Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Notes...A Woman After God's Own Heart by Elizabeth George


Scriptures used in chapter:
For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, Which spreads out its roots by the river,... (Jeremiah 17:8, NKJV)

A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted; (Ecclesiastes 3:2, NKJV)

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. (John 10:10, NKJV)

He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper. (Psalm 1:3, NKJV)

They go from strength to strength; Each one appears before God in Zion. (Psalm 84:7, NKJV)

...and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7, NKJV)

...the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed. (Titus 2:3-5, NKJV)

Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life. (Proverbs 4:23, NKJV)

Key points:
- We must nurture a root system! Roots make all the difference in the health of a plant, and their presence or absence ultimately becomes known to all. The health of anything-whether a garden plant or a heart devoted to God-reflects what is going on (or not going on!) underground.

Drawing Life from God's Word
- We must develop a root system anchored deep in Him.
- We are to draw from Him all that we need to live the abundant life He has promised His children.
- We must seek to live our lives near to God-indeed, hidden in Him!

Roots are unseen

- We want what other people see of our lives-the public portion-to stir up [a] kind of awe and wonder. We want our strength in public to be explained by what goes on in private between us and God. The impact of your ministry to people will be in direct proportion to the time you spend away from people and with God. So that our roots grow deep into Him, God calls us away from this world.

Roots are for taking in

- When we spend time with Christ, He supplies us with strength and encourages us in the pursuit of His ways. [This is the] "great exchange." Away from the world and hiden from public view, you exchange your weariness for His strength, your weakness for His power, your darkness for His light, your problems for His solutions, your burdens for His freedom, your frustrations for His peace, your turmoil for His calm, your hopes for His promises, your afflictions for His balm of comfort, your questions for His answers, your confusion for His knowledge, your doubt for his assurance, your nothingness for His awesomeness, the temporal for the eternal, and the impossible for the possible.

Roots are for storage
- Roots serve as a reservoir of what we need. As a result:
...- You will not be afraid of fiery trials, no matter how long they last because the reservoir you have stored up from God's Word will sustain you.
...- You will bear fruit faithfully even in times of drought. As you regularly draw needed refreshment from God's Word, He creates in us a reservoir of hope and strength in Him. Then, when times are rough, we won't be depleted, dried up, disintegrated, or die...You will be able to go from "strength to strength."
- Find strength in Scriptures you memorize
- Gain spiritual energy from psalms read, studied, and prayed through in earlier (and quieter) times alone with God.
- Tap into God's power through prayer

Roots are for support
- Without a well-developed root system, we become top heavy-lots of leafy, heavy foliage appears above ground but nothing supports it from underneath.
- The support of a healthy root system is vital for standing strong in the Lord!

Yes, But How?
1. Develop the habit of drawing near to God
- Aim for habitual, scheduled time with God whether you feel like it or not, whether it seems like the best use of your time or not. You must draw near to God.
- Chose to have a devotional time with God, even if it couldn't be as long as you hoped for.
2. Design a personal time for drawing near to God
- WHEN: Pick a time that matches your lifestyle. (ie. some moms of newborns have their time with the Lord in the middle of the night when they are awakened by a crying baby...)
- WHERE: Do what you need to do to make a specific spot your place to meet with the Lord.
- WHAT AIDS?: a good reading light, highlighters, pens, pencils, markers, sticky notes, 3"x5" cards, legal pads for writing, a prayer notebook, a box of tixxues, a hymnal or CD player, a journal, a Bible-reading schedule, a devotional book, or some reference books.
3. Dream of being a woman after God's heart!
- Motivation is key when it comes to nurturing a heart of devotion, and dreaming helps motivate us.
- Describe the woman you want to be spiritually in one year.
...- attack a weak area in your Christian life and gain the victory, read through the entire Bible, prepare for the mission field, be mentored by an older woman, mentor a younger one, complete a counseling training curriculum or some training in evangelism, finish a one-year Bible school course, memorize xx verses from the Bible, read a dozen quality Christian books...DREAM ON-AND DO IT!
- Describe the woman you want to be spiritually in ten years from now.
...- jot your present age and write underneath it the age you will be in ten years. Imagine what those intervening ten years might hold, and you'll see that you will need God for the events of those years!
- God will take you as far as you want to go, as fast as you want to go. So how far...and how fast...do you want to move toward becoming the woman of your dreams?

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