Wednesday, July 2, 2014

God is Able...week 5

Quite honestly, this week has totally gotten away from me.  It would be so sinful for me to complain because He has granted me such memorable times with my family and some dear ministry friends recently, but I have to admit that I've been exhausted for the last 3 days.  I'd read chapter 5 a week ago while on vacation in Chicago, but I often need to process it before blogging about it.  In my "process time", I've been physically tired and overwhelmed by the details of the days.  You know how it is...when you've been traveling so much there's always laundry and groceries and homework and responsibilities to catch up on.  That's where I've lived for the last few days...between naps! 

Here are some silly photos of our family trip and some sweet memories of my time serving on the event team for Living Proof Live in Biloxi with my LifeWay buddies!

How ironic that much of chapter five is about how God cares about the routine everyday details as well as the supernatural big things!  I've come back to this quote from chapter 5 so much in the last few days:

"So don't think the concerns that pop up in today's nitty-gritty are meant for you to bear alone, off grid, as if they're somehow exempt from His spiritual protections, not covered under your fire insurance policy.  The same God who is saving you from hell is also willing and able to save what's left of your nerves and your workweek."

Lord, save my nerves!

Chapter 5 is all about totality!  We are up to the part in Ephesian 3:20 that I often love the most!

Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think...

That part is easy to love but hard to grasp.  It includes it all!  The little things, the huge things, and everything in between!

After reading chapter 5 and continuing to memorize Ephesians 3:20-21, consider these questions.  I'd sure love for you to comment!

1.  Don't you just love the stories of Priscilla losing things and asking God to help her find them?  Does that seem shallow to you?  How does Job 28:24 hit you in light of her stories or even your own experience? Have you ever lost something and know that God Himself showed it to you?  Describe that feeling once the item has been found!  Are you currently trying to find something?  Could we pray with you about finding something?

From Gayla:  Every time we have to find our children's birth certificates I panic!  I can't tell you how many times in our moves we've lost an adoption paper or a birth certificate or a social security card! Please don't judge or provide the obvious encouragement to have a special place for them...I know that!  I'm not making excuses, I'm just saying it happens!  And boy does my prayer life become rich every time!  The feeling of relief when we find it (or when the new one we had to order comes in the mail) is a pretty sweet feeling!

2.  Too often we limit our view of God!  This part of Ephesians 3:20 is really a challenge not to limit Him! Priscilla writes (on page 103):

"...sometimes our problem is not that we won't believe Him for the supernatural and amazing but that we don't believe He cares about the routine and everyday."

Do you struggle with this? If so, how do you often limit God?  How does Matthew 10:29-31 expand your vision of Him and His willingness and His ability?

3.  On pages 105 and 106, we are reminded of many verses that speak of the totality of God's ability? Which of those speak volumes to you today?

From Gayla: Matthew 6:33 is such a great reminder to me that when I seek Him first "all these things" are added!  All means all!  I spend so much time seeking all the things, but I'm supposed to be seeking Him, then He adds all these things.  ALL!

4.  Another way we often limit God is by assuming He works like people!  Priscilla says:

"We often limit our expectations of Him to what we've experienced within our human interaction."

How does numbers 23:19 blow that limitation out of the water?

5.  Toward the end of the chapter, Priscilla discusses the fact that God invites us to be involved with Him through prayer.  In the last 4 years I've been overwhelmed by this blessing...that God involves us in His blessing as we pray.  She writes:

"Asking of God doesn't make us pushy, not according to the Bible.  Nor, of course, does it mean He'll give us whatever we want.  But when we take Him up on His invitation to ask for what we need - both the big things and the small things - one of the greatest things He gives us is the opportunity to recognize exactly where our help is coming from.  When we request and He answers, we are enabled to know beyond any doubt that He was the One working in our experience...By inviting us to ask, He is continually connecting His life with ours.  Every blessing becomes another noticeable expression of His loving care..."

I've often said that prayer is like playing "I Spy" with God because when we are diligently praying for something, we will see Him working in ways that we would not have noticed otherwise.  We also will then be ruined for anything less!

What are you diligently praying about?  Where are you spying God at work? How is He working it out in a way that is beyond all you have asked or imagined?

1 comment:

Becky McVey said...

This has been my favorite chapter so far. I don't know why, but this one really reached down and touched me. I am seeing so many parallels between what we are reading in this book and what we are studying in Sacred Secrets on Tuesday mornings.

I do not find Priscilla's stories about praying for lost things shallow or trivial. I don't mean that to sound like He's Santa Claus just waiting for us to ask for what's in his red bag. I believe, though, that we have to know that God is there for us in ALL aspects of our lives. We have to invite Him in. If we trust God for the big stuff, we have to know He is there is the small stuff. God is there for our every need; all we have to do is ask. He's in the details.

I have thought before that I need to go to God for big things. Like praying for my marriage, my children, healing, etc. I am still learning that He is there for me all the time. He is with me all the time; I just need to let Him in. Matthew 10:29-31 hits it on the head for me. Nothing happens but what God allows to happen. I am trying to listen to the Holy Spirit's prompting in me right now. I am looking for my personal rooftop from which to shout. I won't have anything to shout about, though, if God doesn't give me the message. I would have nothing to say if I don't let Him into my life and trust Him to guide me, help me, or bolster me up spiritually. I may have totally gone far fetched with this question, but this is where it led me.

Romans 8:28 speaks volumes to me. I am learning the difference between all things being good, and all things working together for good. The death of my son was not good. However, the good that is coming out of my dealing with it is another thing. God has led me here for a purpose, and like I said earlier, I am trying to discover what that purpose is. I have something to give back, I just need to discover what that really is. I am feeling drawn into ministry somehow. I really want to work is a capacity to help others. Questions 3 and 4 kind of work together to me. God will not lie to us. He is incapable of it. He will only lead us to good; He may just not make everything "good" on our journey.

I am being totally transparent on this last question. My prayer is that my husband will accept the ultimate healing that God has for him. He is still struggling so much with the death of our son. I would like for him to come alongside me in some type of ministry. I would like him to be on fire for the Lord and work it toward the good of others. I want him to come to church with me regularly because he wants to and can't wait for Sunday mornings to get here. I want him to feel that all the suffering he has done physically (he is disabled through a back injury) and emotionally has been for a purpose instead of just God's "picking on him." I have finally broken free of the chains that had me bound; I want him to have that same wonderful feeling of freedom.