We looked around the table at each other, thumbed through the first book and gulped hard. Time commitment, memorizing, tests at each completion… knowing our Lord and Master, sitting at His feet, understanding ourselves and our faith more - that was the part we bought in… all four of us thinking we were just getting into another Bible study – little did we know!
There is this book called, Walking in the dust of Rabbi Jesus by Lois Tverberg. I haven’t read it yet – it’s sitting on my book shelf. If the title doesn’t speak to you… let me share. In Old Testament days, among the Jewish faith, a Rabbi would teach to his students – there would be a few of them. They walked closely with the Rabbi, so closely the dust from the ground as the teacher was walking would transfer up onto the student’s clothing. It would be a privilege to walk closely with him so you could hear him speak, hear him teach. The closer you walked, the more favored or esteemed your position. When I heard about this book, about walking so closely with Rabbi I knew I wanted to read it… I want to be close to my teacher, Jesus. I haven’t read the book yet because it’s not my time – there is something that happens whenever I pick it up – like a voice that says, “Not yet, you are not ready.” So it sits, waiting on the shelf for me. I have had it for years.
That is my heart’s desire, to understand who Jesus is – how He loves me… to know when He’s speaking and leading me. So when this new study came along, I.Was.In. –
This is my journey with Masterlife, by Avery T. Willis, JR.
Jesus did life with people… He preached to the masses, He did life with his twelve disciples and had an intimate relationship with His three. That’s how we’re supposed to be… doing life with one another in fellowship and love. We’re supposed to look to His model.
So, this little southern woman calls us her “Girls”, she draws the word out long like those southern women do and she always says it with a smile. Us “girls” are of different ages and backgrounds. Our histories are different and we’ve all seen our fare share of hard times. The internal relationship of our group as has become one of mentorship and sincere sisterhood which is cherished. I wish I could put into words how much this study itself has affected me deeply and how much I long for every believer to truly understand fellowship and friendship.
I’ve been thinking about blogging about this journey but stopped short; it seemed too sacred, too intimate and precious to share. My mother, who’s also in the group, mentioned it to me recently… spoke it aloud… encouraged what I was already considering. Our group has just completed book three of four. I will start there and work my way back…
Book three, The Disciples Victory has been my favorite so far and set my heart on fire to blog about it – which requires its own blog entry, one that will come later and as I obtain permission – I will share some other stories from our journey.
Why do Christian’s do what we do? There have been stories in the media, especially recently which cast a negative light on Christian’s. The entire world looks at us, sums us up and calls us hypocrites.
It’s not a new saying… but a true one - We aren’t Christian’s because we are perfect but because we are imperfect and require saving.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. John 3:17
Book three has had me on my face in prayer, it’s crushed me as I have felt unworthy. It’s made me doubt who I am and what I do… and has brought to light the spiritual warfare we are all a part of – knowing or unknowingly. It has brought me to the lowest, shined light on behaviors in me which need to change and it has ultimately rebuilt me to be stronger in my faith, with more courage and understanding of who I am in Christ.
At the beginning of this book… The beginning of 6 weeks, the beginning of 30 days… my southern friend says, “At the end, our final workshop will be to pray for three hours. We will pack a lunch, turn in our cell phones and check out of the world completely.” I must admit, I was skeptical… but I knew better to doubt… our little southern friend is serious about this study.
As the weeks ticked by, as the 30 days counted down we prepared ourselves for this prayer time. Three hours…
I pray, you all know that… in the shower --- 15 minutes max. At night with the kids, a couple minutes at best. At my personal bedtime – maybe 30 minutes depending on needs and the list for intercessory prayer.
Three hours… I don’t know!
The day came. My mom suggested a Jericho prayer walk. If you are not familiar you can read the account in Joshua 6: 1-27. The basic story is this, God promised the city of Jericho to the Israelites, but the city was fortified, locked up tight with a high wall.
The Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and the valiant warriors. You shall march around the city, all of the men of war circling the city once. You shall do so for six days. Also seven priests shall carry seven trumpets of ram’s horns before the ark; then on the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. It shall be that when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city will fall down flat and the people will go up every man straight ahead.”
Demolishing strongholds, marching into battle according to the Word of God.
So… we marched – five ladies, shoulder to shoulder around the church building, 7 times. Praying in one accord… for the Church, the churches. Praying for the lost. Praying for missions… Praying for softened hearts. Praying for boldness and courage. Praying for the world’s children, for our children. Praying for our government – our town, the neighborhood…. Praying through tears, praying fervently through broken hearts, angry hearts… breaking down the stronghold of fear, praying for addictions, praying for the leadership of the church… praying for marriages, praying for the revival… praying, praying, praying until there was peace, until there was silence… until our Spirits were quiet with thanksgiving and praises for the One who heard all… we left those prayers lifted up at his feet and we went inside. Hour one down… There was a new resolve in all of us after that time, we each went into our solitary rooms with open Bibles and prayer journals to pray and meditate on the Word of God.