Read Chapter 7 in “Unglued” – I Need a Procedure Manual and then get out your “procedure manual” and read Ephesians 4.
Let’s take a journey back to the Garden of Eden and look at what happened between Eve and the serpent that caused her to walk out of faith with God. We will be reading Genesis 2:8-9, Genesis 2:15-17, and Genesis 3:1-7.
“8 Then the Lord God planted a garden in Eden in the east, and there he placed the man he had made. 9 The Lord God made all sorts of trees grow up from the ground—trees that were beautiful and that produced delicious fruit. In the middle of the garden he placed the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
15 The Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it. 16 But the Lord God warned him, “You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden— 17 except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.”
1The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?”
2 “Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied. 3 “It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’”
4 “You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. 5 “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.”
6 The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. 7 At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.”
Eve allowed the serpent to get into her head and convince her that God was not being honest with her. She hit a curb of lies from the devil and her heart, mind and soul got out of align with God. You know kind of like when your car hits a curb and the alignment gets out of whack and you need to take it in for service. Well, Eve ran head-on into the serpent’s lies and totally wrecked the paradise that she and Adam were living in because she was operating from a selfish mind-set.
Isn’t this what we do too???? There are a million and one reasons why we allow ourselves to get out of align with God…most of our reasons are selfish ones, just like Eve. When I look back in my journal for “Unglued”, my reasons for getting angry with the people in my life have been selfish. I was thinking about myself and what I wanted in the moment, and I did not stop to consider that maybe my plans might be running over what someone else had planned for their day. It became all about me and what I wanted, and truthfully I didn’t show much concern about what the other person may have needed to do or even what might have been best for the other person or me. I just knew that they were interfering with my plans and my heart, mind and soul stopped abiding in the peace that comes from God…I was no longer “united” with God…I was “unglued” with the person who was messing with my plans.
So, what have I determined I will start doing to help myself…I am going to default to God’s wisdom, because my wisdom can be selfish. I am going to do my best to hold up a mental stop sign, when I feel like those unglued feelings are starting inside of me, and pray. I know myself well enough, by now, to recognize when I am heading into “unglued” territory and that feeling is my internal alarm system that means…pray!
I am going to ask God for a new perspective on the situation and for His will to be made known to me. I will be hard-pressed to operate from selfish desires if I am seeking His truth.
Once I have prayed and asked for His help, I am going to open His procedure manual and start reading it. I have found that He will give me direction when I first ask for it and then start reading His Bible. I might read the 1st chapter in James or the 4th chapter in Ephesians or maybe, I will read Psalms 119 or I could even open my Bible and read Romans 5…it is not going to matter which chapter in the Bible I read, as long as I am reading His word. Ultimately, it’s not about what Lysa writes, or what I write…it’s about what He has written in His procedure manual.
Pray, read His word and then walk in obedience to God’s call on my life. I need to move forward, totally united in my mind, heart and soul, under His direction or my prayer and reading time will all be for naught. As our memory verse, Ephesians 4:3, this week says…”Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.” I want to bind myself together, heart, mind and soul in the peace from God. It really is the only way that I am going to make any progress; perfectly or imperfectly, in those moments that I feel myself start down that unglued path.
Here is my list of go-to’s…
- Read the Bible
- Walk in obedience
Dear Lord, I want to thank You for being with us as we continue to work on our actions and our reactions to others. It is human nature to be selfish and we do not want to continue to conform to our fleshly desires. We want to transform our lives and give control of our actions and reactions to You. We want to move forward in align with You and we acknowledge that the only way we can do this is by washing ourselves in the Water of Your Word! We are going to make every effort to keep ourselves united in Your Spirit, binding our hearts, minds and souls in the peace that comes from You. I ask these things in the name of Jesus, Amen.
Assignments for Week 7….
Word for the Week – United
Define and look up synonyms for our word of the week – write this in your “unglued” journal. Look at your “mandate to change” and decide how the word “UNITED” will help you meet your objectives. Write this information down in your journal. Date each day of your journal this week. Make a word circle using our word for the week and include in the circle those things that will help you meet your objective and place outside of the circle those things that will hinder your objective.
Memory Verse for this week – “Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.” Ephesians 4:3
Look up the Memory Verse in several different translations of the Bible; decide which translation speaks to your heart and memorize that one. Write this version in your journal and let the group know which one you picked. Look at your “Mandate to Change” and see how this verse applies to helping your meet your objectives. Make changes to your Mandate, as needed, including this verse.
Set aside 72 minutes every day this week to spend alone with God. Get out your “Unglued” journal and put the date at the top of the page. Write out what you did during your time with God. You do not have to commit to this 72 minutes all in one sitting…you can divide this time up throughout your day. I do strongly urge you though, to spend at least 15 minutes at the start of your day with God. If you read a devotion write down which one you read, if you read your Bible…what chapters or verses did you read. Make a note of what spoke to you during this time. Make sure that you schedule in some quiet time, where you are just silent and listen for what God is saying to you. Write down all the thoughts that come to you during this time of listening.
You might be interested in knowing why I decided on the number 72…check out this blog I wrote back in January of this year. Not only does it speak to the 72 minutes, I feel that it also is speaking to our study of the book “Unglued”.
Examine WHAT HAPPENED IN YOUR LIFE OVER THIS PAST WEEK for areas that caused you to become “unglued”. You can do this by going back to your journal and re-reading your entries.
Record what you learned from each area in your journal. Make note if this is a new “unglued” area in your life.
Surrender that unbalanced area to God and ask Him to show you how to abide in Him instead of relying upon yourself and your own strength. Write out a prayer to God about those areas that you are surrendering to Him.
At the end of each day, reflect back on how your day went…be honest with yourself about those moments when you became “unglued.” Did you realize right away that you were not allowing God to hold you all together or did it take a while? What helped you in that moment? Record this information in your journal and, if need be, write an amendment to your “mandate to change.”
Check out the daily posts to the Many Strands page to see if they will help you make some imperfect progress in your unglued moments. There are four posted daily…2 in the evening; our 52 Week Word study (Prayer is the word for this week), and for a few more days, our 90 day Bible reading plan and 2 in the morning; Today’s Prayer and Moments with God.
Here are the steps that Lysa shared with us about her procedure manual.
– Remember who you are
– Redirect your focus to Jesus
– Recognize that God’s job is not your job
– Recite thanks and praises to God
– Realize reactions determine reach
1. How can you use Jehoshaphat’s example and Lysa’s suggestions to personalize your own Procedure Manual? What would you add to or take away from Lysa’s suggestions?
2. How do you think having a plan would help you when those unglued moments come?
3. Which one of these steps is hardest for you?