Instead of waiting until I read the entire book to post lessons learned, I may post after every chapter or two so I can keep straight some of the things that stood out to me. I finished the first two chapters and wanted to reflect on them now.
Knowing God By Experience
The authors say that we don't come to know God until He reveals Himself to us. Just as God was not called "The Lord Will Provide" until He provided a ram for Abraham so he wouldn't have to sacrifice Isaac, we don't really know God as "Comforter in sorrow" until He has comforted us in times of grief. In other words, we know God in a relationship, not just a name. He's not some abstract name, but REAL to us. He "reveals Himself with purpose," and "The Scripture is a record of God's revelation of Himself to man. Each of the many names of God is a part of that revelation."
There are many names and descriptions of God in the Bible and "to focus your attention on His name is to focus attention on the God of the name." The authors present us with a list of some of God's names, and I want to pick out a few that are real to me about God because He has revealed Himself to me in these ways.
- Comforter in Sorrow
- my hope
- our Father
- a sure foundation
- God of all comfort
- Prince of Peace
- my stronghold
- refuge and strength
- my help
- my song
- my salvation
Knowing God's Nature and His Will
1. God is love; His will is always best.
2. God is all-knowing; His directions are always right.
3. God is all-powerful; He can enable you to accomplish His will.
Things that spoke to me. God's very nature is love. Nothing He does is apart from His love. Even when He disciplines us for disobedience, it is because of His love. I only have to look at the awfulness of the cross to see how much God loves me.
God's commands are for my good. Since I know He loves me, I can safely trust in the plans He has for me. God wants me to have life and have it abundantly! No need to go through life "under the circumstances." I can be more than a conqueror because of God's great love and His will for me!
God enables me to do His will. I don't have to look at myself and see how unqualified I am. God qualifies the called, and He wants to work through me. I am not to do things for me and in my power so it is fine that I am weak and not very talented or knowledgeable. If I am yielded to God, HE can do great things through me. Moses told God that he was not a good enough speaker to go in front of Pharoah. God's reply was that HE made Moses' mouth, HE knew Moses' limitations, but HE would be the One Who spoke through Moses. This gives me hope! Whatever God calls me to do, I can do it through Him.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!
I should not lean on my own understanding, but trust in the Lord! I can rest in the fact that He loves me, He calls me according to His will and what He calls me to do, He will enable me to do through Himself.