Welcome to womens online Bible study! We’re discussing WEEK ONE from Discerning the Voice of God by Priscilla Shirer. Our theme this week is OBEDIENCE and we enjoyed five days of focused study on this topic.
As children of the Lord, we have the choice to surrender our will for His. We can respond in love as Abraham does in Genesis, or we can act like spoiled kids, negotiating for our best interests and putting our needs first.
One choice leads to blessing while the other does not.
Let me share a personal example of this during my own faith journey. While discerning His voice back in 2009 women’s online Bible study was placed in my heart and in obedience this site was developed. All glory to God! For this calling I left my established career and moved into uncharted territory. Never did I realize my obedience would result in international studies and most likely if the Lord had revealed this to me early on… I would have hidden under a comfortable blanket. As I stepped into obedience the Lord tested me by saying “You can’t lead for profit and you can’t lead with pride.” So for many years I hid my name and face until He revealed it was time to be visible. He has faithfully provided employment and a family income to my husband- a blessing to support all four of us while I continue working 40 hours a week without income. It’s a servant’s heart- not profit- which drives me to obey.
Another example when God tested my obedience happened while I was still working in real estate. My husband lost his job from work, we had a 3 year old and a baby at home, and our school principal had a tragic family event. Her husband died suddenly of a brain aneurysm, leaving his wife and two kids without life insurance (he was laid off at the time). It was not an easy decision and I wrestled with God over this for three days- then decided to help the widow and her kids. Since they were in sudden financial crisis I offered to help sell their house without any commissions and then sold them a replacement home within their new budget. I waived a total of $60,000 in income and I wrestled, “Really, God?” Obedience comes with discomfort… remember, we had no family income when I was called into obedience and my faith tested.
The story becomes woven with grace and love when you hear how God blessed my act of obedience. Remember, He was testing me and this happened before my calling to start online Bible studies…
We had been looking for a home to buy near our daughter’s Christian school and could not find anything affordable in the area. My husband lost his job and we stopped looking, but then just two months after helping the widow and her kids, we saw a home that was well priced and wrote an offer to buy. That house was on the market 12 months at a higher price- then it dropped into our affordable price range. We competed with five other offers on this house, prayed constantly, and bought the home. Two years later the home had increased in value…California prices. That home went up $500,000 in two years and we made the decision to sell it and downsize to something smaller. Exactly two months after selling that profit house the ENTIRE REAL ESTATE MARKET crashed! If we stayed in that house we would have lost the equity and missed the blessing.
My obedience decision to help the widow and her kids by waiving my income resulted in a blessing which allowed me to downsize our house and become a ministry leader. Now my friends…there is only One person who can orchestrate THAT! Not my will but His.
After the widow moved into her replacement home she held my hands and said, “Christine you will not believe this…the street address on the home you sold me is the exact date of when my husband died.” Drop the mic!!
Because we’re an international ministry I don’t often teach in terms of money or price- but I think this one time it’s important to magnify how God works in the life of a humble servant. May you see more of Him and less of me.
Your obedience calling is not going to look the same as mine, nor will your blessings. Pray and discern what God is calling you to do…then write it down! Next to that write down the elements of obedience from page 19 of your study book and apply them to your journey.
Author Priscilla Shirer has asked numerous questions through this first week of study, and we’ll be looking at a few of them in with you in our discussion groups. Come join us!
This week ask God where you’ve delayed obedience and let the Holy Spirit reveal your perceived costs. Write these down in a journal, or inside the pages of your study book. Ask yourself:
- What is God calling me to do?
- How long has He been calling me there?
- What is my perceived cost? Is that in alignment with the Bible?
Please do NOT focus on any perceived blessings. There is no set pattern on how God surprises us and that’s the wrong theology of examination (prosperity preaching). Focus on the calling because you may not see the blessing for years to come. Instant gratification is not guaranteed. Looking back at my example, it was two years before I saw my blessing and I never “demanded” payback for obedience. I simply loved my Lord… obeyed in love… not for profit or pride. I still work for Him under these conditions.
Assignment For the Week
- Visit our private Facebook group for a group discussion this week.
- Read Week Two in your study book
- Optional: watch Session Two, available for individual use through Lifeway.com
All glory to God!