Whenever I participate in a bible study it is always amazing to me how God can give me something specific for my life at the exact moment of the study as well as give things to other people. It is unimagineable to me how God can keep track of everything going on as well as everyone's thoughts in a way that He can make all of it work together for good. The commencement of this study was no different.
You see, our church is starting a new phase in its life cycle. We are having our first ever service in a church building that is our own this coming Sunday. We've been told that typically when a church movies into a building from a temporary facility that attendance doubles almost overnight. So...when I, as the director of Women's Ministry at said church, start a study entitled "Living Beyond Yourself", I feel that I'm about to learn and live doing just that. I, as well as the rest of our church leadership, are just waiting for the ride to begin.
What spoke to me the most in this weeks study revolved around the topic of leadership. To quote Beth Moore about the foundational truth of this study, she says: "Christ in us not only guarantees life in Heaven but also Christ in us grants the astounding invitation to live beyond ourselves on earth." As I live out the upcoming months, I will remember that "through the inflitrating power of the Holy Spirit, I can do things I couldn't, feel things I didn't and know things I wouldn't. Lord, thank You for being with me and working through me!
Regarding influence and its power, is it any coincidence that I'm preparing in the next few weeks to take a group of women in our church through "Called To Influence", a leadership "training" program? I don't think so. God apparently know when I'd start both this study (LBY) and "Called to Influence" because in week 1 of LBY we saw the power of influence. As Beth says on p. 9, "For reasons we may never know, God entrusted to womankind a most wonderful and terrible gift: the power of influence."
Finally, of the things that impacted me the most from this week's study, I was reminded about how I need to concentrate on pleasing my "Audience of One" rather than anyone else. Being in a position of leadership is a wonderful thing to be entrusted with but comes with a price. We can't ever please everyone around us with our decisions, but we can try to please our Father in heaven. This was a great reminder to me once again. With everything I do, I will try to think as Paul from Galatians 1:10 :
"Am I now trying to win the approval of men , or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ."
Lord, help me to be Your servant. Help me to fully trust in You and only You so that I can live beyond my capabilities. Let me seek out a life fully consecrated to You.
This is a list of the women participating in the study and the links to their blogs. New postings on the study will be published for the next ten weeks, between Friday 8pm - Saturday 8am. Please feel free to visit each of us and comment. Everyone is welcome to participate in this discussion as we seek to live beyond ourselves. May God bless you richly from the hearing of His word.