Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Magnificent Obsession

Yay!!  I'm finally a big girl! I was so excited to go on the women's retreat with the wild women of Hopewell.  I'm about to be 25, but I've only been on youth functions as an adult leader, so this was my first official "woman" thing, and I must say it was truly more than I even expected.  The only word I have to describe it is WOW!  We went to Myrtle Beach for 3 nights & listened to 6 of the best teachers I've ever heard share about embracing the God-filled life.  Our church is mega blessed when it comes to teachers & preachers- those women seriously ROCKED! I laughed a lot, cried a lot (everyone did...guess it's a woman thing), sat on the beach, and fellowshipped with some hilarious, beautiful women of the Lord.  Here are some highlights from the teaching that I brought home with me.

The retreat was taught out of the book The Magnificent Obsession by Anne Graham Lotz, Billy Graham's daughter.  It focused on following the example of Abraham in living a life of obedience and faith. 
The scripture for the week was Ephesians 3:14-19 MSG "My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthn you by his spirit- not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength- that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in.  And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you'll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ's love.  Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length!  Plumb the depths! Rise to the heighths! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God."
**Leave Everything Behind**
-You have to leave behind your familiar territory and get out of bondage. 
-God's blessing is NOT the same thing as health, wealth, prosperity, and a problem-free life. 
-God's blessing is His presence! We have to change our mindset about blessings.
-Sometimes we try to compromise with God.  That does not work.
-We have to leave fence-sitting, fear, failure, & fear of failure behind.
-Everything about Abraham stood out: his appearance, dress, relationships, attitude, values, priorities, & his speech.
-Are you more focused on the people around instead of focused on the Lord and what he is doing in your life?
-Do not precede forward on your own thinking.  Wait until you hear from the Lord.
-We have an "I deserve this" and "all about me" attitude.  This type of selfishness puts our family in danger.
-Our God is a God of restoration, NOT condemnation.

**Let Everything Go**
-A sign of spiriual health is an apetite for God's Word.  Pray & seek God in everything.
-Once God reveals, I have to act.
-God allows us to have problems so we can demonstrate to a watching world how His children respond.
-We pout.  People are watching.  Is our attitude Godly?
-If you're not surrendering to God, you're surrendering to something else.
-You reap what you sow. (Gal 6:7-8)
-By our choices, our prayer life, and reading God's Word, we're either giving our life to God or to Satan.
-With what/whom am I replacing my time I should be spending with the Lord?
-Let go of shallowness, selfishness, & sinfulness.

**Trust Everything Completely While Pursuing Everything Patiently**
-When God calls you to do something, you are accountable to Him.
-Change your perspective- our fears are a reflection of who God is and who we think we are in Him.
-Is giving something up depriving you of something you deserve or freedom from bondage?
-The enemy wants us to get caught up in "what ifs."  That is not God.
-Our God is not the author of confusion.  We have to spend time praying for wisdom & discernment & LISTEN.
-Focus on God for who he IS, not what He can do.
-We have a hard time giving things up to God b/c we like to be in control.
-Impatience leads to disobedience.
-We attempt to manipulate God to fit Him into our timing.

**Lift Everything Up**
-Be CONSISTENT in your prayer time.  Put forth effort in your prayer life.
-Our prayer life needs to be a 2-way conversation.
-We need to serve with a willing heart, not just when it's convenient.
-We were put her to serve, not to be served.
-Prayer= worship. Talking to God. Listening to God. It changes us and everything around us.
-Pray for our heart to be like HIS! Renew your mind daily to be more like Christ.
-How much do we miss because we don't stay in His presence?
-Who sees God in your life that they would want to know Him more?

**Cast Everything Out/Lay Everything Down**
-We make excuses to sin and for our sin.
-God is gracious even to repeat offendors.
-God tests us so WE can see our weaknesses & rely on Him to help overcome them.
-When we are bitter, we are self-centered.  Bitterness comes between us and God.
-Our spiritual nature is in constant battle with our sinful nature. The one we're feeding will win. 
-In EVERYTHING we do we should be worshiping God.
-Do you choose what you are willing to give up to God & what you want to hold on to?
"Any my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus." -Phil 4:19

**Pass Everything On**
-We must abide in Him so our overflow will help our children be magnificently obsessed.
-If you're passionate about Christ, you'll be passionate about what He is passionate about...lost souls.
-Who's going to be in Heaven because of me?
-Who will pursue God because I do?
-What is stopping me from sharing the Gospel?
-It's not our job to save anyone...just to represent Christ well.

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