Thank you Lisa for taking the time to do this study for us. Hope your mission trip is inspiring! Please join us at The Preacher's Wife for a full explanation.
1. When is the last time you encountered a Fist Shaker? This may be a stranger to you or as close as a loved one in your own home. Does anything in our description help you to understand their animosity towards God? Are you able to have more compassion towards them?
It is interesting that Lisa labels it "fist shaker". That is exactly how we represented our rebellion against God when we did mime. We shook our fist at the sky, as if that was showing God.
When I first read the description, I immediately thought about the women that are Pro-choice and are protesting. Because of my past, I am more than ever pro-life. But, these women are often fist shakers. They are afraid to lose control and confess their sin. The harm of abortion is so much greater than giving birth to a child and living with the consequences of that. Like Lisa said,"Often, when people are threatened with impending judgment, instead of submitting to the one who has power to execute justice they instead go into defense mode."
2. Does anything about Rahab's redemption strike a nerve? This may be a question you would like to ponder privately. Sexual sin and/or victimization can be an area where Satan has an enormous stronghold because it can hold so many painful and shameful memories. If Rahab teaches us anything, please know God can redeem any life and any situation, no matter how heinous it seems, and plant you unashamedly 'in the midst of Israel'. Rahab deserved death according to Mosaic Law, however she was shown nothing but lovingkindness by the God and nation of Israel.
I was not truly inspired by this question, even though my "sin" falls into the sexual category. Then, I began to think about the redemption that occurred for her family as well. Because of her belief and actions, not just Rehab, but her entire family - mother, father, siblings and relatives (anybody that would fit into her house) were saved. I can see the sin of addiction and sexual sin passed on from generation to generation in my family tree. My grandmother was married 7 times, my mother has been married twice and I am sure that it goes back further. I want to be able to pass down a legacy like Rehab - that my tiny mustard seed of faith has saved my family.
3. Is there an area of your life in which you feel you have come full circle? Where you've come to a place where everything and nothing are the same? (I'm thinking Lord of the Rings when Frodo goes back to the Shire after his long adventure. You have no clue what I just said if you are not an LOTR nerd so just ignore this if it doesn't make sense! :)
Sometimes I see that with my relationship with God. I have been in this valley or moutaintop and know what God can do, even though it feels the same it just isn't. I have a better grasp of scripture and who God is (not a perfect understanding mind you) and so God will often deal with me in a different way. It is sort of a comfortable place to be - knowing that God is watching over me.
4. When you were born again, did you gain a new appreciation for your surroundings as Rahab did when she received the Promise along with the Promised Land? Has some old place, object, or relationship been redeemed by now serving a 'high and holy purpose'?
My promised land ended up being 1000 miles away from those places. I am still praying about how and if my relationship with my parents will ever happen. Prayers are needed here.
5. Believers can still be Fist Shakers. Do you have circumstances in your life in which you find yourself shaking your fist at God? Something He has asked you to endure, asked you to do, seemingly taken away from you? Can you see how shaking your fist is keeping you from your Promise? (I'm not talking eternal security here - Only abundant living.)None that I can think of now. I am feeling truly blessed. Yet, there have been times in my life when I felt that I deserved so much more and was a snotty child and had tantrums. I am sure those times will happen again....