We’re finishing up week one with Priscilla Shirer, reading One in a Million: Journey to Your Promised Land. Our lesson today is about conforming and staying inside the box of religion. Reading this lesson, I wonder if many people do not attend religious worship because they feel outside the box. When we begin to experience things outside the box, a hunger and craving for the Word and for God, we frighten people.
Joy and passion overflow as we purpose our life to KNOW God. To KNOW Jesus. To KNOW the Holy Spirit. This intensity frightens people, so they find ways to tell us to get back into a comfort zone they are familiar with. Maybe you’ve heard this from some of your religious friends:
- “You can’t say that in Bible study, you need to keep the conversation generalized and less intense.”
- “You scare people with your faith….it’s too intense and people doubt that God can really say/do that in you life.”
- “Calm it down. God is not the author of confusion. I’m confused by what you are saying, so it must be Satan, not God”
- “Prove it. What facts can you show me to convince me that God is really speaking to you.”
- “Are you feeling alright. Is something wrong with you. Why are you acting so euphoric?”
Maybe it’s easier to stay inside your box, not share God’s presence in your life, and stay seated at the table of religious norm. Or….maybe you can find some true friends of faith….women you trust…who will listen and guide you in wisdom, not fear. Are you a woman who carried the little box…and when your friends meet the rites of passage, you allow them inside? Or…are you the woman like Beth Moore, Priscilla Shirer, Joyce Meyer, Kay Arthur and Anne Graham Lotz….and when your friend says “God just spoke to me” you listen, in faith, not disbelief.
I ‘m the woman who listens and believes. Your story is safe with me, I respect you for trusting me with your experience. I’m not going to ask you to prove it…I’m going to ask what I can do to support your calling or your ministry. I’m not going to ask you to give me details, validate, and speak to a religious leader for authorization to share your experience. I’m the woman who KNOWS God and KNOWS He speaks and KNOWS that when He speaks to you, I’ll be the friend who listens and believes. I’ll encourage you, not discourage you. I’ll meet you outside the box…..with arms wide open. I’m that kind of friend. In my home, you are welcome outside the box, free to be…you.
Heavenly Father, only You know our innermost self and You are the center of our hearts, souls and minds. We seek a relationship with you that falls outside the box and into the reality of Your Presence. We seek only Your approval, not the approval of our friends. We seek Your Presence….and when we we find it, we build upon that relationship. Bring each of us closer, speak to our minds and allow us to experience You in wild faith. We pray that each woman in this study is moving ahead in her relationship with You. Remove any obscured view we may have of You…and fill our life with Agape love and intimacy with You. Amen.
Priscilla Shirer Quotes
- With each divine interruption in my life and in my theology, I received a golden sealed invitation to see God outside the box.
- God’s work in us thus far isn’t a box into which He will fit, but a slab upon which He will build.
- Fear of change and the desire to avoid challenge often stand in the way of a believers growth
Today’s Scripture Verses (NASB)
It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. John 6:63
On page 27, Priscilla says “Those who want to grow with God need to deeply search the Word and have an openness to experience Him in new ways.” What does this mean to you? Has your experience with God changed over the years? Do you have a desire to KNOW Him in a new way. Let’s start a discussion about this.