Thursday, June 19, 2008

I AM so you don't have to be Lesson 13

I AM so you don’t have to be Lesson 13

I AM study Lesson Thirteen
The Purpose of Promise

Focal Verses
"After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: 'Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward'." Genesis 15:1

I will grant peace in the land, and you will lie down and no one will make you afraid. I will remove savage beasts from the land, and the sword will not pass through your country. You will pursue your enemies, and they will fall by the sword before you. Five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase then thousand, and your enemies will fall by the sword before you. I will look on you with favor and make you fruitful and increase your numbers, and I will keep my covenant with you. You will still be eating last year's harvest when you will have to move it out to make room for the new. I will put my dwelling place among you, and I will not abhor you. I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt so that you would no longer be slaves to the Egyptians; I broke the bars of your yoke and enabled you to walk with heads held high." Leviticus 26:6-13

"And [God] passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, "The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin." Exodus 34:6

"And through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me." Genesis 22:18

"The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: 'All nations will be blessed through you'." Galatians 3:8

This spoke to me very deeply:

Blessed To Be a Blessing
Our culture teaches us we can either manufacture within ourselves or purchase all of these basic things, but God created us to need the things only He can fully provide. There is a huge difference between pride and righteous confidence. Pride fools one into thinking we can create our own Promised Land. The other recognizes, just as Abram did, God is our Portion, our shield, and our very great reward.
I believe we can define living in a spiritual Canaan as being in a place of righteous confidence in the Father. A place of our identity completely being wrapped inside of His. A place we can live with our faces turned unashamedly towards the sky. A place of faith in the means of God's provision and being satisfied if what we receive is a huge portion of Him. In this place is where we will be able to operate in a mode of full effectiveness for the Kingdom unbound by the carnal baggage Satan continually piles on our shoulders. As we evaluate the experiences of our lives, it is time we process those with the covering of God's Word so we can move into the Promise - the place where we can use our blessings to minister to others. As Galatians 3:8 says, this is how the Gospel is spread!

1. Do you struggle with a sense of self-worth? How do you perceive this has affected the way you are able to 'keep your head upright'? If not, do you know someone who suffers in this area?
Yes, what others see as an over inflated ego, is actually low self esteem. If I receive a voice message from a friend asking me to call my first thought is “what have I done wrong?” My head is held up by a stiff spine.

2. What are you most afraid of? Does this fear affect the way you move through life? (Ex. Are you overprotective with children? Afraid to take risks?)
Of not being accepted, loved and valued.

3. What is one of the most marvelous ways God has provided a need? I can't wait to hear your stories on this one!
My job that I have had for nearly 30 years. I put in an application, six months later received a call asking if I was still interested in the job. (This was even before I became a Christian) God knew that I would not be married to my first husband for much longer (total surprise to me) and that when Rusty and I married, that I would be the main means of support in our home. This job has met all of our needs and a few wants.

4. Steve Brown, a Moody Broadcasting Bible Teacher, is one of the first people I ever heard teach the concept that God was not mad at me. I grew up in a denomination that led me to believe He was in a continuous state of disappointment over my failures. How about you? Though in your heart you know God says He loves you, does Satan in your mind ever try to convince you otherwise?
Yes, but I always thought that was just normal. I didn’t realize that we are suppose to be safe in that unconditional love. Even though this is the same type of love I have tried to give my children. One of the greatest gifts I ever received was my Mother telling me, that there would never be anything that I could do that would cause her to stop loving me.

5. How close are you to your own Promised Land? Not at all, 1/2 way, almost there? By this I mean the place of abundant living and effectiveness here on earth, not the ultimate fulfillment in Glory! Though I hope you are going to heaven, I don't want it to be today! :)
I look forward to our discussion this week!
Not at all. I feel like Moses must have when he stood and saw the Promised land, I can see it, but can not find the trail or the map.

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