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Sarah Blake LaRose
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A Heart Like His, week 7 notes


Now we're up to date on my study--and my life. So I can go do more studies. LOL! Look out for LJ spam!



Week 7



Day 1




Few things frighten me more than this testimony of David's life. We too could be persons of character and integrity and without apparent warning, destroy our ministries and ourselves through the choice to gratify our sudden lusts. Like David, a few short verses could record the story of our downfall.



... We may wish we could get everything we want until we look at David and Bathsheba. The gap between wanting and getting is where we must flex the muscle of self-control to protect ourselves. David had risen to a position where his every wish was someone else's command. He had ceased to hear a very important word-one without which integrity cannot be maintained. The word is no. (workbook, p. 132)




I'm thinking here about how our society gets so adamant about things like anti-drug campaigns; yet we are so greedy with other things. We don't really model self-control well at all for young Americans. I'm speaking of the baby boomer generation, too. We can't say no to million-dollar homes, new cars, cruises, movies, resorts, new clothes even though the ones in our closets fit just fine, that winter home in Florida because we just don't like the cold in Indiana... We worked for it; so we "earned" the right to own it. How does this teach a child a clear idea of right and wrong, when it's good to give and when it's ok to hoard resources for oneself? And if we can't say no to those small things, how shall we say no to bigger things? Often we don't. Eventually we justify what we want.




How can we avoid making the same kind of mistake? The following four precautions will keep us from being trapped in sin as a result of loneliness: (workbook, p. 134)



  • . Be careful to fulfill the responsibilities God has given.

  • Deliberately set up a network of accountability partners.

  • Avoid lengthy periods of isolation, if possible.

  • Be aware of the progressive nature of sin. (workbook, p. 134)




These are things I need to implement more seriously in my life. Loneliness is a very serious problem for me. That's no secret, and I've known for a long time that this is an area of vulnerability for me. But in addition to simply avoiding sin that is motivated by loneliness, I also need accountability in taking my loneliness to God. Otherwise, I am only stuck in a battle of wills that distances me from God and traps me in the feeling that God just wants me to be alone: a lie that I have believed in the past.



Day 2




David was called "a man after God's own heart." That was the caliber of the man, the height to which he had risen. He had become king of all Israel, and he had defeated all his enemies. He had risen now to the peak of his life and career- when suddenly the devil tripped him up.



Oh, from what heights of blessing it is possible for a man to fall! To what depths of sin a man can descend, even with all that spiritual background! The higher the pinnacle of blessing, authority and publicity he has attained by grace, the deeper and more staggering can be his collapse. There is never a day in any man's life but that he is dependent upon the grace of God for power and the blood of Jesus for cleansing. 2



Amen. Pray for yourself, then pray for someone you know who is being mightily used by God. (workbook, p. 140)




I tend to forget to pray for people who are my leaders, people who I admire. I am ashamed to admit this: I tend to put them on pedestals and want to be like them, assuming they have achieved some height of spirituality and don't get tempted. At my small group meeting on Sunday, someone mentioned that Pastor Lyon talked about being human and struggling with hurts and trials just as we do and that he works for God, not for us. I need to remember to pray for my leaders!



Day 3




This chapter is difficult and painful. The scene unfolds with Nathan sent to confront David's sin. We need to be careful not to confront for any other reason. We need to resist self-appointed confrontation with a fallen brother. Galatians 6:1 records one of those reasons.



According to Galatians 6:1, who should restore a fallen brother and why should he be careful? (workbook, p. 141)




A spiritual person. Why? Because otherwise, the person can rightly say, "What makes you so perfect?" Also because the spiritual person has the maturity to stand in the power of Christ... Attack and temptation is always likely with confrontation.




Have you ever confronted someone without being appointed by God? ... If so, how did you know God had not appointed you?




I am jealous and angry, cannot speak my confrontation patiently or cope well with the person's emotional reaction.




Have you ever noticed God helps us to forgive ourselves, but He does not make us forget our sins?(workbook, p. 143)




Interesting stuff. He forgets it, but I don't. Why? I tend to beat myself up. I shouldn't... Maybe the point of remembering my sin isn't so that I can use it against myself but so that I can remember His love and mercy, so that I can praise Him! What a concept!




Psalm 32:3-5 teaches us an important truth. Spiritual illness (unrepentance) can lead to emotional illness (groaning all day, heaviness all night) and physical illness (bones wasted away, strength sapped). Please do not misunderstand. Certainly not all emotional and physical illness is caused by an unrepentant heart, but a continued refusal to repent can take a serious emotional and physical toll. I know. I've been there. (workbook, pp. 142)




Scary to think about.





God rebuked David through the prophet Nathan by saying in effect, "I anointed you, delivered you, gave you Saul's kingdom and all that belonged to him. If you had needed more, I would have given it. But you didn't ask me for things I longed to give to you. You took something that wasn't yours."



David, through his behavior, wounded the heart of God by despising His Word. The Hebrew word for despised is bazah which means "to disesteem... to scorn."3 David's disesteem cost him dearly As the chosen king of Israel, the man revered for having the hand of God on him, David was the most well-known, highly-feared figure in the entire world. Through him God was teaching the nation Israel and the heathen nations about Himself David's heinous, progressive sin did a terrible thing. The King James Version puts it this way: "By this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme" (v. 14).



The original word for blaspheme is na'ats and it means "to revile, scorn, despise, reject; to condemn, to deride."4 Listen to the rest of the definition and consider just how serious this cycle of sin was in the life of the chosen king of God's holy nation: "It contains the idea of disdain for one who formerly received favorable attention and then rebelled." What other nations had seen in David caused them to cast their eyes on David's God. Though many had not turned to the God of Israel, He had captured their attention and respect. David's actions caused the nations to lose their respect for God.



David placed God in an excruciating position. As God's foremost teaching instrument, even the eyes of the heathen nations were on David. God was teaching the way to the Messiah through His chosen king. Through David's victories, God taught something of Himself. Now, through David's failures, God would reveal something more of Himself. God's actions regarding David's sin teach the very foundation of all salvation- God will forgive the sinner, but He will still judge the sin. (workbook, p. 143)




This has been exactly how I have felt. I feel guilt over the earthly impact of my sins; but I feel absolute misery over their impact on the kingdom of God. Have I caused other people to disrespect God because I didn't walk the walk? How can I ever witness for Christ again? People who know what I have done will never hear what I have to say because they will always remember what I did and their opinions of me have been shaped by that event. But already He is opening doors for me, my health is improving... I cannot reject those doors because of my fear of man. "What can man do to me?" I must trust God because He is the one who has authority on earth to forgive sins!



Day 4




David knew something about his God that we need to realize as well. God did not create man in His own image to be unaffected by Him. More than any other creature, we are products, not of His head, but of His heart. Numerous times in Scripture God responds to the needs of His people with the words, "I have heard your cry" I would despair of life if I believed God is unaffected by our cries. The God of Scripture is One who feels. (workbook, p. 145)




2


David's pleas would satisfy his spirit in the many months of mourning to come. As he grieved the loss, he needed to know he had done everything he could to prevent the child's death. David did not want his child to die because he did not ask God. (See James 4:2.)



In your relationship with God, do you feel freedom to bring the desires of your heart to Him in prayer? ... How do you usually respond if He does not give you the desire of your heart? (workbook, p. 146)




Sometimes I don't... I need to do some study about how God has responded to the desires I *HAVE* brought to Him (namely the healing of my eyes and the bronchitis).




David's pleas ultimately insured his survival through the tragedy he and his wife would suffer. David's pleas returned him to intimacy with God. The return positioned him to make it through such loss with victory David's restored relationship to God enabled him to comfort his grieving wife. When tragedy hits, if we cast ourselves on the Savior and rely on Him for the very breath we draw, we will one day get up again. We will even have the strength to comfort another mourner. Perhaps most difficult to fathom, we will have the strength to return to worship.



I'm glad Scripture does not record the scene when David first returned to public worship. The moment belonged to God and David alone. I cannot hold back the tears as I imagine how quickly David's words turned to sobs. I can picture him standing there acknowledging through wails of grief his God's sovereignty and loving-kindness.



you remember ever returning to the Lord in worship after a painful loss you believe He could have stopped? ... If so, in the margin describe some of the feelings you experienced at that time.



You may view your return to worship as one of the most difficult and painful experiences of life. I suspect David would concur, but his return restored his sanity His - rediscovered relationship with God became the pillar to hold him up through the painful repercussions of his sins. (workbook, p. 146)




This is part of what makes "I Am Your Own" such a powerful song for me. I can remember many times sitting in worship weeping because I felt such a barrier between me and God, but the tears that come when that barrier is broken are very different.



A note: On the video accompanying this week's study, she talks about resistance to forgiveness indicating a problem with authority. She refers to the incident where Jesus heals the lame man and he says, "So that you will know that the son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins..." This came to mind as I was writing above. One of my "hang-ups" has always been, "Ok, so my sins are forgiven, and I get to go to heaven. That's all good, but it doesn't help me to manage life here on earth." Sin has consequences, and that's a very real thing. I'm not looking to get out of the consequences of sin; but there is a fine line between natural consequences of sin and man-made restrictions and judgmentalism. In a previous video, Beth talks about leaders who fall. What sense does it make to refuse a repentent person a place of ministry? None. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God! We would have to shut the entire church down because every last one of us would be disqualified. God is a God of restoration and healing! Amen! When I'm busy studying His Word and working for Him, I don't have the NEED to sin because He puts His desires in my heart! God intends for the body of Christ to hold each other accountable and restore each other to blameless life. But His intent was never to keep anyone out! His intent was to bring people in! What are we doing with our swords?



Day 5




In verses 10-12, what six requests of God did David make? ... Why were the two results listed in verse 13 dependent on God's granting David's six requests? (workbook, p. 147)




Psalm 51:10-12 says:


Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.



These things are necessary to create a person "who is spiritual" (as in Galatians 6:1-2), who can teach and restore other people, which is the combination of the two results mentioned in verse 13.




Relief, not remorse, awaits the repentant!

[Error: Irreparable invalid markup ('<workbook,>') in entry. Owner must fix manually. Raw contents below.]

<p>
Now we're up to date on my study--and my life. So I can go do more studies. LOL! Look out for LJ spam!</p>
<lj-cut text="Here's week 7.">
<h2>Week 7</h2>

<h3>Day 1</h3>
<blockquote>
<p>
Few things frighten me more than this testimony of David's life. We too could be persons of character and integrity and without apparent warning, destroy our ministries and ourselves through the choice to gratify our sudden lusts. Like David, a few short verses could record the story of our downfall.</p>
<p>
... We may wish we could get everything we want until we look at David and Bathsheba. The gap between wanting and getting is where we must flex the muscle of self-control to protect ourselves. David had risen to a position where his every wish was someone else's command. He had ceased to hear a very important word-one without which integrity cannot be maintained. The word is no. (workbook, p. 132)</p>
</blockquote>
<p>
I'm thinking here about how our society gets so adamant about things like anti-drug campaigns; yet we are so greedy with other things. We don't really model self-control well at all for young Americans. I'm speaking of the baby boomer generation, too. We can't say no to million-dollar homes, new cars, cruises, movies, resorts, new clothes even though the ones in our closets fit just fine, that winter home in Florida because we just don't like the cold in Indiana... We worked for it; so we "earned" the right to own it. How does this teach a child a clear idea of right and wrong, when it's good to give and when it's ok to hoard resources for oneself? And if we can't say no to those small things, how shall we say no to bigger things? Often we don't. Eventually we justify what we want.</p>
<blockquote>
<p>
How can we avoid making the same kind of mistake? The following four precautions will keep us from being trapped in sin as a result of loneliness: (workbook, p. 134)</p>
<ul>
<li>. Be careful to fulfill the responsibilities God has given.</li>
<li>Deliberately set up a network of accountability partners.</li>
<li>Avoid lengthy periods of isolation, if possible.</li>
<li>Be aware of the progressive nature of sin. (workbook, p. 134)</li>
</ul>
</blockquote>
<p>
These are things I need to implement more seriously in my life. Loneliness is a very serious problem for me. That's no secret, and I've known for a long time that this is an area of vulnerability for me. But in addition to simply avoiding sin that is motivated by loneliness, I also need accountability in taking my loneliness to God. Otherwise, I am only stuck in a battle of wills that distances me from God and traps me in the feeling that God just wants me to be alone: a lie that I have believed in the past.</p>

<h3>Day 2</h3>
<blockquote>
<p>
David was called "a man after God's own heart." That was the caliber of the man, the height to which he had risen. He had become king of all Israel, and he had defeated all his enemies. He had risen now to the peak of his life and career- when suddenly the devil tripped him up.</p>
<p>
Oh, from what heights of blessing it is possible for a man to fall! To what depths of sin a man can descend, even with all that spiritual background! The higher the pinnacle of blessing, authority and publicity he has attained by grace, the deeper and more staggering can be his collapse. There is never a day in any man's life but that he is dependent upon the grace of God for power and the blood of Jesus for cleansing. 2</p>
<p>
Amen. Pray for yourself, then pray for someone you know who is being mightily used by God. (workbook, p. 140)</p>
</blockquote>
<p>
I tend to forget to pray for people who are my leaders, people who I admire. I am ashamed to admit this: I tend to put them on pedestals and want to be like them, assuming they have achieved some height of spirituality and don't get tempted. At my small group meeting on Sunday, someone mentioned that Pastor Lyon talked about being human and struggling with hurts and trials just as we do and that he works for God, not for us. I need to remember to pray for my leaders!</p>

<h3>Day 3</h3>
<blockquote>
<p>
This chapter is difficult and painful. The scene unfolds with Nathan sent to confront David's sin. We need to be careful not to confront for any other reason. We need to resist self-appointed confrontation with a fallen brother. Galatians 6:1 records one of those reasons.</p>
<p>
According to Galatians 6:1, who should restore a fallen brother and why should he be careful? (workbook, p. 141)</p>
</blockquote>
<p>
A spiritual person. Why? Because otherwise, the person can rightly say, "What makes you so perfect?" Also because the spiritual person has the maturity to stand in the power of Christ... Attack and temptation is always likely with confrontation.</p>
<blockquote>
<p>
Have you ever confronted someone without being appointed by God? ... If so, how did you know God had not appointed you?</p>
</blockquote>
<p>
I am jealous and angry, cannot speak my confrontation patiently or cope well with the person's emotional reaction.</p>
<blockquote>
<p>
Have you ever noticed God helps us to forgive ourselves, but He does not make us forget our sins?(workbook, p. 143)</p>
</blockquote>
<p>
Interesting stuff. He forgets it, but I don't. Why? I tend to beat myself up. I shouldn't... Maybe the point of remembering my sin isn't so that I can use it against myself but so that I can remember His love and mercy, so that I can praise Him! What a concept!</p>
<blockquote>
<p>
Psalm 32:3-5 teaches us an important truth. Spiritual illness (unrepentance) can lead to emotional illness (groaning all day, heaviness all night) and physical illness (bones wasted away, strength sapped). Please do not misunderstand. Certainly not all emotional and physical illness is caused by an unrepentant heart, but a continued refusal to repent can take a serious emotional and physical toll. I know. I've been there. (workbook, pp. 142)</p>
</blockquote>
<p>
Scary to think about.</p>
<blockquote>
<p>
<p>
God rebuked David through the prophet Nathan by saying in effect, "I anointed you, delivered you, gave you Saul's kingdom and all that belonged to him. If you had needed more, I would have given it. But you didn't ask me for things I longed to give to you. You took something that wasn't yours."</p>
<p>
David, through his behavior, wounded the heart of God by despising His Word. The Hebrew word for despised is bazah which means "to disesteem... to scorn."3 David's disesteem cost him dearly As the chosen king of Israel, the man revered for having the hand of God on him, David was the most well-known, highly-feared figure in the entire world. Through him God was teaching the nation Israel and the heathen nations about Himself David's heinous, progressive sin did a terrible thing. The King James Version puts it this way: "By this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme" (v. 14).</p>
<p>
The original word for blaspheme is na'ats and it means "to revile, scorn, despise, reject; to condemn, to deride."4 Listen to the rest of the definition and consider just how serious this cycle of sin was in the life of the chosen king of God's holy nation: "It contains the idea of disdain for one who formerly received favorable attention and then rebelled." What other nations had seen in David caused them to cast their eyes on David's God. Though many had not turned to the God of Israel, He had captured their attention and respect. David's actions caused the nations to lose their respect for God.</p>
<p>
David placed God in an excruciating position. As God's foremost teaching instrument, even the eyes of the heathen nations were on David. God was teaching the way to the Messiah through His chosen king. Through David's victories, God taught something of Himself. Now, through David's failures, God would reveal something more of Himself. God's actions regarding David's sin teach the very foundation of all salvation- God will forgive the sinner, but He will still judge the sin. (workbook, p. 143)</p>
</blockquote>

This has been exactly how I have felt. I feel guilt over the earthly impact of my sins; but I feel absolute misery over their impact on the kingdom of God. Have I caused other people to disrespect God because I didn't walk the walk? How can I ever witness for Christ again? People who know what I have done will never hear what I have to say because they will always remember what I did and their opinions of me have been shaped by that event. But already He is opening doors for me, my health is improving... I cannot reject those doors because of my fear of man. "What can man do to me?" I must trust God because He is the one who has authority on earth to forgive sins!</p>

<h3>Day 4</h3>
<blockquote>
<p>
David knew something about his God that we need to realize as well. God did not create man in His own image to be unaffected by Him. More than any other creature, we are products, not of His head, but of His heart. Numerous times in Scripture God responds to the needs of His people with the words, "I have heard your cry" I would despair of life if I believed God is unaffected by our cries. The God of Scripture is One who feels. (workbook, p. 145)</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
2<p>
David's pleas would satisfy his spirit in the many months of mourning to come. As he grieved the loss, he needed to know he had done everything he could to prevent the child's death. David did not want his child to die because he did not ask God. (See James 4:2.)</p>
<p>
In your relationship with God, do you feel freedom to bring the desires of your heart to Him in prayer? ... How do you usually respond if He does not give you the desire of your heart? (workbook, p. 146)</p>
</blockquote>
<p>
Sometimes I don't... I need to do some study about how God has responded to the desires I *HAVE* brought to Him (namely the healing of my eyes and the bronchitis).</p>
<blockquote>
<p>
David's pleas ultimately insured his survival through the tragedy he and his wife would suffer. David's pleas returned him to intimacy with God. The return positioned him to make it through such loss with victory David's restored relationship to God enabled him to comfort his grieving wife. When tragedy hits, if we cast ourselves on the Savior and rely on Him for the very breath we draw, we will one day get up again. We will even have the strength to comfort another mourner. Perhaps most difficult to fathom, we will have the strength to return to worship.</p>
<p>
I'm glad Scripture does not record the scene when David first returned to public worship. The moment belonged to God and David alone. I cannot hold back the tears as I imagine how quickly David's words turned to sobs. I can picture him standing there acknowledging through wails of grief his God's sovereignty and loving-kindness.</p>
<p>
you remember ever returning to the Lord in worship after a painful loss you believe He could have stopped? ... If so, in the margin describe some of the feelings you experienced at that time.</p>
<p>
You may view your return to worship as one of the most difficult and painful experiences of life. I suspect David would concur, but his return restored his sanity His - rediscovered relationship with God became the pillar to hold him up through the painful repercussions of his sins. (workbook, p. 146)</p>
</blockquote>
<p>
This is part of what makes "I Am Your Own" such a powerful song for me. I can remember many times sitting in worship weeping because I felt such a barrier between me and God, but the tears that come when that barrier is broken are very different.</p>
<p>
A note: On the video accompanying this week's study, she talks about resistance to forgiveness indicating a problem with authority. She refers to the incident where Jesus heals the lame man and he says, "So that you will know that the son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins..." This came to mind as I was writing above. One of my "hang-ups" has always been, "Ok, so my sins are forgiven, and I get to go to heaven. That's all good, but it doesn't help me to manage life here on earth." Sin has consequences, and that's a very real thing. I'm not looking to get out of the consequences of sin; but there is a fine line between natural consequences of sin and man-made restrictions and judgmentalism. In a previous video, Beth talks about leaders who fall. What sense does it make to refuse a repentent person a place of ministry? None. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God! We would have to shut the entire church down because every last one of us would be disqualified. God is a God of restoration and healing! Amen! When I'm busy studying His Word and working for Him, I don't have the <b>NEED</b> to sin because He puts <b>His</b> desires in my heart! God intends for the body of Christ to hold each other accountable and restore each other to blameless life. But His intent was never to keep anyone out! His intent was to bring people in! What are we doing with our swords?</p>

<h3>Day 5</h3>
<blockquote>
<p>
In verses 10-12, what six requests of God did David make? ... Why were the two results listed in verse 13 dependent on God's granting David's six requests? (workbook, p. 147)</p>
</blockquote>
<p>
Psalm 51:10-12 says:
<blockquote>
<pre>
Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
</pre>
</blockquote>
<p>
These things are necessary to create a person "who is spiritual" (as in Galatians 6:1-2), who can teach and restore other people, which is the combination of the two results mentioned in verse 13.</p>
<blockquote>
<p>
Relief, not remorse, awaits the repentant! <workbook, p. 148)</p>
</blockquote>
<p>
What a powerful statement! Oh, that more of my brothers and sisters in Christ understood this! We so often suspect a relieved person and look for remorse as the sign of repentence! Is that person "sorry enough" for what he/she did to so-and-so? Have we given up our third-party anger and encouraged that person to receive the forgiveness of Christ and live a life empowered by the Holy Spirit? Is it any wonder that so many criminals never change their ways?</p>
</lj-cut>
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