Well, I just finished working through the Bible study “Believing God” written by Beth Moore. I began this study earlier this year as I was praying about how to know and understand God’s promises. I am so thankful that I had the chance to work through the workbook and watch a few of the videos online. I didn’t do the study with a group, I just worked through it on my own. It was an eye-opening, life changing experience.
I am going to now take some time to review my notes and go back through the lessons, not to do the study again, but to attempt to summarize what I have learned. My hope is to record some of those things in blog posts. But I also face the reality that, in just a few short weeks, we will welcome baby #2 into our family! So if I am writing, its going to have to happen fast!
There are a few of you who have shared with me that you are following along on my journey to knowing and believing God’s promises. I am so thankful for you. I have wanted to share more of what I have been discovering in this process, but every time I come to write I have felt like my time had not yet come. Now that I have completed the study I am wondering if I will now be released to share the testimony of how God has revealed more of himself to me over the past several months. I am hoping that I will. I have learned so much and am so very thankful for the life-giving lessons the Lord has taught me during my study time and I can’t wait to see how he brings it all together in a way that makes sense for me to share it all.
I’ve said several times this year that my family and I are living in the midst of great uncertainty; however, I have now come to understand and accept that we ALL live in the midst of great uncertainty. Proverbs 27:1 says, “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.” James 4:13-16 says, “Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil.
We are foolish to believe that life is certain and secure, because it is not. No one knows the future, what may or may not happen tomorrow, next year, or even later today. Yet we (I) put our trust in a man-made form of certainty rather than in the God who gives and takes away.
Its so easy to slip into the comfortable allusion of life’s predictability and I believe it makes us complacent. At least, I know it makes me complacent. I am not saying we should live our lives with anxiety over the future. I am saying that, there is no certainty in life apart from God. When faced with more obvious uncertainties in my life, God has shown me a new way to live, day-by-day, trusting in Him to lead, provide, and sustain me until the sun rises on another day. He has convinced me that, as long as I keep my eyes fixed on him, nothing will stand in the way of my being exactly who he wants me, where he wants me, how he wants me, in all seasons of life.
Have I discovered promises in the Bible that I can rightly apply to my life? Absolutely. But what’s more is that God is teaching me that living life is so much more than line item promises and prayers, when we reorder our priorities and seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, he truly will give us everything we need for a a full and fulfilling life. The key is fully surrendering our lives to his way of doing things. And his way of doing things starts with studying his word.
Some may disagree with that statement, but I have come to realize that the most important thing for me to know, after knowing Jesus as my savior, is knowing his word— like the back of my hand! Like the song lyrics to my favorite Patty Griffin song! Like the instructions to my favorite recipes! Yes, I am much more familiar, and have much better recall of the lines in a handful of John Hughes movies than I do the living and active word of God. I have resolved that this must change.
Over the past months, I have spent a lot less time praying and a lot more time reading, studying, meditating on and seeking out what God has already said to us in his word. So often I have prayed, “God, just tell me what to do, where to go, what is going to happen, why did this happen, when will this happen, what is your will for my life?” and been reluctant to open my Bible and let his supernatural words answers my questions. The number one take away so far this year is a recommitment to knowing God’s word and allowing his word to transform me from the inside out.
My pastor preached last Sunday and said “God doesn’t “zap” us, he transforms us.” God is much more interested in the process of our sanctification, of our becoming more like Christ, than he is instantaneously answering our questions and solving our problems. As we allow ourselves to be transformed by his word, our questions are answered and our problems are solved… or they go away… because our perspective changes. The temptation we fight against is viewing God like Santa Clause instead of the all-powerful, all-knowing, almighty God of the universe. Of course, many don’t view God this way, so these words are written more for those who believe God is who the Bible says he is.
This post has grown long and somewhat stream of consciousness. But I hope in some way this gives an update about my journey to those who are interested. I also hope to share more specific things that I have learned in the days to come, especially now that I have completed the Believing God study, and have time to review and write out these things in a more concise way.
I leave you with these passages of scripture that have served as a backdrop for all that I have experienced so far this year. I pray you find encouragement for your own journey in the power of the living and active word of God.
6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6
12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[e]?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:25-34