This is the last week of a Bible Study that started in January. The study was “Chase Study, Chasing after the heart of God” by Jennie Allen. In wrapping up, it asked the question, “what has most convicted you while studying the life of David?”
As I read the question and the ones that came after, I sat stumped. All I can think of is “I have memory loss.” What convicted me the most? That I find myself on a treadmill running after so much other stuff that I cannot seem to find God. Or that I find God, meet Him, Love Him and put Him back on the shelf and chase after all the other stuff again.
“What have you learned about God’s Character?” Nothing. No as in nothing came to mind. I understand God’s character; it is mine that I am having a difficult time with at the moment. It is my inconsistency and inability that has me stumbling all over the place. It is my inability to be consistent in His word and my inability to remember what I just read that keeps me from answering a simple question.
I spent seven weeks in a study, only missing one class and for the life of me I cannot tell you a single thing that I learned that was new. It is not a poor reflection on the teachers nor the writer, it is my fault. I chose to read other studies while in this. Or waiting until the last possible moment to do the classwork for the class. It is my fault I did not retain what I learned. So, now I need to return to the other weeks, refresh my short memory and finish the right way.
Week one: Identity. I find my identity in family. Not in God. Yep, I am honest about it. I found that I took pride or value in others instead of finding “pride” in what God has poured into me. I am working on switching where I find my identity. Instead of introducing myself as a wife, mother and writer, I want to introduce myself as a Christian writer, Christian wife & Christian mother. God gave me a calling. I need to set Him first in it and everything else.
Week two: Courage. No, I am not very courageous. I fall into the group that God reminds continuously to “be courageous” or “don’t be afraid”. Jennie writes “The gospel steals self-esteem.” Yep, thunderstruck when I read that. We are so focused on us that we forget it is not about us. It is about Him and His love, His grace. Our fears keep us from moving forward. It takes courage to talk openly about God and His love for us.
Week three: Obedience. Not really been my thing, and yet I expected my child to be obedient. Hmmm. This week we looked at Saul & David. Saul stopped caring what God wanted and started caring more about what the people wanted or thought. Ouch! I found myself like Saul. I find that other’s opinion matter to me, even if I am offended by them. Except for when I write, I write for God. Yes, I desire feedback; however, I really do write for God (you just get to enjoy it.)
Week four: Belief. This one I got! Yeah, not really. Belief in God, yes. Belief in what God is capable of, yes. Belief that I can let go and let God, not so much. “How we live every second of every day will flow out of what we believe about God.” When you read that sentence, it should strike fear into your heart. How we live should reflect what we believe. I live out the fear of losing control. God calls me to let go and allow Him control.
Week five: Repentance. “Do you live in need of God? Do you live with an awareness of your sin? Do you grieve the ways you have offended God?” I did pretty good until I got to that last question. I offend God? Yes, when I sin, I offend God. But I never thought about it in those terms. And I never thought about grieving over my offensives. Hmm…
Week Six: Surrender. “Are we willing to surrender fully to a God who may let us suffer?” God never promised us an easy road. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In the world, you will have troubles. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33”. The things that we hold onto keep us from holding on to God. If your hands are full of stuff, you cannot reach for God without letting go.
Week Seven: Chased Down. “God chased us down through Jesus.” God has pursed us; we just keep running towards other things. The idea of playing chase appeals to my inner kid. At some point you get tired of running and that’s when you get caught. Allow me to say, I am tired of running. I think I am going to let God catch me. I think when I allow Him to catch me, I will find the peace that I so need.