24
Sep

Children of the Day Post 5: 1 Thessalonians 4

Children of the Day

Last weekend I accompanied 15 old and new friends to the Dallas Women of Faith conference. Since we arrived late last year for this same conference for a variety of reasons, we adjusted the itinerary to allow us to arrive on time. The result? We were 40 minutes early for when the doors opened at the American Airlines Center. (My husband said that if we had left any later Dallas Friday rush hour traffic would have made us late, so I guess we’re doomed to be early!)

As a result we were chatting with the one woman in front of us as we awaited “open doors.” The conversation rambled as you would think and then, out of the blue, this nice woman said, “Well, Sister Loved by God…” All of us in line were astonished since we were all studying Children of the Day together! It’s as if Beth Moore has given us “code” for greeting other fellow Thessalonian students! We all giggled at realizing that we were all studying these two books at the same time!

Here’s a brief summary of the points made in the last video session:

1. When we choose to enter into the “madness and the gladness” of close, personal relationships with others, the madness includes being vulnerable to the “unbearable.”

2. There is a high cost associated with investing ourselves in someone else’s life and any control we have over that relationship is an illusion.

3. The gladness comes when we know that the other person gets as much out of the relationship as we do. In fact, this is sheer relief to both parties, probably.

This week, despite great things happening on a lot of fronts for me, I have felt assailed by “evil forces.” Not in the spooky sense, but in the vulnerable parts of my psyche. In fact I feel downright attacked. What am I to conclude from such “attacks”? To think that Satan is trying to thwart the “good works” I do, honestly, smacks of hubris to me. Because I don’t really know, for certain, if what I’m doing is all that good–I just try to listen to what God is placing on my heart.

Several years ago I deliberately asked God to keep me humble. Why? Because when I get a little too big for my britches, I tend to say and do hurtful things and I so don’t want to do that anymore. Perhaps this is God answering that prayer? Because I do think, for the past few weeks, I may have been verging on thinking arrogantly. If it’s the latter, then guess what? It’s working. I am humbled this week! Although, I’m starting to feel that humble has more in common with humiliation than just the same spelling at the beginning of both words. Are you feeling assailed too? (Please tell me I have some company here!)

But since I am not in control (See # 2 above!), God saw to it that this week’s homework addressed this very issue! Only God can get someone like Beth Moore to address my personal feelings this week! So, on to this week’s homework to share what I’m learning from it.

There are so many poignant statements in the Day One homework that it’s difficult for me to zero in on just one to share with you! But, perhaps the one I needed to hear this week is the astounding thought that “God has handpicked (me) to abound” (pg. 90) I realize that this is tied up in the notion of Jesus dying for my sins so that I could forever be with my Lord, but that still just blows off my socks, because I have always thought that if I just manage to make it into the far corner of Heaven and am required to clean toilets for the Heavenly realms for all infinity I will still be one blessed woman. But, this statement reminds me that God has a special reason why I’m still on the planet. After all the health adventures, I’m honestly on my “8th life” here (and yes, I realize I will be called Home after # 9!) and the only thing I can conclude from this little weird factoid about my life is that God has me here for some crazy reason.

I don’t think I can move on to the Day Two homework until I also state that I needed to hear the idea that if I allow bad habits and evil into my life, it will grow more and more at the expense of good things (pgs. 92-93). The two are inversely related! And if we ponder that about our own lives, I think we have to conclude that that is, indeed, the truth.

I “double-starred” a statement at the bottom of pg. 96 for the Day Two homework: “We develop a know-how only God could teach us and yet the process isn’t latched to the usual methods. God’s spirit bypasses all the formal routes of the learning curve and the lesson comes straight from Him.” There are many times in my life when I don’t know how I came up with what I wrote or God gives me a specific suggestion, encouragement or question to offer someone who is struggling with some issue that I really am not that well-versed about. I can’t explain it other than to say that the Holy Spirit is just using my mouth and fingers. Honestly, I wish I could allow Him to do that more often! But, I think I am my own worst enemy in placing obstacles in the Holy Spirit’s path to this: fear, complacency, selfishness, stubbornness and busyness often seem to prevent the Holy Spirit from operating fully. Maybe when I’m 95 I’ll stop doing this??? Anyone “feel me”?

The Day Three homework just zinged me right and left–see the last paragraph! But, it was music for my soul. A severely unsettled heart was replaced by peace as I read Beth’s words for this homework. Let’s just say my margins on page 99 are almost full! First of all, the Bible verse (I Thessalonians 4:11) for this day’s homework just smacks of living a humble life. While I didn’t “sign up” for Level 4 of this study (memorizing both books), I think this may be one verse I need to tattoo on my forehead and I’m not fond of tattoos!

Secondly, the highlighted statement on pg. 100 was particularly helpful: “…let’s listen for an inner alarm to go off if we’re about to sacrifice biblical wisdom in an attempt to act biblically.” After working through the homework for this day, I think I have been confusing these two and now have a little more peace about how to proceed on one issue. Let’s just say it’s regarding a rather controversial topic for Christians and leave it at that for now. But, are you wrestling with some of the same stuff or did something else pop out at you? I would love for you to tell me about it, if it will help, either privately or in a comment below!

With such power-packed homework this week, I can hardly wait for the Day Four and Day Five homework. How about you, Sister Loved by God? 🙂

Friday’s Post: Lessons I Probably Shouldn’t Have Learned While at Women of Faith

You Might Also Like: Children of the Day Reflection #4; Children of the Day Reflection # 3; Children of the Day Reflection # 2; and Children of the Day Reflection # 1

 

This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 24th, 2014 at 10:50 am and is filed under God stuff. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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