Gideon Online Bible Study Week 6

idols

Welcome to our final week of the Gideon Bible study by Priscilla Shirer.  Throughout this study we’ve learned how God is able to turn weakness into strength. By now you realize there is more to Gideon than wet fleece! Our final chapter this week unveils the obstacles Gideon faced- his own self interests and idolatry. We had the opportunity to complete “The Interview” and then reflect on own situations from a Biblical perspective. Did you claim your own idols after the lesson on page 150? It’s easy to read the pages of scripture and judge Gideon, and as we learned this week, much harder to judge ourselves. Yet for a Bible study to be effective and have lasting impact, we need to apply scripture to our individual lives. We need to live it…not just read it!

What impacted you most during the Gideon Bible study? Which lesson or statement from Priscilla Shirer took root inside your heart? It would so so wonderful to gather together at the Table and hear your personal stories. In the meantime, we have the Facebook chatroom where you can gather and share your thoughts with each other. If you’re on Twitter or Facebook look for the hashtag #LessonsfromGideon and see what others are posting about this Bible study.

In the final chapter this week, I personally discovered how something inherently good became an idol in my life. I’ve know that I struggle with emotional eating, and food which is good has power over me when I use it to fill an emotional need. I was reminded this week that only God fills those empty spaces in my life, and the solution is to turn to Him in prayer and not food. Chocolate is my cure-all for any mood…and something I need to limit inside my home. I use chocolate to celebrate something or to comfort a feeling I might be having. How about you? Is your idol a Facebook game, a television show, an addictive habit…what are you a bit obsessed over? For some women, even Bible study can become an idol when it becomes a badge on the wall and replaces a relationship with God.

Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test? 2 Cor 13:5 NIV

Pause from your busy day or your heavy burdens and examine your own heart. Make sure you are in alignment with His will, in relationship with Him and detached from potential idols. This needs to be a daily habit as you center your life inside His Presence. My prayer for you is that by finishing this Bible study, you now recognize your own strengths and weakness from a spiritual perspective. With this knowledge, you are then in a position of authority in spiritual warfare. Walk in victory…beside Jesus. Here’s the last video update from Beth Moore…

 

Thank you for joining us in this Bible study! It has been a pleasure to spend this time with you. Thank you to our 20 volunteers who lead the small groups and pray for you by name. God is good, always!

Prayer Requests

Our Prayer Wall has many requests, so please take a minute and pray for these women. Post your own prayers and lift one another up with your words.

For Next Week

  • Register for the Faith Dare study when you click here
  • Visit Beth Moore’s blog for her final update on Gideon when you click here

Group Discussion- Answer here or with your small group 

  1. What do you automatically turn to for comfort or relief when you’re unhappy? (page 150)
  2. Which of your answers from question one are a testament from the bad-to-worse principle we read about this week? (page 158)
  3. Have you ever considered that idol worship is “spiritual adultery” as described by Priscilla Shirer? Knowing this, what are you going to change in your life to remove idols?
  4. How does impatience play a role in idolatry in the life of modern believers? (page 160)
  5. Priscilla gives 3 principles for guarding ourselves against idolatry: 1) pinpoint your tendencies to comfort 2) re-commit to a God-structured existence 3)rearrange your priorities. Of these three, which do you need to implement immediately and why? (page 162)

QUESTION 6: After completing the Gideon study, what is one thing you learned that really impacted you personally?

Gideon Online Bible Study Week 5

stairsWhat an amazing week of online Bible study!  We’ve just finished reading week five of the Gideon Bible study written by Priscilla Shirer. We saw a major turn of events as our Biblical hero goes from a God-centered life back into a self-centered life. Yes…BACK into his self interests. Equipped by God to overcome his own insecurity, Gideon the hero becomes Gideon the disrespected in a very short time. His demise was listening to the flesh rather than listening to the Lord. Has this ever happened to you?

It’s easy to be deceived by the enemy of lies. When we stop seeking wisdom from God through prayer, Bible study and fellowship…we open the door to spiritual warfare. Today in my local Bible study our leader suggested memorizing Galatians 5:19-21 NIV so we recognize the works of the flesh inside us.

19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

I wonder if Gideon would have experienced a different outcome if he knew and prayed these things! What about you? Do you recognize that when you are acting in anger, discord, or jealousy…you are acting against the Fruit of the Spirit. Perhaps each of us is a bit like Gideon in someway or at sometime in our lives. When God uses our weakness for His strength….we need to stay in relationship with Him so that strength is not misused by the flesh. For Gideon, insecurity became courage and then courage became sin. Make sure you don’t cross the line with the gifts the Lord give to you. A wise woman knows when to yield to the Spirit and capture all thoughts through a Christ-centered heart.

I hope you’ll be joining the small groups this week to discuss week five. Did you know that next week is our last week of the Gideon online Bible study? This study has really gone by fast! We already have women around the world registered for the Faith Dare study led by Debbie Alsdorf, so if you are participating make sure you register and get your book. We start the next study July 29, 2013.

Prayer Requests

Our Prayer Wall has many requests, so please take a minute and pray for these women. Post your own prayers and lift one another up with your words.

For Next Week

  • Read Week Six in the workbook
  • Listen to Audio Session six and seven or Video Session six and seven at Lifeway.com (optional due to cost)
  • Register for the Faith Dare study when you click here

Group Discussion- Answer here or with your small group 

  1. On page 123 in the workbook you listed three difficult situations you are facing right now. Then you listed your natural weapon of response and your spiritual weapon. Without naming the difficult experience, name the natural weapons you listed in your chart.
  2. Okay, now share the spiritual weapons…again…do not share the difficult situation. The reason we are doing it this way is that the weapons are clues to the situation!
  3. What “logic” does the enemy typically use against you to disguise the spiritual nature of your struggles and to mask his role in them? (page 124)
  4. Are you ever inclined to pacify your insecurity instead of staying inside the boundaries set up by God? If so, what are some of the ways you have done this? (page 128)
  5. How do you feel most fatigued in your life right now? Spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically or other. Explain your choice. (page 136)
  6. How is your relationship with God affected when you feel week and uncertain about yourself and a task? How does the way Jesus responded in prayer and solitude (Mark 1:35-38) help to keep you on track?

Gideon Online Bible Study Week 4

hishand

Our womens online Bible study continues this week as we discuss our fourth lesson from  Gideon by Priscilla Shirer. We expanded our understanding of God’s patience, unlike human patience. The term “long-suffering” is used to describe this supernatural patience God has for His children. Using a keyword search in the King James Version I was surprised to see just three scripture verses with the term. I found Psalm 86:15 interesting, as the word long-suffering is translated to loving kindness (Amplified) and unfailing love (NLT).

  • But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, long suffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth. KJV
  • But You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in mercy and loving-kindness and truth. Amplified
  • But you, O Lord, are a God of compassion and mercy, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness. NLT
  • But you, O God, are both tender and kind,not easily angered, immense in love, and you never, never quit. Message

Rarely do we see these adjectives applied to any human! Read the verses slowly and let them seep into your heart. God is

  • loving-kindness
  • unfailing love
  • immense in love

Our lesson this week also explored spiritual gifts and Priscilla presented 4 Steps in Giving Our Gifts to God. Four pages in a Bible study workbook are not orchestrated to help you Discover your gifts, so take some time and explore this further. Your local church might have information on spiritual gifts, you can find the information online or even read a book about it. Don’t ignore your spiritual gifts. Seek wisdom and discernment. You’ll find a Lifeway Spiritual Assessment Tool online when you click here.

Finally, we explored Gideon’s famous “fleece test.”  Hopefully you looked at times in your own life and discovered when and how God confirmed His message to you. It’s important to know the difference between seeking confirmation and sitting in unbelief, as Priscilla described so well this week in Bible study.

This week was filled with some great self-discovery questions, so I hope you took  time to pray and complete the workbook answers. Be sure to visit Beth Moore’s blog when you click here and watch for an update this week. Remember, she is updating two weeks at a time and we are updating once a week.

Prayer Requests

Our Prayer Wall has many requests, so please take a minute and pray for these women. Post your own prayers and lift one another up with your words.

For Next Week

  • Read Week Five in the workbook
  • Listen to Audio Session five or Video Session five at Lifeway.com (optional due to cost)

Group Discussion- Answer here or with your small group (From Beth Moore’s Blog)

  1. We can get no further than p.70 to stumble on something we could talk about all day.  Glance at the bottom of the page and talk about the effect that your weakness tends to have on you when you focus on it.
  2.  Turn to p.75 and discuss the first paragraph and your answers to the second question: How have you seen misdirected credit lead to misplaced trust or unhealthy desires for you or someone else?
  3. Turn to p.97 and share which answer you chose in response to the following question and explain why you tend to lean that direction: If you are in a season of life in which you feel insecure or doubtful about God, His Word, or His calling on your life, how do you honestly feel God is responding?
  4.  How did the 4 Steps in Giving Our Gifts to God on page 101 resonate with you or open your eyes? Conclude with the quote Priscilla Shirer gave us in the middle of p.107 – “honest doubt in which faith lives.” Give an example of honest doubt that you have had at a time when you were still full of faith. A time when those two things were not at odds but part of that same stretch of journey.

Gideon Online Bible Study Week 3

We’re still reading Gideon by Priscilla Shirer and just finished our third week of womens Bible study. I found this lesson so uplifting, I have to confess that several times in my workbook I wrote the words “Yes!, Whaoo! and Wow!” Did you find this week’s lessons equally exciting? The entire week is based on my One Word for 2013: Simplicity.

door2We learned the simplicity of turning a small portion of bread and fish into food for thousands. We saw how five small stones in the hands of David brought down his Goliath. We read the testimony of Gideon as he battled his army and his fears not by his own strength, but by the strength of God. Wow!

I’d love to sit beside you in small group and see what you wrote for humility and pride on page 76 in your Gideon workbook. In my own workbook I wrote down  two strategies I can use to maintain humility: 1) keep memorizing scripture and Truth, and 2) continue to praise and thank God with gratitude for His many gifts. What did you write down?

We also learned this week about fighting fear and staying alert as members of God’s army here on earth. What does this mean to you personally? How will you apply the concept to your own battles in life. Do you seek strength from the Holy Spirit, or are you depending on self to carry you through? Pray and ask for more discernment about this as you finish the remainder of this week. Look for ways that your feelings might not be in alignment with God’s Truth, and celebrate those that are inside His will. Finally, seek opportunities to apply this great wisdom from Priscilla Shirer “The secret is not in obtaining but in releasing.” Who or what do you need to release in order to be inside the will of God? What is God calling you to fast from?

Move with the Spirit, in the same direction. Walk closely with Him across the narrow path. He will lead you across the high road and not cause you to stumble…if you allow Him room beside you.

Prayer Requests

Our Prayer Wall has many requests, so please take a minute and pray for these women. Post your own prayers and lift one another up with your words.

For Next Week

  • Read Week Four in the workbook
  • Listen to Audio Session four or Video Session four at Lifeway.com (optional due to cost)

Group Discussion- Answer here or with your small group 

  1. What would redirecting your focus look like in practical terms? Discuss some strategic things believers can do to redirect their attention off themselves and onto the Lord. (Page 73)
  2. What practical strategies can you put in place to foster humility? (page 76)
  3. Without getting in to details, Has pride gotten in your way?
  4. Has your confidence in your ability and in God been enhanced as you’ve moved forward with less? How (page 80)?
  5. What is your normal response when faced with letting go?
  6. If you had to pinpoint something that most often distracts you from remembering and using your unseen supply, what would it be? (Page 91)

Gideon Online Bible Study Week 2

Welcome back to online Bible study at the Womens Bible Cafe! We’re reading Gideon by Priscilla Shirer and just finished our second week of study. By now you should have your workbook and be connected with a small group. We’ve seen many familiar faces and many new faces in the small group chatroom…what a blessing to spend our summer with you as we expand our knowledge on Gideon. During our first week of this topical study we learned the about Cycle of Redemption and the historical timeline of events leading to rebellion and discipline.

angel

This week Gideon encounters an angel..pause and think about that! Can you imagine an encounter with an angel! Priscilla Shirer writes “Having your spiritual radar up in constant anticipation of His presence- even in the midst of the joyful chaos and regular rhythms of your everyday living- is paramount in hearing God, because sometimes the place and manner you find Him is the least spectacular you’d expect.” As believers, we need this holy expectation of a divine encounter. Never assume you will only have an encounter in church on Sunday morning or during your devotional time. Always be ready to receive Him. Priscilla writes “To be aware of God’s purpose you must be aware of His presence.”

What would happen if YOU turned your ordinary tasks into spiritual lessons and awareness of God’s favor? One woman who has mastered this is known as the FlyLady… she takes the task of cleaning a home and turns it into a “weekly home blessing” complete with candles and praise music. If you want to take your ordinary tasks to a whole new experience…check out her website at www.FlyLady.net

Priscilla reminded us this week that “the ordinary is often the disguise of the divine,” and invites us to become aware of divine opportunities to serve God.  I hope you wrote some of the scripture verses on index cards this week…and you will memorize them to prepare for your assignment from God. May you be bold for Jesus….accept His calling and radiate His love.

Prayer Requests

Our Prayer Wall has many requests, so please take a minute and pray for these women. Post your own prayers and lift one another up with your words.

For Next Week

  • Read Week Three in the workbook
  • Watch the Beth Moore video on her website when you click here
  • Listen to Audio Session Three or Video Session Three at Lifeway.com (optional due to cost)

Group Discussion- Answer here or with your small group (some based on Beth Moore’s questions)

  1.  Based on the question in the middle of p.37 of your homework: To what specific area of holy bravery does God seem to be calling you in this present season?
  2. What expectations do you think Believers have about how God reveals Himself? How do you think these expectations have been formed? (page 42)
  3. Drawn from the portion on p.46 regarding the 5 ordinary tasks you perform on a daily basis, share a memory of an ordinary circumstance in which God met with you in an extraordinary way. If you’re new to all this and can’t think what to share, don’t feel lame or unspiritual. Pray for Him to do this very thing with you over the coming days and I have a feeling you won’t be disappointed.
  4. Based on p.50 and the discussion about the first part of the divine declaration to Gideon, how confident or insecure do you tend to be regarding God’s promise that He is with you? Explain your answer.
  5. Why do you think it is critical for believers to understand their identity before moving forward to their destiny? How can an incorrect or malformed spiritual identity hamper someone’s spiritual success? (page 57)
  6. Look at the bottom of p.57. Would you be willing to share the pair of terms that best describe a disparity you’ve dealt with between your self-perception and a biblical view of who you are in Christ? If you’re willing, also briefly explain your answer.