Thursday, January 30, 2014

Made to Crave, week 2, 1 Peter 5:7

My goal for this study was to concentrate on drawing closer to God through quiet time, bible study & prayer, more so than the food aspect & the way I crave other things instead of spending time with Him. So, I'm continuing this week to do the bible verse mapping and sharing what I've learned from our verse for the week.

1 Peter 5:7-8 (NIV)
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

(I made the above graphic with @visualpoetry. An app I found for the iPhone.) 

I love how after I read Chapter 4 on Sunday & seeing the verse for the week that I actually had to put it into practice. Without going into too much details, I will share that back in Oct of '12, I was given a promise from God and that it was only here recently within the last few months that I started to see manifestations of it starting to come to pass. However, this week, I guess in a moment of vulnerability the enemy came in & started to plant some doubts in my mind to get me discouraged & give up.

This was on Sunday night,and by Monday morning as I was getting ready for work, I heard in my spirit "things are not always as they seem. The enemy wants to steal your joy and your peace, don't let him." Then later that afternoon, he reminded me again, "do not give up."

I love how the word for this week is "determination". I think it's perfect for what I am going through right now & how the Lord reminded me not to give up. It's so easy to do sometimes when we "feel" like things are not going as we planned. We let our guard down for one moment and the enemy decides to step in and plant seeds of doubt & discouragement, then we are tempted to give up trying - whatever it may be.

Not to give the enemy more credit than he deserves, but it's sad that he knows us better than we know ourselves, especially during times of weakness and vulnerability. He's studied us for a long time and knows exactly what buttons to push to get us to question God. Just like he did with Eve. That is why I had to include the rest of the verse above.

I wrote the following prayer poem on Monday while I was reflecting on this verse &  going through my moment of doubt & questioning.

Lord when temptations come & life feels out of control
Remind me to look to you, the Lover of my soul
You know me better than I know myself
It is only in you that I will find my rest
The enemy prowls around seeking someone to devour
I need to be on my guard, each and every hour
He wants to kill, steal and destroy the hope I find in you
But I know that with you by my side, i will get my breakthrough
You are my shelter & fortress, in you I can stand
You hold my very life in the palm of your hand
You care for me deeply, because I am your daughter
Bought by the blood of your son & cleansed by the water
I love you Lord because you first loved me
and in your arms I'll always be
safe and secure no need to fret
Because your have not failed me yet.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Made to Crave, Week 1, Psalm 84:2

This post is a part of the Made to Crave online bible study from Proverbs 31 ministries.

For this blog entry, I chose option #2 which is to "Unpack our scripture for the week and share with us what you learned"


MY SOUL = Very being, essence
YEARNS –desires, pines after
FAINTS – becomes weak
MY HEART – inner man, mind, will, heart
AND FLESH - flesh
CRY OUT – shout, sing for joy
GOD – almighty

Psalm 84:2 - Amplified Bible (AMP)
2 My soul yearns, yes, even pines and is homesick for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out and sing for joy to the living God.

Does my soul yearn, even faint for the courts of the Lord?
Do my heart & my flesh cry out for the Living God?
Or does my soul, my very essence, crave or even desire other things before God?

These are the questions that come to mind when I begin to unwrap this verse. If I am being completely honest, I wish I could say that I do put God above everything else or that I “crave God” more than anything, but I don’t.

It becomes very apparent to me especially when my flesh would rather sleep in that extra 30 minutes in the morning than get up & spend time praying or reading my Bible before leaving for work. Or when I come home in the evening & plop down on the couch to watch TV to relax instead of being more intentional about reading one of the many books that I’ve bought & haven’t read yet. One that will enrich my spiritual life & help me to grow as a Christian.

Yes, my soul & my heart desire to spend more time with God & to be in his presence. Especially since I know that on those occasions when I am intentional about spending that time with God, there is fullness of joy in His presence. I always come away feeling refreshed, renewed & restored. But my crazy flesh wants to get in the way.

For me, this "made to crave" journey is going to be more about craving God & His presence in my life than it will be about food. I've done this study several times before & in the past it had been about food & weight loss. But the more times I've gone through this study, I've realized that it's more about putting things or craving things more than I do Him. Through the past times I've been through this study, I have lost weight, controlled my food cravings & quit smoking. But this time, I'm going to focus more on what is keeping me from spending more time with Him.