Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Glory Road ...a bible study and more

     As I sit down to begin this journey, I am still trying to wrap my head around this place that God has brought me. I am so overwhelmed by His presence at times that my eyes fill with tears. I am flying into this by the seat of my pants, but I’m excited, ready, and willing because God is my pilot.
     I am the girl in Bible study who constantly had her hand up. I often thought scripture was hard to understand and I found myself confused sometimes. But God's word had already captured my heart, so I kept going. I continued to ask questions and put many things down before the Lord in prayer.  As I talked openly with my sisters in Christ, I realized I was not alone in this place. Not only had God been with me every step of the journey, but many of the women appreciated my honesty. Before I knew it, I was asked to lead the discussions in our group.  I was hearing from God like never before and Scripture became alive. As it filled me with truth, I began to really believe the promises of God.
     If I'm completely honest, I still struggle with understanding at times, but what I know to be true about God, what He has shown me personally, and what I have witnessed in the testimony of others, is enough. The rest can be a mystery until it is revealed to me in the Kingdom of Heaven.
     Knowing all this, you might wonder why I feel equipped to write a Bible study of my own, and the answer to that is simple. I don’t and I’m not. In my own strength, what I'm attempting here would simply not be possible. Writing a Bible study was never a part of my plan. I was, in fact, several years into the writing of my, “great American novel” and believed God was on board with this plan of mine. I believed that He had equipped me for the undertaking. So, when the day came that God asked me to give up writing fiction, I thought I had misunderstood Him. Our conversation went something like this.
     “You’re joking me, right, Lord? You just want to see if I’ll be obedient? Right?”
     “No daughter, you're wrong.” He said. “That's not it at all. I just want you to lay it down.”
     “But you met me here, remember?” I was arguing with him now. “We’ve talked about this already.”
     “And now I’m talking to you about it again,” He told me, “I want you to stop.  I’m taking you somewhere else.”
     We were in the wrestling ring now.  “What other place?” I asked Him. “I want to finish my novel. You know how hard I’ve worked on it. What about all the workshops, conferences, and study I put into it.  You’ve been right beside me.”
     “Oh precious girl. I have been beside you. You are right about that.  But you are wrong to think this has ever been about you."
     “What?” God was asking me to give up something that I truly loved and had spent years studying and devoting my time too. It did feel like it was about me. I was upset and confused. Yet, God was very clear. I knew our talk was almost over.
     However, because of His gracious love for me, He allowed me to fight it for a few more days until it became clear who would win the match.
     Cried out and defeated, I surrendered.  "Will I ever get to finish my novel?" I asked him.
     And again, because of His love for me, God did not answer. He knew that I might not be ready to hear His answer and knew quite well that t I had already had a very difficult couple of days.
     I kept the news to myself for a week or so as I let it settle. Many people knew I was writing a novel, and I was not yet ready to admit that it was finished before it was finished. However, as it always does when we settle inside God’s will, His peace came…
     I've known since the day of that wrestling match that God was preparing me for something else. His presence over me at times had felt like a second skin, and I knew He was doing a work in me. I did not, however, imagine I would be doing anything like this.
     Here is also where I want to tell you that this Bible study is different from most in its format. I believe this is because it comes from a place that is so unique to the way my Father made me and the way He speaks to me, that it can be done no other way.
     That being said, "The Glory Road" will include some chalk renderings I've done of photographs I have taken. These are places were God has spoken to me. Places where the glory of His creation brought me to an incredible place of worship.
     And because my Daddy in heaven thinks I’m precious and loves me so much, I am also getting to do a little of what I love. Alongside this Bible Study, and I'm not sure how it will fit yet,  I will also be telling you a tale. A tale from a kingdom long ago that stars a beloved princess and her magnificent King.
     So now, as we step onto the “Glory Road” together, I ask for your grace knowing that this is just one daughter’s journey. In addition, it is my prayer, that as you turn the last page, you will be in a new place of relationship with your Heavenly Father and have new insight as to what you were created for.
    Oh Lord Jesus! Let it be our absolute desire to live a life that brings you glory. Help us see the world through your eyes. Give us a heart changed forever by the power of your Holy Spirit and the immense love of our Heavenly Father. May we realize the, (beyond-amazing) imagination of the Creator of all things beautiful and lovely, and, the unfathomable sacrifice of a Savior who gave His life to save our own.
May you receive our constant praise and be glorified forever and ever and ever.
     And the angels cry…“Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.” Rev. 4:8
     Now let’s take the first step together …the Glory awaits.

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