chapter with a story of how her and her husband Art were blessed with some extra money and they had different ideas of what to do with the money. She wanted curtains for her kitchen. He wanted to give the money to ministry.


I loved Lysa's transparency as she talked of her harsh facial expression and how it was "reflective of something ugly in my heart. My desire about what to do with the money had been all about me, me, me! Never once did I stop to pray."


I wonder, as we are all about to receive our tax relief checks from the government if any of us are going through the same thing. If married, unexpected blessings can often turn into selfishly motivated heated arguments if we let them, unless we are focused on what God's plan for the money is like Art was. If we look into the mirror do we see harshness or obedience? Have we prayed and sought God's direction for the money? Never once did I take a step back to consider God's bigger picture and plan.


In the next section of the chapter, Lysa tells us to be radically obedient is to keep God's vision clearly in front of us, to be so busy looking at what He wants, looking at Him, that everything else becomes less important.


God doesn't want us to obey partially, He wants our complete obedience, full attention and absolute devotion.


I loved the story of Lysa's daughter Ashley. To get what it takes to obey God at such a young age is just so awesome. When Lysa tried to tell her it was okay to stop fasting and eat a little something Ashley's wisdom made me cry like a baby. "Mom , I know exactly what God told me to do and I want to be obedient. I did not call for you to talk me out of this. I just need for you to pray for me to have the strength to continue." WOW!!! Radical obedience, no compromise, just obedience. I want that in my life. Ashley desired God's obedience more than she wanted to fill her tummy with partial obedience. Let's learn from this of God here ladies!



The last part of the chapter Lysa talked of Simon Peter when he was in his boat. Didn't make much sense what God was asking him to do, but his response was what Jesus was after. "But because you say so, I will let down the nets" Luke 2:5.

Our calling is revealed as we walk in daily obedience in the little things.


Lysa shows us how Peter's life displayed a radically obedient life.


1.) Our call to obedience may challenge our pride.

2.) God uses our experiences to equip us for our calling. God doesn't waste our experiences in life. I loved what my friend Pamela from In His Graces said on her blog in a post last week. "Using my sufferings for God's glory may be painful but maybe one soul will avoid the same sins I have experienced, maybe one soul will come to know Christ. That is what it is all about."

Philippians 1:12 being lived out!

3.)Our obedience may inspire others to respond.


The last section of this chapter asks us where is our vision focused? What touched me the most about this whole chapter besides Ashley's testimony, is what Lysa said about playing games at the foot of the cross. "It's hard to imagine anyone playing games in the shadow of the cross..."

Playing games at the foot of the cross is what we do every time our heart wants us to follow the path of obedience and our flesh desires to take a different path and we give in to our flesh. Lord knows I've played a lot of games that have only resulted in regret. Got to obey.

Please leave your thoughts & if you have more to share sign up below and we'll come visit your blog.

~Many Blessings~


13 comments:

Amy L Brooke said...

Hey Lelia!

I loved that story about Ashley as well.... I wish I was so readily obedient.

I think we need a picture of Lysa' curtains!

Did you check out my post from this weekend -- cat tricks. I even managed a link to a video. I think Amiyah wants to see it.

Talk to you soon.

HisPrincess said...

Great post as always Lelia. I think I really needed to read that.
Thanks
Sharon

MrsJoeB said...

Lelia-since I do not have my work laptop at the present, I am fighting with my home computer. It is only a year old but it is being difficult to allow me to post pictures on my post related to our Bible study. I will try again. Thank you for keeping this study up!! You are such a blessing!!

In his Graces~Pamela

tiggerdaisy said...

My favorite part was Ashley! Out of the mouths of babes, right? That is truly a lesson in how to come to God is it not?

The story about the curtains was good, but the most important part to me was when Lysa humbly went before Art, told him she was wrong, and apologized for the way she behaved. I LOVE THAT!!!! Not only was it a lesson on self-centerdness verses focusing on God, but it was also a beautiful testimony of how we should go before our husbands when we have done wrong. Cool indeed!

Love y'all! And Lelia, thanks again for hosting this study! I can't believe that we are almost at the end of our journey! It has flown by for sure!

Prayers and Blessings!
Rebecca

Michelle said...

This book and this study are such a blessing. Thanks for hosting it Lelia. At the beginning of the study, I did not know just how much I would need to focus on saying yes to God during this time. Obviously, He did!

Joyful said...

Hi Lelia, finally have made it to the computer. It's been a busy day!

Well, another wonderful chapter. I loved what Lysa wrote on pg 114 about partial obedience. "How easy it is to obey partially. Obeying just enough to give the right Christian appearance is not the obedience God desires."

That made me think of a story about a friend of mine. She is a nurse in the palliative care unit of a hospital. During her night shift she has to change the dressing and bandages on her patients. The first bandage change she does well - but doesn't take the same time and effort she does with the second bandage change because she knows no-one will see the first one she does. However, the next nurse on duty will see the last bandage replacement so she takes extra care. One night the Lord really convicted her about her 'partial obedience' in this matter. God saw that first effort. She says she now takes extra time with that first dressing change and always says as she's working on it - "this one if for You, Lord."

Ashley's story was absolutely beautiful! Lysa writes how she desires that God be less about family tradition in her children's lives and more about their own experience of Him. That's my desire as well.

Lysa reminded us to be obedient to God in the little things. She writes, "You don't know where it will lead. You don't know how God will use it."

I loved what Lysa wrote RE:focus. This has been such a treasure of a truth to me right now. As I'm preparing to face my fear of flying in June, sometimes the thought of getting on that plane is overwhelming - but, that's because my focus has drifted away from God. When fear and panic surround me - where am I looking? At the size of the plane? At the ability of the pilot? At the mechanic who will service the plane? At the scientific reason a huge object can defy gravity? OR at the character and compentance of my BIG GOD!! I must continue to keep my eyes fixed on Christ.

In closing, I just want to comment on the question you posed re:finances. I just want to encourage anyone reading this that you cannot out-give God. I have several stories of God allowing me the privilege of being His channel to help others through being obedient to Him re: the money He entrusts to us. To share one quick example, this past Fall the Lord fulfilled a desire of my heart to be given a part-time position in a Christian bookstore. I wasn't looking for work. I had not put in an application or written a resume. The manager contacted me completely out of the blue and offered me a job. As I wasn't returning to work out of a need, my husband and I decided that any money I made would be used to meet the needs of others and prayed that the Lord would direct us in our giving. Could we have used the extra finances? YES! But, we both really agreed that we had been living on one income and we could continue to do this. What an amazing blessing it has been to help others and trust God. It's an amazing journey. His Word says that He will not see His children begging bread. God is good.

Hope you have a wonderful week.
Love & prayers,
Joy

Sita Henderson said...

Hi Lelia,
My call to obedience this week flows from Beth's study on acting on the 'agape' love-the response to the Spirit does not necessarily start with the feeling but that emotion soon follows as you obey the Spirit. Showing love to one who has hurt you causes a gushing forth of love from deep within that surprises you. You know that it is Him in you.
What an awesome God we serve!

Yolanda said...

"I came to realize that my harsh expression was reflective of something ugly in my heart."

OUCH!

I loved this statment:

"To be radically obedient is to keep God's vision clearly in front of us, to be so busy looking at what He wants, looking at HIM, that every thing else becomes less important."

Let's be true DISCIPLES instead of Game Players! Myself included.

Love ya all!!!

Yolanda

Yolanda said...

Well, I'm back from lunch and something that 4 of my "girlfriends" were sharing about....gave me an instant vision.

I'm such a VISUAL person; so perhaps this might make sense with one of you also.

It goes along with the thought of being at the foot of the cross and "playing around", not getting what Christ has done for us.

I saw a picture in my mind of us being on an I.V. hooked up to Jesus Christ. But when we get in the flesh, making poor choices, we un-hook ourselves from the I.V.

We NEED the I.V.

Love ya!!!!!

Lizerd said...

Oh to be challenged by a child, how humbling! Thank you Ashley. The whole chapter was great. Everyone's thoughts are encouraging. Thanks, Lelia, for taking the time to keep us going.
Love ya!
Liz

Lizerd said...

Oh to be challenged by a child, how humbling! Thank you Ashley. The whole chapter was great. Everyone's thoughts are encouraging. Thanks, Lelia, for taking the time to keep us going.
Love ya!
Liz

MaryLu said...

You could have stopped right after the curtain illustration! Oh, that is so me! Why is it so hard to just be obedient? Why don't we just GET it, already!
Playing games at the foot of the cross, sounds so evil and blasphemous, yet we do it everyday.
Thanks for the spiritual boost today my friend.

Heather@Mommymonk said...

Ok, I'm only a week late :) I was planning to link in earlier, but I guess the week got away from me. This chapter really got me. The image of playing at the foot of the cross - powerful!