Tuesday, July 1, 2008

I AM study lesson 8: Instrument of Wonders

Time for lesson 8! I so love this study, and God has worked it out that I have also been reading Christian fiction about the people who were instrumental in Moses' life lately. I first read about Aaron in The Priest, a novella written by Francine Rivers. Then I read Miriam's Healing: Footprints from the Bible by Cynthia Davis. Now I'm getting ready to read Zipporah, Wife of Moses by Marek Halter.

I LOVE reading Biblical based fiction because it makes the stories so much more real to me. For naysayers who think it some sort of sacrilege to read these (as my grandmother did), here are my thoughts: could God not have ordained these persons to write these books just as he ordained people to write the books that are included in the Bible? Sure, they may not be 100% true, but I am sure that these authors did plenty of research into this, and also prayed without ceasing while they wrote each word.

OK. Off my soapbox. Can you tell I've had to debate this subject before?!

Back to the study!

This scripture really struck me as I was reading today's lesson: Hebrews 12: 12-13:
So don't sit around on your hands! No more dragging your feet! Clear the path for long distance runners so no one will trip and fall, so no one will step in a hole and sprain an ankle. Help each other out. And run for it! (Message translation)

Discussion Questions

1. Have you ever been in a situation where you had to 'go back' to a place of shame or ridicule? How did that make you feel?

Two thoughts come to mind when I read this. First, the rough situation at a church where I worked that I have referred to several times during this study. I did not HAVE to go back to the place, but I chose to. Since I knew that I had not done the things of which they had accused me, I felt that I needed to go back there with my head held high. If people wanted to talk, so be it. That was between them and God. I was not going to live my life in fear of entering that church again. Was it hard? Sure! The first two times were VERY hard and I cried. The second time was probably more painful than the first since I had also then split up from a guy who attended church there and that I thought I would marry. So I had a double-edged sword that time. BUT I also had the support of my college roomie, who drove an hour there to make sure I was NOT alone. (I wasn't alone anyway, I was with my entire choir! But you know what I mean.) Just cause that is the kind of friend she is. I've been back several times since then, and though it still hurts a part of me each time I do it, I can do it much easier now. And truly, the people who know me, who REALLY know who I am on the inside, know that I have nothing of which I am ashamed. I made some bad decisions, yes, but I was young. And though they did make life harder, those decisions have helped shape me into who I am today.

The other thought is where I have chosen not once, but TWICE, to eat crow and admit I was wrong when caught gossiping about someone. My tongue can be my worst enemy, gals! I have a hard time reigning it in at times! And both times I could have easily and indignantly denied it or treated the other person as though they were wrong. It was not easy to admit that yes, I had spoken out of turn and that I was wrong. The second time was particularly hard because I had to face the person at church. It was REALLY hard for quite some time. I would feel guilty each time I saw her, and she would barely speak to me. Thankfully, God has worked with His grace through this situation, and has remedied it. I am sure it would have taken longer and been more painful had I not admitted my wrongdoing. And I pray that I keep my tongue in control and do not repeat the experience!

2. Is there any circumstance in your life that still has you running for cover? Share if you feel comfortable.
I can honestly say that there isn't. Up until about 4 years ago, I had one friendship that had ended badly where I no longer communicated with the person. We have since reconciled. It is not back to where it was and since we live hours apart, it may never be. But I know in my heart that I have given the relationship every chance I could, and that is all I wanted.

3. When is the last time you felt like an overcomer?

Um about 3 seconds ago when I answered that last question! LOL No, really, I can say of myself (and you ladies know I'm saying this honestly and not to brag!) that I have an overcoming spirit. I have overcome some seriously hard obstacles. I do not deserve the credit though. It is the Lord's doing, every bit of it. I could not and would not be here today had it not been for His love and grace. And that is something that a day barely passes without me thinking.

4. If you have not yet taken the serpent by the tail, are you willing to stop running, take hold and trust God to transform it into a tool for wonders?
I'm tryin' my best! My latest challenge is following through with the schooling opportunity that God has given me. I am dragging my feet a bit with it, but God keeps on me about it!

5. I would like for you to write down this statement based on 1 John 2:14 somewhere you will see it often this week: "I am strong, the Word of God abides in me, and I have overcome the evil one." Memorize it. Say it over and over until you believe it. Will you do this?? Most of the time, there are no right or wrong answers, but on this one, I'm expecting a 'yes'!

LOL YES, I'll do this, Lisa!