In the Word Wednesdays – Week Three

Embraced by Holiness - Face-to-Face

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We are getting into some great stuff this week.

I hope this study is blessing you and you are enjoying the path to God’s daily presence. I’ve posted the discussion questions and key highlights for you below the video.

Video Highlights

Ready? Let’s start discussing this…

Week 3

Using different accounts from Scripture, we explored various responses people have to God’s holy presence.

Day 1

Response of fear, hate, and rejection

We looked at three  stories from Scripture and one modern day example. These showed us:

  • We innately know we are unfit to be in God’s holy presence.
  • We sense we must change if God is present.
  • Sometimes we prefer the mess and pain we know to giving up our illusions of being in control.

Discussion Question: p. 63

Have you ever responded to Christ with fear, rejection, or hate. If so, why did you feel threatened by him?

Day 2

Busy

We looked at Peter and John’s responses to the revealed glory and holiness of Jesus.

  • Transfiguration – Peter’s initial reaction was to DO something which brought about a rebuke from God (Matt 17:1-9)
  • Later, an older, wiser Peter reflected on that experience and his focus was very different (2 Peter 1:12-18)
  • John, who was also at transfiguration, had a late-in-life second encounter with the glorified Christ.
    • We read his account from Revelation 1:9-18.
    • He responded with fear and worship.

Discussion Question 2a)

What comes more naturally to you, sitting quietly and listening to God or doing something for God?

Discussion Question 2b)

If sitting quietly and listening to God is difficult, why do you think that is?

Discussion Question 2c)

How do you think a “doing” nature could hinder our intimacy with God?

Day 3

Doubt and Disobedience

Moses started off well in his response to God at the burning bush, but as soon as God made it clear he was calling Moses to do something, Moses opted for doubt and disobedience.

Discussion Question 3a)

When was the last time you balked at obeying God?

Discussion Question 3b)

Did you feel his displeasure? If so, in what way? How can you respond differently next time?

Day 4

Humility and Repentance

Kathy took us on an amazing tour of the book of Job. We examined Job’s response to God in the midst of suffering. Job had knowledge about God but his personal experience of God’s holy presence changed how he responded to God.

Discussion Question 4)

How/why might our response change based on personal experience of God’s holy presence rather than a secondhand knowledge about God? Have you found this to be true in your life? How did personally experiencing God change your response?

Day 5

Repentance, Submission, and Obedience

In Isaiah 6:1-8, the prophet has a glorious encounter with God which leads to a deeper understanding of God. When Isaiah understood the nature and holiness of God, he was vividly aware of his own nature and unholiness. Isaiah responded very differently from Moses when God described the calling he had for this prophet. Isaiah responded with repentance, submission and obedience.

Discussion Question 5)

How have the examples of God’s revealed holiness impacted you this week? Has it awakened a humble desire to be holy and draw ever closer to the holy One?

Preview Week 5

Extreme Makeover: Spiritual Edition

This next week we explore our spiritual “before and after.” We tackle the apparent paradox: we have been made holy and we are called to become holy. We see how the transformation is both immediate and gradual. We’ll look at the difference between “positional” holiness (justification) and “progressive” holiness (sanctification). There is a whole lot of peace and comfort awaiting you in this week’s homework!

Memory Verse:

If you’re participating in this aspect of the study, below is the verse I chose to go along with this week’s homework.

Hebrews 10:14, NIV

For by one sacrifice he[Christ] has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.”

Have a great week. And be sure to let me and the other participants know how we can be praying for you this week! Can’t wait to read your comments. If you’re doing this study with a group or Bible study partner, I’d love to hear how that is going as well!

LauraSignatureBlog

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I hope you'll jump into the conversation by leaving a comment. I would love for each post to be like a dinner party conversation in which many people participate, each adding their own perspectives and ideas. Just keep in mind that we want to treat others as we would like to be treated, so please keep your comments constructive and on topic. Feel free to post viewpoints and ideas that differ from mine or others but refrain from personal attacks or offensive language. I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive, off-topic, or which demean or belittle another member of the Making It Real community.

  • 1. I grew up in the church but didn’t have a personal relationship with Christ until my mid-twenties. I think I confused who God is/was with the misconceptions and misinformation I got from others. I was scared he was all about judgment and making one’s life miserable, so I kept him at a comfortable distance. After much searching out in other religions and being unsatisfied of the answers I found there, I actually studied the Bible and found God was so different than I had thought. We’ve walked closely for a long time. But I’ve had my share of Moses responses when I felt God asking me to do something bigger than myself and my abilities. Unfortunately, I’ve responded like Moses (“Uh, get someone else, God.”) more often than like Isaiah (“Here I am Lord, send me.”) But the times I’ve given an appropriate, Isaiah-like response have been some of the best in my life, even when there were hard times involved in the doing of what God asked of me. Those were (and continue to be) the times when I most personally experienced God showing up in big ways in my life.

    2 (a, b and c). Doing definitely comes more naturally for me. I’m sure it has to do with wanting to be in control. Sitting and being places me in a position of “waiting upon the Lord” and that is a posture in which I have no control whatsoever. That makes me squirm and I think I fill in the uncomfortable silence with doing stuff (much like Peter’s response). This always hinders my intimacy with God because my focus becomes the task instead of God. I’m making imperfect progress on this and it is something I’m intentionally working on, but it is still one of the biggest hindrances in my walk with God.

    3.The last time I balked at obeying something God was putting on my heart, was late last year and for the first half of this one. My eating and exercising had gone by the wayside and my health was again suffering due to my self-indulgence and lack of discipline. God was convicting me and I just kept brushing off the gentle nudges. As God pushed back stronger, I gave half-hearted attempts to obey, but those didn’t last long. He used someone very close to me to express the vision of where my disobedience would ultimately take me. The picture wasn’t pretty and it got my attention. I was in my doctor’s office getting signed up for the program I used a couple years ago to lose 40 pounds. I’m down about 8.5 pounds so far. I will try to respond obediently when I feel the gentle nudges in the future. Much less painful than taking a two-by-four to the head, which is what I usually insist upon.

    4.It can be a huge blessing to hear someone else’s story, but there is nothing like personally experiencing God. I don’t hear an audible voice but the way God can speak into my heart and through people, situations, etc. in my life is incredible to experience. When he breaks through my fears and doubts and declares his presence in undeniable ways it is hard to do anything other than respond with awe and worship, followed immediately by obedience.

    5. This week’s homework had a profound impact on me. Reading all those different examples of various ways people respond to God allowed me to see myself in each. I recognized times when I had each one of those responses, good and bad. It was good to review that with the benefit of perspective. I could more easily see what the underlying motivation or cause was when I responded inappropriately. It helps prepare me to respond better in the future. And it certainly instilled in me a desire to respond with humility, reverence, and submission.

    Can’t wait to hear from each of you!

  • Patti McCartney

    I got behind on vacation…. 🙁
    Skipping to Day 2: Doing something for God is much more my style. I had to think about why. I think because it feels lazy to sit quietly yet this is where I can really hear His voice and go deep with where I am in my relationship with Him and where I’m headed. I think, by definition, busy-ness gets in the way of all relationships (not just with God but our family, spouse, friends etc.) and prevents us from sharing at deeper levels and being really present in the moment.

    Day 3: The last time I balked at obeying God…umm daily? I can get busy faster than anyone I know yet God is constantly calling me to stop, listen and pray. I can respond differently by praying each morning to hear His voice, and then respond to it.
    Day 4: Loved this study of Job. There is just no comparison between hearing about other’s experiences and feeling God telling you to do something personally. It’s like watching someone eat a decadent piece of chocolate cake then tell you all about it vs eating it yourself!
    Day 5: I am reminded once again that God does not call the equipped, he equips the called. If God has me in mind for something to bring glory to His name, then he will make sure I am prepared or give me all the tools I need. I just need to obey!

    • Hope you had a wonderful vacation. Isn’t this online format great for being able to take breaks and just start back up when we get back!

      I agree about the busyness interfering with our relationships. I’ve decided to be very intentional the remainder of this year and see how much busyness I can prune out of my schedule so I free up time for nurturing important relationships.

      LOVE your response for Day 3! I can relate!! And what a perfect illustration with the choc. cake.

      “God doesn’t call the equipped, he equips the called” is one my favorite sayings. You’re so spot on with the obedience issue. So many times, I let fear of falling on my face in front of others interfere with my obedience to something I clearly know God is calling me to.

      So glad to have you back! I’ll be praying for you as you “stop, listen and pray.” I pray you will hear God speaking clearly into your life. So glad you’re joining me in this study.