This week's lesson from Lisa at The Preacher's Wife is absolutely amazing. The scripture reading is Exodus 5:1-7:7. Hop on over to her site for the commentary. Here are my answers to the discussion questions.
1. On a scale of 1 to 10, rate yourself on how often your conversation is seasoned with the works of the Lord on your behalf? If you speak very little of Him, is there a reason you know of? If you speak often, how do people respond?
I'd say that I'd rate myself about an 8. Talking about God in my life is so natural to me, I don't even realize I'm doing it at times. But I do get responses to my "God talk." I think some people around me (in particular a few taxi drivers who listen to me and the girls regularly) think I'm just some kind of fanatic. Some friends have expressed that they wish they could talk about what God is doing as naturally as I do (I, of course, tell them they can!). Others are more than willing to reciprocate with what God is doing in their life. Quite a varied response.
2. Have you experienced a Set Up for a Show Up when you were uncertain whether the situation was the chastisement of the Lord or a temptation of Satan?
I'm sure I have experienced this, but honestly nothing specific is coming to mind. So many of the times that God has displayed His wonders in my life, it was brought on by my stupidity or disobedience and He showed up anyway to fix it. Thank God for mercy. I have been an actor in a Set up to Show up in a friend's life. It was/is definitely God moving and setting things up to show His glory. Unfortunately that friend just doesn't want to see that it is God. I still stand hopeful and prayerful waiting for the outcome. (I wonder if other's could say that about my life, that they see God setting it up but I'm missing it? something more to think about)
3. Have you ever or are you now experiencing any Job trials where you can still not identify any wrong-doing on your part?
I have in the past walked a path that, even years later, I see no wrong-doing on my part to start the trial. Unfortunately, my response was not very Job-like and I may have had to endure the trial longer than was really necessary. But God showed Himself faithful through it and it was a tremendous faith-builder in the long run.
4. Apply this principle: How can my response make my God famous? Will obedience result in my sanctification and God's Glory?
How can my response make my God famous? People watch us. They notice when we respond with grace and mercy, especially in disgraceful and unmerciful circumstances. When I respond as God would have me respond and give Him the credit for allowing me to respond like that, people take notice. The glory comes when I say "I do it because of God" and allow people to see Him shine instead of me cope.
Will obedience result in my sanctification and God's glory? I believe yes. We have to be careful not to act as if our obedience gets us to heaven--that is only through the blood of Jesus. But when I choose to obey, it makes me more like Jesus (which is the core of what sanctification means to me). And if I am more like Jesus, I am pointing to the Father and therefore God is getting the glory.
5. Does the origin of our affliction matter in view of the fame God can gain from it?
I think the origin of our affliction brings different kinds of fame for God. I believe that when people see us cope and give God glory during a perceived unjust circumstance they take more notice. They are able to see grace under pressure. They are able to see peace that passes understanding. And as they think, "I couldn't bear that" and we tell them "neither can we but God can" they get a picture of God's power and might. And that spreads the renown of His name.
However, when the source of our affliction is our own sinfulness people identify differently. They know that they fail. When they see us fail and see God deliver us from the circumstance of our failure (or through the circumstances in some cases) they can resonate with wanting that in their life. Therefore the fame of His compassion and His grace and His mercy are spread.
Different afflictions show the different characteristics of God--but all spread His glory.
Hope you enjoy this week's study! Thank you Lisa!