We've started a new women's book study group on Wednesday nights at church and while I usually just go with the open bible study because there is less commitment involved (I know, that's horrible, but I'm just being honest), this time I decided to sign up for the book study. I made my decision to take the class the last week of sign-ups and went ahead and told myself that the class may already be full. Well, it wasn't. There was still room at the inn. So I showed up the first night and purchased my book. And this isn't just a book, we're talking workbook, emphasis on work. That's right, Mama's gonna have homework. I haven't had to deal with homework since grad school, which was close to seven years ago. Not to mention that in college, homework was my only responsibility, no husband, no child, no real job. So I've had to make quite the adjustment (even if I did have to mesh two nights worth of lessons into one), but it's been totally worthy it.
We're using Beth Moore's book, Living Beyond Yourself. I felt like God really wanted me to take this class. I've always liked Beth Moore and I know that my mom absolutely loves her. Although we're only in week 2, I'm learning and growing in ways I didn't know I could. I also had to check my pride when I realized that I didn't know the Bible as good as I thought I did. Actually, as embarrassing as it is, I feel like I don't know near as much as I should, considering my age and the fact that I grew up in church and was there every time the doors were open. I mean, I know the most popular stories in the Bible, and a few verses that have helped me in difficult times, but I really feel a little insecure about my Bible knowledge. I just feel like I 'should' know more. And I'm at a point in my life where I 'want' to know more. It's all pretty exciting, to have God speak to you through scripture.
There was a time in my life when I felt like the Bible was too deep for me, like only preachers and Sunday school teachers had the ability to just sit down and read it and truly understand all of it. I felt like only those types of people could actually hear God speaking to them. Boy was I wrong...completely, 110% WRONG!
God has opened my eyes to a whole new view of the Bible. It's almost supernatural the way He has given me a thirst to learn more about Him through his Word. I'm not saying that it's an easy read, but I am finding more and more ways to apply it to my daily living. I'm continually amazed at the grace that God has given to us.
However, I don't know how many of you can agree, but it seems that when I make an effort to draw nearer to the Lord, Satan tries to jump all over me, throwing things at me from every angle. All he wants is for me to just give up and give in. It's like I leave the bible study feeling like I've got life by the reins, and then the next day (or sometimes just in the next hour) I get slapped in the face with real life and don't always respond the way I should. Sometimes I'm very thankful that my thoughts are not displayed on a billboard across my forehead. I would surely be ashamed. But God understands. He doesn't expect perfection, and on the flip side, neither should we. Just because you're a child of God doesn't mean your life will be perfect. You'll still face hardships, and you'll sometimes handle them in less than perfect ways. The good news is that through God we can be filled with a joy that cannot be affected by our outside circumstances (and we all know how unstable those can be, great one day, horrible the next).
God is still God. Beth Moore explains it well when she says, "He never asks anything of us to make Himself look better....We cannot make Him any more God than He already is. He would be no less Lord of lords if no one believed."
So don't let Satan try and tell you that you're not 'good' enough for the love of God or that you don't 'know' enough. That's where God's grace comes in.
And His grace is sufficient for me.
Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.
-2 Corinthians 3:5
2 days ago