This is my first blog post for the GREATER study through Melissa Taylor's Online Bible Studies.
If you are visiting & not a part of the Blog Hop, you can visit Melissa Taylor's website for more information
For this blog post I chose, "what would a "greater" life for God look like to you?"
Before I answer that question, I wanted to give you a little background and tell you why I was happy to learn about this book and the online bible study.
I've been a Christian since I was 15, but became a prodigal after my parents separated when I was 18. It would be another 12 years before I end up rededicating my life to Christ & going back to church. I was an active member in the church for 4 years (2004-2008). However, as my knowledge of God and the Bible increased & after a series of events that transpired, I became grieved because I found out the church I was a member of was full of doctrinal errors and false teaching. I officially left there in August of 2009 & spent the next 4 months figuring out where God would have me go next.
I visited several churches and even watched a few online. Then I finally found one I was interested in after watching their Christmas play online & thinking how awesome it would be to be a part of it. It would be another couple months before I actually set foot in the church, but when I finally did, I knew I was where God wanted me after the service was over. Especially when the speaker - who was also the worship leader at the time - answered the very question that I had been asking God about days prior. In July of 2010, I decided to take their membership classes and even joined the choir. I've been a happy member ever since, however, there is still a sense of wanting to do more with my life that just working a full-time job, M-F, with weekends off & attending church twice a week.
I'm also single and I've been struggling with this issue for quite awhile now. Especially since I feel like I waste too much of my free time - evenings & weekends - on trivial pursuits or nothing of real eternal value. It wasn't until recently that the story in John 5 about the lame man near the pool of Bethesda really spoke to me.
See, I just turned 38 and even though I don't have a physical infirmity that has kept me paralyzed, I do have fears, doubts and insecurities that have kept me paralyzed from fully pursuing everything that God has for me. I like how the man makes an excuse when Jesus asked him if he wanted to get well. I feel the same way in that I make excuses for why I feel stuck & can't move forward in my Christian walk. And it's at this time right now in my life that I sense Jesus is saying to me, "Get up & walk". That is why I was so happy to hear about this book and study because I believe this is the perfect timing for me to start doing GREATER in my life.
Especially since I have been struggling with bouts of anxiety and depression for several months. I've literately felt like giving up and not trying anymore. I've looked back on my life and where I've come from, and even though spiritually I am grateful because I'm not who I used to be, in the physical I'm very unhappy.
Last year in February I quit smoking & because of stress, lack of physical exercise & poor diet, my health started decreasing & I started suffering from bad digestive problems.. In October of last year, I had a procedure done to test for celiac disease, however the results came back negative. But after a follow up, the doctor concluded that it must be IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). At first my symptoms weren't that bad and manageable, but as the months progressed, it started getting worse and worse. Then in May of this year, the Lord led me to a conference where Sid Roth was speaking & I sensed the Lord telling me that He would heal me. So toward the end of the meeting I went up to have hands laid on for healing, However, I would later learn that this would be a gradual healing, not the instant that I was originally hoping for.
Then, about a month ago, I decided to take a break from the choir, mostly because my digestive issues seemed to be getting worse, not better. The frequent attacks caused me to become less sociable. So, even though I believed God was (IS) going to heal me, the enemy kept flooding my mind with doubt and unbelief, which I believe is what led to my anxiety and depression. The worst part is that stress makes my symptoms worse, so it just ends up being a vicious cycle. I also started seeing a prayer counselor around the same time I stopped attending choir for encouragement and I'm slowly starting to get my life back on track.
My main prayer for this study is that God will use it to further encourage me to not give up and start dreaming big again.
Now to answer the question, what would a "greater" life for God look like to you?
1. To take back everything that the enemy has stolen
2. To live life with confidence, boldness & strength in the Lord and not shrink back because of fear, insecurity or shyness.
3. To have better faith to trust God for the impossible.
4. To be able to be a better witness to my circle of influence & share my faith without fear.
5. To FINALLY be able to attend She Speaks after 3 years of trying in order to pursue my dream of being a writer.
If you are visiting from the Blog Hop, thank you for taking the time to read my post & I would appreciate your prayers as I continue on my way back to health and the GREATER life that God has for me. :)