Oh Good Girls, how I look forward to gathering with all of you week after week. Can you believe that we are done with Part 2 already? My, how the finding has been good for our souls! This week, we read about worship and resetting our minds in order to act differently. What did y'all think about these two chapters? I know for me, I related a lot with both of these topics. I've always struggled with the word worship because quite frankly I'm not very good at it in the sense of singing and praising. I know God loves the sound of my high-pitched, off-key voice, but I'm not sure if it is very pleasing to those around me. :) I love the power of worship music and the way it moves people to give glory to God but I tend to get more out of the message than the music. That's just me - I know others are completely opposite. But what I love about Chapter 13 is how Emily says that God never intended for us to refer to church as a building and he never intended worship to be reduced to a church service. His church is his people, and worship is what they do. Emily goes on to say that when the Spirit of the living God lives inside of you, then your living is also your worship. How wonderful this was to me as I read it. She used Colossians 3:17 as an accompanying verse to this topic: "And whatever you do [no matter what it is] in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus and in [dependence upon} His Person, giving praise to God the Father through Him." She ends this paragraph with these words, "When we receive the gifts in life, both small and big, as from his hand, we offer worship."
Is it difficult for you to imagine your living as worship? Why or why not?
One other thing she touched on in this chapter that really hit home to me was my identity in Christ. She put one sentence in this chapter that particularly stuck out to this good girl. Maybe it's because this is a struggle that has become so evident to me about myself these past couple of months and I've been seeking an explanation on how to deal with it. Emily says, "Because the truth is, the mask-wearing good girl is all about herself. In her most secret place, she wants the glory." That has been my struggle, especially as I venture into new writing journeys. I want to be known, to be heard, to be recognized. I, I, I. It's been eating me up inside. How do I give God glory and make it about him and not myself? Emily offers this advice, "Now, as I receive Jesus as my very life and remain in him, I can step off that performance treadmill and and ascribe worth to the Creator and Sustainer of the world and everything in it. Now, I am hidden in Christ: safe, secure, and complete. And when I hide in him, it is no longer I but Christ who is seen. My identity, or my spirit, has been made new in Christ."
Did anybody else need to hear those words today? It brought comfort to me.
Moving on to Chapter 14, Emily discussed how we needed to be rewired to be reminded. She simply says, "To act differently I must think differently. And the only way to do that is to shift our dependence from self onto God." She says that when we don't set our minds, they set themselves, just like the screen saver on the computer.
What is your default screen saver?
I related a lot to Emily's - so much that I thought I was reading the thoughts of my own mind as she talked about shame. "Shame says I should be doing whatever it is I'm not doing, or I should be whatever it is I'm not." Yep, that's me. She says that to set your mind is to recollect truth that already belongs to you. We have to remember, as the chapter is eloquently titled.
Before we leave today, Emily invites us to journal all the roles we play in life: friend, mother, daughter, wife, teacher, etc. Take some time this week to surrender each of these roles into the hands of your loving, capable God. Receive your abilities from him and release your inabilities to him. Our Truth to Remember is "Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God" (Col. 3:2-3). Let's go ahead and read Part 3 introduction, and chapters 15 and 16 by this time next week. If you are a bit behind, click here to see all of the posts related to this study. Don't get discouraged, just keep reading and following along on your own time!
Till next time, let your light shine!