What To Do When You’re Facing A Giant

Today I have my first grown up interview. All of my other jobs have come to me. I am pitifully under-qualified. They would prefer someone with a degree. I have none. The only place I’ve ever worked is Dunkin’ Donuts and church, unless I count that short stint at Casual Corner and the bank. I haven’t worked in an office in twelve years, but that is what makes the whole thing so exciting. I’m in way over my head. That’s always been the best place for me, the deep. Most of the time I haven’t chosen to go there, but rather, have found myself under stormy waters against my will. However, this time, I’ve chosen to wade into the deep.

This morning, I was reading I Samuel and the story of David and Goliath came alive in a whole new way to me. I noticed seven things I could use to face the giant of “what should this former home school mom do with her life, now?”

1. Find out what the benefits are to facing your giant. David asked to hear the reward for killing Goliath. He wanted to hear it a second time. Maybe he already had his eye on Saul’s daughter, or maybe he was excited about his family being tax exempt, but something in that list inspired him and (en)couraged him to overcome the obstacle set before him.

2. Resist the temptation to fight your giant with the weapons of others. God has made you uniquely you. When we try to do things the way other people do, it just doesn’t fit right, just like Saul’s armor didn’t fit David. In fact, in the New Living version, David says, “I can’t go in these,” he protested to Saul. “I’m not used to them.” Then it says that David picked up five stones. This was a weapon he was familiar with.God has equipped you. Use your equipment.

3. Notice how God has been training you.God doesn’t leave His children hanging. David wrote a poem about this in Psalm 144:1 (NLT) “Praise the LORD, who is my rock. He trains my hands for war and gives my fingers skill for battle.” David realized at some point that all of those years protecting those sheep were useful for something even more significant. They were training his hands for this battle. The assignment that God has given you may seem everyday and mundane. But the truth is that this very thing may be your training for an upcoming battle! I have long lived by the mantra, “Do what is in your hand to do, today.” When I do this, I know that I will be prepared for the future because of my obedience and action today.

4. Recognize the battle as the Lord’s. You are not strong enough to beat your giant, but God is. And perhaps, unbeknownst to you, He has been preparing you for this day. David did not have an armor bearer. He didn’t have any armor! But he had something so much more powerful, He had God on His side.

5. Be confident. David talked trash to Goliath. He told him exactly what he was going to do to him in no uncertain terms. He could do this because the Lord was his confidence. Proverbs 3:26, says, “For the Lord shall be your confidence, firm and strong, and shall keep your foot from being caught [in a trap or some hidden danger].”

6.Run at your giant!Stop avoiding it, run at it! David ran toward Goliath as fast as his legs could take him. Sometimes if we take our time, we’ll talk ourselves out of it. Go for it!

7. Reach into your own skill set. When the time came, David found himself “reaching into his shepherd’s bag.” David was able to pull what was familiar and practiced out of himself when he needed it most. He was prepared. He could pull a trick out of the bag. What skills has God trimmed you with? What can you pull out of your bag in time of trouble? Don’t believe that His preparations haven’t been enough. You were made for this!

I’m thrilled to be at this place in my life. The position that I’m applying for isn’t my giant, but trying for the position is! I know God has a future for me one way or the other…after all, how could I write so much if I’m working all of the time!

What is your giant?

Sharing with my friend Jen today:

and dear Shanda:

Wrestling For Grace – Epiphany Quest

A Temple I Called Hope by Jamie Iain Genovese (jamieiain)) on 500px.com
A Temple I Called Hope by Jamie Iain Genovese

I’ve been studying Jacob….and my Western mentality keeps getting in the way. Why choose him God? We “Good Girls”, we struggle to understand. He wasn’t a nice man.

And I follow him on his journey, hoping for an epiphany.

He begins in a place I am familiar with. He begins by running from his past. He tries to outrun consequences, but only prolongs them for another time. And I can understand this, because even “Good Girls” do that.

But even in his running, God meets him on his way. He shows him a glimpse of His glory, and what he’s missing by avoiding Him. And grace is hard to understand, as is favor and righteous judgement. All I can do is shake my head and wonder at mercy given.

JACOB'S LADDER by Michael Goyberg (MIGO-Photodome)) on 500px.com
JACOB’S LADDER by Michael Goyberg

For Jacob makes some rather proud promises to God. “If you take care of me, then I’ll make you my God.” As if he’s doing God a favor. Have I acted like that? Like my service to God is a favor to Him? And Jacob calls this place the House of God. So he travels on, away from God’s house, but not away from his challenge to God, because, you see, God did take care of Jacob. abundantly. At this point, grace is even harder to understand, because good people struggle sometimes, they struggle just to make it. The “Good Girl” in me asks again: Why him, God? Why Jacob?

After years of prosperity the Lord reminds Jacob of his deal with God. Jacob is tired. He is tired of being deceived and deceiving. He and Laban have spent years trying to outsmart the other. God has called him to return to Caanan. Do you know what Canaan means, dear one? It means “humbled”. Though Jacob has become what those around him would consider great, he has some unfinished business with God, and the road to this end requires humility, something Jacob has not displayed.

Now that Jacob returns to face his past, his present comes chasing after him. The deceit and bickering continues, for unbeknownst to Jacob, Rachel has stolen from her father. The two men, make a covenant and a monument to remember it by, but to Laban it is only a “heap of rocks.” To Jacob? “A heap of witness.” Now I see a glimmer of integrity in Jacob, a man who understands commitment and covenant. For where one man sees some rocks another sees covenant witnessed by God. Each man promises not to cross over that place. Jacob chooses to change camps, to reassociate himself with his own family, with the house of God, renaming the place Mahanaim “the place of two camps.”

How many do we know who refuse to leave behind the old camp? The people who encourage a dependance on anyone but God? I begin to understand; these whys of Jacob. Why he is chosen. Why he is venerated.

But he still has that old fear to face. His brother. The man whom he hurt most. Last time he heard from Esau, he pledged to kill Jacob. Still he presses on; on through his fear. In his distress, he sends men before him to plead his case. But this isn’t enough. He can not send another man to see the face of his brother, to look in his eye; to face his greatest fear; the fear of asking for forgiveness.

Fear by marlow starr (marlow)) on 500px.com
Fear by marlow starr

He sends a present, a generous gift, and separates that which is precious from that which is commonplace, keeping those precious ones close to him and sending the commonplace before him. He prays once more, no longer an arrogant young man hoping to outrun his consequences, but a humble, mature man building his courage to face what has long terrified him. No longer a man attempting to cheat God out of a blessing, feeling that God’s blessing, like the birthright and blessing of his father was owed to him, something he deserved. Instead, he pleads, “I am not worthy of the least of of all the mercies, and of all the truth which thou hast shown thy servant.”

And he was left alone. There is a part of the journey which we must travel alone. We can not send someone to do our dirty work; what we fear most doing. We can not buy our way out of it, though a gift may be a wise predecessor to our words. We must wrestle, struggle with the will of God. all. by. ourselves. We must not let go until we have the grace to continue on. For the journey is never something we can do on our own. In our own wisdom, or talent or skills. It always requires a wrestling. A wrestling with our own desires, fears and lack of confidence.

I wonder if Jacob knew that he was wrestling with God while he was wrestling with God? At first it only states that he wrestled with a man, until he asked his name. Who is it that you contend with, believing them to be your battle in life, your struggle? Do you truly wrestle with them, or with the will of God in your life? “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood…”

And he calls this place “the face of God”. And having seen His face, Jacob returns, broken and soft. When he sees his brother, he says that he sees the face of God. Did Esau look like God? He did in the fact that in order to be entirely right with God, Jacob had to search the eyes of his brother for forgiveness. And now God’s forgiveness was complete in Him.

Brothers by Frédéric Mars (Marsup)) on 500px.com
Brothers by Frédéric Mars

What fears do you face? Pray with me for grace, dear one? “Lord, give me the strength to wrestle with you long enough to receive grace to face my fears.”

Broken

Jacob's Ladder - Cheddar Caves and Gorge

Jacob’s first “experience” with God was in a dream.  He was running from the brother whom he had wronged, afraid for his life.  And yet, God met him where he was.  He revealed to Jacob His power, and gave him promises should he return someday to the land of his ancestors.  God meets us where we are.  Even when we are running from our past, He gives us His words as a promise if we should return.

Jacob dreamed once again, after he had lived with Laban.  He married Laban’s daughters, worked for him, and now God asked Jacob to leave Laban, and return to his own people.  This dream was God reminding Jacob of the promises that He made to Jacob and that Jacob had made to Him when fleeing from Esau.

What promises has God made to you?  What vows have you made to Him?  Has God ever reminded you of His promises?  Has He reminded you of your promises to Him?  Could it be that He is reminding you now? Today?

In Genesis chapter 32, Jacob once again sees angels, and he names the place Mahanaim meaning “two camps.”  Despite the Lord’s encouragement, Jacob is still afraid.  He divides his possessions and family into two camps.  One will go out in front of the other in case Esau and his men attack, then he will be able to save himself and his favorites.  I wonder if part of Jacob is afraid to face his sin?  Afraid to look Esau in the face and own up to his trespass against his brother?

Have you ever had to face a family member or friend whom you have wronged?  Is there someone you need to face today?

Ge. 32:9-12

9And Jacob said, O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, the LORD which saidst unto me, Return unto thy country, and to thy kindred, and I will deal well with thee:

10I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which thou hast shewed unto thy servant; for with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I am become two bands.

11Deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau: for I fear him, lest he will come and smite me, and the mother with the children.

12And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.

This is a much more humble Jacob.  Suddenly, this is all about God and not all about him. First of all he says, “I want to remind you that I’m only here, because I’m being obedient to you. And you said that it would be well with me.”  He reminded God of His promise towards Jacob.  But now, the gratitude and thanksgiving of Jacob are astounding. He recognizes that he is unworthy of God’s blessing. Up until this point, Jacob is consistently taking matters into his own hands, even trying to influence nature with the rods and the goats, but now he is in a situation that only God can deliver him from.  And with great humility, he makes his request, one that he doesn’t deserve; safety from his brother. He reminds God of His promise, essentially saying, “You can’t fulfill this promise in me, if I’m dead!”  Essentially he’s like a child saying to his Father, “You said!”

What has God promised you either in dreams or in His Word?  Are you on the first part of the journey as when Jacob was running from what God called him to do?  Or has God given His second call, and now it is time to move on?  Perhaps you are at Mahanaim where you are of two minds thinking, “Should I go forward and do what God has asked?” or are you afraid because of your past? Do you feel unworthy of His promises?

Gen 32:24-31

And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day.

25And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him.

26And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.

27And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob.

28And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.

29And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there.

30And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.

31And as he passed over Penuel the sun rose upon him, and he halted upon his thigh.

And Jacob was left alone. What happens when we are left alone? When there is no one else to run to? No one else to fix our problems? Jacob wrestled with God. He comes to the end of Jacob and makes demand on God to meet him…alone and empty. Now his stubbornness works for him, because he will not let go until he receives a blessing. Now it is God Who gives the Pillar-Builder a reminder. As a sign of this blessing, God breaks the sinew in his thigh.  Bible scholars and scientists alike say that this sinew spoken of in this scripture is the toughest sinew in the human body. A war horse couldn’t break this sinew. But God broke Jacob at his toughest point; his stubbornness, his self-sufficiency, his guilt and now his feelings of unworthiness.

This man who wrestled with his brother even in the womb, fighting to come into this world first; who tricked his brother out of his birthright; who deceived a blessing out of his father; who fought with Laban over his wages; has now fought with God over His blessing.  And now, he has come to the end of himself.  and he is broken.

Are you broken before God? Are you at the end of yourself, and tired of struggling…alone? Dare to wrestle with God, dear reader. You will never be the same…it was then that Jacob was renamed from “supplanter” or “deceiver” to Israel or “struggle”. God sets Jacob’s very name as a monument to remember a moment with Him. A moment that would change Jacob forever. Will you wrestle with God and have your destiny made sure?

Making Pillars: Testifying to God’s Goodness

Jacob was not a nice person. Taking advantage of his brother’s hunger, he tricked his brother out of his birthright. He was a deceiver. That is what his name means. He willingly fulfilled his mother’s instructions to deceive his father so that he received the blessing that was rightfully Esau’s. Jacob was a swindler. He made deals with Laban, and then tried to influence nature against Laban, for his own prosperity. The only thing really endearing about the youth of this biblical character is his love for Rachel. Continue reading

Cotton Candy Christianity

Cotton candy

Isaiah 55 (MSG)
“Hey there! All who are thirsty,
come to the water!
Are you penniless?
Come anyway—buy and eat!
Come, buy your drinks, buy wine and milk.
Buy without money—everything’s free!
Why do you spend your money on junk food,
your hard-earned cash on cotton candy?
Listen to me, listen well: Eat only the best,
fill yourself with only the finest.
Pay attention, come close now,
listen carefully to my life-giving, life-nourishing words.
I’m making a lasting covenant commitment with you,”

Everyone is thirsty. We are all longing for something to fill a void. But sometimes we don’t know it, because we stuff ourselves with a bunch of fluff; things that aren’t nutritious or satisfying. Cotton candy tastes wonderful! But it melts in your mouth immediately, and never gives a satisfied, full feeling. There are so many ways the human race does this. Unbelievers and believers alike try to add meaning to their life by what they “do”. But this Scripture clearly states that we are trying to pay for something that He’s provided free of charge! Or how often have we run to cozy pj’s and an evening of Lifetime movies for the comfort only time spent pursuing the Comforter can give?

Jesus likened Himself to a tall drink of water!

If you read the story of Jesus and the woman at the well, you’ll see that Jesus called Himself Living Water that satisfies forever.

Drinking from the well that satisfies! Jesus didn’t spend time telling this woman how wonderful she was. In order to drink this Living Water, she had to hear some things that were difficult to hear. But she was thirsty, and she recognized the answer when He came to her.

How many of us would stick around for these difficult words? Most of us would run faster than our legs could carry us! But the Son of God made her aware of her thirst, and she wanted to quench this thirst more than she wanted to hear nice things about herself.

Jesus likened Himself to bread!

I happen to be on a fast; fasting sugar, potatoes and wheat flour. That’s everything worth eating, right? My grocery bill has suffered! All of the inexpensive “fillers” are out of my life. Eating right and living a healthy lifestyle comes at a cost. At the very least you will spend more energy pursuing physical health, and more than likely it it will cost more money as well. It is impossible to put a price of soul satisfaction. But the Good News is that the price has been paid! All we need to do is choose the right spiritual food. Sometimes we prefer to hear words that are melt-in-your-mouth morsels rather than a tough piece of meat that requires much chewing and a month to digest. We become offended with our pastors and teachers and ultimately God’s Word, because they are no longer “encouraging” and yummy to our delicate taste buds.

Eating healthy food isn’t easy…especially if you aren’t used to it. It takes hard work and discipline to train your body to desire the right things. Because of my fast, I’ve had bread on the brain, so it struck me hard when I came across this Scripture from John 6 in the Message.

27″Don’t waste your energy striving for perishable food like that. Work for the food that sticks with you, food that nourishes your lasting life, food the Son of Man provides. He and what he does are guaranteed by God the Father to last.”

28To that they said, “Well, what do we do then to get in on God’s works?”

29Jesus said, “Throw your lot in with the One that God has sent. That kind of a commitment gets you in on God’s works.”… 35-38Jesus said, “I am the Bread of Life. The person who aligns with me hungers no more and thirsts no more, ever. I have told you this explicitly because even though you have seen me in action, you don’t really believe me. Every person the Father gives me eventually comes running to me. And once that person is with me, I hold on and don’t let go. I came down from heaven not to follow my own whim but to accomplish the will of the One who sent me.

I find it curious that both Isaiah and Jesus, when likening spirituality to food and drink also speak of commitment. The only time that I’ve survived a fast or diet is when I’ve been committed to that decision as a lifestyle.

Another portion of Isaiah 55 states,

6-7Seek God while he’s here to be found,
pray to him while he’s close at hand.
Let the wicked abandon their way of life
and the evil their way of thinking.
Let them come back to God, who is merciful,
come back to our God, who is lavish with forgiveness.

We always assume we can live any old way and come back to Jesus anytime we decide to. But this verse provokes an interesting thought. It insinuates that there are times when God is closer than others, and that we must capitalize on these times.

The woman at the well, recognized one of these times. Jesus was close at hand, and she allowed Him to make the most of this opportunity.

We tend to think that we can eat junk food until we’re in our 40’s and 50’s and still enjoy optimum health. But that’s not true! And so it is in our spiritual lives. There is a time table of health, and consequences to pay for how we’ve treated our bodies. The longer we sow junk into our lives, the harder it is to abandon our old way of life.

Let me encourage you today. Throw in your lot with Jesus! Stop trying to satisfy yourself with sugary air! Come to the well of Living Waters…and have the discipline to hear and do hard things. He is the Bread of Life, and just like a great loaf of bread, He fills and satisfies. Check your spiritual “diet”. Are you trying to survive on cotton candy?

Perhaps taking private communion this week would be a good reminder of ensuring proper spiritual food. Will you join me in doing so?

Whole Hearted Attention

Deut 4:29 But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.

What does it look like to do something with your whole heart?

Perhaps a more poignant question would be, what does it look like when we do something half-hearted?

When I do something half-hearted, only part of my heart is excited about the task at hand. Maybe I have something else I’d rather do, or maybe there is another task pressing for my attention. Sometimes our heart can be there but not our soul. Soul translates to mind and emotions. How often I find myself at the bottom of a page in the Bible and realize that though my eyes were moving back and forth, I was making a to-do list in my head. Whatever the case my focus is not in one place, and worse yet, my desires are divided. It reminds me of this commercial…

Does the man want to be on the date? How does this make his lady friend feel? What kind of reward will he receive for his pursual?

Often times, we expect great reward for seeking God as half-hearted as the guy in the commercial. We put in “our time”, but our heart is not in it.

Doing things whole heartedly takes discipline. In a world that constantly interrupts with notifications of various kinds, I’ve found that conversational etiquette has suffered. It is no longer considered rude for a grown person to be reading and responding to a text while in conversation of a real live person. (I am sheepishly grinning because I’m also guilty of this.)

Forcing all of yourself to be truly with someone is more difficult than ever in this electronic age, but we can not seek the Lord with our whole heart without this practiced discipline. May I challenge you to spend a few minutes today truly being with God? Turn off the tv, leave your cell phone in another room and force your mind to be stayed on Him. The reward is great for He promises that we will find Him when we seek Him with our whole heart.

Jeremiah 29:13 in the Message says, “When you come looking for me, you’ll find me. “Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed.”

Do you want Him more than anything else? Get serious about finding Him. You won’t be disappointed.

Here’s my prayer for you, it comes from Psalm 40 in the Message Bible:

But all who are hunting for you—
oh, let them sing and be happy.
Let those who know what you’re all about
tell the world you’re great and not quitting.
And me? I’m a mess. I’m nothing and have nothing:
make something of me.
You can do it; you’ve got what it takes—
but God, don’t put it off.

What seems to be your biggest distraction while seeking Him?

<img src="http://i1196.photobucket.com/albums/aa405/CEOLIVOS/onyourheart.jpg
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….finding heaven with Jen:

Settling Strife and Deciphering God Purposed Relationships – Blogger’s Bible Study

Icebreaker:  Tell of a time when a sibling or your children had a disagreement over an item?

Text:  Genesis Chapter 13

Looking back to the end of the last chapter

1)  After God told Abram which land belonged to him, he traveled there to find that the land was occupied and then there was a famine.

2) Abram went to  Egypt (even farther from his “Promised Land”) with his family to escape the famine.

3)  Abram became very rich there.

4)  Abram returned to the place where he celebrated God’s goodness…to the altar where he acknowledged what God had done in his life.  Genesis 13:4  Q:  What kind of “place” can we return to after hardship, and circumstance make things look as though God’s promise will not come through?

5)  Abram sought to end the strife between Lot’s workers and Abram’s workers.  In his desire to put an end to the strife, he offered Lot his choice of land.  When seeking to end strife, it is important to keep the other person’s best interest in mind.  Q:  What kind of strife do you find yourself in?  How can this be resolved?

6)  So Lot chose the best for himself.  From the beginning, Lot has not been a blessing to Abram.  Perhaps this is because Abram was told to leave his family, and Lot came along.  Now he chooses not to honor Abram with the kindness of giving him the best of the land. He also chose the cities and the cultures that were existing rather than the plains.  This choice plays into Lot’s life later, because he seems to never have left the culture of his past.  He moved as close as he could to the most evil city around, and according to verse 13 surrounded himself by sinners.  Q:  What happens when we surround ourselves by an evil culture and sinners?

7) Dr. Robb Thompson says, “If God wants to bless you, He brings a person into your life, if Satan wants to curse you, he brings a person into your life.”  Q:  Tell of a time when either of these things has happened in your own life.

8) The Lord reaffirms His promise to Abram after the strife, and Lot are away from his life.  It is possible that Lot was keeping Abram from all God had for him in some way.  Q:  What are some circumstances that you’ve witnessed either in your own life or the lives of others where a person has held someone back?

9)  Dr. Robb Thompson also says, “There are rules both to enter into and remain in relationship.”  Q:  How does the story of Abram and Lot exemplify this? QWhat does this story teach us about changing the proximity of a relationship?

10)  The people we allow access into our lives make a difference.  This week, inventory your relationships and decide which relationships are there as a blessing, which are there for you to be a blessing, and which are there to distract you from His purposes.

The Blogger’s Bible Study – Temptation – Genesis 3:1-12

Icebreaker: Have you ever had a bad habit that you just couldn’t break? What is that habit, and if you are free from it, how did you break it?

Read: Gen 3:1-12

1. Scripture doesn’t say that God said not to touch the tree. Either God spoke with Adam alone, and Adam exaggerated what God said in order to keep Eve away, or Eve exaggerated to the serpent.

Question:  Have you ever exaggerated in order to keep someone away from evil? What might be the danger in this?

2. In verse 5, the serpent says that God knew that if Adam and Eve ate the fruit that they would be like God, but we’ve already learned that Adam and Eve were already like God, they were made in His image.  Satan tempted them to believe that God hadn’t done enough for them, that He was withholding something good from them.  He sowed a seed of ingratitude.

In the book 1000 Gifts, Ann Voskamp says, “Our fall was, has always been, and always will be, that we aren’t satisfied in God and what He gives. We hunger for something more, something other.”

The temptation Satan gave Eve was to believe that God hadn’t given her enough, that God is not good and does not have our best in mind. Isn’t that our temptation today? To believe that God is not good. That He doesn’t care about us or our worries and fears, our problems and temptations?

Question:  In what area have you been tempted to think that God hasn’t done enough, doesn’t care or doesn’t understand?

3. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15).

How did Jesus resist temptation?
Luke 4:1-12

Jesus was tempted in his body, mind and spirit.
a) Body – food, lust, hunger, fulfillment
b) Mind – riches, power
c) Spirit – Whom will you worship, God, Satan, self?

At each point Jesus used Scripture to fight temptation. Satan used Scripture as well, so not only did Jesus have to know Scripture, but He had to understand it’s intent.

When Jesus was tempted at Gethsemane, how did He resist?

He gave up His right and His will. He trusted that God’s plan had His best in mind…Mankind’s best in mind.

So then, as our example, Jesus shows us that the key to overcoming temptation is to know what God said and to submit to His will.

Eve knew what God said, but she added more to it. When confronted with the fact she wasn’t good enough, she didn’t submit to the fact that God had given her all that she had need of and she didn’t submit to fact that God is good, but instead believed that perhaps God was holding back goodness. She knew what God said, but didn’t trust Him (Jesus successfully resisted this in the Wilderness).   She didn’t submit to His Will (Jesus successfully resisted this temptation in Garden of Gethsemane).

Dr. Robb Thompson says that we must be careful to apply our life to the Word, not the Word to our life.

Question:  What is the difference between these two thoughts, and how can they help us in the area of temptation?

4) When confronted with their sin, Adam blamed Eve and ultimately God, and Eve blamed the Devil. Adams said, “It was this woman, and YOU gave her to me. It’s not my fault.” Eve said, “The Devil made me do it!”

Question: Do you tend to blame others, God or the Devil when you are confronted with wrong choices?

5) “Because He Himself suffered when He was tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted.” Hebrews 2:18

No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; He’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; He’ll ALWAYS be there to help you come through it. I Cor 10:13 Message Bible

When we find ourselves overwhelmed by temptation, we can ask Jesus to help us. He was tempted in every way, He can sympathize with us. He understands.

Application:  This week find Scripture to help you in any temptation you are facing and practice humbling yourself to submit to God’s will concerning that area of your life.

Woman, the Glory of Man… Genesis 2:15-25

Icebreaker:  How did you meet your spouse?

Read:  Genesis 2:15-25

Genesis 2:15-25

American Standard Version (ASV)

 15 And Jehovah God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.

16 And Jehovah God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:

17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

18 And Jehovah God said, It is not good that the man should be alone **; I will make him a help meet for him ***.

19 And out of the ground Jehovah God formed every beast of the field, and every bird of the heavens; and brought them unto the man to see what he would call them: and whatsoever the man called every living creature, that was the name thereof.  *

20 And the man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the heavens, and to every beast of the field; but for man there was not found a help meet for him.

21 And Jehovah God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof:

22 and the rib, which Jehovah God had taken from the man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.

23 And the man said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.****

25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

*1)  It almost sounds as though, God tried the animals as a helper to man first, but decided that the animals were not up to the  task.  Since God knows the beginning from the end, we know that God foreknew that He would make woman.  Perhaps He demonstrated this first option so that Adam would be aware of his need for a companion. So He had to make a helper that measured up to man, could think and communicate on the same level, and could bear fruit from their relationship.

2)God created woman

a) so that man would not be alone **

b) to be a suitable helper for man ***

c) for family and companionship ****

3) Woman is the only creation made from used parts.

Q:  Why do you think God chose to use Adam’s rib to create Eve?

Possible answers:

  • So that Adam would remember his emptiness before he had Eve
  • To remember that Eve was his partner, to be beside him, not underneath him as with the rest of creation.
  • To create a sense of connectedness.

4)  The word helper – to help, to aid.  It means to give support, to give material or non material encouragement to a person.  It describes helping each other to accomplish goals.

At this point Adam had the huge job of naming the animals.  Eve was called to help him in the endeavor, whether by taking care of his other needs, (gathering food etc.) or in the actual naming of the animals.  Naming all of the animals was a very creative job.  They were literally creating language.

Q:  What are some ways you help your husband?

Read I Corinthians 11:8-12

7For a man indeed ought not to have his head veiled, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory *of the man.

8 For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man:

9 for neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man:

10 for this cause ought the woman to have a sign of authority on her head, because of the angels.

11 Nevertheless, neither is the woman without the man, nor the man without the woman, in the Lord.

12 For as the woman is of the man, so is the man also by the woman; but all things are of God.

*Glory from Strong’s Concordance:

1) opinion, judgment, view

2) opinion, estimate, whether good or bad concerning someone

a) in the NT always a good opinion concerning one, resulting in praise, honour, and glory

3) splendour, brightness

a) of the moon, sun, stars

b) magnificence, excellence, preeminence, dignity, grace

c) majesty

4) First of all this passage again shows are interconnectedness.  Although the first woman came from man, every man since then has come from woman.  We need each other for our very existence.

Secondly, I found it interesting that one of the meanings of the word glory is opinion of.

If you’ve ever seen the movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, you’ll remember this scene:

Women are influencers, all of us, whether for good and for bad.  That’s the way God made us.  Eve ended up being a bad influence on Adam.  Be careful what you are influencing your husband toward.  Is your influence encouraging him upward and onward, or away from God?

One last thought about the part about the word glory.  One of the definitions is being opinion of.

I think an application could very well be that when people see us as wives, they form an opinion of our husbands from our behavior.  This interpretation seems viable since this passage is speaking of what the current behaviors expected in order to bring honor to the husband.

Q:  How does your behavior bring glory to your husband?  What kind of opinions about your husband can be formed based on your behavior?  In other words, how well do you represent him?

Proverbs 31:23 Her husband is known in the gates, When he sitteth among the elders of the land.

One of the ways we please God is to be the glory of our husbands.  We shine the light of His glory when we do this.

We should be the moon, the sun and the stars to our husbands…

Do you see yourself as here to help your husband fulfill his agenda here on earth, or to fulfill yours?

God doesn’t have things in this order because we are less than man, but because he wants us to depend on one another.  If we are always off doing our own thing, we have lost the “oneness” God desires.

Jesus did this.  He put aside His agenda, for God’s.  This is seen in the Lord’s prayer and in Philippians.

Philippians 2:5-8

5Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

6 who, existing in the form of God, counted not the being on an equality with God a thing to be grasped,

7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men;

8 and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, becoming obedient even unto death, yea, the death of the cross.

Jesus brought much glory to God by letting go of what seemed good for Him, and doing what seemed good for the Father.  We are all called to let go of ourselves and to become servants.

Q:  How are you doing at helping your husband fulfill his task from God?

Perfect and Complete Rest – Bible Study 2 – Gen. 2:1-2

Icebreaker – What is your ultimate restful activity?

Genesis 2:1-2
1Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.

2And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.

This Hebrew word for rest is essentially the same as the word seven, and the word complete. So basically, God was saying, it is the seventh day and I have completed my task, there is nothing more to do.

I find this interesting because God has done this twice. He did it the first time, creating everything for man that they needed to be sublimely happy. But, because of their ingratitude they delivered their authority (Gen. 1:28) over to the devil (Gen. 3).

God did this a second time by having Jesus come here on earth.

According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:(II Pe. 1:3)

He pronounced, tetelestai It is finished. He provided relationship with the Father through His death on the cross. The Sabbath which came from the law was a type and shadow of the rest that comes from right relationship with Him.

What keeps us from the rest of God?

The Jews even made resting a set of regulations and rules. It became “work” to rest. But our rest is in Christ. God always meant for our rest to be complete in Him, because of the work He’s completed in and for us.

10And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: Col. 2:10

6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; Phil. 1:6 NKJV

Remember, the idea of rest is equal with the idea of completion.

Adam and Eve were unable to enter into perfect rest because of their unbelief and disobedience.

What does Hebrews say kept the children of Israel from the rest of God? Unbelief

Hebrews 4:2 (Amp)

2For indeed we have had the glad tidings [Gospel of God] proclaimed to us just as truly as they [the Israelites of old did when the good news of deliverance from bondage came to them]; but the message they heard did not benefit them, because it was not mixed with faith (with [c]the leaning of the entire personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness) by those who heard it; [d]neither were they united in faith with the ones [Joshua and Caleb] who heard (did believe).

Can we enter into perfect rest today?

Hebrews 4:1 (Amp)

1THEREFORE, WHILE the promise of entering His rest still holds and is offered [today], let us be afraid [[a]to distrust it], lest any of you should [b]think he has come too late and has come short of [reaching] it.

They were unwilling to mix the message of deliverance with faith.

What is our message of deliverance?

How do you see people not mixing the Good News with faith?

Even though, through Jesus our rest is complete we still have to receive this rest by faith.

Hebrews 4:4-11

4For in a certain place He has said this about the seventh day: And God rested on the seventh day from all His works.

    5And [they forfeited their part in it, for] in this [passage] He said, They shall not enter My rest.

    6Seeing then that the promise remains over [from past times] for some to enter that rest, and that those who formerly were given the good news about it and the opportunity, failed to appropriate it and did not enter because of disobedience,

    7Again He sets a definite day, [a new] Today, [and gives another opportunity of securing that rest] saying through David after so long a time in the words already quoted, Today, if you would hear His voice and when you hear it, do not harden your hearts.

    8[This mention of a rest was not a reference to their entering into Canaan.] For if Joshua had given them rest, He [God] would not speak afterward about another day.

    9So then, there is still awaiting a full and complete Sabbath-rest reserved for the [true] people of God;

    10For he who has once entered [God’s] rest also has ceased from [the weariness and pain] of human labors, just as God rested from those labors [a]peculiarly His own.

    11Let us therefore be zealous and exert ourselves and strive diligently to enter that rest [of God, to know and experience it for ourselves], that no one may fall or perish by the same kind of unbelief and disobedience [into which those in the wilderness fell].

How do we enter this rest? Hebrews 4:7 7Again He sets a definite day, [a new] Today, [and gives another opportunity of securing that rest] saying through David after so long a time in the words already quoted, Today, if you would hear His voice and when you hear it, do not harden your hearts.
1) Today, hear His voice
2) Don’t harden your heart

God’s rest is to cease from the weariness and pain of human labors in order to be right with God.

Have you tried to labor in order to be right with God?