"every circumstance that touches our lives has first been filtered through His fingers of love and is part of a great, eternal plan that He is working out in this world and in our lives"
Nancy Leigh DeMoss, from Lies Women Believe and the Truth that Sets Them Free
I’ve not read this book, but found this quote thanks to shawtime. Now it’s on my list. I thought the comment was so timely in light of what I was posting until I copied it to give me more to let marinate. These were the latest discussion questions. (As an aside, I’m one lesson away from completing this study, and I’m going to miss not posting about what I’ve learned anymore).
1. I think we can all agree most of us find ourselves closer to God in the struggle than without it. How does it affect you knowing that trial is what draws you more intimately in relationship to Your God?
2. Have you ever made a huge mistake but then found yourself in the position for a ‘do-over’? Did you make a better decision the second or third or fourth time around? 🙂
3. Is there a ‘generational sin’ in your family you have overcome? This can be anything from a lineage of unbelief to issues of many kinds. This may be a private matter. Share if you feel liberty or quietly thank God for His deliverance. If you have not yet been delivered, I pray with all my heart God’s Word is giving you courage to ask for help in that area.
4. Have you ever been misunderstood? Do you feel unforgiven for past mistakes even though you know God has forgiven you?
5. Is there a sister you need to extend grace towards in order to be able to ‘bless God together’? Do you comprehend how your unforgiveness is hindering her from inhabiting her own Promise? If no, do you recognize a situation within your church body where this may be happening? If so, ask God to raise up a ‘Phinehas’ (mediator) in this situation. He may just reveal the Phinehas is you. 🙂
As I’d never get finished discussing generational issues in the family, and I am at peace with myself and with my sisters in Christ, I’ll focus on questions #1 and #2.
One of the more recent revelations of my life has been my gift of faith. I can remember when I first realized this particular gift operating in my life, I thought, “Wow! Why didn’t I see that before?” But, oh, the agony that I’ve endured over the years as the Lord developed that gift. I would hold onto people that I should have walked away from long ago—draining, negative, needy people who were miserable and didn’t like what I considered then as optimism. I cringe when I think of the events that caused me so much anger and so many tears. Now I can’t even fathom what I was so upset about. I have embraced the idea that my mess will become my message, and my tests will become my testimony, so I honestly don’t get excited about much anymore—good or bad. Sometimes that’s a scary place to be because I’m almost too calm in the midst of various tests. I just love the fact that I can claim victory in one area of my life; the Lord knows I struggle in so many other places.
I love do-overs. About 15 years ago, I was placed in a position of ministry that I wasn’t spiritually ready for, and the fruit—or lack thereof—still causes me embarrassment. I wasn’t much of a Bible reader, and wasn’t much of a Christian, if the truth be told. Then as now, I was a hard worker, and I’ve come to realize in church that hard work often gets confused with Christian maturity. There is a difference between standing on the promises and standing on the premises, which is where hard workers often are, working, working, working rather than being fed by the Spirit. Fast-forward 15 years. Our newfound place in leadership at the church has been a recent do-over opportunity. Anyway, the church held a leadership conference that was phenomenal, and my husband and I worked our tails off. Much of our work was received well, but there were items that would forward the church’s antiquated processes by light years that fell on deaf ears. We’ve tried repeating ourselves as one approach, then trying to get just the right words at just the right moment. It’s landing flat. So here we are frustrated. In a different day, I would have felt totally under-appreciated. I would have grumbled endlessly. Worst of all, I would have taken the answer of “not right now” as a personal attack, maybe even leaving the ministry. Now I get to the do-over. We’ve had our private time to complain, but we also prayed, dusted off our egos, and we’re moving on. Praise God for growth. May He continue to bless you, too.