August 22, 2012

My Dwelling Place

How are you doing so far? I hope you’re making time to read, pray and answer the bible questions in the back of each chapter. God longs to meet you there. I also hope you’re looking for His fingerprints in your life this week. He is there.

God also knows your struggle with fear has been too much for you at times. Perhaps, that time is now. Don’t be ashamed of your exhaustion and fear. Instead, see it as an opportunity for God to be your place of rest and strength. Make God your dwelling place. Take back what was stolen in the garden—your ability to trust God for your every need.

In Monday’s video, I shared that fear was introduced to us by a satanic lie. You and I were never meant to “know” good and evil. Instead, we were meant to live as innocent children in the care and provision of our heavenly Father. But that changed when Adam and Eve ate of the fruit. Their eyes were opened, and they became like God knowing good and evil. They realized they were naked and instead of looking to God for answers, they became self-reliant. I can’t tell you how many times I gather leaves and start sewing a solution instead of looking to God who is the thread that holds all things together.

The trouble is you and I tend to compartmentalize. We put our fears in one section and God in another. We are thinking about it wrong. We are not meant to disconnect our worries from God. Instead of fretting, we should ask God for help. I know that’s hard because it’s now our nature to take things into our own hands. Learning to trust God comes like learning to trust anyone. It happens when we spend time together. You see, you must return to the garden—the way it was before Satan deceived you and me into thinking we are better off going it alone. You must learn to walk with God in the cool of the day. He must become your dwelling place.

Ps 91 teaches us to do just that. It was in your homework, but it’s too good not to share again from the Message.

Your assignment is to read it as a prayer. Then go back and write down every thing God does when you sit in His presence, when you make Him your refuge, when you trust in Him and make God your home.

[I] sit down in the High God’s presence, spend the night in Shaddai’s shadow,

[I] say this: “God, you’re my refuge.

I trust in you and I’m safe!”

That’s right—he rescues [me] from hidden traps,

shields, and from deadly hazards.

His huge outstretched arms protect [me]—

under them [I am] perfectly safe;

his arms fend off all harm.

Fear nothing—not wild wolves in the night,

not flying arrows in the day,

Not disease that prowls through the darkness,

not disaster that erupts at high noon.

Even though others succumb all around,

drop like flies right and left,

no harm will even graze [me].

[I'll] stand untouched, watch it all from a distance, watch the wicked turn into corpses.

Yes, because God is [my] refuge,

the High God [my] very own home,

Evil can’t get close to [me],

harm can’t get through the door.

He ordered his angels

to guard [me] wherever [I] go.

If [I] stumble, they’ll catch [me];

Your challenge: How would your life look different by striving to live in His daily presence—if you woke to His presence each morning and fell asleep in His arms at night? How would God’s Presence affect your level of fear and worry? Would you feel safe? Cared for? Why or why not?

Please share so we can learn from each other. I love how some of you have are already seeing God’s hand, sensing His love and experience His peace.

Praying you through!

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Comments

  1. Mona says:

    I found this passage when I was struggling with severe depression, anxiety and fear. It was an oasis in my life. I’ve often returned to it during similar places in my life. Thank you for sharing it, It renews my strength whenever I read it.

  2. Teresa Richardson says:

    It’s interesting that this study is starting just after 2 weeks of family chaos – unwelcomed changes made at my parents’s home by a sibling, dischord, angry words flung at various family members, my mom passing away, accusations of blame towards family members of who caused my mom’s death, a sibling’s arrest, distrust, disharmony – yet I feel God’s presence and His peace as He lets me know He is in comtrol. There is NO fear. I feel His love and comfort.

    • Kristi Seat says:

      That warms my heart Teresa. I know what you mean. I read this book at one point in my life when life was in upheaval and God used the guidance in the book to make His presence in my life known. Once again, these are uncertain times and God has brought this study into my life. I pray that God will continue to work in your heart and in your relationships.

  3. Meg says:

    I believe that my whole mindset would be different. But i am a person that needs flesh i like to actually feel touched or whatever Just these past couple of weeks while I was in Alaska my friend came to my room almost everynight and talked with me about my day and prayed with me and held my hand while we prayed.. That felt comforting to me.. But then Whta i shared above about the peace i experienced when i cried out to him… I guess right now i am a in between but really wanting to lean towards waking in his presence and falling asleep in his arms and feeling safe and secure and comforted.

    • Kristi Seat says:

      I understand how you feel. It can be difficult to feel comfort and peace when you feel isolated from others and your mind starts whirling. At least that is the case for me. I pray that as you yearn for His presence every day, You will feel His presence more and more.

  4. Loretta says:

    I am trying to turn my fear over to God, but like Meg I prefer flesh and blood. It would be so wonderful if God could just sit across from me and say ” I’ve got this, don’t worry.” right now I have financial worries because I am single, and I have to be off work for about 10weeks as I have a broken foot. I do have a wonderful family that is trying to help, but I am independent and don’t want to be a burden. God has his job cut out with me.

    • Kristi Seat says:

      Girl. My heart aches with you. I am in the same situation. Finances and health crises can be the most frightening situations. I am single as well and looking for work after a chronic illness and my family has been trying to help me. This has been one of the most paralyzing situations for me because I always had everything together and had never asked for a cent my entire life. I worked so hard to become successful and all of a sudden, my life was in complete upheaval. Likewise, I like to see results and there is so much that is intangible in my life right now. I want to talk to God over coffee and ask Him which step should I take next.

      One thing I have found is that losing my independence allowed for complete dependence on Jesus. It hasn’t been easy and it still isn’t. I don’t know where you are in your journey. I remember when I would simply cry and hold onto the bible. And, then, I began to look around and notice simple blessings. My faith began to grow and my anxiety began to lessen. He began to bring people into my life with “earthly angels” w/the spirit of Jesus and opportunities that I never would have fathomed a year ago. Life still doesn’t make sense but it didn’t a year ago. However, I can look at His blessings in my life and know that He has been there.

      It’s difficult to depend on others and I know you probably feel guilty. But, put yourself in their shoes. Would you do the same if they needed your help and you were able? Maybe that will help and I know God can use you even when you can’t contribute monetarily. God may want to use this time to establish a better relationship with you and those around you. You can give encouragement and gratitude. Your story can be a light to others who may walk the same path at another time.

      I have been struggling with thoughts similar to yours this week and I’m so glad that I read your story because it reminded me that I’m not alone. And, you aren’t as well. I will be praying that God will dive into your situation and show up supernaturally. I pray that you will be able to feel a peace that surpasses your understanding. Grateful that I can walk this journey with you Loretta.

  5. Holly says:

    This study came at a very good time. Done two other studies this year, but didn’t get the most out of them due to first my Granddad & then my Dad (stepdad) being in the hospital for weeks & then dying. Have reached a place where it is time to move on (pretty much withdrew from everything for a while). Only analogy I can come with is someone dying of thirst who just can’t get enough. Feel kind of like a sponge, soaking up all I can & wanting more. Even though God has always provided, am once again to the point of wondering how I am going to pay next months bills. After lunch was thinking about my fears (finances, my health, my daddy’s health) & reminding myself to turn them over to God & trust Him. I have a hummingbird feeder, which Daddy put up where I can see it from the table or my chair (where most of my “up” time is spent). I had finches for 8 1/2 years. There is a little bird I am calling a finch due to size that some times comes around. While thinking about my fears/God’s provision, “my finch” came to the feeder as well as 3 different hummingbirds. Watching the birds alone & intereacting with each other was just the distraction I needed to once again feel God’s peace.

    • Kristi Seat says:

      Isn’t it wonderful how God can use the simplest things to impress upon our hearts! You have been through so much recently Holly. I have been there. Feeling paralyzed by your situation. Thank you for sharing your story so that we can pray for you. You are not alone and I hope you will continue to reach out to us!

  6. Holly says:

    Forgot wanted to share something. This is from today’s devotion in Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. “TRUST ME, and don’t be afraid. … When you start to feel afraid, affirm your trust in Me. … Trust Me, and don’t be afraid; for I am your Strength, Song, and Salvation.”

  7. Michelle Cornthwaite says:

    You see, you must return to the garden—the way it was before Satan deceived you and me into thinking we are better off going it alone. You must learn to walk with God in the cool of the day. He must become your dwelling place.
    Thank you Micca, I never thought of “the before” how God actually intended for us to live, I am so excited to be a part of this study, yes I agree with the other comments- perfect, spot on timing ❤ God Bless U all ❤

  8. Barbara Huston says:

    All I can say right now is God’s timing in bring this study to me is perfect. Thank You Lord! Micca thank you for being a beautiful vessel used by God to speak to me. Prayers to all who are on this journey with me!

  9. Charlotte says:

    So I just finished the questions for chapter 1 and I have a question bugging me. Question 3 asks if the truth from Psalm 46:1 (which I’m trying to take time daily to meditate on what God is telling me in that verse) makes the fear less prevalent. My asnwer was that it does because I can claim this as truth when what around me is confusing. But here is where I’m at. Though it does help me spiritually alleviate fear, how does that translate physically? There are times that I find that though I claim it at absolute truth and know that God is my strength and refuge, it doesn’t help diminish the need for a physical presence to being alone or fearful. Know what I mean? How have you managed this Micca. Because it is probably one of my greatest battles is knowing the truth but really needing in that moment the physical “evidence” of the truth.

    • Micca says:

      Charlotte, that’s a hard one. We all, at times, want something tangible to hold on to. The thing about the Christian life is we live it by faith not by sight. BUT, faith does produce “physical” evidence at times. For example, when we give a specific concern to God such as our lack of finances, our faith sees God at work. Such as an unexpected check showing up in the mail. Or someone offers you a job out of the blue. We often contribute these things to chance when it’s actually God at work. Continue looking for God’s finger prints in your life. Seeing Him always build our faith. I hope his helps, friend.

      • Charlotte says:

        Yes I think it does micca. Or at least instead of looking for the tangible trust that God does show it in unexpected ways. So pray that I can see his daily fingerprints that are already there rather than praying for physical evidence that I expect to show up. Know what I mean? Rather than looking for physical evidence ask God to show me what is already there.

  10. I absolutely loved the pray you posted. I printed it out and placed it in my prayer journal. I also shared it with many of my friends. Loved going through the study the first time, going to enjoy it the second time around!

  11. Tanisha says:

    God is so good. This prayer that you gave us Micca is amazing. When I read it, speak it, and meditate on it I feel Gods strength, power, faith, wisdom, and understanding. With knowledge comes understanding. I have read Genesis several times, and I have never received the understanding of it in the way you gave it to us. I feel comfort in knowing how fear really came to be. It makes me feel a whole lot better. It is becoming more easier for me to pray to God about ALL my problems, and leave it there. Sometimes its hard, but I know with God all things are possible, and I know that he didn’t want me to live in fear. This study is amazing. Thanks for all you do Micca.

  12. Holly says:

    Trust is something I really have to work on, even have trouble trusting God at times. While lying awake in the middle of the night, I started going through a hymn book. This is part of the second verse of Trust and Obey. “Not a doubt nor a fear, not a sigh nor a tear, can abide while we trust and obey.” My sister (15 1/2 months older) when she was little used to sing trust and okay. That story has stayed with me because it is so true. If I trust Him, everything will be okay.

    • Micca says:

      That’s the secret… trust and obey. God help our unbelief so that we make walk in obedience and experience every good thing you have for us!

  13. Cynthia says:

    I just saw the video to week 1 and you don’t know how much it spoked to me and my circumstances! I am a single mom going through many challenges especially financially. Worry and fear have made me emotionally and physical sick to the point that I had to take some days off from work. Listening and goofing through genesis 3 brought to light that just as Adam and eve I havE placed my trust on my circumstances and have distant myself from my creator. Forgetting that God is enough and even on the mist of the storm he carries me through! This morning my neighbor brought my son and I 2 plates of food! I knew right there and there that his faithfulness,love and mercys are manifested every single day!!! Jesus always provide even in times of trouble!

    • Micca says:

      I’m so excited that God spoke to you through the video. He doesn’t want any of us to live in fear. He longs for us to live like carefree children in His care. I believe He’s going to show us how.

  14. Amazing :) Amy Carroll gave me an assignment last week to pray about & choose a passage to study/develop a message around. I prayed & searched, but my mind kept coming back to my favorite, Ps. 91. I resisted, thinking it was too easy, I knew it too well … but I felt the Lord keep drawing me back there. So I did … and as I studied this passage that is so dear to me, not only did the Lord open my eyes & heart to new truth, it was truth that ministered to me where I am right now … dealing with *unrelenting fear* in my life. Also amazing, is that I’ve never done or had the desire to do an online Bible study in my life … yet I have also been drawn here.

    This morning, in the context of probably the most difficult time in my life … and after a very difficult night, I wrote this at the end of the blog that flowed from my heart:

    “I gather strength to rise and face the morning … I stare into the eyes of that which will not go away … and my heart struggles without success to beat independently of my emotions. My mind stubbornly fights to understand and make sense of His ways … instead of seeking refuge under His wings. I elevate my own limited perspective … I hold on to what I think I know … and I argue, “but God … you promised …” He says … ”then why are you crying?” Impact. I redirect my eyes … and look into His. And in this moment, my heart is at rest.”

    Keeping my eyes where they belong … learning to live in that moment … that’s what the absence of fear would look like. I’m just now here & getting a late start on this study … but I am convinced that the Lord intends to work it together with other things to deal with my fear & draw me into a deeper-than-ever relationship with Him. I stand amazed & grateful. <3

    • Micca says:

      Welcome to the study, Kelly! What you shared was beautiful and so true. I also believe God is at work (right now) teaching you to fear less and trust more!

  15. I am a little behind. I only have the notes that I took from the book I borrowed from the library. Plus we lost phone/internet for a few days due to Tropical Storm Isaac.
    I am so touched by each page of this study. As I answer each question, I am truly amazed.
    The most important quote so far that has touched me “Choose to believe that God is real and that what He says in the Bible is real”. 2 Peter 1:3-4 says we have everything we need for life and godliness. Every precious promises is mine.

    I lived with fear/anxiety for so long that when joy comes I feel guilty and I know this is not how the Lord intended me to live out each day.

    M. Waters

  16. Rebekah says:

    Thank you Lord for Micca and thank you Micca for being obedient to God as He called you to write this book and lead this Bible study. I am starting this late, but am blessed by it already! I am still on week one, but hope to catch up over next week.

    I have been struggling with fear and anxiety for as long as I can remember. I have completely irrational fears that I know in my head are outrageous, but in my heart I’m often scared to death. I have anxiety from baggage of my past that haunts me and my just-over-one-year of marriage as well. I’ve been struggling and praying and searching for something to help me get out of this pattern of fear, stress and anxiety and into a life of faith and joy.

    My fears and anxiety keep me awake for endless hours at night from time to time, I was having one of those sleepless nights this past Tuesday. It got to the point where I knew I wasn’t sleeping so I decided to check my email. In my inbox I found the P31 devotion by Micca. God spoke to me through her words. Within minutes I had signed up for this Bible study, ordered the book and began reading everything I could off this blog. It’s amazing how God works.

    I must also add, I am obsessive over locking the doors in our apartment. I fear someone breaking in on a nightly basis. I often get up multiple times to check the locks. The morning after I discovered this study as I went to leave for work I noticed the door to our porch had been left unlocked all night! I instantly thought “Great, someone could have just waltzed right in here last night!” and even more instantly I felt God’s voice telling me “but they didn’t” and the verse from Psalm 91 came to my mind: “Evil can’t get close to [me],
    harm can’t get through the door.” I’ve slept almost 100% better the past few nights, since that moment.

    God is good :)

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