YOU NEED ONLY TO BE STILL

“The Bible is a unity.

That is, perhaps, the most amazing

of all the amazing things that are true of it.

Sixty-six separate units.

Written over one thousand years

by people who worked, for the most part, independently of one another…

and yet it has an organic wholeness that is simply stunning.” 

  D. A. Carson from his book:

(The Unfolding Mystery: Discovering Christ in the Old Testament)

We’ve seen Jesus in Genesis, and then again in the Song of Songs.

This week we will see His gospel foreshadowed in Exodus 14.

We will also consider how we have seen Him move in our lives

when we applied the principle of Exodus 14,

a principle we need to apply every day of our lives!

 

 

Giving up control and trusting God will be a lifelong battle for me,

but indeed, I HAVE seen Him fight for me when I

“stand still and see what He will do.”

It isn’t enough to stop my sin,

I must trust that God will move.

For example, I have to stop running to the pantry,

and start telling my soul:

“Be still, endure this temporary pain, and see what God will do.”

In doing that, I lost the weight I gained in my grief of losing Steve,

and recovered so much joy.

Another example: I have to stop manipulating my adult children

I turn over the reins to Him and see what He will do.

In doing that, I am seeing God move,

and recovering the joy of sweet fellowship with my children.

My children want to be with me now,

so that helps their children be together and become friends.

As I watched two of my daughter’s daughters running on the rocks

in front of the cottage, I thanked God with my whole heart for doing what I

could not do:

bringing peace and harmony to my family.

Will He always work the way we hope He will?

No, for He is mysterious.

This last Friday, a furious storm came to our bay.

 

When I saw how high the waves were getting,

I feared my son-in-law’s boat

would be lifted from the lift.

I prayed it would not be.

But indeed, it was.

The next morning his boat was under water,

my canoe was bent in two and stuck in my neighbor’s dock,

my pier was split in two,

and my boat lift listed, broken, in the water.

 

I looked at the wreckage and indeed, was sad.

But I know God is the Lord of the storm

and He will do all things well in His time.

Though this was nothing compared to losing Steve,

I did sing Be Still My Soul throughout the day

thankful to be able to tell those truths to my anxious soul:

Be still my soul, The Lord is on your side…

Sunday:

1. What stands out to you from the above and why?

 

2. What do you need to let go and watch and see what God will do? 

Monday-Wednesday: Exodus 14

3. Read Exodus 14 slowly and share anything that jumps out at you and explain why.

4. Describe the scene and why it might have produced fear in the Israelites. (vs. 6-10)

5. What are you fearful of now in your life? How could you speak to your soul?

My dear editor, Elisa Morgan Fryling, who is facing a hurricane storm right now in her life, introduced me to Leigh Nash, who sings contemporary versions of the old hymns. Here is her version of Be Still My Soul:

 

6. Describe the dialogue between the people and Moses in verses 11-14.

7. Describe a “God hunt” time when you stopped fretting, controlling, or sinning and put your faith in God and saw Him fight for you.

8. Describe all the miracles the Israelites witnessed in verses 19-30.

9. Challenge Question: How is this a picture of the gospel?

10. The gospel not only can save from the penalty of sin, but also the power of sin. Where do you need to trust so you may be saved from the power of sin? How will you put this into practice today?

 

 

Thursday-Friday: Keller on Exodus 14 – Classic Keller!

 

 

11. Share your notes and comments.  

12. Share any God hunts from the week.

Saturday

13. What is your take-a-way and why?

 

 

 

COMMENTS (82) Post a New Comment ↓
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What stands out to you?

“tell my soul”of His truth… Exodus 14…to stand still and see what God will do. Giving up control. Yes, Dee. Am like you on a daily basis. I like to play God especially with my relationship with my daughter. I so long for her to be at a particular point in her relationship with God. This verse from Exodus 14  is a reminder again for me to just be still and let God do His mighty works in my daughter’s heart. To stand STILL. Positionally, if I stand still, my eyes (physically and spiritually) will only be focused front forward. May they be like dove eyes, focused and seeing of God.

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    I so empathize, Bing — let us see what God will do when we trust Him!

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Sunday: 
1. What stands out to you from the above and why?
The concept of being still before God.  I woke up with a song running through my mind this morning that we sing in our church called “Word of God Speak”  by Metcy Me. The chorus speaks to this Be still theme
[CHORUS]Word of God speakWould You pour down like rainWashing my eyes to seeYour majestyTo be still and knowThat You’re in this placePlease let me stay and restIn Your holiness Word of God speak

Looking forward to the preaching this morning.
2. What do you need to let go and watch and see what God will do? 
I find I am struggling with fears relating to my health. I just haven’t felt good for sometime and will be seeing my doctor for some regular checkups soon but I know my trust has to be in God and his good hand on my life.  I really hate the whole doctor thing and the battery of tests that can happen.  I want to be in control.  I need to remember some of you and your testimonies in this regard.

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    Bad health is a constant irritant, so I understand how hard it is to be still and wait. I also understand the fear of a battery of tests. Praying for your trust and for God to be with you, either stilling the storm or stilling His child.

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1. What stands out to you from the above and why?
 

The wreckage of my life as compared to your wreckage at the lake. I pray God can come and make straight my family life.

2. What do you need to let go and watch and see what God will do? 
 

I am trying hard hard to let go of my daughter and see what He does in her life with her boyfriend. Meanwhile, I pray my husband and I  am manage with children until something comes of her plans (or not). This is probably one of the hardest things I have ever done.

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    Oh my yes, Laura. We are watching and praying with you.

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      👍

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    Yes Laura, I have been watching and praying too. Keep us posted.

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1. What stands out to you from the above and why?

This was a comfort-a breath of fresh air for I too struggle for it will be a lifelong battle trusting God. Every example you gave resonates with me. I hope this is part of your new book. :-)

And oh-your pier and your boat ramp and Phil’s boat-those pictures broke my heart..:( :( :( Instead of fretting you sang be still my soul- for He is on your side. And you are waiting to see what He will do. I love these stories because always He moves and sometimes it is totally different than you planned.

This is so what He wanted me to hear this morning for we have a “storm” ahead in the next two weeks and I have fretted and prayed and fretted and prayed. Something unjust happened to my oldest which will cost us a lot of money that we don’t have. He is going to pay us back but I am thinking of not letting him. I am praying God will come and make this just but even if He chooses not to what resonated with me also this morning is trust and “see what God will do”-yes. :) Instead of trusting, when worry tempts me I just push it aside and try not to think about it-comfort idol. BUT when you said be still my soul God is on my side-oh. You pressed in instead of backing away. He wants me to press in and trust Him and wait and see what He will do! It may not look anything like what I want but I know for SURE it will be glorious.

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    Oh Rebecca — so sorry — but I am with you in praying that God will do something glorious in hearts and lives!

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1). What stood out to me was how you could look at the fruit of your labors & prayers for your family Dee, & see your children & grandchildren getting along with eachother & living in peace. Praise God…after all my years of tears & prayers I believe I am seeing that happen too. Not perfectly but seeing my kids making their own relationships & traveling together as young adults. Peace in my home tho far from intimate, my husband & I are good company for eachother. Oh Lord, continue to do what only You can do.

So sad about the wreckage of your pier. It is such a beautiful place. May the Lord provide for the re-building :)

Dear Laura, yes I have known that wreckage in my own family too, but will pray that the Lord will work on your behalf & make “all things beautiful in His time”, in His own mysterious way.

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    Jenny – so identify — Not perfectly but yes, God on the move.

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Well, it is a teary Sunday morning here in Montana as I read through this week’s study, Dee.    Thank you for your vulnerability for it helps me to know that I am not alone in this battle.

 

“Giving up control and trusting God will be a lifelong battle for me, but indeed, I HAVE seen Him fight for me when  I ‘Stand still and see what He will do.’ ”

 

And nothing tempts me to take control more than when I see my adult children painfully struggling with life.  I have witnessed His care and intervention on their behalf, but it seems there is always potentially a storm on the horizon and a mom can just get battle weary.     Thank you, Dee, for the encouragement to speak to our very soul and remind ourselves of what is true.

 

I providentially stumbled on to this blog a little over three years ago.   I was reminded last week about your study in Psalm 42, 43 from three years ago and I went back and reviewed it.    It is entitled:   Why Are You Downcast Oh My Soul

 

Life-giving.

 

https://deebrestin.com/2014/10/why-are-you-downcast-o-my-soul-psalms-42-43/

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    Thanks, Nila for sharing the link. I feel similarly in your struggles. For me it is with our daughter. And like you, I am thankful for Dee and this blog and our sisterhood in reminding me to speak truth to my soul.

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Life-giving words from dear Nila.

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1. What stands out to you from the above and why?

The storm. Oh my. I am so sorry about the damage you sustained, Dee.

I too am in two storms involving my children, affecting both a son and a daughter as well as my grandchildren. Both are private things that I cannot share here, but please pray for us that the waves will not overwhelm us. The implications are scary and HUGE for us. And pray for my husband and I as we stand still and wait on the Lord to see what He will do, and as we must step out into the waves.

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    Diane, keeping your family in my prayers.

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    Thanks for sharing and will be praying. So hard.

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    Oh Diane, I will pray..so painful.

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    Diane ~

    May you have unusual courage as you “must step out into the waves.”    The Lord knows.

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I am impressed with the family struggles that have been related so far on the blog today.  We have an enemy who is attacking and seeking to destroy families on all fronts. This past Friday evening we were going to grab a quick sandwich at a fast food restaurant in town but kind of oddly changed our minds and went to another. It happened some old friends from the past were traveling through town and stopped to eat so we invited them to join us. In the course of the conversation they shared they were headed to their daughter’s home because of a family crises with a grandchild. With tears we shared some related struggles from the past in our family and prayed for them on their way.  My heart aches over these struggles.

This is the week we head to Colorado for our family vacation to celebrate our 50th anniversary. It will be the first time all four of our children and their spouses have been together in almost 4 years.  We are hopeful this will be a rebuilding time in our relationships which have been strained. We feel We have an opportunity to speak love into their lives as we testify to God’s amazing grace in our marriage. It will be neutral ground and hopefully some of the old selfishness and hurt will give way to some genuine caring for each other.  We will pray and trust God to work.

Laura, Rebecca & Diane I will pray for the special needs in your families. Over the years we have weathered some hard stuff in our families and God was always faithful to carry us through.

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    Sweet God connecting you with those old friends.

    May He do mighty things on your family re-union. Congratulations on 50 years!

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    Oh Bev! Thank you for praying and happy anniversary as well! How wonderful that you will have all your children with you for your celebration. That sounds nice. I will pray for a peaceful union.

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    Bev, wishing you a Happy Anniversary, and a wonderful week with your family!

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1. What stands out to you from the above and why?

 

Giving up control and trusting God will be a lifelong battle….I wish it weren’t so! But it is for me, too. So much in this life is simply out of our control; the only thing that we can control is our perspective. I am learning this through a sermon series by Chip Ingram, and it is so true that when my focus is inward on what I don’t have, what’s wrong with everything, it’s not fair – then everything spirals downward. When my focus is upward on God, then it leads to being able to bless others. I can relate so much with Dee in that battle to want to control our adult children.

 

2. What do you need to let go and watch and see what God will do?

 

I need to let go of my expectations, and that is so hard to do….what I expect from other people, or my expectations of how my life or the lives of others should be, according to me. As Nila said, it is hard to watch your adult child struggle. I worry and fret about one of my sons and the loneliness in his life, how he lives so far away and the painful ending of his relationship over a year ago with the girl that he thought he would marry after college. Through everyone’s comments, it seems that we all have difficult and even painful, fearful circumstances in our families.

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    Susan, this is so you and so important, “When my focus is upward on God, then it leads to being able to bless others.”  

    When it isn’t we spiral downward into self-centeredness. So true.

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      agree so much with this!

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    I’ve been missing you, Susan — and I know you have so much that is hard. Yet I do believe God is working silently and praying for you to be able to see some fruit.

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    Susan, 

    This resonates with me:   I need to let go of my expectations, and that is so hard to do….what I expect from other people, or my expectations of how my life or the lives of others should be, according to me.

    Reminds me of a book I read in 2011 entitled Life as We Would Want It….Life as We Are Given It  by Ken Gire.   So, I just pulled it off the book shelf and blew the dust off.     He talks about the disorienting  upheavals in our lives, likening them to the physical upheavals in the creation of our earth:

     

    Gripping contractions within the earth pushed great formations of rock to crown its surface.  The sounds of labor were deafening.  If you lived here, you would have fled for your life, if your life had even survived the ordeal.   With a grating scream and one final push, the Rocky Mountains were born, and a great granite nakedness lay shivering on the earth’s surface…….  What a price to pay for beauty.  Was it worth it, I wonder?   Was the majestic beauty of the Rockies worth the terrifying upheavals that produced them?……… An  unqualified yes.    But then, I’m the one on the back deck, admiring the view…… not the one in labor, giving birth.    

     

    I live near the Rocky Mountains and regularly soak in their  penetrating beauty.     And in their healing beauty, I am reminded that nothing (not even these disorienting, painful circumstances) ….nothing is wasted in the hands of our Redeemer.    Help us Lord, for You know how easily we become fearful and disoriented.

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3. Read Exodus 14 slowly and share anything that jumps out at you and explain why.  

Verses 17 and 18 stood out.

…“17 I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them. And I will gain glory through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen. 18 The Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I gain glory through Pharaoh, his chariots and his horsemen.”

First, this put me in awe for God glorifies himself through our enemy too. Secondly, it isn’t that I don’t believe God will fight for me for I know He will-but how and when He does so is a mystery-and that is where I struggle to trust-like the Israelites did.

The question for me this morning is do I want relief more so than Him being glorified? Are my desires inordinate? Do I love Him so much that I desire His Glory more than my comfort? What if not fixing things will melt hearts for Him which is far better than anything going well for me here on earth but is my heart really that melted for Him? I feel like an impostor sometimes when I see the reality of my heart when trials happen!! I hate that about myself. Yet He loves me and I trust He will always do what is best for me. I want my first response more and more to be trust-pressing in like Dee did when the destructive winds came. That has to grow in me for I am not what I should be yet but what melts me to trust is He loves me as I am and He knows my struggle and is working to help my first response be more and more to trust.   

 

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    Rebecca, such good questions you are asking yourself! “Do I want relief more than Him being glorified?” I need to ask myself these questions too for I long for relief, easy answers and pleasant outcomes! What if God is calling us to hard answers, difficult journeys, and no relief for now but a “long obedience in the same direction” just the same so that He may be glorified? How do I glorify God in my response to the “hard” that is in this moment?

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      Diane, yes what if God is calling us to hard answers,  difficult journeys, and no relief for now. so good. This sounds macabre but maybe suffering is the only way we can truly turn from our idols and taste His beauty which is better than any good thing happening to us on this earth-for He is joy everlasting and water ever giving-certainly NOT temporary like what this world offers.  It is upside down from the world. I think the more my heart is revealed the more pain it causes me, yes, yet joy that He is rescuing me and empowering me to turn and to even want Him! This makes me want Him more and want to turn.  Yet He has a lot of work to do in my heart!

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Rebecca — I love the questions you are asking. Ones we all need to ask.

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3. Read Exodus 14 slowly and share anything that jumps out at you and explain why.

In verse 14 Moses says, The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent.   It is his response and advice after listening to their complaining.     Its like saying, “if you can’t say something hopeful and with gratitude, then don’t speak.   Just watch this undeserved mercy of the Lord on your behalf  ~   coming in spite of your complaining.”

My fear drives my complaining.    How grateful I am to his mercy for me and that He reminds me just to press close.

 

Someone once helped me understand that we are like a full cup.   And when the cup is bumped or jolted, what spills out is what we are filled with.   So, if/when I am full of fear when the storm hits, the fear spills out as well as words of complaint.

How many times does Jesus tell us to ,  “fear not” ?    For he knows how quickly fearful we can become and He does not reject us for it.    He does give us a better way to respond to this stormy life ~  offering shelter right next to Him.     I’m still learning and establishing new responses to what life brings.   So grateful that He cares for me no matter what.

 

Missing Jill and Jackie and Renee  in our discussions here ~

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    Nila, I’ve heard that “Fear not” is the most repeated command in the Bible — not sure if it is true, but it certainly does appear a lot!

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    Nila this is good! I also miss our sisters who have such good viewpoints to consider.

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3. Read Exodus 14 slowly and share anything that jumps out at you and explain why. 
 

I guess that the Israelites are wimps, really. The minute it gets hard, they give up. I have never been one to do that; buckle when the going gets tough. I am struggling with a person like this right now in my life, who just gave up because life got a little bit hard. I will say though, my digging in is all about me, and not about God usually. I need to actually realize to dig in knowing that He will be the great Provider.

 
4. Describe the scene and why it might have produced fear in the Israelites. (vs. 6-10) 
 

This scripture is about the Israelites being freed from Pharaoh as slaves, Pharaoh changing his mind and racing after them to bring them back, and God providing the way out for His people.

 

Oh my! Initially, I would have been afraid of the army chasing after me. I would have been terrified to see huge walls of water on either side of me also! I think the freedom might have been scary at first.

 
5. What are you fearful of now in your life? How could you speak to your soul?
 

I am so fearful of my grandchildren being taken to NYC to live. I think I should do as Susan suggests and continue to look up to God and not play “scenes” in my mind of what could happen to them. I can pray that He helps me to know He is in control, not me. He is for me, He is not against me. Yes, be still my soul, the Lord is on my side. Thank You Jesus, for loving me and guiding me through life.

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4. Describe the scene and why it might have produced fear in the Israelites. (vs. 6-10) 

The Egyptian army was mighty and there were hundreds. All of a sudden the Israelites see them coming after them and the only place they could run was into the sea so they were frightened. I would have been scared to death! The only choices in that moment were to drown in the sea or let the Egyptians overtake them. It could have meant death or back to Egypt to be slaves.

 

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    I was just thinking that the Israelites were enslaved for 400 years so all they knew was oppression and abuse. It is becoming harder for me to be hard on them! My trials compared to theirs is beans. When they saw the Egyptians coming I can’t imagine their fright -all the horror coming at them at once.

     

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      Love this: “It is becoming harder for me to be hard on them.”

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6. Describe the dialogue between the people and Moses in verses 11-14. 
 

The Israelites are whining that they should have stayed in Egypt, because they were better off. Moses tells them that God is fighting for them and they should be patient.

 
7. Describe a “God hunt” time when you stopped fretting, controlling, or sinning and put your faith in God and saw Him fight for you.
 

I am in the midst of a time like this right now. I am determined to not give up hope that God will prevail in our lives; today. I am waiting for Him to reveal His beauty for us. I will not fret or worry. He is good and brings good to those who have faith.

 

 

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8. Describe all the miracles the Israelites witnessed in verses 19-30. 
 

They witnessed a cloud that seemed to move in front and behind them. They saw Moses push back the waters of a great sea and then they were held up for the Israelites to manage through to the other side. They saw an angel. They witnessed the Egyptians being consumed by the sea. This was accomplished by Moses moving his hand and the waters coming back together. In all they saw they were amazed.

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6. Describe the dialogue between the people and Moses in verses 11-14.
The people were angry at Moses for bringing them there and they began to fret and lash out. They basically accused Moses of being a fool and as a result they could die. They didn’t trust God. Interesting how when they saw the Egyptians coming they cried out to God but then turned and got angry at Moses thinking it would have been better to have remained slaves in Egypt. SO like us.

Moses responded comforting them telling them not to be afraid, stand firm and be still for God will fight for you. The Egyptians you see will be no more. God will deliver you.

 

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9. Challenge Question: How is this a picture of the gospel?
 

I can see the Trinity here…The cloud of smoke reminds me of the Holy Spirit. God is in control using Moses as His servant. Hmmm not sure about Jesus.

 

The Gospel (pardon me for talking myself through – it’s what I need to do to understand) is the “good news” of Jesus Christ who came to earth as a man, who took our sins upon Himself to save us from wrath. He was raised from the dead after three days, ascended to heaven, sits at the right hand of God, and will come again to take us home.  Are the Israelites returning “home?” I suppose they are. Did God make it possible? I think He did. Was there a “mediator?” I think Moses could be considered that. Is this what you are thinking Dee?

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7. Describe a “God hunt” time when you stopped fretting, controlling, or sinning and put your faith in God and saw Him fight for you.

I asked God to change a heart in regard to a possible decision that I felt was foolish for it would have had bad ramifications-and this person was dead set on doing it. At first my heart fretted and tried to manipulate change but then I trusted God and He fought for me. He changed this person’s heart the next day-it was SO Him for this person said it felt like God didn’t want them to move forward with this decision. There are a few more instances with this person where God has fought for me but I am unable to share here. :)

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    Love hearing this, Rebecca.

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8. Describe all the miracles the Israelites witnessed in verses 19-30.

The Angel of God and the Pillar of cloud moved from the front and got behind them so that they could be protected from the Egyptians.

The cloud brought darkness to one side and light to the other side so neither went near the other all night long.

Then all  that night as Moses held up his arm, God divided the sea with a strong east wind. Then the Isrealites went across the sea on dry land.

The Egyptians followed and God made their wheels stick so they would get stuck and then they got scared and wanted to turn back, but then God had Moses hold his hand up and God closed the waters on the Egyptians and killed them all. He saved Israel from the Egyptians and as they saw the dead Egyptians they feared God and put their trust in Him.

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9. Challenge Question: How is this a picture of the gospel?

The Israelites were being saved by His Grace. They were stubborn, filled with idolatry, sinful, and not trusting God YET He saved them. Jesus saved me not because I deserved it for I am sinful, not because I was good, but because He loves me and wanted to make me one with Him, and He wants to make me Holy.

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3. Read Exodus 14 slowly and share anything that jumps out at you and explain why.
400 years of slavery mindset and not knowing anything different. With slavery came hard labor and oppression and yet the Israelites felt they would rather have died as slaves in Egypt than in the unknown wilderness. How like me to go back to what is familiar rather than going forward boldly standing on the promises of my Great Moses.
4. Describe the scene and why it might have produced fear in the Israelites. (vs. 6-10)
The Pharaoh and his chosen officers and chariots were pursuing them. There is no way out as they were hemmed in by the Egyptians on one side and the Red Sea on the other. Either direction meant death and who would not be afraid of death?
5. What are you fearful of now in your life?
Fearful for my daughter who is going to move almost 1800 miles from us and her not knowing if she would have a job or not.
How could you speak to your soul?
I have been listening to discovertheword.org and the topic for this week is worship based on Psalm 100. Today, the focus was on verse 3 “Know that the Lord, he is God!     It is he who made us, and we are his;[a]     we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
 
The Lord, Jehovah-he is God. I am not. He made me and I am His and Ruth Ann is His. He is our great Shepherd and He will take care of us. Worship…this is what I need to do when I am afraid.

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“Worship…this is what I need to do when I am afraid. ”

Ernema, that is a good thought.

 

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I am SO sorry to be a day late–HAPPY BIRTHDAY DIANE!! So thankful for you and all your rich wisdom here. I only wish you lived next door! Love you dear sister!

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    Happy birthday Diane!!

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      Thanks, Laura. Are you at home yet? Upholding you in prayer. “Wait on the Lord!”

      I was just listening to a Keller sermon on Habakkuk 2:1-4 on being patient, remembering God’s “big picture” and continuing to be obedient to God, even when we are confused in hard time. It brought tears and I wish you could listen to it. It fits well with Dee’s study for us this week as well.

        Happy birthday, Diane! you have been a blessing to me. I thank God for our friendships here and sisterhood.

        I am finally home. Thank you for your prayers. I will update on fb later this morning. I need that Keller sermon for sure! I will listen this morning.

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    Thanks, Lizzy. Don’t worry about being late. I know you are so busy!! I was wondering if you could fill us in on how things are going. Any prayer requests?

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    Happy Birthday, Diane!

    Have been struggling with lots of fatigue for about a week now, so just getting on here and reading from time-to-time.

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      So great to hear from you, Mary e. Thanks for the birthday wishes! Sorry to hear about your fatigue! May God give you peace and patience as you wait on Him in the midst of your storm!

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Thanks Lizzy — yet — Diane — you are one of our long-term faithful sisters who add so much. I love you!

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    Dee, you are so sweet!

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God Hunt.

Yesterday in visiting with my prison ministry friend Linda Strom she was so discouraged — and she does not discourage easily. Funding for a Vital Project that was promised was not coming in and she has bills to pay. I said should I send out a letter asking for money? She said, “Would you send out a letter asking for prayer?” She knew then we could be still and see what He would do. Many are responding in prayer and giving — including many of you. So thankful!!!

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    I am so glad to hear the good news for the prison ministry, Dee.

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      Thanks dear Diane!

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10. The gospel not only can save from the penalty of sin, but also the power of sin. Where do you need to trust so you may be saved from the power of sin?

 

Hmm, the power of sin. So many things so little time! I am (trying) to read a small book written by John Wesley about being a perfect Christian. It is daunting to think of all the things I do each day that are not within that perfection; from speaking to my family members to choosing what to eat. Perfection means to put Him before each thing I do, each moment of each day. I am human and can’t comply much of the time! Right now I need to trust that He even cares about me at all. I am struggling with that idea because my family life is falling apart as I type this. It seems that He doesn’t love me or my family much. I need to have faith right now and not be led down the path of disavowing Him and turning away.

 

How will you put this into practice today?

 

I will listen to a few sermons/podcasts and music that helps me remember how much He cares about me.

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    Amen to that Bing! May the Lord give you wisdom & understanding  :)

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    Dear Laura, I always love your honesty & how real you are! Praying that the Lord will break thro as only He can…that you will know His love & care & compassion for you in a real & deep & tender way   :)

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7. Describe a “God hunt” time when you stopped fretting, controlling, or sinning and put your faith in God and saw Him fight for you.

I have been waking up early the last few days. As I lay there and ask God why am I awake :-), He has brought people to mind. Today was no different and so I realize He wants me to bring these people and myself to His throne of grace. So, Dee I am answering this as I anticipate a time that I may fret, control and sin. In fact today I will be meeting with the person in mind. She is a student who was adopted from China and has enrolled in my class. She has some learning challenges, Mom is a single parent, trying her best to give the best to her daughter, frustrated by the school system, and had made some “enemies” among teachers. The challenges sound gargantuan and I am starting to fret already. The Mom herself acts and sounds needy. Please pray with me that I will look to Jesus and reflect Him in my interactions with them. I get where they are coming from and understand some of the politics of the school system but the battle is not against these. And I have the Lord as my Banner and my Warrior. And may I have dove eyes to focus on and reflect the One who is Love.

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I’ve been reading along but didn’t answer all the earlier questions. Work has been so busy this week. Off today & just listened to Tim Keller…WOW, what a gift he has! The message was awesome & so clear & inspiring. I had never heard or thought of the gospel being in this passage until this week  :)

Exerpts: What Jesus accomplished on the cross for us, was the ultimate Exodus!

Salvation is “getting out”…   getting out of What; getting out How? And getting out Why?  1). What = bondage (there are layers);   How= Crossing over by Grace;   Why is it possible? Because we have a Mediator…Jesus …fully God & fully man.

We are not saved by the quality of our faith but by the Object of our faith…Jesus. It is all His work & all His grace. One minute we are on one side & under sentence of death, & the next we have “crossed over” from death to Life! Just need to “stand still & see the Salvation of the Lord”. How amazing is that?!

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    Love that you loved that message — I got to see him deliver it. Amazing.

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Comments on Tim Keller.

I will listen again because I had to listen piecemeal.  However, how enlightening! I actually got that Moses was the mediator and that God was rescuing His people just like He rescued them with His Son! Encouraging to me that I am understanding the Bible better.

 

12. Share any God hunts from the week.

 

Rough week for sure. My husband and I are caring for the 2 grandchildren and my daughter has left. I go back to work in a couple of weeks and we aren’t sure who we will find to help us care for them while we work. Yesterday in the mail I received 1 piece of mail (weird because there is usually a ton of “junk” mail). The note was an announcement that a certain company was settling a lawsuit brought upon them instead of going to court. It regarded marketing via cell phone to people between certain years. My daughter’s phone (!) was one of the numbers called. The card says the receiver could be getting up to $900 per line. Wow! I don’t want to be disappointed if this doesn’t happen, but I am definitely going to reply because we don’t have enough money for day care for 2 kids. I hope it’s true! It seems that maybe God is giving  us a bit of support. We would barely have enough to pay a regular sitter a “true” wage. We are praying.

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Comments on Tim Keller sermon:

This was another very powerful sermon by Keller, well worth the time to listen! Classic Keller! One of the things that was helpful to me was Keller’s explanation that we are saved by layers. We still fall back into thinking we have to be perfect and live by works righteousness. We are objectively saved but it hasn’t worked fully into our lives, we don’t fully understand the ramifications – so we fall victim to idols when we don’t need to. I wish I had taken notes.

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    i loved that too Diane. When I wrote about that in Idol Lies some felt I was being blasphemous — saying we weren’t saved completely by grace. It’s still grace, but a process — but hard to make clear!

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1. What stands out to you from the above and why?
OH DEE. I am just now getting here this week (other than my happy birthday to Diane! and just now reading about the storm, your pier, your canoe! Oh. I am so sorry. It does strike me–God’s power. He does allow some things on this earth than confuse me. And yet, He will never destroy the only thing we really need, and that is my belonging to, my union with, Christ.

I loved the hope in the story of how He has worked in your family, as you have let go. I have often thought about the sweetness of how your children flock to you–longing to spend precious summer days with you. That is a gift He has brought, for each of you. A rare and beautiful gift. There truly is such a “magnetic” draw to you, and the godly who have weathered so many trials and storms, and yet always draw near to Him–I believe it is how the Spirit works–drawing others to want to be near those who are filled with the truth, and who point us back to Him.

2. What do you need to let go and watch and see what God will do? 

I think right now there is a strong need to let go (again) to my control idol–wanting to organize and plan to death…letting go of having a house as clean as I like (for now!), letting go of “me time”. Talking to God the other day, I looked at my sweet pea new toddler and thought–yes, Lord, You answered my plea to be broken more of my control idol–but in the most precious way, thank You.

3. Read Exodus 14 slowly and share anything that jumps out at you and explain why.

I love vs. 31, their journey of faith–seeing His power, they feared Him in awe, reverence, and they believed: “saw the great power… so the people feared the Lord, and they believed in the Lord”

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    Oh Yes — a toddler leads to lots of letting go. I often thought of the proverb where there is no oxen the crib is clean, but there is much strength in an ox. What a thing of eternal significance you have done, but you will have a messier “crib” for a while — and yes, much less self time!

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    Lizzy, please come on here whenever you can. I love your depth of perspective and ache to hear news of your “sweet pea new toddler”.

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4. Describe the scene and why it might have produced fear in the Israelites. (vs. 6-10)

I think I would have most feared that God had hardened the heart of Pharoah. Power in the hands of a hardened heart is terrifying.

 

5. What are you fearful of now in your life? How could you speak to your soul?

Without all the details, it is easy for me to fear a hard road ahead. Well, I expect hard, but the forms it could take–maybe I fear being overwhelmed. But as soon as I write that, I know He has me and has promised to carry me, and I believe it. I remind myself God is good, and He is for me. His plans are for a purpose, a good and hopeful one. He loves me. The One who actually holds ALL the power, LOVES me.

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13. My take away?

 

The Bible is really the most amazing book I have ever read! A love story, His story of love for His people. I also love that there are people like you, Dee, and Tim Keller, who can help us sort it all out. It isn’t the easiest book I’ve read, but so rich!

 

Trust and Obey

 

When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.

Refrain:
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

Not a shadow can rise, not a cloud in the skies,
But His smile quickly drives it away;
Not a doubt or a fear, not a sigh or a tear,
Can abide while we trust and obey.
Not a burden we bear, not a sorrow we share,
But our toil He doth richly repay;
Not a grief or a loss, not a frown or a cross,
But is blessed if we trust and obey.
But we never can prove the delights of His love
Until all on the altar we lay;
For the favor He shows, for the joy He bestows,
Are for them who will trust and obey.
Then in fellowship sweet we will sit at His feet,
Or we’ll walk by His side in the way;
What He says we will do, where He sends we will go;
Never fear, only trust and obey.

 

https://youtu.be/TDpqBEEY6as

 

 

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    Lovely Laura — praying for God to be your Provider with these little ones!

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    Laura, love to see you clinging to His Word in trust and obedience! My prayers continue for you. What richness in this old hymn you quote:

    “Not a burden we bear, not a sorrow we share,

    But our toil He doth richly repay;

    Not a grief or a loss, not a frown or a cross,

    But is blessed if we trust and obey.”

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    Oh, Laura. This song is so full of truth. Trust and Obey. Two words that is our secret for a joyful walk in this life’s journey.

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A God hunt for me this week: I shared about a student who will be coming into my class. I told her Mom the best time would be the PM instead of the AM block which they were planning for. My prayer was for God to circumvent the schedule as I deeply felt she would receive more help from me if she goes to the PM class.

After a week, I check my enrollment and she was in the PM class! Hooray-I felt a confirmation from the Lord through this change in the midst of the challenges ahead in working with this student. Mom needs a lot of affirmation and I was reminded by a Christian teacher coach that our ministry is not only with our students but can be with the parents as well.

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God hunt: I was s’posed to meet with a group of women from church today, & it turned out that only 2 of us were there. God had planned one on one time, & we were able to open up & share on a much deeper level & get to know each other better. Again I feel the Lord nudging me to encourage & nurture hurting women. He keeps bringing them to me, & builds me & them up in the process. Need to reach out to some neighbor women again & set a date for a ladies night.

My take away for the week: I need to constantly be still, trust the Lord, & watch what only He can do. Give Him all the unknown outcomes in my life & my kids’ lives, & trust that He will work out His plan & His Salvation in their lives. In His time & in His mysterious but wonderful way! As Dee said “giving up control & trusting Him will be a lifelong battle!” But He is on the journey with us through it all  :)

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