Welcome to the Renew blog, a Six Step Bible Study.
We are a united group of Ladies from the UK, who believe in the transforming power of the Word of God for our lives. We meet every Wednesday at Create church, (part of Rising Brook) in Huntington and would love to welcome you to our group, if you live local.
I’m so glad to be back into a routine this week, we had some time off last week, as here in the UK, it was half term for our children. We had a lovely week as a family doing lots of fun things and we also had the opportunity to chat to my eldest boy Kyan, aged 7, about his thoughts on this weeks study. You’ll be able to see that on our YouTube video later this week so be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel so you don’t miss it!
Let’s get started……
So, we are now on Chapter 6 of the book of John. I’m really enjoying what we are learning from the Holy Spirit and I know that the ladies at Renew are being quite blessed with all God is saying to them through the 6-step study.
I want to start this week by thinking about times in our lives that we are waiting for something to happen. Have you ever waited so long for something you thought it would never come? I have!
I spent so long waiting for healing in the beginning of my walk with Jesus, that I thought I was kidding myself that I could be transformed into His image! In my mind, whilst waiting, I was just an unworthy no hoper that would always be the same, after all “a leopard never changes his spots!” There were so many people at my church who were constantly sharing their stories of healing and redemption but I just wasn’t seeing any change in my own life. I was still angry, still drinking and most definitely wasn’t showing any evidence of the Holy Spirit dwelling within me on my exterior.
In this story we see the disciples doing a little bit of waiting of their own, which set me to thinking what we do in our own periods of waiting.
Let’s have a look at this week’s scripture found in John 6:16-21 from The Passion Translation:
“After waiting until evening for Jesus to return, the disciples went down to the lake. But as darkness fell, he still hadn’t returned, so the disciples got into a boat and headed across the lake to Capernaum.
By now a strong wind began to blow and was stirring up the waters. The disciples had rowed about halfway across the lake when all of a sudden they caught sight of Jesus walking on top of the waves, coming toward them. The disciples panicked, but Jesus called out to them, “Don’t be afraid. You know who I am.” They were relieved to take him in, and the moment Jesus stepped into the boat, they were instantly transported to the other side!”
We pick up this story right after Jesus had just fed 5000 families from a couple of bits of fish and bread. Consider and imagine how the disciples were feeling left hanging around after all this excitement of seeing Jesus perform this amazing miracle. Maybe they were reflecting on their own thoughts, processing what had just happened and probably feeling very excited and expectant for what will happen next. But as they wait the thoughts continue to mull around in their mind. They get to thinking about who they are, who they’re not, what they can and can’t do, why they are there, what they are waiting for..….
As I mentioned in the beginning of the blog, I too was having to do a little waiting of my own. Waiting is something we will all have to do many times in our lives, whatever that might look like. It could be waiting for a man to marry, to conceive a child, for a ministry to birth, for a new job to come, for a new house, for a change in financial circumstance, for an illness to be healed, for a relationship to be restored, the list goes on……. which leads me to my first question to provoke your remove journaling today:
What are you waiting for?
From what I can see from this wonderful story and also in my own times of waiting is that it is in the waiting that we experience huge growth. God says I want you to have this thing you are waiting for but I’m not about to give it to you on a plate. We have to continue to go through a process of refining.
This process is when the storm descends, just as it did that day on the boat.
It’s in the storm that we learn resilience, it’s in the storm that we discover how strong we can be, it’s in the storm we recognise the area’s we need to develop.
The disciples discover in this story that their area of development needed to be a little more faith. In the two other accounts we see Peter step out in that addition of faith quite literally, he trusts Jesus and takes hold of His hand to walk on the water, but in the split second he takes his eyes off Jesus, he begins to sink.
In the storm we learn so much if we allow……
There are many different ways in which we deal with waiting and here are three I can think of that I’ve seen in my own life:
- We could be still and peaceful resting in faith that the promise will come to pass. This person would continue to worship and praise God in the storm, be rooted in The Word and speak life continually into their problems.
- We could strive and push in our own strength, setting unattainable goals and challenging ourselves to breaking point in the mindset of, “If I want it I must go out and get it.” This person would be so busy, they don’t have time to be still and allow God to speak. They would continually be pushing on doors that have closed and be totally determined that they are right and the things against them are wrong.
- We could give in and stop and let go of the promise we’ve been waiting for. This person would be someone that’s fed up and burnt out possibly as a result of continually pushing against God’s will. They’ve not had time to rest in God so therefore have lost focus of His promise and come to the conclusion they are barking up the wrong tree. So they give up completely, or worse, they are completely exhausted and have been made to give up.
The next question I want you to ponder on is:
What do you do in the waiting?
Do any of the above resonate or do you imagine any of your own descriptions?
The fact of the matter is that Jesus came and spoke to the storm. The disciples, faithless as they were, Jesus came and calmed that storm, the winds and waves were no more, and peace was restored. This is what He will do for us if we choose to recognise it, every season of our lives are an opportunity to learn, be stretched and grow but without the storm in the waiting, we won’t grow.
Have you ever seen a child that is given everything they ask for without question? We generally call them spoilt. The fact is we are spoilt too, we are a fallen humanity, spoiled with sin. God wants us to learn where those weak spots are and to do that He has to allow us waiting and, in the waiting, we are tested by the storms.
God wants to teach us to navigate these life storms, he wants us to sail through and grow whilst on the move. This is the reason why Jesus gave us His living church services to attend. The sermon we here on a Sunday isn’t just a speech, it’s the living breathing Word direct from the mouth of God. He doesn’t want us to just sit and listen to it, He wants us to WAIT in it, ACT upon it, STUDY it, PLANT it firmly in our hearts in order to GROW, in order that we might navigate those high winds and waves, as the experienced sailors He ordained us to be!
What can you speak to your storm?
Let’s move on now to our first step which is remove. Take the 3 questions and mull them over. What thoughts do they provoke? Is there anything else on your mind that you can clear out to make room for God to speak?
This week’s study Scripture:
1 Corinthians 16:13-14 (NIV) 13 Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.14 Do everything in love.
For more information on the 6 R’s Bible Study CLICK HERE to watch the how to video.
We believe that the word of God is powerful and life changing. When the word of God is applied to your life, you will be renewed!
See you all next Wednesday and be sure to listen to the YouTube video tomorrow, where Rachael and Hayley will discuss this week’s study.