Mar 19, 2010

One in a Million

Earlier this week a commenter asked me about a book I have listed at the bottom of my blog in my bookshelf. The book she asked about is "One in a Million: Journey to Your Promised Land" by Priscilla Shirer. You can read more about Priscilla by clicking HERE. She's an amazing author and teacher. I've done several of her studies.

I stumbled upon this study some time last year. I had just finished Beth Moore's study on Esther and was looking for something new as my daily Bible study. I went to a local Christian bookstore and started looking through the studies there. I saw a new study by Kelly Minter on Ruth and picked it up. Ruth is my absolute favorite book in the Bible but I've never really done an in-depth study of the book. Then I walked farther down the aisle and turned and saw this book above. I picked it up and read the title. The words, "journey to your promised land" made my eyes fill with tears.

I've struggled for some time with what I tell Reagan is a feeling of "in between." I often feel as if I'm in a wandering stage. I know where I've been in the past and how things were there, but it's almost like that is over and I'm headed toward something else. When I looked through this study and saw that it was about the children of Israel as they wandered and were "in between" Egypt and the Promised Land, I knew that God was leading me to this study. Then I happened to flip through and read this sentence, "Most assuredly a season of emptiness will accompany your journey to the promised land too." I put the Ruth study down and carried Priscilla's study to the check-out.

If I could show you the pages of my study book, you would see that I either highlighted or underlined almost every word on every page. The first week talks about how so many times we are chained to our past (in sin) by choice, and that keeps us wandering. The children of Egypt were on their way to a better life, led by God and Moses, but they kept thinking about their past. They were thinking about the homes and food and job security they had in the past - totally overlooking the slavery and bondage that came with it. I can't speak for anyone else, but I kind of go there sometimes myself. I think about "how much better" life was "back then." But I totally leave out the worry and anxiety I experienced while living there. One quote that I underlined that first week says, "Our Enemy aspires to keep our minds on Egypt (the past) instead of the destination God has for us." Who wants to miss what's ahead because we're clinging to the past? Not me.

I won't go through every week of the study, but there was one day in week two that I still haven't gotten over. I've been in church in some way or other since I was a young girl. I haven't always known God though. I didn't KNOW Him until I was an adult. I'd heard about Him all my life. Anyone who lives in the Bible belt hears about God and Jesus from infancy. But knowing about Him and KNOWING HIM are two totally different things. In week two of this study there is a scripture reference from Job 42:5 - "I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; But now my eye sees You." Even reading that scripture and thinking about it now brings tears to my eyes. All my life I've heard about HIM, but now. . . NOW I've SEEN Him. When I look at my daughter and am reminded of all God did to bring that miracle into our lives, I SEE HIM. When I look at my life as a child, and see how God has blessed me BEYOND MEASURE as an adult, I SEE HIM. When I sit down next to my husband and know that everything he does is to show his unconditional love for me - whether it's working long hours, or getting up with Sara Madalin so I can sleep a little later, or cranking my car in the morning so it's warm when I get in it - I SEE HIM. When I think back to who and what I once was, but because of God's mercy and grace, now see who I am in Him - I SEE HIM.

So, commenter who asked about that book listed at the bottom of my blog, I hope I answered your question. It's an awesome study. There's so much more to it than I shared here. And there are a number of other studies by Priscilla Shirer that you might enjoy as well.

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K Storm said...

I wanna say that that was a great study that we did last fall and I recommend it too. I feel in between sometimes too even when you know that God is right there with you. Also for your reader, the Shirer study on Discerning the Voice of God is a very popular one at our church. I check that one out to groups all the time and know some that have loved it so much that they wanted to lead it in another group.

And I am praying about leading that Ruth study this summer. We did Kelly minter's other study and loved it...her style of writing is so easy to follow.

Kristin said...

That sounds like a great study! I will see if I can get it! Thanks!

Amanda Negley said...

Wow, that sounds like a great one. I might have to get that. I know I struggle so much with my past and moving forward from it.

And you are so right, there is a huge difference between knowing of God and Knowing GOD!

Laura said...

What a great post! Thanks for sharing!