InPursuit

FERVENT: Your Hurts & Your Relationships, Week 6 {Book Club Thursday}

FerventWelcome to Book Club Thursdays!

We’re jumping into the topic of prayer as we read through Priscilla Shirer’s newly released book, Fervent, A Woman’s Battle Plan to Serious, Specific and Strategic Prayer.

For your convenience, all the posts in the series are archived {here}. If you missed any,  feel free to head on over and catch up. To find out about future book clubs, subscribe to our Book Club Thursdays newsletter.

 

Your Hurts: Turning Bitterness to Forgiveness

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Oh, how I understand this. Reading through this chapter reminded me of the many times I’ve found myself in bitter places. Type “forgive” in the search engine here and you’ll find post after post of how God’s brought me through hurt, unforgiveness, and bitterness… Here are just a few:

Here’s how Priscilla shared it in this week’s chapter.

Now if anyone has caused pain, he has caused it not to me, but in some measure—not to put it too severely—to all of you… so you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. So I beg you to reaffirm your love for him. For this is why I wrote, that I might test you and know whether you are obedient in everything… so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs. (2 Corinthians 2: 5, 7-9, 11).

When others hurt us, we, having been forgiven by God, extend that same forgiveness. Yet, we don’t stop there. We offer comfort. I’m sure I’ve lost some of you there. The last thing we want to do is comfort anyone who has hurt us, eh? How that looks for each of us will be different in each situation. The point is that satan has a strategy to tear into our friendships and relationships and if we’re not careful, we’ll be outwitted by him.

We shouldn’t be ignorant of his designs. Rather, we should walk in discernment and the moment we discern how he’s coming in, we must push back in obedience to God’s word. Our obedience cancels that assignment immediately. The tactics of the enemy only work when we play along… when we allow bitterness, pride, unforgiveness, and the like, to steer our actions and emotions. But when we choose forgiveness, we set ourselves free from all that. We get off his diabolic ride, refusing to let him lead us. His plan falls flat as we resist him. He has no alternative but to flee (James 4:7).

The same is true of our relationships.

Your Relationships: Uniting in a Common Cause

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This area is such a tricky one. I’ve had relationships that were toxic to my life and spiritual growth, however I couldn’t just walk away from them. I had to set boundaries that would allow me to sort through the emotions before making drastic decisions. Only through prayer and God’s leading (through His word) was I able to navigate those difficult situations and make decisions with a right heart and motives. Sometimes one needs to love from a distance and with very necessary boundaries. (As always, I’m not talking about abuse. If you’re in an abusive situation, please find help as soon as possible.)

Most times though, if we’re honest, it’s NOT God leading us out of relationships. His very character is one of peace and unity. We would do well to pray fervently against the attacks of the enemy that target our relationships. We would be wise to walk with eyes wide open that we might discern where we’re allowing satan to distort the truth and divide us because he knows the strength available to us when we gather and unite in a common cause.

Either way, whether it’s a relationship we must walk away from, or one we need to cling to, our goal should always be purity of heart and unity and peace in the Body of Christ.

And just like that, six weeks have come and gone. We’ve walked through the pages of this book, along with loads of scripture to help us create a “serious, specific, and strategic” battle plan against the schemes of the enemy.  We’ve learned more about the power of prayer, along with how to wield our weapons of warfare that we might aim at the target.

We’re not fighting blindly. We’re not shooting up general prayers in hopes that God will answer. Rather, we align ourselves with what God says about the situation, and in confidence we make declarations of faith we know are God’s heart for us. Yes, fervent prayer requires work. It requires endurance, perseverance, engagement, and sheer faith. But most of all, we just need a willing and obedient heart.

I leave you with a quote found at the beginning of the book:

Theoden: I will not risk open war.

Aragorn: Open war is upon you, whether you would risk it or not.

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

Thoughts To Ponder

♥Note: We’ve barely hit the surface here. Discussion questions will serve you best after reading the week’s chapter. 

1.) When it comes to your hurts, are there areas God’s calling you to forgiveness? Have been hesitant to extend that forgiveness?

2.) Are there relationships where you can now see the divisive work of the enemy? How is God leading you to deal with them?

*All quotes taken from Priscilla Shirer’s, FERVENT Book, unless otherwise noted. 
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© 2016 Darlene Collazo | {In Pursuit} My Quest

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