Book Club

We are somewhat behind on our discussions for the (in)courage book club, but thats ok bc
we are just going to move at our own glacial pace...

"We have a very real enemy who thrives on our silence. He doesn't want us to be in fellowship, sharing our hearts and seeking wisdom on how to live lives that glorify God in spite of the darkness we feel. I can honestly say I'm not sure I have ever felt spiritual battle as keenly as I did when I write these words. My prayer, and not just for myself, is that we will emerge as women who can say we trust our God fully and we are devoted to seeking Him in the midst of the fear." -Angie Smith

So far, I've been immensely encouraged and challenged by this book. I truly believe any time you read or study something that produces change, you will become increasingly aware of the spiritual warfare going on all around you. So be prepared, when you open your heart for change and growth towards Christ, satan will do everything in his power to discourage you.

I love how the Angie takes different fears and discusses them in each chapter, she addresses things that every woman struggles with and bears her heart in very vulnerable ways. In chapter 1, Angie discusses the Fear of the "what if..." by retelling the well known story of Hagar (Genesis 16 & 21). I don't know about you but I've heard and read this story so many times but it definitely struck me in a unique way especially when Angie brought up the issue of control. Sarah, Abraham's wife took matters into her own hands when things weren't going the way she planned, she literally told her husband to sleep with another woman in order for him to keep his legacy alive. She ignored the fact that God had given them a promise that didn't include another woman. Years later, after both Hagar and Sarah bore sons, the jealousy waged war in Sarah's heart and she had Hagar sent away. We see Sarah's attempts to "help" God out with His plan, but have you ever looked at Hagar's position in this story, the "what if" She too wasn't in control of what came next. Can't you imagine her fear...

"As with all of the other fears I have dealt with in my life (and likely you in yours), the central issue is the feeling that you aren't in control. I guess that isn't really accurate-I should say it's the realization that you aren't in control."

Hagar was out of control, she ran and ran, she felt forgotten, she and her son had no food, nothing to drink and she was prepared for her son to die, until God spoke to her...the God of the universe had a conversation with her, he didn't just drop a well of water next to her, but rather He opened her eyes to see the well that was already there...
"Her circumstance didn't change. Her awareness did."

So many times we are convinced that the worst case scenario is upon us and its best just to give up and shut ourselves off, shut our hearts off...we succumb to the fear, we don't see God working, so we believe He has forgotten us, BUT the God of Hagar is still listening to our cries, He loves us just like He loved her, He might just show up in ways we never thought or imagined. Be confident, don't cower in fear, believe in the faithfulness of God. He will open your eyes to see!

Lord, open our eyes and hearts to see you and believe! -B

Join us next week for Chapter 2, The Fear of Rejection, Abandonment & Betrayal...

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