No Other Gods Bible Study Week 4

Welcome back to our fourth week of womens bible study with No Other Gods by Kelly Minter. We spent this week looking at the problems with idols. Idols make us double-minded, and Kelly reminds us “The desired end is to make room for one and only God. When our hearts are overly attached or dependent on lesser things, we crowd God out of our lives.” Essentially, we crowd-out God and replace Him with worthless idols. When we walk with Jesus, shoulder-to-shoulder, those idols are behind us and do not attach themselves to us. When we pull away from Jesus and allow a gap between our hearts, idols filter in. Close the gap!

In the story of Rachel and Leah, we saw how our idols lead to desperation. I wonder if we too become desperate as we seek attention or affirmation. We seek more friends, more followers, and more online communication to validate us as worthy. Instead, we should be looking to Jesus for our value and worth. We don’t need our hearts checking emails, direct messages, retweets and Facebook walls; we need our hearts centered on prayer and the Word of God. Yet the temptation for instant gratification has existed since the day Eve took her first bite. Unsatisfied with just a single bite, we come back for more gratification from our idols. An unsatisfied woman is a dangerous woman, if she does not keep her eyes and heart on God. God is the only source of our satisfaction.

We learned how idols control us, leaving us unsatisfied, double-minded, attached and dependent on people or things. On the last day of our study, Kelly Minter started a discussion of solutions, and I was heartbroken to see it was a single page of study! I thought it was a typo or publishing error…so I peeked into the next chapter and saw we’ll be saying goodbye to our idols soon.

Here is some worship music to begin the week: Lose My Soul by Toby Mac

Prayer Requests

Our Prayer Wall has many requests, so please print the page, place a copy in your workbook and pray for these women who are asking for your help. The best way to print the page is to copy and past the prayers into a Word document. If you have a prayer request for our prayer wall, please click here.

Kelly Minter Quotes

  • It is impossible to serve God and gods.
  • All believers are married to Christ, so when we look to idols we are being unfaithful to Him.
  • God has created each of us uniquely and specifically.

For Next Week

Group Discussion- Answer one question or as many as you like

  1. How do you feel about James’ use of the word adulteress to describe friends of the world? (page 83 )
  2. Can you think of something you don’t have, but are convinced if you had it, it would make you happy? (page 89 )
  3. Which shoes have you worn- Leah’s or Rachel’s- and were you happy or unhappy when you wore them? (page 91 )
  4. Share a favorite moment from this week’s study.

Author Christine Abraham

Founder and Ministry Director of the Womens Bible Cafe™ since 2009, Christine has led 60+ online Bible Studies for women. She completed a Graduate of Biblical Studies from Liberty University. She's an inspired writer, Amazon Top Reviewer and Blogger Follow on Facebook

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Join the discussion 35 Comments

  • Victoria says:

    How do you feel about James’ use of the word adulteress to describe friends of the world? (page 83 )
    It makes me feel dirty! Although I should,because of my sins! God is my first love and I am cheating on Him by loving the things of this world, making me an adulteress! I don’t like it, but it is the truth! 🙁

    Can you think of something you don’t have, but are convinced if you had it, it would make you happy? (page 89 )
    A house. I am that woman that says, “if only we could buy a house, I would be happy”…This week really pushed me to pinpoint how wrong that way of thinking is.

    Which shoes have you worn- Leah’s or Rachel’s- and were you happy or unhappy when you wore them? (page 91 )
    Both. And I’m not happy in either one. No matter what, the devil is going to show me ways that I am lacking in the material things of this world. We are not meant to be satisfied here on earth; only through Jesus…only when He is shining through us and when we are glorifying Him.

    Share a favorite moment from this week’s study.
    “There’s hope ahead.” 🙂

  • Lisa H says:

    1. How do you feel about James’ use of the word adulteress to describe friends of the world? (page 83 )
    I think this is appropriate. If you think about it, God tells us we shall have no other god’s except Him. We are also the church, which is the Bride of Christ. If we are the “bride”, logically speaking we are “married” to Christ. Going back to God’s commandments, He said we shall not commit adultery. So … any “idol” (which is a god) we are currently nurturing, which in turn keeps us from God, in truth means we are committing adultery against God.

    2. Can you think of something you don’t have, but are convinced if you had it, it would make you happy? (page 89 )
    Sure. A job. More money. Less stress. More this, more that …. Which of course is all ridiculous considering they are all idols in the first place ….

    3. Which shoes have you worn- Leah’s or Rachel’s- and were you happy or unhappy when you wore them? (page 91 )
    Absolutely both. I think the human condition demands this. There is really no way to not experience both because we will NEVER be satisfied until we sit at the feet of Jesus.

    Praying Peace & Blessings over you …

  • Allison says:

    1. How do you feel about James’ use of the word adulteress to describe friends of the world? (page 83 )

    Jesus is the One who loves us and gave His life for us. He desires a relationship with us. He does not need us to join a fan club. A man is faithful to his wife by keeping her near him – by keeping company with her – by choosing her presence above others – by preferring her to all others.
    We are faithful to Jesus by choosing His presence, His company, His companionship, His conversation, above any other distraction, or idols.

    2. Can you think of something you don’t have, but are convinced if you had it, it would make you happy? (page 89 )

    Acceptance, Perceived beauty, Confidence, Freedom from guilt, Freedom from memories of a past best forgotten….etc., etc.,…

    3. Which shoes have you worn- Leah’s or Rachel’s- and were you happy or unhappy when you wore them? (page 91 )

    I have a caring, loving husband who probably saved me from myself more than 30 years ago, but yet I tend to take him for granted and don’t fully appreciate all he has done for me and our 4 adult children. I should be happy, like Rachel, but somehow…I look for reasons to find fault with what I have been blessed with.

  • Shirley Coolidge says:

    I think it is appropriate but it is still harsh. I think we all struggle with being friends of the earth. When we get close to God and walk with him we see more clearly why we don’t want to be friends of the world. But when we pull away and walk in the world it is hard to see how that can be possible and we think it is harsh.

    I think I have probably worn both Leah and Rachel’s shoes at different times in my life. I am truly blessed with my family and friends, my job but then there is that ever illusive want to be thin, have more money and drive a better car. Then at other times I realize that I have the nice car, the nice home and just want to have that love from one person….why? I don’t know.

    I enjoyed the last day, just re-reading God’s word and really sinking into it. I love when I can pull different things from the same scripture and I feel God speaking to me from His word.

  • Jennifer D says:

    4. Share a favorite moment from this week’s study.
    1. the video/song at the top of the page.
    2. pg 81 at the bottom of the page
    3. Reading Colossians 3:1-17 Niv version

  • Lynmara says:

    1. Sometimes we can cheat ourselves by making excuses for our behavior, even when we know it is wrong.
    This week’s story touched me. How many times did I out myself in a position that was too low, just to feel loved. This week is something many young girls should read.

  • Christina C. says:

    2. I know there are many things that I’m convinced would make me happier if I had them. One of those being a car. My husband and I share a care right now and since he is the one with a job outside of the house, he usually has the car. This leaves the kids and I at home most of the time. I always convince myself that I would be able to get out more if only we had another car. I need to start going out of the house more regardless of another car. I can still go outside with the kids during the day but I use the car issue as an excuse.

  • Sue Alice says:

    Sorry, guys this will be real short this week. Blessings to all of you.

    2. Money, to pay off all the medical, and other bills we have, but it comes down to this we will always have BILLS.

    3. I have worn both Leah’s and Rachel’s shoes and I am still doing so as now. I am just not a happy camper at this time with anything I have, I always seem to what so much more!

    • Angie says:

      No need to apologize Sue Alice! I’m glad you are persevering in the study; I always look forward to your responses.

      • Sue Alice says:

        Angie,

        Thanks for that, and for understanding. Have had a bad month….dark place.

        I will do better this week I hope. What study are you goiing to do next for summer. {{{HUGS}}}

        • Angie says:

          Keep seeking and surrendering to God, Sue Alice; His word says you do not have to remain in darkness.

          “I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” John 12:46

          I am going to do the Duty or Delight study by Tammie Head. When Beth Moore introduced Tammie and the study on her blog I immediately purchased the workbook because it sounded like something I needed. I was very excited when Christine put it up as a summer choice.

          How about you, which study are you going to do?

  • Brystan says:

    1. At first I was very put off. Unfortunately, I have been lost so deeply, that I was an adultress on a literal level, and though I have repented I still feel that guilt sometimes, so seeing that word reflected towards me again made me angry, but as I kept reading, I realized that that was probably one of the best words that could be used, and struck a chord with me and really made me think.

    2. I have this feeling a lot. I always feel that if I had more clothes, and more shoes, or more books, or more friends that I would be happier…but until I really started working on my spiritual journey, I was the saddest I have ever been.

    3. I can see myself if both Rachel and Leah. Leah because I have been so desperate for just small moments of (seemingly) feeling loved, and like Rachel in that I should be happy with all the material riches and beauty that I have, but that I am still lacking.

    4. I was very refreshed by reading Colossians 3:1-17. This week was particularly difficult for me emotionally, so this was a nice way to end it.

  • Skyy says:

    Let’s look at the generation before Leah and Rachel…
    God told Rebekah, the mother of Jacob, “Two nations are in your womb, Two peoples shall be separated from your body; One people shall be stronger than the other, And the older shall serve the younger” (Genesis 25:23). She gave birth to Esau and Jacob, respectively. One day Jacob convinced Esau to give up his birthright for a cup of soup (Genesis 25:29-34). So by the time Rebekah had convinced Jacob to deceive his father so that he could receive his father’s blessing, Jacob was rightfully the oldest.

    Getting a little confusing, yet? Joseph unknowingly blessed Jacob and Esau found out he vowed to kill his younger brother, which got Jacob shipped off to live with his Uncle Laban. Ready for another twist? Jacob gets conned into marrying Leah – the oldest daughter, even though he’s in love with the younger, Rachel. God had already told Rebekah what His plan was but she just couldn’t wait for the plan to unfold…she, like us, thought she had to help God out. So the twist in all of this is that just followed down in the generation with deceit and thusly Laban deceived Jacob. Then Rachel ends up stealing her father, Laban’s household gods (Genesis 31:19). Did she steal them to repay her father for what he stole from her?

    Don’t we always want what we don’t have? Rachel wanted Leah’s fertility. Leah wanted Rachel’s beauty to the extent of getting Jacob’s attention. And Jacob just wanted one wife, Rachel, the one he was promised.
    The marriage to Leah was part of God’s plan because from it, came our Savior, Jesus Christ. But before that, Joseph (from Rachel) was sold into slavery by his brothers (from Leah). Moses (from Leah) redeemed the Israelites from slavery in Egypt but Joshua (from Rachel) led them into the Holy Land. The first king, King Saul (from Rachel) was cut short by King David (from Leah) who established the dynasty. Both women produced great men just in different aspects.

    Has anyone thought of Rachel’s plight in all of this? She knew that Jacob was to marry her and not her sister; however, she said nothing after finding out of her father’s deception. How much did Joseph love Rachel, another seven years of hard labor? Doesn’t it almost seem fair for how Joseph deceived his father, Jacob? How Laban deceived Joseph? How Joseph deceived Esau? How Rebekah deceived Jacob? How Rebekah stole from her father? Who knew? God knew! Drama, drama, drama! One last question…how many years ago was this story written and doesn’t it seem like present day issues?

    Now to answer the question: I have always been Rachel…beautiful, smart, assertive, social butterfly, and yes the corporate climber willing to give it all up for a family. Thinking that all the “gifts” that were bestowed upon me as curses because of all the trials that I have been through. All of the generational issues brought forward because we don’t forgive or have we even thought about it as an issue? Or are we still responding like victims, responding to sin with more sin? I have done all of this before but in the process I have learned that God is good and He loves me…and I have to wait for His overall plan to unfold.

  • Pam H says:

    My favorite moment from this week was:
    “We are no longer bound to jealousy and revenge and bitterness when something is taken from us, when we are mistreated, or when we experience loss. Why? Because Jesus Christ show the incomparable riches of His grace to us along with kindness. He becomes our ultimate thing, and the far lesser things that are threatened or compromised are nothing to be compared to who He is and what He can do for us.”.
    So incredibly powerful.

  • wendy says:

    Can you think of something you don’t have, but are convinced if you had it, it would make you happy?
    Yes, I am constantly worried about funds. I worry about the daily bills and I worry about our future funds. I don’t want anything extravagant, I just want my bills paid and to live where I live. I should feel so blessed as it is. And I DO feel blessed! I have to realize how blessed I am just to have a roof over my head, a job and a healthy family. That should be enough to make me happy. And I am happy, I just worry constantly. My father used to tell me, “don’t look the devil in the face”. Meaning, don’t worry about things. What happens will happen. I just can’t get that mentality. My constant prayer is the peace from worry.
    The highlight moment this week for me was knowing that God is in my life. I received a note from Christine at just the right moment. A message from someone that doesn’t really know me but noticed when I wasn’t there!
    The encouraging thing about this study has to be the common thread all of us have. Our “idols” are either the same or very similar. I don’t think it’s so much that misery loves company, but rather, God made us just enough alike to allow us to connect in our world!
    Thank you!

  • Gwen says:

    Can you think of something you don’t have, but are convinced if you had it, it would make you happy?
    Oh yeah! It comes down to money. I think, if I just had enough to pay all my bills off and live comfortably (I’m retired and on a pension), I would be happy. But looking at that with a objective eye, if I paid off my bills, I would just make more bills. I think I just have a problem tellling myself “no.” It is getting better, but a big thing I need to work on, and putting God first would certainly make it happen. Getting there!!
    Which shoes have you worn- Leah’s or Rachel’s- and were you happy or unhappy when you wore them?
    Actually, I think Rachel and Leah had the same issue to deal with – not being happy in their own skin. For different reasons to be sure. Leah had the blessing of children and a comfortable life, but not the love of her husband. Rachel had the love of her husband (which I am not sure she appreciated), but no children. At first. Rachel’s situation changed eventually, but Leah’s never did. I can appreciate Christine’s comment on weight loss. For many years, I have believed that women with no weight problem or at least controlled weight problem, had it all. If they had a nice shape, they had no other problems. Life is perfect for them. Then one day, I noticed this gal at a crowded gathering, from the back a really cute shape. She turned around and her face was covered with acne scars. At that moment, my thunder thighs didn’t seem so bad. Now I have lost 50# and am comfortable with my weight, but other outer issues continue to chip away at me – like hair loss, wrinkles,
    age spots, and a lot a saggy skin from the weight loss. Perfection is so elusive, so I have decided that I should stop seeking it and seek my perfect relationship with Christ instead. That is attainable and I am on my way.

  • Jayce says:

    1. How do you feel about James’ use of the word adulteress to describe friends of the world? (page 83 )

    It is perfectly fitting, although I don’t like the sound of it. We are to be married to Christ and need to be pure and loyal towards Him. When we substitute other gods in His place, we are essentially “cheating” on Him. We need to put our whole heart in Christ and I am convinced He will bring us the best satisfaction.

  • Davie says:

    Which shoes have you worn- Leah’s or Rachel’s- and were you happy or unhappy when you wore them? (page 91 )

    I apologize for the length of this entry. The following was written during this week’s study. It is directly related to this question and hopefully reading it will bless you.

    My Inner Princess Diaries

    I’m a Princess, my Dad has always told me so. And let’s face it, my Dad is never wrong. I should have listened to him more growing up. His wisdom would have prevented a lot of heartache. In fairy tales, there is no heartache. I love fairy tales. I grew up creating my own fairy tale over and over. I still visit my fairy tale world. My Prince Charming always takes me away to a place of peace, tranquility, and majestic beauty. A place where my happily ever after begins. Sure that fairy tale has evolved over the years, but the plot never changes. My prince always takes me away to a place of happiness. Back in reality, my prince fails to deliver. Marriage is hard, there’s no happily ever after. Sure, there are moments of happiness. But, it’s not the happily ever after promised in fairy tales. Life is filled with heartache and trouble. Sometimes I wonder if I found my prince, or if my prince is still waiting for me. If he will rescue me from my so called life. At times, I think of fleeing from my husband to search for my prince charming. I am a princess after all. I deserve my happily ever after fairy tale ending. Don’t I? What’s wrong with that? The problem is that my fairy tale has created a reality no one could live up to. I have placed an undue burden, an unrealistic expectation on my husband. I expect that he will live up to my imaginary prince. I expect him to make me happy, to provide me with all of my needs and most of my wants. I look to him for love, affection, and affirmation. I’m left feeling that I am unloved and alone. Genesis 30 tells the story of a woman, Rachel, who desires children and is consumed with jealousy. She expects her husband to give her children. She even provides him with an ultimatum, “Give me a child, or I will die.” he responds with a question, “Am I in the place of God…” That’s like a smack in the face. I have been trying to put my husband in the place of God. Like Rachel, I’ve given him ultimatums. Like Rachel, I look to him as a provider, a savior. God tells us, “Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save.” Psalm 146:3 He has warned us not to make men into our fairy tale princes. If this gets out, it could cripple Disney. Does this mean that my Dad was wrong? Does it mean that I’m not a princess? Will I never be taken away by my prince charming to my happily ever after?
    I don’t think so. There is good news. My fairy tale will come true. My prince is still coming and my peaceful, majestic happily ever after is still out there. It’s God’s promise. You see, the part of my fairy tale that was always fuzzy has finally become clear (thanks to Kelly Minter’s No Other Gods study). The Prince of Peace, my Savior, is my Prince Charming. He is the one and only prince. He will come back for me and he will take me to my happily ever after. Until then, I have to let my husband off the hook. I need to apologize for expecting too much. I have to see him for who he is and not who I want him to be. I can’t put him in the place of God. I can’t place my trust in him, my wordly prince, because he can not save. So for now, I will be thankful for the wonderful man I have and realize that life is not a fairy tale. It will be filled with good times and bad, times of struggle and ease, times of love and heartache, sickness and health, richer and poorer… You get the picture. Marriage is work. Love is not just a feeling, it’s a choice. From here on I must remember that I chose to love my husband. I must stop refusing to love him when I’m upset. I can’t wait for that feeling to be rekindled. I will not look to my husband to provide all my needs. For God is my provider. As Memom would say, “You have to make your own sunshine.” I think on a deeper level, that means you have to allow God to work through you. For He is creator of all things good, like sunshine. But we can decide to stay indoors, out of the sun. We have to make the choice to go outside, just like we have to make the choice to let God shine through us.
    As I wait for my bridegroom, Prince Charming to take me away to the majestic happily ever after, I will be working with the fairy godmother to transform this princess into a Proverbs 31 woman that my husband and Prince Charming deserve.

  • Rhoda says:

    3. Rachel’s shoes seem to fit my feet and my walk in life…I have been both happy and unhappy wearing them.
    Happy that I know my husband loves me as Jacob loved Rachel.
    Unhappy when I have expected my husband to meet all my needs for happiness instead of expecting God to do so.

    4. A favorite moment this week was ending Day 04 praying Ephesians 2:1-10 replacing “we” with “I” or my name.
    Another favorite moment was Day 05 reading Colossians 3:1-17 three times and writing what struck me with each reading.
    First Time: Above all these things put on love which is “bond of perfectness”.
    What struck me is that God’s idea of “perfect” is love. At that time my idea of perfect was a nice clean floor for guests arriving for grandson’s first birthday party. The floor was not as clean as I would have liked it to be, but nobody noticed and I did not let it upset me one bit. Love for family was above love for a clean floor which went right along with next verse that struck me.
    Second Time: …set affection on things above, not on things on the earth…
    Love for God, his Word and people is our focus of affection, not material things.

  • Jennifer Martin says:

    1.How do you feel about James’ use of the word adulteress to describe friends of the world? (page 83 ) This term really puts things into perspective for understanding exactly what is being discussed. I cannot imagine how it would feel to be betrayed like we have discussed.

    2.Can you think of something you don’t have, but are convinced if you had it, it would make you happy? (page 89 ) Financial security/money is something that I am struggling with right now. I find myself saying well in a few years when we have this everything will be better…which is something I need to let go of.
    3.Which shoes have you worn- Leah’s or Rachel’s- and were you happy or unhappy when you wore them? (page 91 ) I think I have been in both shoes.

    4.Share a favorite moment from this week’s study. As I look through the notes I have made over the past week, I thought I would share the highlights I made.
    p. 78 I believe the Lord has allowed me to go through some immensely painful relationships for the greater ood of drawing me deeper into Him.
    p. 80 It is impossible to serve God and gods.
    p. 83 And no matter how amazing a person is, humans always make terrible gods.
    p. 83 When we look to idols we are being unfaithful to Him. This idolatry is the root of jealousy, which is the root of fighting and quarrels and wars.
    When I look back at what I highlighted, I find peace. Over the past 3 years I have been struggling with “the loss” of my best friend. No she didn’t die but it really feels like it. To make a long story short, her now husband came between us. But the more I look into that friendship and the ways our lives were going, it is better that we do not continue our friendship. I want a heart for God and she does not. This in time would be a large factor in us not being friends. I understand now why I could not put her above anything else. Rereading through this past week has really made me see the good in this horrible situation.

    • Jennifer Martin says:

      After my post, I started reading th ebook and the first thing I see is….The whole idea of looking back at bad times in our life as somehow good and appealing was a dramatic discovery for me. It freed me from undue grief and sadness over things that didn’t need to be mourned-if for no other reason than becuase those times really weren’t that great. Ultimately I became glad I had left those things behind.

      This really makes me think! I was not searching for God during this time and friendship when I should have been.

      • Angie says:

        Jennifer, it sounds like you are reading the book in addition to the study workbook. If you don’t mind me asking, would you recommend the book be read also? Is there additional or more in-depth material included in the book?

      • Skyy says:

        Although I am new to Bible Cafe, I am certainly not new to adversity. I have had my fair share of it, Jennifer. I can tell you that during the hardest times in our lives is when we reach for God the most. Even though He seems like He is not there when we are earnestly searching for Him – sometimes He doesn’t answer because He wants us when we don’t have anything or anyone else! It is then that we realize that He is God and He is good, always has been and always will be. Just look at His track record, lol. I say lol but I am also wading through some rough waters, Jennifer and I have grown to love and trust Him so so much. He is definitely become my Rock.

        On another note, I posted a letter I wrote to a friend on Week 3, it may help you some.

  • Christine D says:

    2.Can you think of something you don’t have, but are convinced if you had it, it would make you happy? (page 89 )
    I am dealing with this right at this moment. Money is what I am struggling with. Christine: I am readning that book RIGHT NOW! I love it so far. I love the chapter about children also. I don’t want to pass this struggle with money along to my children. I am very grateful that I found this book.

    3.Which shoes have you worn- Leah’s or Rachel’s- and were you happy or unhappy when you wore them? (page 91 )
    I have been both at times. At times in my life I have had everything I wanted…and I still was not satisfied. That is where I can relate to Rachel. God was what I was missing.
    I do fight insecurity at times too, so I can relate to Leah.

  • Lauren says:

    1.How do you feel about James’ use of the word adulteress to describe friends of the world? (page 83 ) I totally get it. I can’t imagine how I would feel if I found out my husband was unfaithful. I’m sure that it would be devastating. How must Jesus feel when I behave the same way?
    2.Can you think of something you don’t have, but are convinced if you had it, it would make you happy? (page 89 ) I talked a little about this last week, just the whole not feeling satisfied even when I should. I have always been convinced that if I could just have this or that, or lose weight, I’d be happy… not ever thinking about maybe I was trying to satisfy a deeper need!
    3.Which shoes have you worn- Leah’s or Rachel’s- and were you happy or unhappy when you wore them? (page 91 Both! I have been so jealous of what others have, but it seems like sometimes the more we have, the least happy we are!
    4.Share a favorite moment from this week’s study. I loved the last day!!! I read the KJV, NIV, and The Message… and this is an awesome chapter. REally made me think about the “why behind what I do!

  • Laura says:

    1. As the bride of Christ, anytime I look to find my satisfaction in anything other than Him, I am committing adultery. It certainly makes me want to purge everything within me that seeks to exalt itself above God, and to be freed from the bondage of everything I desire more than the Lord. It is a hard truth and very humbling to look in the mirror and have to see the face of an adulterous woman.
    2. That thing for me is wanting so much for my husband to commit his heart to the Lord and to have an insatiable appetite for the Word of God. I long for him to pray with me and have our marriage based on being spiritually equally yoked.
    3. I have been both Leah and Rachael. For years I wore a mask of having everything perfect when inside I was so empty and so lonely, longing to share my faith and be loved as Christ loves the Church. That left a “vacuum of desperation” inside of me like Leah experienced. I have also been Rachael so blessed in so many ways yet whining about the one thing I don’t have. I am still more in the place of Rachael, but thankfully instead of whining about what I lack, I have been able to turn it over to God standing in faith that His promises will come to pass in His perfect timing. I tried to be the Holy Spirit year ago and big surprise – that didn’t work out so well. It turns out that He does a much better job *grin*.
    4. I think the most important moment for me was reading on page 83 that “when we (I) esteem the world, its beliefs, or anything in the world and make it our god, it is as if we are breaking union with Christ, looking for our desires to be met elsewhere. In essence, all believers are married to Christ, so when we look to idols, we are being unfaithful to Him. This was a good study this week. Praise God He so gently reveals the things He wants to remove from my life!

  • Angie says:

    4. Share a favorite moment from this week’s study.

    This entire week was the most amazing confirmation not only of God’s presence in my life, but also of Him meeting me right where I’m at.

    This was high school graduation week for my only child who I have raised from birth as a single mother. Our bond is very close. Monday began with me crying all the way to work thinking about him graduating from high school and possibly moving out to live with roommates, wondering how I could possibly live without him, reminiscing about the things we used to do together that we will never do again, and regretting the many things I wanted to do for and with him that didn’t get done and now it’s too late. As I was crying out to God, the thought came into my mind, “Am I making my child an idol in my life, wanting him to fulfill me in ways that I should only look to God for?” Then on my lunch break I read the introduction for the week’s study which turned out to be about making people our idols. Not a coincidence I know.

    The very next day, out of desperation at the thought of my son moving out, I told him that if he stays living at home I would not restrict him, that he can come and go as he pleases; offered him the larger, nicer bedroom of the two we have available; and told him he could have my nicer bed and I would buy a smaller one for myself! Good grief! And then came day two of the study about how our strong desire for our idols leads to desperation. Second non-coincidence.

    One of the things I said to someone this past week was “For the last eighteen years I’ve been A’s mom. What am I supposed to do now?” I had no idea my identity was so wrapped up in my child.

    I started out the week crying and ended the week at graduation ceremonies happy and laughing.

    I am so thankful my God is real, compassionate, and wise; and also has perfect timing. Praise Him!

    • Gwen says:

      After reading your post, I put you on my personal prayer list. You must be so proud of your child. Even tho’ your dynamic is changing, you will still enjoy this part of your child’s life too. I feel you would not be doing him any favors to relax your standards just to keep him in your house. If he does move out, you have to trust that you have reared him well and that he will stick to the standards you have instilled in him. Having said that, he may stray a little now and then while “finding himself,” but he will return to the same person you always loved.
      Now is the time to stretch your wings and find your inner person. This is a wonderful Bible study, a great support for you. God will be the wind beneath your wings. i will pray for you and your son.

      • Angie says:

        Thank you so much Gwen, I truly appreciate your support and encouragement. You are so correct that I would not be doing him any favors by relaxing my standards just to keep him in my home. I knew it the minute the words were out of my mouth. At present he has decided to stay home because he is aware of the costs of living on your own, even with roommates, and knows he can’t do it right now. He has not said a word about my rash offers. He’s mature beyond his years and I think he understands they were desperate words from a fearful mother. I have been praying and asking God to prepare my heart and help me to trust when the time does come for him to move. Thank you again for your response, it means a great deal to me.

    • wendy says:

      I know exactly how you feel Angie, about the concern of making your son the idol in your life. I know for the past 15 years I have been doing this with my son. It’s not that I’m a single mom even. I’m not. I lost my mother when I was pregnant with him and I think it stems from that loss that I’m so fearful of losing him as well. I am just now starting to realize what I’ve been doing and I am praying daily for God’s help in releasing this hold to Him. I’m so fearful of that “empty nest” syndrome.
      Praying for you.

      • Angie says:

        Thank you for your prayers, Wendy, they are much appreciated. I can’t even imagine what you went through losing your mother at such an important time in your life; I’m sorry for your loss. I’m so glad you are in this study now and learning how to deal with the knowledge that you may be making your son an idol in your life. This gives you time to work it through and be better prepared before he leaves the nest! Let’s remember together that our God is so good, we need not fear!

  • Christine says:

    1 How do you feel about James’ use of the word adulteress to describe friends of the world? This weekend at a womens conference Lisa Harper shared the story of Jesus and the adulteress. What came to mind is that a) there are three parties to any affair: husband, wife, enemy b) none of us are able to throw the first stone, because we’re all adulteress in some area of our lives c) Jesus did not condemn the adulteress he corrected her and told her not to sin d) the Pharisees are the ones who judge and condemn an adulteress

    2. Can you think of something you don’t have, but are convinced if you had it, it would make you happy? Financial security. My husband has lost his job many times and I have lost financial peace as a result of it. We live paycheck to paycheck, we are not saving for the future retirement or college funds, and we can not afford to make repairs to our home when things break. I feel guilty giving money to charity or tithing when we have so little security. I’m convinced that money, financial security, will remove the burdens of unhappiness. Because of this, my husband is encouraging me to return to work as a real estate agent. The work will not make me happy, the provisions God will create as a result of the work will. As long as I see the work and the money as a provision from God and not my own efforts, then I see it making me happy. I also see how the income will provide funds to go on a missions trip, visit Israel, give more to charity and help those in need. Giving makes me happy, not money.

    4. Which shoes have you worn- Leah’s or Rachel’s- and were you happy or unhappy when you wore them? Both. In my younger adult days, I was very attractive- blonde, blue eyes and wearing a size 4 leather miniskirt. I knew what I had and I used it to get attention and what I wanted: control over men. Later as a mom and married woman, I found myself overweight and unattractive as I aged. I did not like my appearance and failed numerous attempts to exercise or diet (until recently). I started hiding in shame, not hanging out with friends and spending too much time in social media for my need to feel valued. Thankfully, God revealed this to me and I see my life changing towards a healthy balance. God showed me there is beauty under my ashes, and my hurt and shame no longer control me. I’m healthy, regaining my beauty, and growing as a Daughter of the King. All this has resulted from years of bible study, not just a single study or reading a few chapters. Stay in the Word and God stays inside you!

    • Christine says:

      Less than 5 minutes after posting this, I checked my email and received a request to review a newly published book. Here is the description of the book I was just asked to review:

      Managing God’s Money by Randy Alcorn
      “God cares a great deal more about our money than most of us imagine. The sheer enormity of Scripture’s teaching on this subject screams for our attention. In fact, Jesus says more about how we are to view and handle money and possessions than about any other topic—including both heaven and hell. In Managing God’s Money, Randy Alcorn breaks down exactly what the Bible has to say about how we are to handle our money and possessions in a simple, easy-to-follow format. Filled with Scripture references, Managing God’s Money is the perfect reference tool for anyone who is interested in gaining a solid biblical understanding of money, possessions, and eternity.”

      THIS is how God speaks and works in my life! He literally “slaps” me with a brick in the head so I get the message. I love my Daddy!

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