“Come, let us return to the Lord.
He has torn us to pieces
but he will heal us;
he has injured us
but he will bind up our wounds.
After two days he will revive us;
on the third day he will restore us,
that we may live in his presence.
Let us acknowledge the Lord;
let us press on to acknowledge him.
As surely as the sun rises,
he will appear;
he will come to us like the winter rains,
like the spring rains that water the earth.
~ Hosea 6:1-3
Have you experienced what you feel is failure since being on this journey? If so, then you are perfectly poised to experience the loving, gracious, total restoration of our God!
Join me in this video as I talk a bit about one man who, after a mountain top victory, plunged deep and hard into depression–and the marvelous way our gracious God met him. (As you watch the video, you may want to open your bible to 1 Kings 18 and 19. Then you can follow along with the story.)
Sometimes, failure comes after the greatest victory we have ever experienced. Elijah is a great example of this.
1. (01:25) Elijah challenges the people to choose between two options. Do you ever feel torn between what God offers you and another option, provided by the world? Is this ambivalence, perhaps, keeping you from clarity? What can you do about it?
2. Consider the part of the story where God consumes the sacrifice. In what way did God do something that was “unlikely” in the eyes of the world? What “unlikely” results are you looking for from God in this approach to eating and weight? What does the world keep saying about what needs to happen in order for you to lose weight? Are you confident that God can do the unlikely thing through unlikely means?
3. Have you ever had a victory that flooded you full of joy and confidence and then, immediately following, you felt depleted of anything and everything…even, depressed?
4. How did Elijah’s focus change during this account, from the time he looked to God to consume the sacrifice to the time he ran out into the desert? Have you struggled with this focus shift, too? What are some practical things you can do to eliminate this tendency from your life?
5. (04:54) In what tender ways did God meet Elijah when he was at his lowest point? What did Elijah need when he was at his lowest point?
6. Has God ever asked you “What are you doing here?” If he were to ask you that now, what could you say about where you are currently…and why you are where you are? What can you do to move further down the path that God has opened up before you?
7. (07:32) What might you need to do in order to experience the restoration that God offers to you?
8. (08:54) What other example does the video point out of an incident where God restores one of his people who had wandered far afield?
Renewing the Mind – Pressing On
Have you created any truth cards yet? Here are some things you can do with your truth cards:
1. Read some of them out loud daily. When we see them, say them, and hear ourselves say them, that is truth being spoken to our souls in three different modalities. It is more likely to sink in!
2. Add a new truth daily. Just the process of thinking of what is true that I want to speak to my soul can help set us on a better path. Doing it first thing in the morning can establish the tone for the day.
3. Record yourself saying all your truth cards and then listen to the recording like you would any song on your device. Most devices these days come with an ability to make an audio recording digitally. Use your device to record yourself. Then the file is typically saved in the same format as songs you would download from Amazon or iTunes (or whatever). Add it to a playlist that has songs that sing truth over you. Then, no matter what you are doing, play your playlist…as you drive, run errands, etc. You can even use your bluetooth with your smartphone to have truth washing over your mind all the time–and no one is the wiser…they will just think you are waiting for a phone call. 🙂
All kinds of photos of truth cards have been posted at the private group Facebook page. Come and have a look.
If you need more ideas for renewing your mind, click on this search here at the Thin Within blog.
Trade Book Assignment – To Be Completed by February 10th.
Just to clarify: Our online class is primarily a workbook study group. But because many don’t have the workbook, I provide the study guides as a courtesy to those who have the Thin Within paperback. This is intended for people who choose this option instead of the workbook. Please don’t try to do both at the same time! 🙂 Here is Study Guide Week 5. Please feel free to discuss the material here or in the private Facebook group.
Workbook Assignment – To Be Completed by February 10th.
1. Read, highlight, mark Lesson 5, Restoration, on pages C3-C7 or listen to the audio file of Lesson 5 at Sound Cloud. Discuss it here in the comments section below this post or at our Class Facebook Group.
2. If you don’t have it yet, you might want to download the iTunes app for your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad. There are lots of great tools available in the app and all the videos and Sound Cloud files are accessible directly from the app.
3. Complete the exercises for Lesson 5 on pages C8-C14. Next Monday before the webinar, respond to the Review questions on page C15.
4. We are heading into Phase 2 of Thin Within. Begin to notice what foods sustain you, which foods make you feel cruddy or deplete your energy in some way (even when eaten 0 to 5) and which foods sort of “tease” your hunger a bit, rather than satisfy it.
6. Use the entries for Day 29 through Day 35 in the Temple Toolkit. What are some of the insights that you are recording in your Toolkit? Consider sharing “What God is Teaching Me Today” with us here or at the Facebook group.
7. Memorize Titus 2:11-12 this week. Personalize it and add it to your truth cards. What might living a self-controlled, upright, and godly life look like for you? Can you be specific?
How About You?
Do you need restoration? What do the Scriptures say about God’s desire to reach out to you and meet you in your need? Psalm 3:3; Psalm 27:1b, 5; Psalm 37:23-24; Psalm 147:2-3; Jeremiah 31:3-4; Philippians 1:6;
The recording of our webinar wrapping up Lesson 4 can be found here.
I will share the discussion questions for the webinar as soon as they are available.