I have been doing Beth Moore’s newest study on Esther. We just finished Week 3. Every day of homework this past week has reached up off the page and shook me to the core. I wanted to share some of the thoughts I’ve had. We met last night and discussed a lot of it. It’s so hard for me not to spend the whole study doing all the talking. Beth just brings it out in me. She is incredible!!! Anyway, I’m not gonna rehash the study. I’m just gonna mention some of the lines from each day that spoke to me. And I will say a few things about how it challenged me. Let me know if any of them shake you up like they did me.
"No matter how we sparkle at church or Bible study, on earth we still have pain. Instead of going ahead and feeling the pain, processing it before God, and letting HIm heal us, sometimes we opt for a trade-in. We swap pain for anger because it’s easier for a while, and boy, can it be energizing!" – OUCH!!! Ain’t that the truth?! Anger is so much easier than dealing with the real problem. It’s easy to REACT instead of ACT on the actual issue at the root. I will admit that I have had issues with anger in my life. Doing Beth’s study, Breaking Free, years ago helped me to deal with it. It is not a healthy way to respond to anything. It never brings good results. It ALWAYS brings more hurt. And it’s the easy way out.
"Because Satan has a limited leash where believers are concerned, his most powerful tactics are psychological. Thought he can’t possess our minds, he profoundly and destructively influences our thoughts." – now I KNOW if you are human then your thought life has given you problems just as mine has mine. I just really figured this principle out a few years ago. Satan can’t control our actions but he can control our thoughts which lead us to control our actions in such a way that is unhealthy for us spiritually, emotionally and physically. He can make us THINK we are a bad parent because of some specific sin in our life. He can make us THINK we are a failure because we aren’t losing weight. He can make us THINK we aren’t a Christian because he has made us THINK we are unloveable. See the pattern! THAT is the reason we need to focus on the Word. When those thoughts overtake us we should replace those thoughts with promises from scripture. Make Satan huff his way out of your head. Let him know he is wasting his time on you. MAJOR lesson for me!!
"The beautifully frustrating part of Satan’s insatiable bloodlust is that ultimately he cannot have what he wants…God always trumps Satan." That goes hand in hand with my remarks above. Praise the Lord!! I have the WINNER on my side!
The next thought is more of a soap-box thought – which I won’t dwell on. But I just can’t pass up mentioning it. "The enemies of the Jews in Esther were a small group in leadership". WHY IS IT THAT WE ALLOW THAT SMALL GROUP RULE WHAT THE MAJORITY FEEL/BELIEVE IS RIGHT??? Why do they get to "win"? Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr – Ok, moving on!
"The heart can grow so hard that it no longer feels. It becomes callous. Seared…God designed conviction to be uncomfortable so that we’d hurry to repentance and find relief in restoration." I have found that when I put the Spirit off day after day about a certain matter he is dealing with me about I do feel further and further from Him. Conviction is VERY uncomfortable. But it lets me know just how close/far I am from God. When I start feeling less and less convicted about some sin in my life that should be a scary feeling. I want to rush to repentance and begin restoration at the first sign of conviction before I no longer FEEL the conviction.
The week has opened my eyes and led me to renew my relationship with the Lord. I want to live a victorious life – not one imprisoned by sin. On to week 4!