I am about 4 weeks into Beth Moore's revised "Breaking Free" Bible study and, while I do like it, I have already fallen behind on my "homework" and had a few occasions where I have not wanted to get up on Wednesday morning and head off to my Bible study group. It has nothing to do with the people, I truly enjoy all the women who are currently taking this study. There is good food, good fellowship and lots of laughter and tears-we re women after all! The thing that makes me want to stay home and put off doing my homework is that this study is much harder than I thought it would be.
In week 2 we talked about 5 benefits that God intends for His children:
1. To know God and Believe Him
2.To glorify God
3. To find satisfaction in God
4. To experience God's peace
5. To enjoy God's presence
These are 5 God given rights that we often miss out on because we are being held bondage by some area of sin in our lives. Now, going into this study, I wasn't so naive as to think that I didn't have any areas of bondage in my life or that I wasn't being held captive by some area of sin, but when we got to week 3, I was about ready to be DONE with this study. In week 3 we uncovered 5 obstacles that keep us from enjoying the benefits God has given us, the benefits that lead to abundant life!
1. The obstacle of unbelief
2. The obstacle of pride
3. The obstacle of idolatry
4. The obstacle of prayerlessness
5. The obstacle of legalism
Well, by day 2 I was over this study. I was already 2 for 2 and having looked ahead to the next few days, I realized that I would soon be checking off all 5 of these obstacles as belonging to ME. Me, the pastor's kid, was being held captive by unbelief. Me, a Calvin grad, was being held captive by pride. Me, the weekly church attender, was being bound by idolatry, prayerlessness and legalism! ME!!! It was too much. I mean, have you ever really taken the time to examine your life, to dig down a little and get past all the stuff you "know" and have been told and really just looked at your faith as something belonging only to you-not to your parents, your school, your church, but just to you? At 32 years old, I don't know that I had ever done this.
I think I was really hit on day 1 to realize that I was being held captive by unbelief. I mean, I believe in God. I have known so much about Him and His Son and the whole Christian shebang for as long as I can remember! As I did the study, I realized that while I know that I believe IN Him, I often have trouble when it comes to just believing what He says, especially as it pertains to me. When I am looking at someone elses situation, I can fully take God at His Word for that person, but when I try to apply God's truths to my own life I often struggle with doubt. This whole South Africa thing has really made that evident to me.
This summer, we were making plans to move in January. We listed the house, sold many of our possessions, started telling people we were moving. Now, here we are over a week into November and we are just waiting. I am not even sure what we are waiting for, but I am pretty sure it is going to be a long wait! I really do not do well with waiting. I like to know something so that I can pretend like I have some sort of control over the situation. Instead we are thousands of miles away from where paperwork is (hopefully) winding its way through some government office or another and we really have no control over any of it! For a few months, I've been reading the Bible and verses like "all things work together for the good of those who love God" and even as I read the words and know that they are true, there has been a little voice in my head saying "but they may not all work out for you" or "you know this is all going to end up as a huge failure" and "you don't spend enough time with God to know what He wants you to do and for all you know, you are WAY out of His plan and He is going to bring you down!". I know now that this was the voice of fear, but I had kind of given fear and anxiety free reign in my mind. Why, I'm not sure, but I was just finding it hard to take God at His word and just go forward in peace, which was most likely being cause by the obstacle of prayerlessness, something else that I realized had a heavy presence in my life!
So, now I am trying to listen to the voice of truth. The voice that said in Mark 9 "Everything is possible for him who believes." God I believe. I believe that you are in control over all the paperwork that has been passing from our hands to a place across the ocean. I believe that you have determined the right time for these papers to be seen and approved, or disapproved. Father help my unbelief. God, I don't know how long we will be in Hudsonville, but You have a plan for Darin, Tyson, Jori and me right here, right now. God, I believe, please help my unbelief.