The following is a devotional email I sent out to our small group.
Greetings gorgeous gals!
I hope you’re having a good week! I am excited that many of you are coming to the Women’s Retreat this coming weekend. God is going to do some amazing things there.
Whether you are going, or are unable to, this is a good week for all of us to examine our hearts. Two Sundays ago, Brad’s sermon focused on how when God touches the life of any person playing ‘god’, hardness of heart is always a certain reaction. (If you missed the sermon, you can watch it here: http://www.tworiverschurch.org/702479.ihtml.)
At the end of the sermon, Brad challenged us with two truths to apply to our lives:
- Certain sensations are given to us as a gift from God.
- Ask God to free you from your hardness of heart.
Let’s dwell there for a while. One thing I love about being a woman is the freedom to express many emotions. God gave us tear ducts for a reason and it’s good to use them.
But sometimes when we don’t like the situation that has caused the emotion, or we don’t want to deal with it, we can stuff our emotions. But healing only fully comes when we recognize our emotions and let the Lord heal the entire hurt.
We can also harden our hearts to the Lord when we don’t like what we hear. He may be telling us to make a change, but we justify staying where we are, or we just have gotten comfortable and don’t want to move. So we plug our ears, sing “lalalalala, I can’t hear you!” and continue on our own way. But when we ignore God long enough, our heart beings to transform into stone.
Are you having trouble hearing God right now? Ask him if your heart is hard to Him in an area of your life. Or maybe you can think of exactly where the hardness of heart is right now. Once you’ve pinpointed it, ask God to free you from your hardness of heart.
What is He telling you?
-Is there something you need to do (ie: forgive, repent, etc)?
-Or maybe something you need to believe?
-How does He want you to guard your heart against hardness taking root in this area?
Now once we’ve chiseled the stone off of our hearts, we’re freer and lighter which will make the journey up to the mountain of God so much eaiser.
I love that Brad shared with us how Mount Sinai was in the area that the Hebrews referred to as Rephidim – “the resting place.” What a beautiful picture!
And at this resting place, God showed His power and his ability to care for the Israelites. He showed that as long as they remained in covenant with Him, He would be their protector, their El Gibbor – the Hero God. I love that name of God! We can wiggle as much as we want, but He has us in His hands and He will not let us go. He is strong and mighty to save!
God also declared three things over the Israelites there… and those three things are true of us. Because of Jesus, we are adopted into God’s family so these things apply to us as well.
- You are God’s Treasured Possession. He values you! He paid a high price in order to bring you into His family.
- You are a part of a Kingdom of Priests. This means that now that you have found peace with God, you now have the honor of helping others find peace with God, too.
- You are part of a Holy Nation. You have a purpose. You have been set apart. You are holy because He is holy.
Amazing, isn’t it? God loves us so much that He has spoken those very things over us. He is so sweet to us.
I also want to take a moment to encourage you. If you haven’t been doing Eat This Book, or you’ve fallen behind, don’t worry! Jump in with where we are now. Tomorrow (Wednesday) we are reading Numbers 25-27 and Psalm 51. You can follow along on YouVersion.com or pick up a reading guide at church.
Also, the pastors have been putting together some GREAT overviews of what we’re reading each week. So if you want to get caught up, you can spend just minutes watching the Bible in 5 from whatever you’ve missed. You can find those here: http://www.tworiverschurch.org/700302.ihtml.
I’m praying that each of us is able to chisel away some of the stone on our hearts this week as we look to Hero God.
Love you ladies!