Lisa at The Preacher's Wife has given us another awesome installment of this study. The passage is from Joshua 2 and is about Rahab. Please come along and learn from her insights.
1. When is the last time you encountered a Fist Shaker? This may be a stranger to you or as close as a loved one in your own home. Does anything in our description help you to understand their animosity towards God? Are you able to have more compassion towards them?
I have a friend who was once an awesome faith taker. But she has become a fist shaker. She is angry with God--over past hurts, over her mom's death, over perceived injustices and mostly over God's willingness to forgive and His demand for us to forgive as well. She has chosen bitterness over forgiveness. She chooses to live in her fears rather than be vulnerable before God. It breaks my heart. I totally see how she became angry, but it is often hard to understand why she chooses to stay there. As much as I love her and pray for her, honestly I have to daily ask God for compassion towards her. I want to love her with compassion, but pity is so much easier. God continues to work in my heart on this issue.
2. Does anything about Rahab's redemption strike a nerve? This may be a question you would like to ponder privately. Sexual sin and/or victimization can be an area where Satan has an enormous stronghold because it can hold so many painful and shameful memories. If Rahab teaches us anything, please know God can redeem any life and any situation, no matter how heinous it seems, and plant you unashamedly 'in the midst of Israel'. Rahab deserved death according to Mosaic Law, however she was shown nothing but lovingkindness by the God and nation of Israel.
Redemption of any sort strikes a chord with me! My past may not be the same as Rahab's, but it is just as sinful and just as *filthy* in the site of God. As I really look at me in all of my wretchedness, how can I not be grateful? And knowing that those who know the real me still choose to love me, well that is just amazing!
3. Is there an area of your life in which you feel you have come full circle? Where you've come to a place where everything and nothing are the same? (I'm thinking Lord of the Rings when Frodo goes back to the Shire after his long adventure. You have no clue what I just said if you are not an LOTR nerd so just ignore this if it doesn't make sense! :)
ok, not a LOTR fan so the illustration is lost on me, lol. I do see areas of my life where God brings me back to people or situations or circumstances to allow me to see how He has grown me. I come "full circle" to find that I don't have to react the same way anymore. That is always exciting.
4. When you were born again, did you gain a new appreciation for your surroundings as Rahab did when she received the Promise along with the Promised Land? Has some old place, object, or relationship been redeemed by now serving a 'high and holy purpose'?
I was seven when I asked Jesus to be my Savior so, praise God, I don't have a lot of night/day perspectives of life before and life after salvation. But I do have turning points in my life: Places where I see God revealing sin and habits and behaviors and dealing with them and then allowing me to move on from there. I'm doing Beth Moore's "Believing God" study where she defines our promised land as places where our theology meets our reality. I see that. I see places where God is so real in my life that there is no difference between what I profess and what I do. I long for that promise land authenticity in all aspects of my life so that my whole life is serving a "high and holy purpose."
5. Believers can still be Fist Shakers. Do you have circumstances in your life in which you find yourself shaking your fist at God? Something He has asked you to endure, asked you to do, seemingly taken away from you? Can you see how shaking your fist is keeping you from your Promise? (I'm not talking eternal security here - Only abundant living.)
There are constant struggles in my life to let go of the control and allow Him to make me the parent that He calls me to be. Fear of failure, fear of repeating the past, fear of .... can often lead me to places where I shake my fist at His high calling rather than trust in faith that He cares for my girls even more than I do. I fear this may be a struggle until they are grown and then some, but I pray I'll get better at letting go.
Bless you as you seek to be faith takers in your life!