Putting Trust in God | One in a Million Women’s Study: Session 3

It will all work out.

We tend to try and manipulate situations so they will turn out the way we want them to, even if this means working through and dealing with some pretty rotten and tough times. We are impatient. When things don’t go our way, we tend to whine and complain. We need to shut up and listen. Sometimes we just need to step off and wait. Sometimes there’s a different plan for us. The people being led out of Egypt had this complaint in Exodus 14:10-12:

10 As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the LORD. 11 They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? 12 Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!””

Like them, we tend to think we’d be better off suffering through hard times or staying in a bad situation just so we can try and control things and make them work out the way we want. Never mind that this could make for a lifetime of unhappiness. If we would only be still … stand still … and be patient. Open our eyes and see what God is doing in our lives right now. Even when we think He has abandoned us because all seems positively wretched at the moment, He is working in our lives. Don’t just focus on the one thing that has taken center stage at this moment in your life; step back and look at the entire stage … the entire theatre. Take off your blinders and pay attention to everything. Exodus 14:13-14 goes on…

13 Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. 14 The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.””

I’m still not in a place where I am willing to let Him carry me (fight for me) because I don’t visualize it this way. I do accept that there is something greater than me and it is within me as well. I can even believe this to be a spirit. I’ve felt the profound effect but for some reason, I fight it. This profound effect isn’t that far off from the people you see on TV where the preacher is thumping them on the head casting out evil spirits and they’re crying out and falling on the floor. I’m not kidding! I think that between the stigma of that being “crazy” and totally unbelievable, staged, or fake and the simple fact that I would be handing over control, I’ve found my hang up with the whole thing.

It will be interesting to see where this journey leads me.

Session 2 Video Day | One in a Million Women’s Study

I threw on sweats, ran a brush through my hair, and made it just a couple minutes late for the video today. Since the group leader (pastor’s wife) is out today, there was no discussion at all – just the video. I think a little bit of discussion amongst ourselves would have been good. I have all these thoughts and questions in my head, and no one can answer them. I felt invisible today. I also felt like the biggest hypocrite in the room. With the doubts I have, why should I be there? Do I deserve to be there? I don’t know. Am I the only one who feels this way? Is anyone even reading this?

Today Priscilla talked about God leading the people out of Egypt. I believe she’s getting at the path He laid out for them, which apparently was not a straight line. She pointed out that God’s path may not be the one we’ve chosen and asked if we would go with Him anyway. Philosophically, things will go as they will go as we do without doing (the Wu-Wei principle). So I guess we are to go with Him without question. I can even pull Newton into this. Newton’s third law says, “To every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction.” This refers to motion, of course, but isn’t life always in motion?

Religion tells us that there’s something God wants us to see about ourselves when things don’t go according to our own plan. He’s pointing something out to us. I tend to get hung up on trying to figure out what that is. If we have a watchfulness and quietness of mind to begin with, perhaps this wouldn’t be so hard. Perhaps we wouldn’t have the need or desire to align ourselves so rigidly to such plans and goals. If we just go along and let life unfold as it will, we can live in harmony. In practicing non-action, noting remains undone.

When things go off without a hitch for so long, we feel in control. It’s our own plan. This is what we want, the way we want to live. If something shatters that plan, we crumble. OK, so we hit a brick wall and have fallen on our asses. OUCH! That wasn’t in the plan, but it happened. Now what do we do about it? Do we sit there nursing our wounds blaming everyone else? NO! We get off the ground, evaluate the situation, adjust our course, and move on. In evaluating the situation, perhaps we’re seeing that something about ourselves that God’s trying to point out. When adjusting our course, we have no idea where God is leading – we just go. If it’s not right, I suppose we’ll hit another brick wall and fall on our asses yet again. Rinse and repeat! But I’m contradicting myself. Letting life unfold may mean a road that leads uphill sometimes and downhill others, but there shouldn’t be brick walls.

I wasn’t paying attention recently, and I guess I jumped in a rail car to ride downhill with my eyes closed. I reached the end of that track and had to get out to climb a mountain – nearly straight up. I reached a level where I no longer need to search for footholds, but I’m still climbing a fairly steep grade.

Fittingly, the song playing on Pandora through my Galaxy S is “Jump” by Madonna. I’m ready to jump!

Cool Parkour in the video by the way.

Don’t you just love my ADD mind???

One in a Million, by Priscilla Shirer | Women’s Study | What’s My Stronghold?

I joined a video & workbook based study group on this “One in a Million” series because the description in the newsletter read:

” “One In a Million” – Do you hear about the power and greatness of God, but seldom experience it? This six-week, video-based study features Priscilla Shrier, author, Bible teacher, and conference speaker, as she helps us to understand how to experience His power, hear His voice, and live in the abundance He promises.”

That sounded exactly like what I needed right now. I want to know how to experience His power, hear His voice, and live in the abundance He promises. So the first video was OK, but the five days of homework in the workbook wasn’t what I expected. It focused on understanding what’s holding us back from a closer walk with God. Many questions tried to get us to single out lifestyle sins standing in the way. Maybe I’m not understanding this because I ran through the list of “thou shalt nots” in my head and seriously couldn’t think of anything.

I don’t have any other “gods” before Him.
I don’t worship idols I’ve made myself.
I occasionally say “God damn it!” and more than occasionally say “Oh my God!” (Is that taking His name in vain?)
I’m not great at keeping the Sabbath day holy.
I honor my parents – I have respect for them and love them but also have my own mind.
I don’t murder.
I don’t commit adultery, nor do I even think of it.
I don’t steal.
I don’t bear false witness against my neighbor.
I don’t covet anything my “neighbor” has. I’m quite satisfied with what I have.

So what am I missing. I don’t understand what she means by “lifestyle” sin. What choices am I making that would be a sinful hindrance to my walk with God? My main problem is that I struggle with handing absolutely everything over to a “power” and “presence” that I can’t see, feel, touch, or truly know. This is where the Tao makes more sense to me. It’s logical. It’s not evil, and nowhere does it express that God does not exist.

The next newsletter had this description for the study:

“God has abundant life waiting for those who allow Him to take the lead in daily living. ―One in a Million is an opportunity for you to experience your deliverance from strongholds, to conquer your wilderness living, and to claim your God-given inheritance.”

I suppose I do have some sort of stronghold. I think it’s just my own mind trying to analyze and make sense of what I can’t see. Good and bad exist. I can understand that. Yin and Yang – there’s a balance. When you translate it into supernatural beings, God and Satan, I have trouble grasping that as fact.

Curiosity is killing this cat. We missed church this morning because we’re sluggards! But I’m going to get dressed and go to this class. I want to see where this is going and if I can figure out my invisible stronghold.