Lesson 4: Stop Putting God in a Box

Genesis 16 tells Sarai’s story. She was a Hebrew woman who was unable to conceive, so she gave her servant Hagar to her husband as a substitute wife. According to culture, any child conceived by such a union would belong to the boss—in this case, Sarai. – Grace Fox

40% of what we worry about never occurs.

I tend to allow my anxiety to heighten over any given situation. I calculate the negative and the positive as if I have any control over my future. In studying Genesis 16, I read that Sarai worries, too. My study Bible notes say for Genesis 16:2, “…and Sarai impatiently implied that God was not keeping his promise.” Didn’t God promise that Sarai would give birth?

“Then the word of the Lord came to him: “this man will not be your heir, but a son coming from your own body will be your heir.” He took him outside and said, “Look up at the heavens and count the stars—if indeed you can count them. Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”” – Genesis 15:4-5

Fox repeats in the DVD what Ruth Graham said, “Quit studying the problems; start studying the promises.” God has written so many promises. 40% of our worries never happen because our reality becomes so skewed from fear that we get tunnel vision. We forget the promises; therefore, we forget to trust in the many verses that assure us that God is with us. How do we conquer the voices that say God will not keep His promises?

Why did Jesus say (John 20:19-22), “Peace be with you,” not only once, but twice?” – Grace Fox

Fox runs through four ways in which to conquer fear over our future: 1) Don’t worry about anything, 2) Develop a prayerful heart, 3) Develop a thankful heart, and 4) Be mindful of God’s presence. Negative thinking begets negative thinking. In one group setting, I have witnessed how negative thinking asserts itself and feeds off of each other. The world would have us forget God’s promises. We often put God in this box as if He is too small to handle our dreams, our problems, or our fears. God is good. He is all-powerful. He is BIG. Yet we make Him small.

We talk the talk, posting on Facebook and twitter Bible verses, and speak about prayer as if truly in our hearts we believe that God will answer. Instead, we pray and then try to fix it ourselves as Sarai did by moving to action or by acting fearful or becoming immobilized by that fear. God will take care of every detail. Fox says, “We need to stop focusing on our fears. Quit worrying, pray and give thanks.” God’s responsibility is to give us peace. He would if only we would give up fear, both imagined and real.

Question From The Lesson: Proverbs 31:25 describes a woman’s ideal response to an unknown future—she laughs with no fear about it. On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your response when faced with uncertainty? What’s necessary to move you to the next point on the scale?

I was given a complimentary copy of this DVD & Study Guide set from the author in exchange for posting the author’s interview on my blog. This blog tour is managed by Christian Speaker Services (www.ChristianSpeakerServices.com). You can buy this DVD study here.


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