TerKeurst Tuesday


It’s Tuesday! Time for TerKeurst Tuesdays, friends! Today we are discussing chapters sixteen and seventeen of Lysa TerKeurst’s book, What Happens When Women Walk in Faith. For more thoughts on this inspiring topic, hop on over to Lelia’s blog and visit with our other Bible study participants.

Chapter sixteen: God’s Portion, Position, and Promise

The story of the children of Israel’s time in the desert gives me pause every time.

On page 158, Lysa says, “Though they didn’t deserve His provision, God still had mercy on them and provided. The way He provided required them to pursue a relationship with Him on a daily basis, receiving their portion every day. God continued to reveal Himself to His people through the manner in which He provided. He still does this with us as well.”

I just love the way God reveals Himself. Lately I have been pondering how to make my time with Him more intimate. The story of the manna, the “bread of angels”, reminds me so brilliantly to depend on Him every day. In seeking His portion for me, I am trusting that it is all I need.

Lysa goes on to say, “God loves each of us and wants to spend time with us, not because it’s on our to-do list but because we desire to stay in contact with Him throughout our day. He wants to be there for us. He wants to fill in the gaps where each of us falls short.”

In my case, that’s a lot of gaps to fill!

He does, Beloved! He fills in the gaps that I don’t have the strength to fill. But I must seek Him first.

The Israelites had to face physical hunger before they sought Him daily. The challenges that come between me and Him are much less tangible. What will it take to make me seek Him with every breath?

Depending on Him daily gives me less room to hold up idols in place of Him. Make no bone about it; there have been times when I have put other things before Him. Friends, Family, work, even exercise…these have all had their season of idolatry in my life. But God used these seasons to shape me. He used even my weaknesses to reclaim His kingship in my life. When Lysa asked the question: “What do I want more than anything else?” I can finally say that my answer was HIM! MORE OF HIM!! Hallelujah, Amen.

But it has been a process getting to this point, and as Lysa described the refining of silver, different seasons in my life sprang to life in my mind—going through the fire, being pounded into a new shape, purified…molded into something beautiful by my Creator.

This is His promise to me.

Chapter seventeen: God’s Dream, God’s Way

We have traveled through Leaving, Famine, Believing, and Death so far in this journey. Now we reach the section of the book that Lysa calls Resurrection. Lysa says, “Resurrection—The final stage in our walk of faith—happens only after death has had her fleeting reign of victory. In other words, the only way to rejoice in the resurrection is to have sorrowed through death first.”

Wow.

Notice the words “fleeting reign of victory.” Scripture tells us that weeping lasts for a night, but joy comes in the morning”!

And, Lysa says, “God’s dream for us must come to life God’s way.”

His way is best, my friends. It may not seem that way while I wait in the desert, it may not seem that way while I hunger through the famine, it may not seem that way when I am asked to leave behind all that I love…but when I look back in faith, I clearly see how He used those times to mold and shape me into a new creation. Truly resurrected.

These chapters have renewed my commitment to my dreams. They have helped me to keep my perspective and rejoice in the trials God has given me.

I love the steps Lysa lists for active waiting. For all of you who are not reading the book along with us, take heart in the following:

1. Do not lose confidence in God’s goodness.
2. Be strong.
3. Do not lose hope.
4. Let God be your shield and your help.
5. Be patient.
6. Continue to cry out to God.
7. Cling to His Word.
8. Watch for His answers.
9. Trust in His unfailing love.
10. Rejoice in His redemption.

Remember, our strength is in the joy of the Lord! Rejoice in Him and you will be renewed in this journey of following the dream He has given you!

Today I begin my Tuesday postings for our bloggy Bible study of Lysa Terkeurst’s book What Happens When Women Walk in Faith. If you’d like to join us, visit Lelia who is so gracious to host these bloggy get togethers! (I’m not linked there yet, because I’m posting in the wee hours of the morning when all the world is still asleep!) I feel like we’re sitting down with a cupa, sinking into my overstuffed couch, ready to share some good Word-centered girl gab!

I’m an underliner, girls. Pick up any of the books in my library and it will be heavy with the ink marks. My first underline in this book was in the intro—the second paragraph! This is one way I judge a good book: how quickly do I get to the underlines? Didn’t take long. My first underline was: “Those giants struck fear in the heart of those to whom the promise was given.” (p.7)

Fear. Lysa’s first question asks me what tactics the enemy is using to try to defeat me right now? That’s a real simple answer for me: fear. Job 1:6-7 and 1 Peter 5:8 tell me that Satan is roaming through the earth “like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour”. Luke 22:31 tells me he wants to sift me “as wheat”. These words have always left me with a sick feeling of terror in my tummy. All my life I’ve believed there is nothing special about me. I’m not good enough, I’m not strong enough, I’m not smart enough…

These scripts were played over and over in my head until I came to believe them as truth. On page 13, Lysa asks, “Is it possible that a girl rejected by her earthly father (insert your great heartache here) could actually be chosen and set apart (second underline) for a divine calling?”

For so many years I chose to believe the enemy’s answer to that question. A loud, resounding NO!

I still work on those mental scripts. Old habits are hard to break. But as I grow in my relationship with the Lord, I have come to a place of victory (over and over again!). Lysa is so right when she says that the enemy wants us to “miss God’s best”. (p. 19) He wants nothing more than for us to give up our dream. Thomas Edison once said, “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

Lysa’s next question asks us to list some practical ways to draw close to God and to resist the devil. (James 4:7-8) I have found that being in the Word on a regular basis, and having my quiet time with God every day are my best strategies to overcome the enemy. My most recent fear defeating scripture is 1John 4:4, which says, “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”

I know that alone I am not strong enough. Alone, I am not good enough. Alone, I am not smart enough. But He who is in me is greater than he who is in the world. And He’s pretty bad. That’s B-A-D, in a good way.

Another good thing for me is to surround myself with godly friends. Friends who encourage me and believe in God’s work in me. I am blessed to have many such friends. I also teach my kids, and the tweens at church. Honey, there is no greater way to learn a lesson than to teach it. As I minister to these precious children, the lessons He has given to me are solidified in my heart.

“So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of god, you will receive what he has promised.”(Heb. 10:35-36) These are the words of encouragement that Lysa wants us to focus on as we journey through this study. On page 17, Lysa states that “Any woman who wishes to be used by God must be willing to honor God no matter what.” These words spoke volumes to me (underlined, of course!). When we honor God in the little things, we show who we are in Him. We show that honoring Him comes before our agendas. Honoring Him comes before chasing a dream.

That is my aim today. I will start over tomorrow, but this is my goal: to honor God in all I do.

http://lauraboggess.com/2008/07/1263.html

The feet of Thomas

“Mom!”

The panic in his voice sent my heart a-pounding and my feet a-running.

I found him on my bed, examining his feet. He looked up at me as I entered the room, face scrunched up in fear.

“My feet! I can see my veins!”

I looked down at his lilly-white ankle and, indeed, saw a blue line distinctly tracing a path from heel to toe.

“It’s okay, honey, it’s supposed to look like that.”

My words did not comfort.

“It feels funny. There’s something wrong!”

My little hypochondriac sat stiffly on the pillow at the head of the bed; perhaps afraid any wrong move might make the blue line explode.

I gently sat down beside him and lifted my foot up beside his.

“See,” I said. “Mommy’s foot has them too.”

Silently, he studied my veiny foot. Under his gaze, I could almost feel the blood pumping through them, conscious of the purpose of these thin blue lines for the first time.

“They’re supposed to look like that?”

The relief in his voice was tangible.

“Why do they look like that?”

“Oh, your veins are how the blood gets throughout your body. Sometimes you can see them through your skin.”

“There’s blood in there? Where does the blood go?”

A quick anatomy lesson ensued, my young son studying his foot the entire time.

As he skipped off to play, the strangeness of the interaction lingered in my mind.

I mean, how many nine-year-olds are driven to panic because they can see their veins through their skin? Granted, my boys have some of the milkiest skin this side of the Mississippi, but come on, the boy was absolutely stricken. And he wouldn’t believe me without seeing my own spidery vehicle.

“Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.’” (John 20:27)

I smiled.

How many times has our Lord had to show me before I have believed? Too many to usher forth the memories.

“…see my hands…”

So many times I have refused to heed His voice until He shows me His intentions.

“…see…”

My words to my son echo back to me today as I walk a journey of faith guided steps.

“Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:29)

Yes, that is what I am today. Blessed.