Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Confident Heart {Week 3}

Well Ladies!  We are half way done with the book A Confident Heart by Renee Swope! 

This last week we read-

Chapter 5: Living Beyond the Shadow of My Doubts and
Chapter 6: When Doubt Whispers "I'm Not Good Enough"

I thought I would share a couple of thoughts that stood out for me from Chapter 5: 

Renee wrote:

"We were created to live in the light in such a way that our life stories tell about the light and our confidence in Christ draws others to the light."

"Jesus said, ' I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.'" (John 8:12)

"We find ourselves in the shadow of doubt many times because our thoughts are mostly about ourselves: how we're performing and what others are thinking about us." 

"When we focus our attention on ourselves, we turn our attention away from God."  (Pg 86, 87)

I wanted to string all these quotes together because it is great truth that when we keep our focus on ourselves, it causes us to live in the shadow of our doubts.  Our eyes need to be upward and outward, not inward. 

At the end of Chapter 5, Renee writes about comparison, which also is addressed in Chapter 6. 

"In the face of comparison, conflict, and criticism, I took my eyes off God's strength and focuses on my weaknesses." (pg 91)

"Comparison will always leave us feeling like we're lacking something.  We try to do more and be more, but it's never enough."  (pg 105)

The more we understand who we are in Christ, the more we will understand about our true identity.  It is not based on our past.  It is not based on our family or friends.  It is not based in our accomplishments or lack of accomplishments.  It is based on only one truth--You are His.  You are worthy.  You are accepted.  You are approved.  You are loved. 

Renee mentions on page 107, Dr. Neil Anderson's "Who I am in Christ" scriptures.  I am very familiar with these scriptures.  There was a time when I read them everyday. Everyday. For. Years.  Let's just say I had issues.  

I want to encourage you to read these scriptures over and over out loud everyday until they are rooted deep into our mind.  These scriptures will change the way you see yourself and if you change your thoughts you will change your life. 

Renee also talked about AM (against me) thoughts vs FM (For me ) thoughts.  We need to make sure our thoughts line up with God's Word.  When we are thinking negative thoughts (AM) about ourselves, those thoughts are NOT from God.  He is for us. 

We need to counteract those AM thoughts with the truth from God's Word to produce (FM) thoughts.  We have to tear down the lies and replace the lies with truth.  This, my friends, is the way to freedom.  Changing your thoughts will change your life. 

For discussion and reflection questions, let's talk about Question 4 and 6 from Chapter 5 and Questions 1 and 7 from Chapter 6. 
Chapter 5:
Question 4:  The angel of the Lord told Gideon, "Go in the strength you I not sending you?...I will be with you" (Judges 6:14-16).  With that promise in mind, what doubts are you currently facing that you sense God wants you to conquer with Him and depend on His strength to overcome?

Question 6:  What are some triggers that cause you to doubt yourself (e.g., failure, fear, conflict, discouragement, comparison, worry, criticism, tiredness)?  

Chapter 6:
Question 1:  What area of your life--as a woman, mom, wife, friend, daughter, housekeeper, professional, leader, etc.--do you currently struggle with most in believing you are good enough?  

Question 7:  What are one or two AM (against me) thoughts you are currently dealing with?  What FM (for me) thoughts from God's promises will you replace them with? 

For this upcoming week, we are going to take a little break.  {smile}  My family and I are going to Disney for the week.  However, even though we have a break, I still want to give you a homework assignment. 

Part of the homework assignment is Question #3.  I want you to go back to page 107 (for those of you who have the book) and review the "Who I Am in Christ" chart.  Highlight verses that speak to your heart and choose seven of the verses and write them down on note cards.  Read and pray out loud a different verse everyday. 

Also, identify lies that you find yourself believing and look up scripture to diffuse the lies.  If you have a concordance in the back of your Bible, look up key words to help you find scriptures.  Write those scriptures on note cards and say them out loud and pray them out loud daily similar to above. 

That is your homework assignment for next week.  We will read Chapters 7 and 8 and discuss on the following Thursday, September 13th.  Have a great week friends! Thank you for joining me here.  It is a joy and honor to study God's Word and His truth with you! 


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