This summer, our women's bible study is about recognizing God's voice when he speaks. It's titled Discerning the Voice of God by Priscilla Shirer. Let me tell you, can the timing of this study have been any more perfect?!? :)
Two tuesdays ago, it was rainy and stormy here in Dallas. Nothing major, no tornadoes or anything like that, but it was enough to have me on the edge of staying home to curl up and do nothing by watch tv. This little voice in the back of my head kept saying, "it's ok, you can miss one week! No big deal, it's good to spend some snuggle time with the hubby!!" Of course I don't think this was God's voice.
So I forced myself out the door before I got too comfortable and headed towards the church. On my way there, I started talking to God and thanking Him. You see, I think that those times when I struggle to get out the door for bible study, it's usually because something wonderful is going to happen. I find that it's in these times that God turns on the light bulb in my head, and the message hits so close to home that it strikes my soul like lightning, and I come home in tears because I've experienced yet again how breathtaking my God is. Major growth takes place on these evenings!!! So I started thanking Him already for what He was about to reveal to me that evening.
So, first of all there's this…
"It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God."
2 Corinthians 3:5
In her video message for the evening, Priscilla explained that strongholds prevent us from hearing the voice of God. Then she said, "Let me say that again… strongholds prevent us from hearing the voice of God." Ok, Priscilla, I'm listening.
Sometimes I am so caught up in the fearful situations of what could be, of what mistakes I could make, of how horribly wrong something could go, and it really prevents me from hearing from God. "Strongholds start in your soul and they manifest themselves in your body," she says.
Strongholds will consume you.
So then she says this… "Combat strongholds by destroying them with divine weapons." She went on to tell a story about a woman who struggled with severe depression. This woman said that some days would be so bad that she couldn't leave her room, she would just curl up in a ball and lay on her bedroom floor. But then she heard Priscilla speak and she listened. She started to seek God and pray for Him to take the suffering away from her. She used God's word as a weapon. She wrote down scripture after scripture and memorized what the Bible says about her- what God says about her.
Combat strongholds by destroying them with divine weapons.
So that is what I am doing. :)
"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."
2 Timothy 1:7
"My child, don't lose sight of common sense and discernment. Hang on to them, for they will refresh your soul. They are like jewels on a necklace. They keep you safe on your way, and your feet will not stumble. You can go to bed without fear; you will lie down and sleep soundly."
"But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you. I praise God for what he has promised. I trust in God, so why should I be afraid? What can mere mortals do to me?"
"But forget all that- it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?"
"When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you."
And then I will listen to this precious song that I love so much and continue on my day with a huge smile. Because I know that my qualification comes from God, and He gave me a spirit of power and love, and I can do anything that He calls me to do.