Welcome to Summer!
You are here! On this our first day, I welcome you from the mountains of Colorado! So many of us have gathered, women from my hub in Denver, to those of you across the country and around the planet, joining collectively to seek His face this summer! I wish we could take a second to turn to the woman next to us and say hello, but together we’ll send up a resounding “Hi!”.
God has stirred this study in my heart since last year, and I am so humbled and thrilled to be able to bring it to you. He continues to stir it in me, even today on this beautiful Colorado morning. It has been quite a season. God has been drawing me with His unending, powerful love and unearthing a fresh understanding of who He is. Truly, it has been quite a season.
Anyone else know what I’m talking about? Anyone going through a season?
Anyone ever have one of those times . . . that turns into a moment . . . that turns into a soul change?
I had one of those this year.
God began this idea, challenging me to ask the question: “Do I really believe that?”
For years, practically my whole life, I’ve been in church, youth group president, serving, leading, teaching. I have loved God since I was 8 years old, knowing that He was the truth, the only truth, I ever needed. I’ve prayed ferociously through the years for people, events, children, jobs, decisions, finances.
But sometimes when you grow up in the middle of something it becomes so familiar, so understood.
Sweeping the leaves on my back porch last fall God asked, “Do you really believe Me?” Yes, Lord, of course I do, was my immediate response.
As those leaves got swept away, winter slowly pushed in. December arrived and with it brought an event that shook my soul in a way I never saw coming.
December brought the tragic killings at Sandy Hook Elementary.
That event shattered my heart as a mother, as a woman. The pain of that fateful Friday morning, a rage aimed at children 5-10 years old, the very ages of my own, engulfed me. And yes, children die all over the world, tragically, every single day. But for whatever reason, this event wrecked me. I had to write about it, this is what came out.
And while I had purged my need to write and process it out, this was in no way “done” in me.
The snowglobe had been shook, and things weren’t falling back into place the way they had been. The way they were suppose to. The lack of realignment irritated me, but I couldn’t put all the pieces back, let alone remember how they all were before.
Ever feel like you need to re-learn God?
We want to understand God, don’t we? We want to know that He can be counted on in the ways that we expect. If we were honest, we might just wish that God would behave, or at least stay within the confines of the box we’ve created.
Oh, but He cannot be contained.
In her book “Believing God” (a book I re-devoured during this season), Beth Moore dispels this unachievable attempt at wrapping our human mind around an almighty God:
We cannot tame the Lion of Judah. There is a mystery, a wonder, and yes, even a wildness about God we cannot take from Him. Nor would we want to if we could grasp the adventure of Him. If we can come up with a God we can fully explain, we have come up with a different God from the Bible’s.
He cannot be contained . . this my heart has come to know. Through my questioning, through my pain, though I have known Jesus for decades, He is still bigger than what my mind can comprehend. And I have been so humbled. Because at my core, at the end of the day I do not want my God to only be as big as I can imagine. I want Him wondrous, indescribable. I have re-learned this ancient truth, that His ways are not my ways, and for that, I am truly thankful.
But . . . doesn’t our enemy relentlessly stir it up?
So much of life comes at us, every single day. The everydays of joy, pain, beauty and mess. We want to believe. But goodness, we’d also like to understand. However…
It gets dangerous when we feel that in order to believe, we must first understand.
Look at Genesis 3. From the very beginning, Satan capitalizes on Eve’s lack of understanding and does two things:
- He challenges God’s words. “Did God really say…” (v.1). He tempts Eve to question…subtle, right? Did God really say that?
- He challenges God’s character. “You will not surely die!” (v.4) In other words, God is flat-out lying and He’s holding out on you.
Girlfriends, his tactics haven’t changed. Satan to this day capitalizes on the mystery, the unknown, the fact that something doesn’t make sense to us. He stirs up questions then takes it as an opportunity to undermine and attack the words and character of Almighty God.
I wonder where you are today. Today, at the beginning of this new study. Where is your heart?
Maybe you’re at a crossroads that you don’t understand. Maybe you’re in the middle of it all. Maybe it’s extreme, maybe not. Maybe you’ve got an overwhelming to-do list, or have the baby-blues, or grief, or simple wonderings of how long, O Lord, how long?
Do you believe your God today?
Do you believe that His plans are good…that He is enough…that He really does love you?
If you’ve been a Christ-follower for any amount of time, there are certain “clutch” verses that we always seem to go to – “My grace is sufficient for you…”, “God has not given me a spirit of fear…”, “I know the plans I have for you…”. We can quote them.
But do we live our every day life as if we really believed them?
How could our lives be, how different would it look, if we re-looked at those clutch verses. What if we re-learned them, allowed Him to re-make us?
Each week of this study we will do just that. We will take one verse and sit in it, and allow its words to soak into us.
I need that. I need His truth to soak deep into the core of my soul. Anyone else?
OUR VERSE FOR WEEK ONE:
“You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord… Jeremiah 29:13-14 (NASB)
Who Wrote It and Why?
This verse is found in the book of Jeremiah, spoken by the Lord through this prophet as a message to those who had been taken into captivity in Babylon. A people who needed to know that God had not forgotten them, that God could still be found.
How Can I Soak In This Verse?
1. Recognize that …
- You are inundated every single day. Sooooo much clamors for your attention, from social media to the news, radio, schedules, children, the tyranny of the urgent. Think about how much information you take in within just 60 seconds on Facebook or Pinterest, countless thoughts, opinions and stories. We take in so much information all the time.
- You are intentionally distracted by an intentional enemy. Girls, Satan wants to steal, kill and destroy everything in our lives. Ask the Lord to give you eyes to see what’s really important. Ask Him to reveal to you how you spend your time.
- You are beckoned by God to seek Him. In this verse, God says “seek Me”. What an invitation. An invitation to seek Him with all that you are. Think about that. Almighty God is asking you to seek Him.
2. Write it out! I’ll be asking you to do this every week, so grab a 3×5 card, some card stock or a sticky note. Write the verse down, in whatever version you have. Read each word . . . slowly take it in. Put your card up somewhere you can see it every day. Put them all over the house if you need to. Memorize it.
3. Ask the Lord to reveal ways that hinder you from seeking Him. As we begin this new series, ask God to clear away anything that would distract you from what He has planned. Tell Him the ways you want to seek Him more. Bring Him your questions, your hurts and desires. Do you believe you will find Him? Confess whatever is on your heart on this one.
4. Follow up with additional verses, if you’d like. Look at Psalm 27:8, Psalm 105:4, Genesis 3, I Peter 5:8-9
My friends, as we step out in faith and accept His invitation to seek Him, our good and wondrous God will be found. Do you believe that? And although we may not understand Him, if we accept, oh, what a grand adventure it will be!
Invite your friends to join us in our Summer to Soak!
By forwarding this on to them, all they need to do is click on the link above to “follow”, and each week’s study will be automatically dropped into their inbox.
How is God moving in your life?
There is something powerful when we share our story – it brings encouragement and strengthening to so many others. Feel free to leave comments below throughout our series . . .