May 17

SLL Week 6, Day 5 ~ Take Away and Give Away

Hello and aren’t we glad it’s Friday?  I have been truly blessed by your comments this week. I love seeing how you ladies are getting into the Bible, drawing close to God and learning to live a stressed-less life. You challenge me to dig deeper and go further. I absolutely love this Online Bible Study community and treasure our time together.

This week we have learned that just like most tasks, there is a series of steps and we must begin with step one ~ “seek first.”

As I have focused on our reflection verse this week, Matthew 6:33, I have found that by seeking God’s presence first, the stress of my current situations have begun to fall into place. I know that God is in complete control; I simply need to lay everything at His feet and completely trust in His will and His timing.

Throughout Chapter Six, Tracie did an incredible job of laying out just how much we need God. You and I cannot do it on our own; we were never meant to. One of the keys to being better equipped to handle the stress in our lives is “abiding in Christ.”

Abiding in Christ. What does that mean?

The enemy wants more than anything for each one of us to stay in a state of feeling discouraged and unable to handle the circumstances in our lives. Many times this causes us to turn inward instead of reaching out to the only one who can truly help us ~ God. By focusing on our self and not God or reaching out to others, we become ineffective for the Kingdom. Therefore, you and I must guard our hearts and stay alert, so we can clearly distinguish the lies that the enemy tries to get us to believe. Keep in mind that “God not only sees our flaws, mistakes and insecurities, he loves us despite them. He sees a deeper beauty and worth in us than what anyone else can see, even more than we see in the mirror every day” (pg. 132). Do not fall victim to believe any less about yourself.

You, dear friend, are loved (I John 4:19), wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14), chosen (Deuteronomy 14:2) and strong (Philippians 4:13).  Take a moment to look these verses up in your Bible. Underline or highlight them and write the date beside them. Write them in your journal or on notecards to post where you will see them. Allow God’s Word to enter your mind and then hide in your heart.

 

Your Turn (share in the comment section):

  • Share what you learned through your verse-mapping this week
  • What is your take away from Chapter 6?
  • What does “abiding in Christ” mean to you?
  • How has this study changed or impacted your life?

 

CONGRATULATIONS!  Our Weekly Prize Winner of the Stress Relief Pack is Wendy, email beginning waw94.  Wendy, email your full name, mailing address, and the prize you won to Angie@Proverbs31.org.  This week’s prize was donated by our awesome Week 6 leader, Jamy Whitaker. Thank you Jamy for a great week!

***Click here to access the Week 6 Blog Hop

***Click here to access the Week 6, Day 3 post

***Click here to access the Week 6, Day 2 post

***Click here to access the Week 6, Day 1 post

Melissa

Comments

  1. Yesterday night I had a lightbulb moment. This last week for some reason I had difficulties to concentrate when reading the Bible and to find time and really get to the deeper meaning of what was said in the Bible verses. Also this past few weeks I had serious troubles with controling my eating habits. I am on medication which causes me to retain more water and lead to more cravings for carbo hydrates. I was doing fine for the longest time but lately I found that I was just not able to control my chocolate addiction any more. And not only chocolate but also other sweet stuff. I felt horrible about it because I know it is not doing me any good. I feel bloated, so much sugar tires me and I felt weak for not being able to cope. Yesterday I felt a strong urge to take the book “made to crave“ written by Lysa Terkeurst. I read it in the past already but I felt such a strong urge that I just had to open this book again. Chapter one directly spoke to me. It speaks bout finding your “want to“ in terms that you really want to make changes that are worth the sacrifices. It also speaks of this young man, asking Jesus what he needed to do to get real close to God. Then it quotes the verse that he needs to give up the one thing that consumes him, his riches, in order to make this closeness to God happen. It was as if God spoke to me and said “ saskia, give up your cravings for chocolate and stuff that harms you for then you can build your treasures in heaven“ then come follow me…. all of a sudden it became so clear to me. This has been consuming me and it became worse in the past few weeks, even to the extreme. I understood all of a sudden why. Tracy said it in chapter 6 last week. When we are becoming intimate with God, the devil just cannot wait to shoot darts in our weak spots because of course he doesnot want this to happen. It became so clear to me. And I could only thank God. Thank you for showing me and for teaching me this valuable lesson. I am indeed getting real close to God if it makes me interesting enough for the evil one to shoot his darts on. Second my pride, thinking that I did a great job on my own in handeling my cravings came to the surface. I could ask God for forgiveness an lay it all at his feet. I only want to have an all consuming craving for God. I just needed to share this becaus it ties everything together for me. In my weakness God is strong an can work miracles. So that is my takeaway for this week….wishing all of you a blessed weekend!!!

    • Janet F says:

      Awesome post, thanks for sharing!!

    • Constance says:

      your post speaks volumes to me! Just what I needed! Thanks for sharing and God bless

    • Saskia,
      Yay God!!! And yay you! You didn’t just quit, you listened to God and made a discovery for you life. This is a HUGE take away! Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Saskia, that is a powerful lesson. To only have a craving for God is exactly what I want, too. Thank you for sharing with us!

    • Sondra Ratliff says:

      O my, deeper and wiser, T am both as a result of this post. Thank you dear.

    • Marie (Ree) says:

      Saskia, your post speaks to me as well! I know exactly what you mean where sugar cravings are concerned. I’ve had several health issues as well and found a unique wellness doctor who treats with diet, exercise and some supplements. I felt the best I’ve ever felt when I totally got off the sugar. I lost weight obviously, but the BEST most dramatic result i realized, was no bloating and no inflammation in my joints! I even learned to drink black coffee (no cream or sweetener of any kind) which was huge for me! I really want to make changes that are worth the sacrifices too! So, I’m going to follow your lead in other areas of my life as well! I’m praying for you, please keep me in your prayers too!

      • I will, I promise! Isn’t it great that through this study we are able to connect with people that are in the same boat? I find it very encouraging and upbuilding! I never really took part in online bible studies before. But when I read about this study I just felt that this was a good time to start with it. And I am so glad I did! Thanks to everybody for the dear and encouraging words!

    • Kristy Aiken (OBS Group Leader) says:

      Hi Saskia,
      I have to comment to your beautiful post. WOW! WOW! You have just spoken so much truth and conviction to me. That one thing that consumes us MUST be given to our Father. Thank you for sharing! Yay God!

    • Saskia,
      Thank you for sharing this post! It was powerful!

    • I love the New Living Translation of Matt 6:33 — Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

      I remember years ago, hearing or reading somewhere that we should “go to the throne before the phone.” I was reminded of that as I pondered this verse this week. At first, I thought “I don’t go to the phone”… I’m really not much of a “call just to chit-chat” kind of person (at least not anymore). I may not call up friends to commiserate, but I do complain to other people about whatever it is going on. Instead of telling my co-worker how frustrated I am with what I think are unreasonable demands from the boss, I need to stop & pray for God to show me how to manage it.

      Living righteously — live in obedience. I can’t be obedient if I don’t listen for God’s instructions. And the only way I can hear his voice is by seeking after Him.

      Everything you need — how often are my “needs” really “wants”?

  2. The penny dropped.
    I too had my share of fiery darts. Very subtle though.
    When I read your comment, Saskia, the light came on. I struggled with the same issue this past week.
    Thanks for sharing.

  3. My take away…Satan truly is at work trying his best to keep us far from the Lord and I experienced it too. He was working hard to drive a sarge between my husband and I this week and keep us from God and handling a situation in a godly way. When I realized what was happening I texted my husband and we changed our course. I’m so thankful for this study and how it is keeping me in the word.

    • Pat (OBS small group leader) says:

      Dawn, I have so been there with my hubby, too. Then Proverbs 15:1 comes to mind, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” and I’ve done the same as you, texted him an apology. So thankful you did NOT give the devil a foothold. 😀

  4. Janet F says:

    Ditto, satan has been working overtime shooting darts at me also. My mouth is my issue!! I pray daily set a guard o Lord over my mouth, keep watch at the door of my lips,~Psalm 141:3 Another area is my schedule. It seems to be on overload since this study started, but I am strong ~Philippians 4:13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength. And I need to abide in HIM!!! Abiding means to remain; continue; stay; to submit to; agree to; to remain steadfast or faithful to; keep. I WILL ABIDE IN HIM AND HIM ALONE!!! Have an awesome weekend Jesus girls!!! Praying for all of you everyday!!♥

    • Kristy Aiken (OBS Group Leader) says:

      Hi Janet,
      Thank you so much for sharing your heart. What truth and encouragement you have spoken. I know we all have an issue with our mouth at one time or another. I am praying that you continually seek God first and let Him take over your thoughts, mind, and words. I pray that you will pursue Him and abide in only Him. I love your thoughts on abiding:-) Have a blessed weekend.

  5. Kristen says:

    http://bible.org/seriespage/abiding-christ-john-15

    In my study on abiding this morning, I came across this excerpt from a sermon series. I really thought it had some great insights and wanted to share with you all. I like the vision of abiding in the True Vine which gives us life-support “it is not an option to abide, but an essential requirement for life”.

    Blessings to you all!

  6. I tend to focus inward and isolate when Satan throws those fiery darts. Abiding in Him, to me, means to fall to my knees and cry out to Him for help! I hate asking for help :) I tend to “stew” in frustration when I try to handle it myself. I am really focusing on ABIDING in Jesus, which to me, means that I give up, give in, and turn to Him First! Praying for strength, confidence, endurance, and perseverance for ALL of us as we learn to abide in Jesus!
    Beth A. (OBS Group Leader)

  7. Renewed awareness of the devil’s schemes helped me to be a mite bit better about my gut reactions and to pause and go to God first instead. This study has been amazing, challenging and renewed my desire to be in the word daily. With my husband’s help and support we are waking up early to do devotions for the first-time in our marriage. We are not morning people, but we were both feeling the call to do so. I pray that God is reigning in our home and that we are abiding in Him.

    • Kristy Aiken (OBS Group Leader) says:

      Katie,
      PRAISE GOD! Wow, how amazing He is. I am so thankful that He is moving in both you and your husband’s heart. It is no easy thing to seek Him first thing in the morning. I have a tendency to fall asleep in the middle of praying;-) Being in His Word feeds our soul and gives us guidance for life. It is vital! All His commandments are true and we will find great peace when we obey them. Thank you so much for sharing! God bless you and I am praying for continuing strength to keep intentionally seeking God’s Word.

  8. Constance says:

    I also have been feeling the enemy’s darts since starting this study! The kids are unruly and show bad behaviour, which tends to make me lose my temper and patience. I am learning to stay calm with God’s help. I have seen how my children copy my behaviour so if I shout at them they tend to shout at each other when they don’t like something. Only with God’s grace and help can I change my reactions to stressful situations.

    Abiding in Christ for me is staying connected to Him all the time. I am learning to be in constant contact with Him, talking to Him about everything while I work in my household etc. that way I become closer to Him, learn to be more like Him and react like Him. This helps to keep my temper under control when things get out of hand (and my food cravings! – still working on that one!)

    • Those kids can really push us can’t they? Thanks for sharing Constance, I totally struggle with these same issues!

    • Constance, this resonated deeply with me. Those moments when God has truly “pricked my spirit” and I’ve stopped a moment to seek Him first, the situations seem much less stressful – but my children! They react so differently. It’s been an eye-opener for me this week, too!

    • Thanks,Constance .

  9. Sheryl k says:

    Whew! I am also feeling the stinging darts! Lord, help me to shield them away.

  10. Jennifer says:

    Oh, my dear ladies, so many of your posts resonated with me this morning. But the one thing that really comes to mind right now it this:

    I HATE HOTEL AND DRESSING ROOM MIRRORS.

    And since I’m staying in a hotel room right now, riding up in the elevator, down to the fitness center, and back up were hard, because I don’t see myself that way at home. And then the cycle starts – I hate the way I look – I’m never going to lose this weight – why does this have to be my cross to bear? Satan’s arrows firing left and right.

    I forget all of the good choices I’ve made with my hubby since the beginning of the year, the 15 pounds I’ve lost, and start focusing on everything I don’t have right now.

    God has been so good to share with me that in my moments of weakness, rather than give up, I need to turn to Him, and He’s already proven He’s got this – why will I not turn to Him, and why can I not see this as a gift as it calls me to turn to Him during the evenings when I am most tired and feel the most unable to make the right choices?

    Abba, change me to see the these feelings of helplessness, stress, and exhaustion as gifts – because they cause me to recognize I cannot continue on in a good way in my own strenth – they are gifts because they cause me to look up to seek You, knowing You wait so eagerly for me to ask for help, and grieve when I do not – because You love me so much and want only the best for me. You wait so eagerly to give me Your best – please change me and guide me to let go of this need, this expectation that I have to do it all on my own. Because You have promised that I will never be alone. Amen.

    Much love,
    Jennifer

    • Jennifer,
      I was just talking to a friend yesterday about this. I told her how after a workout I feel like I must look amazing! I feel strong and like I just conquered the world. Then I go to the mirror and it’s the same frumpy me. But I know that my Creator greatly dislikes it when I view myself that way, so I’m working on changing that stinkin’ thinkin’.

      I think you know exactly what you need to do…focus on the good things and changes you’ve made. You referenced that in your comment. (Our reflection verse next week is all about what we think about, Phil 4:8).

      Thank you for sharing so honestly. You are beautiful Jennifer!

    • Jennifer, sometimes I do believe the evil one had a hand in the invention of mirrors. Truly. That self-loathing really is “stinkin’ thinkin’ ” as Melissa put it so well below. I am encouraged by your cry to Abba. I cry out with you.

      Lord, help us to see the positive. Help us to reflect the hope that your presence brings to our daily decision making, large or small, and to rest in the fact that we are pursuing a worthy goal. Make us aware of how beautifully you view our temples and how much you love us. Already! In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen!

  11. Beth Grissom says:

    Turning to the sky: Ever since I was a very young child I have loved looking up. Looking at the sky and imagining where it is that Jesus lives, or that he is smiling down at me, or that the rain are his tears, or that the sunrise he painted just for me. Yesterday evening just before sunset, my husband and I went on a motor cycle ride. We went down country roads we have never traveled before. There were several times we would turn a corner or crest a hill and see vistas that took our breath away. The fresh air, the beautiful sky loaded with color and movement was soothing. Last weekend we spent time at the beach, and there the sky goes on forever and then blends with the water. It is all so calming and so peaceful. This morning as I was thinking about the concept of ABIDING in Him, I realized one of the reasons the sky is such a place of peace is that it is for the most part untouched. If you are up above the buildings or above the power lines, the sky is uncluttered, untouched, clear and just as he created it. Even if you are lying beneath a tree, the beauty above through the leaves is calming. Satan doesn’t bring calm, but Christ does. This morning I was reminded that abiding with Him for me is letting go of all that is around me even for a few moments or for many little moments through out the day, and focusing, really focusing on Him uncluttered. It means looking through the power lines in my life, around the buildings that have been built up, and finding a place where all I see is Him. Letting go of my agenda, my struggles and stresses and listening to him. I am looking for Him uncluttered. His word, His creation, His peace.

    • I absolutely love this Beth! You have changed my view of the sky. I’m excited about getting outside and “looking up” today!

    • Janet F says:

      Same here, I never thought about the sky in that way but you are so right, it is so peaceful. I am soooo looking forward to heaven and living in that peace everyday for all eternity with my Jesus!!!

    • Marie (Ree) says:

      Awesome post! Untouched & uncluttered…I love this visual! Thank you Beth!

    • Looking up and breathing deeply! Thank you, Beth, for this reminder!
      Love you lots Friend!
      Beth A. (OBS Group Leader)

    • Michelle W says:

      Thanks Beth. I love looking up into the sky. I mainly focus on the beauty of blue skies, white clouds and sunshine. You have helped me by putting into words something I could never explain. Your post also helped me to look for Him “uncluttered”

      Thanks

  12. This week has been one of ups and downs for me. I have seen God working in me through this Bible study and I have felt a calmness that has been long missing in my life. Then this week- perfectly timed with this chapter- stress and emotions hit.

    Through the readings I came to realize that the devil is at the root of that- trying to once again put his stamp on my life. I have also come to realize that when the devil works hard to push me back over that brink, I have to work even harder: read my Bible more, pray more, and draw closer to God. If I am to truly STRESS-LESS, that is the key.

    • Kristy Aiken (OBS Group Leader) says:

      Stella,
      Amen, girl. He is a liar. The devil is out to kill and destroy. We must fight back with the Armor of God. I praise God that He is our Deliverer and He will deliver us. Every day and night call upon His name to save you. I pray that you truly cry out and He will hear your voice and redeem your soul in peace from the enemy. You are absolutely right. We must stay in the LIVING WORD OF OUR LIVING GOD. Thank you for sharing and thank you for reminding me of this.

  13. My takeaway has been made so real for me by the darts that the enemy has slung. At one point during the week, we experienced a day that seemed like “death by a thousand cuts” – nothing major happened, but everything minor that could, did! It was such a rotten day from start to finish, that both my husband and I collapsed on the couch at the end of it and cried out, “Enough! God remove this craziness and evil from our home!” And we NEVER do things like that.

    On pg. 122, Tracie shared with us something that has been turning over and over in my mind All Week Long – “…we need God. Until we embrace His sovereignty and power as the only way and quit trying to do things our own way, we will be doomed to a life of frustration and stress, constantly engaged in battles we are not equipped to fight.”

    Oh. My.Word. Of. Mercy! Upon reflection, I realized this week that I am engaged in all the wrong battles far more often than I am the right ones. And on that particular terrible horrible no good very bad day, above, that’s exactly where the enemy wanted my mind to be. Fighting all the wrong battles and with my eyes as far from my Redeemer as possible.

    Believe me when I tell you, I am hyper-aware of this now and am praying that God continues to “prick my spirit” every time the enemy is crouching nearby – and that I will stay sensitive to it!

    • Pat (OBS small group leader) says:

      Oh, Missy, I have so been there where I’ve shouted out, “Get behind me, satan!” to an empty room! Our enemy DOES seek to devour us wherever he can, doesn’t he?

      I thankful that you’re super aware of these fiery darts!!

  14. Natalie says:

    I was feeling incredibly tired this morning, and had a full day of work ahead. I had a moment where I realised that the temptation was there to wallow, stay flat and grumpy. Also the temptation was to try and get myself all chirpy. Instead I decided to ask for God’s help this time, and not do it in my own strength. I also had the revelation that it’s ok to struggle. When we are weak, He is strong.
    In my part of the world the working day is over, and upon reflection God lifted me out of grumps. Thank you Lord, that when we seek You first, you add to our lives.

    • Kristy Aiken (OBS Group Leader) says:

      Hi Natalie,
      Praise God. I am so glad you decided to seek Him first. What blessings will come when we do this. What blessings when we surrender to His will and always put Him first. thank you for sharing and reminding me of this today.

  15. In just six short weeks, I can already see a change in my life. I’m being more intentional about my activities and my time, which has helped me leaps and bounds. Through God’s guidance, I have begun to heal a friendship that has caused me lots of stress over the last SEVEN years! Praise God!

    I’m still a work in progress, but at least it is progress now! I’m so excited to see how the next six weeks impact my life!

    I’m so grateful for this ministry. I finally feel like I’m on the path that God designed for me. God Bless you all!!

  16. Pat (OBS small group leader) says:

    When I hear “abide in Christ”, I immediately think of John 15. “The Message” translation of John 15:4 says it so clearly: “Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can’t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t bear fruit unless you are joined with me.”

  17. You can crave earthly things and their ability to help you is only temporary. CRAVING GOD WILL NOT HAVE A TEMPORARY EFFECT!!!!!!!!!I am putting the situation with a difficult neighbor and where I should move in God’s hands. I will do my part and leave the rest to God.I CAN’T HANDLE THIS WITHOUT HIM!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. TJ Conner says:

    Its incredibly hard to tell the difference between “No” and “Not now” answers.
    I spend more time talking with God than anyone else all day long. Its given me time to pray for my friends and family in a way I’ve never done before. Heart pouring cries for strength, wisdom, health, etc what ever my peeps were in need of. It certainly has made me feel blessed to be able to help my loved ones with prayers, especially being so far from everyone. Instead of falling into Satan’s feelings of helplessness, I fell to my knees. Course I can see this now as I look back over the last several weeks. Hindsight!
    I know, really know that God has something special planned. Not a regular job but something that will impact others. I just feel that’s where He wants me. Although that location has not yet been revealed. Its difficult when you need that additional income and we’re hanging out in the ‘waiting room’. My husband is quite on the same page which brings challenges of its own.

    Side note- this doesn’t have anything to do with the chapter but I feel lead to ‘say’ it.
    Ladies, PLEASE talk to your children about the kind of people they should be looking for when considering a mate for life. The sex talk has so many stumbling but many completely forget that we need to explain and train children to know what to look for. What if you and your spouse, if you have one, aren’t the exact example you want for them in their marriages? We can’t get hung up on our emotions of ‘losing our babies’. All that we go through, the trials, sorrows, challenges, they will most likely experience too one day. Not only do we need to train them in the ways of the Lord but also what they should look for in a spouse so they can have that additional support. They need to be able to talk, truly talk, to their boyfriend / girlfriend about important topics like what they believe, do they believe in God or Satan, not just whether they should or shouldn’t have sex before marriage. If God is truly our foundation, then talking about Him to others, asking others belief in Him, should be a foundational part of building relationships with others. Its hard to talk about things very personal to us and our relationship with God is personal. Sharing what we believe is hard because the world likes to criticize what it doesn’t understand or it envy’s. Teach the kids how to talk about the things that are most important in their lives. Just because you , a parent, can talk to your child about important things, doesn’t mean you kids can talk to others (non relatives) about those matters. I just know that when 2 people are dating, they need to have these conversations.
    Lovely Ladies, have a great weekend. thanks for ‘listening’.

    • Kristy Aiken (OBS Group Leader) says:

      TJ,
      Thank you for being vulnerable and talking about that. It is so important and God calls us to train them in the way they should go. Awesome.
      Have a blessed weekend, sister:-)

    • Marie (Ree) says:

      Amen! Brings to mind Proverbs 22:6 – “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it”.

  19. I really enjoyed this chapter. Some things that jumped out at me is that I too suffer with pride but in the form of self doubt. My childhood was not idyllic, bad habits were formed in me that have caused me to feel unworthy. I have been living in survival mode especially when bad things happen because as a child I had to fend for myself. The devil has had such a hold on these bad habits. Many times I have fallen in the “why me” category and have questioned what God is doing in my life.
    I loved how it said in this chapter that God not only sees my circumstances but considers them. He ponders them. He chooses if ,how and when he will intervene. It talks about the great test of faith is walking hand in hand with our Savior even when we can’t see. I love how personable God is…He ponders what is happening to me. He is my biggest cheerleader! How comforting this is to me that I don’t have to fend for myself because God is fending for me, leading me hand in mine.
    A couple of weeks ago I followed Melissa Taylor’s instruction about writing down a prayer to God and then re-reading the prayer until I felt my prayer was answered. Well I had prayed for growth in faith, to get as snug as I can to God. I prayed (because over the last year I didn’t know what God’s plans were for me..so I patiently have been waiting for his cue) to make His plans clear as to what He had planned. I asked that He’s smack me on the side of the head to make it that obvious because I didn’t want to miss it. I am a mother to 4 young kiddos but yet felt that wasn’t all I should be doing. Patiently over the last 1 1/2 I have kept asking. I have been walking by faith and not sight..
    My prayer was answered and I was smacked upside the head…against odds and frankly a miracle. A new little blessing is coming to our family next year. Never could I have planned this, I am humbled to see His love for me that when I walk by trusting Him everything falls into place.

    • Kristy Aiken (OBS Group Leader) says:

      Julie,
      I don’t have many words for this amazing post. Our Father is so good to us and He is so faithful! How He loves us so much! Congratulations to you and thank you for sharing. Blessings to you friend.

  20. I’m so thankful for this study studyand as I have been aibiding in God I have emotional and spiritual healing. I need my doctor to hear me God this time and not say we’ll keep it same you just exercise more. My chronic body pain and sensitivities will not get better by exercising. I need restful sleep so I can not have to take more medicine in day time that only dulls some of the pain! I don’t see her till June 7th so God I ask for your covering of love and protection from the enemies firery darts until I can see my doctor. As Tracie spoke in her book it is in those times we are tired satan sneeks in. So God strength for our sleep over tonight with our grandson who’s turning seven on Tuesday as his parents prep a re for their move on June 1st in anew town. I praise you God for your love and all the trials I walk each day with you and especially in this new season of life.

    • Kristy Aiken (OBS Group Leader) says:

      Praying, Tracy. Keep leaning and relying on God! He’s got you, girl.

  21. Having been doing this study for six weeks now I was expecting miracles. No, hoping for miracles. No, I guess, really I was challenging God to do something in me, or for me. The problem when I started this study was that I had a preconceived idea (typical) of what I WANTED that to look like. Thankfully God disappointed me big time. Instead of taking my selfish, prideful, and wrongly motivated idea of what was right and giving me that God is blessing me with growth, humility, hard work, repentance, and spiritual warfare. I had turned away from these areas and my life crumbled. Now, I can say that painfully I am rebuilding, healing, and growing. I am finding joy and peace again. Little nuggets, but joy none the less. And my direction is clear because it is not self generated, but God motivated.

    • Kristy Aiken (OBS Group Leader) says:

      Stephanie,
      Wow! Wow! Your post has impacted me greatly. I was also expecting miracles and I put God in a box and pictured exactly what I wanted those miracles to look like. So prideful and so wrong. I am learning. I am growing. God has used this particular OBS to transform my thinking. I praise Him for that. I am praying that you continue to seek God and that He will provide you with peace, wisdom, discernment, and hope. Thank you for sharing!

  22. Lynn Graham says:

    what my take away from chapter 6 is on page 127, where it said in Ephesians 4:27 that we should not give the devil a foothold. and abiding in Christ to me means to remain in him. this study changed my life by proving that every time I turn from god and forget he desires to rule over my heart, the end result is always more stress. when will I learn to let go and let God.

  23. I’m learning abiding in Him doesn’t mean just existing until our prayers are answered or our circumstances change. It means thriving in Him during the wait. I’ve learned that my internal focus even during Bible study ie. how and when will this need get met is draining me of joy and peace. My focus must be outward on Him actively looking for His blessings/goodness/mercy and the peace automatically comes. For me scanning every minute to find a blessing (which is hard for me to do even during small problems) keeps my focus where it needs to be.

    • Kristy Aiken (OBS Group Leader) says:

      Hi Marie,
      You are absolutely right!!!! It means abiding, thriving, trusting, and worshiping HIM in ALL times. Thanks for the reminder to keep my focus on Jesus in all times. Have a super blessed weekend.

  24. Marie (Ree) says:

    Chapter 6 brought to mind the fact that several years ago someone in my Church nominated me to become a Deacon, but after reading all of the qualifications for the character required to hold that esteemed role, I turned down the opportunity. I didn’t feel worthy or righteous enough to fill the position. I’ve since learned that none of us are worthy! I’ve learned too that I allowed Satan to fuel those feelings of inadequacy by robbing me of the blessings that the Lord had in store for me, if I had only taken that path. Satan constantly attacks our thought processes, and if we dont learn to hit the delete button on the computer chip in our mind we will begin to believe all those lies…So, this time I feel a strong calling to pursue my talents for the Lord and I WILL GO where He leads me!

    Thank you again to all the P31 Ministry leaders and staff, your work for His Kingdom is reaching lives and I’m so glad we found each other!

  25. Jamy, What a blessing your words have been this week. Thank you so much for leading our study and challenging us to continue going deeper in the Word of God. This week I have been reminded once again to let go of what I can’t control, trust God completely, and find strength and peace in His presence no matter my circumstances. I am filled with gratitude for the accountability, encouragement, and support I receive from OBS and all of you. Much love~Shelly

  26. Linda C says:

    To abide in Christ…what does that mean to me?
    Looking up the word “abide”, I saw the definition was: to wait for; to endure without yielding; to bear patiently; to accept without objection; to remain stable or fixed in a state. I saw the synonyms for the word were…stay…dwell…hang around…remain…stick around.

    Taking the synonyms first pretty much says what I do if I am to abide in Christ. To dwell means to live in and make my habitat…in Him. I eat, drink, talk, sleep, work, play, etc. with Him in my thoughts and deeds. No matter where I am or what I am doing…He is always first and foremost on my mind. I take Him into account when I do or say anything…always having His Word (His thoughts) in my mind makes my job at living much easier. If I have decisions to make, having His Word in my heart(daily consuming and depositing His Word in my heart)…His Words become my thoughts…then those thoughts become my habits, and before I know it He and I become “one” more and more each day. To abide means to wait for; endure without yielding; to accept without objection; to remain stable. To abide in Him also means I am yielded to Him…I have decided to do “life” His way…which a lot of the time means I have to wait for Him to work out things before I see the answer to my prayers and circumstances. I know because I know Him by “hanging out” with Him that He has my best interests at heart…therefore, as I remain in Him and become more stable in my trusting and believing in Him, I can bear patiently whatever should come my way. The only way to “accept without objection” (another definition) is to trust in Him Who has my life in His hands, and because I “hang around” “stick around” “stay” with Him, I know how He makes “all things work together for my good, because I love Him and I am called according to His purpose”. To “abide” to me is like when you make tea…you start with a “bag of tea” and “water”. You add the two together…the “bag of tea” abides in the water (infuses). Before you know it, the tea and water are ONE…you cannot tell them apart…To “abide” in my Lord…that is where the two of us become one…HIM living His Life through mine!!

    • Michelle W says:

      Linda,

      What a powerful post. The whole time I was reading your post I found myself saying out loud…”yes Lord”. Thank you for sharing. You have made an impact in my life.

  27. Katrina says:

    Through verse mapping Mathew 6:33, I’m learning where, specifically, I tend to go wrong or am inconsistent in my walk with God. He has given me a much deeper understanding and appreciation for this verse. My take away from chapter six is all about needing to lay down my pride. Though I’ve been aware of it prior to reading this chapter, I didn’t realize just how much of an issue it’s been in my Christian walk, and how little I’ve really grown in this area, until now. Abiding in Christ, for me, means to let go of my pride, admit my need for Him – admit I can’t do this on my own, and then truly and fully give it all to God. This study is reaching into the depths of my heart and transforming it from the inside out. I know it’s not going to happen overnight and it’s going to require a lot more trust and letting go, but the difference I can already feel is like night and day and that is a beautiful thing!

    • Kristy Aiken (OBS Group Leader) says:

      Katrina,
      That is so true. We are a society that wants results and wants them now. It does not work that way. God knows what is best and how to get our minds renewed and transformed. It is takes work and it takes intentional time with our Father. I am so happy to learn that God is speaking to you through this study. Praise Him. Thank you so much for sharing, sister. Have a blessed weekend:-)

  28. Mary G. (OBS Group Leader) says:

    This study is reminding me to keep God first, not matter what the world throws my way. I’ve had some pretty rotten things happen recently, but I am encouraged to stand strong and BELIEVE God is there and walking with me, even when I don’t feel like He is there.

  29. The Lord has been teaching me through this study so much! I am so thankful he never gives up on me. The thing I am taking away from chapter 6 is : if we see ourselves as worthless and inferior, then we take the focus away from God and put it on us again. It sure does start in our minds doesn’t it ? One of the things I look forward to most about heaven is being free from me and my propensity to sin. Trying to remember that it is about imperfect progress here as Lysa Terkheurst points out in her book Unglued. Thank you for this ministry we all need each other. Lord bless all these your dear ones. Thank you.

  30. TABITHA JONES says:

    I have never did verse mapping and do not even know how to start. I would love for someone to show me what to do. This study is reminding me to slow down and enjoy that sweet small voice from above and not stress out over everything. When I think about abiding in Christ and what it means to me is to let go of all my negative thoughts, to serve him fully, admit that I can’t do it all on my own. I need the Lord at all times. I am learning through this study that sometimes when I have problems arise I don’t fully rely on God and I should no matter what. It always turns out so much better when I do. This study has really changed the way I look at STRESS. I start worrying about an issue and this study pops in my head and it is helping me to cope better.

  31. Kelly H says:

    This week has been a real eye-opener for me. From reading the chapter to blogging and verse-mapping, I have tried to really let this one sink in. Last night, as my Husband and I were going to the community center to workout, he kept running into me…like boys used to do in 3rd grade to show you they liked you. It was getting really annoying and then I thought to myself…Hey, you complain silently when you don’t feel like he shows you enough attention so quit complaining and go with it!! So, I started being a 3rd grade girl, and did it back to him;) It ended up with him putting his arm around me and then we held hands for a little while. Well, at least until the other boys noticed!! lol It was just what I needed and was a great release to my grown-up world and day!!

    • Kristy Aiken (OBS Group Leader) says:

      Hi Kelly,
      AWWW. That is so sweet. The little opportunities God gives us and we usually ignore them. I praise the Lord that you didn’t. Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful weekend:-)

  32. Tristine Barry says:

    Post to Take Away on Melissa Taylor’s OBS, Friday, May 17, 2013
    Reflection Verse, “Matthew 6:33”
    33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

    Hi Melissa and everybody! I am so thankful for this week. I also had TWO light bulb moments. The first was at the beginning of the Chapter when she talks about coming home after her conference and the enemy stole her and her family’s joy due to her expectations of what the state of her home would be in (she said she opened the door wide open for the enemy. I have done the SAME thing! Tracie really helped me with her resolution-pray that the Holy Spirit gives me the eyes to see situations as God does, and to have the Holy Spirit “prick” me when the devil is “lurking.”

    The second “light bulb” moment came at the end about pride. I never realized that focusing on my sad circumstances (and low self-worth, etc) was a form of pride! I do know now and I got it. If I am not “abiding” in Him and seeking His Kingdom first always it keeps me from having the relationship He wants, and what I want. I am nothing without The Lord. Nothing. He pulled me from the horrible pit and put me on safe ground and I owe my life to Him.

    My final take away is in realizing the value of the small FB group (Yay Kristy and group 28!), this wonderful ministry and OBS! I have Sisters praying for me, encouraging me, spurring me on when I have been attacked, and it has worked! I know that it works but as we all know, sometimes circumstances are greater than what I think I can handle. By the way, I LOVED this week’s conference call. I am on my knees literally more. I am being challenged by Amanda and Kristy and am learning so much. I was given practical advice in able to grow in “abiding” in Christ.

    I really think that there are no words to express how I feel about you, Melissa, Lysa, and ALL of the women in this ministry. Oh, we cannot leave God out. It is nice to be among Jesus Lovers like myself that are truly “doing” the Word. I have spread the news about this ministry and will continue to do so. Anyway, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. It is nice to have many to help, many to pray with and for and encourage, many to learn and teach, and many to share God’s incredible Word. You give Him MUCH glory.

    Love in Christ,
    Tristine

  33. This is the first week I have been back in touch for the past few weeks, and it was a great week to come back! I’m glad I didn’t miss this week. This was my first time verse mapping, and I did it on Matthew 6:33. I really enjoyed it and will be doing that from now on with other verses. If I take away one thing from this Bible study so far it’s how to verse map.
    Abiding in Christ to me means getting closer to him, relying on him more. Through this study I have been learning to lean on Christ more and learning to give things over to him. I have always done things on my own, then wonder why I’m stressed. I’m learning to go to God first, rather than 2nd, 3rd or 4th, etc….
    Reading the other comments from the ladies, and reading the blog hop Thursdays has really been an inspiration to me. It really helps to know there are others out there going through the same things as you. Also I’ve been reminded that no matter how bad I think I have it, there is always someone who has it worse than I do. I have really been able to put things into perspective. I am counting my blessings more and being more positive. I never really looked at the bright side of things, but find myself doing more of that now.
    I’m really thankful for this Bible study and glad I didn’t give up even though I got behind for a few weeks.

  34. Sim Meroff says:

    Abiding means to me that I should ‘stay put.’ By habit, I run for the hills. But Jesus wants me to trust that no matter what the season or situation, He will be present and my Defender; the lover of my soul that only wants me to experience the glory of God up close.

    • Kristy Aiken (OBS Group Leader) says:

      Hi Sim,
      He definitely wants us to trust Him in all circumstances. I am going through something right now that is making it very difficult but there is NO choice, I must choose Jesus. As Melissa says, Jesus has to be enough. No matter what damage has been done to our soul, there is absolutely nothing that Jesus can’t restore, renew, recover, or redeem. Keep crying out to Jesus sweet sister. Thank you for being vulnerable today and sharing. I truly believe sharing helps us to grow in Christ. Have a wonderful weekend:-)

  35. This week really made me realize that I fully need to seek him first in everything. Not the big things but everything. Its so easy just to give the big things over to him and then try and tackle the little things, only to see that we really do need him in every aspect of our lives. Really enjoyed some of the blogs this week!

  36. Michelle says:

    This study has revealed to me that I have spent my entire life as a “Church goer” instead of a “Christ follower”. It pains me to admit that but it makes me so happy to recognize it. It means that I have seen the LIGHT! In the past 6 weeks I have developed a relationship with Christ that has gone so deep that I did not realize it was there. I thought I was doing everything right but I wasn’t. I was missing the main ingredient…THE RELATIONSHIP! I have gone to church all of my life and have been going through the motions but NOW I have a relationship with him. There is nothing that can or will ever take that away. I’m so thankful to Tracie for writing this book and I am thankful that Proverbs 31 Ministries is holding this bible study in conjunction with it. My life has changed dramatically over the past 6 weeks. God has ever so gently revealed to me much about myself. Boy was I a bossy, little miss perfect, never wrong, screaming and yelling mother and wife. Who wants to be around that? He has not changed my circumstance…he has changed my heart…through this study. Who knew what I was in for when I signed up for this study back in March. I am so blessed! Many thanks to all of you!!

    • Kristy Aiken (OBS Group Leader) says:

      Hi Michelle,
      PRAISE THE LORD, sweet sister. Isn’t He just so amazing. I am praising Him for changing your heart. Thank you for sharing. Proverbs 31 and Melissa Taylor and team is a blessing to us all! Have a wonderful weekend:-)

  37. Most profound is really the meaning of pride all along I thought just to be boastful not if you are complaining which now I do understand when I complain is thinking I know better than God..So sad took mess long to. Realize pride is done so often by how we act all the time.
    God is showing me. Who I really am.. The stress I put on myself without even thinking. I think of a dear person who has been in my life over 20 yrs,and her words are change your heart oh Lord make it more like yours..
    Thank you Lord for opening my eyes that I may see.
    Blessings to all the ladies..:)

  38. Lee Roberts says:

    Well this week has been a powerful week. I just have focused on asking God first for direction in everything this week He has shown me how much better life can be because I am putting him first. His timing is not always my timing but it is always on time. His ways aren’t my ways but they always turn out better than anything I would have imagined.

    • Kristy Aiken (OBS Group Leader) says:

      Hi Lee,
      That is so true. We think we know and we put our Creator and Father in a box and think we know how situations should work out. Shame on us:-) He knows what is best. We are not in control but He is in control. Amen for that:-) You have encouraged me to continue seeking God first even in just the littlest of situations. Thank you for sharing and have a wonderful weekend:-)

  39. “I can do all things through Christ who strengths me.”(Philippians 4:13) important verse and brought me to a powerful revelation, one that I can relate to real life. If I dont have a strong foundation with Christ then I cant seek Him first. As we know Christ is love, having the confidence and knowledge that with Christ I can do all things with strength and courage…. I am indeed not in control, for any battle one has to have a leader(Captain, General etal) followed by another line of authority followed by the fighting soldier… but the Captain gives the orders… My God leads me,directs me and I follow the orders, now if I disobey there are consequences.. Wow!!! Each tiny step develops into a bigger step develops into Victorious step. I reread Chapter 6 over 5 times this week, especially as I go through the trials… Today I stand!!!!

    • Kristy Aiken (OBS Group Leader) says:

      Hi Zella,
      What a powerful post, sister! It takes a lot of surrender, trust, and God to realize with confidence that with Christ you can do all things. It is so hard not being in control but praise our Father that we are not in control. Everything works out for the good of those who fear Him (Romans 8:28). He knows the outcome, not us. Thank you for this awesome reminder tonight. The reminder to seek God to lead me and direct me and then I must OBEY! I hope you have a super blessed weekend:-)

  40. While I am doing this absolutely fantastic on-line Bible study, I have also been reading books and watching videos in order to prepare to staff the phone lines for the battered women’s shelter. It has been astonishing how well they blend. (Humm. Seeing finger prints?)

    While reading today, I took a lot of notes. While I did include some of these concepts in my “book report”, I took down the following information in my “Stressed-Less Living” Journal.

    The book I read today is BUT HE NEVER HIT ME, by Jill Murray.

    1. Love is a behavior
    2.You only have control over three things in live
    a. Your own thoughts
    b. Your own behavior
    c. Your own reactions
    3. You have free will
    4.You are not a victim
    5. All abuse is intentional
    6. We do everything we do for a payoff
    7. Abuse is about two things: power and control
    8. Most people prefer the certainty of the misery to the misery of the uncertainty.

    You create the life you have.

    If something is working, do more of it. If it is not working, do something else.

    I have resisted posting this information all day. I don’t know why. But, I realized that this just might help someone. I again looked at:
    2.You only have control over three things in live
    a. Your own thoughts
    b. Your own behavior
    c. Your own reactions

    God loves me. I know that. I also know that: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” ~ Matthew 6:33 (NIV)

    My behavior is to think, seek, and rejoice.

    I will say that it helped me. I hope God wants it to help others.

  41. Hello Ladies: Abiding in Christ to me means to get more close to Lord. This week was awesome, I’m learning how to talk to Lord first and let him to guide me in my journey. I got behind my bad thoughts. Now I can been able to put things into perpective. Now I feel more positive and I have been blessing more. I pray daily, I ask for my serenity and peace of my mind. I just want to be in a safe place(without my depression and anxiety). Thank you Melissa and Lisa and all women of your minister for all prayers. Thank you.

  42. Paige Ward says:

    Abiding in Christ means 24/7.