08 Jun The Magnificent Obsession – Chapter Two
The Magnificent Obsession – Chapter Two
Let Everything Go
“If you insist on getting what you want, on what you have a right to have, watch out! And you may then wind up with a lot less than God wants to give you.”
The Magnificent Obsession, p. 79
Summer at the Well is off to a great start! I’m sooo proud of you all for committing to spend time with the Lord in His Word this summer! And I’m thrilled that we can share this great adventure together even though we are spread out all over the country! I take back every crummy thing I’ve ever said about the internet and blogging! 🙂 God is so much more than able to use anything and everything to His glory, is He not?!?! So let’s jump on the blog this week and get to chatting with each other about the Magnificent Obsession!
As Chapter One concluded we learned from the life of Abram that our failures don’t have to be forever. Getting right with God after we’ve made a mess of things is simply a matter of “turning and returning”. The word repent means * “to change one’s mind for the better; to turn around. It involves regret or sorrow, accompanied by a true change of heart toward God. “ As Jesus dictated to John the Revelator the letter to the church at Ephesus, His exhortation was, “You’ve forsaken your first love. Repent and do the things you did at first” (Revelation 2:1-7).
It’s in repenting… returning to our First Love that we are restored again for ministry. Abram did exactly that as he returned to Bethel, the place where he had first built an altar to the Lord.
Girlfriends, our history is not our destiny when we surrender it and return to the Lord. The enemy will strive to keep you down. But the Lord encourages us to return to Him, and for good reason; He is the Master at making ministry out of our messes! Somebody needed to hear that today! And we all need to shout, “Amen!”
Life is a series of choices. We are where we are today primarily because of the choices that we’ve made in life. Choice is a gift, but can also be a curse when we don’t consult the One who downloaded a free will app onto our hard-drive. The ability to choose for oneself is a gift. How we use that gift determines the coarse of our life.
Abrams nephew, Lot, was a selfish little bugger whose eyes were bigger than his stomach. When given a choice he chose the best for himself. (Didn’t that make you want to just smack him?) Yet even in choosing selfishly, Lot still had a choice to live his life intentionally to the glory of God. Instead, he compromised. There was duplicity in his life that became his downfall. He could have had an impact on the wicked, pagan culture he chose to live near. Instead, Sodom impacted Lot, and he became the proverbial frog in the pot of boiling water. He had many opportunities to turn around and make it all right. But instead he embraced the world, while Abram embraced the Lord.
We all have wants and desires and corresponding choices to make concerning them. The prayer that has changed my life the most is simply this: “More than what I want, Lord, I want what You want for me.” It keeps it real between Jesus and me… keeps me humble, keeps me trusting and I believe it’s the prayer that He honors above all. It’s the prayer that Jesus prayed in Gethsemane as He was headed for the Cross. In surrendering to the Father, His death brought even more than His life.
God bless you as you open His marvelous Word this week!
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly more than you could ever hope for or imagine… to Him be all glory in Christ Jesus… forever! (Ephesians 3:20)
xo – P
THIS WEEK’S ASSIGNMENT:
- Scripture Reading: Genesis 13:5-18
- Read Chapter 2 – Magnificent Obsession
Questions for Small Group Discussion and Blog:
- Where would your relationship with Jesus be if you didn’t have a mentor, teacher, disciple, church, Bible study, etc?
- Is your relationship with Jesus purely second hand as others have fed you? Or have you taken the time to get to know Him for yourself?
- What part of your personal Bible study (time with the Lord) presents the biggest challenge for you?
- What do you feel that you “must have” in order to be happy and fulfilled? Have you ever insisted on getting your own way only to find it wasn’t really what you wanted after all?
- Where are you tolerating “mediocrity” and “worldliness” in your life? Is there duplicity in your life? Do others see it?
For Personal Prayer & Reflection:
Have you thought about and prayed through what’s keeping you from pursuing the magnificent obsession? Where have you been trying to push you agenda through with God… insisting on getting what you want? Have you been selfish with your time, your resources… your own life? Is your commitment to the Lord a bare-minimum commitment, or have you surrendered all?
After taking some time to think this through, sit a little longer with the Lord and talk it through with Him. I am praying for each of you to be willing to ask Him to show you what you need to let go of in order to embrace Him, and for the courage to respond in His direction.
Letting Everything Go:
In your notebook or journal, make a list of those things that you need to let go of in order to embrace the magnificent obsession. Continue to pray through these things and allow the Holy Spirit to loosen your grip on them over the next days and weeks of this study. You may want to share this with another sister in Christ, or with your small group, to hold you accountable and pray for you.
(*) The Complete Word Study Dictionary- New Testament (Zodhiates)