The following is an email I sent out the ladies of our growth group.
I hope your week is off to a great start! Mine sure has been. Thanks for all of the birthday love today!
I have really been enjoying going through Eat This Book with the church. I love studying specific portions of Scripture, but getting acquainted with the big story is good to do every so often. And even if you aren’t reading along with us, there are still so many things we can learn together!
There were a few things that stuck out to me as I read through Genesis and Exodus. First was the patience of those early saints. Remember, they didn’t have the Holy Spirit to guide them and encourage them. The heard a word from the Lord, acted on it… and then sometimes didn’t hear from Him again in a long time. Can you imagine being Abraham, leaving his home, traveling to where God told him to go, but probably not getting confirmation along the way?
Think about how long Abraham walked with the Lord, but how infrequently he heard from Him. It makes me very thankful that we have the Holy Spirit in us to guide us daily!
I was also thinking of the patience of Joseph. He was sold into slavery and it took years to move up the ranks to be overseer of Potipher’s house. Then he was thrown in prison and stayed there for two years before interpreting Pharaoh’s dreams. It was then again years before his brothers came to Egypt looking for food. Yet he faithfully served the Lord where he was. That isn’t just patience alone… that is true contentment! Not that his circumstances were comfortable by any means. But he strove to be faithful wherever God placed him. We also saw how God moved powerfully in each situation where Joseph found himself.
Then there’s Moses. He spent 40 years in the palace living like a prince before he fled Egypt. Then he spent 40 years caring for sheep. Those combined 80 years taught him everything he needed to know before bringing the Hebrews out of slavery and leading them around the wilderness for 40 years. He needed to learn how to be a leader and a shepherd.
- Does the Lord have you in a time of waiting for something?
- Is He waiting for you to be obedient to what He’s called you to? He may not give you the next step until you follow through with the first one.
- Is He asking you to faithfully serve somewhere that is a little uncomfortable to prepare you for something else? Is He asking you to be content where you are?
- Or maybe He has you in a time of training (which can feel like waiting) before you are ready for your mission?
If you are in a time of waiting, ask yourself “What is the Father doing in my life? What is Jesus calling me to believe or do?”
Those are good questions to ask even if you aren’t waiting. But it seems like we are always waiting on Him for something. I encourage you to spend some time with the Lord this week and ask Him those questions.
As I have continued through Exodus and into Leviticus, I noticed the theme of details.
I recently completed Beth Moore’s study entitled “A Woman’s Heart, God’s Dwelling Place” about the tabernacle. I read the end of Exodus with fresh eyes after that! God truly is a God of order and structure. The seemingly tedious details He gave for the tabernacle ensured that it would reflect the throne room of heaven when complete! A piece of heaven brought to earth.
And now we’re to the point where we find ourselves in Leviticus. Don’t get overwhelmed with the details! You can do it! One thing is for certain: God didn’t waste words. Every command He gave had a purpose. And the specifics He gave were to help the Hebrews to reflect His holiness to the rest of the world.
If you feel yourself having a hard time understanding what you are reading on a given day, ask the Lord to reveal to you what He wants to say to you through it. Because ultimately, that’s what the goal of this study is: to hear from the Lord and get to know Him better. As you are reading, keep these questions in mind:
- What did you learn this week about God, about you, or about God’s plans in the world?
- What questions do you have that arose from your reading?
Write those questions down. If you feel comfortable doing so, email them to the rest of the group or hold onto them until our next meeting (just know that we won’t always have much time to spend on questions in group). Or, hold onto those questions and maybe they will be answered in time through the sermons, through another passage of Scripture, or maybe Jesus will answer it at a later date. And sometimes there isn’t a neat answer for our questions, and that’s ok, too.
May you experience God’s closeness as you dive deeper into His Word!
I love you girls!