Welcome to Believing God Week 1, a perfect summer Bible study! We are gathering in small groups for conversations each week. Get the chapter book or the study book Believing God by Beth Moore and join us for the Believing God online Bible study.

Open your Bible and read Ephesians 3:16-17 NIV: I pray that out of his glorious riches, he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. 

When I was a new believer returning from a prodigal season, “Christ in me” seemed impossible to believe. My previous denomination impressed upon me the devastating effects of family sins. At that time, people were excommunicated from the church because they divorced. My faith was so weak, I did not understand how a loving church can “unlove” my divorced parents. Looking back I realize that I was under the stronghold of legalism- a religious spirit.

Today I am set free from the stronghold of legalism. After leading many Bible studies, I believe in the absolute truth of God’s word. When the Word says His spirit dwells inside my heart…it is true. After this heart transformation, I am careful not to judge anyone about the Spirit dwelling inside their heart.

If their faith is different than mine, the Holy Spirit still dwells.

If their forgiven sin is different than mine, the Holy Spirit still dwells.

As we diligently seek God, we encounter many obstacles such as legalism or unbelief. As a ministry leader, I see distraction and fatigue are obstacles for many students. Knowing that we can overcome obstacles, we need to communicate with our prayer team and mentors when distractions come our way. Familiarity can also be an obstacle, as many are repeating this Beth Moore study. Look for something fresh and applicable for today.

Beth Moore describes a “personalized Promise Land” as a place where you abide with God. I have found a personal promised land where my heart connects with His, and I listen for discernment. It’s a gathering place to experience more of God and less of the world. But, I needed to go through the wilderness season to get here. In the wilderness, I learn to discern His voice alone and to overcome my previous ways of managing the obstacles in my path.

Beth Moore observes, “The walk of faith assumes a walk with God. Faith cannot walk alone.” After I graduated high school I became a prodigal and walked away from God. My faith was weak and couldn’t withhold to the pressures and fears. The external pressures percolated, and I moved into a wilderness season of rebellion. I came back to my faith just before the 9/11 attack. As my husband was in ICU with a rare blood disease, my nephew was diagnosed with diabetes at 18 months. In these frightful events, I started seeing glimpses of God. People were praying, miracles were happening, and my faith was restored.

Turn your Bible to Romans 4:7-8 NIV: Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord will never count against them.

Do you truly believe with all your heart that your sins are forgiven? Many women have commented on my Facebook page about their difficulty believing this. Yet I believe one thousand percent the verse is true because the Bible tells me so and the Bible is Living Truth!

Looking deeper,   “Believing God while continuing in deliberate sin is ultimately impossible.” Most people keep their sins inward and private. A handful make public statements about their deliberate sins and celebrate their rebellion while simultaneously professing a belief in God. Perhaps in the future, we will see the Bible watered down to make some sins permissible. When we look for the lowest common denominator, does God hate sin? Yes. Does God allow us to define sin in our terms? No.

Your sin is not your identity.

There was a season where my faith was passive with God and I did not seek Him. During my season of abiding active faith, I am visible for Christ because I enjoy His presence. I enjoy seeing the supernatural God and desire others will see this too. Why? Because it is beautiful and because we can have conversations without unbelief sitting between our two coffee mugs.

Christine Abraham writes for the Bible Cafe™ community. Learn about living by the Fruit of the Spirit as you enjoy her online Bible studies. Join Christine at the Bible Cafe™ University for weekly Bible teaching.