Friday, October 18, 2013

Your Love Is Enough

As I write this, I am disappointed with myself...again. I ate too much...again!

Why I can't I maintain my victories? The Lord is graciously helping me find answers.

This study we are doing is a mirror, in fact it's not just any mirror, it's the magnifying mirror! It makes me think of when I pick up my makeup mirror and I look in the wrong side, EEK! Why do they make that side anyway? Just like that makeup mirror pointing out my black heads, and the few beard hairs I missed when plucking, this bible study is causing me to look deep within my heart. Except my tweezers are not going to help this one!

The two lies I want to write about today, like many of these lies, go hand in hand.

Lie #4: "God is not really enough."

Like some other lies, I do not believe this consciously. I will be quick to tell you that Jesus is all you need, He is your "All in All", He will satisfy your deepest longings and desires! And this is true, the bible says so! So what's the problem? If I truly believe God is enough, then why do I keep over eating?

Lie #5: "God's ways are too restrictive."  

So then I face the next lie, I definitely don't believe this one, do I? Obedience is a huge struggle for us sinners, isn't it? This goes against our very nature, sin nature that is. It is funny, I could have easily skated past lie #4 until I read lie #5. Especially since Nancy uses food as her example for this lie. If I thought God was enough, I wouldn't think being disciplined with my eating as too restrictive.

Maybe your struggle with these lies are not revealed in gluttony like mine is, but this is how I am relating these two lies at this season of my walk with Christ. So don't put these lies in the gluttony box, you could struggle with a different addiction such as drugs, spending, etc. Perhaps you have no addiction issues, but still struggle with being content with God alone or don't think it is important to walk according to His ways. The bottom line is, we will be in bondage, if we do not believe the truth about God.

I have struggled with gluttony all my life. I am not just talking about being over weight, because even when I am maintaining a healthy weight, I still obsess about food. We have a pretty little word for that these days "foodie", cute isn't it. Not that it is necessarily gluttony to love to cook and learn new recipes, I am talking about obsessing about it. I had to face this reality when I did a little devotional on my bible app from Lysa Terkeurst, president of Proverbs 31 Ministries . There was this one caption from her book "Made to Crave", she asked, "is it possible we love an rely on food more than we love and rely on God?" "I craved food, more than I craved God. Food was my comfort. Food was my reward. Food was my joy. Food was what I turned to in times of stress, sadness, and even in times of happiness."

WOW! Punch me in the gut!! She was so totally talking about me!! The very things the Bible says God is, I replaced with food! I am an idolatress! Thankfully by Gods grace I am learning day by day to overcome the bondage of gluttony. Some days are better than others, but I see the Lord working and changing me.

Let's Talk:

  • Please share ways you see these two lies in your life. Sharing our testimonies is a great way to give others hope to be set free from their own bondage.
  • Read Colossians 2:9-10. What does it mean that you have been given "fullness" or "completeness" in Christ?
  • What are some instructions in the New Testament that some people would think are burdensome, unreasonable, or unfair?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

You are good, and do good...Psalms 119:68

God is Good, and He loves me, that is the truth. Intellectually we all believe this right?

But as we are learning in "Lies Women Believe" , just because we know the truth, does not mean we believe the truth. The way we live reveals what we believe, and as my favorite pastor always says; "the heart will always make a convert of the mind", what we believe in our hearts will ultimately determine how we think.

Sometimes it is hard to believe in our hearts that God is good, and that He loves us, because let's face it, bad things happen. "How can a God of love allow terrible things to happen to innocent people" or "If God loves me then why did He allow me to be hurt?"

I think it is all about perspective. Having an eternal perspective is something we gain through the process of getting to know the Lord more and more. I am sure we can think of people who have been through terrible things, and yet they shine with so much love and strength. While others are destroyed. What is the difference?

 The difference is whether one trusts in God, or in Man.

The Lord contrasts the difference in Jeremiah 17:5-8.  The person who "makes flesh his strength" (v.5) Does not know God, therefore, he "cannot see when good comes". When we fail to get to know the Lord, we are blind to the blessings of God. When trials come (and they will) we view them as harsh and cruel and believe the lie that God is not good, or that he doesn't love us.  In verses 7 & 8 the Lord describes the person who trusts in the Lord as a tree by the river with deep roots. This blessed person is someone who meditates on God's word day and night (notice the comparative scripture Psalm 1), their roots are deep and have a reservoir of water (the Word), so when heat and drought comes they are fruitful and not anxious.

Nancy Shared how gracious the Lord was to her when her father was taken unexpectedly. He gave her Psalm 119:68. Her father instilled this truth in her as he raised her, and when she needed it most the Lord was able to reach in to the reservoir of her heart.

Psalm 119:11
Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.

What is good?

Matthew 19:17...“Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God....
John 10:11  “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.
I think one of the ways we are deceived is we don't understand what good is. Satan has deceived us, claiming to open our eyes, instead he blinds us.
Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

What is love?

Another way we are deceived is to think love is a feeling, or that if God loved us he would give us our way, keep bad things from happening. But we know He loves us, because He gave His life for us.

Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.
By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

Let's talk

  • What is the source of all evil in the world?

  •  Read Romans 8:35-39. How does Paul describe the Love of God? What does it mean to you to be loved this way?