Monday, May 11, 2009

Seeking Him Together - Revival

What an incredible week it has been. I've been working on the Seeking Him Bible study since last Monday. It's a bible study about personal revival. Just to tell you how profound an impact it has had on me, I am here at Victoria's gymnastics and I worked on the Bible study before breaking out my laptop because... I wanted to. Just like I got up at 6:00am this morning to work on it despite not getting to bed well after midnight last night because... I wanted to.

Initially I really felt like the daily study was almost too light. It didn't require a lot of time, which made going through all the scriptures manageable, and I was enjoying it, but felt like maybe it was too easy. I kept on going though, and eventually on Friday got to day 5.

Day 5 was very different than the first four days, and immediately I (for lack of a better word) felt the difference. It was sort of similar to walking out into the ocean, as you go you feel secure as your feet are touching the ground and you are standing taller than the waves, but then you come to a place where the water is deeper than you are tall, and you find yourself wading in the water rather than standing in it. As the waves come, there are times when you are carried up over them, times when you are knocked down under them and times when they actually move you from the place you are. It is a place that you find both challenging and exhilarating. It's an exciting place to be.

The Day 5 portion is called "Making It Personal" and that's exactly what it did, took the abstract and turned it directly toward my own heart. As I turned to the page I saw the seven sections/questions, each with a scripture to look up. I chose to write each one out. Within each question were 2 or 3 "sub" questions really breaking down the topic and scripture for personal application. I was captured almost immediately, so much so, in fact, that I decided I did not want to try to sit down and answer all the questions at once, I wanted to meditate on each scripture and question, so I did so throughout the weekend, leaving the last couple questions for my time this morning. I was down to the last two, #6 and #7, I was so impressed with the quality that when I turned the page this morning and found questions 8-16, I was surprised to say the least. It made me work through the rest of the questions at a faster pace in order to complete my homework on time. (I'm a rule follower at heart) but I have already determined to plan better for next week. Since the study is weekly with only 5 lessons to be done over seven days, I will spread out the deeper question of Day 5 over the fifth, sixth and seventh day of each week. I found them really enriching, thought provoking, encouraging and convicting. If you are reading this and you are not a part of the group doing thew study based on a week's experience I would encourage you to jump in, or at least put the study on your short term "to do" list. It really has been that good.

So that's the editorial portion of my post. Now for the discussion portion which is being shared with the other bloggers going on this journey together. This week the discussion is being hosted here. From her page:

Here are the questions we'll be discussing for Week #1.

~Before beginning this study, what did you think "revival" was? Has your view changed? How? I believe I had an accurate perception of revival, but I really liked the quote from the book. "Revival awakens in our hearts an increased awareness of the presence of God, a new love for God, a new hatred for sin, and a hunger for His word." - Del Fehsenfeld Jr. I think it accurately described what I was beginning to feel just in this first week of the study. What has changed is my understanding of the intensity of the stirring of revival. I had no idea how compelling it could be. It's very exciting.

~What things do you tend to hold on to for security, even though they could easily be taken away? I think at times I forget my security is solely in the Lord and I get focused on things like our bank balance, our jobs, the family business, even my husband. It is not a constant struggle, but when I am struggling it's because I am so focused on the state of those things, and I forget that God is bigger and better than them all, and the only reason I have any of them is because of His grace and goodness.

~What does the idea that God initiates revival in His people tell you about Him? What does it tell you about yourself? The first thing I think of when I read this question is the verse in James 1 that says, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning." (v.17) It makes absolute sense that God initiates revival, it is true to His character, which is loving and gracious, the God of the universe drawing us to Himself, or in revival drawing us unto Himself in a deeper or greater way. It reminds me, yet again, that His love for me is not based on me or whether or not I deserve it, but on His loving nature. It reminds me that He cherishes me, and it makes me want Him more and want more of Him. It makes me grateful to know Him and grateful that there is always more of Him to know.

So anyway, the "rule follower" in me hopes I haven't broken any rules by discussing more than the three questions (with my commentary above) and that it's not a problem that I am posting a day earlier than scheduled, if I wait until tomorrow it will be really late in the day. I am so looking forward to starting the next chapter of study!


Melissa @ Breath of Life said...

Loving your commentary & your answers! There are no "rules" (does that bother the "rule follower" in you?)...just write what you feel. :-)

I'm with you on Day 5. I didn't realize there were more questions, and I didn't give myself the time I really needed to get there. I've been thinking about stretching that day out, too.

Great stuff, friend. So glad you joined us!

His Girl said...

Haha- I had composed nearly the IDENTICAL comment as Melissa until I saw she already said it :)

This is a beautiful post, and I actually teared up several times. I'm thinking maybe I need to write my post before I read the others... I just want to put a link to yours instead of writing my own :)

kidding. I'm off to write now.

Leah in Iowa said...

Great insights, Diana! I pray that all of us will continue to be motivated by the Spirit to do the work, and to glean the truths of scripture as we work our way through this study together.

I, too, need to pace myself better!!

Gretchen said...

Well, it seems we're all agreed that we need to pace ourselves better on the Day 5 thing. Of course that being the most convicting day of all for me. But in a good way. Gotta air out the dirty laundry before sorting it out and putting it in the wash.

Lurved your commentary, btw.

care-in said...

"God is bigger and better..." such a simple truth, why can't I remember that?

Loved your insight.

Stephanie said...

Day 5 was a big day! I love how you compaired it to the ocean with waves!