Nov 30

I Have a Lesser Loser Life: NOT

Friday~ Complete discussion questions for Chapter 2. Visit my blog, http://melissataylor.org/ to go deeper and participate in discussion.

How many of you could relate the the “lesser loser life” that pastor described? I can honestly say that fear, self-doubt, and self criticism have been my enemies for much of my life. I have to fight them almost every day. Alone, I wouldn’t do a very good job at silencing those things, but with God…oh yes with God and His Word, those fears and all that negative ugh stuff is overpowered. Therefore I can move forward trusting God with what I know, not how I might feel in certain moments. My thoughts might tell me I have a “lesser loser life,” but I know that’s really not true.

Your turn to share:

Select one of the discussion questions to share with the group. (Complete all of them in your own personal notebook, pick one to share.)

Don’t forget to read Elisha’s story from the Bible this weekend. Reading this will prepare you for what’s to come. “In each chapter that follows, we’ll look through the lens of different experiences in Elisha’s life. Through his example we’ll discover what it means to be obedient to what God is saying in our specific situations, knowing that obedience to God’s voice is the only definitive path to greater.”   Elisha’s story is found  in 1 Kings 19:19-21, 2 Kings 2:1-9:13, 2 Kings 13:14-21.

Melissa

Comments

  1. Melissa, thank you for doing this study. The questions in Chapter 2 really made me think of my own thought pattern and how destructive it can be. For me, it starts off with the devil placing a thought in my head, me seeking affirmation from people and when I don’t get it that leads me to my poor self image. What a cycle. Now I have to pray for an answer from God—how to break the cycle.

    Kathy

    • Kathy, I can understand the poor self image. If you have in the past had people tell you that you are not good enough then that is what you start to believe. When you have people tell you that you are worthy and good enough then you begin to believe that. Have you done a scripture study on what God says about you? He says you are wonderfully made and He had a purpose for you before you were born. My favorite scripture is Jeremiah 29:11-13. It says that God has a plan and a purpose for my life and for your life and that it is a good plan. Somedays remembering what God says about my life and what He has done in my life in the past helps quiet those voices.

      • Thanks Lacey for the suggestion. I would like to do a scripture study but don’t know how. Do you need to buy a concordance and look up key words? Every time I try it I get overwhelmed and think I must not be doing it right.

  2. Just last night those voices in my head were back. The ones that say “they think you don’t know what you are doing”, “they think you are incompetent”. I was volunteering at a free clinic…really helping people who don’t have anywhere else to go. Those thoughts of not being good enough, of not being smart enough, could keep me from helping people. I serve a lot of people who are uninsured and have little income. I also, on occasion, have the opportunity to share who Jesus is to me. Even my co workers mention that I’m different and it gives me an opportunity to share about Jesus because He makes me different. If I give in to that lesser loser life I’m not the only one who loses. There are so many places where I want to make a difference. I am praying for God to show me if I am greater where I am or if there is another step toward greater that I need to take.

    • Debbie W. (OBS Leader) says:

      Lacey keep that serving spirit. Sounds like you are blessing so many lives. Keep that sweet spirit shining. Sounds like you are in a place where you are making a difference to your co-workers and people in your clinic. Start small where you are at – you can be greater right now, right now until God shows you different. Thank you for this post and remember we all have those negative, incompetent thoughts. When they come now, I remember what Melissa Ross Taylor has taught us this week – “Jesus in me”. Throw of those negative thoughts and remember you are His child and He is in you – and you are doing all things for Him! Blessings to you in your ministry at the clinic!

    • What a blessing that you are able to serve. The devil knows your are making a difference and that is why he is attacking you with negative thoughts. You are making him nervous, which is good. I too have struggled with negative thoughts and still do. Just keep taking them to God and know that He loves you. It will not change over night but each change, like you serving now, makes a difference.

    • Lacey,
      Listen to the song by Casting Crowns, Voice of Truth!!!

  3. Question 5, Ch.2: My mind and soul trusts God completely for “greater”. My LLL has a small element of doubt that I (my body) will follow through. God has the ability – I must have the availability. Not knowing what my “greater” is makes me doubt that I can truly know & follow God’s prompting.
    My prayer is that I realize that knowing the “greater picture” isn’t important, but that I would know where to go or what to do next; that my heart would be pricked when God is moving me or that I would have peace being still until He does.

    • Debbie W. (OBS Leader) says:

      Vonda I loved that question also and your prayer is an example of what we should all be praying – that our hearts will be pricked. The more I serve Him, the more I want to serve. We used to sing a song at church “The longer I serve Him, the sweeter He grows”. I really didn’t understand that until this past year. The longer I serve Him, the more I delve in His word and the more I participate in these studies – the “sweeter HE grows”. Oh sister I share in this prayer with you this morning that everyone, each and every person in this study will fill a prick from the Holy Spirit no matter how small that each one will respond to that prick and that He might become Greater, He might become Sweeter in each of our lives.

    • Well said…my prayer too!

      • Vonda, your prayer mirrored my own prayer this morning. I simply asked the Lord to allow me to here His voice. I told Him I wanted to hear His voice – whether He was telling me to go or telling me to stay. Praying for you!

    • Vonda, I love how you stated God has the ability – I must have the availability! There is so much truth in that statement. :-)
      Thanks for sharing
      ~b

    • Barbara Prince says:

      Vonda, I so feel where you are coming from. I also am not sure what “greater” is for me. I am so used to my LLL, I wonder if there is hope at time. My prayer is that God will show each of us that as we trust in Him, He will shows us the baby steps we can take to meet Him at that greater place.

  4. Discussion Q1: The last 18 months have taunted me with a powerful realization that I am not “doing what matters.” I am blessed with a beautiful family, a home in a great community and a substantial job.

    I attempt to discern the “truth” amidst the NOISE. I am mediocre at best… The jack of several trades and master of nothing amidst being a wife, a mom, a peer at work, but mostly EPIC FAIL my FAITH walk. I am 45 and I want a life take back! I can’t rewind and my husband ignores my subtle hints to just give this all up and go back to quiet and simple!

    Trade down the house; quit or change my job, spend time with my kids for more than the three hours crammed full of dinner, homework and bed. Go to my Mom’s nursinghome and be with the elderly and disabled. Immerse in volunteering at church. Spend time in the Word with Christ, prayer and community.

    The upheaval and revaluation that all that I have accomplished and all of the stuff in my life are a reflection of selfish endeavors, performance tactics, and inadequacies. Empty, broken, nothingness… Yes, NOW is my journey to what MATTERS; I just have to learn to believe Him that I can be a vessel of SOMETHING that matters in Him!

    • Jennifer N (OBS group leader) says:

      I too struggle with discernment during the ‘noise’. I am praying that the Lord will reveal the greater things He has for you and that He will guide your path.

    • Liz,
      Sorry I am commenting so late, but I am not so good with blogs. Be excited that God is revealing to You what He desires of you. But do not rush ahead of Him. be still and listen. Immerse yourself in His Word and wait for Him to talk to you. Sometimes my husband wants to sell his car and downsize, but I know that he will not be happy and I know that unless God tells both of us that is what he should do, it is not right. Wait for God to speak clearly to you, He will!!

  5. Ok… Scratch my post! I discussed the wrong chapter. :-/. Yes, this affirms my inadequacies!

    • Liz this doesn’t confirm your inadequacies. It rather reflects how busy you are and your struggle to juggle the many demands in your life. You desire to change your priorities, but you cannot make all of the changes you desire independent of family. Praying you will trust God to work on your behalf. He is undoubtedly already at work behind the scene. Remember, we are learning to see ourselves as God sees us. He sees all you can become in Him. The power of Christ is already within every believer in Christ. Let the Holy Spirit lead and empower you. Love to you.

  6. Kim Golds OBS group Leader says:

    Chapter 2 : Question # 1
    Most of my life I have battled Fear and self doubt and I know in the past it has kept me from God’s Greater purpose and plan for my life. I want to be a Faith filled woman that can be used for Greater things.

    • Fear and self-doubt seem to be a common struggle for all believers. But I think they are even more crippling to women. I told my husband the other day that I want to teach my daughter not to fear failing and that failure does NOT make her less than what she is. I shared with him that my fear of failure and my self-doubts had caused me to make distinct choices (in my education, career, etc.) and while I am blessed to be where I am now. I can help but wonder what amazing things I missed out on doing for God because I was fearful. I will be praying that the Father fills you up with courage and faith in the days to come.

      • Judy Huffman says:

        I can relate to what you said, Kimberly. I decided when my son and daughter were young that I would try to encourage them during the “teachable moments” to think differently than I did and do some things differently than I did. Both seem to have a much more positive self esteem than I had growing up and sometimes have now. I am SO thankful for that! I am thankful that God has worked in my life to show me what needs changing.

  7. I’m going out on a limb here. Question #4 asks about who is a good example of a person who got past his or her lesser loser life….. There are SO many stories of men! I guess I have always been drawn to that power in men. There are many biographies of men who have been changed and done great things for God. Most of our pastors are men who do great things for God. It’s mostly men that I’ve heard about or seen. I look up to my father and my husband. That’s not a bad thing. I believe that men are the heads of the household (when there is one there!)
    But, God has led me to such a wonderful group of women in these Bible studies. You women, have shown such faith, such grace, such humility, such love and obedience to Jesus! I am humbled and inspired to not let my insecurities hold me back from being Greater with Jesus’ help. Your stories, this community, the books I have read written by Lysa, Renee, Tracie, and others have filled me with courage to press on and move beyond mediocrity. Praying that each one of us in this study listen to God’s calling and have confidence that He will use us to further His kingdom and we will be take hold of God’s greater things!

    • Agreed. I recently read about a psychologist from the 60s/70s named Horner who wrote about women’s fear of success as well. She noted that men often stretched beyond their natural capabilities with goals while women shied from their abilities and settled for less because they were afraid that it would jeopardize their relationships. She found that neither men or women often support a woman’s attempts to become successful. How many of us hold back our natural talents or resist His calling us to greater because we are afraid what others will think or say about it?

  8. Jennifer N (OBS group leader) says:

    Question #5: Steven says, “God doesn’t do greater things exclusively through great people. He does them through anyone who is willing to trust Him in greater ways.” How would you describe your level of trust in God’s ability to do great things through you?

    I have to say that my trust in God TO do greater things is 100%. He can create something from nothing. He can change a Saul into a Paul.
    With that said, it is me that I don’t trust. Will I run like Jonah? Will I deny like Peter? Or doubt like Thomas? Me stands in the way of a lot of things lately….

    • My me stands in the way too.

      Father, help both Jennifer and myself to get out of the way and let You do! In Jesus’ name, amen.

      • Jennifer,

        I completely “get it.” I see the stars, the moon, the sunrises… all of the magnificence of God each day and I trust Him to do the greatest of THINGS all around. He is a God of miracles, grace and mercy; yet I don’t trust “my worthiness” of it all and my pursuit of Him. Truth is… worthiness is not what He is all about. It is His grace that carried every broken moment of our lives to the Cross where He laid it all down for us. BECAUSE of that, we should simply spend our time in praise and worship of Him, for Him and know that it is never about how much we trust ourselves or what our own limitations are of what He can do IN US…it is what we become through the SIMPLE TRANSPARENCY OF KEEPING OUR FOCUS ON HIM.

        Ok…that was a great theoritical textbook response. Living it is what this OBS is all about and our honest sharing…no holds barred.
        Blessings for your willingness to share as a LEADER of Bible studies. We all need to see that in those we look to as people who cause us to whisper, “I want that….their commitment to Christ, their Joy, their reflection of Him.”

        Prayer for you today: May God take your thoughts captive and recalibrate your soul’s perspective so that you do not worry about your response TO Him, rather, your eyes and focus are simply FOR Him.

    • My reply to this question was very similar:
      On a scale of 1-10, I would say about a 5. Not because I doubt God, but because I doubt myself. I doubt that my ‘follow-thru’ would not survive, I doubt that I would be able to accomplish it, I doubt that I would be able to do it and I would just fall flat on my face.
      But even as I was writing this I could hear God’s voice saying, “Why are you relying on yourself to do it? Your trust should not be in yourself, but on me.”
      Lord, help me to trust in you and not in what “I” can do.

    • Me too Jennifer N–me too!

  9. This lesser loser life is something that I really struggle with. The voice that tells me negatives about me is so strong. Since the last study Ungluded I have learned better how to not listen to the lies, but there are days (many) that I don’t remember to combat them with scripture and God’s truth.

    I’m going to answer #3

    I think in the past my lesser loser life has kept me from doing what God has called me to do because I doubt that it is God’s voice speaking to me. I think it is my voice and that what it tells me is stupid, and I will just embarrass myself. I miss out in reaching out to others and being and encouragement to them, and I miss out on the good God has for me.

    One time I didn’t listen to the voice is when I started doing these online Bible studies. I remember the fight in my head so clearly. “Nobody cares what you think, buying the books is a waste of money that is needed elsewhere, you will just embarrass yourself.” I am so glad that it was one time I didn’t listen. I am learning so much, growing, and meeting so many wonderful people. I think that other voice is the enemies trying to keep me from doing what God has for me.

    • I had similar thoughts when I began be online Bible studies. I think God put them in my life for a reason and that there is a reason he put them in your. life as well. I pray that our group will be strong and learn to lean on each other for support

  10. Jeanie Kelley says:

    Question 1: My lesser loser life was pegged on me when I was young and I felt like I grew up with it. The fear, self doubt and self criticism has always been in play and I continue to live with it.If I am being a good wife and a good mom. I think about it constantly. I also liked question 2 if the devil has anything to do with this lesser life and I said yes, but with also every thing he mentioned. It can have a snow ball effect in the long run.

  11. A fear of failure, or that I’ll embarrass myself or others has often held me back from doing something God has called me to do. My self-doubt tells me that I’m not good enough and that even if I were to do something, it wouldn’t really matter. I know I have missed out on great blessings because of it. I pray that God gives me the confidence to know that nothing is impossible with Him, the clarity to see the next step He’s calling me to take, and the courage to do anything He tells me to do!

  12. So far I have not been doing so well on this bible study. Life has seemed so hectic this week with some serious issues and I haven’t even cracked my book open since reading part of chapter one on Sunday :( But I am still wanting to participate and plan on doing my best to get caught up over the weekend. Love to all of you…you are all such an inspiration to me!

    • I also haven’t done what I wanted to this week with the Bible Study. I feel that I’m putting everything in my life ahead of what is really important, which is my relationship with God. I believe that we will catch up and make this one of the greatest studies we have done. I will be praying for you!

    • Jamie. b. says:

      I saw your post and it sounded like you needed some encouragement. There are times that even when I do have the time to do the Bible study I often find excuse not to. Life is so hectic right now and I’m not sure what your situation is but I pray that you do find courage through the group And. Press on

      • Thank you for your words of encouragement. I am determined to carry on but it sure helps to have someone cheer me on! God bless your journey as well!

  13. For me I my physical body gives me moments to pause when I feel a nudge from God. Will I be able to follow through? What does that say about me and my faith if I can’t? I am realizing there are a lot of “me’s” and “I’s” in that statement. This is about letting God be greater through me in spite of my weakness. As a two time cancer survivor, (praise God), I have learned physically there are residual effects from surviving. I know how wonderfully blessed I am to be a survivor. I feel a calling to share what God has done in my life to encourage others but I must confess I doubt my ability to meet the challenge at times. This study is teaching that it’s not mine but His ability. I am so thankful for His word!!!

    • Barbara Prince says:

      Tina, I know a wonderful missionary couple who visit our church each year when they return to the states. If someone knew their life story, the fact that they are missionaries would sound amazing. She has been divorced. She has adult children with a lot of problems. He has had 2 knee surgeries. They are in their 60’s, yet they minister in a third world country. They have ask me to come visit. What stops me? Finances, my physical limitations, my fear.

  14. Lynn Graham says:

    chapter 2 thoughts and insights:

    that Steven wants to set us free to believe that, you’ve a person through whom God can do greater things.

  15. I chose to share my answer to question #4.

    To you, who is a good example of a person who got past his or her lesser loser life to take hold of God’s greater things? What can we learn from this example?
    The first person who popped into my head when I read this question was my father-in-law. He is just an ordinary man, not well educated, who has worked his whole life. He is soft-spoken, down to earth, and not at ALL the type of person I would expect God to call to preach. Mr. Mike thought those same things. So he spent numerous years ignoring God’s call on his life. He tried to appease God by working as a Sunday school teacher, a youth Director, singing in the Choir, and VBS chairman. But each work just left him feeling hollow, empty, and sad. When he finally submitted, he has become a powerful preacher and has won souls to the kingdom. The lesson here is simple: Trust that God knows WHO He is calling and WHAT He is calling them to do.

  16. Lynn Graham says:

    Question 1: this wanted me to describe my own “lesser loser life” and whether you’ve a candidate for a greater life.and I put the fear of praying out loud in front of others. if I can’t do that now can I have the life that is greater, no I don’t think so.

    • Lynn, your discomfort in praying out loud does not exclude you from living the greater life promised to you by God. If you can talk to God silently in your own head and listen for His voice and be obedient to His guiding nudges, you will start to acknowledge His presence and believe that He is near to you. Remember, it’s not about us, it’s all about HIM! Baby steps, we all get there at some point, and it sounds like you are on the right path.

  17. Melissa Taylor says:

    Question 4 – I have felt a calling for 6 years to work with the CASA program. This calling came after I dealt with the custody situation of my niece after my sister passed away from an overdose of pain pills. I was able to negotiate through the court system her living with me while she got to know a father she had never met. CASA volunteers are advocates for children in CPS custody in the court system. But I hear the message your not strong enough. Some of these cases can be horrible! I hear you will start this and not be able.to handle it and then what will happen to.these children. But yet God finds a way to remind.me of this organization continuously over the last 6 years. My loser lesser self has stiled me from the greater plan God may have for me and has stiled me from helping these precious children.

    • Melissa, what a wonderful program!

      I worked with CASA volunteers years ago when I had a job working with young girls in a group home. CASA volunteers have big hearts and those little girls (and boys in other places) need someone with a strong moral compass to help guide their care decisions and advocate on their behalf. I’m sure they have access to counselors and a support group for volunteers- could you make a plan to ask about it and see what supports are out there for you if you embark on this journey with a young child?

    • I have briefly looked into being a CASA volunteer, but don’t feel like I can do the time commitment right now. I would love to try this in the future, but can totally relate to being nervous about hearing the stories. Yet, the benefit for the children would be great! I’ve read stats that a child with a CASA volunteer is much more likely to spend a shorter time in foster care, be less likely to return to the system, and generally have better outcomes.

      • Barbara Prince says:

        Many years ago my husband and I looked into being a home for emergency child abuse cases. We had issues being “good enough” parents to our own children. We argue often. My husband wasn’t that fond of children anyway. You can see where this went. It was really my idea and if you are married, you both have to agree. All these years later though, I still wish we had done it.

  18. The LLL is definately the voice in my head… I worry now that my chances have all passed me by. Decisions that did not end well have all reaped their benefits and the life I have now is not what I dreamed in my 20’s…. thirty years later now I woke up to find it wasn’t the life I planned… How to begin starting life over in my 50’s has been my challenge. Can God use me ? Where is my place in this story ?
    Obviously I am not good a making decisions since I now realize how many bad ones I made… Hoping my chances with God have not passed me by…

    • Janie,

      You are never too old and it is never too late for God to use you! Turn your regrets into His promises through forgiveness! He is MORE than ABLE to empower you with His Holy Spirit. Trust in Him! Believe Him!

      Prayers to you in your journey. At 45, I get what you are saying!

  19. Fear of shaking up the apple cart holds me back.

    Fear of stepping outside the boundaries of my secure job and putting my education and career on the line to try something new is scary.

    Fear of failure if I do try something new is very scary and makes me shrink back.

    Fear of interacting with others, enduring their criticism or disapproval, keeps me from stepping forward.

    Fear of being seen as a know-it-all sometimes keeps me from showing my talents and sharing my knowledge.

    These fears keep me trapped in a LLL rather than pursuing His calling. And now I ask, if I am made in His image and He believes I can do it, can I finally take that step forward and use my life for greater?

    • Barbara Prince says:

      Maybe God is using this study to show you that it is time. Don’t wait until you are old! God can do things through us old folks too, but younger is sure better.

  20. In question 4 we are asked to consider a person who got past his or her lesser loser life to do God’s greater things. I thought of Ruth in the Bible. She was a foreigner, a widow, and grew up in the pagan culture of Moab. She could have followed Naomi’s advice and returned to her previous life. Instead she pledged her loyalty to her widowed mother-in-law, left family and country behind, and traveled to anew land, worshipped the one true God, and pledged her loyalty to Naomi’s well being. Noami’s God, land, and people, pledging to lodge and be buried in the new land. God rewarded Ruth’s loyalty, courage, faith, and obedience with a wonderful new husband and life and a place in the genealogy of Jesus. She truly did greater things for God.

  21. I don’t think I ever realized how active the devil can be until I have really started to get into God’s word over the last year. The enemy actually makes me angry sometimes when I feel those constant attacks. It has taken a ton of self awareness throughout the day and especially before I go to bed at night to ‘capture every thought’ and make it obedient to Christ. Even last night, I went to bed feel very spiritually positive having spent a good time in God’s Word. This morning I woke up with the feelings of insecurity at a heightened level due to my dreams throughout the night. All the things I worry about and past mistakes come back in very real dreams that the enemy puts in my head and I have to actively fight it in the morning sometimes to start fresh again. Boy, its a constant battle and I love Pastor Steven’s first paragraph of Chapter 2 that really highlights the challenge

  22. Question 5: Trust
    How would you describe your level of trust in God’s ability to do great things through you?
    In the past, I had no trust in God. Now, as my faith has progressed I am learning to lean on God always but I still struggle with trust from time to time. The other day I was having some major self doubt and 2 things popped up on my Facebook page. It seems like God was trying to smack in the face with these, “Jenny wake up! I got this now let’s get going!”
    Both were from JMM (not sure if I can list specific ministries on here or not):
    “Don’t put God in a box. He has many ways of leading you if you will permit Him to be the leader while you become the follower.”

    The second thing that came up was this, “Wherever you are going, God has already been there and paved the way for you.”

    I can say this when I put my trust into God completely, I am overwhelmed with a sense of peace and security.

  23. Monica Del Rosario says:

    I feel that fear and self doubt always makes me feel not good enough as a wife, mother and a friend b/c I limit God in what He’s trying to do accomplish in my life b/c I’m not doing my part and trusting God can do anything that’s impossible in my eyes. I keep waiting and when I wait I feel fear and self doubt saying “things will never change. You’ll never be able to let go the way God wants you to” I feel stuck often and afraid to let go….

  24. Polly Schneider says:

    I’ve always been shy and timid. I keep telling myself that same thing over and over again. I tell myself I have too many fears to do anything for God. I am learning that those thoughts come from the devil and God is greater. He wants me to have that greater life too. But then I think “Am I too old now to do anything for Him or to make any difference.” (I ‘m 52) I have been feeling for a while now that there is something the Lord wants me to do but I ‘m not sure what it is. Pray the Lord will make it known to me and that I will be receptive to Him. Thanks!

  25. I need to let go of the external things in my life that are hindering my walk with God. These mundane things have me stuck in my lesser loser life. I need to have faith that God can accomplish great things within me and for me also.
    A perfect example of how God uses people – is how God transformed Paul. Paul was a hateful person who was consumed with earthly desires and possessions.Once Jesus came into his heart Paul became God’s champion. He allowed God to work through him. Simply amazing…We are need to strive to be champions for God.

  26. I am 62 yeqrs old.All my life I have struggled with feelings of not being good enough,I tend to be very self critical.Yesterday I apologized to my doctor for some little thing.She told me there was no reason to apologize.I get these spells.I told my doctor I was doing OBS.Unglued has helped me,and I am so glad I won the book so I can participate in Greater!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  27. I have condemning messages from the other peoples words in my own self image. I have always struggled with anxiety since I was a little girl. I tend to think that other people are talking about me when they arent. I often worry about what other people think about me I try to live up to their expectations or what they want for my life
    I usually don’t make decisions on my own because I want to make other people happy rather than myself.

  28. Chapter 2,Question 2 – I feel that I can relate to having condemning thoughts sometimes. I believe they are from the enemy to keep me discouraged which then leads to self doubt. My trust is in the Lord. I thinks the enemy like to remind me that I have a chronic medical condition. Which causes me to doubt whether I should proceed with somethings. I did step out last Dec and become a Stephen Minister at my church but thoughts are still there that I’m not good enough due to my illness or the what if’s start happening when I think about getting another job to hopefully be used as a vessel by God. I want to live the greater life but settle for good enough after getting sick 9 years ago & mom and sister in 2008..

  29. I could ramble on about all these questions, but I’m going with #5: describing my level of trust on God’s ability to do great things through me.

    Here’s how my mind works: I know that God CAN heal the sick. But I also know that sometimes He chooses not to. Now turn that to using us for greater things: I know God could do greater things through me. But just like I know sometimes He doesn’t physically heal, my mind usually says “He isn’t going to CHOOSE to use you, even though He could.”

    Any good scriptures to overcome that?

  30. Trust in God (Question 5.)

    I too struggle with feelings of inadequacy when it comes to sharing God and living out God’s plan for me. I know he can do great things, and in my mind, I know not one of us is worthy, but through grace he chooses us. I am working on drowning out the “voices” of defeat and tuning into God’s Word.

    Ladies, I have been so blessed with these Bible Studies. It is reassuring to know that others struggle with the same things. I hope that you find God’s strength in you. I hope you feel the love and support God has given us here. Thank you to each of you who has had any small part in these studies!

  31. The loser me.. to the greater me.. all I want to be says:

    A lesser loser life.. to me, this has a 2 fold meaning.. the lesser loser life that we think we have, ( which might be right where God wants us, has planted us, and is molding us for a greater purpose) and the lesser loser life we have.. For me, I’ve had both. That lesser loser life I thought was sooo not me, was really the place God had placed me all along. But I’d had bigger dreams. Wanted a worldly greater. And Satan moved right, found the common ground, set the bait, and I grabbed hold with both hands, and ran. Ran from the lesser me. The me I wanted to change for the greater. So I ran. And ran. And divorce after my name, thinking it was the “greater” thing… Not ready to accept what I’d done, and tried to make it all seem fun.. But God had a much greater plan that couldn’t be found in man.. I grew unhappy, but I settled in for a loser life lost in sin. But Jesus came and erased the pain, and put saved after my name. And now I live new in him, and my lesser loser life will not win!!! Yesterday I celebrated my 7th anniversary in a new marriage and life. 5 days earlier, I watched my son, exchange his wedding vows, and tomorrow he will celebrate his,first birthday as a married man.It took the loser lesser life to open my eyes to the greater. To the possibility that God really does care. He is with me. He lives in me. He loves me.. and because of him I can be greater… in him, thru him, and for him..
    On to the greater….

  32. Question 1:
    While God has done some radical changes in my life the last few years, I feel like my LLL is keeping me from the greater, He has planned for my life.

    As of late, my journey feels like I take two steps forward and then three steps back. One minute I am totally believing that God is going to do Greater in my life, then the next minute I am overcome with self-condemnation, fear, anxiety or cowardice. Guess what wins!. Yep. the fear, anxiety and cowardice.

    I know my biggest battle is in my own mind. I need to saturate myself with God’s word, so I can drown out what the enemy is saying to me.

    I am so excited to be on this journey with all of you. Seems many of us are struggling with the same feelings. Don’t “cha” just wonder what God is up to??? :-)

    ~b

    • Thanks for sharing! I wanted to let you know that you’re not alone in the 2 steps forward, 3 steps back feeling. I’ve been feeling that off and on for a couple of years now. The thing is, God knows this about us, He’s ok with that…He loves us and accepts us for who we are, at any moment of any day through any emotion we may have! The most important thing is we keep taking those steps toward Him, toward His way, His will for our lives. I battle with my mind daily…one book that has really helped me through this way of thinking is ‘Battlefield of the Mind’ by Joyce Meyer…I’m on my second time reading it…it’s wonderful!! God Bless :)

  33. Polly Schneider says:

    Please pray for my son and his wife. They are in the ER now. She is having a miscarriage. We were all so excited about this baby. It was to be our first grandchild. Esp pray for her body to heal and for their emotions as they go through this together. Thanks.

    • Oh, Precious Jesus, we bring before you Polly’s daughter in law – we don’t understand why these things happen. But we know YOU are a great healer, and the great PHYSICIAN – and you can heal hearts, and give joy for mourning; Lord, I pray that you wrap your arms around all the family members, as they were so excited for this sweet baby; Keep them close to you Lord, give them hope in the midst of the pain and sorrow; We trust you and bring them before you now – in your Holy Name… amen….

      • Polly Schneider says:

        Thank you Donna, for your prayer. It means a lot to me.

      • Donna, I pray for your daughter as well. I’ve been through this and it is so difficult. She will have some tough days but I hope she knows that Jesus’ loving arms surround her. One book I found helpful was “Grieving the Child I never knew” by Kathe Wunnenberg. Its a devotional that really helped me worked through my emotions.

        Lots of love, Lori

    • Polly- I will definately be praying for them. I had 2 miscarriages 4 years ago. My 2nd was right before the holidays and it made things even more difficult. But God healed whatever the problem was and I now have a beautiful 2 1/2 year old boy. Just hug her and love on her. I wil pray for your disappointed and broken heart as well.

      Lacey

  34. Oh, how I have also undercut myself way to many years of my life; I found myself this week thinking I was under-prepared when I had an unexpected invite to a book signing; I am not as organized and prepared as I like, but if I don’t take a leap of faith – a first step, how will I EVER accomplish what I have been working towards the past few years ? Dah! and eeks!
    oh, I love how God brings HIS word alive through teachings, which if done right, encourage me along the way; I am DEFINITELY not where I was 35 years ago, and I am not where I was five months ago — one day at a time, I am growing into a deeper faith in CHRIST, who strengthens me along the way ! Praise God – I love how he loves me! :-)

  35. Debra W. Frost says:

    I know that there is something greater for me I just want to see Jesus or just touch the hem of his garmet and I wil be madc whole. I a sick alot over the last 2 + since cancer. God is leading me through this OBS so pleaase pray for me, I too seek greater with all of you my friends

  36. Question #4, ‘Who is a good example of a person who got past his/her lesser loser life to take hold of God’s greater things?’ What can I learn?

    I love that I am able to share, in my opinion, one of the best examples of a woman that did live a ‘lesser loser life’ and fought/found her way out by the grace of God. Joyce Meyer has been my daily example for a couple of years now…reading all her books, her devotions, watching her sermons and listening to her podcasts. She’s really impacted my intentional faith journey, her words, her encouragement have pushed me to keep going, keep seeking.

    ‘The more time we spend with God, the more we experience His goodness, the more we learn to trust Him completely’.

    Maybe I’m so ‘taken’ with her because I relate to her in several personal ways…I was sexually abused by my step-father as a child, she was by her father…I had a horrible first marriage, only marrying because I was convinced it was the best I could do, she had the same experience. She’s very ‘speak your mind’ kind of person, very honest & real with her experiences. She’s taken her bad ‘stuff’ (Pressing past guilt and shame) and made something good, something positive & God glorifying, which is my ultimate goal as well. I love her and her passion for spreading the word while sharing her story! I’ve learned that when people share, the love flows, the lines are open & lives are changed for the GREATER!!

    ‘Become prisoners of hope. Hope on purpose and BE HAPPY NOW!!’ Who doesn’t need to hear this everyday?!?

  37. Questoin #5 – How would you describe your level of trust in God’s ability to do great things through you?

    I grew up in and out of church my whole life; saved at 12 but rededicated at least 4 or 5 times. This last December I rededicated my life to the Lord and have not looked back! The things He has been able to accomplish in my life in the last 12 months are amazing, but they are only that because it is all about Him and His glory. I am believing God to save my marriage and restore my husband and bring him into the Lord’s kindgom. The Lord will save him, remove his alcoholic addicition, and turn him into the husband and father that he is called to be. I know it will happen, but the waiting sometimes is unbearable, but I always remember that God is in control and that by continuing to live for Him is my calling, to share the Lord is my calling, and my husband’s calling will come when the Lord is ready. I am so overwehelming grateful to our Lord for saving my life and the life of my children! Praise God!

  38. Judy Huffman says:

    I am responding to Question 5 from Chapter 2. Steven says “A person doesn’t do greater things through greater people. He does it through anyone who is willing to trust Him in greater ways.” How would you describe your level of trust in God’s ability to do great things through you?

    Despite many insecurities and a not-always positive self esteem, I have trusted that God could use me in whatever He called me to do throughout my life. My childhood dream was to be a teacher. I have stepped out and done many things that I was not positive that I could do over the years. The biggest thing was to be an effective community college instructor (that was the only place I felt God’s call to teach at…and to think that before I got that job I had never taught a lecture class before…that was pretty scary!). Other scary things he led me to do (or things I did not want to do but He asked me to do) at church…teach jr. highers, teach women, be a retreat speaker, and be a children’s ministry coordinator (I really fought The Lord on that one!). One of the most rewarding experiences was being able to begin a 3-1/2 year ministry with a cousin who was on death row that led to his accepting Christ as His Savior before he was executed in 1996…that was one emotional ride…and NOT one that I ever thought I would be on!

    My fear in writing this post is that I would be seen as bragging. That is the last thing I would want to do because these were not my ministries…they were the Lord’s. In my own strength, I would have failed. I mention them only to encourage others who may be fearful of stepping out of their comfort zone to trust The Lord to use you. Be assured that whatever The Lord calls you to do that He gives you the ability…through His working in you…to accomplish. You will never know how many lives The Lord can impact through you unless you step out in faith,

  39. In response to Question 4: “To you, who is good example of a person who got his/her lesser loser life to take hold of God’s greater things? What can we learn from this example?”

    I have always looked up to my sister, although she is two years younger than me, she is very wise and has always been mature for her age. She’s been through some rough patches in her life, like we all have.. growing up in the “art school” world around many non-Christians- it was hard for her to seek God. However, in the past couple years, I have seen her grow into such a strong woman of God. She has moved to a new area and getting involved in her church and leading a bible study. She is seeking a GREATER chapter in her life. I am incredibly proud of who she is becoming. She is seeking God with all her heart and reminds me to do the same- DAILY. We can learn from this example by continuing to trust God through EVERY circumstance or trial that might come our way.. Everything is a learning experience to only bring us closer to our loving God.

  40. Question #2

    I think the condemning messages are from the devil trying to create doubt, confusion, sadness in my mind. I know that I have accomplished so much and been successful in so many endeavors that I would not have been able to without God. I recognize where these messages come from and I know that it is a battle that I will triumph through faith.

  41. 1. Tell about a time when you found yourself wishing you were accomplishing more in life that really matters. What caused your discontent?
    ~
    I am there now; I feel like I am wandering around with no real direction in my job. My church life I have heard God talking to me but I am very scared from old things of my past and I haven’t been able to step out in faith yet.. Though I have to say I am making imperfect progress in the area He is dealing with me in…

  42. Polly Schneider says:

    Thanks everyone for your prayers for my son and his wife.

  43. Sorry I’m late to the discussion! Question 3 really hit me……I think my lesser loser life has caused me to settle for less than what I’m capable of in fear of not being successful. Thus, not taking opportunities & instead let fear & self doubt take over. Does anyone have favorite scriptures that you go to when fear & self doubt come into play??

  44. Finished reading the story of Elisha from the scriptures listed, over the weekend and thought to myself, wow, what a dramatic story! Beats stuff that comes out of Hollywood!

    Can’t wait to dig deeper and see how his story can apply to my life.

  45. I want to answer question #5 about not getting all wrapped up in figuring out how God’s calling will come to me and just be ready to respond in faith when it does. What God has been showing me lately and especially through this study and even reading all the comments from everyone is that I am such a control freak. I always want to KNOW what is coming next, how it is going to happen and be one step ahead and God is taking me to a place where I have no choice but to depend on Him and it is really driving me more into His word and rekindled my prayer time. I have always felt that one of the areas that God has called me to was being a prayer warrior and I have realized that the more time I spend on my knees praying (even though the prayers start out about my needs) I find myself having other people being laid on my heart and before I know it I am praying for others and then I feel so much more open to the things God is working out in my life. Believe me when I tell you what an incredibly awful week I have had since I have started this study. In a period of a few days I questioned my own relationship with God and questioned how could I expect God to bless me when I was making some very unpopular decisions and was feeling very guilty and condemned because I had peace about my decisions (that doesn’t even make sense as I write it). God used my prayer time and His word to confort me and a family member that I love and respect deeply to confirm to me that this is exactly where He wants me to be and the choices that I made are right for me at this moment. There are still so many uncertainties in my life but slowly God is helping me give up my need for control so He can take me to a place where I will be ready to repond to His greater calling for me.

  46. God doesn’t do greater things only through great people. He does them through anyone willing to trust him in a greater way. This is a good thing for me to contemplate.
    I would describe my level of trust in God to do greater things in my life as “medium.” I do believe that God watches over me, and is ultimatly leading me to exactly where I need to be. I do believe that God is sending me messages and paths to follow. I don’t always act Godly, and I am quite certain many of God’s opportunities have passed me by because I wasn’t ready to be willing.
    In truth, I’m not sure if my level of trusting God has gone up. At least not since this OBS started. I’m almost a week behind (doing Friday November 30th work on Wednesday December 5th) so maybe more is coming? I know that my trust in God is up to me, I’m just not sure I’m feeling all that different than I have for years – medium.