Welcome back to online Bible study at Women’s Bible Café! This week we are discussing Unit 7 of Experiencing God by Henry and Richard Blackaby – “The Crisis of Belief.”
So what is a crisis of belief? First we are told two things it is not: A crisis of belief is not a calamity. And it is not a one-time experience (p. 134).
A crisis of belief is an encounter with God, or more precisely, what we go through in the middle of an encounter with God. It is the turning point – the point at which God asks you to do something that you cannot possibly do on your own. You must decide whether to believe God for what He wants to do through you. It is the point at which many people bail out and do not follow God’s leading. It is the point at which you must make a decision and decide what you truly believe about God. (p. 134). It’s the point at which you cannot move on without faith.
Our memory verse for the week looks at the concept of faith:
“Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6)
Simply put, this verse tells us that we cannot do the will of God without faith in Him. We have to believe. Our lessons this week give many biblical examples of those who did believe and as a result were able to do things that otherwise would have been impossible – Gideon, David, Peter, Moses, Joshua, the Disciples, King Jehoshaphat, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. We learned through studying these examples that a crisis of belief is a turning point where you must make a decision. It is not a one-time experience but a regular occurrence in the life of the believer. When God tells you what he wants you to do you will face a crisis of belief(p. 135). Then faith takes over. If you have faith you will be confident that what God has asked will come to pass – not because you did it, but because God did it through you. All that you had to do was obey. Your level of trust in God will determine what you do and how you live. Your faith requires action.
YOUR ASSIGNMENT FOR THE WEEK
- Join a small group for study and fellowship.
- Complete Week 8 in your Experiencing God workbook.
- Optional: Watch the Session 8 video or listen to the audio.
- Record your thoughts in your spiritual journal.
BIBLE STUDY TIP FOR THE WEEK
We have made it to the second half of our study – which is a lengthy one. Thirteen weeks of concentration on one study is a long time, a quarter of a year in fact. But these longer studies are the ones where we really see life changes made. Often lasting change requires more than the six weeks of a shorter study. The question then becomes – how do I make myself stick with it so that I can get as much from the study as possible?
Sticking with it is something we all struggle with at times – leaders included! We lead such busy lives and there are so many things going on around us to distract us from spending time with God and truly “experiencing” Him. It is very easy to say “I’ll skip it today and catch up tomorrow”. And that’s fine, if you actually do catch up tomorrow! But often we find ourselves far behind.
Some tips for sticking with it and persevering to the end:
- Have a set time to do your lessons.
- Carry your book with you so that you can read ahead, or play catch-up, in any spare minutes you have during the day.
- Have a designated spot where you do your study and make it “you”. I have a comfy chair by the window in the corner of my family room. It has pillows and a blanket for curling up. It has cords and chargers for my iPod so that I can put on Christian music while I study. I have jars of pens, pencils, markers and post it notes for highlighting and note-taking. It has my study materials on a small table next to the chair. And it has my teapot, mug and teabags ready to be brewed. Preparation is half the battle!
- Make an appointment with yourself for 20-30 minutes a day spent on your study – set an alarm or a reminder on your phone.
- If you are behind, schedule an hour a day until you get caught up.
- Pray! Always pray before you start the day’s lesson. Ask God to give you insights and to keep distractions at bay. But also pray for perseverance, for the time and the desire to follow through all the way to the end of the study.
- Keep plugging along! Some days will be easier than others. Remember you are not just doing your lessons but practicing a discipline. It will be well worth the effort!
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR THIS WEEK (answer in your small group or post your answers here)
- Have you or your church ever faced a crisis of belief when you sensed God wanted you to do something beyond what you could do? Briefly describe the situation and how your responded (p. 136)
- Describe a time in your life that required faith in God, and you responded in faith – a time when you could see no way to accomplish the task unless God did it through you or in you. (p. 141)
- Why are people in our world not being attracted to Christ and His church? (p. 144)
- Has God asked you to do something that you have not done because you lacked faith? If so, describe what you need to do to demonstrate your faith in Him, His purposes and His ways. (p. 152)
- What do you sense God is asking you to allow Him to do through you?
These questions may require some thought and preparation. Pray over your answers and ask God to grow your faith in what He can accomplish through you.
See you next week!