Second Chances (Jonah Week 4)

By August 30, 2010Jonah

Week four in Jonah: Navigating a Life Interrupted by Priscilla Shirer, closely follows on the heels of last week’s study where we looked at the messes we make when we stray from God’s plan, and how He can use it for His glory. While God loves us no matter what, His desire for us is obedience. Sometimes that means doing something we do not want to do, other times it means waiting for His timing. Neither is easy, and we often seek to take matters into our own hands, much like Jonah did. We often end up with the same result. While we may not be swallowed by a fish, we end up in situations that are not good for us, and God rescues us. He still wants us to be obedient and do what He has called us to do. Before we can do that though, our hearts must be transformed and we must be willing to obey. Once we are, God will send us out on the path He has called us to. We will not be going alone, but with the Holy Spirit. Nothing we face is too great or difficult because He is empowering us. We should never do things on our own, but through the power of the Holy Spirit so God alone gets the glory. I do not want people looking at what I have done. I want them to stand back from something and say, “Wow! Look what God has done! ” He alone!

When we choose to meander on our own paths, and seek out our own ways, God is not finished with us. He will be there waiting when we are ready to come back and do what He has asked. He will offer his never-ending grace and forgiveness. Just be ready to be obedient, as that is what He truly wants. Instead of writing more for you to read, I really feel the Lord is asking us to spend some extra time searching our hearts for areas of disobedience. If you find some, go to Him in prayer. He is waiting to take you in His arms, clean up the scrapes and bruises, and set you back on the journey He has called you to. If you know He is calling you to something, spend time in prayer and commit to it. He loves you unconditionally and more than you can imagine. Go to Him, and embrace your Divine Intervention.

In audio session four, Priscilla recommends reading the book by Iris Blue. The book is called Iris: Trophy of Grace.

Prayer Requests

Please pray for clarity on how to reach the Ninevites, the people God wants you to serve. We welcome any prayer needs from the group and ask that you will print a copy of the prayers, place them, in your workbook and pray for these women. If you have a prayer request for our prayer wall, please click here.

Priscilla Shirer Quotes

  • Only after we’ve been squeezed by God can we be poured out. (from audio session four)
  • The bible bulges with account after merciful account of individuals who’d blown it and yet were offered the clemency that only a compassionate God like ours could give.
  • Our second chance brings us full circle to the place where we have to chose full obedience.
  • God gave the Spirit to the disciples as an internal compass to help them find their way.
  • Obedience necessitates self-denial.

This Week’s Scripture Verses-NASB

But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. John 16:7

No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. John 15:15

For Next Week

  • Read Week Five, pages 105-125 in the workbook
  • Listen to the Session Five Audio (optional)
  • OR…Listen to the Session Five Video (optional)

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

  1. Do you see God actively searching for you, or hiding from you? Why? (page 89)
  2. What keeps you from moving forward in obedience to God? (page 92)
  3. Are you currently at Joppa, the place of decision and the crossroad of obedience? (page 93)
  4. Have you ever tried to compensate for your rebellion with God? What did you do to make amends? (page 99-100)

On page 89 Priscilla asks you to write a letter of your second chance story. If you’d like to share it here with the group, email us and we’ll post it for you.

Laying Down My Life,


Author WBC

Find online bible studies for women at the Womens Bible Cafe. It's also a place where you can meet other Christian women from around the world and fellowship together. If you're unable to a attend a church small group bible study then the Bible Study Cafe is just right for you! Look under "Current Studies" to see what we're reading. Bring your book and let's study the Word together.

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Join the discussion 30 Comments

  • Victoria says:

    1. Searching for me. I’ve been through many hard times, but here I am, alive and well. Only He could have done this.

    2. Pride.

    3. Yes. In my friendship-we are starting over after a dispute. I need to admit when I am wrong, forgive fully, and stop trying to fool everyone into believing that I am perfect and fine.

    4. Sadly, every single one mentioned in the book.

  • Jennifer Deffendall says:

    1. Yes because he is always there for us. He always gives us a second change. All we have to do is ask for it.
    2. I believe I am trying to what god has asked me to do. There are times when my life starts out in one direction then there are times when my life gets interrupted. It is ask if I made a suggestion to god. No, I have not. It has been hard sometimes, but I am learning to listen to him. I believe I having a hard time with obedience. I am trying to listen to him.
    3. I believe I am in Joppa. Why? I am at a crossroads with decision and even with obedience. I know it will work out in the best way through him.
    4. I think on this question I sometimes in rebellion on compensation for listen to god. Sure, there are times when I will say I make amends. Even before I started to make amends, I was listening to klove, started attending bible study on line, and even volunteering at career transition workshop.

    Thank you for having this bible study.

  • Nickie says:

    1. sometimes I know he is searching for me but sometimes I know that I just need to stop and give him HIS time. I need to slow down and not be in such a hurry so I can hear from God.

    2. it is hard to get out of that boat because of fear, time, myself, knowledge, perfection, and ect…

    3. I just actually went past Joppa and I am leading a bible class and I feel peace because this has been one of the things that God has been searching for me to do…. I just was not ready but only God know if we are ready.

    4. I would ask for forgiveness and repent but then in the back of my mind I would say that I will give my everything to you…. all the time…. read my bible all the time, watch and listen to christian radio or tv… I can go way over board…

  • Vanda says:

    I’m so late on this one!

    2. I’m a realist. i need to see before I go but faith is going first and then you see. So it takes alot of assurance and courage for me to take the first step and i need to have very clear directions.

    3. I’m at Joppa at every move of my life – a literal one, either moving homes, job or country. And I’m facing a move right now.

  • Michele says:

    1. God always seems to be searching me out and pulling me back when I stray.

    2. I think trust issues keep me from moving forward in my obedience. I have a had time letting go and trusting anyone including God.

    3. I always seem to slide back to Joppa. It is so hard to be completely obedient and I seem to always be back at square one again.

    4. My place to make amends is to be disappointed in myself again and self loathing. Sometimes I so want to be obedient then I let myself get in the way again.

  • Karla says:

    1.Do you see God actively searching for you, or hiding from you? Why? (page 89) Yes I think he has searched for me and I have been the one hiding the whole time I have been asked to study his word but always found excuses to run in another direction. To Busy at work, To busy being a working mom, Just plain sight hiding.

    2.What keeps you from moving forward in obedience to God? Fear of letting myself go. I use to hurt people easily by being so straight forward so now distance myself from them to protect me more so than them. I need to get back to living, enjoying, and doing for others.

    3.Are you currently at Joppa, the place of decision and the crossroad of obedience? (page 93) Yes it has been a summer of decision making for my entire family. I have seen that I have been putting off decisions for a long time. I need to go back and look at my Joppa moments and start at the first place where I jumped onto the ship and got into the storm. Make the decision and move forward. I have just been staying safe to long.

    4.Have you ever tried to compensate for your rebellion with God? What did you do to make amends? I have been just asking forgiveness for the same old things never really letting go of them and turning them over. Like it says time to start doing the things we have been taught and stop the praying and trying to offer sacrifices and never do the get er done or start doing part.

  • Joeanna says:

    I try to make amends all the time. I didn’t realize that I was doing it.

    • Joeanna says:

      Historically I have always seen God search me out and eager awaiting to give me a second chance(pg 89) He send others to speak to me to guide me and be an example. Especially when I choose to be bitter instead of forgiving.

      Now I see that the reasons I am having problems with the church I attend now is because this wasn’t the church wanted me to go to 2yrs ago. I justified my decision by saying that this church was a better fit for my son. I didn’t want to be alone there. I wanted to go to the church my sister was attending.

  • Nicole says:

    #1) I believe he is searching me out. Showing his words to me.
    I admit that I don’t know all the books of the bible or where to find some of them. I’ve only been back to church now for about a year and a half. I haven’t opened a bible since my childhood until then. I joined the women’s bible study at my church to learn more about the bible and what it says. I’m just sorry that I stayed away for so long. My teenage sons do not want to go church. But my daughter loves it. I will not make the same mistake twice. The Lord will take care of my boys and help them on their path to him.

  • Sue Schwendemann says:

    1. Searching for me. I see His present all around me and not pay any attention
    to Him. For the past few weeks I have seen this gorgeous butterfly almost every
    day and sometime more than once. I think it is Yahweh way of saying I am here…
    please come to me!
    2. What keeps me from moving forward in obedience….. Afraid of what will happen if I totally let go and let Him. I am somewhat of a control freak.
    3. Are you at Joppa?? Yes, I think so…. for I feel as if this is where Yahweh wants me at this time at home with my ill husband….. even if I do not always obey and listen to that small still voice.
    4. I can not hide my rebellion from Yahweh, He sees it to clearly. Hiding it from Him or trying to was just a excuse anyway.

    Thanks for doing this study Christine….I think it was what I needed in this season of my life and at this time. I am going to see if the library has a copy of A Different Kind of Wild too.

    • Christine says:

      I would LOVE to follow that butterfly Sue! Abut a month ago I was sitting in the parking lot of a retail store, eating In & Out Burgers with my kids. A HUGE larger than normal monarch butterfly landed on my windshield, drifted past me to another car. I saw people in the car in front of me also noticed it and their hands were pointing at the direction the butterfly landed. It was that large and beautiful your eyes couldn’t help but notice it….just like Jesus. My children were in awe. Then we noticed tiny birds, the first one was sitting inside the wheel hub of the car, right on the tire. We looked and saw a second bird on another car, sitting on the inside tire. My daughter noticed both cars were red. It was so beautiful and so strange at the same time! We simply had to feed them….per my 8 yr old daughter, so the little birds were eating fries with us. 😉

      • Joeanna says:

        Whenever I am stressed out a sparrow will land on my car or near me.. It’s reminder that God will take care of me. He is so Good

  • VIcki says:

    All your comments have been so helpful. I love the hands and feet comparison too – never thought about it that way before. Do you see God actively searching for you, or hiding from you? Why? (page 89) …… What keeps you from moving forward in obedience to God? (page 92) ….. Are you currently at Joppa, the place of decision and the crossroad of obedience? Yes – I do see God actively searching for me, because I have been running from Him due to fear. I have a record of not finishing things so now I am scared to commit. Then, like Christina’s experience w/VBS – I thought I heard the Lord tell me to work w/the preschoolers on Wednesday night at my church. So I immediately volunteered but it is not something I enjoy and have to make myself go every week. I don’t know if I missed what He said or if this is Satan’s way of making me quit when I should be doing this. I keep thinking about those little children and how they need Jesus – but find my patience or lack thereof not a positive example for them.

    Yes I am at Joppa – a place of decision. I am realizing how much there is to do and I need to get busy – no more excuses – believe that the Lord will equip me if I step out in faith to do Kingdom work. Need to get out of my own little world. There is a great song out now by Matthew West “My Own Little World” – really spoke to me. If you haven’t heard it – you should do so. Just recently volunteered for a local program that feeds children and now I need to DO IT!

    I have been trying to justify my rebellion – but those excuses don’t work any more – actually I wasn’t fooling God was I?

    This is an awesome study and Christine – thank you for being obedient to lead a Bible Study. I am so thankful for this Bible Study. Think I will find a copy of A Different Kind of Wild too.

    God bless.

  • Lauren says:

    I feel like God has been eagerly awaiting me… if anyone has been in hiding, it was me! I am so thankful He is a God of second chances!
    I think that when I don’t respond to God’s calling, it is out of the excuse of fear or anxiety. We get used to where we are at and moving outside of that comfort zone is very uncomfortable. I can speak a lot about faith and I truly believe that God provides, but putting the rubber to the road is a different story sometimes. We have to realize that we must make changes and keep moving forward. What’s the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing you’ve always done but expecting different results…

    My Joppa is simply not knowing what God wants me to do. When I read and think about Ninevah, I expect some big grand scheme. As I was working through the notes night before, I wrote down, “How can I bring You glory? Is it just in the little things?” I think that sometimes serving “Ninevites” in our world is just being a light, being the hands and feet of Jesus… today as I was driving home from work “Hands and Feet” was playing and it struck me (and this may seem stupid but it really hit home with me)… Jesus was nailed to the cross by his hands and feet… the very things he used to serve others, to get Him where He needed to go to bless people. As the “hands and feet” of Jesus, we can expect to have pain as we serve others. So I am praying that God will allow me to make a difference just in my daily walk, not any big “WOW” moment, not a big shining spotlight, but a little penlight going from task to task, person to person, illuminating the way.

    Sometimes I think that saying I’m sorry is enough… that is how I compensate for rebellion… just apologizing over and over… but like I tell me son sometimes, “Sometimes sorry isn’t good enough”. Even though God is merciful to forgive, there are still consequences.

    Sorry to be so lengthy. I have enjoyed this week. God bless!

    • Lauren says:

      And may I say that I just got finished with the Video Session for Week 5- and Wow!!! Talk about one of those God things… it was just like He was saying “You need an answer? Here it is!”

    • Christine says:

      Wow…I love the Hands and Feet connection you had with the song, Jesus, and Joppa. I’ll be praying on how God can use you as his hands and feet here on earth, one person at a time.

  • Christine says:

    My Navigation Tools from Week 4 (they will be different than yours):

    ~God allows second chances.
    ~Allow God to find me, don’t hide.
    ~Take the long road to God’s will, shortcuts not acceptable.
    ~Move forward without dependence on perfection.
    ~Act on his will. Sacrifice on His command.

  • Debbie Marquardt says:

    #1. God has pursued me my entire life. When I look back through the years, I am overwhelmed by His grace and patience with me, and I see His fingerprints through every phase of my life so far.

    #2. Right now I want to be obedient, but I’m so impatient with Him, I could just…well, have a fit! (typical of me!). Since we moved (2 years ago), we are still “church shopping” for the right “home” for our family. I am so ready to find a place where I can plug in and serve Him, I could bust a gasket….. but I just don’t feel or sense His leading on this yet! So to be obedient = patience right now in this season of my life…. ugh!

  • Mary Ann says:

    1.Do you see God actively searching for you, or hiding from you? Why?
    I see God as always actively searching for me, even when I am trying to run away. Why? I simply feel his presence—sometimes when I least expect it! Something happens that caused my mind to immediately realize that He is with me and tugging at me.

    2.What keeps you from moving forward in obedience to God?
    Fear is, most often, what keeps me from moving forward. Sometimes I’m just unsure whether I am REALLY hearing God or am I just wishfully thinking. I need to pray for clearer visions.

    3.Are you currently at Joppa, the place of decision and the crossroad of obedience?
    I don’t believe I am. I think I’m in a mindset of obedience right now. This study has made me very aware of my need to obey and listen to God’s call.

    4.Have you ever tried to compensate for your rebellion with God? What did you do to make amends?
    Oh my, I’ve said multiple prayers, gave more money to worthwhile causes, did most of the things that didn’t work—except the 4 steps. (Acknowledging my disobedience, accepting my divine discipline, asking for forgiveness and acting in the manner in which God originally directed.) I’d try to justify to God, imagine that!

  • Christine says:

    1. Do you see God actively searching for you, or hiding from you? Why? I saw Him searching for me when my husband was in a hospital and I was 5 months pregnant with my 2nd daughter. I’d left the Catholic Church and when my husband was ill in ICU, I saw three priests. The first priest met me at the information desk, we were both looking for patients. The second time, the priest rode the elevator with me and never said a word. The third time, the priest asked for directions and then I saw him on the floor my husband was on. I remember thinking God was calling out to me and wanted me to return. Later, when my husband survived ITP a rare blood disease with a platelet count of 1,000 and my daughter was 6 months old, I started a journey of finding a church family and became a Believer when I found my second church. Who knew I’d eventually lead Bible study! God did.

    2. What keeps you from moving forward in obedience to God? Uncertainty and perfectionism.

    3. Are you currently at Joppa, the place of decision and the crossroad of obedience? Yes, and this time I put both feet back on the path and followed His directions once again.

    4. Have you ever tried to compensate for your rebellion with God? What did you do to make amends? Yes, serving in the wrong ministry. I volunteered in VBS children’s ministry and encountered numerous negative challenges: parents dropping off poopy kids and handing me a diaper to change them; caring for a severely autistic child and not being told ahead of time that she was autistic, so when I looked at her in the eyes she screamed for an hour; feeling resented by the leader of “arts and crafts” and being told “we don’t need you here” even though I teach art at school. God clearly did not want me there!

  • Sharon says:

    God is definitely searching for me and finding me at that. Of late there has been some definite changes going on and opportunities to serve at my church have started coming up. I had been the one hiding. He also has been on my mind for the entire day it seems. I am being pulled to read more, to watch or listen to podcasts on my ipod. I am beginning to think of how He wants to use me more.

    Since last week I have overcome a struggle that was hindering me. Also a bit of shyness in getting out there. I went to check the mail one day while I was very busy and one of our neighbors from Africa who is a student now started a conversation. I thought at first no I am too busy but stayed and so glad I did I learned so much and we had quite a talk about God and I found out some of his mom who I can do some things for.

    I am at Joppa about to crossover and step right in to whatever it is He needs me to do.

    I have tried to compensate I did all those things listed in the book plus made vows which I know He does not want. Now I know He just wants my obedience and love.

    • Christine says:

      I used the same photo that I posted the first week of Jonah, because we’re back where we started, listening again. I too am very shy, and when God placed a book about women in Christian Leadership into my hands I rolled my eyes like a rebellious child. I scolded Him…”OK God, I’ll read this but I’m NOT going into womens ministry and I’m NOT going to lead a bible study.” Thankfully He prepared me and I listened.

      The book: I received this book at a womens conference and was unaware that I had a free copy in my tote bag. I saw the book on the conference table and my friend Debbie Alsdorf had written it, so I bought 2 copies expecting her to autograph them so I’d give them away on my blog. I put them on a shelf and forgot about them. When was asked by Revell Books to be a book review blogger, I was shocked to see the first book they REQUIRED me to read was this same book. God had my attention and before I had finished reading A Different Kind of WILD by Debbie Alsdorf, I knew I was going to lead bible study.

      • Sharon says:

        God does work in so many ways. Putting things before us just as we are thinking no I will not do this!

        But here you are and doing a good work at it!

  • Carin says:

    1.God is definetly trying to get my (our) attention and we still are waiting for what he is doing or wants us to do.

    3. He is doing something to us financially. We just recently sold a boat that we hadn’t used in three years (it had been paid off). We were holding on to the money because my husband is not working. It was heavy on my heart to give 10% of that to our church. That was a big decision as it is a test of faith as we don’t know where any other money is going to come from next.

    • Christine says:

      God has placed me in similar situations where I can be obedient. Each time my husband lost his job (8 times and counting) we followed our heart and always listened to His voice.

  • Judee Baysinger says:

    God is definitely actively seeking me. He is always pulling on my heart strings and my conscience. Bible verses will just pop out at me and the sermon on Sunday is like the pastor is following me around all week and sees the things I need to do and don’t. Sometimes it is just plain spooky. God is a truly awesome God.

    • Christine says:

      I’m having a similar experience Judee. Yesterday I put some verses on Twitter, and later in the day I saw them in my Bible study. In the evening, one of the verses was sent to me by a random email. God was pounding those verses into my heart!

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