April 28, 2017

Captivating: Chapter 12 – “In The World” – “Do Not Give Way to Fear” (pgs 212-215)

People always talk about their “calling.” It’s such a Christian-ese phrase.  “So what led you to that decision?” “Well, I believe it’s my ‘calling’.”  Now, I’m not trying to put down anyone who may have used this word.  In fact, I use the word often.  Typically, after frustration grips my emotions, I cry to God, “LORD, WHY CAN’T YOU JUST TELL ME WHAT MY CALLING IS! TELL ME WHERE YOU WANT ME TO BE! OPEN THE DOOR ALREADY!”

Once I lose the anger, I remind myself of the truth.  And the truth is this: much like the reasons God allows bad things to happen to us, He may have us in a place we aren’t “called” to be right now because He is preparing us for His plans that are to come.

We can’t see the big picture, but God can.  He has you right where you are for HIS reasoning.  It’s also similar to why you may be single and lonely right now.  God has a reason.  God is preparing you for your “calling” every single day you awake.  He’s preparing your heart for something that is to come that will be so worth the wait, the patience, and the persistence!

So the question remains: how do you find your “calling?” In an effort to help you find that answer, our authors pose the following questions: What is it you yearn to see happen? How do you long for the world to be a better place? What makes you so angry you nearly see red? What brings you to tears?

The answers to those questions are different for each person – praise God! And those answers are the desires within our hearts, desires that God set within us even before we were born. Those answers are invitations.

“They are invitations to bring your heart to your Lover and ask Him to clarify, to deepen, to speak to you about how and when and with whom.”

I am reminded of this passage in Matthew 6:

“For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet Your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (verses 25-33).

So maybe you know a few answers to the questions above.  What’s keeping you from pursuing them? What’s keeping you from action? For me, Stasi and John hit the nail on the head when they discussed that terrible four letter word: F.E.A.R.

Fear of failure, fear of disapproval, fear of rejection, fear of vulnerability…I could go on.  But all of these fears have one thing in common—They are not from God.

As we have journeyed this book together, I pray that each of you has found who you are in Christ.  You are a strong warrior princess made to share in an adventure, made to serve and to love.  But no warrior princess can realize her own strength and purpose if she hides away in the castle her whole life.  No, we are called to take risks!  Risk the failure, risk the disapproval, risk the rejection, and risk the vulnerability.

Jesus did that.  And if we are called to live like Him, we must live radically, fully entrusting our lives to Christ. One of my favorite authors and inspirational speakers, Bob Goff, states in his book Love Does:

“Every day God invites us on the same kind of adventure. It’s not a trip where He sends us a rigid itinerary, He simply invites us. God asks what it is He’s made us to love, what it is that captures our attention, what feeds that deep indescribable need of our souls to experience the richness of the world He made. And then, leaning over us, He whispers, “Let’s go do that together.

Ladies, I pray that each of you will live, breathe, and act that verse. You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you!

2Tim1_7

Praise Him,

Carissa

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Let’s Pray:

Father, I thank You for the life You’ve given each of us. I thank You that You have promised each of us a purpose and to use us to further Your great kingdom.  Father, in our days of doubt, remind us that You use all things (and situations) to Your glory.  Lord, draw close to us, reveal Your plans for our lives to us.  We want to know You and serve You more. Father, in Your time, give us the courage and will to pursue those desires You’ve set deep in our hearts.  We love You so much! In Your precious Name, Amen.

Your Assignment:

Spend time in prayer today, drawing closer to God, asking Him to deepen your desires and reveal His plans for you. He is faithful; He will answer.

Captivating: Chapter 11 – Warrior Princess Weekly Review

Girlfriends, after reading this week’s chapter, I cannot wait for our next study to start. I just know that God is preparing us for great, awesome things, and I am certain that we will come out victorious when we follow His plans for our lives. I want to encourage you to sign up for our next study if you have not done so yet.  Go to our sign page located HERE to enroll today!!

On Monday, Jackie’s prayer for us was that we will be prepared to fight our daily battles knowing that we are more than conquerors. Christ won the battle on the cross for us, and we need not fear for THE  BATTLE BELONGS TO THE LORD. Face each day like a true Warrior Princess. Not only are you beautiful, but you are also wise, cunning, strong, courageous, and victorious.

On Tuesday, Tonya shared with us that emotional attacks in life are very real. These attacks are not limited to our minds, or our hearts, but are aimed at our bodies as well. Satan is out to hurt us, and he will do so at any cost. Although Satan has his ways to try to get us defeated, God’s ways are stronger, more powerful, and made specifically to protect us.

On Wednesday, Carissa wanted to know from us whether we believe that each one of us are warriors in Christ. We have God’s strength to sustain us when we feel we can’t take another step, another breath, another disappointment, another insult, another negative feeling. Talk to God, share with Him, rest in His presence and in His control over things that may seem uncontrollable. Nothing is too much to handle for our God.

On Thursday, Michelle reminded us to remember that we are warriors. Each day we must put on the armor of God to battle the demons that Satan sends our way. No one is immune to it, but the more we prepare ourselves for battle, the better our chances are to conquer the enemy each and every day. Stay strong, be prepared, and depend on God!

Girls, God wants us to succeed! Let’s be strong and equip ourselves with the full armor of God at all times.

Let’s Pray:

Father, thank You for equipping us so that we can be more than conquerors at all times and so that You can get the glory. We love You and need You, Amen.

 

*****

GWS

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Captivating: Chapter 11 Warrior Princesses – “Relational Attacks” – “A Warring Bride” (pp 193-197)

Sword and Roses

Whoa. When I read what Stasi and John shared in the “Relational Attacks” section, my mind flooded with past situations with roommates, boyfriends, family members, and friends where the Spirit of Accusation applied.  I bottle things inside of me.  I let those negative feelings fester, and I dwell on the situation at hand.  How dare she not take out the trash after I’ve done it the past five times! If he really cared about me, why would he have said those things? He said, she said…the situations play on.  This Spirit of Accusation doesn’t just occupy our heads.  It occupies our hearts.  As the prophet Jeremiah reminds us, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure” (Jeremiah 17:9). Many times, what we harbor in our hearts are lies and evil.  But there is freedom in Christ.  There is freedom in prayer.

Do you believe that there is a spiritual war that rages around us?  Even when you sit alone in your room, supposedly secure from all physical danger, the war ensues.  But we have no reason to fear; we have power in Christ.  So no matter what she didn’t do or what he said, God has given us power over those evil thoughts and negative feelings. This chapter really brought to light the power of prayer.  When we call on His name, He is faithful to deliver us

I’m ashamed to say that my first reaction to unhappy situations is not always prayer.  I usually let my feelings overwhelm me until I have time to “cool down.”  This chapter has challenged me though.  The next time a situation arises, I want to take a step back, denounce the evil that is at work, ask for the Lord to take the situation and help me see how He wants me to handle it.  Just as Jesus was tempted in the desert, we, too, are tested in our faith daily.  Satan knows our weaknesses, but we are not to give him a foothold.  Let’s take the power that is already ours in His name and use it! I love the quote from our authors on page 196:

“Christianity is not a passive religion.”

We know that oftentimes the Lord will allow hardships so that we may grow in our trust and faith in Him.  Even Paul speaks of a “thorn” that tormented him:

“To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:7-10).

Ladies, God is so good! He will never give us more than we can handle.  Do you believe that?

Do you also believe that we are warriors in Christ?  We have His strength to sustain us when we feel we can’t take another step, another breath, another disappointment, another insult, another negative feeling.  He is with us always, and His power is available to us through our communication with Him. Talk to Him, share with Him, rest in His presence and in His control over things that may seem uncontrollable.  Nothing is too much to handle for our God.

Praise Him,

Carissa

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Let’s Pray:

Father, thank You for who You are and for offering Your power and Your strength to us.  In Your Name, I pray that we take hold of that power daily.  Lord, as situations arise to test our faith, that we will stand firm in the knowledge of Your presence and protection.  Let us be warriors for You.  Thank You for Your strength that sustains us through the everyday battle called “life.”

Your Assignment:

Is there a situation in your life that you need to turn to God?  Do that today. In love, work to reconcile relationships, and know that you have power in Christ to do all things.

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Have you signed up for our next Online Bible/Book study yet?  If not, you will want to right away!  This is going to be an amazing study!!  The study begins March 24th!

Click on the picture below to be taken to the sign-up page.  Once we receive your registration, we’ll email you further details.

GWS