Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen
This study was great! When walking in faith, I need to believe He has already accomplished what He says He will. His word does not return void. Sometimes, we might wonder if it will ever come to pass....much like Sarah. Yet, God was true to His word, she did have a son...in God's time.
I like how Priscilla put it: "Faith is the channel of living trust that allows us to experience God in our everyday lives. He is looking for someone who believes He is who He says He is and He can do what He says He can do!"
What did the Holy Spirit encourage you to do as a result of this weeks study? For me, it was a) Expect to hear Him. b) Wait to hear Him. c) Be obedient to what He is telling me to do.
As you enter the house of God, keep your ears open and your mouth shut!...He is in heaven, and your are only here on earth. So let your words be few. Ecclesiastes 5:1-2 NLT
Be still, and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10
1 Corinthians 2:10-12 (New International Version) 10but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. I really needed to hear this today! So often when I take needs to God, I often move the direction I want to go and hope He will stop me if that isn't what He wants me to do. According to Henry Blackaby, this is what others do too. I don't know that that makes me feel any better, lol.
Henry Blackaby also pointed out (in his book Seven Truths From Experiencing God) that sometimes God will answer us in a bigger way than we asked. For example, in Mark Chapter 2 we find the story of four men who brought their friend to Jesus for healing. They dropped him through the ceiling because the crowd was so intense, they couldn't get through any other way. Yet, instead of simply healing the man, Jesus forgave his sins. Instead of a temporary fix, Jesus gave him an eternal gift! Henry Blackaby says, this taught him to pray, "O God, if I ever ask You for one thing and You have more to give me than I am asking, please cancel my request!" :)
If you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine. Exodus 19:5
Do we remember that all the earth is His? That includes our home, our car, our paycheck...it's all His. That also includes me...I freely give myself to Him too; yet often I take things back. When I ask God for His guidance on things, (things that are really His) do I ask with plans to stick to whatever He says? Sometimes, I might be guilty of asking with my own intentions in mind and don't listen to what He has to stay. I only ask to have my own plan or idea put into place. Who do I think I am?
Part of today's lesson asks you to rank how you usually respond to God's word even when it might be the opposite of what you want to hear. This is part of our lesson you may be tempted to ignore...but don't! Ponder it and answer it...even though you don't want to write it down because you are afraid others might see it. The point is that you need to see it...you need to look at it with all honesty.
Recently, I encountered a situation where I felt God telling me to do something that was not comfortable for me to do. Yet, God brought to my remembrance a conversation with Dean Knapp. Dean said that we need to be willing to look foolish when it comes to obedience to God. Are you willing to look foolish to be obedient?
If only you had paid attention to My commands. Then your peace would have been like a river and your righteousness like the waves of the sea. Isaiah 18:18
The vision is yet for the appointed time...Though it tarries, wait for it; For it will certainly come, it will not delay. Habakkuk 2:3
Today, I realized how important it is to wait...really...wait upon Him for His timing, His answer. "The process of waiting for a message from God is just as important as the message itself." ~ Priscilla ShirerWait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD. Psalm 27:14When reflecting on these passages and applying them to my own life I think about my granddaughter. Often, she will walk towards something she knows she might not be allowed to touch. Yet, she walks in the direction she wants to go while looking back to see if she will be told "no". I wonder how many times I've actually done that same thing. I walk in the direction that I hope God wants me to go rather than waiting for His direction. Doing something (right or wrong) is sometimes easier than waiting. Waiting can feel like I'm doing nothing but in all actuality, it's sometimes the best thing I can do. Wait upon the Lord; how often have I read it and sang it but rarely do it.
Abraham and Sarah were given a promise from God for a son. God promised it...what more could they want. God, in all his holiness promised them a son. Yet, when it didn't happen Sarah wanted to help God and give Abraham her maid to bear them a son.
The vision is yet for the appointed time; It hastens toward the goal, and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it' For it will certainly come, it will not delay. Habakkuk 2:3
This has been another revelation to me...I look back and see times in my life when I actually waited because I felt God telling me to wait. Yet, ultimately, I have yet to wait for His answer when I didn't hear it right away. I need to realize He will answer me (sometimes I've wondered if he heard me because I didn't feel He answered me right away).
Tell me your thoughts; I love reading what is on your mind.
I am so excited to begin this new study. Dean pointed out, "Really, this should be the first study a new Christian takes...kind of like Christianity 101." Most of us have missed out on this important element of our relationship with God.
During this first week of study, I have really enjoyed "Day 1". Clear communication with God begins when we approach God and His word with anticipation, expecting Him to speak. I learned much from the study in Habakkuk. When listing the attributes of God from Habakkuk 1:12-13, I looked up the words of God found here in vs 12, "Lord, God, Holy One."
A. Lord is Hebrew for Yehovah. This is the proper name of the one true God. It was considered so Holy that many Hebrews felt unworthy to even say it!
B. God is translated from the Hebrew word Elohiym. Most interestingly, this word is plural. Plural in Hebrew is different from plural in English. It means 3 or more!!!! This is a view of the trinity! It means rulers,judges, and divine ones.
C. Holy One is from the Hebrew word Qudowsh pronounced Ka~doshe. It means sacred, holy and set apart.
When praying, Habakkuk was praying to the most holy God, who is rulers, judges, and divine (the trinity), as well as sacred, holy, and unlike anyone else. No wonder he prayed expecting to hear from God. In Deutronomy 30:9 it says, "...for the Lord will again delight in being good to you as He was to your ancestors." As a parent, don't you delight in being good to your children? Don't you think our Heavenly Father will delight in giving to you? Speaking to you? Guiding you in the right direction? Habbakkuk 2:1 "...and I will keep watch to see what He will speak to me."
"...but again and again they have tested me by refusing to listen to my voice." Numbers 14:22
How often do I refuse to listen to the voice of God? This can happen in several ways. For example, do I listen to Him in the first place? One might say that it's impossible to hear the voice of God. I would strongly disagree. His voice is recorded in His word, can be heard through prayer, praise, worship, and through his people. Yet, do I listen?
John 3:30 says,"He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less." NLT
In The Message, this verse is translated as"That's why my cup is running over. This is the assigned moment for him to move into the center, while I slip off to the sidelines."
Do I really listen? To listen requires me to do something, not just hear it but listen with a purpose. How different things would have been for the Isrealites in the wilderness if they had simply listened to the voice of God. At the same time, how different things would be for me and you if we would simply listen to the voice of God.