Believing God Week 9

Believing God by Beth Moore online Bible study has changed lives. We’ve enjoyed the conversations and the opportunities to strengthen our faith. Congratulations to everyone who has completed the study here at the Womens Bible Cafe.

During this study, we learned about the importance of promised Land living. We looked back at our timeline of history with God, memorized five statements of faith, and put our minds on believing God. What a beautiful experience for all the women who participated at the Bible Cafe.

In Joshua 10:10 NIV: “…the LORD threw his enemies into confusion.” What might be a modern example of this? [hint: look at BlueLetterBible.org for original meaning, and a modern dictionary]

We need some confusion in the dark places and evil places. You might hear prophets pray to “confuse the enemy” or scatter their plans. Or the prayer warriors who ask the Lord to “Send angels to confuse the enemy.”

What happens when you pray and ask for A, B, C, and steps of wisdom? But God says, be still. How do you feel when you pray and God answers, “Be still?” (related verses: Psalm 46:10; Exodus 14:14: 1 Samuel 12:16; Nehemiah 8:11; Psalm 37:7; Mark 4:39; 1 Corinthians 13:8 )

You’re looking for a different answer but God has the answer that He knows you need on your faith journey. Avoid the temptation to call your mother, friend, or someone not walking with Christ. When they answer, you unintentionally partner with THEM for their will and step into people pleasing. Seek God’s will and not the approval of people.

Psalm 46:10 NIV- He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Hebrew OT: cease striving; to sink, relax, sink down, let drop, be disheartened; to sink down; to sink, drop; to sink, relax, abate; to relax, withdraw; idle;  to let drop; to let drop, abandon, relax, refrain, forsake; to let go; to refrain, let alone; to be quiet; to show oneself slack

 Exodus 14:14- The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” KJV= The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.

Hebrew OT: to be silent, be still, wait, be dumb, grow dumb; to be silent; to be still, die; to be struck dumb; to be silenced, be made silent, destroyed; to make quiet; make silent (cause to die)

1 Samuel 12:16- “Now then, stand still and see this great thing the Lord is about to do before your eyes!

 Nehemiah 8:11- The Levites calmed all the people, saying, “Be still, for this is a holy day. Do not grieve.”

 Psalm 37:7- Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.

Mark 4:39- He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

GREEK NT, Jesus = to close the mouth with a muzzle, to muzzle, metaphor: to stop the mouth, make speechless, reduce to silence; to become speechless; to be kept in check

1 Corinthians 13:8- Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

Greek NT Meaning: to make to cease or desist; to restrain a thing or person from something; to cease, to leave off; have got a release from sin; no longer stirred by its incitements and seductions.

 

Breaking Free Online Bible Study | Week 10

Today is our last group discussion for Breaking Free by Beth Moore. We have enjoyed the small group discussions and the commitment from the Womens Bible Cafe team. Great job everyone!

As we discussed this week, Jesus reminds us to love the Lord with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength. We’re captives set free, yet Beth Moore reminds us, others may not understand our position. You can display His splendor to those who are still captive. Don’t judge the captives, as you were once a captive too. Know that each person is on a different pace in their spiritual journey. Let the Holy Spirit work in them and pray for their freedom.

Those set free will often display the Fruits of the Spirit (see Galatians 5). Integrity, honesty, generosity, and gratitude are also evident in captives set free. As you continue to walk in freedom, you cultivate a posture of forgiveness and hope for the future. You are viewing the world as Ambassadors for Christ.

Let’s make sure we cultivate a garden of good fruit and keep the bad fruit out. Pause, stop, pray, and respond in the fruit of the Spirit.

We radiate His love when others look at our lives and hear our testimonies. It’s “living proof” of Christ’s indwelling. Be transparent in Christ.

Beth Moore cautions us, “The empty places in our lives become the enemy’s playground.”  What can we do to fill those holes with Christ rather than something unhealthy? We can learn to discern and identify our emptiness. Daily prayer and confession help us anchor to God’s Word. Fellowship with believers keeps us accountable to the Truth. Yet we can also watch the atmosphere – is it spiritually healthy? Is the Holy Spirit present here? Am I on Holy Ground?

The Lord will renew our strength, yet we often try to renew it absent of Him. Or we try to renew the strength of someone else. What needs to happen for us to wait for His perfect and complete renewal? Let’s make a promise to ourselves for a Sabbath rest. We can also tame our tongue, and be still when tempted to respond or to sin.

Recommended Book: Sacred Rest by Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith

Author Christine Abraham writes for the Bible Cafe™ community. She teaches people how to have a closer and deeper relationship with God through a personal study of the Bible. Join Christine at the Bible Cafe™ University for her small group studies and coaching videos.

Believing God Online Bible Study | Week 8

We’re near the end of Believing God by Beth Moore. In this online Bible study for Believing God, we have enjoyed fellowship through small group discussions. Many of you have emailed and messaged me about how much you have enjoyed the Believing God by Beth Moore online Bible study! Be sure to thank your small group leaders for devoting their time and their hearts to lead our groups. We have amazing leaders at the Bible Cafe.

According to Beth Moore, your personal Gilgal is where “God brings you full circle and breaks any looming cycle of failure.” This is a cycle of defeat, the cycle of fear, or a transforming experience. And for some, it feels like a personal revival. If you look back at your timeline with God, you may see where you experienced a breakthrough. Maybe you were delivered of insecurity, pride, or people’s approval. Perhaps you were raised in a Pharisee church and developed a fear of authority in religion. Maybe you encountered someone in ministry who made you feel the spirit of diminishment.

When we stand at a crossroad we visited before, we are coming full circle with God. Some women in small groups said they do not like the word “test” or being tested. It brings up negative memories for them. Yet other women like the experience of being tested and seeing their spiritual maturity. As we discussed in our small groups, you need to SEE that you have been delivered. God already knows the answer and result. And so the test is for you to measure your own spiritual growth and development.

Open your Bible and look at Exodus 20:20 NIV: “Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.” We say that fear includes both success and failure. If we never see success, we stop trying things. If we never experience failure, we are not taking risks and not learning from our mistakes.

For example, Beth Moore testifies that God has delivered her from insecurity, fear, defeated thinking, and practices of sin. She was tested, experiencing both success and failure until her faith matured. Maybe you had a similar experience, and how you respond now is different. You’re probably more aware of your temptations and faults as you mature in your relationship with God.

How do you feel about sharing your testimony with nonbelievers? When I am ASKED, then I share and I am ready with answers. But I do not walk into a room and start preaching or sharing an uninvited testimony. I wait for the Holy Spirit to nudge me or open the door to conversation. When I testify, I like to avoid the details (unless necessary) and generalize the testimony. My testimony must lead to God. With experience and time, we will learn what to say and what not to say.

According to Beth Moore, “We don’t walk in perfect faith for the rest of our lives. We walk in prevailing faith.” Perfect faith means we don’t need to lean on Jesus. As the Bride of Christ, we seek a faith that preserves, even when we are unsuccessful. Remember, David, Moses, and Abraham all made mistakes and yet were in a constant relationship with God. When they made a mistake or sinned, they turned to God for confession and forgiveness.

We talked about spiritual disciplines in our small groups this week. Some of these disciplines include Bible study, devotions, worship, prayer, fellowship, communion, confession, sabbath rest, giving, fasting, and disciple-making. We do these things out of love for Our Father God. It is a blessing to experience these spiritual disciplines.

Turn your Bible to Galatians 6:9 NIV: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Jesus got away from the crowds and sometimes we need that too. Find time this week for sacred rest. Read the Bible verses about the weary.

Author Christine Abraham writes for the Bible Cafe™ community. She teaches people how to have a closer and deeper relationship with God through a personal study of the Bible. Join Christine at the Bible Cafe™ University for her small group studies and coaching videos.

 

Breaking Free Online Bible Study | Week 9

Welcome back to our womens online bible study of Breaking Free by Beth Moore. Last week we studied the heart and in week nine Beth Moore focuses on the mind. In Matthew 22:37, Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ It’s a little challenging to love if your mind is a battlefield! If you missed this study, you can access it on-demand at Bible Cafe™ University.

This week Beth Moore writes, “Surrendering our thought lives is a safeguard.”  Giving God control of our thoughts gives Him access to our hearts and mind. When our minds are steadfast with God, we are anchored to the Fruit of the Spirit (not the flesh). Should we surrender our thoughts to nonbelievers and get worldview advice?

Open your Bible to 1 Corinthians 5:12-13 NIV: What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. Expel the wicked person from among you.

We can expel our thoughts. We should avoid having a depraved mind. Catch your thoughts when they are fleeting thoughts and see if they measure up to God’s word. As Mary Beth taught us in small group this week, it is easier to correct thoughts than false beliefs. Because the false belief becomes a stronghold in your life.

In our study Breaking Free, Beth Moore brings attention to the metaphor “valley” and” harvest.” Many women in our small groups felt they were in the valley season, where your faith is watered by sweat and tears. Others felt they were in the harvest season. I think we can experience both. For example, I am in the valley season as my daughters move out. Many people call this the empty nest syndrome. Yet I also see my harvest season is coming as I trust God with their futures and mine.

One of the mistakes we make is trying to break a stronghold in our own strength.  We try to educate ourselves about a problem, such as Google searches and artificial intelligence (AI) answers. As I teach in my Leadership Coaching Course, these Google results can be manipulated by AI machines. The answers we see are based on popularity, not fact. Or we might call a friend or family member, and she may not be walking with God. She leads us into deeper captivity with her advice.

As Beth Moore writes, “Satanic strongholds need divine demolition.” We need the supernatural power of God to deal with a supernatural demonic stronghold. Sometimes, we need spiritual fasting with our prayer ONLY when directed by the Holy Spirit. You cannot break a stronghold in your strength (or your husbands, mothers, or pastors). You need the Lord. Y

We learned this week that we can be led to victory by the cords of human kindness. In our small groups, we talked about things we can do in the next month to be an example of kindness.

  • Make a meal for a neighbor
  • Send cards to our friends
  • Be intentional to call and talk by phone rather than by text
  • Give sincere compliments on social media posts
  • Meet up with friends for coffee or tea
  • Find inspiration from a consistently kind person
  • Show the Fruit of the Spirit, treat people as Jesus would in love
  • Gently saying no to someone, can be kindness too!

Remember, if we don’t surrender our thoughts and take them captive to Christ, they will take root as our identity. When we meditate on captive thoughts, we are ignoring the truth of the Holy Word. We need to put on the mind of Christ, read the Word, and give all thoughts to Him through prayer.

A keynote experience of completing this study is replacing lies with truth. Some people believe the lie that we are abandoned by God. Truth: You are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir. (Galatians 4:7 NIV)

Or they believe the lie that Satan wins. Truth: And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time.(Revelation 20:2 NIV)

Two excellent BCU Studies: Lies Women Believe, and Seeking Him are both about breaking free from lies.

How do we take thoughts captive so we are not deceived by lies? We search the Bible for Scriptures and write them down so we can see and meditate on them. We avoid deception whenever possible: news, television entertainment, novels, music, gossip, and slander.

We seek to be a godly woman. She gives her heart, soul, and mind to God. She obeys Him with all her strength. She surrenders her thoughts to Him for discernment, wisdom, and direction (Beth Moore, Breaking Free)

Author Christine Abraham writes for the Bible Cafe™ community. She teaches people how to have a closer and deeper relationship with God through a personal study of the Bible. Join Christine at the Bible Cafe™ University for her small group studies and coaching videos.

 

Believing God Online Bible Study | Week 7

We’re almost finished with Believing God by Beth Moore, a fabulous online Bible study experience. The discussion groups have been very helpful in our understanding of Believing God. Good job everyone! May you be double blessed for your participation in Believing God Week 7 and gain wisdom through this Bible Cafe™ study.

Beth Moore states, “The middle of any challenging journey can be the most critical point.” As discussed in our Zoom group, we might feel fatigued as we wander 40  years toward our promised land. Perhaps discouragement finds us, as we wait longer than we anticipated. Even a sense of boredom can cause us to end the journey. Yet when we turn this around, we can approach the journey with excitement and seek new revelations along the way. Like a treasure hunt, we experience transformation. Our discovery and change will motivate us to continue until we reach the destination: Promised Land Living.

During the journey, it might be helpful to organize your faith adventure with God into stories to share with your children or spiritual children. Try keeping a photo journal, a written journal, or even a calendar with key markers on the way. Write down your dreams and visions. When the Holy Spirit gives you wisdom, write this down. Use your record of events as reminders of when God revealed Himself to you.

As we looked back this week in our timelines, we saw God’s presence in your life. My timeline felt exciting, like a Father-child relationship based on love. Knowing God is my King, I can look at my journey from the view of His Princess. In the timeline, I found several unexpected treasures and gifts of discovery. Most importantly, I saw a presence that never leaves via the Holy Spirit. For this reason, my worship is authentic and beautiful as I rejoice in the goodness of God.

In the Bible, God commanded memorial stones so the children and grandchildren would remember His faithfulness. What “memory stones” remind you of your history with God? I like to look at specific Bible verses, which I call my life verses. In these verses, I remember the strength of God and allowing wisdom (not fear) to lead me. My Bible study workbooks are also memorial stones, with 100 completed Bible Cafe studies I can see my spiritual transformation and personal growth. My prayer journal is a reminder of small group discussions and answered prayers.

Look at your social media memories. Does your social media history tell a story about God’s presence in your life? Is it primarily faith-based or fear-based content? When I look at my memories I see myself pivot from fear to faith. My timeline became encouraging, positive, and authentic. A reminder of my spiritual growth and transformation.

How do you remember the things that God has said to you personally? I encourage you to record them like a scribe. When God speaks, write it down. As you listen and discern, talk about your experience with women of faith in Bible Cafe small groups. With your friends, pray over God’s word and seek revelation. Each day ask “What does Jesus want me to know for today?” And write down your answer.

This week you looked back at your history with God. Did you have any spiritual teachers when you were a child? Maybe a grandmother read her Bible aloud to you. Perhaps she prayed over you and your siblings. Or maybe a grandfather shared his story of God’s faithfulness? If you grew up Catholic, you probably had nuns, priests, and schoolteachers help you in your faith. A few women in our Zoom group mentioned godmothers and the great impact they had in early faith development.

One of my mentors was a spiritual father, a missionary, and an older man who helped me as my ministry advisor. When I made a mistake, he corrected me. If I felt confused, he led me to my Bible. When I was discouraged, he prayed. Another spiritual mentor is my pastor, who encouraged me to develop the Womens Bible Cafe. And my first Bible study, where the Bible became alive and living Word, helped me to Know Jesus.

My prayer for today is that many women will experience God and know Jesus by reading their Bible. May His love and Word reside in their hearts and minds. May they experience a personal revival of faith!

 

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.