Tag Archives: Beth Moore

Made by God

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
Psalm 139:14, NIV*

Verses 13-16 are my theme verses for one of my sons. In that context I believe them wholeheartedly.

This morning, reading Psalm 139 for the second day in a row, I hear the writer’s loving trust, his amazed adoration of this God who is everywhere, who is too big to lose one insignificant human and who cares so much about him.

Reading with that feeling, I can finally apply this verse to myself. It feels like triumph in my spirit, like release from that nagging sense of not measuring up.

I’m seeing the emphasis in a new spot. It’s not about how well I am made. It’s about God who made me.

This makes the difference in being able to accept the verse deep in my spirit. I’m not making boasts about myself. (Canadian self-deprecation won’t allow that!) I’m expressing confidence in my Maker.

Beth Moore began to teach me this in So Long, Insecurity, but these things take a while to stick. I think I get it now.

Loving and meticulous Creator, forgive me for diminishing myself in my mind. People aren’t perfect, but it’s not about us. I confess that attitude as pride: I’ve been putting myself down because I wasn’t what I wanted to be. Help me see that it’s really about You. And I praise You for taking the same care in making me that You did in crafting the vastness of the universe and the hidden intricacies of life in the deepest sea trenches. Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

Here’s “He Knows My Name,” by Paul Baloche.

*New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Review: Fearless, by Max Lucado

Fearless, by Max Lucado (Thomas Nelson, 2009)

Fear, it seems, has taken a hundred-year lease on the building next door and set up shop. Oversize and rude, fear is unwilling to share the heart with happiness…. Fear is the big bully in the high school hallway…. Fear herds us into prison and slams the doors.

Wouldn’t it be great to walk out? (Fearless, page 5)

I always expect a Max Lucado book to be inspiring, encouraging and worth reading, and this one’s no exception. Max traces fear to its root danger: “Fear corrodes our confidence in God’s goodness.” (page 9) We believe the lie that we’re alone, or that God doesn’t care or can’t help.

Fearless addresses the most common issues head on: the fear of not mattering; of disappointing God; of lack; fear for our children; of challenges and worst-case scenarios; of violence, the future and death; even the fear that God is not real—or that He might not stay in the “box” where we’d like to contain Him.

There’s value in articulating our fear, in looking at it plainly. We can see legitimate need for concern, and we can see when we’re slipping into paranoia. Putting our concerns into words makes them more manageable, and it helps us to pray

Max Lucado gives us nuggets of Scripture to counter the fear, and I think the wisest way to use this book is to prayerfully memorize those bits of truth that are most relevant to our personal struggles. He also gives us practical suggestions, like his “Eight worry-stoppers” in chapter 4.

The discussion guide at the end of the book is another valuable tool for individual or group use. And as Max says, the truth in these pages isn’t something to be absorbed in a one-time exposure. “The parched soil of fear needs steady rain.” (p. 33) We’ll need to re-read it, to reassure ourselves of the message and to let it sink into our spirits.

Fearless is definitely a good weapon for our daily living needs. It’s an easy, well-written read that does justice to the seriousness of the issues. You can read the first chapter of Fearless or listen to the first Fearless sermon here.

New York Times bestselling author Max Lucado has written a number of award-winning books and is a Minister of Preaching at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio. Visit his ministry website, UpWords, to learn more about Max and to be encouraged. The site offers daily devotionals and other resources.

Two other strong resources for defeating fear in our lives are Moving from Fear to Freedom by Grace Fox and So Long Insecurity by Beth Moore.

[Review copy from my personal library.]

God With Us

The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel (which means “God with us”).
Matthew 1:23, NIV*

I’ve been working through Beth Moore’s A Woman’s Heart workbook with my Bible study group at church. Right now we’re looking at the detailed instructions from God—to be followed to the letter—for preparing and consecrating the Tabernacle and its contents and the priests and their garments.

What stands out to me today is the seriousness involved in making a space where God could dwell among humans and not destroy them. Chapters upon chapters in Exodus and Leviticus deal with the construction and consecration of the Tabernacle and the procedures for offering acceptable sacrifices.

It’s just a glimpse of how holy God is, how different from us. Obedience meant the Israelites could see His glory, could be near Him.

The majestic God of Hosts is dangerous. Fearsome. Not to be trifled with.

Yet, He loves us and wants to be with us.

When we forget His power, and focus on the privilege of our access to Him through Jesus, we can forget how strong He is, and end up worrying about our circumstances.

Father, yes we praise You for making a way that we can come freely to You because of the blood of Jesus. Forgive us when we forget Your strength. Help us know and rely on Your presence with us, You who are mighty to save.

Here are the newsboys singing Hillsong United’s “Mighty to Save”.

*New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Willing to Give

The people continued to bring freewill offerings morning after morning…[until] the people were restrained from bringing more, because what they already had was more than enough to do all the work.
Exodus 36:3b, 6b, 7 NIV*

These are the Israelites in the wilderness, being led and sustained by God. The God who has now instructed Moses in the making of a tabernacle where He will dwell with His people. Moses has asked all who are willing and able to give materials, and this is the people’s response.

As God has provided manna each morning for the people, now that they have the opportunity to give back they do it the same way: morning by morning until the workers have more than enough.

I’m working through Beth Moore’s study,  A Woman’s Heart, God’s Dwelling Place (updated version), and along with this passage she asks readers to discover what freewill offerings we give to the Lord—or hold back from Him.

He’s been prompting me for the past few months about an open heart, about stepping out through the self-constructed wall. I’m cooperating as best as I can, but it’s a real “step forward, step back” experience. After all, it’s familiar behind the wall… comfortable.

But I meant it when I told Him I’d obey, and when I realize I’ve retreated again, I get up and move out. Again.

Reading how the Israelites brought more offerings each day made my efforts look useless. I can’t even seem to bring one thing and let it stay there. Like the manna, it doesn’t “keep”. But then I realized, so what? As long as I faithfully bring my heart each time it sneaks home to roost, I’m doing the best I can. One of these days that heart may even stay where it’s put.

Father, my freewill offering is an open heart, but it keeps closing up again. As You remind me, I will open it and bring it to You again and again, like the Israelites kept bringing fresh treasures to You. I pray You’ll count it as obedience, and complete the work You’ve begun.

Third Day’s “Offering” is one of those rare songs that rooted in my heart on a first hearing. It’s a fitting one for today.

*New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Review: So Long Insecurity, by Beth Moore

So Long Insecurity, by Beth Moore (Tyndale House Publishers, 2010)

“Insecurity among women is epidemic, but it is not incurable. Don’t expect it to go away quietly, however. We’re going to have to let truth scream louder to our souls than the lies that have infected us.” (p. xiii)

Drawing on her own experience and the responses of over 1,000 women (and men!), and using Scripture as a key weapon, Beth Moore has given us a book that equips us to change. So Long Insecurity is about empowering women to find their security in God.

One surprising point that comes up early in the book is the idea that it may not just be self-doubt that cripples us—we may be doubting God.

How? By doubting what He says about us. He says He loves us, and that He values us. But do we secretly think we know better, that if He really knew us completely He’d discover He’s been wrong?

The book exposes insecurity for what it is—a lie from the enemy of our souls—and takes a good look at the things that may have let it flourish in our lives.

There may be parts you relate to and parts you don’t, depending on your own personal experience. Insecurity manifests itself in various ways, and some women may be surprised to discover this is what’s been hindering them.

Prayer and Scripture form the basis of our defence against our individual default patterns of insecurity. One key verse is from Proverbs 31:25, where it declares “She is clothed with strength and dignity.”

Our God-given right to dignity—and our responsibility not to give that away when something threatens us—is central to maintaining our security. No, dignity is not something we can earn. It’s a gift from our God, and we need to hold it tight.

We also need to trust God. Beth says, “Whenever you get hit by a wave of insecurity, the wind driving it is always fear” (p. 320).She reminds us to consciously choose to trust God without conditions.

Not to say, “I’ll trust You as long as You don’t let my fear come true.” To decide that even if what we fear happens, we will trust Him to look after us.

If we must picture the worst-case scenario, we need to remember that God will be in it too. He won’t vanish in a puff of surprise and leave us fending for ourselves.

So Long Insecurity isn’t a quick-fix, one-time deal, because the triggers to insecurity are all around us. But it is a practical resource to help us reclaim our security and to arm us with what we need to guard ourselves.

I appreciated the solid reliance on Scripture, and the focus verses and short prayers that are perfect to write down and carry with us. There’s also a slightly longer prayer we can use each morning to keep our defences up.

Working through this book has changed me. I’m not yet where I want to be, but I’m closer. And I have the tools to get there. Whether you’re deeply or only mildly insecure, or if you want to understand an insecure woman in your life, I recommend reading So Long Insecurity. Check out the first chapter of So Long Insecurity here.

Beth Moore is a popular Bible teacher and author. You can watch an interview with Beth Moore about So Long Insecurity here, or learn more about the book here. Or click here to visit the So Long Insecurity website.

[Book from my personal library—and while I may lend it to you, I want it back!]