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THE DECEITFULNESS OF OUR IDOLS

This week’s passage is absolutely fascinating. It’s  Numbers 11 when God’s people are complaining in the wilderness, remembering how good they had it in slavery!

My first resource is Sara Grove’s U-Tube video of “Painting Pictures of Egypt.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUYAmVYnC-Y (I am excited to be sharing the podium with Sara in Kansas City on April 2nd. I’m a huge fan for her reflective lyrics always press me into His heart.)

The second resource is a free sermon from a gifted young pastor at Redeemer Fellowship in Kansas City on this passage. Here’s that link:  http://www.redeemerkansascity.org/resources/?sermon_id=145

chained-11Bible Study:

The setting: God’s people have been set free from slavery in Egypt, for God had heard their cry, and rescued them, bringing them out with a mighty triumph! tThey had experienced the power of the blood of the passover lamb and they had witnessed his mighty miracles: the parting of the Red Sea, a pillar of fire by night, and a cloud by day to guide them. But life is also hard, for they are trudging through the dessert, eating only manna. There are hard things about this life too.

Read Numbers 11:1-15

1. What happened in verses 1 through 3? What does complaining reveal?

(I always remember in the biography DAWS, Dawson Trotman, founder of Navigators, forbid complaining in their home!)

2. In Numbers 11:4-6, what were the people craving? What was their idol, do you think? Describe the strong cravings of your idol.

3. Verses 5-6 are truly humorous — though we can be as idiotic. What do they remember, and what do they forget?

4. Listen to Sara Grove’s song above about “Painting Pictures of Egypt.” How were they doing that?

5. How do you deceive yourself and give into your idol? This question, is taken slowly, can help shed light and set you free.

6. What does Moses say to the Lord in verses 14-15? CHALLENGE QUESTION. How was Jesus “a better Moses?”

Read Numbers 11:31-35.

7. Describe what happens here. What phrases stick out to you and why?

8. What do you CRAVE besides God? What deceitful thoughts do you have in the moments of craving?

9. How could you allow God to meet the above need? How you could speak to your soul?

10. What’s your take-a-way this week?

NEXT WEEK — THE HOLY TIME OF LENT BEGINS — A TIME FOR INTIMACY WITH OUR REDEEMER

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110 comments

  1. 1-3
    I am always amazed at this chapter, I meen, these are the people who SAW the sea part, the tower of fire and cloud, the manna come from no where, the rock spit out water, the 10 plagues!!! its not like they heard these stories from their great grandma!! they were EYE WITNESSES for goodness sake!!!
    They remembered the good food and forgot about the SLAVERY!!! really???? “OH I wish I could work myself to death for those people so that I could have a yummy meal???”
    I hate to admit it but my memory is as bad as theirs some days….But thanks to HIM I have days that I DO live in trust, those are the good days, when Im sooooo happy for the manna, when I remember how good HE is and am thankful for HIS blessings.
    some days I look around at my “not so perfect” home and start to mummble about the “manna”, I look at my “not so perfect” husband and cry for quail, I listen to how my son knocked the mirror off our car and forget how I just saw water get out of the way for me, In short, I look at the “not so perfects” in my life and want to go back to the slavery of perfectionism and pride……*sigh*
    Thanks Dee for reminding me that my perfectionism and pride was MY SLAVERY and I DO NOT WANT TO GO BACK THERE…sooooo I am determined to find joy in my “not so perfects” and trust Jesus to make them into something beautiful!
    can not wait for the rest of this study:)

  2. I have not yet listened to the sermon, but plan to tomorrow. So here is where I am so far (loving this week already!)

    1.The people complained and God was angered by this so he sent a fire, and ended it when Moses prayed on their behalf.

    Complaining reveals a heart belief that one deserves better or has a right to something they are not receiving. It is an attitude of self-righteousness and pride. A lack of appreciation for what God had done for them—in their case, set them free from Egypt.

    2. They wanted something to eat other than manna. I think their idol was pleasure, comfort. They missed what they used to have, they romanticized and coveted the past.

    3. They remember the meat and vegetables they used to have in Egypt, they forget they were slaves!

    4. Oh I have always loved this song! They were re-writing the past, romanticizing it. They left out what was hard about it and looked back at it with rose colored glasses. They had been set free and yet they were still imprisoned by their greed and desires.

    5. I deceive myself because I tell myself I am justified to feel what I do or say what I say in regards to my idol of control. I think that if they would just listen to me, do what I’m saying…everything would be right. I rationalize that I am not as bad as …and that my sin isn’t all bad because I am good at keeping order…
    I ignore the true, negative consequences of my sin,the entrapment of it, the reality it reveals about my heart. I romanticize my idol, trying to make it look good, acceptable.

    6. Moses says: “I cannot carry all these people by myself; the burden is too heavy for me. If this is how you are going to treat me, please go ahead and kill me—if I have found favor in your eyes—and do not let me face my own ruin.”

    Moses confronts Pharaoh and frees the slaves from physical slavery, leads them out of Egypt. But Jesus confronts Satan and frees all of us from spiritual slavery to sin and impending death, leads us to eternal freedom, life with Him.

    Jesus did not give up. The burden was not too heavy for Him. He went to the cross and died a brutal death for us.

    7. God sends more than enough quail and they gathered it up—but before they could eat it, He sends a plague on them.

    8. I crave being valued, esteemed, admired. I was struck again today by how often in my moment of craving I cut someone else down—either in my mind, or very subtly out loud. I was really convicted of that today when I realized how strongly I had mis-judged a new neighbor, who is model-beautiful. Never verbally, but in my mind, I had told myself she probably isn’t a Christian, her car never seemed to leave on Sunday mornings…she didn’t stay home with her 3 young children..on and on…Well, today I finally met her and she a very godly woman, member of a solid church, in a Bible study, and she and her husband split the work week to each be home with their children! It was a kick in my stomach. All because she had such physical beauty that I felt threatened—that my husband would see her and think she was more attractive…all because of that I had wrongfully judged her. My hungry soul had tried to steal from her. Sometimes I never look that deep to see why it is I am being so critical of others. But whether it is a lovely neighbor or my mother in law, the cause is always that I feel a threat to my idol of pride, of mySelf on the throne!

    1. once again Elizabeth, I could have writen this!!!! I do the exact same thing to people and I HATE it. thank you for being so honest, it helps me so very much to know that Im not the only one in the world who thinks like I do.

  3. 4) They were used to being slaves. when you have a slave mentality it is hard to have a free person’s mentality. we are more comfortable in our stuff, its familiar even if it is not good. I love how she says she does not “fit” into her yesterdays. My Emma has this outfit that she loves, she wants to wear it all the time, it is a 4 and she is in a 6x. she is busting out of it in every way….but she still loves it and wants to wear it.

    isn’t this how we are, we want the old comfy over the new (better). But the person God is creating us to be just can not fit into the old comfy…..

    one thing I have found, the faster I wear the new the faster it becomes part of me.

    5) let me count the ways…..I so love your answer Elizabeth! It so easy to rationalize that being in control is a good thing, it looks good and people like you for it. I long to share my story with other young woman. I have wanted to be a speaker for as long as I can remember….this is an idol, to be “approved of” by others would feed the pride that has held my heart captive. I have rationalized this for a long time by telling myself that God has been so good to me and I need to share His goodness….God can toot His own horn….He does not need me to do it for Him…..I am so glad that other then a few times to small bible study groups that God never opened this door. I know how deceitful my heart is and I know it would have led to pride…..black, ugly, sinful pride… I hope and pray that now IF I ever speak to a group of people, it will be because God wants me to and not because I NEED to.

    6) Jesus WAS willing to carry the burden of our sin! He hears our complaints and has compassion on us. He loves us so much he is willing to take on our sin, to sit between us and an angry God…..AMEN

    7) God’s anger BURNED against them. He gave them what they wanted and it killed them…..see #5, this does not escape me. I do not want ANYTHING that my dear Jesus does not want for me.

    8) I crave to be right, to be liked, to be looked up to! I don’t want to, but I do. I’m still working on this one sisters. forgive me if/when I sound arrogant. God is working on my heart but so much of ME still likes to be “wonderful” OH I HATE THIS! it was a lot easier in some ways when I did not see the “slop” of my idol. I have been sick all week, and have not been “wonderful” in any way 🙂 and what I have found is that it is very freeing to be able to relax and take care of myself with out guilt and without worrying about being “wonderful”

    9) He has, he loves me so much that He does think Im wonderful, He thinks all of us are wonderful, not because of what we can do for Him but because we are HIS…. WOW

    10)all of the above:) insisting on being in control hurts everyone around me as well as myself. It is a two edged sword and no one that comes close gets away unscathed.

    so glad your home safe Dee!

  4. 1. What happened in verses 1 through 3? What does complaining reveal?

    (I always remember in the biography DAWS, Dawson Trotman, founder of Navigators, forbid complaining in their home!)

    * The people were freed from Egypt which was a very hard life, and they complained about it back then, now after God freed them and poured his redeeming love out on them yet they still complained to God about their discomfort trudging through the desert eating only manna..They are in a place where they literally have no control over any aspect of their life..their future, their sustenance, really even their next step. They are totally dependent upon God for everything.

    * This reveals that somehow in Egypt they were in the habit of filling their whirlpool finding comfort somehow in the midst of being slaves..Perhaps they lived for that short break where they could eat really good food..They had predictable lives every day, perhaps that brought them temporary comfort.. NOW even while God freed them, they had their comfort or control idols pretty much on the throne, and this time in the desert where they had no where to look but to God really revealed ‘who’ was the god they worshiped in their hearts..

  5. 2. In Numbers 11:4-6, what were the people craving? What was their idol, do you think? Describe the strong cravings of your idol.

    * The people were craving meat, fish and the tasty food they received FREE in Egypt. From how they worded it, it sounds like they were REALLY in bed with their idol..wow..Perhaps their idol may have been comfort.

    * My idol(s), you mean? 😉 I think the idol I struggle most with is similar..Comfort/control..When something happens that is out of my control and worry and anxiety take over, my idol craves food to ease the anxiety and bring on false, temporary comfort, or entertainment to ease the pain. This encourages avoidance of the root issue and the problem only grows.

  6. I really do like the picture of the person in chains..That is a perfect word picture…Wow a thought just occurred, perhaps this is what happened to the Israelites..maybe being enslaved by the Egyptians really isn’t the focus..It was that they were enslaved by their idols inwardly and that was what mattered most to God..We see just how intimate they were with their idols after God redeemed them..hmmm..need to think on this more today..

    1. Tonight I heard the lecture on Isaiah 46-48. The point was made that while God had delivered Israel from Babylon through Cyrus they were still enslaved…to their sin. It was an ah ha moment for me and then to read your comment Rebecca. The same was true after Egypt and all the way up to the cross. That would be why the Israelites never could seem to get it right. And wasn’t it always idolatry? It was the first commandment and the one repeatedly spoken against by Isaiah.

      1. Anne, great summation..”The same was true after Egypt and all the way up to the cross.” “It was the first commandment and the one repeatedly spoken against by Isaiah.”

        So true..the whole issue with God’s chosen people was idolatry..That reminds me of when they worshiped the golden calf in revelry and sin..remember that? I wonder if that was passed down from generation to generation during those years in captivity. I am sure their faith was passed down as well, but I wonder if running to their idol was a habit they passed down..I wonder after so many generations and years of being deceived and enslaved by their idol, their hearts were hardened and God had to take them through the desert to soften them..Of course isn’t it true that most of them didn’t enter the promised land? I think it was the next generation that did..I’ll have to refresh my memory on that.

      2. I am thinking it is still the issue in this generation too. We in the body of Christ can stay pretty much clean of the other 9 commandments but that first one is permeating the church. I am amazed at how I have never seen it in myself until now. And now I am in 2 studies that are all about idolatry.

        1. Yes, I think I must ‘pay attention’. I am hopeful too for the wonders that God will do.

        2. Thank you Dee.

  7. Read Numbers 11:1-15

    1. What happened in verses 1 through 3? They complained about their hardships. What does complaining reveal? Complaining reveals what is in your heart.

    2. In Numbers 11:4-6, what were the people craving? The people were craving other food. What was their idol, do you think? I think their idol was pleasure/comfort. Describe the strong cravings of your idol. For many years my cravings were for nicotine, whenever I felt stressed, whenever I wanted to relax, I think the underlying idol was comfort.

    3. Verses 5-6 are truly humorous — though we can be as idiotic. What do they remember, and what do they forget? They remembered the food they received at “no cost!” They forgot that the cost of that “free food” was slavery!

    4. Listen to Sara Grove’s song above about “Painting Pictures of Egypt.” How were they doing that? I think the Israelites were romatizing the past, forgetting the hardships and their enslavement.

  8. Mary, Love your answer to #3. lol! 🙂 Yes..so true, and insightful and you made me think..They were so bound by their idol and so deceived they were blind to the real cost-slavery, and even more so the real cost of having their comfort idol on the throne rather than God.

  9. 4. Listen to Sara Grove’s song above about “Painting Pictures of Egypt.” How were they doing that?

    This song totally describes them from start to finish mixed in with her relating to their struggle with comfort..It is hard to be too hard on them because it is so familiar to to me..Knowing the place you and your people have been for 430 years. It was familiar..You want to get out, have freedom, yet you don’t..you are afraid to step out in faith because you don’t know what lies ahead..There is a clinging to the old ways out of comfort-fear of letting go and trusting God with His promise because you can’t see what lies ahead. It challenges every sense of comfort we ever knew to step out into the arms of the true comforter, but what is beautiful is that instead of God leaving us in the dust, he presses into us and puts us in situations where our comfort gods won’t satisfy any more and He gives us the longing to look to Him..we have no where to look but to Him..He disciplines, corrects and loves and gives us His mercy upon mercy upon mercy…

    1. I so agree with your whole statement Rebecca!!!! 🙂

  10. Wow, i tried entering this and lost the server so it didn’t take. hope I can recall what God brought to mind.. I loved the bridge to Sara’s song:

    If it comes too quick
    I may not recognize it
    Is that the reason behind all this time and sand?
    If it comes too quick
    I may not appreciate it
    Is that the reason behind all this time and sand?

    God loves and knows me so deeply that He knows exactly how much time, fire and pressure it will take for me to let go of what is comfortable and familiar..If He came on too quick it could perhaps lead me back to my comfort god..I wouldn’t see the way to step out and take God’s hand as He leads me into the dance. ♥

  11. Read Numbers 11:1-15.

    1. What happened in verses 1-3?

    Verse 1 says “Now the people became like those who complain of adversity in the hearing of the Lord…”

    I found it interesting that it says the Lord’s anger was kindled and it was manifested in a very real fire that burned and burned up some of their camp. Then the people were scared and cried out to Moses, and Moses prayed to God and the fire died out.

    What does complaining reveal?

    It reveals our heart attitude, one of discontent and ingratitude. I listened to the beginning of the sermon link last night, and I took note that the pastor said the people “refused to find satisfaction in the provision of God.” I think that is an excellent summary of what complaining reveals about us: a refusal to find satisfaction in what God has given to us.

    2. In Numbers 11:4-6, what were the people craving?

    They craved meat; the fish they used to eat in Egypt, the fruits and vegetables.
    The text says “And the rabble who were among them had greedy desires…” I looked up the cross-reference in Exodus 12:38 and found that when the Israelites left Egypt, a “mixed multitude also went up with them”, so I am assuming these were other people groups, not Hebrews. But “also the sons of Israel wept and said who will give us meat to eat?” Perhaps the rabble group’s attitude rubbed off on the Israelites?

    What was their idol, do you think?

    It may have been comfort/pleasure derived from food; it may have been control, too. They had no control over what they ate, no choices.

    Describe the strong cravings of your idol.

    Verse 6 says, after they remember the food they ate in Egypt, “but now our appetite is gone; literal translation “but now our soul is dried up”. That’s how I feel, what we talked about too last week – a soul hunger, an empty space that needs filled, with something. So when I feel a little lonely or bored, I crave the giant chocolate chip cookie from Panera, or something rich and sweet to eat. Or I reach for the phone to talk to someone, to feel a feeling of security. I seek to gain comfort from others; I crave attention, affection, approval. Jealousy comes when I feel someone else is receiving more love and attention than me. When I’m feeling unloved in my marriage, I feel the craving to slip into a daydream about a man I invent in my own mind, the ‘perfect husband’ who is attentive and loving and, in effect, worships me.

    3. Verses 5-6 are truly humorous – though we can be as idiotic. What do they remember, and what do they forget?

    They remember the fish, the cucumbers, melons, leeks and garlic and onions. They even comment on “the fish we ate for free”, as if it cost them nothing. They are forgetting they were in slavery!

  12. 1. In verse 1 the people complained openly to the Lord about hardship. The Lord became angry and fire burned the outskirts of the camp. Then the people cried out to Moses and he prayed to the Lord and the fire died down. I think the remarkable thing is that the people complained openly. God allows us to question Him and even whine to Him about our circumstances but I think the thing that caused His anger was that they openly complained. They did not come to Him with it but complained openly in the camp to each other and anyone that would listen. This defamed His name and that is very bad because people see that and do not trust Him. Open complaining says to anyone listening that God is not good.

    1. Anne, that is so good, “Open complaining says to anyone listening that God is not good.” You really summed it up great.

    2. I ditto what Joyce said, Anne; I never thought about that before; that complaining makes a statement that God is not good!

      1. Anne, yes you did sum it up great, and I have never thought of that before either, but I needed to listen so that the next time I am tempted to complain I remember this truth. So God breathed here..

  13. 4. Listen to Sara Grove’s song Painting Pictures of Egypt. How were they doing that?

    These words from the song stood out to me, “The place I was wasn’t perfect but I found a way to live”. The Israelites had learned to survive in Egypt and God even allowed them to thrive and increase in number. So they looked back with fond memories, with a longing for what they once had, for what they had grown comfortable with. The slavery, the bondage, the cruelty, was blurred into soft focus as they remembered the familiar. This journey into the wilderness, the unknown, was unfamiliar and frightening.

  14. 5. How do you deceive yourself and give in to your idol?

    I lay in bed this morning thinking about this, hard to gather all my thoughts on the idolatry in my life. The Israelites were so blatant – they set up altars and sacrificed to strange gods. But today the idolatry is insidious, it’s sneaky, it permeates alot of what I do.
    They burned incense and offered living sacrifices to pagan gods; in Romans it tells me to offer the parts of my body to God, which is my spiritual sacrifice. But I am offering myself up many times to my idols.
    I was thinking about how I make my family members my idols, loving them more than God and deriving comfort, approval, and security from them. Even when I am serving them, helping them, ‘sacrificing’ for them, if my motive is NOT to love them as Jesus does, if I’m not doing it for Him, then I am simply serving them as my idols. They become my gods and I worship and serve them.
    I do remember a time in my life when a living flesh and blood person was my idol, I lived for this person; I felt happy, excited, meaning for my life from this person. I was deceived. It all evaporated one miserable night when I cried out to God, in a pit of depression and emotional despair and realized what I was doing, that all I had was God. I should say God showed me what I was doing because I was too fooled to know on my own. That’s the sneaky thing about the idols – they’re there but I don’t see them!
    So I think about how I worship and serve myself, or my children are my idols and I worship them, or the idol of comfort and pleasure spurs me on to be selfish and to indulge in food; the idol of approval deceives me into thinking if I just had the right haircut, the perfect shade of lipstick, a fashionable outfit – then I’ll be happy. How many items of clothing do I own that I bought out of that need and I still haven’t worn them?
    I give in because the idols seem to be offering me something good, something I desire – love, acceptance, approval, comfort, pleasure, security, control, power, and so I offer myself up on their altar. I don’t “kill” an animal for sacrifice, but I can slay someone with my tongue or think thoughts that cut them down and elevate me.

    The second part of this question says that as we shed light on this, we can be set free. That’s still the hard part for me! We are shedding light through this study, yet why do I still hold onto these idols? What exactly is the “how to do it” part? How much is my part, and how much is the work of the Holy Spirit to change me? Does it mean more serious prayer, talking to God about this? I’m thinking does this mean I can never enjoy the chocolate chip cookie?!

      1. Susan, lol about the cookie! Dee is so right.

    1. This reminds me of a thought I had the other morning at breakfast. The grapefruit was sooo good, and I wondered. Can food be an idol if I am rejoicing in it as a gift from God?

  15. Susan, I just loved your reply..and I must admit..just made me laugh at the end..when you asked about the chocolate chip cookie! 🙂 I can relate to all of your thoughts..I thought, this thought of yours was very insightful: “in Romans it tells me to offer the parts of my body to God, which is my spiritual sacrifice. But I am offering myself up many times to my idols.” I had not quite thought of it that way, but I can say I too, am guilty of that.

    Your thoughts are really good, I have to think about this. One of my first thoughts as I read this was something I heard which I can’t quite remember exactly, but it went something like, having Christ, we have all else, not having Christ, we have nothing else. I think our families, husbands, children were meant to be God’s gifts to us, and in and of themselves they are good but when we let them become more than Christ is to us, then we are taking Christ off the throne and putting ourselves or those we love there and they will never satisfy or be all that only God can be to us.

  16. I wasn’t able to get on this morning..What is awesome is that God laid several people on my heart to pray for this morning so it lasted a while, then the boys woke up. I am enjoying reading your posts..Wow, it is really awesome to see how God is moving here this morning!

    1. I find myself not praying for one that I am jealous of, not wanting good things for them and even rejoicing in their hardship. It can be insidious but when I catch myself doing it, I try to pray for that person. It seems to help break the cycle. My mind deceives me and I will be thinking that I just don’t like that person when really it is jealousy.

      1. “My mind deceives me and I will be thinking that I just don’t like that person when really it is jealousy.” yes Anne–me too! And sometimes, I don’t even really want what they have (big house, jewelry, fancy car–is not my thing), it’s just that I don’t think it’s FAIR for them to have it! ick.

    2. Dee, when I first read your post I thought you were responding to mine since I am one here who obviously struggles much with this issue (as noted in my earlier post)!
      I so so love and am inspired by your humility. I offer no advice, but the others here and of course you, are far wiser than I.

      I can only relate. Growing up in a large family, my mom always tried to make things “fair”–yet years and years later, I still struggle with the things that weren’t and with how differently our lives have ended up, materially.
      Two things I have recently begun to ponder for myself on this:
      In John 21:18-23, Jesus said to [Peter]… ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted,but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.’ (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, ‘Follow me.’Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them, the one who had been reclining at table close to him….When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, ‘Lord, what about this man?’” Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” Because of this, the rumor spread among the believers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?”

      Peter is asking–why not him? why me? I so relate! And Jesus says to me–what is that to you? I know He says it lovingly, that He has a plan for ME, don’t worry about His plan for someone else!

      And then CS Lewis’ quote in The Horse and His Boy– Aslan tells Shasta: “Child, I am telling you your own story, not hers. I tell no one any story but his own.”

      I love that!
      Sorry to go so long!

    3. Dee, I don’t know if I can give advice, but sure can encourage you that I have done many other studies and while there are great ones out there believe me, yours have been the most life changing..I mean pluck that thick, deep, embedded weed out life changing.

    4. Yes, I have struggled with jealous thoughts too and it always relates to areas I am lacking in or if their life situation is better than mine. When that wicked jealousy arises in my heart I shouldn’t be shocked nor should I condemn myself. I am His. I should remind myself of what Dee said above and believe me there are other areas in my life where I need to remind myself of what she said and one of them is in regard to my ministry with singing. I am very hard on my self in that area and God is working on me as I type! 🙂

      Since I started this study I have found that when I am filling my whirlpool with Him, His love, who He is, his majesty, His character,and take in the essence of being in His presence..I am able to truly love others..He takes care of the peripheral..He just does.. in His time and His way.

    5. Hi Dee!
      Some great thoughts I heard on the subject of jealousy were by Andy Stanley, so in order to find it, I googled – Andy Stanley thoughts on jealousy – then check out Andy Stanley – 2/07/03.

    6. One thing that has honestly broken the cycle of jealousy for me was about a year ago during a time that I felt really rejected by what I would call my best friend at that time.

      Another friend was trying to comfort me in that place of deep pain and she told me that I have a treasure that nobody else has….a very special treasure that nobody else ever has carried before.

      She went on to say my ability to carry such a priceless treasure in no way takes away from the value of the treasure that only she carries, so there is no need to be jealous. I just simply get the chance to experience the treasure she has, while allowing her the chance to experience mine. She had continued to say that it wasn’t my fault that everyone can’t see that treasure I have…. but it was only my job and duty to do my very best to see that special value in everyone I come into contact with.

      I don’t know if that helps anyone, but it made a lot of sense and meant a great deal to me personally.

      1. thats so good!
        God has given us each different treasures, different but each very valuable….in their own way. I love how we can each enjoy the others gift by enjoying it with them instead of wanting it as well……seeing the gift in MY OWN hands is the key to not wanting the gift in someone elses.
        just thought, I would have to let go of my gift to take someone elses. wow
        thanks so much for sharing this!

      2. Love this Amber. Very helpful. Thanks!

  17. I listened to the sermon just now and it was very good. I should have taken notes because I want to remember many of the points. I did questions 2 and 3 last night and I see that they are not quite right but for some reason I don’t want to change them. My Holman translation is a little different but I really don’t want to go to another.

    2.There were contemptible people among them who craved ‘other food’ according to my translation. I think this means food other than manna. Their idol seems to be comfort since they also complained about hardship. My strong craving is for approval. I have spoken of this before. I want to be smart, beautiful and efficient. I thank the Lord that I am none of these things so I will often remember that the only approval I need, I already have.

    After listening to the sermon I think it was the craving in itself that was wrong. We may enjoy all of the gifts God has given us but to want more is to crave.

    3.They complain about not having what they crave but they also complain that their appetite is gone. Here is a red flag. Their appetite is gone for what God has provided. Is their appetite gone for God? They remember the good food they had in Egypt but they forget the God who supplied and also delivered them from slavery. Could they not trust Him for more good things in His time. Look what was waiting for them in the Promised land.

    1. Anne, you ARE smart, beautiful and efficient..I see it in you and He has given it to you..You can rejoice in Him for that as well. Love you sis..

    2. Great thoughts Anne! You really think things through! Thanks for all your great thoughts – you are a blessing! 🙂

      1. Love you, sisters.

    3. I am not a writer or singer or anything:) and I can not even spell….you have one up on me!!

      1. not sure why this posted here instead of under Elizabeths post:) ooooops

  18. 4. To me the most striking thing about the song and the sermon is the fact that in our humanity we absolutely refuse to trust God and wait. We are such little Napoleons. Not sure why I said that but I was just thinking how we really want to be gods. We want to decide what is good for us and if God wants to give it to us that is great but if not we will get it for ourselves. And because of this striving we never see the Promised Land. We miss our blessing, greater than our little minds could ever dream up. In Sara’s song she doesn’t want to trust God and wait. She wants what she knows, what her mind can conceive of. Basically she doesn’t trust in God, not in His goodness or His sovereignty. In Egypt God did provide and give them good things even in their slavery and it is His blessings they are remembering but they forgot that they were slaves. Oh don’t I also do that, making idols out of His blessings.

    The bridge in the song is also very interesting. It reminds me of the child that I have said no to trying to understand why and then promising he won’t do whatever. He makes many promises but I know there has not been heart change.

  19. 5. How do you deceive yourself and give into your idol? This question, is taken slowly, can help shed light and set you free.

    * With me deception comes in line with sin..When I am sinning in my thought life I crave things more than Jesus in order to receive comfort, approval, control…I am going to think more on this and come back to it so that I can give a specific example and perhaps open a door to freedom..I will also pray over this question.

    6. What does Moses say to the Lord in verses 14-15? CHALLENGE QUESTION. How was Jesus “a better Moses?”

    * I was thinking of the contrast being Jesus praying in the Garden..He was anguished, scared, felt overwhelmed that He had to take on the sins of the world and carry all of our burdens on that cross..He knew how horrible it would be..He was in such anguish his sweat was like drops of blood. While Jesus was in the garden and was in the midst of this anguish-scared state, he asked God if it was possible to let this cup pass, but not as I will, as you will. Jesus literally threw himself in the arms of God even while in distress, even though He didn’t know how the pain would feel physically and when God turned His face from Him as he was soaking up our sins. He gave control, approval, comfort over to God even in the midst of pain and weakness..wow..He didn’t try to comfort himself in other ways of thinking through it…O.K. NOW I can answer #5..

  20. O.K. here goes #5…Dee, I get it now what you are saying about doing our best and being faithful and trusting Him with the results. what a perfect way to say it..

    Laying in bed in the arms of success, comfort rather than in his arms in the midst of our pain, being scared, feeling dejected, uncertainty. Whatever the trial may be. I find myself not only doing this with singing but in my new sub job at the school. I desire to hear my boss say, great work..She did after two days..She said, “I am going to have you back, you are a hard worker.” That made my day..But what if she didn’t say that or couldn’t call me in for a few days due to not needing me..Would I start thinking I failed, most likely yes..SO, if my focus is on doing my best and being faithful and that I have His love AND approval and He has the rest then I am free!!!!

    I don’t have to figure out ways to ‘get a handle’ on my nervousness before I sing or any other area in life..He is there in the midst of my anguish, in the midst of uncertainty, in the midst of needing comfort, approval and control..I do my best, be faithful to Him as Jesus did by going to the cross and be in His arms only..trust Him with the moment, and the rest, but I know I won’t do this perfectly, and Jesus knows that too..I can rest in that even when I fail in this area. 🙂

    I am sorry..I am tearing up.. I think I am getting it and I know freedom is right around the corner..

    1. Rebecca, I’m cheering for you! So encouraging to see you break through!

  21. I am not a writer or singer like many of you amazingly talented women (SO humbled to be a part of this group I have no “right” to be with! you all are truly amazing!) but I find my jealousy is the root of so much of my sin. I guess because pride is always at the root. For me it is often being jealous of someone else’s physical appearance… and when it’s somone my husband knows too, I find a way of subtly mentioning a negative about them–something to “even the scales”. If I can remember the truth I saw when my mom was here. She truly is deceived by her idol. She has the same one as me–a burning hunger to be important, valued, wanted…and oh the ways it can come out…always our tongues/words…so cutting like the tongue of a snake.
    I often think about Eve and the way she used her words to manipulate.

    This study is not the first time I’ve admitted this gross stuff (sadly I’ve seen it in me before) but it is the first time I have felt even glimpses of freedom.
    I agree with praying for those we are jealous of–it helps soften my heart. And often I know I am “painting pictures” –making them rosier than they are–when I look at someone else’ life, but the answer is not to balance it out by telling myself their struggles, that’s me trying to make sure God is being a “fair” parent! I think He wants me to love them, and even rejoice with them for what He gives them.

    And believe that He is good. I hate how I get hung up on these little things, that I don’t have what I said I wanted, and I am blind to what all He has given. I have ALL I NEED. I have eternity with Him.

    But oh Dee, I must listen to that Keller sermon! To think I am lying in bed with this idol…as we said a few weeks back, it is like having an affair, forsaking our First Love, our True Love, for a pathetic counterfeit…oh that it would repulse me!

    1. Elizabeth, girlfriend you fit right in, and you are amazingly gifted..God gives you great insight into the word!

    2. I agree with Rebecca – you do fit in! We are all coming here from different backgrounds, current problems, common struggles with sin and like a potluck supper, we all bring something to the table, a different flavor!

      I have shared before that I struggle with being jealous of my mother-in-law. Part of it is because my husband expresses dissatisfaction with how I keep house – I have problems being organized and not having the laundry piled up (in fact, my laundry pile is a family joke). But she is a high energy person, she could get the whole pile of my laundry done in a day; her house is always clean. My oldest son when he’s home from college will often take his laundry to her to do, but he wont let me touch his stuff. So I feel hurt, and jealous. I feel jealous when my husband makes sure he buys his parents an anniversary card but neglects to get me a birthday card. I feel less-favored, and lots of other not so nice emotions.
      And I can relate to what Anne said about a feeling of dislike for a person when under the surface it’s jealousy. I think Anne is right about praying for the person, it’s hard to talk to God about that person and even if you vent the negative to Him, He usually has a way of showing you your own sin so you can’t keep on about them in a negative way.

      1. Susan, I liked your pot luck analogy-so true!

        Oh, and I am SO THERE with you on the disorganization issue and laundry pile up. 🙂

      2. My heart just went out to you Susan, as I read your post. Susan, I have no children, but I have 5 sisters who all have children and let me just encourage you – there is no one who can take the place of a mother in a child’s life – not even when their old and grown! I believe God has given mother’s the greatest gift of influence in their child’s life! God made it so! Mother’s are irreplaceable! You are loved more than you know, behind everything…behind it all..you are loved Susan..no one can take your place in your child’s life!…even if someone does laundry better than you!~! 🙂

      3. My heart also aches for you Susan. This may sound a little strange but have you asked the Lord what He thinks about your housekeeping. I say that because He may have a different opinion than your husband and mother-in-law.

        1. Thanks, Anne! Actually I’m really the best at “deep-cleaning”, probably a little obsessive-compulsive; I can spend 3 hours cleaning the bathroom, but when I’m done – you could live in there! I’ll scrub walls, baseboards, wash windows….. what I need to improve on is maintaining the house; a daily routine that keeps what I’ve cleaned from getting into a mess again!
          I didn’t mean to make it sound so bad. I will tell the story behind why my oldest son wont let me do his laundry. When he was maybe 13 and played baseball, after one game his uniform was really filthy. I decided to take it to the laundromat instead of using my own washer. The shirt was gray and forest green. Well, the person before me must have used something in that washer, because when I took the shirt out, the forest green had changed color to a much different lighter green. So he looked different than the other players. I was horrified! So I’ve never lived that one down!
          But, you know, instead of my being jealous of my mom-in-law, I could instead choose to admire her organization and even take a step in the right direction and ask her for some helpful tips. I know I have other good qualities, like I was always good at taking care of my kids when they were sick. Once when he was in high school and really sick and I was spoon feeding him chicken noodle soup, my son said to me he was really glad to have me to take care of him. It’s me being sensitive; I read somewhere that when boys grow to men, they go through a period where they push mom away.

        2. They do but when they come back it is glorious. Let them go and let Dad handle them. Just love them.

    3. Elizabeth

      Im not a writer or a singer or talented at anything special! But I am HIS and that is all that is required here… in fact, you don’t even have to spell:)
      I love that your here with the rest of us….I think we would all say we are just fellow children of God trying to do the best we can with what HE has entrusted us with.

  22. Thank you all for your encouragement; “When Jesus is first, when He is filling our void, then the good things no longer become ultimate things and they move into what they were intended to be – gifts, not gods.” (Dee) and Fellowsojourner, your thoughts about how when we let family and children become more to us than Christ is to us, then we take Him off the throne.
    I think what it comes down to for me, in the moment of decision, is do I really believe and trust that Jesus can be all to me; I know intellectually that He can and is, but how to experience it can be the problem for me!
    I remember, Dee, when we went through The God of All Comfort, and you told of a night when you were trying to sleep and missing Steve, and you were fretting like a child (the nursing baby example); that Jesus was right there but it took you some time to experience His comfort.
    I often complain to the Lord that “I can’t see you or touch you, I can’t hug you or talk to you face to face, you can’t sit down with me at the kitchen table and keep me company – you are there but you are invisible! How can I experience your presence?”
    I am seeing that I have a craving for SOMEONE to give me significance! To make me feel like I have a purpose and a meaning to my life. Then I turn to my idols for help. That’s when I try to use my children, for example, as my idols so I can feel significant; moving them from their proper place as gifts and blessings into idols to worship.
    Now I have another train of thought. Proper worship of God is worshipping and loving Him for the sake of Him alone. When I worship my idols, however, the sneaky thing is that in a way, I’m not really worshipping the idols, because it all turns back on myself; I’m getting something out of it, it’s self-centered worship at its heart. So I can say my children are number one and I love them but, if I’m trying to get significance from them, it’s not really about them, it’s about me! I hope this makes some sense. When God is on the throne of my life, everything is in its proper place and order, including me!

    1. Susan–I started to quote certain parts of this post of yours that really struck a chord–and soon realized I’d highlighted almost the whole thing! These are really profound thoughts–helps me so much–especially those last 2 paragraphs. Wow.

  23. Ladies, here is an applicable song of encouragement that I came across while looking for music to do..I love this artist and this song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1q8pWgDsv1E

    The Lyrics: “If You Want Me To” by Ginny Owens

    The pathway is broken
    And The signs are unclear
    And I don’t know the reason
    why You brought me here
    But just because You love me the way that You do
    I’m gonna walk through the valley
    If You want me to

    Chorus:
    Cause I’m not who I was
    When I took my first step
    And I’m clinging to the promise
    You’re not through with me yet
    so if all of these trials bring me closer to you
    Then I will go through the fire
    If You want me to

    It may not be the way I would have chosen
    [ Find more Lyrics on http://mp3lyrics.org/XZn ]
    When you lead me through a
    world that’s not my home
    But You never said it would be easy
    You only said I’d never go alone

    So When the whole world turns against me
    And I’m all by myself
    And I can’t hear You answer my cries for help
    I’ll remember the suffering
    Your love put You through
    And I will go through the valley
    If You want me to

    When I cross over Jordan,
    I’m gonna sing, gonna shout
    I’m gonna look into Your eyes and see
    You never let me down
    So take me on the pathway that
    will lead me home to You
    And I will walk through the valley
    If You want me to

    Yes, I will walk through the valley
    If You want me to

  24. 5. I’m trying to go slow with this one and pray because I feel so befuddled. I don’t see victory and sense blindness. I am still putting way too much importance on what other people think and not enough on what God thinks. I actually take His love for granted. It is embarrassing for me to even say this. It isn’t so much willful sin but just not being honest before Him. Lord, please help me to see this clearly and find answers that I can apply to my life. Help us to see our idols for what they are, chains. Lord, we want to be free, to be the women You created us to be. Thank You that because of Your truth and the power of Your Spirit within us, we will be. There is a road to victory for each one of us and we trust You to lead us on.
    I love The Last Battle when Aslan kept calling them ‘further up and further in’. This is where I would like to go.

    1. Anne, I am right there with you and I am sure most of us here are..I do think based on your heart in this comment that you are pressing further up and further in.

  25. Rebecca, I love the video you shared. Very appropriate.

  26. Hi ladies, just tonight I was talking to someone who is in a BSF group. I haven’t heard too much about BSF – a few comments here and there, so I really had no idea how it worked. Well, the woman I was talking with explained to me, that only the people who participate in the study have the right to join the discussion group, and I thought well maybe perhaps this group too feels that way because I know sometimes I have just jumped in with a comment or two and maybe that is out of place, so I have to apologize to you all. Great study ladies – you do a great job!!

    1. Fellowsojourner, I know that isn’t the way it works for this study, but I can see why BSF and CBS do it that way..We LOVE your input so keep commenting girlfriend!! ♥

      1. 🙂 Thanks Rebecca!

  27. Read Numbers 11:31-35.

    7. Describe what happens here. What phrases stick out to you and why?

    * God sent a wind out and drove the Quail out from the Sea inland. The ones who were complaining about the manna and who were ‘painting pictures of Egypt’ most likely were the ones who went after the quail. Before the quail could get past their teeth God’s anger burned against them and struck them with a plague. They named the place Kibroth Hattaavah because they buried the people there who craved other food.

    * The last part..”They named the place Kibroth Hattavah”..I looked it up and it means the graves of the longing or of lust. So, it wasn’t just that they had a momentary craving for some other food, it was that they were ‘lusting’ after it..It consumed them more than God..

  28. 8. What do you CRAVE besides God? What deceitful thoughts do you have in the moments of craving?

    * For some reason my mind went blank here..

    * o.k. wait..God has brought something more specific to mind. I am a perfectionist with work and with singing or teaching children at church. Being a perfectionist is not good. I think it stems from trying to make up for being hurt in the past by my dad and sibling who made me feel I was stupid and could never do anything right. I longed for their approval..So I crave relief from the discomfort of feeling everything I say and do is stupid. I do this by deceiving myself into believing that it is better if I just step back in the areas God wants to use me in, like offering insight in bible studies, singing, etc. The truth? I am made in the image of God..God wants me to be confident of who I am in Christ and His power in me. I deceive myself daily by my thinking whenever I fail and even when I don’t fail..Nothing I do is good enough. It is CONDEMNATION..As Dee has said: yet GOD IS MORE POWERFUL than Satan and our condemning hearts, and all he asks is that I do my best, be faithful and leave the results to Him..

    Yet I know I need His mercy and grace each day as I walk with Him on this journey.

    1. Beautiful! 🙂

  29. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUbImPNsmng
    Oh how HE loves us……

    I am finding that the more the idols get out of the way the more I can REST in the knowledge of HIS love for me.
    Focus on Jesus and His love for us and all the rest will fade away, we won’t need the idols any more because we will be so filled up with HIM.

    the emotional needs of this family of mine are so much more then I can ever meet on my own, I need HIS wisdom and grace so badly!! 3 teenagers all trying to walk this road of faith in a very fallen world, 2 special needs little girls feeling like they were not loved by the ones who SHOULD have loved and kept them, I feel like I am mending hearts all day long….and that is the work of JESUS. I am so unfit for the task. I NEED to know how to let JESUS fill me up so that I can point these 5 precious souls to HIM.

    As I let go of the illusion that I can ever be enough, I give myself the freedom to fall into HIS arms and trust HIM. I can not do this, I was never meant to do this, only Jesus can do this.

    I stand before you today with tears in my eyes and hands wide open…i will never make everyone happy, I will never be able to mend every heart, I will never be a “good enough” friend, wife, mother, daughter to fill up the God sized hole in anyones heart….and thats a GOOD thing. they need HIM not me. Im off the hook. I don’t need to be enough for all the people I love…..

    I feel like the weight of the world was just lifted from my heart. Holy Spirit just spoke to me very clearly and loudly. He said that I have been trying to fill other peoples God sized holes…”let ME be God sweet child, let ME be God”…Oh the freedom of letting that go is more then I can express in words.

    1. Cyndi..That has to be one of the best songs..I am thankful to God it was written. I think He is using it to breathe this truth into many hearts. Here is an incredible version of the song. I think it is also a favorite of mine..The passion she puts into it is incredible: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JoC1ec-lYps

    2. Oh Cyndi…. wow, wow, wow. What you shared here was more than awesomely significant and powerful. “I’m off the hook. I don’t need to be enough for all the people I love…”
      That you said it’s a GOOD thing you can’t fill the hole, they need Him, not you.
      You have shared a really profound thing. As a woman, I feel the need to nurture and “fix” others’ problems, to try to fill the hole, but you are so right, we are not the Holy Spirit and we cannot do His job.

    3. “As I let go of the illusion that I can ever be enough, I give myself the freedom to fall into HIS arms and trust HIM. I can not do this, I was never meant to do this, only Jesus can do this.”
      cyndi, i needed this today–actually, i’ve needed to hear this for a long time! really good wisdom–bless you friend!

    4. I just have to say a big AMEN Cyndi!! Awesome Cyndi – thanks for sharing that – that was incredibly beautiful!! How he loves us Cyndi – there are no words! LOVE that song also! 🙂 oh…

    5. Cyndi, What you have said is so very profound! I really have to think about this because for several years now I have noticed that I sometimes get this very heavy feeling. I have begun to wonder what is the cause and when does it happen and it is almost always when I am at home or on my way there. It seems tied to my husband’s mood and to a lesser degree my children. What you have said crystallized it for me. I am taking the responsibility for the unhappiness of others and feeling an overwhelming sense of failure. Wow. I should step back, let God work in their lives and not feel guilty about it. Thank You Lord. And thank you Cyndi for sharing what the Lord revealed to you.

      1. yes Anne, thats exactly the feeling!! a very heavy feeling. I keep crying all day today, its as if that heavy feeling has been lifted, no its not “as if”, it HAS been lifted…..wow! there are no words.

        this was not me, this was ALL HIM! if what I wrote spoke to you it is because it was God speaking, not me. I keep on re-reading it and crying….I’m in awe of what HE spoke to my heart……

        1. Yes, in AWE…Awesome GOD!

  30. 6. What does Moses say to the Lord in verses 14-15?

    Moses is just ready to be done with these people. He says that he can’t carry the burden of this people all alone and asks God to just “kill me at once” (if You really love me!) – just get me out of here!

    How was Jesus a “better Moses”?

    Well, Jesus had to put up with alot more than Moses. Even His disciples often didn’t ‘get it’, and they’d be arguing about who would be first in the kingdom. His own family thought he had lost His mind, His hometown neighbors rejected Him, He was loved by some yet hated to the point of murder by many. And the part of Him that was Divine had to look at the whole of humanity and know the utter depravity and horror of all our collective sin, that He would die for those who would still revile Him. Yet He didn’t ask the Father to “get Me out of here”. As burdensome and sinful as we are, He laid down His life for us. And in the final hours of the Cross, He really did have to carry the burden all alone.

  31. 6. More on #6 about Jesus being a better Moses – check out the 3rd chapter of Hebrews, verses 2-6 especially…

    For He has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses…
    Now Moses was faithful in all His house as a servant…but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house…

    At the end of the chapter and into chapter 4 it talks about the Israelites not being able to “enter into His rest”. What Cyndi spoke of above seems to me that she has entered a place of rest.
    I was thinking about this as we struggle to uncover and replace our idols with Jesus, that as we do, we will be able to enter into His rest that He has promised us.

  32. 6. Moses tells the Lord that he would rather die than continue in His calling. Moses was called as deliverer for his people but he said the weight of them was too much for him. The truth is that God would not have called him if He was not going to equip him, but Moses chaffed under the burden of them. I think the people irritated him with all of their complaining and his tendency was to try to fix their problems himself rather than giving them to the Lord. Jesus on the other hand, went to the cross willingly. I remember Him ‘setting His face toward Jerusalem’ knowing what would happen there. His love for us was perfect and because of it He went willingly to the cross, delivering His people. Jesus was a better Moses because He was able to truly deliver His people.

  33. 7. The Lord sent a wind that blew in quail 3 feet deep for miles around the camp. How could they even walk much less find a place to lay out the bushels and bushels they gathered? After their experience with gathering manna they should have known not to gather more than a day’s worth. God was speaking to them in dumping these quail on them but they were not listening. They were craving and full of greed to satisfy them selves. As soon as they began to eat His anger burned against them. The act of satisfying their craving brought His judgment on them.

    1. Dee, Will pray today!

    2. Praying for you too Dee!

  34. This morning I have had a wonderful time of devotion in Psalm 33. I don’t have time to share it right now but I don want to share thoughts from Mark 12:32-34 because it is about the disconnect from head to heart when it comes to idols. The thought I had is that head knowledge without heart change leaves us ‘not far’ from the kingdom of God. This is the road we travel right now and I am so excited about it!

    1. Anne, O.K. you challenged me to read Psalm 33..I did..I had a wonderful time of praise and adoration this morning. 🙂

      1. I’m so glad you were also blessed Rebecca.

  35. I answered #9 at the end of #8.

    10. My take away is also mentioned in #8. I am like Anne in the sense that I have to take things slowly. One question at a time. Like the cow who chews his cud and regurgitates it over and over. I don’t want to miss anything and I want what He has shown me to take root in my heart..Another take away is when Dee said that we are to ‘replace’ our idols with Jesus, not just refrain from them, and to be faithful in whatever I do, do my best and He has the results in His hands. Also, the Sara Groves song, “Painting Pictures of Egypt” really comforted me and the piggy back of Ginny Owens song. I want to daily have the heart of being willing to take Jesus hand with blindfold on and let Him lead me into the unknown..the scary..even if it hurts..even if it is tiring and I get hungry..Oh God to be found in your arms in the midst of life whatever comes my way.

    I am going to commit to getting before the Lord every morning like I am, but I want Him to make in me a heart like this where I will rest in His arms for that day and go with the blindfold on with full confidence and rest in him.

    Also, what I see in me is that I can be just like these complaining Israelites. I can’t say that I wouldn’t have been greedy with the quail..I also see BECAUSE OF THE GRACE OF GOD that I can be like Mary as well..broken and spilled out sometimes weekly, sometimes daily. I am SO thankful for his love and his grace, daily, in my life. I am thankful for the Holy Spirit He gave to counsel me, to quicken me and to strengthen me to take that step of faith into his arms as we walk through the unknown of the day together. Stepping into the unknown with my idol leads to ruin, stepping into it with Jesus leads to beauty and it keeps getting better..

  36. Oh, and I just received my ticket to Dee’s upcoming women’s conference April 2nd in Kansas City, Mo!!! I am SO excited..I was able to buy my mom and I tickets on the front row and we get to eat lunch with Dee and Sara Groves and the other women who bought those tickets..I am also thrilled as to where the ticket proceeds are going.. to International Justice Mission. I have some friends who are coming and who I am praying for. I know God will do a mighty work there as he did the last time I went.

    Ladies, if you live around here or in a neighboring state please come!! Here is the link for more information: http://www.gashland.org/saragroves/

  37. All your comments and responses touch my heart. So many rich responses and comments, it’s like a beautiful tapestry helping me to see more clearly the face of Jesus. Thanks ladies! Oh, how he loves us…….!!!!!

    1. Fellowsojourner,

      Amen!! 🙂

  38. 8. What do you CRAVE besides God? What deceitful thoughts do you have in the moments of craving? This question is hard for me. I have left it several times to come back to later. I crave approval from others. I think that I deceive myself by thinking these are good things I strive for. They are all good things so what could be wrong with them? Doing my job well, having a nice home or being a blessing to others are all good things, but if they are my identity instead of Christ I deceive myself.

    9. How could you allow God to meet the above need? How you could speak to your soul? I think I could ask Him to show me how I can be a blessing to Him. I think that when I do those things all of the other things may come also but if they don’t I must leave that to the Lord. First I must make sure that I am doing all that He has called me to. When I feel the dread of inadequacy I must stop and examine myself for operation of my idol.

    10. What’s your take-a-way this week? My take away this week is huge! Cyndi’s word from the Lord resonated in my soul. I am not God and I must stop trying and failing. God is God and over the last year He has steadily shown me what He can do. Maybe that is why I am so ready to hear this.

    A few weeks ago I memorized Psalm 44:1-5 because its promise spoke to me. As I memorized it was like balm to my soul. Today I went back because I had forgotten it and the same thing happened again as I memorized I felt God speaking to the deep place of fear in my heart. I have sensed a promise for me from this passage for many years now but memorizing it has done something so special for me. I will speak it to my soul when I experience fear over my children.

  39. I am out the door for work, but I just have to share that I just finished listening to the pastor at Redeemer. WOW!! I would so encourage you to listen if you have not yet. Gifted speaker, but also spoke truth from the Word of God. I was convicted, and clearly saw myself as he spoke of the Israelites and their complaining and wanting to return to slavery!!!! The Holy Spirit opened my eyes, and I saw sooooooo clearly that sin is a power over me, not just a behavior that I do. I have been so foolish and trying to satisfy the desires of my heart by fixing a behavior, when all along what I needed to break was the power of sin. The only way to do that is by His power. I have heard this before to be sure, but you know I “saw” today! God is soooo good! Well, off to work I go. Be blessed today girls!

    1. Robin, WOW.. what a blessing you are already! I am looking forward to hear what God is showing you as time goes on and learning more from you. 🙂

  40. 1. In vs. 1-3 I see how the people became discontent with what the Lord had provided for them and they started complaining. What they left suddenly appealed to them, and what they had they grew tired of. I think complaining reveals a spirit of ungratefulness, even selfishness. Instead of being contentment with what is provided for me, that is meeting my needs, I long for something more, that goes beyond a need into a want.
    2. The people were craving meat, fish, cucumbers, onions, leeks, melons, garlic, many of the things they had left behind in Egypt. I think their idol was their appetites, and the comfort of their slavery. The cravings of my idols are comfort and familiarity, the need to be noticed and accepted, sometimes even better than. If my idol is food, which is where my biggest issues lie, than my cravings are for the instant gratification that comes with eating that chocolate, or cake, or whatever it is that is available to me.
    3. They only remember the good things they had while they were in slavery! They forget that now they are free from the slavery, because all of a sudden they can’t remember all the pain and anguish they left behind, and it is kind of funny to think that they forget the pain they had endured, and were longing to go back there for some meat, fish, garlic, onions, and cucumbers! Seems funny to ready about it, but I would bet that if I could read a story of my struggles with idols, it would read much the same way….”oh…..if only I had the package of bakery cookies to eat…..then I would be soooo happy and content and I would “feel good” because they taste soooo good!” Then I think….really Robin? You are on your way to a healthy body eating good healthy food, and you would trade freedom from the food for bondage to overeating? Seems comical, if it were not so true in my own life.
    4. Love that song, never heard it before, but the words are so true and hit close to home. They were painting pictures of life as they remembered it not how it really was. They were “painting pictures of Egypt, forgetting what it lacked. The future seems so hard and I want go back…” I feel like that describes the Israelites, and it describes where I am right now too.
    5) I deceive myself by believing the lie that I can eat whatever I want and not gain weight and still be healthy. I can spend whatever I want and I don’t have to consider what my husband says about over-spending, after all, I work too. If I just loose these last 10 pounds then I will feel good about me, and surely someone will notice that I look good for my age! I only matter when I look good on the outside. These are some of the lies that I have believed, and they have kept me in bondage for many years. Like the song says, I remember only the fleeting momentary good feeling that comes whenever I eat something, or buy something, or I receive a compliment, but I forget the shame, and the guilt, the feeling of seperation from the Lord and disappointment that lasts far longer than any feeling of happiness.
    6) Moses said that he could not carry the burdens of all the people by himself. He would rather die. Jesus was a better Moses, because Praise God, He could carry all of our burdens!!!!!! And He did die, but not because He couldn’t carry our burdens, but so that we would not have to on our own!!!!!!