Do you remember being a child, falling down and skinning your knee? Do you remember bringing your wound to your mom or your dad, being comforted, having your tears wiped away and then asked to come into the bathroom where the first aid supplies were brought out? This experience may have been met with not just a little bit of fear and trepidation. Why? Because we knew that our mom or dad intended to clean our wound so we could feel better and avoid infection. But what was sure to happen before it ever felt better?
It would sting.
I believe we have come to that part of our study where our Abba Father calls us to bring Him our wounds. He intends to comfort us with his love, yes. He delights over us with singing! He will wipe our tears if we will let him.
But he also intends to do a deep cleansing of our wounds and this brings pain. This journey can be challenging–especially when we begin to allow him to put that “antiseptic” of the Holy Spirit…that purifying cleansing agent of his holy fire…against our raw, bleeding “skin.”
During our first week of our HEAL – Healthy Eating & Abundant Living – study, we began to see what God says about us in Psalm 139–that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. You dared to step into the life and many of you have linked up with an accountability partner to share this leg of your journey. There is still time to do that for the next 4 weeks! Don’t give up on the idea. It will be an invaluable experience to walk side-by-side with someone during the rest of our study.
Last week, we looked some at the mechanics of this journey–
This week, we go deeper, taking steps even closer to the heart of God. Inviting him to show us where we need that cleansing of our wounds, of our sin, of our heartaches. There is great reward for vulnerability, for surrendering to his loving touch, but it doesn’t mean it is easy.
Here is the preview video for this week. Again, if you are an email subscriber, you may have to visit the blog to see the video.
The authors point out that we all have a hunger within that craves to be fed. There is a sanctified ache inside of each of us, placed there by God, that hungers for love. It cries out to be satisfied. The authors call this “love hunger.” We all have this love hunger, but we each get to choose how we will deal with it.
As I mention in the video above, we get to have a look at the story of the woman at the well this week. Again, I urge you to pray that God will make this a fresh experience for you and that your reading of this portion of John 4 will not be diminished by familiarity with this amazing passage. Invite the Holy Spirit to show you this passage afresh and then, perhaps, read it in a translation of the bible that you don’t usually use. Bible Gateway has all kinds of translations you can pick from. I chose the message for this week’s study.
The woman at the well is definitely hungry for something. Coming to the well at mid-day when the heat was the worst and no one else would be likely to be there proves that she was a social outcast. Have you ever felt that way? I have. Jesus meets her in her place of need and asks her some penetrating questions. As you look at this story, note how she deflects his questions. Note what she has done to try to feed her love hunger. Can you identify at all?
The authors ask us this week, “What is your heart hungry for?”
“How has your need for security and significance not been met?”
“How have you responded to this loss?”
“How have you relied on food or a lack of food” (I would add, appearance and perfection) “to comfort you?”
We are challenged with another passage in Psalm 139, verses 23 and 24. Will we boldly invite God to search our hearts and know our thoughts? Will we welcome him to show us what is in our hearts? We know that he has what we need like the children that we are, coming to our good Heavenly Father to get the “medicine” that we need…that will bring healing, but that we know will sting (sometimes, horribly) before it gets better.
Through this discussion in the text, the authors point out three kinds of hunger. Be sure to spend time in this. We will be talking about this at the blog this week. Even if you don’t have the book, you will be able to be encouraged in your journey, so I do hope you will come along!
- This week, complete the Personal Study portion of Lesson 3.
- Ask God to continue to show you any lies that you believe and to spend time renewing your mind about these things. If you aren’t sure what that might look like, please post here or ask your accountability partner for ideas. You can also go to Barb’s Blog and do a search for renewing of the mind material. She does a great job teaching what this means. You have heard me say it before, but I highly recommend Truth Journaling.
- Do you have a renewing of the mind goal? Would it be helpful for you to develop one or refine or redefine your renewing of the mind goal?
- Begin to evaluate each time you consider eating. Ask yourself, “Which type of hunger is demanding to be fed right now? Heart hunger? Head hunger? Or Stomach hunger?”
- What are some things you can do to feed Heart hunger so that it is being nourished with what it truly needs?
- What are some things you can do about Head hunger so that it doesn’t lead you to eat when your body doesn’t need food? If you struggle with under-eating, take note of what Allie and Judy say about head hunger being helpful. If you aren’t sure if you fit into that category, ask the Lord. I believe he will show you.
I urge you to bring your wounds to your Abba Father this week. Let him wipe your tears, embrace you with his love, delight over you with singing and, yes, cleanse the wounds you have. It will sting. Even being open with him about the wounds will hurt some. But it is worth it.
What did God show you in your reading of the story in John 4?
Please feel free to share any other responses to the questions in the personal study in Lesson 3. I would love to hear how God is using this material in your life!
Bonus for this week — here is a link to a song at YouTube that I think speaks of what God intends to do.
I have way to much to say re: this week’s study! I’ll start with this. Jesus is the living water. When water flows anywhere (picture a creek bed with many stones), it finds the small spaces among the main stream. It flows into the smallest spaces and fills them. Jesus does the same in us – because He is the living water, his Spirit is in us and can flow into the smallest spaces of hurt and other emotions and heal.
Secondly, this week’s study reminds me of a short lenten study that I did this year. I realized through the study, how many illusions I had about myself and was really able to see what was offensive in my heart – among other things envy, bitterness, judgement and comparisons to others lived there. I also saw and see today that I put my significance and security in things that can easily change and don’t matter to God (He sees the heart). Being successful in school and work was probably the largest part of my identity for my entire life. When I decided to stay home with my children and work in my career very part time, I really struggled with my identity. That’s a large part where the body and food obsession began. If I couldn’t be the career achiever, then I’d be the one who was successful with weight loss, diet and working out. My success/achievement was my idol. To make this very long story a little shorter, I had to see who I am in Christ, see that my identity is as God’s beloved daughter and praise the Lord for the ability to stay home with my children. And enjoy each day. After I did the lenten study and really looked at my heart, I was then able to really commit to TW (first read it 2 years ago).
As God would have it, I found Heidi’s last online study during that time and the healing continues. I would highly recommend spending time on this week’s “work.” I am finally healing seeing progress in my heart attitude, my faith and I’ve started to release weight (after years of not). Anyway, enough said for today. I hope you all rejoice in this day!
I love the analogy of the water flowing into every crevice…great word picture of the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives…not one corner is hidden from the Lord..He does know every inch of our hearts, emotions, mind…what are we running from ,….there is no where to hide…food cannot do for us what God can…
Thank you so much for the reminder, CMK. There are times when I have to just ask the Spirit to flood all the cracks and crevices in my life, in my heart. WHere there is a tiny little emptiness that seems sequestered away, to bring his FLOOD. Oh! And how well I know the struggle with identity, too! I homeschooled for 17 years and my kids both went away to college last August. Who was I? I cared for my aging mom and she died just two months before the kids left. Who was I? My husband sort of redefined our relationship (a lot). Who was I? I have still been trying to figure out who I am and God is sooooo wanting me to get that who I am has nothing to do with what I do and everything to do with what JESUS has done!
Love your video Heidi, and the music video ” Healing begins” It is all about the grace of our dear LORD and Savior Jesus Christ…All about what he has done. Amen. : ) working on the heart, head, and stomach hunger Today. Eating 0-5. Please pray for me to not eat at all unless real hunger! 🙂 Thank you. focusing in on listening to God’s voice today.
[ Free from Indwelling Sin ] There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
He said all my needs shall he supply including my heart needs.
1 The Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, guide, and shield me], I shall not lack.
2 He makes me lie down in [fresh, tender] green pastures; He leads me beside the still and restful waters.(A)
3 He refreshes and restores my life (my self); He leads me in the paths of righteousness [uprightness and right standing with Him—not for my earning it, but] for His name’s sake.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with [a]oil; my [brimming] cup runs over.
Thank you for the way you always bring Scripture to our study, Jamie. I soooo appreciate that!
:Once again, thank you Heidi for obeying the Holy Spirit’s leading. You are in the exact place God wants you and I am blessed every day by this study the posts of you and all the others here.
My version of the Jesus and the woman at the well AKA; My encounter with Jesus at the well
Jesus: “Oh Michelly, if you only knew, REALLY KNEW WHO I AM, you would ask freely for my help AND GET IT”
Me: I DON’T SEE anything about you that is better than what the world has to offer
Jesus: Stop looking on the surface and SEE WITH YOUR SPIRIT. My love gushes forth endlessly, purely, eternally
Me: OK, put it in my hands and I will take it with me to try on my own.
Jesus: First show me all that has made you happy before and brought you healing
Me: I have nothing to show that I am proud of….
Jesus: So then, just be yourself, your true self, the real you I created…LOVE GOD, LOVE LIFE, LIVE OUTSIDE YOUR BODY AND FULLY IN THE SPIRIT
Me: I think I will wait just a little longer for that perfect fix- I know it is coming, I can feel it……
Jesus: I am HE, I am it. YOU DON’T HAVE TO WAIT ANY LONGER OR LOOK ANY FURTHER. REJOICE, THE SEARCH IS OVER, YOU HAVE ARRIVED AT THE ANSWER TO EVERYTHING!!!!!!
Praying for all of us and for a fresh revelation of who He is and how much the Lord wants to fill us……….
This was so cool…. I got the chills reading it!
Wow, Michelle. This is powerful. What you have here is very much like the kind of praying God has had me doing recently since the retreat I was on last weekend. I write Me: God: Me: God: in my journal and pray my thought next to the Me:. He *instantly* impresses me (through the Spirit within, I think) of something he is saying in response. It is overwhelming me with an awareness of his intimacy with me.
Your comments are all so helpful! Thank you.
John 4:13-14 Jesus says: “everyone who drinks this water will get thirsty again and again” Why am I so anxious about eating only small amounts? My body will get hungry again and I will be able to eat again! It’s so simple… and yet so difficult.
Jesus says: “the water I give will be an artesian spring within, gushing fountains of endless life” – that’s awesome and inspiring! That’s what I desire in my life!
John 4:23-24 Jesus says: “It’s who you are and how you live that count before God”.
I pray that we will all experience that “artesian spring within” and live for God totally. I’m going to use these verses to “renew my mind” today when I am trying to discern between head, heart and stomach hunger.
Thanks, Corrinne, for posting scripture, too!
Howdy! I could have sworn I’ve visited your blog before but after looking at many of the posts I realized it’s new to me.
Regardless, I’m definitely delighted I discovered it and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking back regularly!