There’s a lot in this chapter, so I’ll just concentrate on the main things that stood out to me. First, a verse I’d heard before – Proverbs 29:18: “Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint” or: “Where there is no vision, the people perish”. Because I’d always connected this verse with vision, I thought it meant: “If you don’t have a clear idea of where you’re going, you’ll cast off restraint”, and that would make sense, but Lysa said the Hebrew word for revelation actually means ‘Divine communication’. Yes! Without divine communication, without that inner dialog between me and God in a difficult situation, I’ll cast off restraint, whether I want to or not. I can’t do life without Him.
I wrote about the fruit of the Holy Spirit in my post on chapter 3, and I was pleased to see self-control mentioned here, but is it enough just to know that the fruit of the Holy Spirit is self-control? I remember the first time God highlighted this verse to me after a bad reaction. For a while, I hoped that having a strategy would be the key to complete change, but sadly, just knowing the verse hasn’t stopped me reacting badly to things sometimes. So what is the key? I think it’s here in this chapter … and it has to do with cake! This sounds a familiar story. Maybe it happens a lot to parents of young children – you know the one where they take the cake out too soon, and for a few minutes it looks great, then the outside caves in because the centre wasn’t properly cooked? That’s just like me. What goes on inside affects what people see on the outside. I would say 100% of the time, bad reactions happen when something’s not right in my heart. Maybe I spent too much time on negative thoughts like: “I’m not good enough”, or maybe I believed the lie that God values me for my achievements instead of for who I am. People might think this a very bold statement, but I’m going to make it anyway: If I always really believed what the Bible said God thought about me, I’d never have another bad reaction. I’d feel so secure, so satisfied in His love, that what would anything else matter?
So my one piece of advice from this chapter? Seek God. It was third on Lysa’s list of things to do in the quiet: Give your thoughts to Jesus. Let His truth shout down the lies that corrupt your centre. Do you feel not good enough? God’s chosen you and not rejected you (Isaiah 41:9). Do you think your significance depends on what you can achieve? Well, God announced from heaven that He was pleased with Jesus at Jesus’ baptism, before He’d even started His ministry; and the way God loves Jesus? He feels that exact same love for us.
How about you? Are there any favourite verses that help when you’re feeling unglued, and would you like to share them in the comments?
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This is a “Faith Without Borders” post. It’s not too late to join and share your thoughts with us on Facebook, or you could just leave them here. We’d love to hear from you, and remember to go to Jess’s blog on Tuesday for her post on chapter 6.