God is so good! I am so excited that our fall Bible Study has started! It is truly a highlight of my week to study God’s Word alongside my Thistlebend sisters!
Our study this semester is Falling in Love Again with Your Lord. The study was written by Laurie to help women to desire and learn to love the Lord with all of their heart, mind, soul, and strength. She herself has persevered and learned the sweetest joy that comes from making the Lord her all in all.
The Scripture we are using through the study is Psalm 63. This week, our memory verse was literally the first sentence: “O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you” (Psa. 63:1a). As I meditated on these words this week, I felt my spirit stirring with conviction. You see, I have been asking the Lord to reveal my sin to me, to show me where I am falling short. And He did just that, this week, through this verse.
I was actually convicted after the first words, “O God, you are my God.” I believe that God is my God, that there is no other God. But I felt God asking me, “Am I really your God? Am I your all in all?” And I was forced to confess that He was not. The truth is God does not reign on the throne of my heart. I do. I stubbornly want to go my own way.
I sadly contemplated how I have allowed certain commitments to take priority over my commitment to the Lord. I thought about how I would never consider not picking up my children from school, yet I pass on or abbreviate my quiet time with the Lord. Now, I am not suggesting that anyone not pick up their children from school. We must honor our commitments. I am just confessing that my commitment to others takes priority over the Lord.
I then went on to the next part of the verse: “…earnestly I seek you.” And again, I had to admit this was not true for me either. There are times that perhaps I do earnestly seek the Lord. But I must be unhurried, unstressed, and undistracted, and these times of stillness do not occur with great frequency. Instead, I am more likely to be seeking after other things, such as:
- My comfort
- A clean home
- Approval and/or acceptance from others
- Distractions from life – by reading, being on the computer, Netflix, etc.
- My way
Praise God that I do not have to try to “fix” myself. In fact, I know I am completely and utterly incapable of doing any good on my own. It is God’s Spirit within me that allows me to do any good. In my natural state, my flesh will always oppose God and seek to gratify itself. Only God can change my heart. But I must ask Him to grant me the desire to make Him my first and greatest priority, and to love Him with all my heart and with all my soul and with all my mind and with all my strength (Mark 12:30).
I know it will be hard. I will have to sacrifice what I want. No person is naturally wired that way! It requires being willing to deny our flesh what it wants; saying no to ourselves and YES to God. I want what David had – such a great longing for the Lord that he said his soul thirsted for God (Psa. 63:1)! I want to know what that feels like and to know the joy of that sort of close relationship with the Lord.
I am so grateful to God for bringing me to Thistlebend! I am so grateful for Laurie’s teaching, and for my Thistlebend sisters, who I know will pray for me, encourage me, and hold me accountable. We are not meant to walk the Christian life alone. I know that I will be studying alongside women who also wish to earnestly seek the Lord. What a gift and blessing that is from our great God!
Growing in Grace