Thursday, October 30, 2008

Study with Me - Chapter 13

Hello Everyone

Again if this is your first time here, I am hosting a Bible study using the book "Battlefield of the Mind" by Joyce Meyer. Jump in any time and comment or if you want you can go back and see what we have said in previous posts and chapters.

Chapter 13 A Judgmental, Critical and Suspicious Mind.
Well how did you like this chapter? I'm not sure I want to use the statement "I Think" anymore. :) As I read this chapter I noted some areas that still needed some work in my life and others I can finally count all joy. I can remember back to times when I felt any time someone brought up a subject I had to tell what I knew or thought I knew. See being insecure and a people-pleaser, I wanted to fix people. I was brought up to believe that if people needed you, they loved you. That lead to being used a lot in my life. I now understand the difference between want and need. Now I like to sit back and listen others and see what I can learn.
I'm not sure when it was that I learned the difference between discernment and judgement. That you can discern a persons character or a situation without being judgemental or causing a judgement. However I can look back and see how I have reaped from judgments I made earlier in my life. We will reap from the seeds we have sown in our life. God showed me that whether we speak something or not, the following phrase will not lead to good. "Well if that was me" or Well if I had .... I would....." It is easy for us to think we would handle any situation better, but we never know with all certainty what we would do if we were in the same place.
Why should we guard our hearts? What we think and ponder will get into our hearts, and will come out our mouths. See the more we ponder something the greater the chance we will act on it. Don't think that just thinking something is okay. God said to me one day "remember when you were a little girl, you would pray to me in your head and not out loud". "If you believed I heard those prayers why would I not hear your judgement and criticism that you are thinking now". Ouch!!
We need to not only learn to not say these things, we need to renew our minds to not think them either. We need to look at people around us with love and mercy. And when we come across the unlovely, (and we will) we need to pray for them and let God do the rest.
We have the opportunity several times a day, to criticize, and judge and it is very hard to not get sucked into it. Take some time these next few days to identify areas that cause you to be critical and judgemental. Ask God to bring them to your attention and help you to stop.
Father God we are learning so much about our thoughts and attitudes for ourselves and towards others. Show us the areas we need to change and give us the courage and strength to do so.
Thank you for your wisdom in our lives.
In Jesus Name,
Have a great week
Be Blessed,

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Study with Me - Chapter 12

Hello everyone,

Well it's been a fun few weeks of traveling and vacationing (part of the reason why this took so long) but back home and time to get serious and committed about my studies again. The Joyce Meyers conference was great and had some real good time of fellowship with my buddy that ended up joining me. I will be posting more on what I learned from her in the future.

Well again if this is your first time here, I am hosting a Bible study using the book "Battlefield of the Mind" by Joyce Meyer. Jump in any time and comment or if you want you can go back and see what we have said in previous posts and chapters.

Chapter 12 - An Anxious and Worried Mind
What a great time for this chapter to come along. God's timing is great. With prices rising and jobs being cut it could be very easy for our flesh (our carnal being) to get in fear. Being worried and anxious can also cause us to take these cares on instead of giving them to God. What am I going to do about this? I have got to figure this out. If you look at both of those questions, it shows where our faith lies.... in I. Instead of focusing in the "am I" we need to being focusing on the almight "I am" - God.
1 Peter 5:7 Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. (nlt)
I once heard that when we try to do things on our own, or figure them out ourself, it is like telling God you can handle it better than He can. Ouch! Give the problem to Him.
Worrry will not stop coming to us, we will always be able to find something to worry about.
John 10:10 says : The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. (nlt)
We can't continue to focus on the storms of this life or what is going on in this world and expect God's blessings to flourish in our life. Where our focus is, is where our heart is, and where our faith is. We can however choose not to let it make a home in us. We can choose to trust God in and through the storms that come at us.
Read Matthew 14:22-33
Jesus Walks on Water 22 Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake, while he sent the people home. 23 After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone.
24 Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. 25 About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!”
27 But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!”
28 Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.”
29 “Yes, come,” Jesus said.
So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.
31 Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?”
32 When they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped. 33 Then the disciples worshiped him. “You really are the Son of God!” they exclaimed. (nlt)
Notice how when Peter had his eyes on Jesus, he too could walk on water. However the moment he looked at the storm - he started sinking. We need to set our sights and focus on God, now more than ever.
Isaiah 55:8 “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. (nlt)
Over the next few days pay attention to worried thoughts and anxious thoughts that come to you. Purposely focus on giving them to God.
Father I thank you that you are more than enough for all of us. I ask that you help us identify parts of our lives that we are trying to fix on our own. Help us to release those areas and lean on you. I don't need to know how you will protect us, I just need to receive it. Thank you for your wisdom and discernment that you give to each of us.
In Jesus name,
Have a Blessed Week everyone!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Study with Me - Chapter 11

Hello Everyone,

If this is your first time to this blog, I'm hosting a study using the book "Battlefield of the Mind" by Joyce Meyer. You can go back and start at the beginning, pick up here, make a comment here or on a blog, email me, or just read along behind the scenes. It is very nice to have everyone's feed back and see the different revelations we are all getting as these chapters and God's word touch each of us. So if this is your first time, Welcome.

Chapter 11 Doubt and Unbelief
Doubt - We have all experienced it at one time or another. That little voice that says "Should I or Should I not". When I was 17 I interviewed for a job in a large office building. I answered all the questions they asked, selling myself with the attitude of if I don't know it I'm sure I can learn it. As I walked out of the building and saw the professionalism of the place, Satan went to town with his little seeds. Did you over sell yourself? Do you really think you can do all those things they were talking about? Even if you could do the work, would you fit in, or have the clothes for this position?
By the time I had got home, I had let the devil tear me up and spit me out. I started doubting my abilities and finally wavered so much that I was in unbelief about who God said I was. I was not in a strong walk with God at the time and it didn't take much to make me fall. As I got home, the phone was ringing and it was the lady I interviewed with. She wanted me to start as soon as I could. I wish I could tell you I went for it, but I did not. I was so defeated in my "MIND" that I declined the position telling her that I thought the position might be over my head then thanked her for her time. She said she was sorry that she couldn't convince me to come but glad she got to meet me.
A few days later, she called again, stating that they had made another position for me and would like me to come. It didn't matter if I didn't know how to do it they would train me. Again I allowed the devil to convince me I was not worthy and declined again. She did call me one or two more times. I can't look back at that time with regrets, I have to move on, however it can be a learning experience. If I had been built up in the word I may have reacted differently. I told you all of that to point out what doubt and unbelief can do in your life. We need to build ourselves up in God's word to recognize that if something is not lining up with Him, it's an attack to lead us astray. And also so we are fully convinced and confident not to doubt or waiver which leads to unbelief and disobedience.
Something that struck me from Joyce's conference this past weekend is that "If you ever doubt God's love for you, you will doubt God's word for you". See you may believe that God heals, but if you doubt He loves you, you will doubt that He will heal you. "Well I know he heals and He did heal Fred, but I hope he'll heal me someday". "Oh I know God gave me a word to share but I don't know if anyone will listen to me".
1 Corinthians 1:27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. (niv)
Because I wasn't walking close to God at the time of that interview, I was tricked and deceived. That may have been a position that God really wanted me to take, (or not), not all enticing things are from God. And when we let satan lie to us we are choosing to doubt, and choosing to be in unbelief and disobedience to God. Look at Eve, when the serpent told her God was holding back, she choose to eat the fruit. See again the enemy made her question Gods intentions for her and Adam, which lead to doubt, which lead to unbelief, which then lead to disobedience. Then because of her sin, she was in fear. Fear - Doubt - and Unbelief are not from God.
2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (nkjv)
At the first sign of questioning, take it to God and seek His wisdom. Remember, no matter how enticing something may seem, if it does not line up with the word of God, or what He has spoken into your heart for your life, don't go with it.
Ladies (and Gents) feel free to share your experiences or what God is sharing with you concerning doubt and unbelief. I look forward to hearing from you.
Father God,
I thank you for the wisdom and discernment you give us. Help us to always seek you and to not doubt you or the visions you give us for our life. I thank you for this time of fellowship with my other Blog friends. May we all grow in your word. Watch over us and lead us where we need to go.
In Jesus precious name.
Be Blessed!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Sometimes Unnoticed

Hi Everyone I'm home from St. Louis. I'm sure over the next few weeks I will have a lot to share on what was taught and what touched me personally. But to sum everything up in a short preview of what I will say... It was wonderfully awesome. But before I get into what was taught, I want to share a praise report.

The first day of the conference as we were walking from the parking lot to the entrance I noticed a lady in front of us that looked like my youngest daughter from the back side and mentioned that to my friend. So we get to the entrance and everyone is give a baggy with items including a necklace that holds our registration card and are told this is our entrance ticket for each session. It was actually fun because all over St. Louis you could see women with these necklaces and point at each other and say "Joyce Lady-Awesome isn't it?"

So before we actually sat down I saw this lady that I had seen earlier, again from behind, and thought to myself, what are the chances of that with thousands of women here.

The next day as we parked for the morning session and started to walk in, I saw that woman again from behind and was humored that I would see this same lady out of thousands. When we parked for the evening session we parked in a different lot that was closer and on the other side of the dome and just walked in, not giving a thought to the woman I had been noticing.

After the evening session and coming out of the parking lot from the other side of the Edward Jones Dome, I patiently weaved my way through women and traffic to find the Interstate. However in a unfamiliar city, one way streets and heavy traffic, and a "No Left Turn" sign, I am heading across the Mississippi River to the State of Illinois.

So I'm asking my friend which exit and we are both stalling and not sure, then all of the sudden I see tons of cars turning into a raceway and what looked like a gas station - Here's my sign. :)
I turn in and there are three cop cars and a bunch of people standing around, not a good time to ask a cop. So as I am looking for someone to ask I see a woman with a Joyce necklace. I tell my friend, there's a Joyce Lady we can ask her. I pull in front of the ladies truck that was parked, my friend jumps out to ask, and you guessed it, it was the lady I kept seeing from behind. She gave us perfect directions to get us back on track to get to our hotel.

God knows what we need before we do and perfect directions I'm convinced were from our perfect protector. Sometimes these things are gratefully received but there origin is unnoticed. I'm happy and proud to say I know it was ordered by the Lord.

Be Blessed,

PS. We never saw the lady the rest of the conference.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Study with Me - Chapter 10

Hi Everyone,
Well I know not all of you have had time to respond to chapter 9 but I will be with Joyce in person and won't have a lot of time to post. :) So please post your comments here or on chapter nine and I will check both.

Chapter 10 "A Confused Mind"

Well to some of us in this day and age a confused mind is the normal state of mind. But as we are informed with Gods word a confused mind is not normal at all. There are so many things that can cause us to be confused, but all of them stem from the enemy. Being confused is a type of being double minded, and in James 1:5-8 God tells us a double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

A fearful, people pleasing person will often be confused and double minded because they are always trying to do what they think the other person wants.

Reasoning will also cause you to have a confused mind. Have you ever tried to reason and justify doing or not doing something? That is what we do when we try to line Gods word up with our actions instead of lining our actions up with Gods word. The carnal mind is an enemy to God. God is not logical, and often times will ask us to do things that do not make sense to us to stretch our faith and obedience to Himself.

To me reasoning is one step away from an excuse. When I first started to "Woman Up" and put on my "Big Girl" pants, I had to take responsibility for my actions and conform to Gods way. My flesh wanted to make excuses for why I did things or why I acted a certain way. Well God showed me that making an excuse was justifying my actions in my own mind, and as long as I did so I couldn't grow in Him. So then I would say "Well I know this doesn't excuse what I did, BUT this is the reason. Still hanging on to that flesh! Finally I can take the reason and instead of using it as a partial excuse I can so okay God - I do these things because - so change them in me.
I'm lining myself up with Him instead trying to get Gods word to fit me. I'm submitting to Him.

When there is confusion there is no peace, when there is no peace there is no God. God showed me that wisdom comes from Him. When we try to reason or figure things out on our own, we are doing it in our own strength and not His. We essentially are pushing Him out, saying we can handle and figure it out better on our own. By accepting our rationalizations and reasoning's, above His wisdom and discernment we are inadvertently saying our ways are better than Gods. Ouch. A busy cluttered mind has trouble hearing Gods still small voice. Quit trying to figure and reason, ask God for His wisdom.

Letting go of reasoning and people pleasing are things that have to be worked at. Lean on God and He will guide you where you need to go.

Father God, I thank you that we don't have to know it all. Thank you that we don't have to reason and wonder. Please give us you wisdom, help us to let it go and listen for your still small voice. Thank you for your peace that passes all understanding.
In Jesus Name, Amen.

Have a great weekend, I know I will.
Be Blessed - In His Love,