Fervent Week 5

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Hello Fervent ladies!  How are you doing?!  I don’t know about you, but the sunshine has me itching badly for spring.  I am SO glad that fat little groundhog did not see his shadow!  C’mon spring!

How are you all doing?  I hope you are gleaning as much as I am from these readings.  I feel a holy confidence each time I’m faced with an attack of the enemy.  Not only am I able to identify his schemes, I am able to label them and pull out my best defense, God’s word, to send him running.  I’m so thankful.

Let’s get started with Strategy 5: Your Past.  I mentioned last week that even if you don’t have a crazy or trauma filled past, that doesn’t mean that you aren’t going to struggle in this area, and it doesn’t mean that God can’t use you.  You may think, “Ah, I don’t have a testimony.  God didn’t deliver me from drugs or an abusive relationship, etc.  There’s nothing special about me.”  That’s not true!  God can take anything and make it a beautiful testimony.  Just like the enemy can take anything and abuse you with it.  I LOVE on page 98 where she says, “His glory comes from creating people of purity and spiritual passion who once did things like that.  Like we’ve done.  Like you’ve done.  Like I’ve done.”  So whatever he accuses you of, turn it around on the enemy and say, “Thank you for reminding me of ALL that God has done for me.  And for reminding me of how wonderfully deep God loves me!”  God makes ALL things new.  Such a beautiful truth.

Strategy 6: Your Fears.  Oh boy.  I think this is a big one for all moms.  We check on our babies and watch them sleep.  Sinking low to watch for movement behind their closed, sleeping eyelids or for the rise and fall of their backs.  We read books and articles online for how to best care for these little people and our prayers are ones of protection over their lives.  Even as they get older.  They may change, but sometimes our fears for them never do.
Risk is a scary venture.
Jason and I have taken risks before.
Some proved to turn out for our benefit.
Others…not so much.
But from each experience, we’ve learned so much.
I love this quote:

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from beartsybehappy.tumblr.com

I could literally cry thinking about God speaking this over us.
Fear puts us in a prison.
A prison that only we have the key to.
The enemy has us here, recycling fears of a child dying or of failing or of looking ridiculous, or no one showing up, or… or… or.  He has no authority to keep us there.
Yet here we are.
Fear; it’s not of God.
He’s behind us, pushing us, nudging us, encouraging us…to, like Psalm 34:8 says, to taste and see that He is so, so good.
When I decided to share my blog with people after over two years of just keeping it to myself, I was terrified.
I was afraid of what people would think of me, if anyone would read it, if it was a waste of time.  The enemy’s voice was so loud in my mind.
I have felt such freedom since I decided to share my blog.  So, whether or not people read it, Christ has set me free through it!
I have felt a deliverance from my own prison of what people think of me.
A confidence that can only come from Christ.

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Next week, we tackle Strategy 7: Your Purity and Strategy 8: Your Pressure.  As you read Strategy 7, think about ways that the enemy distracts you and where God may be calling you specifically to be holy.  Is there an area you are struggling?  She says on page 123 that “Separation.  That’s what sin creates.” Is there an area where you haven’t fully handed over to God?  He wants us to.  He has SO much for us.
Last, Strategy 8, Your Pressures.  Oh my.  We put so much on ourselves.  Here we learn that a “good thing can quickly become a god thing.”  Do you take a Sabbath?  I challenge myself and you to simply take a rest.  We deserve it.  God wants to spend time with us.

How bout another giveaway?!  Comment with our discussion questions or for what you took away from this week’s readings for a chance to win a prize!

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4 thoughts on “Fervent Week 5

  1. Jill!!! Thank you again for all of your words!! I have really enjoyed this and as the days get longer it seems my book is in my hand a little longer too!!! It is truly amazing that each time I read it feels like the author is speaking at me for the moment. As for this week it really seemed like my Past had always been hanging around me like a dark cloud. Some of those crazy moments in life when we thought we made a good choice only to find out the consequences were not so grand. Earlier last week, I have had several conversations with a few different people about my decisions as a teenager, about thinking I knew what love was and in turn having my first born baby boy at such a young age. I must admit my baby boy is still my baby boy at his young adult age of 19 and I LOVE God even more for giving me strength to raise him well. But even today, after 19 years, all of those crazy decisions I made and the actions I had performed when I was young still seemed to stay stuck in my mind, as if I couldn’t forgive myself for all the things I missed. I missed my childhood, you know going to Prom (what was that like), going on a senior trip or heck even getting to play volleyball my senior year, oh yeah and here is the grand one I missed…..attending UL engineering school (why did i pass up a full ride)! But this week…all before opening my book…I started to talk, talk about my past in a different way, rationalized my decisions and opening my eyes to where I had come today, educated, loving husband, great career, healthy kids and yes a son who made it to his second year in college. My past all those things about my past why still hold onto them? It felt so good to speak them out loud to hear my words while talking to others and not holding them silent in my mind. I even had a friend said, “you know that is a good story, we all have our stories Diana but your story you should learn to tell it.” I am still unsure where my platform is but I am praying hard that God will open my eyes so I can tell it!!! As the week progressed I sat down to open my book and “BAM” here it is the Past, my strategy of the week, God put it in front of me and he opened my mind well before the words had appeared on the page. What I have taken away not only from my story but from the reading this week is to know I am not perfect, yes I made some crazy decisions, but “let it go”, pray about it. So I opened my journal and I gave it all to God.

    • That is so awesome. I will never forget how brave you were during high school and going through your pregnancy. Cameron has turned out so beautifully and it’s because you’ve raised him with the same courage you displayed. God has painted your story so perfectly, even though it may not have gone the way you wanted, He is a redeemer! And you are better for all of it! You are right, you have set free those thoughts that were condemning you and God is going to use you in a mighty mighty way!

  2. This is my first post during this bible study, because of fear. I always fear that I am going to say something that makes me look/sound stupid! My self-confidence is extremely low and after reading this chapter…I am letting the Devil hold me captive in my prison of fear. So here goes…

    I have so enjoyed this bible study and every chapter seems to be connecting with that week’s issue for me!! The one quote that struck such a chord with me in your post and then radiated throughout the reading of the chapter on fear — “Fear puts us in prison — a prison that only we have the key to!”

    I have never thought of it like that, Jill!! I deal constantly with fear and anxiety. The fear that I am not going to live up to expectations, the fear that I will do something wrong in the eyes of others, the fear that the devil, himself, is going to be right, or the fear that I am just not good enough for God. As I read this chapter and your post, I realize that is exactly what the enemy wants all of us to think!! I need to use my key and let myself out of this prison! I can’t let the warden of my prison win!!!

    So, thank you to all of you who are participating in this study!! I am so thankful for a group of women (some whom I know and some that I have never met) that I share a computer screen! I know each of you can relate to at least one of my fears, and I want you to know…I am praying for each of you!! You are an amazing group of women who have gifts that make a difference daily!! Hugs to all of you!!

    • Marci! Thank you so much for your transparency! You are not alone. I think so many women have this issue because we are emotional beings. God made us this way, but because the enemy is best at stealing, killing and destroying us, he uses that against us. Not anymore! The devil is a liar! You are an incredible leader, educator, mother, wife and daughter and I’m so thankful to call you my friend. I am confident that God has victory for ALL of us on the other side of this study! Love you so much and I’m so glad you are coming along with me!

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