Monday, June 16, 2014

God is Able week 3

Whoa! I needed chapter 3 this morning!  It hit at just the right time as a reminder of the truth that God's dynamite power and His loving sovereignty are a perfect balance and an absolute matter how I feel!  How about you?  You've got to read this chapter!

I've mentioned in a previous post that my "it" as well as my testimony pretty much is always my kids to be exact.  Just about twenty years ago I came up against something that taught me more about God than I had ever before realized I didn't know.  After years of infertility treatment and loss I found myself wondering if God was really able to heal.  And honestly, the worst part of it was that I found myself wondering more so if He was kind enough to heal.  This chapter is about precisely those two questions!

Today I'm raising teenagers as well as a spunky 5 year old so the answers to me should be obvious, but honestly I find myself asking those same questions again sometimes.  Is God able to woo my children enough to make them want to serve Him with their entire life?  And if He's able, why aren't they as filled with His Holy Spirit as some of the other teenagers I see?  Why aren't they living out their faith with passion?  Is God loving enough to protect them and use them? Sometimes I wonder if He holds back His fire on them just to make me stay in His presence begging for their very souls and lives consistently. Parenting teens is the hardest thing I've ever done and it makes me question His ability and willingness more than anything else in my life right now!

Please don't feel the need to answer my questions or encourage me...I really know the answers but I needed the encouragement of chapter 3.  Is there something in your "now" that makes you honestly wonder if God is able and if He is willing?

I can't remember how I even found the verse, but twenty years ago I came across Psalm 62:11-12a which has since been a promise I've come back to over and over again.

"One thing God has spoken, two things have I heard:  that you, O God, are strong and that you, O Lord, are loving."

This verse tells me that He is strong (more than able) and He is loving (willing to do whatever is best). The entirety of chapter three reminded me of this verse. I can trust His ability as well as His tender love.

I mean it when I say that I'm praying for you as you dive into chapter 3 and the following questions.

1.  Priscilla talks about change at the beginning of this chapter.  Are you someone who finds change exhilarating and adventurous?  Or does even the word "change" give you hives?

2.  How does the fact that God never changes encourage you in your current reality?

3.  On the bottom of page 62 and the top of page 63 Priscilla refers to several scriptures about God's ability as well as His love for us?  Why don't you actually look in your bible at these passages, maybe even compare some different translations using or YouVersion or an old fashioned parallel bible?  Which of these passages speak to you in your current reality?

4.  Be honest... do you find yourself wondering if He's able or if He's willing? What makes you ask? If you've come to grips with this, what circumstances did He use to solidify these attributes of God in your heart?

5. What is the Greek verb used in Ephesians 3 for "God is able"? (See page 66!) What is significant about this word and the absolute truth that He's able?

6. What was one thing you underlined in this chapter, one idea that challenged you most? Here's my favorite quote!

6. Rewrite Ephesians 3:20-21 underlining and emphasizing who is able to do so that you might be constantly reminded of this explosive truth for you personally.  

It's your turn! Please please please please please comment if God is speaking to you!

1 comment:

Becky McVey said...

Change....hmmm. I guess I am a fence sitter on this one. I like change if I think it is going to benefit me in some way. I hate change if it means that I have to go through tough times and actually LEARN something through it. Through change, I have learned so much. It is actually the only way I have learned anything. I never move forward by just sitting still, if that makes any sense.

In my current reality, I know that I can go to God constantly and HE is always the same yesterday, today, and forever. I found it encouraging that this week I was facing a real problem. As I lay on my bed in tears, I found myself just praying that God would fix the situation, and more than that, that He would fix ME to better deal with the situation. And you know what: He did just that! I found this encouraging because in the past, I would have tried to fix it myself. I am learning to automatically go to Him first.

I just can't get away from Romans 8:28! There it is again on the bottom of p. 62. During Pam Morgan's study of Romans this summer, I learned so much about God, but I also learned so much about myself and who I am in and through God. Romans 8:28 is a tough one for me since the death of my son, but it really spoke to me this summer. Over and over since then this verse has come up and is teaching me so much about how to deal with the real crises of life. I am a work in progress on this one, but I am progressing. That is what is so important. I am no longer stuck where I have been for ten years.

Questions 3 and 4 kind of run together this week for me. He has used the death of my son to teach me really what was important in life, and it isn't in the stuff that causes most of us so much joy or aggravation. Maybe I should say happiness instead of joy. I have learned that true joy comes only from the Lord. GriefShare has taught me this. Our family, friends, jobs, etc., are important, but only our salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ is what REALLY matters. All the rest is just so much fluff. That's a tough one for me still, but I know it to be true in the deepest, darkest place in my heart.

My quote from this week that stands out is"...if He can do it.......then why isn't He?" For years I knew God could do all things. But when it came right down to it, I also knew that I wanted Him to do all the things I "wanted" Him to do, not just what He knew was the best for me. Again, it's that whole discipline thing. I don't want to be disciplined; I don't want to learn new things. I don't want to change. God may not be doing what I want. I just have to trust Him to know that there is a greater reason for this.