Sometimes, things just need to smack you across the face to get their point across. It’s like the most apparent lesson in the world to someone else somehow manages to go right over your head, even though it’s aimed directly at your heart.
Yeah. Sometimes, we need a visit from Captain Obvious.
At the beginning of each year, I spend time in prayer listening to God’s word and His guidance for the one area on which He is leading me to focus. Here’s where I landed for 2016:
“Submit to God and you will have peace, then things will go well for you.”
Job 22:21, NLT
Short and sweet: submit and you’ll know peace and then it will honestly all be okay.
As I’ve studied it further, I discovered that “Submit” (in this instance) is translated from a Hebrew word (hasakan) that, when put into the context of this verse, actually means this: “Secure the friendship of God. Become truly acquainted with him and be of the same mind. Be reconciled to him.”
In other words: “Get yourself so familiar with God that you no longer fight against Him (because we all tend to do that), and walk in step with Him and in His will for you. Try it, you’ll like it.”
What a great message to start us off on our on purpose Bible study journey this spring! Starting in a position of obedient faith before our God, letting Him speak purpose into our lives!
I was talking about it all with my friend Tammy this week. Tammy is an artist who creates beautiful work. She sees things in ways only a true artist can see them. She’s in our Tuesday morning Bible study crew and knew Job 22:21 was the verse that would be kicking off our ten-week study together. She showed me this gorgeous work she created in her Bible, artfully layered on top of the words in Job:
(photo and art work courtesy Tammy Miller, 2016)
Is that awesome or what!
Then, Tammy sort of “off the cuff” mentioned that in her Bible translation, the word “submit” is actually translated as “settle”. We smiled at the image of us just settling into God and letting Him guide the way. What a beautiful picture!
Later that same day, I had an AWESOME “a-ha” moment of epiphany from that casual comment from Tammy! “Settle” is a command I’ve been working on with our new puppy, Friday. It’s a really hard one for puppies to learn because it is a position of complete submission to the master, and puppies don’t even want to sit still, let alone submit!
You start with telling them “sit”, then “down”, then “settle”. And when they finally “settle”, they lay on their side, head down on the ground, completely peaceful until you release them with a phrase to let them know it’s okay to get up and go.
The phrase we’ve always used is “You’re free.”
Whoa. All of a sudden this verse takes on a very personal meaning, doesn’t it? God, cupping our distractible and ever-bobbing heads, says, “Girl. Settle down. Take a load off, rest at my feet, and just be. Stop fighting me. I’m in control here, not you. And after we’ve had some time together, you’ll be ready. I’ll set you free to go to do the things we talked about. You’re free when you settle things with me.”
Freedom through submission. What a thought. What a God!
This life. Our purpose for being here. It’s not all about you, sister. It’s about God. And that’s right where Rick Warren starts us off with our book for this session, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth am I Here for? We’re here to live out the purpose God ordained for us from the moment our existence was cooked up in His master plan. It’s time for us to settle down and get on with it, don’t you think?
Let’s get to it, then! If you are following along with our series, make sure you have your inspiration book (scroll down past the photos for the links to the pages!) printed and ready to go! This week, look up Job 22:21 in your favorite Bible translation. Write it down either in your book or in a journal. Let it soak into your heart this week and spend time “settling” before God each day. Take a moment or two reflecting on our inspirational quote for this week:
(media credit: Pinterest)
Share it with a friend, meditate on what it means to you, let it guide your steps this week as we start exploring what our God-given purpose might be!
Our song this week is by a fun new band, I Am They! Click here to listen to their tune, “We Are Yours”!
Enjoy your week, sweet friends! And don’t forget to settle a bit, okay?!
Peace, love, and joy!
Up Next Week: Connecting to purpose through prayer