Wow!! What a thought provoking lesson, Lisa!! Thank you for challenging me to think of all the opportunities I have been given to make the Name of Jesus FAMOUS!! Once again, I was left with a song in my heart, a song of praise to my God!!
Here are my answers to this week's Discussion Questions:
1. On a scale of 1 to 10, rate yourself on how often your conversation is seasoned with the works of the Lord on your behalf? If you speak very little of Him, is there a reason you know of? If you speak often, how do people respond?
I would probably give myself a 7 on this one. I try really hard to give God all the credit these days. Now, it wasn't always that way...there were many times when I tried to be the one calling the shots and gaining the glory, but I feel that as I have matured as a Christian, I have learned that it is truly ALL about HIM!! He is the reason I am who I am today, and every circumstance that he has allowed in my life has been for my benefit. What I mean by that is that He is making me a better reflector of HIS GLORY!!! Most people respond positively, but there are some who think I have lost my mind. Why is it so hard to simply have faith, and let God be God???
What's really comical about it all, is when I pray and ask God for a specific need or his provision over a certain area of my life, then when He comes through for me, I am surprised!! HE NEVER CEASES TO AMAZE ME!! Oh Lord, help me overcome my unbelief!!!
2. Have you experienced a Set Up for a Show Up when you were uncertain whether the situation was the chastisement of the Lord or a temptation of Satan?
There was one particular area of my ministry that I struggled with for a long time. I couldn't decide whether God was calling me to give it up, or if it was Satan trying to get me to quit. I honestly am still unsure about it. All I know is that in the end, God gave me the peace I needed. In that way He TOTALLY showed up in my life and allowed me the wisdom I needed to make the decision. That was a few years ago, and the longing has been placed back in my heart for this particular ministry very recently. I don't know if that means God wants me back there or not, but I do know that HE is SOVEREIGN, and as long as I put my trust in Him and allow Him to call the shots, whether or not this is in my future, I will be okay, because I know He has plans for me either way.
3. Have you ever or are you now experiencing any Job trials where you can still not identify any wrong-doing on your part?
Most of the time I can trace my trials back to either an act or attitude of rebellion. Even back in college, I feel that I went through a series of difficult (even terrible) circumstances because I was in an attitude of rebellion towards not only my parents, but God. My disobedient heart caused a removal of protection, which in the end, was for my benefit. Much like the Prodigal Son, who was allowed to leave home with his full inheritance, I had to learn the hard way, that the best place to be, the safest place to be, was at home...in the arms of my Father. Because of that correction, I have never rebelled in that way again.
4. Apply this principle: How can my response make my God famous? Will obedience result in my sanctification and God's Glory?
At the Beth Moore conference I attended back in March, she taught out of the book of James. One of the key verses was to "count it all joy" when we experience various trials. She said that each one of these trials has a purpose, and that is to give color to our masterpiece. Ephesians 2:10 tells us that we are Christ's workmanship (that word translated literally means "masterpiece"). God is using every trial in my life, to add color, beauty and wonder to me, His canvas. My response to give God the glory, no matter what circumstance I find myself in increases God's fame because the world is watching. They want to see how I react to different things. My reaction is my testimony. Not only the lost people of the world, but a cloud of witnesses stands in awe, each time I stand to my feet in the midst of a storm, and praise and worship my God in spite of, or even better, because of it!
5. Does the origin of our affliction matter in view of the fame God can gain from it?
Hmmm, that is a tough one. I am inclined to say no because whether our affliction is part of correction, or due to God's allowing the enemy to try and sway us, it is all for our benefit, and HIS glory. Then again, those who have done NOTHING to deserve the affliction, and still choose to stand and praise, well they are the creme of the crop!! Either way, He is still the Famous One.