Well, it's official. I like this study. When I first read on Beth Moore's blog that she was going to "facilitate" this study from her blog posts, I was intrigued. I read the description and thought, this could be good. But who could I do it with? It turned out that my best friend, Renee, who lives in FL was very interested and we could do it over the phone - we talk about everything else on the phone so why not do a Bible study that way?
One of the aspects of this study that I really liked was the idea that a good portion of it would include fellowship - dinner, dessert, music - in someone's home. It's meant to be a relaxed setting where everyone can kick their feet up while delving into God's Word. There are recipes included in the book but Beth has been posting recipes as well. I really wanted to be a part of that aspect too so I invited additional women to join in the study and out of those, three are coming over, with their kids, every other Tuesday evening. We eat, we talk, the kids play and all are blessed. It's been really fun.
As for the study itself, I was feeling a bit frustrated as the two weeks progressed. I wanted so much to be able to identify any idols that are in my life and while two things came to mind immediately, I didn't feel I was quite getting it. I've been struggling for years now with my weight and can't seem to get a handle on the overeating and not sure I really want to if I'm being honest. Or rather I don't exactly relish the idea of how much hard work it is to get it off (it was so easy putting it on). At the same time, however, I really do want to feel and look better physically and I worry more and more about what I'm doing to my health. So, I thought this was probably one idol.
Then there's the anxiety. I've written about that before. During the last year, the Lord has led me to sing more and occassionally lead worship at my church. Unfortunately, the anxiety over doing that has gotten so bad during the last couple of months that I've begun to say no, particularly to leading or singing specials. But that makes me so mad. I hate letting fear dictate my actions, especially when it's clear to me that it's of the Lord's leading. That has led to my having to battle feelings of failure and fearing I'm a disappointment. And I know that's not of God. Surely that was another one. But still...there was that nagging feeling there was something else I hadn't quite gotten to.
Then yesterday morning, I got to day 5 of week 2 that dealt with fear. Beth's studies have taught me to pray before I even crack open a book. My prayer was, among other things, "Lord, let me have eyes to see, ears to hear, a mind to understand and a heart to receive what you have to say to me this morning."
As I went through that day's homework things just started to click into place. I realized that my idol has been other people's approval. It's been that way since I was a young kid. The fear is that if I don't have it, I will end up lonely and alone. Even as I'm typing these words the thought quickly occurs to me that that includes God too but God answered just as quickly saying "I will never leave you nor forsake you." Isn't God good? This is like real-time posting happening here. That's funny.
Anyway Kelly had us look up various scriptures on fear and the two that stand out to me include Isaiah 8:11-13 and Isaiah 51:12 (but I took it all the way to vs 16). Essentially what all these verses say to me is that I am not to give such weight (so to speak) to what other people think of me or to live in "terror every day because of the wrath of the oppressor" who wants to destroy me. People are but grass that withers and God alone is holy. He's the one I'm to fear. He's the one who puts words in my mouth and leads me to do what He wills and will cover me and protect me with the shadow of His hand. I am His.
Yes, I like this study. Oh yeah, the first two things I mentioned - well, I believe they tie right into this. The weight issue, I believe, was born out of all the moving around we've done - it feeds the lonliness, the frustrations, the insecurities, etc. And the anxiety is just what I mentioned above - placing other people's opinion in a place of greater importance than God.
So there you have it. I think I'm going to try to post regularly on Wednesdays with updates of how the No Other Gods study is going. At least every other Wednesday. It'll be my NOG Wednesday posts. That sounds like a plan.
I hope you're having a fruitful week. Keep on keepin' on and may you...
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