Monday, March 15, 2010

The Hunger to Belong 3


If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." ~ John 8:31-32

In keeping up with the Bible Study from two weeks ago, we pick up again in study 3 from Shelia Walsh's book, Beautiful Things Happen When A Woman Trusts God. Today's study is the Hunger to Belong:

Jesus spoke these words to a group of Jews who had been listening to his teaching and identified themselves as those who believed in him. Like many, they misunderstood what Jesus was talking about. When they thought of freedom, they thought of what they could see - political freedom, situational freedom. I understand that.

For many years I thought, "If I could just get away from this person or this situation, then I would be free." The only trouble was that everywhere I went, I took "me" with me. The freedom that Christ offers is far greater than a relocation offer, it is an internal revolution. When, by God's grace, you face all that is true about who you are and who you are not, and in that same moment realize that you are totally loved by God, that is a freedom that can be found nowhere else apart from Christ.

What I have learned is that freedom and transparency walk hand in hand. To the level that we are willing to be known, to be seen, then at that depth we can be set free from the things that have defined us apart from Christ. It is risky to be known but it is what we were made for and anything less is not freedom. You will know the truth and the truth will set you free. It is a promise.

Find
"The strength of the fatherless was crushed. Therefore snares are all around you, and sudden fear troubles you. " - Job 22: 9-10 Describe a situation when your words have been similar to the words in the verse above.

I would have to say it was when I heard that I would have to undergo surgery in order to get past this pain I've been experiencing on a daily basis most days. I couldn't see past the fear that was clouding my vision and preventing me from keeping my eyes focused on God. Not only that all these worries kept popping up in my head faster than I could process them, along with your standard, "what if's". Now once that happens or tries to begin, I simply tell myself, "I take those thoughts captive, they are not from God, I lay them at His feet and I ask God to handle these worries."

  • Read John 8:31-36

31To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

33They answered him, "We are Abraham's descendantsa]">[a] and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?"

34Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." (NIV)

  • Why is it so important to be transparent with other people?

It shows them you have nothing to hide and can be trusted, as long as they believe what you are telling them is the true.

  • God knows everything about us, so why is it important that we be transparent before Him?

God wants us to come to Him on our own terms, it has always been about free will. Just as when a parents asks their own child a question that they are ready know the answer to, it shows them that not only is the child being honest, but loves love enough not to hide anything from them.

Consider the questions below and respond to one or more of them:

  • What is it that I am afraid people might find out about me?
  • Why do I keep people at a distance?
  • Why do I assume that if I let people in they would be disappointed and leave?
  • Why do I fear rejection so intensely that I remove myself from the equation before anyone else gets to "vote me off the island"?

In response to the first three, as I've grown older I realize that part of sharing the good and bad things that have happened in my life are all part of my testimony and the work that God has done in my life to bring me to where I am today. I no longer have those types of fears.

Yet in response to the last question, it has to do with being hurt or falsely judged by people before they even get to know me, that I fear being rejected so I still to this day have a difficult time interacting with people I don't know. I think it stemmed from childhood and growing up and it still is the one thing I think a lot of us fear when meeting new people for the first time.

Paul said, "Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ" (Galatians 6:2). List some people who need you to bear their burdens and those people who have helped carry your burdens. Select one or more people on the list and, if possible, write personal notes of thanks and encouragement.

Besides my husband and my children, the only others that have stepped up to the plate would have to be my blogging friends. They have offered to call and talk to me on the phone, pray with me when I have asked, sent cards and gifts to help get me through these difficult times and for all of you, I am eternally grateful!

Feel

  • "There are many different reason we feel a sense of shame, but how we then behave seems very much the same. If we believe there is something deep inside of us that others would reject, we hold ourselves back or simply vote ourselves out of life. This can lead to depression, addictions, bitterness and despair." (page 31). Why do you think this isn't the life Christ wants from you?

This keeps us held in bondage and is in no sense free. Jesus came to release us from this chains that have kept us bond to these very beliefs. Once we ask Him into our life to become our personal Lord and Savior and hand these worries over to Him, He will begin a work in our lives that will completely change us for the better.

  • What comes to mind when you think about belonging? Be honest about your feelings.

When God created everything in the world, He never intended them to be alone. He always created a helper or companion for them including animals as well. Even God stated. "it is not good". when He saw that Adam was alone. If it wasn't good for God and He realized it, is it any wonder why we find ourselves always wanting to find a place or a person for us to be with and fit in? It is good when we do that, as it was in God's eyes when He created Eve. We were never meant to be all alone. We have always had a sense of belonging in our hearts and souls!

  • Describe a time when you have listened to a song or watched a scene in a movie and suddenly you are overwhelmed by feelings out of proportion to what is happening around you. How did that experience make you feel?

It becomes an emotional moment and usually for me tears will fall. I take a moment and usually try to let the emotions come and then find out why I felt that way. Most of the time, its because I've kept something bottled up inside and finally something just gives and it comes out.

  • What do you think God is trying to say to you through those experiences?

That I need to try not to hide those things inside or keep them buried. The sooner I let them out and begin working through them or turning them over to God the better I will be.

  • Jesus issues an invitation to anyone who has finally come to the place where she is tired of pretending that everything is fine. Is this an offer you are willing to accept? Why or why not?

I am constantly reminded throughout my life when I have done just this and kept things inside and go about my life as if nothing is wrong. It's not the way it was meant to be and we honestly have to work through those times. If not, they begin to pile up and eat away at us, until one day we just explode or have an emotional meltdown. We have to accept Jesus' offer each and everyday and ask Him to show us where we might be hiding things in our lives so He can work to bring it out into the light.

Follow

  • God knows everything about you and loves you. What is keeping you from trusting him with you past and following him?

At this point in my life, its quite the opposite, it is because I trust him that I can let go of things from my past and follow Him. I've only seen the good that comes from doing that.

Describe a spiritual breakthrough you would like to experience right now.

For me, its finally letting go of a childhood fear I got from my dad. Every time there was something wrong with me medically or I had the smallest imperfection to my body or face, my father would tell me that it is cancer, and I would die.

This fear alone has kept me from facing surgical procedures to find the source of pains in my body that could have been taken care of in a matter of days and in this case have lasted for years. I am working through that fear even now in facing my upcoming surgery next week, that I am trusting God and putting it all in His hands to bring me through it all and make me pain free. There can be no other explanation why God hasn't healed me and has had me endure this excruciating pain for so long. There has to be a lesson of faith in the end for me.

  • Summarize the instructions of John 8:31-36 by completing the following statement, Because Jesus said, "I belong to Him," I will "put my faith in Him."

Now write a prayer asking God to give you the breakthrough you described above. Keep praying the prayer and believing God for the answer as you spend time with him in the days to come.

Father God,

Jehovah Rapha, the Lord that heals, you have been faithful in your love and plans for me. Though I do not know the reason why you have not healed me by me just praying for it, You must have a reason for me to endure this pain for as long as I have. I am praying, Father, that during this time of pain and suffering, You have a purpose for me.

Even enduring this future surgery next week Lord, I know you will be with me. I will not enter that place alone. I ask Lord, that you continue to give me a perfect peace about this and remove all anxiety about the surgery from my heart, mind and soul. I commit myself and my health to you Lord and ask for Your will in my life. I lift these humble requests up in your name Lord, My Jehovah Rapha, In Jesus's name, I pray, ~ AMEN!


9 comments:

Saleslady371 said...

Thanks, again, Kat for offering this Bible Study to us. I look forward to studying these scriptures today and will write a post about them.

You model transparency to us, dear friend. Remember your question/answer posts where we blasted our personal questions at you? Your honesty really helped me (and Carrie) in what we are facing right now. And knowing how you are overcoming the root of this medical fear reveals insight as I pray for your surgery.

Thank you for always making me feel "I belong"!

Hugs,
Mary

Deb said...

I hope that your surgery goes well.

Praying that He will calm any fear that's in your heart.

He will never leave us. Never abandon us.

He gives peace. Perfect peace as we rest in Him and rely on Him.

You always encourage me, Kat. I'm so glad that God brought us together through blogging.

Sweet dreams.

christy rose said...

I am praying peace over you this week as your surgery day arrives. And, that He will guide the doctors to bring you to complete recovery.

THE OLD GEEZER said...

I pray that will comfort you and reveal Himself in a special way before, during and after your surgery.

God bless you, Ron

wendy said...

That was a very powerful post.
I have always tried to be a people pleaser.....I care sometimes too much about that.
I need to just do those things I KNOW to be right, and take care of my family and those around me as best as I can
Their "judgments" of me are their own....and it is taking my my whole life it seems to realize that.

I am far from perfect. Helllloooo....just wendy, trying to shuffle her way through life the best I can.
I want people to only love me ...because I am ME, not something they WANT me to be
take the good
and the bad
and Love each other as Christ would want us to.
thanks

Andrea said...

It is so important we stay connected and transparent with GOD...HE knows all, but HE wants to "hear it" from us!
Hugs,
andrea

Just Be Real/God Whispers In The Wind said...

Wow, I certainly can relate. Kat, this post is awesome. I will have you in my prayers dear one. Thank you for blessing me. I needed it.

Deborah Ann said...

Ah, it is indeed a risk to be known! One of the scariest things I have ever know.

I'll be praying for a successful surgery, and a pain-free recovery!

Denise said...

Bless you, I love this study.