Saturday, October 18, 2008

No Other Gods-Week Five

Oh I pray that you all have had a great week doing this study! This was a week rich in scriptures that speak to me in new ways each time that I read them. Maybe you feel the same way.

The Israelites in the desert. Joshua and Caleb. The Rich Young Ruler. Abraham and Sarah and Isaac. All these stories I've heard time and time again, yet they spoke to me anew.

Let's get started with the questions this week. There were too many great ones to choose from. Decide which ones speak most to you and comment on those or just comment on something that really struck you this week. Basically, say whatever you want to, we're listening!

1. Without getting into specific idols, unless you feel that pull, discuss how craving an idol is different than wanting it or needing it. (Page 103)

2. What does it mean to say God "over-fills" our desire for sin (page 105)? Is God just being spiteful? What are some good reasons that He might "over-fill" our lusts? Have there been times when this has happened to you? If so, share as you are willing.

3. Have you ever tasted or brought back fruit from a future promise that had not been fully realized? In other words, have you ever experienced a glimpse of what God promised you would eventually have in full? If so, describe your experience and whether or not it gave you the faith to keep pressing on. (Page 108)

I'll be back tomorrow to post my answers. We've got groceries and parades and banks and bills to contend with today.

By the way, you all had wonderful and insightful answers last week and I really enjoyed reading them. Thanks so much for sharing in this study with me and for your perseverance. Oh, and I totally forgot to post my answers last week. I'll go comment on last week tomorrow too!

Check back in later this week because I'm going to put up a post about our little get-together! Have a wonderful fall weekend!


Kari said...

First off, I'd like to add a comment to Nancy's comments last week. My cousin Julie was also very goal-oriented, became a speech pathologist and worked very hard, and I presume, was awesome at her job. She had a child and chose to stay home; she works one day a week or so. And now she has times where she misses her work and having that outside focus a little more, I think. She of course LOVES her children and staying home with them and wouldn't change it for the world, but sometimes she feels like she's "just a mom." So, I think, no matter what choice you make about work vs. family, there is always going to be a tug back in the other direction. No matter what "they" told us, you can't have it all. You can't give 100% to your family and 100% to your job. You have to make choices, and you will probably frequently wonder if you made the right one. It's hard. So, I feel for you even if I can't exactly relate in my own life.

And now for this week... I would say that craving an idol is when it consumes your thoughts, when it's what you think about most of the time. That not having whatever it is just makes you crazy or affects your mood. As in, I don't have a husband so I'm going to be sad and unpleasant at weddings and other functions where there are couples to remind me what I don't have, or I didn't get to see my favorite show tonight because there was severe weather down south and the weatherman wouldn't shut up, so I'm going to be cranky and ticked off all night and take it out on the people around me. I would say those would be an example where an idol is being "craved" and not just wanted or needed.

Hope said...

I can't believe I'm just now getting around to putting up my answers. Here goes...

I loved Kari's response to Nancy in the above comment. I just wanted to add a little to that. I don't for one minute believe that every woman is called to the same life. I totally believe there are some women who reach far more people for Christ through their careers than they would being home with their kids. However, I am a huge believer that when you feel that "tug", there is a reason for it. I spent my high school and college years dreaming of how I was going to go all the way through school, get my doctorate, and become the world's best child psychologist ever. Could God have used me mightily in that way? Absolutely.

I finished my bachelor degree and had this overwhelming desire to be a stay-at-home mother. By the time that God blessed me with that honor, my desires for a career were almost gone. We have sacrificed in huge ways for me to remain at home, but it is exactly where I have felt God wanted me to be. I enjoy every minute of it. Except some days. The days when my heart aches to be doing women's ministry full-time. The days when no-matter-what-I-try, my children just don't listen to me! The days when it seems as though I accomplished nothing.

Then I look at other Moms who have gone before me and have seen the fruits of their labor in the lives of their children and I know that every sacrifice I have made and am still making is worth the ultimate reward.

I read a great book by Sally Clarkson called "The Mission of Motherhood" which is a great read if you feel like you are being challenged to stay home with your children. (However, if you are feeling challenged to stay at your job, it might just make you mad!) Anyway, I highly recommend that book to anyone who takes mothering seriously! Okay, that probably doesn't help, but I'm praying for your decisions and love you dearly!

Now for this week's answers...
1. Ditto Kari's definition. Great answer Kari!

2. Oh man, I think He can give us so much of it that we just want to puke! I don't think He is being spiteful at all. I think it's a "get it all out of your system now" thing and when you've had enough, come on back here. That is so not theological. Just my thoughts. Sometimes I think we just don't see how bad it is unless it is in excess. I just rambled on a bunch more and it made no sense, so I'll just stop here. Anyone else?

3. This job here at Central. It's a LONG story, and I don't think it is necessarily finished yet. Let's just say I thought we were coming here long before we did and there are still parts of the promise that He continues to reveal to me every day.

This week was a good one! I especially loved day 3. Like on page 109, "Are the giants in your life causing you to disbelieve God and run to idols?" Um, yes. I think the entire day is underlined in my book and I have a ton of scriptures I need to print out and plaster all over my house as minute-by-minute reminders. Anyone else feel that way?

Oh I do hope you ladies are all having a wonderful week! I can't wait to hear from the rest of you! Love you all!

Nancy said...

Hey Chicks...Sorry for the delay with checking in this week. I can honestly say that I have no idea where this week went. I kept thinking that I would sit down and prepare my comments, but I never seemed to have a large enough block of time to get it accomplished before now.

First, thanks Kari and Hope for the encouragement and support. Last week was just a rough week for some reason. This week has been better and I feel a renewed strength. I have had the opportunity to get together with another Christian woman who had stayed at home for a long period of time, re-entered the workforce and just this school year, decided to stay at home again. God placed her in my pathway at just the right time. And, you both are right that no matter what, the grass on the other side of the fence will always be greener on this side of Glory. I can't wait to experience the green grass that is awaiting us!

So, on to this week's comments...

#1-Yes, Yes, Yes...consuming thoughts of what we want but don't or can't have, that impairs our ability to function in everyday life and prevents us from living in the abundant joy of being content with what God has provided us.

#2-I find myself telling my boys so very often that just because we can do something or have something, it doesn't mean that we should do or have that thing. I do this in an effort to train them about self-control. For this same reason, there are times that I allow them full-reign of freedom to have or do what they want (withing the confines of my restrictions). What I have found, at least in their 8 & 5 years of wisdom, is that they always come back to showing increased self-control, even if it is a small step. That is such a basic example of how and why God allows us to "pig out" on our sinful desires. In today's culture of instant gratification being available in just about every facet of our lives, it is difficult to live with self-control, but in striving to do so, it opens our eyes to see that the only thing we should be overfilled with is the joy of the Lord.

#3-Ok...this is a big one for me that is a long, complicated story, but in a nut shell mine is contentment...I know, you must be in complete shock! Seriously, I have struggled with this in a mighty way. I always have to have iron in the fire or something on the horizon. I have experienced peace in glimpses and yet, seem to retreat back to thinking that I have to keep moving in order to meet God's approval. And, yes,to add to Hope's comment, the giants in my life cause me to disbelieve God and run to idols of busyness, taking matters into my own hands, putting myself in control in trying to "fix" my own life and the lives of the people who surround me. The most amazing thing about it all is that God just keeps on sending blessings my way. My work is to allow God to completely lord over my thoughts because that is where my discontentment starts and where it stays and often turns into nasty obsessions that cloud my judgment and get in the way of my being able to be the kind of Christian, wife, mother, friend, sister, OT, etc. that God desires for me to be.

Thanks ladies for your commitment to this study. I continue to gain from you!