Oct 17

Building an oasis…

What’s up my bible study sistaaaaaas!!!!!! It’s Stephanie Clayton all the way from Amarillo, TX!!!! I am so excited to be guesting for Melissa today. Renee’s book has quickly become one of my absolute all time favorites, all marked up with stickies and highlighter. I wanted to share with you what struck me most from Chapter 5, the story about Gideon…

“Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the LORD bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the LORD has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.” Judges 6:13

Where are all His wonders? How many times have I sat in my own pit and asked God where His wonders are…sometimes it is just plain difficult to accept that God has all the power in the world to snatch us from our circumstances, yet He allows us to stay. We find ourselves asking the same questions Gideon did…Why has all this happened to us? And our mind begins to wonder…will God do what He said He would…will He abandon us…will He come through with strength when we need it…can we trust Him?

We have talked a great deal in this bible study and the one before it about gaining control over our thought lives. About how important it is to refrain from internally beating ourselves with words. I don’t know about you…but sometimes I even catch myself beating myself up for beating myself up!

When I first began working on replacing my thoughts…I would catch myself and say, “Stephanie you shouldn’t be thinking that.” Or, “Stephanie, WHY are you thinking this way!” And while it was good that I was challenging my thoughts…I want to caution you about what I like to call “should-ing all over yourself”. We must learn to replace our negative thoughts…but we don’t need to beat ourselves up while doing it. What if we were to take a different approach to replacing our thoughts…what if instead of “should-ing” on ourselves about what we “should” be thinking…we instead focused our energy on creating an oasis…a place in our minds for our thirsty hearts to drink.

Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:13-14
What if instead of containing our thoughts with “shouldn’ts”…we created a space in our minds filled with scripture that we could bathe in daily. Would we need to leave? Would we need to go back to the way we thought before? Would our thoughts have as much of a tendency to wander?

Our thoughts naturally tend to wander…but when we find our hope…our confident expectation in Christ Jesus and the promises of His word…there is no need to wander elsewhere.

I want to share a scripture with you from Isaiah 43:1-2 “…I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.”

That is your oasis…He is your oasis. Even in the depths of your darkness…He does not leave you. Let your thoughts be bound by the boundaries of His quenching everlasting Word. They may stray, but His word will always bring you back. Abide in Him sister…bathe in His goodness…cling to the vine…and move deeper and deeper into the oasis.

And if i may…I would like to pray for you…

Dear Lord, my sisters are beautiful. Please help them to see themselves as you see them. Build an oasis in their minds. Lead them to your living water for a drink, so that they may fill their thought pools with a never ending stream of the love thoughts and beautiful plans you have for them. Equip them with confidence and strength from your word. In Jesus name I pray…Amen.
 
I would love for you to share a scripture in the comments section…a scripture that provides a safe place for your mind to go and drink deep of the water only Christ can provide…

Love and Blessings!!! Stephanie

Melissa

Comments

  1. Got off on a late start this week, but wow how chapter 5 is already starting to hit me. When you tell of your child hood and how you were part of a divorced family and everyone else seemed to have a “whole” family, its like my story. I grew up with divorced parents and everyone i knew had two parents, a father that loved them and money. My father also would not always pay child support despite the fact that he had a good job. It helps to know that I am not alone. I am truly blessed now and Thank God for all my blessings but did not realize that the wounded girl from my past could affect my life today. I hope i get to gain more insight from the rest of the chapter. Thanks for opening up!

  2. Hi Stephanie! You and I already have a couple of things in common!! You live in my stompin ground, Amarillo, TX! I grew up there and moved to Fort Worth 10 years ago. I love visiting Amarillo and eating at my favorite places, Donut Stop, Taco Villa & Kabuki!! Can’t find places like those even in this big metroplex!
    Also, “A Confident Heart” has become my all time favorite book and I, too, have highlighted and put sticky tabs all through- out the book! I feel she is writing about me & it has brought so much healing to my life that I can’t even describe!!
    My life verse during this season was revealed to me in this book:
    Isa 61:4 “Rebuild my ancient ruins & restore the broken places in my heart that had been long devastated.” God had revealed to me several months ago He was making ALL things new and it was revealed while reading this book. All glory be to God & tremendously GRATEFUL for Renee writing this book!! :)
    <3, Toni

    • How cool is that!!!! So you know the fabulousness that is a cherry donut from the donut stop, LOLOLOL!!! And a combo burrito from Taco Villa!!!! It is one of my FAVS too, I told Renee it was a “nightstand” book for me :)

      • Michelle Stevens says:

        Amarillo is my stompin grounds as well. My dad and stepmom live in Amarillo as my uncle and his wife!

  3. I am sending this prayer request out for my daughter who has been in the hospital for over 24 hours now trying to give birth to her son. I am so concerned for her and the baby and am findingnit difficult to focus on anything. I know thatGod I’d in control, but still find it sonhard to pray as I sit and watch her suffer. Please join me in prayer for a safe delivery for both my daughter Karen, and baby Blake.
    Thank you,

  4. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Phillipians 4:13 NKJV
    Studing in the morning, reading, and lately remembering. God has seen me through impossible situations and visiting those memories…the wonder and awe of how I felt as the situation resolved itself, the peace I had when it dawned on me who, WHO, was resolving things for me gives me strength for my current state. If I don’t come to the end of what I can do and realize I have to let go and let God, I can’t grow in my faith. God doesn’t have mediocre children, darn it, lol

  5. “In god I trust, I will not fear. What can man do to me?” – Psalm 56:11