Week 2: Follow the Light

Welcome back! I hope you have been able to work through your lessons and spend some time in God’s presence. He wants to do amazing things in your life. How do I know that? Because He intends to show Himself to the world through His people. And if you’ve put your faith in Jesus and made that commitment to follow Him, you’re one of them!

I guess I spoke too soon last week when I told you the first video would be longer than the others. I have felt compelled to share some testimony in each of the videos so far which adds to the length. I pray that hearing my story and seeing these principles lived out in my life will encourage you on your own journey. Let’s get started!

Click here to print the prepared note sheet for this video.

Watch the Video

Week 2 Assignment

Complete days 4-5 of Week One in your workbook. Invite Him to speak to you personally as you study and ask Him to use His Word to light your path.

Additional Suggestion:

Ask God to reveal any specific areas where you are struggling to surrender and follow. What are you holding back from Him? As He sheds His light on your need, ask Him to empower you to trust Him there.

Week 1: Will You be Chosen to Receive Your Blessing?

Thank you so much for joining me on this online journey through Tested by Fire. This first video will be slightly longer than most of our sessions together because it includes some of my testimony and some background on the book. Watch the introductory video below to discover what you can expect from this study and dig into some Bible teaching to prepare your way. I pray that God blesses you as we gather around His Word. If you like to follow along with notes, click here to view and print some prepared notes to accompany this session. See you in the Scriptures!

Watch the Video

Are you ready to leave the desert and enter into your personal Promised Land?

Week 1 Assignment

Complete days 1-3 of week one in your workbook. Don’t forget to invite God’s Presence to meet you there!

Optional Suggestion:

When Joshua was finally ready to lead the Israelites into their Promised Land, he gave them this command. Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.” Joshua 3:5 Do you believe that God is about to do amazing things in your life? Ask God to show you what you can offer Him as an act of consecration over the next eight weeks. What can you do to show God that you would like to present yourself holy to Him in preparation for His mighty work? Perhaps it’s giving up a television show you watch or cutting back the time you spend on Facebook. Maybe it’s time spent shopping each week or giving up a particular food. Maybe it’s relinquishing a particular activity or finally doing something you know God’s been prompting you to do. Wherever He leads you, ask Him to help you keep your commitment to Him and trust Him to provide. He will honor your step of faith by revealing Himself. Let’s get ready to see God move!

Video Taping For Online Study Begins Today!

As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen.  “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.”  At once they left their nets and followed him. 

When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.

Mark 1:16-20 NIV 1984

My heart is full today as we prepare to begin video taping sessions for Tested by Fire. I have to admit, I feel a bit like a fish out of water.

But as I read this story of the calling of Peter, Andrew, James, and John, I’m reminded that Jesus doesn’t call us to remain comfortable, or even invite us to stay with what’s familiar. He simply bids us to follow Him.

Yet an astounding truth surfaces in His invitation to follow. If we will, He will use our lives to catch people, gently rescuing them from the raging waters of the world and inviting them to breathe the fresh air of the Spirit.


I wish I could tell you I’m completely prepared for what’s coming. I’d love to announce that all my outlines are finished and I know exactly where we’re headed. But I need to be honest. I can’t. You see, Jesus hasn’t shown me all of it yet.

And that doesn’t necessarily sit well for a girl with a perfectionist personality and maybe a few tendencies toward control.

But my Lord is asking me trust Him. He’s simply saying, “Come, follow me.”

And I’m ready to follow. Because,

. . . I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.

2 Timothy 1:12

I needn’t fear, because I know the One I believe. And He is faithful.

Just this morning in my quiet time, I read about Jesus in Isaiah 11:1-3.

 A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;

from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.

The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him—

the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,

the Spirit of counsel and of power,

the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord—

and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.

That same Spirit that came to rest on Jesus now resides within me. And He brings with Him every blessing He bestowed on Jesus . . .wisdom, understanding, counsel, power, knowledge, and the fear of the LORD.

You and I have nothing to fear when we follow Jesus, dear one. Our faith opens us up to the gifts of the Spirit and allows God to reveal Himself.

And that’s good news. Because none of the people joining me in Bible study need me. They need to encounter Jesus through me.

Will you join me in praying for a fresh revelation of Jesus over the next nine weeks of Bible study? Will you pray that the ladies joining me in class will come to experience Jesus in a whole new way? And will you pray that the men and women joining me online through video will sense God’s presence even through the screen?

Thank you, dear one. God is about to do amazing things among us.

We’d love you to join us. Just click here to register. Do you sense Jesus calling you?

When God Stirs, He Hears

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.  And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. 1 John 5:14-15

On Sunday we celebrated Father’s Day at church. A guest speaker—a husband and father from the congregation—brought the message. Well, perhaps I should rephrase that. The Holy Spirit brought a powerful Word through a real estate salesman. The result?

At the close of the service, our Pastor took the stage and gave an invitation. Moved by God’s presence hovering in that place, his voice caught as he told the congregation that he would be joining the speaker on his knees at the altar. He invited any willing man to join them . . . any man desiring to lead his family by submitting himself daily to Christ’s leadership . . . any man ready to believe that true power comes when we bow down.

The next moment bore witness to God’s glory. Men from all over the sanctuary began to rise and walk to the front of the church, dropping to their knees one by one as they reached the altar. When the floor space at the front could no longer hold them, they began filling the aisles between the chairs. I wept before the Lord in worship as my gaze took in the empty seats and the sight of hundreds of men kneeling before their Creator, committing to know Him more, to follow Him more faithfully, to be the example for the next generation.

I could do nothing but bow in my own seat, lifting my hands in worship and my voice in praise.

It was a beautiful moment, glory descending as worship rose to heaven’s throne from the hearts of a people united, carried on the wings of praise. You know what made it even sweeter? The moment reflected an answer to prayer.

Have you ever felt compelled to pray for something that reached beyond the scope of your personal circumstances? That focused on the rise of Jesus’ glory instead of your own needs? If not, I challenge you to listen for the stirring of the Spirit within your soul to intercede for His kingdom. That’s the kind of praying that calls heaven down.

In response to God’s prompting, several women within our congregation have been praying for a spiritual awakening among the men of our church. Specifically, we had prayed for God to raise up leaders among them who would turn their hearts toward the Lord. We asked God to stir up mighty men of faith who would model whole-hearted devotion to God and lead others to follow in their steps.

Those prayers began almost 8 years ago.

And God did it. Last Sunday morning, we saw visible evidence of the invisible work God had been doing within the hearts of our congregation as a result of our prayer. And He raised an ordinary man to challenge His people with powerful truth at just the right time when the hearers were ready to respond.

Don’t you just love God’s faithfulness? It shouldn’t surprise us. It’s what God does. He stirs among the hearts of His people to pray and then He delights in answering. As we read in our opening Scripture,

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.  And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. 1 John 5:14-15

Even if it takes 8 years to see the evidence of it.

Just this morning, I came across these words in David Earley’s, 21 Most Effective Prayers of the Bible (Barbour Publishing, Inc., 2005), a prayer journal I’ve been working through in my quiet time. [Original quote from David Jeremiah, Prayer: The Great Adventure (Sisters, OR: Multnomah Publishers, 1997), p. 40-41]

Pastor David Jeremiah has written, “I scoured the New Testament some time ago, looking for things God does in ministry that are not prompted by prayer. Do you know what I found? Nothing. I don’t mean I had trouble finding an item or two: I mean I found nothing. Everything God does in the work of ministry, He does through prayer. Consider:

·      Prayer is the way you defeat the devil (Luke 22:23; James 4:7)

·      Prayer is the way you get the lost saved (Luke 18:13)

·      Prayer is the way you acquire wisdom (James 1:5)

·      Prayer is the way a backslider gets restored (James 5:16-20)

·      Prayer is how saints get strengthened (Jude 20; Matthew 26:41)

·      Prayer is the way to get laborers out to the mission field (Matthew 9:38)

·      Prayer is how we cure the sick (James 5:13-15)

·      Prayer is how we accomplish the impossible (Mark 11:23-24)

. . . everything God wants to do in your life He has subjugated to one thing: Prayer."


Do you see the work of God displayed in and around you, dear one? If you are missing out on experiencing the revelation of His power, perhaps you haven’t picked up the key to unlock it.

Allow the Holy Spirit to lead you in prayer, beloved. As He directs you to pray the Father’s will, you can know with confidence that God hears. And when He hears, He acts.

And you get to witness glory.


Look at me and be astonished; clap your hand over your mouth. Job 21:5

We love to be amazed. Ordinary doesn’t cut it for this generation. Average barely gets a mention. But when something really wows us, we can’t help sharing what we witnessed.  Phone lines, Facebook pages and Twitter accounts start buzzing, and news of the astonishing spreads like wildfire.

Unfortunately, most of what we’re compelled to share has nothing to do with Jesus. Somehow the One who brought us the ultimate “wow factor” has been reduced to short, encouraging Scripture quotes to help remind us that He even exists. Amazing is left to great football plays, astounding special effects, or even the ridiculously stupid. These days, we don’t really expect to be astonished by Jesus.

Perhaps we’re missing something. According to Hebrews 13:8,

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Have you been astonished by Jesus? Have you encountered Him in a way that so filled you with awe that you couldn’t help but share it? He means to astound you, dear one. Jesus specializes in the extraordinary.

When was the last time the glory of Christ’s presence ignited you to share what you experienced?  What happens when you meet with other believers? Do your church services and gatherings reveal the unexplainable in a way that even non-believers can’t help but talk about it?

That’s the legacy of the church handed down to us through Scripture. Church didn’t start out as orderly programming that followed a workable schedule and met expectations each week. Church began as groups of believers encountering the presence of the God they worshiped and becoming empowered beyond their abilities to reveal His glory.

Consider these reactions of unbelievers as they witnessed what was happening in the early church.

  • Utterly amazed, they asked: “Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language? Acts 2:7-8
  • When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. Acts 4:13

God’s presence among His people caught the attention of the lost. They couldn’t help but take notice. What they witnessed defied what they could logically explain.

Perhaps the most astonishing miracle occurred among the believers themselves.

Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles.  All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. Acts 2:43-46

Thousands of Christians from different backgrounds, with different personalities and unique desires, united as one. With hearts full of joyous praise, they shared all they had. Selfless love permeated the church,

And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. Acts 2:47

Come to think of it, it sounds like the early church fulfilled what Jesus claimed to be the greatest commandment in all of Scripture.

“’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Luke 10:27

Scripture teaches that when believers fight among themselves, we act like “mere men” (1 Corinthians 3:3).  Quarreling indicates a quenching of the Spirit; it reveals that we’ve chosen to exalt our own desires instead of submitting to His. Unity expressed through love, however, reveals Christ’s presence in our midst.

You may be wondering, is such unity even possible? Scripture confirms that it is. In fact, it’s not only possible, it’s God’s declared will for His church. And remember, dear one, God’s will always comes to pass.

One lingering question remains: will ours be the generation in which He fulfills it? That depends on each one of us. Will we choose to yield our personal desires to the leadership of His Spirit and allow Him to once again astonish the world through us?

Jesus knocks at the door of His church. Perhaps it’s time we let Him back in.