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2. Serving allows us to experience the joy and peace that comes from obedience.

1 Peter 4:10-11 says, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms… so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.”

 “Great moves of God are usually preceded by simple acts of obedience, doing what can seem quite ordinary, saying yes to God in all things.”

We can often over spiritualize things – we want revival, we want a great move of God, we want the lost to come and for this place to be filled to overflowing.    We want to be used by God to lay hands on the sick and see them healed, to give prophetic words and see mighty things happen… but great moves of God happen because we all say YES to whatever God is asking of us.  Move chairs on Friday night tick.  Do the dishes after Sunday, tick.  Serve in crèche tick.  Why?  Because all of those things have to happen to make room for people to come.  All the practical things that happen on a Sunday and during the week make room for people to meet Jesus.  When you put out the morning tea cups and supplies you are making room for conversations over coffee about Jesus that can change a life and a family.  When you serve in the crèche you make room for a mum and dad to be ministered to.

Our yes to serve and be part of the team makes room for the great things of God to happen.

Let’s not underestimate the eternal impact our obedience and saying yes has.

Jesus gets black and white on obedience: If you love me, you will keep my commandments. (John 14:15, ESV)

We love God, then let the evidence of that be shown in the way we obey His call to use our gifts to serve.

 

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Naaman was a powerful man, a commander in his countries army, he looked like he had it all together, that he was winning.   Unfortunately he had leprosy which was all bad news.  It caused bits to um, fall off, as you lose feeling and get infections and stuff like that.  It was contagious and incurable.

Long story short, Naaman had a slave girl who told Naaman’s wife that the God of Israel could heal him and to visit the prophet Elisha.  So Naaman got his posse together and hopped in a convoy of VW Camels and high tailed it to Israel.

Where Naaman faced a “get real moment”.

Naaman was important.  He had an image.  He had a reputation.  He was The Man.  He probably wasn’t posting selfies with the leprosy but in those days he probably could have “covered it up” both literally and figuratively.   He had issues both on the surface and under the surface.

And I mean don’t we all.

Don’t we all have things that we hide from everyone, including ourselves?   Things we’re not coping with.  Things we’re struggling with.  Doubt.  Insecurity.  Fear.  Failure.   Black and white sin.  It’s all like a leprosy of the soul.  Read the rest of this entry »

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As i pause to help others, i am reminded that, just like Jesus, we are called to notice the people around us and to bring a touch of hope into their lives.  A person pursuing obedience is able to pause and touch those that He says need our time, in spite of busy schedules.  the obedience soul redefines who she is through God’s eyes and any hesitation to do what He asks fades way. ~ Lysa Terkeurst

I'm a recovering people pleaser ... I'm learning (okay, slowly) to say 'No' instead, when I'm only doing something to please someone and not because I want to. It's a liberating, if tough, journey.

“Women who say yes to God will see life like few others.  they are drawn in and embraced by a love like no other.  they don’t have to wait until the next time they’re in church to experience God because they sense God’s presence all around them, all through their day.  Instead of merely walking through the motions of lie, they pursue the adventure of the moment by moment divine lessons and appointments God has in store for them.  they expect to see God, to hear from Him and to be absolutely filled by His peace and joy – and therefore, they do and they are.” WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WOMEN SAY YES TO GOD // Lysa Terkeurst

 

Every time i watch this i leak… its an incredibly powerful testimony of the love of God and the power (and privelge) of saying YES to God… i dare you to watch it without crying…

Every time i watch it i am reminded that even in the small things that God asks us to do there can be remarkable outworkings and purpose that we are unaware of.  Our role is not to create the plan but to follow our King.  Our role is to say YES.

Every time i watch this it strikes me how beautiful the love of Jesus is.  Breathtaking.

Will you say yes today?

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Jericho is a real make or break moments for Joshua. This is his opportunity to make his mark on the future of his people, to demonstrate his leadership prowess. And we see that one of the keys to Joshua’s breakthrough was that he had to follow God.

Joshua worshipped and heard. And what he heard must have made him go what the heck! God had a very non traditional battle plan.

The instructions were to walk around the city, once a day for 6 days. In silence. With the priests carrying the ark and trumpets. Which they don’t use.

Until the 7th day and then they have to go round 7 times and then shout when God tells Joshua.

Now Joshua is probably really glad that he lived a time with no facebook or twitter. Imagine how the feeds would have blown up!

#stillmarching This is one way to get my 10,000 steps in

So hard trying to keep my kids quiet on this long march. the boys just want to yell! #takethecity

March around a city? Heck, we can do that! We marched around that blasted desert for 40 years.  #justdoit

Just keep marching. Just keep marching. Marching marching marching. #srsly

Trumpets? What? That blows!

Seven times around the city? No problem, thanks to #ArkoftheCovenantFit!

If I wanted to travel in circles I would join NASCAR.

Joshua has lost his ever-loving mind. #blesshisheart

God is straight up crazy.

(thanks Dreamers and Builders for your creativity and wit for those!)

When we’re facing our own Jericho it’s important to know that God is with us. As Saviour and Lord. It’s important to know our help comes from the Lord and to get on His page.

We see Joshua doing this also in verse 15. “The commander of the LORD’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.”

Joshua obeyed. In the small and the big. In the battle and in the bare feet.

To see the walls come down in Jericho Joshua had to obey. In our own lives to see victory in our relationships, in our finances, in our health, in our well being, we need to listen and obey to the strategies God gives us. Sometimes this isn’t easy. Sometimes God will seem straight up crazy.

My son, give me your heart and let your eyes delight in my ways. Proverbs 23:26

What does it mean to give your whole heart to God? To give your whole heart to God is to have all the energy of your soul always centered on Him.

It is in this way we are conformed to His will.

Sometimes our soul is very easily turned to outward, physical things; it is very easy to become distracted to the Lord, your Centre.

How far we turn away from Him will depend on how much we yield to the distraction and how far we allow ourself to be drawn away to surface things. In like manner, the means we use to return to God will depend on how far we have turned from Him.

As soon as you notice ourselves straying from the Lord, we should deliberately turn our attention within to the living God. Return at once to that place where we really belong: in Him. “

Madam Guyon from 100 Days in the Secret Place

 

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Now I must confess this passage is part of a bigger picture… it must be read in the understanding of the grace and salvation of God, that it is NOT by works we are saved or our own effort but by the free gift of God. We cannot work ourselves close to God. We cannot earn or repay salvation.  We cannot force intimacy with God by effort of will. We cannot manufacture anything.

 

So in saying that, almost a disclaimer, I say that with our will, strength, emotion and heart – with all of who we are – we must turn and keep turning towards God.

We can choose to stay faithful.

We can choose to be obedient loving children.

We can choose to listen to God.

Or we can choose to be faithless, sinful, disobedient kids who turn away from their loving Father and what we know is right.

Lets not pretend here… we know when we are sinning most times. We know we are making a choice to disobey God. We know we are making a choice to give in to ourselves.

We need to at those times choose to turn to God, to humble ourselves and repent, and His grace and His power that helps us stay faithful, that makes the way of escape from temptation, that is our deliverance.

Being obedient faithful Christians is a choice we make. It is a conscious decision we make each time we get out of bed in a way.

Each decision and action should be tempered with the consciousness of who we are and WHO we follow.  Each decision is a choice to live in His Kingdom, not our own.  The war rages between kingdoms, between self and seeking first the Kingdom of God.

We can become easily distracted and turn away from God. But we can easily turn back and find grace and mercy from God. His arms are ever open and willing.

We can make conscious choices to do things that will stir our hearts affection for God:

  • worship
  • prayer
  • bible reading
  • journaling / personal devotions
  • attending church and connecting with a house group
  • having coffee with friends and talking about God
  • reading books about God

 

Let us draw near to Him and He will draw near to us.

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What do you tell yourself to keep going?

What motivates you on a Tuesday?

Where is my purpose?

How can i refocus to be more persistent?

What readjusts your perspective?

 

in a way we talked about this at The Best Housegroup In The World last night… how do you become a  YES person – no matter the circumstance you find yourself in.  YES at work.  YES in ministry.  YES in good times and YES when its hard.  YES when we’re feeling it and YES when we’re not.

 

i loved the answers:

  • gratitude and thankfulness – keep a journal or list so that you have a record of God’s faithfulness and answers
  • talk honestly to God – {yelling is okay!}
  • talk honestly with people – find big people who can speak into your life – and find family to be real around
  • prayer / worship – carve out time to encounter God and be refreshed by His love
  • be faithful in the small steps – live it out in our real lives
  • know the promises of God – that when we step out we know that God steps with us

 

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.  Philippians 4:11-13

 

i love that promise – i can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength

you know, when the bible says ALL it means ALL.  everyone.  everything.  ALL.

no buts, no excuses, no exceptions, no maybes or sometimes.  ALL.

His strength is available in all situations and at all times.

 

Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.

Colossians 1:17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:19 And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

 

 

 

i can say YES because Jesus empowers me to say YES and to live YES.

i can stick with it even in the storm because He gives me strength, all the time.

 

 

 

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from Proverbs 31 Online Bible Study

 

 

 

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"When I understand that everything happening to me is to make me more Christlike, it solves a great deal of anxiety." ~ AW Tozer”

This weeks challenge is to blog about a specific time God spoke to you and you had a “say what” moment.

 

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As i sit in front of my screen there are lots of moments that flit through my mind.

the time i moved to Auckland with no job or no where to live.

the time i began street preaching on my university campus.

the time we gave our “baby savings money” away.

or to invite the lady mentioning on fb that they had just moved into the area and had kids starting at our school on monday around for a playdate.

the time i felt to stand in front of a particular shop at our local mall and pray and talk for a woman in a red jumper.  when i got there the shop didn’t exist on the mall map, but i knew if God had sent me there, then it was there.  i was there but a minute before the woman in the red jumper, and two friends, rounded the corner.

the time – which i wrote about last week – when i reminded an old lady that God loved her : {P31} Yes To God

 

but the most recent and out there time for me is when i said YES to being a bible in schools teacher.

Here in New Zealand we have bible in schools, for 1/2 hour in school each week.  in state schools. 

earlier in the year i discovered that Evangeline’s bible teacher had gone to the same youth group in the South Island as i, but only a few years before.  we had never met or crossed paths.  he then, knowing i was a Christian, asked if i would like to be a bible in schools teacher.  He had both Evangeline’s class and another year 3-4 class. 

Now, let me tell you something about myself.

I am passionate about young adults ministry and women’s ministry.  I love love love what i do.   and i fill my days/evenings doing it.

I have never felt called to children’s ministry. at all.  in fact we joke about it in our church, because i am married to Tony, who is so passionate about children’s church and has been serving in children’s ministry since Noah’s Ark.  okay, maybe not that long, but for maybe 20 years!

but so not to be offensive, i replied “i’ll pray about it.’ read as: no thanks.

as i drove home i felt God say “so you going to pray about it girl?” boom.  busted.  He so knows me.  i felt that challenge from God to go, and to really pray about it.

now when i am thinking about being involved in something, i pray about it and think about what my life would look like doing that.   i began to picture being a bible school teacher.  and then realized, i didn’t actually know what they did.  which led me to the next step… observing a class. 

as i left the school that morning after sitting in on the class, the class which blew me away, the class which had my 3 favourite bible parables as the lesson (guess what they’re about… lost coin, lost sheep, lost son… i so love lost things!) i had a lot to think about. 

i’m already busy.

i don’t have time in my week.

this eats into my rest time and rest time is important.

this is out of my comfort zone.

i don’t do children’s ministry.

i drove past a friend out walking.  i u-turned, pulled in beside her and ended up sharing my heart.

“make a list of the pros and the pros” she said. 

yes pros and pros.  pro for doing it and pro for not doing it.

but that got me in deeper… because what i line up is my need for rest and my busyness and insecurity vs salvation and children’s lives changed with the gospel.

i prayed some more.

 

unknowingly, until i read it again this morning, i lined it up with lysa’s five questions:

 

“FIVE KEY QUESTIONS to help me determine if what i’m hearing is from God or not:

1. does what i’m hearing line up with scripture?

2. is it consistent with God’s character?

3. is it being confirmed through messages I’m hearing at church or studying in my quiet times?

4. is it beyond me?

5. would it please God?”  page 27 WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WOMEN SAY YES TO GOD // Lysa Terkeurst

 

yes it lines up with the Word of God.

yes it is consistent with God’s character.

yes it is confirmed.

yes it is completely beyond me.

yes.  yes.  yes, it will make God happy.

 

and so, “i’ve decided i will try to hear God’s promptings and remember my time is not my own” page 26 WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WOMEN SAY YES TO GOD // Lysa Terkeurst 

 

that is what i decided too.  my life is not my own.  i am God’s.  God’s to direct and lead and use.  He will be my strength and shield.  He will be my rest and inspiration.

 

in case you’re wondering.  i said yes to God.  i am now a bible in schools teacher in training.

it was definitely  a SAY WHAT? moment in the calling but such a blessing to see things unfold.

 

 

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other great quotes from chapter 2 & 3 of WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WOMEN SAY YES TO GOD:

 

“Every day, God speaks to us.  Sometimes HE invites us to draw close and listen as He reveals Himself, His character ad His direction.  other times He calls to us to participate in His purpose.  Still other times HE simply whispers tor remind us of His amazing love for us.”  page 26 WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WOMEN SAY YES TO GOD // Lysa Terkeurst

 

“There is no magic formula for being able to discern God’s voice.  We can elran to recognize it the way we recognize the voices of those close to us: by knowing Him.  and when we know Him, we can tell if what we’re feeling ld to do is from Him or not.  When God speaks to me it is a certain impression on my heart that I’ve come to recognize as Him.” page 26 WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WOMEN SAY YES TO GOD // Lysa Terkeurst

 

“Unless we know scripture, we will not be able to discern whether what we are hearing is consistent or not with the Word.” page 27 WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WOMEN SAY YES TO GOD // Lysa Terkeurst

 

“God will not say things that are inconsistent with who He Is” page 28 WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WOMEN SAY YES TO GOD // Lysa Terkeurst

 

“Don’t look at your inabilities and dwell in insecurities.  Look at the Almighty God.  See this call as the opportunity to watch Him work in you and through you.  If you answer yes to the question IS THIS BEYOND ME? chances are God is speaking.”  page 33 WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WOMEN SAY YES TO GOD // Lysa Terkeurst

 

“To this day i have to seek it by asking for the desire, discipline, discernment, direction and delight.  i ask for the desire to want God more than anything else.  I ask for the discipline to make my relationship with Him top priority.  i ask for the discernment to know the difference between my own thoughts and God’s voice.  i ask for clear direction at each crossroad in my life.  i ask for my relationship with God to be characterized by sheer delight rather than a sense of duty.”   page 38 WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WOMEN SAY YES TO GOD // Lysa Terkeurst

 

“One thing you can be assured of is that God has already worked out all the details of what your obedience will accomplish – and its all good.  we need not fear what our obedience will cause to happen in our life.  we should only fear what our disobedience will cause us to miss.  the sooner this truth resonates in your heart, the quicker you can make peace with a command from God that you dont fully understand.” page 45 WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WOMEN SAY YES TO GOD // Lysa Terkeurst

 

“God is not interested in half our hearts.  He wants it all, and He wants to remove the things that stand in the way of that.”  page 47 WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WOMEN SAY YES TO GOD // Lysa Terkeurst

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i love lysa terkerust and her books – she writes in such a way that its like she is sitting next to me, cup of tea in hand, talking about her life and encouraging me, personally, to step into the adventure for my own life, to stretch past my own boundaries and fears into the plans of God, and to allow Him to chisel me, transform me and shape me.  To be secure in His love.  To live in His love.  To be active in demonstrating His reality through my life.  She laughs with me, hands me a tissue when i need it, she cheers me on when i’m having a win, and stirs my spirit to step out more.

 

So when i saw that Proverbs 31 were doing a study from one of her books WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WOMEN SAY YES TO GOD i was on board.  i want to be a Yes woman, a woman who surrenders and steps forward despite any restrictions into the plans of God, the divine moments where He moves unexpectedly and surprisingly, where He speaks and moves.

 

Lysa says on page 14 that “we can become so familiar with God, yet so unaware of Him.”

i don’t want that to be my life story.

i want to know God, see God, feel God, experience God.  i want to know Him and make Him known.

 

So the P31 study involves reading the book, chapter by chapter, along with the online study and questions and sharing opportunities on fb, twitter and blogging. 

Through the P31 Online Bible Study, What Happens When Women Say Yes to God, you will learn to:

  • listen for His voice and discern what He is asking you
  • see how wholehearted obedience honours His presence in your life
  • give yourself to Him and let Him affect lives around you in amazing ways

The Proverbs 31 Online Bible Study offers real hope for real life. It’s flexible to meet any schedule. It’s the perfect Bible study for anyone who can’t attend a regular Bible study. Our group is focused on study, but we also have lots of fun. You will receive daily prayer and encouragement by being a part of this active community at Proverbs 31 Ministries.

 

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Yes to God – Week One 

Share a time you caught a “glimpse of eternity” as you said yes to what God was asking you to do.

 

The shinning example where I have seen this work, is when I talked to an old lady in the supermarket carpark… and it’s the shinning example for me because it was just so breathtaking in its personal-ness and timeliness and, it’s just how God is…

After the weekender, on our way home, tony and I popped into the supermarket, to buy bread and milk, as you do after a weekend away. As we were packing our car up I noticed and was drawn to the elderly couple beside us and just really felt like I HAD to talk to the lady. She went and put her trolley back in the thingy and as she came back towards I stepped forward and said “hi, I’m Claire, and I’m a Christian  and I just really felt that God wanted me to remind you that He loves you.” That was all I had. A start. An opening. She took my hand, leathery and warm. I looked at her and depended upon the capacity of God through me. I continued, “and I feel that He wants you to know He is with you and sees what you’re going through at the moment. He loves you.” Simple. Nothing flash or remarkable. Until she squeezed my hand and her eyes welled up. “my best friend died this morning” she said. My eyes welled up. My heart stopped I am sure for a few beats.

God is so spectacular. What a moment in time, so crucial and special and significant for God to speak to this woman. Right there in her hour of need. Spectacular.

 

“Sometimes the God of the universe pauses in the midst of all His creation to touch the heart of one person.” page 10, WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WOMEN SAY YES TO GOD // Lysa Terkeurst

 

We have been positioned by God in our class, in our workplace, in our community interactions, in our families, as a beacon of light in the darkness. Every day there are situations in our normal routines that require us to be the light of Christ in darkness. 

I love how our pastor says “we are the senior pastors in our world.”  I am the senior pastor in my world. You are the senior pastor in your world.  You are the evangelist in your world. You can’t hire Billy graham to come have coffee with your workmates. You are there.

 

God was in Christ, offering peace and forgiveness to the people of this world. And he has given us the work of sharing his message about peace. We were sent to speak for Christ, and God is begging you to listen to our message. We speak for Christ and sincerely ask you to make peace with God. Christ never sinned! But God treated him as a sinner, so that Christ could make us acceptable to God. 2 Corinthians 5:19-21

 

For God so loved the world that He gave His only son, so that all who believe in Him will not die but have eternal life. And God uses you and me as ambassadors, as representatives, to proclaim this good news.

God’s plan is to rescue the world and the very agents of change to proclaim the gospel is you and me.

Rescued people. People who have experienced grace for real.

 

I want to be someone that says YES in my life to God.  to expand my boarders.  to step out into the adventure. 

 

“Women who say yes to God will see life like few others.  they are drawn in and embraced by a love like no other.  they don’t have to wait until the next time they’re in church to experience God because they sense God’s presence all around them, all through their day.  Instead of merely walking through the motions of lie, they pursue the adventure of the moment by moment divine lessons and appointments God has in store for them.  they expect to see God, to hear from Him and to be absolutely filled by His peace and joy – and therefore, they do and they are.” page 14 WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WOMEN SAY YES TO GOD // Lysa Terkeurst 

 

 

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders.
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever you would call me.
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my saviour. ~ Hillsong // Oceans // Zion

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