Gideon: Diary of a Wimpy Kid-Turned-Warrior

 

Renee Swope week 8 pg 193

Last summer as I was in the initial preparation stages to teach on A Confident Heart, I began to notice a pattern where Gideon kept re-surfacing.  Margaret Feinberg calls them sacred echoes, and this fall, Gideon has been quite an echo for me.

We studied Gideon via my church message series on Judges, in a women’s bible study by Priscilla Schirer, and here again in our P31 OBS.  Apparently, my heart needed this lesson each time, as I can definitely relate to Gideon.  I thank God our buddy Gideon is here to encourage us.  As Renee Swope points out in Chapter 10, he certainly was a Wimpy-Kid-Turned-Warrior!

My husband and I sometimes joke whenever I feel like a spiritual wimp that I’m actually a Proverbs 32 woman.  (No, there is no such chapter — though some days, I wish there were!)  Have you ever felt like that?  Like you just didn’t have the courage to do what God was asking you to do?  I sure have!  It especially hits me during relationship conflicts where I am dreading an encounter, or in a crisis where I completely fear the unknown.

I love how Renee describes this.  She writes that we need to get to know God more deeply, in order to discover how dependable he truly is.  She reminds us in A Confident Heart:

“We will only overcome our fears by walking through them, holding God’s hand and trusting His heart to lead, protect and preserve us.”  (p. 197)

Isn’t that soo true?!  She also writes on p. 199:

“By seeking to know and choosing to trust God, a wimp became a warrior.  Gideon learned to follow God more consistently by depending on God’s strength instead of his own.  He shifted his focus from doubting himself to believing his God.  More than just helping him conquer the (enemy), God also helped Gideon conquer his personal enemies of doubt and fear.  And he wants to do the same things in our lives.  Oftentimes God will use our doubts to build our confidence by calling us to face our fears and do something we would never choose to do on our own.”

One of the ways we get to personally encounter Who God Is would be in learning God’s names.  (See below, and p. 194).  It’s one thing to know about someone.  It’s another thing entirely to get to know their personality and nicknames!  The same is true for God.  As Renee explains, Gideon “would learn that it’s much easier to trust someone you know — someone you have experienced life with in a personal way… Our depth of knowing God comes when we depend on Him and discover that He is dependable.”

As we near the end of this OBS, my hope and prayer for each of us is that we would know God deeply.  That we would fully encounter God’s names and write them on our hearts, so we might be encouraged by intimately knowing the God of the Universe.

As the old Christmas hymn goes, we pray O Come, O Come, Emanuel.

Emanuel means “God With Us” so we pray, Lord God, that You would come anew this Christmas.  Ransom the captivity that lies not just in Israel, but in each of our hearts, and set us free until the day Christ appears.  Help us to rejoice and to discover all the reasons why You are fully trustworthy.  In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.

YOUR TURN: Share your thoughts below and be entered for a chance to win a copy of A Confident Heart Devotional this week!

  •  What were the highlights for you from Chapter 10?
  • Have you ever felt like a “Proverbs 32 woman” 😉 or a spiritual wimp? How did you handle that?
  • As we are nearing the final days of this study, what were the highlights for you from this book?
  • Lastly, since Renee Swope is hosting our FB & Twitter parties tonight, what questions do you want to ask her?  (Maybe she can include ’em!?)

~ ~ ~

Finally, we’ve got some awesome goodies for you this week! Try all three of ’em!

1. FREE STUFF.  Check out this FREE printable of God’s names from Renee Swope.  (I think it would even make a great Christmas gift in a cute frame!)  Who in your life needs this reminder?  Tell us below!

2. PARTY TIME!  The Fun never stops!   We’ve got back-to-back parties tonight, hosted by Renee Swope herself!   Pick your favorite social medium, then join us for prizes & fun — each one is an “open house” style, so it’s okay even if you can’t be there the whole hour.

Twitter PARTY – TONIGHT, 12/10 @ 8-9 p.m. ET
#AConfidentHeart
Follow: @reneeswope and @P31OBS

Facebook Party  – TONIGHT, 12/10 @ 9-10 p.m. ET
#AConfidentHeart
Find the party when you click HERE.

3. JUST FOR FUN!  You, too, can go from wimp-to-warrior!  This time-saving recipe has been a God-send for me, on more than one occasion.  Just be forewarned: If you’re using it for a birthday cake and you don’t allow enough time for it to cool, the candles might melt.  Just sayin’!!  (Not that I’ve ever had that happen or anything…)  🙂

9-Minute Cake

Ingredients:
Box Cake Mix (whatever you choose — include the eggs, oil, etc.)
Frosting Tub

DirectionsPrepare a box cake mix as directed in a microwaveable, fluted bunt pan. (Either stoneware or silicone.)  Spoon about half of the frosting tub in large dollops onto top of the batter. Microwave 9-11 minutes, checking after 9 minutes. Allow cake to cool for 10 minutes. Using a knife, gently remove the edges from the pan. Flip the cake upside down onto a cake plate or platter. The cake will be cooked all the way through, and the frosting sinks to the bottom of the pan, creating a delicious glaze.  Enjoy!

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  1. I was just comparing myself to Gideon last night! 🙂 and now this post…truly hmmm…but I compared myself along the lines of doubting if something that happened yesterday twice was a sign/confirmation of God or if I was taking it out of the context of the day.
    I loved Renee’s book altogether…more than anything I think she helped me to deal with some fear related issues that she gave examples for in her book and how she dealt with them (thru God’s lens). That really spoke to me. So that really helped me and the timing was perfect as I was living thru them, but also reading thru the book in parallel.

    • Amy Wall (Prayer/Blog Warrior Team) says:

      A sacred echo?? 🙂 This book was just what I needed at just the right time and sounds like the same for you. Coincidence? I don’t think so! I’m glad to hear that you have learned so much and are applying it in your life. It’s a daily journey but keep on it and keep letting God be your guide and bless you in the process!!

  2. I’ve loved everything about this study. It came at a time when I so badly needed it. Not surprising to me since God’s timing is perfect! My heart has become more confident through this study,I am God’s child and who I am in Him is enough. He made me just like I am and there’s no better “me” out there. Oh yes, I still struggle deeply at times, but my mind seems to be more fixed on Christ and all He has and is doing in me rather than all of my failures.

  3. This study has helped to realize how often I allowed AM (against me ) thoughts rob my confidence in many situations. I am now reminding myself to think of and dwell on the FM (for me) thoughts and hold onto those truths of who I am. I am definitely a work in progress! I am thankful to have found these OBS which allow all of us a community of fellowship which I was reading in a devotional today is more valuable than gold. Reading and learning from others struggles and TRIUMPHS has allowed me to accept my brokenness and replace it with HOPE that although I make mistakes and am no where near perfect, we have an ABBA that will love us just the same.

  4. Wow…yes, really needing to read that and be reminded that God can change me from wimp to warrior because He is who He says He is…and I am who He says I am. Thank you for the encouragement!

    • Amy Wall (Prayer/Blog Warrior Team) says:

      Amen, amen, amen!! I’m a wimp, but a warrior princess in training. And with God’s help, that’s exactly what we’ll be!!

  5. “Sometimes staying is a step of faith.” Circled, underlined and highlighted! I hear you, Lord! I have struggled so deeply with the fear that I don’t have enough time with my boys to make an eternal difference in their lives. We do not have circumstances that allow me to stay home with them. I must have a job. I had an opportunity with a church that would give me afternoons with them and we have prayed and prayed for it to work out. But the fleece has been out. The lack of peace in hubby’s heart is also an answer. As hard as it is to say no, I am trusting that since we are truly seeking Gods will, if the answer is “stay” He will provide the eternal opportunities with my boys. And He will do the saving. Thank you, Lord, for your provision and always your perfect timing. Trusting you, to me, is not having to know all the whys. I take great comfort in that. Amen!

  6. Thank you gor this encouragement as we face challenging times in our workplace and profession. I need courage as do my coworkers. How grateful I am for this assurance of God’ s strength and care AND possibilities!

  7. I guess that the main thing I gained from this book is that in the promises of God, I have all that I need to live with a confident heart in God. I will be carrying His promises around with me and storing them in my mind.

  8. Nancy Silvers (OBS Small Group Leader) says:

    I think what I am taking away most from this study is that I have given the enemy too much fodder to use against me through my own thoughts. My mind needs to be focused on who I am in Christ and filled with God’s word. In and of myself I can not do anything nor do I have any confidence but with God I can do all things as I move forward in God-fidence 🙂 This has been such an amazing study and I’m saddened to see it end! Looking forward to our next study 🙂

  9. YES, most definitely I have felt the part of a spiritual wimp. More times than I care to admit. Most recently, as I’m still going through one of the hardest time in my life (critical spot in 32 years of marriage). Instead of pulling myself up by the bootstraps I have given in to weakness and hurt, mixed with confusion and a bit of aggravation… not the strong spiritual person I should be. But the good news is, I’m still hanging on and trying (?) to trust God will open up the door CLEARLY to me as to which path to take. He may already have the right door open, I just need to clearly see it! With no doubt as to what He wants me to do.

  10. This book has touched my heart! I’ve seen a big change in my personal confidence level since I started this study. The one phrase that really sang to my heart was Renee Swope’s final statement at the end of chapter 10.
    “He is looking for a woman who wants to walk with Jesus and find her confidence through her daily dependence on Him.” (ACH page 201) I want to be that kind of woman. I want to be an example/role model, for my 3 year old daughter, as a woman after God’s heart.

  11. I do feel like a spiritual wimp at times. Then I have to remind myself who God says I am – and know that He sees me as wonderful and precious. Little by little I learn to trust Him in all things and that builds my Godfidence a little more each time – as He always makes something beautiful out of my messes. Thank you Lord for being Emmanuel!

  12. Diane Barney says:

    I love the reminder of Gideon who felt the least in his tribe I know sometimes I feel the same way small and insignificant and unable to accomplish what God has spoken into my heart. This week between this study and the Church sermon God spoke he wants us to have audacious faith a faith so bold fear doesn’t even factor in. How cool is that, there was an alter call and I could feel in my spirit God wanted me to go, I did I was so blessed I felt God’s presence at the alter. God wants me to have the bold faith to make the request he has placed on my heart about service to our King and Savior. Me I still can’t believe that he chose me so when I read this post it reminded me of another chosen servant who felt the same way. How great is our God and how blessed we are to be called. I have so much enjoyed this study I tell people it’s cleaning out the closet of my heart all doubts, worries, and fears that hinder so I can approach the throne confident and boldly. God tells us to approach the throne boldly believing we will receive what we ask for in faith and this has certainly been developed over the last several weeks. I want to be the kind of woman where fear never factors in and I have audacious faith to believe God. I know for my family this will make me the Proverbs 31 woman as well as the prayer warrior they need as we battle in the spiritual realm for our family and friends. I love god and how awesome he is at arranging the right study at the right time.

    I have decided to continue to pursue my career field in teaching but along that path like Gideon I made some requests some test to ensure this is where God wanted me. God answered and understood my need for these boundaries. I am so blessed. I can’t wait to see how God molds the rest of my story to glorify him I’m excited and moving forward into my future. Praise God, Praise God!!!

  13. Amanda Shipton says:

    I think the biggest lesson I have learned from this book is staying in my doubts and just accepting them as part of who I am is not ok! For so long I have seen my doubts as just part of my personality, I have allowed my circumstances to define me, but my eyes were really opened that these are lies from the enemy that I have believed, a foothold I have allowed him to have in my life. I can trust in God and free myself from these doubts by stepping into His light and claiming His promises and who He is in my life. There will no longer be any room in my heart for these lies. This will be a day to day struggle and work, but with God’s grace I will start each day anew desiring to live with “God-fidence”!

  14. Tracy Venable says:

    One of the memorable things about chapter10 for me was this statement by Renee Swope “Grace is God’s undeserved favor.” “We don’t have to earn it, and we cannot lose it when we act undeserving.”

    No matter how bad I mess up and fall away God’s love never changes because of my faith in him and his son Jesus whose shed blood has saved me.

  15. What’s ministered to me the most in chapter 10 so far is when Renee writes “What I love about Gideon’s story is how very patient God was with him over the time it took for Gideon to trust God completely. As we will see, Gideon’s faith was inconsistent, but God’s patience was absolutely constant.” Oh how this helps me!! I often think God is displeased with my inconstitencies in trusting Him, talking to Him and turning to Him instead of realizing He is patient and continually drawing me into His grace, forgiveness and love. I’m so hard on myself when my faith is weak and I struggle with doubt, but God is not hard on me about it. I believe He is constantly trying to show me that he is completely trustworthy. Oh that my heart would trust Him more than it ever doubts! How thankful I am for grace.
    My question for Renee is – Are you writing another book?

    • Amy, yes, that quote stood out to me, too! Sooo very thankful God’s patience is completely constant. (Though I wish it didn’t have to be!!) Grace is a powerful thing, no?? =)

      • Very powerful!! I love Him for having it for me!

        Are you the leader who recommended a song during our study from Meredith Andrews? If so, you had mentioned somewhere about being from a musical family. What other Christian artists do you recommend, who are similar to Meredith Andrews? So many of her songs have been a huge help to me lately! So if it was you who introduced her to me, thank you, thank you, thank you!

        • That’s so funny… I don’t think I posted a song from her, but I did just see her live in concert on Sunday night and we have some mutual friends! Love her songs, “Pieces” and “Not For A Moment”. And yes, I do come from a really musical family. (Two of my sibs have musical theater degrees and my mom was a music teacher for forever.) If you like Meredith Andrews … you might try Laura Story, Kari Jobe, Natalie Grant, Britt Nicole, & Francesca Battistelli. Hope that helps, Amy! =)

  16. Janice Thacker says:

    loved this from the book: instead of changing our circumstances, often God uses our circumstances to
    (1) bring us close to Him,
    (2) make us more like Him
    (3) find our confidence in Him

  17. I like that it’s ok to ask God more than once on a particular thing. Often times I doubt that I have heard correctly.

  18. I have so felt wimpy in my faith in the past. I airways felt not good enough, but a year and a half ago I Really felt like a wimp. We had so many bad things going on that I felt lost. I felt like God Was so far away from me that I began to doubt Him. This was a first for me. I was saved at 16 years and at 43 years old, I doubted God.
    It was a very scary and lonely time for me. I thank God my husband was string at that time and stood by me. He prayed with me non stop. He was such a great support. I eventually came out of it. I felt weak in my faith at first but eventually got stronger.
    This study had opened my eyes and given me a confidence I have never known. God had shown me my worth is in him and not in man. I can now walk in bold confidence and share this with others. I am so thankful for this study and sad it is ending. I would love to bring this study to my church so that other woman could learn the truth. That they are full of worth and that the past does not define who they are in Christ Jesus.
    I pray for everyone of my sisters out there as we leave this study and begin a new walk with #aconfidentheart. God bless.

  19. Debbie K (OBS Small Group Leader) says:

    The biggest message for me from this study has been that this is a journey, something I’m going to do over and over again, and that’s okay as long as I’m continuing to turn my heart and mind back to God’s truths over and over again. Renee has helped me see that just because I don’t have it all together perfectly doesn’t exempt me from being used by God mightily. Yay!!! God can work through my weaknesses and use them completely for His glory.

  20. Highlights from Ch.10 of A Confident Heart by Renee Swope: I could relate to and needed to hear the experiences Renee shared in this chapter; the verses used really spoke to my heart; “He took what felt like destruction and used it for reconstruction in my walk with Him.”-pg.186; “…it’s not about trying harder. It’s about turning sooner.” -pg.187; “A confident woman…realizes grace is the security of knowing God’s love is guaranteed for her because she trusts in Christ.” -pg.187; “Instead of changing our circumstances, often God uses our circumstances to bring us closer to Him, make us more like Him, and help us find our confidence in Him.” -pg.191; “God is not looking for a woman who is perfect. He is looking for a woman who wants to walk with Jesus and find her confidence through her daily dependence on Him.” -pg.201

    I do feel like a spiritual wimp when it comes to how I handled health issues after having my daughter. I handled it like a victim for several years, angry at God and asking Why, allowing it to pull me away from Him rather closer. It is still a daily choice and battle I face, but since finding P31 OBS, I’m learning how to move forward with God – a work in progress.

  21. My Proverbs 32 Woman mode is there often. In fact, it feels that way, most of the time. I am trusting the Lord more and attempting to control my life less, since this book. Renee was visiting my home and observing me I am convinced!!

  22. Oh, my highlights from Chapter 10! I have struggled my whole life with doubts of being good enough and of fearing life itself. Sometime incredible happened to me in this chapter! I was fervently praying this morning when I heard God quietly whisper: “Quit trying so hard. Just relax and trust in me.” A calm came over me, and I cried in absolute joy. God is with me…Emmanuel! My soul has truly been touched with healing. Thank you, Renee, and Proverbs 31 Bible Study for helping me see how much God loves me and calls me to be in relationship with him. This is my journey from wimp to warrior!

  23. I first want to thank Renee for her obedience to God in writing this book/ study. Also would like to thank all of the leaders for their ministry. This has been my first OBS P31 bible study, and it truly has been a blessing, as well as life changing. Earlier on in the study Renee had asked us to do a timeline. I choose to do a spiritual timeline. There have been three major spiritual life changes for me. The first being , when I surrendered my life over to Jesus in 1981. The second being a Beth Moore Conference ( Breaking Free). That was in August of 1999. All of my shame and brokenness along with other feelings, finally exposed. It was then that I knew and felt the Love that the Lord had for me. He rescued me, healed me and made me whole. I was finally free from my bondage of my childhood abuse. The third being this study. It relates to Chpt 4 God Promises Hope for my future despite the pain of my past. My mother had passed away in April, and since her passing I had become quite angry. I didn’t know where the anger was coming from. I prayed and prayed to God, but got no answer. I remained angry and frustrated, and couldn’t move forward in this study . My husband had to travel to Pageland, SC for business. I went with him and we stayed in Monroe, NC. While he was at work my time with the Lord was precious to me. Much time in prayer, but truly listening to Him ( Be still and know that I am God). He revealed me that I needed to forgive my mother.. You see, I had forgiven my stepfather for my abuse, and had asked for forgiveness for myself, but not my mother. I was carrying anger as I had told my mother as it was happening, but she choose to not believe it, and the abuse continued. I even told her as an adult. A mother is suppose to be there for her children and protect them. I forgave my mother on that day and only wish that I had done it face to face. I do know that this was all in God’s timing, and that He led me to this study by an invitation of a friend to join her. Renee writes on page 79 ” As He shows you broken places , ask Him to bind up every wound with His healing touch, and set you free from any captivity that has held you until now. Pray His Promises”. I came to that hotel so broken, but left healed and free because of His # Perfect Love. Therefore He is my Emmanuel : My God with me, My El Sali: God of my strength, Jehovah Rapha: The Lord who heals me, and Jehovah Shalom: The Lord of my Peace. This journey hasn’t been an easy one, but with Him at my side. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!!!!!! I did come into this study wimpy, but I’m now beginning the next season of my life as woman with a Confident Heart. Trusting in God’s Promises and so thankful to God in ALL circumstances. Love in Jesus, Jean

    • Jean, I am so glad that God is showing you how He alone can set us free from captivity in our broken places, and that you are becoming a Warrior Princess, child of the King of Kings.

      My church also studied “Breaking Free” again last year and as the women’s ministry director, I spoke during one of the sessions and used quite a bit of “A Confident Heart” in my talk. So many parallels! We also had never seen so many counseling referrals in that study — so powerful. (Our campus pastor joked that we had to stop doing such great ministry for women to want to seek complete healing.) 🙂

      I shall also be praying for you in working to forgive your mom. Though I personally am not a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, I am close to many who are. And I understand it’s quite common to want to blame the non-offending parent in intra-familial abuse — so know that you are not alone in that regard. All the same, it seems like the Holy Spirit has really given you freedom here. Forgiveness is a tricky thing, though, because especially in certain situations, we have to keep opening up that door to let God’s grace and goodness through as various triggers come to bear.

      Jean, know I am thankful that we’ve been a part of your journey of healing through this OBS. And thankful that the end of your story is not yet written!

  24. Kathie Waters says:

    I think this is my favorite chapter so far. I have seen “the names of God” referred to before, but never took time to see what that was all about. Reading it in the context (or maybe with the open mind/heart) from this study really struck me. Thanks for the printable, I gave one to my co-worker too!
    Something else that struck me was the fact I need to “be Dependent” on God, rather than being “Independent”. I have little trouble remembering that God is with me, but I have a hard time letting Him LEAD me. Working on that!

  25. Andrea Dillard says:

    I love where it talks about “turning sooner”, When I feel that I’ve failed God, I find myself avoiding Him. This reminds me to turn back to Him sooner, He is waiting for me. andrea

  26. Don’t beat yourself up because you seem to be ‘weak’ in a storm. It’s true that there will always be storms and it is okay if we’ll just lean on Him. Isa 43:2 WHEN you pass through the waters, I will be with you; WHEN you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep you away, WHEN you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.
    I’m reminded of the poem “Footprints”, sometimes when we feel far from God,that is when we are closest to Him. Our family advent last night was on Jacob’s ladder. Jacob woke and said “God was hear and I didn’t even know it!”

  27. Highlights from Chap. 10: P. 190 ‘Go in the strength you have…’ (Judg. 6:14) underlined and then El Sali ~ God of my Strength jumped off the page at me! “Oftentimes God will use our doubts to build our confidence by calling us to face our fears and do something we would never choose to do on our own” ACH, p. 199.

    I’ve allowed fear and doubt to define me in my quest for understanding and this book has changed my perspective in so many ways. “God doesn’t promise understanding; He promises peace in the midst of not understanding.” ACH, p. 172. When I hear the whispers of doubt that create anxiety and condemnation I can grasp the promises that He is #Enough. Romans 8:1 NIV verse mapping:
    Therefore = Since
    there is no (no = shuts the door, none)
    condemnation = penal servitutude
    for those who are in (in = Gal. 3:26 Children by faith in J.C.)
    Christ Jesus.
    “Since the door is shut against penalty for Carol who is a child of God through faith in Jesus Christ.” My confidence is in God. 🙂

  28. Yes I feel like a spiritual wimp. I am continually asking God to show me I am saved, give me a sign on how to do things, show me again. I am blessed to have read the story of Gideon, he kept asking God to show him, to prove he existence, and God just kept doing it. I know that my insecurities are not showing trust but I am having a hard time just being trustful. I am working on it though.
    As we are nearing the final days of this study, what were the highlights for you from this book? The one thing that stands out the most is that Renee says to stop rehearsing worry. How true this is. I find myself doing it constantly and I am really working on not doing it. It is not the way I want to live and I am sure it is why I am so stressed. My husband has been telling me this for years, but it took this study to finally sink in. I just hope I can keep it up.

  29. All too often I feel like a spiritual wimp. I have never felt good enough to share the good news of Jesus with anyone because of who I am and how I look to others. I know that God can use ourfailures to ashow His glory but I am so weak. I pray that let His Word fill my heart and that I allow Him to work in me.

  30. I love chapter 10 – to be reminded of those “wimps” in the Bible who became “warriors” because of our Lord. It is encouraging to know that this “wimp” can become a “warrior” if I just trust in the Lord. I’m not sure what keeps me from doing that consistently, other than not taking the time to know God and listen to Him and wait for Him to show me what He has in store for my every moment. I have found this study to be a great renewal. This is the time of renewal, hope and expectation. What better way to go into this season but with the things I have learned through this OBS. Thank you, Renee, for sharing.

  31. With the combination of this study and the study we just finished up at our church small group God is definitely working in me, Praise the Lord. I’ve been having to “boss my heart around” a lot lately and just to trust God, He can handle things. We were working on a puzzle over Thanksgiving. We started separating the edge pieces from the inside; we were missing some edge pieces my youngest son was getting upset because we had to go back through all the pieces again, and again. Finally, we found them all and started working on the inside. That night God used that puzzle to showed me that while the boarder is fairly easy to put together you were relieved, until you had to work on the inside of the puzzle; the hardest part. Everyone can put together a nice looking outside and seem you have it all together, but the inside is empty or missing pieces and you just want to give up and throw it away. Your inside Polly, I am there putting the pieces in the right place, but when you take it from me the pieces don’t fit. I will never leave you Polly. Trust and let go I have a beautiful puzzle to finish.
    I’m a work in progress and looking forward to a new beginning with my Lord each day. Thank you for this study and for everyone.

  32. I have two things that should out to me in chapter 10. First page 193, Getting to know God, you must spend time with Him, talking, listening, observing who He is. The second on page 201 God is not looking for a perfect woman, He is looking for a woman who wants to walk with Jesus and find her confidence through her daily dependence on Him. Love that one. I don’t have to be perfect, I just need Jesus. which in my world that is given at some point each day. I’m kind of sad that the book is almost over….

  33. On p185 Renee writes “I needed His peace and perspective in the midst of my storm, but I didn’t even think to ask Him in the heat of the moment. Instead I had allowed my emotions to run wild within me.” I tend to do this often. I live off my emotions and let them dictate my actions instead of going to God first, I blow up and then ask Him for help later 🙁
    YES! I have definitely felt like a P32 woman/spiritual wimp! I don’t handle it well in the moment as I just said, but I am learning better to turn to the Lord first and I am grasping more and more the grace God has for me!
    Highlights from the book: THERE ARE SO MANY! 🙂 Some of the most important to me are that my worries will never change a thing, except the condition of my heart and home, and not for the better (p162); imperfect progress is a great thing, we will stumble and we will fall, but we will also get back up when we rely on HIM; BE INTENTIONAL DAILY!

    • Jennifer (Prayer Warrior Team) says:

      Amiee — I have done the same thing so many times — react to the moment and *then* think about how I should have turned to God and things would have gone a lot better. I’ll pray that you and I both continue to realize how much better our lives are when we turn to God first.
      Blessings!
      Jennifer

  34. Hello Renee and P31Sisters,
    I have truly enjoyed this Bible study. I felt as if chapter 9 was written about my life. I am now able to realize that communing with The Father isn’t just telling Him about life’s problems but seeking him in the word and knowing He can speak back, if you truly listen. Thank you for showing me how to have more confidence and a stronger faith in our Lord and Savior, I don’t have to know the solutions to problems just that he is at work in me and he knows all. Just trust him. Love you all and continue to be a blessing to us all.

  35. Chapter 10 is definitely MY chapter! Of the MANY things that I can relate to… and it happened to me today… the spilled water on the computer!!!! I’m not even joking, it happened, I started to get FURIOUS…then remembered Renee’s story regarding when she was working to get her message done and her mom came home and her husband was late.. and so on. I stopped, prayed, chuckled just a little… then finished cleaning up the water off my desk. I thanked God that my computer wasn’t ruined.. (AMEN & AMEN). I’ve gleaned so much from this book. Honestly each chapter has been ‘aimed’ directly at me. I do often feel like the Proverbs 32 woman… I LOVED that! I’ve enjoyed this study completely and plan on going over it again before the next one starts!!

  36. Janet Daniel says:

    Chapter 10 was great. I related so much to Gidden and thinking I needed more proof over and over to trust and believe that God has my back. I am finally starting to learn to trust Him but I when I fall down I know I can turn back to ask for His help. I find this book such an instrument in learning how to let go of my fears and depend more on God and see things through His eyes. Praying to Him for daily help is really helpful. I have often felt like the proverb 32 woman on certain days. But the different tool I have learned through out the book are really helpful. I’m glad I actually went through the whole book. I plan on reading through it again. I loved this!

  37. A quote from page 61 has stuck with me and really taught me a lot. It is “Salvation is a one-time decision, but finding satisfaction in Christ and living in the security of His promises is a daily process.”

    It made me realize how important spending quality time with God is. Now we have a DATE every morning and I start my day ready to face anything with God with me!
    God Bless,
    ~Johanna

  38. “Because God chose to come to Gideon instead of someone else, I believe Gideon must have been seeking God and desired to follow Him” pg. 191 ~ A Confident Heart by Renee Swope
    I underlined this in my book, it brings me great hope, knowing that our God longs to come to those of us who genuinely seek after Him 🙂
    Suzanne

  39. This was probably my favorite chapter so far….I LOVED it! I feel like I highlighted most of the chapter…there are so many tidbits that I have written down and posted where I will see them.

    Some of my favorites:
    On page 186 – 187
    “Although I was ready to give up on me, God wasn’t. Although I was deeply disappointed in myself and felt like such a disappointment to God, He took what felt like destruction and used it for reconstruction in my walk with Him.”
    ~ I often feel like a disappointment and ready to give up but this has given me a new way to look at my “failures”.

    “I want you to know we all blow it, but God offers grace to cover our guilt. Satan wants us to think we’re the only ones who mess up, but it happens to all of us, every day.”
    ~ Being reminded that I am not the only one who messes up is always an encouragement…even though I should already know that.

    “Grace is God’s “undeserved favor.” We don’t have to earn it, and we cannot lose it when we act undeserving. An acronym for grace is God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense. Yes, grace cost a lot, but Jesus already paid for it.”
    ~ I love the acronym! I also love the last sentence – Jesus already (willingly) paid for our grace!

    On page 191:
    “Sometimes God answers our prayers by calling us to be part of the solution to our problems. Instead of changing our circumstances, often God uses our circumstances to bring us closer to Him, make us more like Him, and help us find our confidence in Him.”
    ~ I have this one posted above my computer in my office – some many times I just want it to be a easy answer but then I am reminded that God has a reason for making me part of the solution to my problems.

    On page 199:
    “Oftentimes God will use our doubts to build our confidence by calling us to face our fears and do something we would never choose to do on our own. But when we depend on Him, we experience victory we never thought possible.”
    ~ This past summer I was asked to teach the 4yr old VBS class – I am not a public speaker or teacher. I am terrible and get nervous even if the audience is just a small group of 4 yr old kids. I prayed hard – very hard – to be able to have a successful week and not mess up. The first day – FAILED….but after that I was not afraid, it could not get any worse. At the time I did not feel like it was good; but the weeks after I received comments from parents that their child loved it. I never thought I would consider teaching again but I actually am seriously considering it again next summer. Crazy right?!

    I know enough already….last one is on page 201:
    “Remember God is not looking for a woman who is perfect. He is looking for a woman who wants to walk with Jesus and find her confidence through her daily dependence on Him.”
    ~ I always feel like I am not NEAR as perfect as my friends and family but this book has reminded me that God is not looking for perfect because there is no where to go from perfect except down. I am reminded that I will never be perfect here on earth and that all God is really asking me is to depend on Him EVERY DAY not just when I am in trouble. God will give me what I need to become who He knows I will be someday.

    Now that I just rewrote the chapter for you all … I cannot begin to describe how much I feel I have grown from this book. There are no words to describe it….none!

  40. Renee talks about letting God’s grace cover my guilt. She wrote, “I learned that when I confess my sins and receive God’s forgiveness, my heart is set free from guilt-induced doubt and I can find grace-induced confidence” (1 John 1:9) p.186. I am striving daily to be set free from the guilt-induced doubt of blowing it to find grace-induced confidence through God’s forgiveness. I am going to pray this daily for thirty days.

  41. Jennifer Hardy says:

    What speaks to me about Chapter 10? Confidence is not so much about believing in yourself and your abilities , but rather believing and trusting in God. I finally get it! When we are completely dependent on God, we are confident In Christ! It’s good to know Gideon learned to trust the Lord slowly and God was so patient with him as he is with us. Thank you God for your gifts of forgiveness and grace so that we are able to get right back up when we fall and stay on the path of dependence on You and confidence in You. In Jesus name we pray, Amen

  42. I needed this chapter! I will try to remember to trust God completely! Every time.

  43. Thanks in favor of sharing such a good idea, piece of writing
    is good, thats why i have read it completely

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Trackbacks

  1. […] Which is why I am oh so very thankful that God’s grace covers these moments with an abundance of patience and mercy!  (I shared more about this in our study of Renee Swope’s A Confident Heart, in my post for P31 Online Bible Studies blog this week, on Ch. 10.) […]

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