October 24, 2010

Heart of a Mighty Warrior – Week Four Lesson

Hi girls! Although I missed being with you this past week, it sounds like many of you needed this time off. I appreciated it because my sweet husband invited me to join him on a business trip this past week. So I spent a few days with him in the fun and sun of Miami Beach. It was my first time to Miami, and we had a wonderful time together!! I must say South Beach is a most fascinating place. We had so much fun people watching. When we would wake up in the morning, some people were just getting to bed!

Can you believe we are now over half way through with this study? I have loved every minute of it! What I love about this week’s lesson is how often we see David seeking God for direction in his life. What a powerful example he sets for us. A few of you have asked “how can we know God’s will for our lives?” David lives out the answer to this question.

When we need guidance and direction:

Stop and pray.

Ask God very specifically for what you need.

Invite Him to speak very specifically (through the Word, His Spirit, friends, circumstances, even media)

Stay in communication with Him daily so you will hear Him speak.

Pray for eyes to see, ears to hear, and a heart to receive the answer.

God will be faithful!

Below please find the lesson for Week Four and the homework for Week Five.

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Subscribing via e-mail: Don’t forget you can subscribe by e-mail and receive this post in your in-box each week. However, you will not be able to see the videos or comments unless you visit my blog directly.

This Week’s Memory Verse: The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, You will not despise. Psalm 51:17

Homework Questions: Please do as many questions as time allows. It is in your reading and studying that God will do His greatest work.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, this week brings us to some of the most painful parts of David’s story. Father, these chapters are filled with powerful truths that require a humble heart to read and receive. Father, make my heart so very tender to Your Word. Give me ears to hear. Take Your living and active Word and penetrate my heart deep down to its core. Help me not to judge David’s acts, but to focus on the lessons taught him and how to apply them in my own life. Father, thank You that although he lived so many years ago, his life is of great value to You and, thus, to me. Thank You for recording his story so that I may learn from his mistakes. If I harbor sin in my heart, silent or otherwise, Father open my eyes to see it; humble my heart to confess it, and heal my heart to restore it. I ask this in the Name of Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen.

After spending this past week celebrating with David as he takes his rightful place as king, today we return to the battlefield with David. Last week we learned much about David’s heart. We saw his humility and reverence for God. We experienced his praise and worship. But today we meet up again with the warrior.

1. Read 2 Samuel 8:1-18. Why do you think the author included this chapter? (verses 6, 11-15).

Reading these battle stories is difficult. David seems harsh and cruel. Like why did he measure people with a line and kill two-thirds of them, or why did he “hamstring” all but one hundred of the horses? We must trust that David had his reasons. We cannot judge him by our standards or even by Christ’s standards because he lived before His time. We know he sought God in his battles. We must trust He listened and obeyed…at least at this point in his career.

Scholars believe David hamstrung the horses in obedience to God’s command in Deuteronomy 17:16 where it says that the king must not acquire great numbers of horses for himself. Interestingly, David’s son Solomon was guilty of breaking this very law (1 Kings 4:26).

The next chapter reveals another reason why David is a man after God’s own heart. I love this story. Last week, Scripture briefly introduced us to Mephibosheth. Do you remember?

2. Read 2 Samuel 9:1-13. What does this reveal about where David’s heart was in that moment?

I find it interesting that after reading about the horrific battles and killing that God follows with this beautiful story. He shows us David’s honor, his compassion, his tenderness, and his loving-kindness. He exhibits the very traits of His Heavenly Father. Reread 1 Samuel 20:14-17. David had pledged to Jonathan that he would never forget the covenant of friendship. David sought Mephibosheth out and brought him home just as God our Father seeks us out and brings us to Him.

Now we will read about one of the darkest and most infamous days in David’s life. For four weeks we have explored the best parts of David’s heart. But now we join David on the roof of his grand palace, standing in a place he should not have been standing, looking where he should not have been looking.

3. Read 2 Samuel 11:1-5. Reread verse 1. What time of year was it?

Why is the time of year significant? Because David’s disobedience began long before he stepped out on the roof. First, it was spring. The customary time for battle. Kings usually led their troops into battle. But this time David chose not to go. Instead, David sent Joab and the entire Israel army to launch the invasion. He stayed in Jerusalem. If he had been where he should have been, leading his men, his sin with Bathsheba might never have happened. Second, David for the past several years had been collecting wives in direct disobedience to God’s Word.

4. Let’s revisit Deuteronomy 17:17. What does God command in this verse?

a. What did David do in 2 Samuel 2:2, 5:13?

b. What does Deuteronomy 17:17 say are the consequences of David’s behavior?

c. Read Jeremiah 17:9 and Proverbs 4:23. State what these verses say in your own words.

d. Relate them to David’s choices.

e. Read 2 Corinthians 10:5.

o How would this verse have helped David?

o List the key verbs in this verse.

o How can this command help you when you find yourself in a position of temptation? Give a specific example if you have one.

5. Reread 2 Samuel 11:2-4. List the progression of David’s sin (thought, word, deed).


6. Read 2 Samuel 11:8-13. What was David’s plan and what was he hoping to accomplish with his plan?

7. Read 2 Samuel 11:14-27.

a. Explain David’s latest scheme.

b. Who did David involve in his plan?

c. Was David’s plan successful? What happened?

8. Read verse 25. What do his words reveal about his heart?

a. What did David do next?

b. Write out the last sentence of verse 27 below.

How far David’s heart was from the Lord at this time! He had many opportunities to stop this downward spiral of sin, but he never did.

9. Knowing David as we do now, why do you think he failed to stop and repent as he did in times past? Remember the Spirit of the Living God indwelt Him.

10. Read Psalm 32.

a. How does David describe what it feels like when you keep silent about your sin?

b. What about when we acknowledge and confess our sin?

Friends, we may read stories like this and others like it and wonder what they have to do with us. We need always remember every word of Scripture is God-breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness so that we may be thoroughly equipped for every good work God has planned for us to do. (2 Timothy 3:16).

Isaiah 55:11 says that when God sends His Word into our lives it will not return empty but will accomplish what He desires and achieve the purposes for which He sent it.

When talking about Israel’s history, 1 Corinthians 10:11-12 tells us,

These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come. So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall.

But God did not leave David here. God never wants us to stay in a state of unrepentance. He wants forgiveness, reconciliation, and restoration. God knows that spiritual sickness many times leads to physical and emotional illness. God rebuked David through Nathan. He set up a confrontation that would force David to deal with his sin.

11. Read 2 Samuel 12:1-14.

a. Why do you think Nathan used a parable…a sheep parable at that? Identify the characters in this parable (poor man, rich man, little lamb).

b. What did Nathan say in verses 8-9?

c. What powerful words Nathan spoke in verse 9. In the NIV, Nathan asks, “why did you despise the word of the Lord by doing what was evil in His sight?” What do you think David felt in his heart as he heard those words?

d. Read John 14:21, 23-24. How does this relate to what we are reading?

Friends, David’s story makes it ever so clear: sin has consequences. Even for a man after God’s own heart. God forgives, but He does not make consequences disappear. Nathan lays out those consequences for David in the next few verses. In verses 9 and 10, he says because you struck down Uriah with the sword and killed him, the sword “will never depart from your household because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.” David would now suffer as had Uriah. Nathan gets more specific in verses 11 and 12.

12. David’s sin created a chain of events that would plague him for the rest of his life. List the consequences you find in verses 10-12.

a. When did David confess his sin?

b. Explain Nathan’s response in verses 13b and 14.

c. How did David respond in verse 16-17 to his child’s illness?

d. What happened in verse 18?

Friends, read the words of Hebrews 12:5-6, “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when He rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.”

13. Read the rest of this Hebrews passage, 12:7-11. Write verse 11 below.

a. Are these verses hard for you to accept? If you answered “yes,” explain why?

b. Now read verse 12 and write it below.

Do you see God sometimes needs to discipline us, rebuke us, and train us, so that we may be healed!! He wants us to be strong and healthy, living in His image, filled with His holiness, living the life He planned for us to live. Sometimes sin gets in the way of that. We get “off” the right path because we have wandered away.

If you don’t like this idea of discipline and consequences, really study these verses. Ask God for insight and understanding. Cry out to Him for discernment. James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” God wants you to understand. These are hard truths, but they are TRUTHS…spoken from the very mouth of God.

Now let’s revisit David’s time of confession by reading Psalm 51, one of the most beautiful psalms ever written. In this psalm, David gives us a blueprint, a wonderful model of confession.

Before you begin, find a quiet place, invite God’s presence into your time, and read the powerfully intense words that poured out of David’s broken and contrite heart. Friends, we are blessed to be able to see so deeply into David’s heart…to feel what he was feeling…to know what he was thinking.

14. Read Psalm 51.

a. For what does David ask in verses 1-2?

b. What do words like this require of him that we have not seen recently?

c. What does he acknowledge in verses 3-5? Why do you think he says, “Against you, you only, have I sinned,” when he hurt so many?

d. What does he recognize in verse 5?

o Do you believe this?

o Read Romans 3:10-12 and Romans 5:12. What do they say?

e. Name at least six requests David makes of the Lord in verses 8-12.

As we end our time in Psalm 51, I feel compelled to ask a question. As you have studied this part of David’s life, is there some unconfessed sin in your life? Has God continually brought to mind something from your past, something in your present for which you have failed to come to God? If something has come to mind, please know that your Father in heaven brought you to this study to bring it to light. I believe that with all my heart. Will you believe with me right now that God is ready and waiting to forgive all your unconfessed sin? By Christ’s death on the cross, they are forgiven and removed as far as the east is from the west! It might be an abortion, an affair, a lie you are living, a hardened heart, unbelief, addiction, depression, fear, the list goes on. These are all strongholds that keep you in bondage to sin and apart from your heavenly Father. I encourage you to pray David’s psalm. Make it your own. Place your name in the verses. There is complete freedom in Christ, my friend!!!

Read verse Psalm 51:13.

There is no better feeling than walking in the freedom of forgiveness and healing. When God has brought you to that place, He has given you a testimony…a powerful story to tell. There is no greater evidence for the existence of the Living God than one who has been humbled, cleansed, forgiven, renewed, reconciled, and restored. A changed life has a story to tell and wants to shout it from the rooftops!

I am one of those lives. God uses transformed lives just as David says…to teach others His ways, to point them to His Truth, and to declare His praises.

May God pour out His blessings on you this week as you study His Word!


Comments

  1. Anita - Soaring Eagle says:

    I am "so loving this study" – thank you Wendy. Also I am so glad you had a wonderful time with your husband.

  2. Thank you for listening to God and speaking on prayer. I sometimes have a hard time in that area and the scripture verses, most familiar, were the exact answer to my prayers. The study of David is interesting. Be blessed.

  3. Terri Bhat says:

    I agree with Sandy. I have always been afraid of praying boldly for things — healing for sickness, financial help, intervention in difficult situations, because I didn't think my prayers would change anything, and that it was being demanding, inappropriate, or even worse, unrealistic. Also, I always felt awkward — I just didn't know how. But the Bible verses you gave us, and your teaching about praying God's word has changed my perspective, and encourages me to change my approach.
    Also, I heard Marc DuPont speak last week, and he just happened to speak about 2 Samuel 5:22-25, about the marching in the treetops, which was no coincidence. I don't know how hearing marching in the tree tops applies to me, but I guess I am supposed to keep praying for God to keep my ears open, and my heart open to know his will, and to pray boldly, using His Word, not timidly, doubting the entire time.
    I really, really needed this lesson. Now, back to work (on praying).

  4. Thanks for your video message, Wendy! I'm so excited to dig into the Word this week.

  5. mommyofmyne says:

    "The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete." 2 Corinthians 1-:4-6

    ….I loved the verse 5 and when I looked at it in context I loved it even more! These wars we fight in our lives arent of the flesh they are of spiritual value!

    Ephsians 6: 11-13 says "11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age,[a] against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand."

    The armor of God is what we can use to fight temptation when we are in that position…we can choose to not follow the progression of David's sinful thoughts/deeds/actions by taking captive our thoughts to Christ, aligning them to Him and His Word. This was such a sweet song to my heart today, it is a great reminder that we have the power in us thru Christ to overcome these battles before they even begin.

  6. Anonymous says:

    So in Nathan's parable to David, I know the rich man represents David — but I am still unclear as to who the poor man and the little lamb represent. Is the poor man Uriah and the little lamb Bathsheeba?

    Please help.

  7. Anonymous says:

    WOW! I have just finished this weeks lesson. In answer to question 13-a. These verses scare me. I am scared of the consquences of my sins. David's son died because of his sin. Does our sins today pass on to our children as well? Do they pay for our sins?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Anonymous:

    Our sins do NOT pass to our children and our children's sins are NOT a reflection on us. We are all responsible for our own sins!!

    Below are some scriptures that I hope will help:

    Ezekiel 18:20: The soul who sins is the one who will die. The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous man will be credited to him, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against him.

    Romans 14:12 So then, each of us will give an account OF HIMSELF to God.

    David's son's death was a consequence of his sin. We all have consequences to our sins and sometimes our lives are affected by the consequences of the sins of others.

    Hope that helps!!

    Denise in Illinois

  9. Terri Bhat says:

    Thank you, Denise! Those verses spoke to me, personally, as I struggle to guide 2 teenage boys to be men of God (too little, too late?)

    I would also like to respond to anonymous who asked about Nathan's story. I think maybe God is the poor man, and Uriah is his lamb — God treasures each one of us as though we were the only lamb He had. And David just slaughtered Uriah for a moment's pleasure. Uriah was loyal to David, and did everything he could to please him, including not reading David's message to Joab. What David did was despicable, instead of rewarding Uriah, he abandoned him on the battlefield. I hate to think about how Uriah died, surrounded by enemies, wondering why he was alone out there.

  10. Lisa in Connecticut says:

    Hebrews 12:7-11 “As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all . . . But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.”

    I am totally on board with these verses and I have no problem being disciplined by God when I’m out of line. But how do I know for sure if/when God is disciplining me? Some would say that every bad thing that happens to us is a result of divine discipline. So, when I hit a deer last week on my way to work, God was disciplining me for something I had done. In John 9, the disciples exhibited similar thinking when they asked Jesus “Rabbi, why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?” Jesus then goes on to refute the idea that the blind man’s affliction is at all related to his own sin or that of his parents. Yet, in the book of 2 Samuel we see a clear correlation between David’s sin and God’s punishment of that sin.

    I wish I could see an example in my own life, where God had disciplined me and then I emerged stronger and more closely aligned to his heart. I wonder if it’s happened but I failed to identify it as such.

    I’d love to hear all of your thoughts on this.

  11. Wendy Blight says:

    Hi Lisa,

    Sometimes things happen in our lives because the Lord is disciplining us. Sometimes things happen in our lives as a consequence of our sin. So with David, Bathsheba's pregnancy was a consequence of their adultery. God choosing to take the life of their child was His discipline. Now sometimes the negative consequences of our actions have the same effect as discipline if we allow ourselved to be humbled by them and allow God to work in us through them as David seemed to do.

    And sometimes bad things happen in our lives because we live in a fallen world, and we have done nothing to cause them. That may be what happened with the blind man. God used his blindness as a way to display His glory.

    I hope this helps! If any of you have other thoughts, please chime in.

    Thank you for your questions, girls. I especially love how you all share your thoughts on the questions as God leads.

    Thank you Denise for sharing your thoughts and so much Scripture in answer to Terri's questions.

  12. ising4him says:

    I always thought that Uriah was the poor man and Bathsheba the lamb in Nathan's story. Obviously, David didn't kill Bathsheba, but he did 'steal' her from Uriah even though he had more than enough wives. Thoughts?

    Dale

  13. Anonymous says:

    I am loving this study Wendy.. I know God sent it through you just when we needed it.

  14. Wendy Blight says:

    Dale, Terri, and Anonymous,

    After some study, according to scholars, Uriah is the poor man and Bathsheba is the lamb in Nathan's story to David. But what really matters is that God spoke through Nathan to confront David with his sin in a way that would really hit him hard!

    W

  15. Anonymous says:

    I am greatly encouraged. I have seen God work in my life over these last several weeks and it is amazing to feel personal growth that I have been missing some time. I am a mother of 1 and 1 on the way and I feel a burning desire to be a Godly woman so that my husband and child(ren) can see His love through me each and every day. Thanks for your ministry, it means more than you know.

  16. I am so gald i've been doing this study-'cause I too want to be a woman after God's own heart.How can we know when we are being disciplined and when things of the fallen world we live in. I'm 42 now and i had a very abusive past from my parents and other relatives at age 3 and other boys who now are ment to age 21 now i am suffering the outcome-which caused me to be so messed up now that i've had strings of turmoil that seems never to go away now even at age 42. I haven't had a day where i'm not going through something awful-i always ask God to let me die -and why did he even let me survive just for a really messed up life while so many people like you-wendy are lucky God healed you from your past. I wish he would heal me real soon and yet i've been praying he would and now at 42 still not. Thank you for the study-may God continue to bless you as obviously he has.

  17. Hi,

    I'm not sure how to pray back God his promises to him? How do I do that exactly? anyone? I need prayer right now-i'm in a tough spot which i have been in for years-oh, I wish God would intervene now!Please pray that God will grant me deliverance and to be a woman after His own heart-to be a doer of the Word and not just a hearer and the same for my kids and husband-oh how badly i need my husband to be the spiritual leader for our household! Please also pray that God will give me a (true)friend(s) for I have none,even at my age. Thank You. God Bless you and everyone here-I really enjoy the bible study even though i cry alot. Thanks again.

  18. Anonymous says:

    This study has really made me think about a lot of things. I have to wonder if sometimes God's discipline is making life more challenging for us so we remember to reach out to him and seek him. This hits home for me. I am a kindergarten teacher. Last year I had the most challenging group of students I have ever had in my over 15 years of teaching. Even the gym teacher said that in his 15 years of teaching this was the toughest class he had ever had. The class wore me out physically and emotionally, there were many days where I wondered why me. But looking back, it is because of my depseration that I turned to God more than I ever have in my life-I made sure I started each day with some Bible time, I had Bible verses in my sight throughout the day(on my screen saver, on post-it notes, on my phone), I seeked out resources online, through books and reached out to some people I may have never reached out to before. I prayed ALOT, sometimes they weren't fancy prayers, just a little, "I need you with me now God." Through all of this I started to hear God's message for other parts of my life as well. I survived the year and now am continuing to have a much better relationship with God. Had I not had a year like that I may have never turned to God the way I did. But that year made me realize some other aspects of my life that needed changing. This David study continues to reaffirm my thoughts. I can't remember where I found these, but these are 2 prayers I have written in the cover of my Bible

    From Jerimiah 29:13 and 33:3
    Lord,
    You promise that when I seek you with all my heart, I will find you. I want to find you and hear you today. Please reveal to me great and unsearchable truths and promises I do not know.

    From Psalm 119:18
    Lord, open the eyes of my heart that I may see the wonderful truths and promises in your law.

    Amen, Make it a blessed day.
    Kory

  19. mommyofmyne says:

    Wendy, How does the Lord discipline us today? How are we chastened? Those questions rang loud and clear in my head as I finished this weeks study…and I know I need to figure it out. How are you disciplined if you dont mind me asking…how can I be more aware of the discipline I feel as if I am missing it…

  20. Wendy Blight says:

    I would like to address several of your comments/prayer requests:

    Mary Lou,

    First, Kory, thank you for helping her to see how you pray the promises of God. The best way to learn is to have a model or example.

    Heavenly Father, we ask that You fill Mary Lou with the fullness of Your presense from the top of her head to the tips of her toes. Assure her of Your love and Your great plan for her life. Teach her through the power of Your Holy Spirit how to take Your living and active Word, Your powerful promises and pray them back to you. We ask that You would honor those promises and show her in very specific ways that You are at work in her prayers.

    Father, be with her husband and convict his heart to lead his family as You command in Your Word. Place godly men in his life who will mentor him and model what it means to be a spiritual leader. Until that time, please show up large and powerful as the Father and leader for Mary Lou. Guide and direct, protect and provide.

    We also pray for you to bring godly women into her life, wonderful new friends to bless her and for her to bless. We ask this in Jesus name. Amen

    Anonymous (posted 10/31 at 12:35 am),

    We pray for God's healing power to wash over your hurt and brokenness…for His Light to shine brightly in Your times of darkness…for His Hope to replace hopelessness and His Joy to replace sadness. Praying that in the midst of your trials you will trust Him at His Word that He will never leave you or forsake you…that He alone is the strength of your heart and your portion forever. Praying you will never ever again speak the words you want to die because Your Father in Heaven has a beautiful plan and purpose for your life, and this place of pain is part of it. Once He heals you from it, He will use it for your good and His glory. I promise.

    I was at that place you are, wanting to die. If you have not read my book, Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner, please do because it will help you take definitive steps through prayer and the Word to reach the healing you so desperately desire. God wants nothing more than to bring you to a place of healing!! He will be faithful to do so. Read the sample chapter I make available in the sidebar so you can really see how God worked to heal one area of my life.

    Mommyofmyne,

    About discipline

    Not a simple question to answer. Sometimes God disciplines us through the consequences of our choices and that is pretty obvious (like Bathsheba's pregnancy).

    Other times God disciplines us through the conviction of His Holy Spirit…taking away our peace…taking away our contentment so that we know we are walking outside His will.

    Sometimes He will allow stress and strife in relationships around us to bring us to a place to see our role and responsibility in that strife, where our heart is out of line with His in the situation or relationship.

    Sometimes He will allow sickness and exhaustion in our lives to bring us to a place of rest when we are going to strong and too hard, forgetting to spend time with Him and put His priorities first.

    Sometimes He will take us right to some convicting truths in His Word to speak right to our sin and use them to bring us to a place of repentance. When we don't pick up on it right away, we can live like David in a place of anger, depression, hopelessness. That is why being in His Word with a tender humble heart, ready to receive corection is so important.

    Love you girls!

    Wendy

  21. Oh Wow Wendy, I'm so blessed this entire week. Can I tell you, that I have been blessed-because it's really a blessing in disguise- to have the opportunity to do my Bible study at work!! Praise God! It's so quiet here, and my computer, my keyboard my screen has become literally an altar for the Lord. I have so much peace and quiet to pour over His Word and do these questions and really read and study. I come home to my husband and it's because of you and the Lord using you with this study, that I'm so much more attentive to the Psalms, and how every one of them have specific meanings and the time periods that David has gone through with the Lord. It's helped me so greatly. I've been studying these Scriptures about David with new eyes! I'm learning a lot too from the other ladies who've been sharing. I too had questions about how the Lord disciplines us, how do I see it? how do i know? But I've come to understand that the times that there are strife between my husband and I could be the enemy or it could be discipline from the Lord..or that my heart wasn't in the right place. But I've come to know that my heart has become more tender with learning through David's life. Thank you thank you thank you!!
    So week 5? when is that starting! Love and appreciate you.. God continue to bless you!

    Ren

  22. Wendy Blight says:

    Ren,

    What a joy to come home and read this note from you. Thank you! Thanks to all of you for the sweet words of encouragement you send about how God is using this study in your life. It is why I do what I do.

    Week 5 is now up.

    W

  23. Dear Wendy,
    Thank you so much for this study. It has come at the right time in my life as I am going through a very testing period. I now understand that what I am going through is discipline from God! This really helps and I know that it's because of Gods love for me that He is disciplining me so as to make right my relationship with Him. I have discovered that once I accepted that and submitted myself fully to Him, I have inside me this unexplainable peace! It's really amazing and I want to encourage all who are going through difficult circumstances to pray deeply and to ask God to reveal to you the lesson Je wants you to learn. Trust me when I say that once you submit to God fully, trust in His promise that He has plans for your life which are to prosper and not harm, then you obey His laws, nothing can ever shake you again. Pray, trust and obey. Applying those steps will ensure that you remain close to Him and He will take care of the rest.

    Once agin, Wendy thank you and God bless you.

  24. Wendy,
    Thank you for your words of encouragement. And did read your insert of your book-i do plan on purchasing it in the future when I can afford to buy it. I read what you wrote about God discipling: So me diagnosed with a mental illness of schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder is God's way of discipling me along with poverty,imbalanced emotions, depression, anxiety,diabetes and not to mention my physical symptoms of chronic fatige,loss of hair due to PTSD, inability to , family division, no friends, and the list goes on for me?? I also have been deserately in need of hearing Him-so I spend time with Him and yet nothing. So alot of times I cry or get angry and really given up for a couple of days and I always seem to keep trying yet nothing and it all repeats again. Why is it others like yourself tend to hear Him and have a great life-friends,family,ministry, having nice things,etc. and not I. I am so alone!And because of my passed spent my youth in the psych wards and lost my motherhood too-I lost my life like Tamar(i sure know how she felt). Why is it God blesses some and others not or blesses others more than some? I lost so much and now at 42 years old nothing good seems to happen-to be honest I'd rather be back in the psych ward where it seems where I fit in. I don't know why He helped you more than me and is obviously blessing you with a great life and family,friends, etc.. You are very Lucky! Takecare and God Bless you even more= Mary Lou/Jupiter7

  25. I am running a bit behind on my studying here. I am really struggling with the Hebrews passage on discipline. I have had health issues since birth, which have only gotten worse in the last 12 years. I am on a path to healing (finally), but it is very slow going. I suffer to some degree every day. I am in God's word every day and there is no blatant sin that I'm aware of that I need to repent of(and I have prayed about this). I have cried out to God for years for healing. The question ringing in my mind is: How much discipline is enough? Any thoughts or insights would be appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Anne

  26. Wendy Blight says:

    Anne,

    I do not believe that all sickness is due to God's discipline. Much sickness in this world is due to the fact that we live in a fallen world where sickness exists because of what happened in the Garden of Eden. If you have sought the Lord with your heart, and He has not revealed to you that for which you have prayed, I believe your sin is not because of anything you have done. Take comfort in that.

    Remember in Scripture when the people asked Jesus who sinned that the man was born blind…the man himself or his parents? Jesus answered, neither one sinned, but it happened so the glory of God could be revealed in his life.

    I pray God's perfect healing for you and that until healing comes, I pray that He will meet you in your pain and bring you comfort and peace. I pray that in the midst of your sickness, He will strengthen you and encourage you through His Word and through His Spirit. I pray that as you struggle through your health issues, the glory of God will be revealed in and through you in very real and personal ways.

    Blessings, Wendy

  27. Wendy Blight says:

    Mary Lou,

    I am so very sorry for the pain you live with each and every day. Please read the comment I left above for Anne about sin and sickness.

    How I wish I had an answer for why some suffer more on this earth than others and why it seems some heal and recover from trauma and others do not. But what I do know is that God is faithful, and He will meet us right where we are.

    I pray that you will find comfort in your Father in heaven when you feel lonely and unloved. He promises that He will never leave you or forsake you. I pray that you will find the right medical treatment to bring you to a place of clarity and peace. I pray that the peace that passes all understanding will guard your heart and mind when the evil one tries to steal it away.

    You are precious in God's sight. I know you do not feel that way, but you are. I pray He will show you in a very real way His great love for you and that you will feel His pleasure and His presence in your life!

    Wendy

  28. Thank You Soooo Much Wendy,
    You truly are a blessing to me! Thank you for helping me to see: Your right, because we live in a fallen world there is sickness. Also thank you for your insight when God disciplines. I will take comfort in that I got sick from not my own sin (which I sought the Lord with all of my heart and mind for awhile now and nothing) but, that it was because of my parents (they were very abusive)and along with living in a fallen world. Thank you for what you wrote to Anne and me. Thank you so much and for helping me to see-Jesus has really lifted me up through your words and was a light for my path (in what you wrote). I also have one question: How is the glory of God revealed in one's life? I think of King David's life and the glory of God was to me really revealed in His life in a big way that it was obvious-how can I see the glory of God revealed in my own life and that's a desire I have for along time that His glory may be revealed in my life that others will see Him and praise and Glorify Him and even to the point that they would want Him in their life-to live for Him. Because all i've gone through i don't want my life lived in vain.But, that God will make that what was done to me and in my life was so evil that He would make good from it-what was to ruine me. And I pray daily that my dad and mom who harmed me so horrifically along with others that they would accept Jesus into their hearts and minds and for their salvation. Thank you soo much for all your -I have been so strengthened and encouraged in this last week. May God bless you two fold. Keep shining! Graciously, Mary Lou

  29. Dear Wendy,
    Thank you for your post on Dec 5. I am in need of prayer: I am confused of who I am and especially of "who I am in Christ"? I never knew me growing up (that too was stolen from me) and even more confused of who I am in Christ? Am I to seperate the two or does it all get combined? The questions you posted were hard to take 'cause so much was stolen,taken,and lost from me and God obviously, can't give back to me all that was stolen,taken, and lost from me.
    I will be printing the post and keeping it close by and wanting for a long time now understanding and answers to those questions soon if any reply will ever be given to me. I am really tired of waiting for it to happen. I'm 42 now and I was going to say I want it done within a year-but, than again who am i to say/give Almighty God a time limit. So much bad has been done to me (along with time)and everything close to me was lost along with it. And i don't want to pick up the pieces any longer and why bother anyway due to my age and where I am mentally, emotionally, physically, sexually,financially,and the list goes on.
    Thanks for the post-it's obviously putting me on the right path again.

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