Come & study God's Word with the ladies of Journey Christian Church of New Orleans, Louisiana.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Chapter 11: Jehovah-nissi - The Lord My Banner

I love a good game!  I love to sit in the stands with my team's jersey on, popcorn in hand and ready to scream (from either the stands or my couch) my team on to victory!

However, this next name of God does not allow us to scream from the cheap seats... we are to join in the fight.  You may be asking, "how in the world is this good news?"  The Good News is that we don't have to fight alone!

Jehovah-nissi means The Lord My Banner.

And we first see the use of this name for God in Exodus 17, when Moses and the children of Israel came upon the Amelekites.   If you haven't taken the time to read - go and read this incredible story.  It's found in Exodus 17:8-16.

Here's a quick summary:
The children of Israel are making their way to the Promised Land and the Amelekites showed up a Rephidim to fight them.  Moses told Joshua to go and fight them and he went to the mountain with his staff - his rod.  When Moses held his staff up to God, the Israelites prevailed, when he got tired and lowered his staff, the Amelekites prevailed!  So Aaron & Hur helped to hold up or support Moses's hands and as a result Joshua overwhelmed the Amalekites!

Moses built an altar and named it The Lord is My Banner.

There is so much we can learn from this passage and this name of God.  The main thing to take home from this chapter is that we can attain victory over our enemy!

Who or what are you battling today?  Who or what is your enemy?

Before I get too far into the lessons from this chapter I want you to have a proper visual of the banner.

In the translated meaning of banner is "to glisten".  Today when we think of a battle banner, we get an image of a flag of some sort.  However, Moses's banner was more like a staff with a metal object near the top and it would catch the sun's rays and glisten.  It would be like a beacon to the warriors to let them know where the battle lines were.  Where safety could be found.  It was a rallying point. 

Do you need to see those lines today?  Have you lost where the rally point is with your God?

Most of the times, our greatest enemy is our flesh.  Kay, in this chapter, compares Amelek to our flesh.  Ladies... we must first recognize that we are in a battle.  We are battling the ways of our flesh against the ways of our Lord.  And when we give in to flesh we will only find sorrow.

We learned from this chapter that originally Saul was commanded by God to destroy the Amelekites.  He did not completely obey this command and later he was killed by them.  Oh!  If only he had fully obeyed!  Instead he made excuses and tried to prove that he did something better than what God asked of him. 

Don't we do that too!  So often we try to convince God that our way is better - only to have to suffer later as a result of our pride and selfishness.

I love this quote from Kay, "Under the banner of God, victory is always assured; but apart from it, defeat is a certainty.  You can't do battle against the flesh under your own power."

Remember as long as Moses held up his staff - the Israelites prevailed - when he dropped it - the enemy got a stronghold.  We must look to God for our victory - we must look for His glistening banner!

I want to ask you today...

            What is your Amelek?  And do you need to put it to death?

Deuteronomy 20:3-4 says, 
"Hear, O Israel, you are approaching the battle against your enemies today.  Do no be fainthearted.  Do not be afraid, or panic, or tremble before them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you."

We are in a battle - so suit up!

Ephesians 6:11 
Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.

And then watch the victory come to pass...

Romans 8:37 
But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.

Let me tell you a little secret - a spoiler alert that I know you won't mind hearing...

Yes, we're in a battle 


WE WIN!!!!

So today, call out to your Jehovah-nissi - find his staff glistening in the sun and get behind Him.  Let Him lead you to victory!!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Chapter 10: Pausing for a Momentary Summary

Chapter 10 - Wow!  You're doing so well!  I think it's time for a break and allow our brain to really take in all that we've learned about the many names of God.

So  - let's review the names that we've covered so far...

Elohim - Creator

El Elyon - God Most High

El Roi - The God Who Sees

El Shaddai - The All-Sufficient One

Adonai - Lord/Master

Jehovah/Yahweh - LORD

Jehovah-jireh - The God Who Provides

Jehovah-rapha - The God Who Heals

Very Good!!!  Hopefully as you did this review in your workbook you were able to remember their meanings without looking back in your book.  It's certainly okay if you had to flip a few pages - I sure did - but it only helps us in our prayers to really know them from our heart!!!

The next part of this chapter was really a neat experience.  I hope you really took the time to do it.  In fact, I almost skipped it and even thought about calling the local ladies to tell them to skip it too!  

WHAT WAS I THINKING!!!  It was so good - if you haven't completed it - take the time now.  Come back when you've finished.

See... wasn't it good?!  Kay had us take Exodus 17: 1-16 and really analyze it to the fullest.

She had us give the Chapter a Title and had us mark a Key Verse.

I'm curious... What was your Title and Verse?  Okay, I'll be vulnerable with you - here's mine.  And this is what I wrote down before I saw her guidelines for titles and verses (so they may not be very accurate).  Love me anyway?  I hope so!

My Title:  Israel Gets Water & Fights

My Verse:  v15:  And Moses built an altar, and named it The Lord is My Banner;

Now that wasn't so hard was it?  Oh!  And what about the key word - what did you choose for that?  Okay here I go again, making myself vulnerable - mine were:  water (and any water related words), rock, fight/fought, Amalek, and hand

Then Kay had us answer the Who, What, When, Why, Where, & How questions from this passage.  I learned so much just from digging out the answers for myself.  

The majority of what was learned from this chapter was found in the quiet time of reading and analyzing the scripture for yourself.  Isn't this a great way to study God's Word?!

The one thing I will leave you with that I thought was really fascinating about this passage was the rock question at the end of the chapter.

God told Moses to strike the rock and water would come out of it.  Can you think of another rock that was struck?  1 Corinthians 10:4, "and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them, and the rock was Christ."

Ladies - our Rock, Jesus Christ, offers us Living Water.  He was struck and beaten for us - to bring us Healing and to allow us to stand under His Banner!  

I can't wait for Chapter 11 - Jehovah-nissi - The Lord My Banner

Comments:  Please share with me what your title, verse, key words, and something interesting you learned from asking the W questions!

I love you all dearly and am amazed at your faithfulness in this study!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Chapter 8: Jehovah Jireh - The Lord Will Provide

Wow!  Chapter 8!  Can you believe it?!  We're halfway through the book, Lord, I Want To Know You.

I am super duper proud of you!  I don't know if you're attending the local study and you're using the blog as your "Cliff Notes" for your prep time - or if you're somewhere in your house, with your cup of coffee in your pj's nice and cozy near your computer - but either way... I'm so glad you've stuck with it this far!

It's been a great study!  But it just keeps getting better!  If you've found this page today and you're wondering - "Did I miss it?"  or "I wish I could have found this sooner - it's too late now."  I'm here to encourage you to just start here and follow us from here on out!  We're really about to enter into some of my favorite Names of God.  And perhaps, God led you here at this very moment - just for you!

In this chapter we're studying The God Who Provides - Jehovah Jireh.

Okay, if you know me - you know I LOVE to study the words from the original manuscript - what words were actually used before we applied our English translations & understandings to them?

In Chapter 7 we studied Jehovah (okay, so if you're new - back up just one lesson/chapter and look at Jehovah).

We're about to enter a group of names that are actually compound words.  That's exactly what Jehovah Jireh is - a compound name.  Now why in the world would God need to add to His name.  Isn't His name alone enough?  Sure it is!  But it's also in the very character - the nature - of our God to extend Himself - to reach out beyond Himself.

Do you have areas in your life where you are desperate for God to reach out beyond?  I do.  Take a moment right know and cry those out to Him.  He already knows them - but it will do your spirit good to actually talk to God about them.

Actually before we get started I want to ask you 2 questions. Think about them as we go through this chapter and we'll answer them together at the end.

What are your greatest needs?  Where are you needing some BIG TIME provisions?
(sorry, that's really all one question)
What is most precious to you?  What can you NOT live without?
(Man!  Can I not ask just 1 simple question?  Sorry!)

Okay - back to the word study...
Jehovah-jireh means "the Lord will provide".  Did you know that jireh, in the Old Testament, actually means "to see"?  It actually means that He foresees and what He sees, what He foresees, He provides!  I love when our English word actually matches Hebrew words.  Take a look at our word provision.  Did you know this is actually a compound word - pro (beforehand) and vision (to see).

How cool is this?!  In provision we have both seeing beforehand and providing... all in the same word!  Just soak this up for a moment!  God not only sees where you are now... but He saw before you did and He has a plan for provision already in the works!!  We just need to trust that He's got it under control.

Next... it's always important to see where a word is used for the very first time in scripture - it really helps bring meaning and context to the word.  The first time we see Jehovah-jireh is with Abraham.  It's a very familiar story - Abraham & Isaac going to Mt. Moriah.  It's found in Genesis 22:1-19.  Take a moment to read through this story.

In the workbook, Kay had us mark every time we read the words love, worship, and obey.  I hope you took time to do this.  We're going to look in a moment about the significant of these 3 words and even their order!!!

From this passage we see that God told Abraham to take Isaac up to the mountain and offer him as a sacrifice.  What?!  His only son - really?!  We don't see Abraham having this kind of conversation with God.  He just immediately obeys!  Now that is some kind of trust!!!

Ken Hemphill, in his book The Names of God, says this about obedience...

Delayed obedience is immediate disobedience 
Partial obedience is complete disobedience.

Wow!  I sure have some lessons to learn from Abraham!  Have you ever connected your obedience with God's provision?  Let that sink in for a moment.  God told Abraham to do something.  In fact, He told Abraham to give up the one thing he cared for the most - his only son!  And as he was worshiping the Lord at the altar, and about to sacrifice his only son - Jehovah-jireh provided another sacrifice - a ram.  And it was here that Abraham named the place, "The Lord Will Provide" (Jehovah-jireh).

In the passage above - the order of the three words that Kay told us to mark - is:

Do you have this same kind of order in your life?  Love God.  Worship Him.  And immediately and completely obey Him.

Did you know that God desperately wants to provide for your every need?  The big ones and the small ones!  I want you to leave this study making the connection between obedience and having your needs provided.  So... back to the questions above.

What is most precious to you?  In other words, what is your Isaac?  It might not be a person.  It might be your money - your career - your house - your time.  I want to ask you today, are you willing to put it on the altar for the Lord - if He were to ask you?  Whew!  I know!  This is a hard one for me too!

But if we're following the example of Abraham - God provided for him immediately when he obeyed.  I'm here to tell you today that you CAN trust God with your Isaac!!!

Now you may be thinking - I can trust God with my eternal destiny - for salvation - but the everyday stuff I still struggle with trust.  You know - like will I be able to pay my bills, will I be able to raise my children the right way, will my marriage be healthy forever, so on and so forth - you know the questions that haunt your mind at night!

Look at this:  
Philippians 4:6-7
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Get to know God as your Jehovah-jireh.  He sees & He provides.  He provides for your death through salvation in Jesus Christ - AND He provides for your life through your complete surrender and trust in full obedience to Him.

I'm not saying any of this is easy.  I am saying that there are wonderful blessings to experience when we trust and obey - and allow Him to be our Jehovah-jireh!

One last thing... Ken Hemphill compared God providing for Abraham with a "bottom of the ninth" save in a baseball game.  If you waiting for God to provide for you and He hasn't yet... maybe... just maybe it's not the end of the game yet!!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Chapter 7: Jehovah or Yahweh - The Self-Existent One

Does God have a proper name?  So far we've studied 5 names of God:
Elohim - The Creator
El Elyon - The God Most High
El Roi - The God Who Sees
El Shaddai - The All-Sufficient One
Adonai - Lord or Master

But what about just GOD?

What name do we use for GOD in the proper form?

If we were to put the label of "proper name" on God it would be Yahweh or Jehovah.  Jehovah or Yahweh is used 6,823 times in the Bible.  In Hebrew is it written with no vowels:  YHWH.  In fact, the Jews would not even pronounce this name for God for fear they might profane His Holiness.

Ken Hemphill, in his book, The Names of God says, 
"When they came to YHWH in the text, they would substitute the name Adonai.  When the Jewish scholars, called Masoretes, added vowel signs sometime before the tenth century A.D., the vowels from the name Adonai were put together with the letters YHWH (translated as JHVH in German) to create the name Jehovah that we find in our English text."

Jehovah is derived from havah, which means, "to be".  Jehovah is the God who is absolutely self-existent.  "To be" is at it's essence to have life.  He possesses life and permanent existence.  HE ALONE!

In our human minds we think in terms of cause and effect.  Who created the heavens & the earth? God.  Who created God?  God has always been  and He always will be.  I love how Ken Hemphill puts it, "He is the uncaused cause"!

We first read of Yahweh or Jehovah in Genesis 2:4 - here He is compounded with Elohim.
Genesis 2:4 (NASB)
This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made earth and heaven.

Here we see Yahweh Elohim used together.  The focal point of our study of Jehovah will be with Moses at the burning bush.  Moses asks God what should I say, if they ask me Your name.  And God tells Moses to say, "I AM WHO I AM" has sent you.

There's something very interesting about the Hebrew breakdown of this Name of God.  It is found to be in the imperfect tense.  Now that's just a fancy grammar term to mean something that started in the past, it continues into the present, and it's not complete yet.

What comfort that already gives me about the nature of Jehovah - He was here before I got here, He's here with me now and He'll continue long after I'm gone.  That's a pretty powerful God.

Another truth we can learn about Jehovah is that He is a covenant-keeping God.  Jehovah reminds Moses that He is the God of his fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.   The people understand at this very moment that their God and His name went with His covenant promise to His people.  Jehovah fulfilled the covenant He had made with Abraham regarding the Promised Land.  

Jehovah is the promise keeping, unchanging, self-existent God.

On page 56 of your workbook, Kay says this,
"When you need assurance that God is there, that He will keep His promises without changing - even though you have wavered in your promises to Him - run to your Jehovah.  Trust in His name.  It can't change because He can't change.  He is Jehovah - the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8)."

So how can knowing God as Jehovah, as Yahweh, help us in our everyday - regular life - stuff?

The I AM - Jehovah, Yahweh is our present answer.  He was here before, He's here now, and He will be here in the future.  He came to Moses in the burning bush to tell him that He was here for his fathers before him, and that He was here for Moses in his present day troubles and that He had a answer for the broken state of affairs of the people of Israel.  Therefore, I can take this and apply it to my life!

He has been God to heroes of the faith before us.  He is here for us in 2010, the present, and He can and wants to heal the broken things in our life too.  He is actively working in our lives to transform our daily living.

Today, pray to Jehovah - recognize that He is the uncaused cause!  He is Self-Existent and does not need us - but desperately wants to be active in our lives!  He wants to be the I AM and transform our daily living!  Pray that His unchanging character can penetrate into my every changing circumstances!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Chapter 6: Adonai - Lord & Master

I thought I might take a moment before we get to our study on Chapter 6 to explain a few things...
If you're following along and don't see many comments after the chapter summary, please don't take this as a sign that no one is really doing the study!!  You are not alone here!  In fact, many more ladies are following and doing this study that the names & faces you see to the right of the post!

In fact, I get comments via Facebook & email all the time regarding what ladies are learning about their God as a result of this Bible study!  I think that this particular study becomes very personal rather quickly.  And therefore, perhaps women are not as willing to be vulnerable to the world wide web.

I completely understand this and applaud you for not airing all of your skeletons to strangers.  But if you so desire to comment - I welcome them in any way you want to send them.  And even if you don't want to comment - that's okay too - as long as your making your comments to the Lord - you're on the right track!

Now on with Chapter 6 - Adonai

Before we get too far into this chapter's lesson, I want to ask you two very important questions...

What are the things that you own?
(don't over spiritualize this - just think about the things in your life that you would attach the word, Mine, to)

Do you have any areas in your life where you would say, "Lord, I can't"?
(this could be about places you would go, things you would do, people you would love, etc)

Okay - hang on to those questions and answers and let them bake in your mind for a bit while we back up and learn a little more about this particular name for God - Adonai.

Whenever you see, "Lord", in scripture (written in exactly like this - capital L, smaller uppercase ord) it means, Adonai, meaning Master or more simply owner.  If you see, LORD, (written in all caps) it means God or Yahweh.

The first time we read about Adonai is with Abram - (yes, again with Abram!).  Abram is asking God what He will give him since he is still childless.  Will He make Eliezer of Damascus his heir?

The interesting thing here is that Eliezer was Abram's bondslave (not a hired slave).  A bond servant or slave was far better off than a hired servant because his master provided for his every need!

Ladies, as believers, as Christians, we are bondslaves to the Lord.  Slave?  How in the world could this be a good thing?  Well, for one, just as we see with Abram - you are welcomed in as a member of the family and are totally provided for by the Master. 

Kay then had us read several scriptures where we saw the benefit of having God as our Master.
I've listed them below.  Please take a moment to read them (or review them from your personal workbook) and see the benefits and/or responsibilities of living under this kind of authority.

Psalm 89:50-51;     Psalm 141:8-10;     Psalm 119:125;     
Judges 6:14-16

Then we looked at some verses about all that God is Adonai (Master) over:

Deuteronomy 9:26;    1 Kings 2:26;    Psalm 2:4;    
Psalm 8:1, 6-8;    Psalm 37:12-13

I want to specifically draw your attention to Psalm 8:1, 6-8 (just in case you gave up with all the Bible calisthenics)...  Here we see that the Lord is ruler, Master, over EVERYTHING!  If you listed them out in your workbook you probably wrote down: works of Your hands (which is everything), flocks, herds, beasts, birds, fish.  This doesn't leave room for anything to be left out of the Lord's dominion, does it?!

Are you ready to call the Lord, your Master?  Are you ready to hand it all over to Him?  Because quite frankly, my sweet sisters - He already owns everything that you are currently calling, "Mine!"

Go back to the first question that I asked you at the beginning of this session.  "What are the things that you own?"  Did you know that the Lord, Adonai already owns everything?  You are just a steward of what belongs to Him.  This includes your house, your car, your washing machine, and yes, even your children!  They do not belong to you - they belong to God.  And He is allowing you to temporarily take care of them.

How does this make you feel?

In a way, it kind of puts things in a better perspective if you think about it.  Ownership is not always what it's cracked up to be.  Ownership demands maintenance and repairs and much attention and provision.

Okay, I know that we could stop right here and chew on this information for a while - but there's one more thing I want you to see with Adonai.  And it's something that Abram kind of missed when he called the Lord, Adonai.  See, Adonai means Master, meaning I am completely submissive to your direction, God.  And yet, Abram saw his areas of lacking while trying to call the Lord, Master.

If your Master is telling you to do something, He is going to provide you with what you need to do the task!  Remember when we were saying that a bond servant was treated like a member of the family and the Master had to completely provide for the servant's needs?  It is an incompatible statement to say, "Lord (Adonai), I can't do that!" - when He's told you to do it!

Are you submissive or not?  Are you allowing Him to be your Master or not?  Another incompatible statement is, "Lord, I don't want to!"  
If He is truly your Lord,  your Master, you don't get to put your wants above His instructions and directions for your life!!!

Did you know that a Master can demand respect & obedience?  This is kind of the nature of "Master".  But I want to show you where God addresses this in scripture:  

Malachi 1:6
"A son honors his father, and a servant his master.  Then if I am a father, where is My honor?And if I am master, where is My respect?" says the Lord of hosts to you, O priests who despise My name.
We are to honor, respect, and obey the Lord as the Master, the owner of our entire life. 

I want to end our time together with 3 things that a person who knows God as their Adonai will do:
(this was taken from Ken Hemphill's, The Names of God)

1.  They know God is the owner of their entire life and consider it a privilege to serve Him

2.  They know that their Master will supply everything in order for them to do what He has called them to do.

3.  They can do whatever God (Adonai) calls them to do.  
(In other words, they never say, "Lord, I can't.")

I want to close with the Memory Verse that Kay gives us at the end of the chapter.  Take a moment and look it up in your own Bible, pray over and make it personal.

Psalm 16:2, I said to the Lord, "Thou art my Lord (Adonai); I have no good besides Thee."

Points of discussion for the Comment Section:
1.  How do you feel about God, Adonai, owning EVERYTHING - which includes you, your things, and your family members, and friends?

2.  Have you ever said, "Lord, I can't!" or "Lord, I don't want to?"  What were the results of those circumstances?

3.  What kind of comfort does it bring you that as your Adonai, He will supply you will your every need?

4.  Point to ponder - knowing God as your Adonai puts you in a position (bowed down) to actually see Him as your El Shaddai (nourisher, provider, all sufficient).  Have you experienced this?

I'm super proud of your faithfulness to learn and get to know your God!
Your sis in the faith,

Monday, July 12, 2010

Chapter 5: El Shaddai - The All-Sufficient One

I'm so glad that you decided to open this blog!  It is not by accident that you opened a blog or a link about an All-Sufficient God!  God has some amazing things to reveal about Himself today in this Chapter Summary on El Shaddai - the All-Sufficient God.  Please be diligent to read to the end of this summary.

Before we get started - I want to encourage you to read Genesis 17:1-3

I don't know what trials or experiences you are facing as you read this today - but I would imagine that most of us could say that we have or are facing the impossible!

Think about this with me for just a moment...

What will it take to relieve your anxiety?
(we all have areas that keep us from sleeping)

How much is enough?
(enough what?  money, security, friends, acceptance, etc)

I want to share with you today - that God is the answer to both of the questions above!
God is enough.  He is sufficient for ALL your needs!

There are wonderful promises in the Bible.  Like the one found in Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength."  Or like Philippians 4:6, "Be anxious for nothing."

Can these really be true in your life - or are they just words on a page that sound good.  Can they REALLY be true in our lives?!  With a resounding YES - I want to scream!

Share with us if you have experienced how God is truly enough and how He can relieve your anxiety.

Kay shares with us the Greek meaning of this name for God - El Shaddai.  As we have studied in previous chapters the "El" means mighty and powerful.  So what about the Shaddai part.  It has been widely accepted that Shaddai comes from another Hebrew word - Shad - which means to nourish or supply.  As a  woman this has an even more personal meaning and/or understanding.  The Hebrew word Shad actually means The Pourer or the Shedder forth.  It also has a meaning of "breasted".

So to put these all together we have a God would supplies all of our nourishment by pouring Himself out for His creatures.  He sheds forth His Spirit upon us and actually dwells within us.

There is nothing more beautiful and comforting knowing that as a baby cries a mother can provide for this little one from her very being!  I know it paints a strange picture - but this is where we get "all-sufficient" - He can provide for everything that we may be hungering for and need.

The thing that I want you to understand from this chapter is not only can He provide for our needs - but He provides in situations that seem impossible!

Look at the verses from Genesis again.  This is the first time we see God revealed as El Shaddai - to Abram as he turns 99 years old and again is reminded that he will father a son from Sarai - who is 89 years old.  Are you kidding me?!  Really?!  This can really still happen?!  Yes!  With God as their El Shaddai - God Almighty - God makes a way from who He is in areas that seem impossible!

Just look at what He did for Abraham & Sarah...  El Shaddai brought fruit to an empty & very old womb.   Do you have areas that seem impossible to you?  Areas where you're sure they are just hopeless - even for God?

So finally I ask you - if God can move and work with the impossibles and make them possibles and fruitful - what's the catch?  In other words - what is required of me?  Is there something I must do first?


I see three things that put us in the right position to see God move in our areas of impossibilities.

1.  Take this message as a warning.  
We will never accomplish for God His plan as long as we are still doing things our way.
Don't use prayer as your last resort!

2.  We must be ready to take a posture of positive surrender!
Be willing to let go and let God.  Don't do this grudgingly!

3.  Be willing to wait!
Wait!  Really?!  
Abraham & Sarah had to wait for God's timing and so must we!

Today, in the comments section, share with us how you have experienced God as your El Shaddai - how He provided in ways that seemed impossible to you.  If you have not experienced God as your El Shaddai, share with us how you will begin to let go & let God take control of those areas that give you anxiety.

I love you all dearly and am so very proud that you are still studying God's Word with me!
Your sis in the faith,

Chapter 4: El Roi - The God Who Sees

I'm so proud of you in your faithfulness to this study!  I know it must take a lot of discipline to go through a study at home and attend ONLINE, rather than going a meeting a group of ladies.  While, yes, it may be easier to cozy up to your computer with a cup of coffee, your Bible, and your book - it does indeed take discipline to read and study.  I know this to be true & I applaud your faithfulness!

I know as a result God is going to show you great & mighty things that will bring healing, comfort and power to your life.

In this chapter (Chapter 4) we see God as El Roi - The God Who Sees.  I hope you have taken the time to read this short chapter - it was amazing!  But if you are following this blog only I want to give you some background information.

The first time in scripture where we see El Roi mentioned is in Genesis 16.  Please take a moment to go and read this very short chapter.  It is a familiar story about Sarai (her name has not yet been changed to Sarah) & Hagar.

In Genesis Chapter 16, we see where Sarai, couldn't wait for God to fulfill His promise of her having a son, so she sends Hagar to her husband Abram in the hopes that she can have a son through her.  I just wrote in the margins of my Bible, "WOW!" when I read that Abram took Hagar as his wife.  I know times were different then, but SERIOUSLY!  What was Sarai thinking?  As my husband calls it, I think this was some kind of "stinkin' thinkin'!"

Hagar does get pregnant and does indeed have a son.  Good news right?  Wrong!  As a result, the women treated each other harshly (interesting isn't it... when we get ahead of God and go our own way, discord begins to happen!).   Eventually Hagar just can't take it anymore and she runs away (literally).

The Lord finds Hagar in the wilderness, by a spring and reveals Himself to her as El Roi - the God Who Sees all that has happened.  He explains what is about to happen.  She will have a son, she will name him Ishmael, and that she is to return to Sarai & Abram.

My dear friends - have you ever had a Hagar Moment?  Perhaps you did exactly like you were told, you did a good job, and then it just didn't measure up?  It just wasn't enough and you were still ridiculed for what you were told to do?!  How frustrating right?  It could be enough for you to literally run away, or enough for you to run away from it in your spirit.  And as a result, you never really received healing.  If this is where you are today - I have good news for you!

God sees it all!  Have you ever wondered, "Where is God?" or "Did God see what they just did to me?"  The answer is a resounding, "YES!"

Based on this, I would imagine that we all have areas in our life that need some healing?  So where do we start?  Where does real healing begin?  Read Psalm 139: 7-12.  Nothing happens that God does not see.  There is no place that evil can hide from God.  He sees it all.

Kay says on page 32, "God saw it.  He knows the sin that was committed against you.  And someday He will vindicate you."  How does this make you feel?  Does this bring you comfort?

The chapter ends with a great thought... "What if you had a loved one who ran away or who was missing?  Although you would not know where he was or what was happening in his life, El Roi does!" 

Perhaps you're really concerned about your future and you just can see how you're going to get out of where you currently are - you can't see - but El Roi does!

Conclude your time today reading Proverbs 15:3.  "The eyes of the Lord are in every place, watching the evil and the good."

Comments for today's discussion:
1.  What comfort does knowing your God as El Roi bring to you today?
2.  How does Proverbs 15:3 make you feel?
3.  Do you have some times in your life where you felt like Hagar?  How would knowing God as El Roi helped you then and how does it help to heal you now?
4.  Take a moment to thank God for being your El Roi - that He does see all that happens concerning you, His child!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Chapter 3: El Elyon - The God Most High

I certainly hope & pray that you are enjoying this Bible Study.  I know that I am.  I tried to keep up with the weeks and the chapters - but knowing that the pace of an online study is different than a local in-person study, we're not bound to "weeks."  So starting today, I will just list them (or title them) according to the chapter of study.

Chapter 3 rocked my world!  I don't know if you've ever studied the sovereignty of God before, but it can really impact how you view your God and truly impact your prayers in a positive way.

I hope that you saw in studying Elohim that you were created with a purpose!  Our God - Elohim - the Creator, created us to give Him glory and to do His will.   All that we do in our everyday-regular-life-stuff should point to His glory and that we are being obedient to His will for our lives.

Now in Chapter 3 we see that God is El Elyon - The God Most High.  This means that our God is sovereign.  I've listed here just a few definitions of sovereign (this is very helpful if the concept of sovereign is new to you):

1.  Not controlled by outside forces
2.  Greatest in status
3.  Chief ruler
4.  Permanent authority
5.  Absolute and independant authority
6.  Free from external control and constraint in action and judgment

On page 15, Kay says, "For if God is not sovereign, if He is not in control, if all things are not under His dominion, then He is not the Most High, and you and I are either in the hands of fate (whatever that is), in the hands of man, or in the hands of the devil."

After reading this I wrote in the margin of my book, "This leaves me no security!  What a scary thought!"  Ladies... I want my God to be Most High - I want my God to be sovereign!  Don't you?!

In this chapter Kay had us turn to many scriptures to see the sovereignty of God.  I do hope that you have a book and are actually turning to them in your own Bible.  If you do not have a book - I've listed them here for you.  Please take a moment and turn to them and see what a sovereign God looks like.
(Don't worry - they aren't long and they are worth it to see!  I promise!)

Daniel 4:34-35;  Isaiah 14:24,27;   Isaiah 46: 9-11;    Daniel 2:20-23;  Isaiah 5:5-7;   Deuteronomy 32:39;  1 Samuel 1:5-6;   1 Samuel 2:6-10;  Isaiah 45:6-7;   John 19:10-11

Stop for a minute and think about your own life.  Do you like that God is in control all the time?  That nothing can happen to you, to your family, to all the people around you without the ultimate permission of God?  Share with us how this makes you feel in the comment section today!

Ladies, it is so important to realize, especially after reading these verses, that God is totally and completely in control of your life!  There is great news here!  God wants you to follow Him - to do His will and to bring glory to Him and He will do and/or allow anything to happen to get to that end!

He will allow amazing miracles to take place to show His glory.  He will also allow horrible hardships to befall us - if it will bring us to our knees and recognize that He is Holy.  Remember - it's all about His glory and His will. 

I have often said that many times God will through small little pebbles at us to get our attention.  Please, ladies do not push Him to through a boulder at us!  Recognize when He's trying to get your attention.  If you miss it - in His sovereignty, He might just wound so He can heal! (from verse Deuteronomy 32:39 - go read it if you didn't before - it will really educate you!)

El Elyon is super powerful!  He is the Most High God.  Did you know that our prayers do not inform or educate God about anything?  Nothing surprises God!  He is bigger than anything you can share with Him.  He is bigger than your worst nightmare!  He is more powerful than your scariest monster in your life!  And the good news - He is so big that there's nothing you can do to make Him stop loving you!  He's more forgiving than your biggest mistake!  He has more love than you have mistakes.  His bag of do-overs never empties!  He is the God Most High!  

I want to close with a small exercise.  In Chapter 2, we read Romans 11:36 - "For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things.  To Him be the glory forever.  Amen."

I want you to list your "all things" to God.  In other words, what are you dealing with this morning that is quite frankly just too much for you?  Because remember - from, through, and to - is this thing!

Now - look at the verse for Chapter 3 - Psalm 57:2 - "I will cry to God Most High, to God who accomplishes all things for me."

Here we see El Elyon - we can cry to Him with the "all thing" that you listed from Chapter 2 - and know that our God is able to accomplish it for us!

It is comforting to me to know that I can cry out to El Elyon and know that in His sovereignty He will accomplish good things in my life!

Continue reading - continue learning about your God - everything rides on this!  I promise that your prayers will become more effective and so will your life, as you study the names of your God!

your sis in the faith,

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Week 2: Chapter 2 - Elohim

Hello my dear Friends!
I really wanted chapters 2 & 3 to come a lot sooner than this, but no worries - remember the online pace could be slower or faster than the local classes.  I might surprise you this next week and have a posting about chapters 4-6 really fast... you just never know - so I hope you're checking the blog daily so you don't miss anything!

Wow!  Chapter 2 rocked my world!  Just from a name of God we can find our entire life's purpose!

We learned our first name of God - Elohim.  The El part of this name means, "mighty" and "strong" and the him part is a plural ending indicating more than one.  This is where we learn about the Trinity - God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

Our God is a 3 in 1 God who is mighty & strong.  Elohim is also the name for God as CREATOR.  In the previous chapter we learned that the name of God is a strong tower and we can run to it for safety.   How in the world can knowing our God as Creator be a strong tower for us?

God, as Creator, gave us life.  Have you ever wondered why?  Why did He create you?  Why in the world are you here?

Please read Psalm 139:13-14.  You are fearfully & wonderfully made!  Do you know this?  Or do you look in the mirror and see something different than what God sees?

On page 10 of Chapter 2, Kay talks about the disciples who had seen a blind man.  This man had been blind from birth and the disciples asked who in this man's life had sinned.  Jesus answered this question in John 9:3, "It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was in order that the works fo God might be displayed him him."

Wow!  You may not understand why you look the way you do, or why you're having to experience the kind of life that you have, but you can trust in the name of your God!

Read Isaiah 50:10.  Here we see someone who fears God, obeys God and yet still struggles in life.  But Isaiah says to still trust in & rely on the name of God!

Read Romans 11:36 (this is one of my favorite verses!)
"For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things.  To Him be the glory forever. Amen."
Share with us what this verse means to you.

So again... why were we created?
Read Isaiah 43:1, 3-4, 7

We were created for His glory!  Have you ever been told this before?  Do you really get what this means for your daily life?!  Share with us what this means to you.

Kay defines what glory means on page 12, "in the Hebrew language it means to give the correct opinion or estimate of."

Okay, so if I am created for His glory, then my life should reflect a correct opinion or estimate of who God is.  Kay asks us, "How would you live if you were to live for His glory?"  Great question!!!

But you weren't only created for His glory - you were also created to do His will.
Read Revelation 4:11.

Did you see it?  "but because of Thy will they existed and were created."  Our lives should be lived in such a way as to reflect Him and His character and to accomplish His will.

Please don't miss this!  "To miss this purpose is to miss fulfillment."  My husband always says, in almost every sermon or counseling session that the Bible is filled guidelines that will give you the best life possible - don't miss it!

Elohim is our strong & mighty Creator God who gives us true life!  Do you want to just exist or do you want to truly live?!  Don't just go through life day after day burning hours - truly begin to live today by understanding that the very name of your God gives you life and purpose!

Are you living the purpose of your creation?  What would you need to change to make that happen?

Comments for this chapter discussion:
1.  Share how Romans 11:36 impacts your daily life.

2.  Do you truly get that you were created for His glory?  Does your life reflect the character of God in your daily, regular life stuff?

3.  Why is it important to know God as our Creator?

4.  What is currently happening in your life or circumstances that is easier to deal with now that you know God as your Elohim?

I look forward to reading and sharing with you!
Your sis in the faith,

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Week 1: Chapter 1

Okay, so I know most of you probably have the book and are faithfully doing your daily assignments and are just plugging along in this new study.  However, I have had several ladies ask if they could just follow the blog - without necessarily buying the book.

I will NEVER tell something they have to buy something to study God's word.  Just get your Bible in your hand and your spirit in a place to receive what God wants to show you and you are welcome!

So, tonight (while the kids are asleep & John is at a church meeting) I thought I would give you a few notes about the first chapter.

Chapter 1:  The Names of the Lord
At the very beginning of this chapter Kay asks the question, "Where do you run in time of need?"

We study the names of God to know where to run to find help in times of trouble, worry, and fear.  When it seems like darkness is all around you and nothing you're doing seems to be working, where do you go?  When you feel like you're lost and you just can't seem to get a handle on life and certainly can't find joy, you need a strong and powerful name you can lean on and run to - and God is just that kind of name.

Proverbs 18:10, "The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runs into it and is safe."

My sweet friends, we may not be able to ever know the reasons why things happen in our lives, but we can know the God who is able to deliver us through every trial and circumstance.  Do you believe this today?  If you're not sure... hang on.  Stick with us for this study.  Test and see if your faith is not strengthened the more we get to know Him.

Psalm 20:7 says, 
"Some boast in chariots, and some in horses; 
but we will boast in the name of the Lord, our God."

Do you know what it means to boast in the name of the Lord?  To boast in something means to have confidence in or to trust.  So to boast in the name of the Lord means to have confidence in His name.

Can you say that you boast in the name of God? 

I think that we don't run to God or boast in God because we don't really know Him.  I hope that you have taken time to read the many names of God at the back of your book.  Did you know before this study that God even had that many names?!

Read all of Psalm 20.

In this passage look for every word that has something to do with trouble, need, or help and mark it in some way.

Now look for the Lord's promises - mark those too!

I also write a blog that bears the name "LIVING ABOVE' - we see in verse 1 that we can be set securely on high - we can live above whatever we're going through.  What sets us there on that high place - THE NAME OF GOD!!  Now that's some kind of power!

One last thing about this Psalm... verse 7 refers to chariots and horses.
What happened to the people who boasted in those?

What happened to the people who boasted in the name of the Lord?

Now don't you feel proud of yourself?!  We've already covered Chapter 1!!

Comment suggestions:
Always feel like you can "share" or comment on anything that you like about this chapter.  Even if you see something that I didn't bring up here!  I love it when someone sees something totally different from the same set of scriptures that I read!!!

But if you're needing some help...
1.  Contrast the two type of people - those who boast in the Lord and those who boast in horses & chariots.  Did you learn something here?

2.  Have you ever trusted in your own type of "horse & chariot" and if so what were they and how did they work for you?

3.  Now name a time that you totally trusted in the name of the Lord.  What were your results?

Please take time to pray over what you have learned from this first chapter.  And I would love to encourage you to memorize Proverbs 18:10 - "The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runs into it and is safe."

I love you all dearly and welcome your input, insights, questions, and comments!
Your sis in the faith,