On our flight home from the Living Proof Live event in Long Beach, California, the Lord orchestrated an event that prompted this guest post.
I was sitting at the back of this nearly full plane when a lady approached me, asking if the seat next to me was taken. It was not. As I stepped into the aisle so that she could move into the row, I noticed she was holding Beth Moore’s “James: Mercy Triumphs” member book.
I couldn’t believe it. Of the thousands of people who travel daily through Los Angeles International Airport, and the one God ordained to sit next to me on this flight, it was a woman doing Beth’s new study.
That, of course, launched us into a lot of discussion on the four-hour flight home. And it ended with me asking her if she’d be willing to share her story here. And she agreed.
It’s important to note that she wasn’t even in California for the Living Proof Live event; she was there on business (as you’ll read below).
Please allow me to introduce you to our LifeWay Women friend, Rebecca Moffitt!
HIS PERFECT WORD THAT GIVES FREEDOM
God answers prayers.
Guest Post by Rebecca Moffitt
I don’t know about you, but I needed to read that.
I was aware of that truth from God’s Word and the Bible studies I’ve done, but I didn’t think that it was always true when it came to MY struggles and me.
I believed it was true for all my friends, but, in my heart, I somehow thought that maybe it wasn’t true for me.
But I kept praying and seeking and asking… especially over the last year and a half. I was praying for freedom. I knew God wanted me to be free, but I wasn’t getting it. I’ve had many strongholds in my life – one in particular I’ve never been entirely free from.
There were seasons when I felt free and didn’t actively participate in that particular stronghold, but it was just hibernating. I knew it was there, and it scared me. Then, I’d take it out and spend time with it a little, like an old friend, and then wrestle with it to go away yet again…over and over. I was in pain and confused. I would think to myself, “Maybe I’m not really saved,” “Maybe I’m a lost cause and just too weak,” and “Why isn’t God removing this?”
And then the women’s ministry at my church was getting ready to start Beth Moore’s “James: Mercy Triumphs” Bible study.
I love Bible studies, especially Beth Moore’s, and I was hungry to get into the Word, so I signed up. In the first class, our leader told us that we’d have to choose which level of the study we wanted to do. Level 1 was just showing up and watching the video, level 2 included the daily homework, level 3 included physically writing out the book of James, level 4 included extra reading, and level 5 included memorizing the entire book of James. We were supposed to commit to a level at the next class.
But I’m a busy woman. I work full time and am a mother and a wife. I decided to sign up for level 3. I shared my decision at the next class and even said that the memorization was for less busy overachievers and not me. I even said that I used to be that person but now I know better.
Ugh.. My rebellion was showing up again, to say the least.
I was faithful and did my homework every night, and I loved it. But I kept feeling this “tugging” at my heart that I needed to do the memorization. And it wouldn’t let up. Then, I thought about all of my prayers and asking God for freedom. Perhaps this was God wanting to answer my prayers, and I needed to listen and obey.
So I decided, about two weeks into the class, to start memorizing the book of James. I memorized a verse a day, and, miraculously after the first month, I had the first chapter memorized. I kept going, second chapter memorized, kept going…(and still working on it). But that’s not the real miracle.
The miracle is what happened (and is still happening) in my mind. It’s like the links of my chains began to fall off, one at a time. Where I used to worry, I have peace. Where I used to be suspicious, I have certainty that all is well. Where I used to dwell on my stronghold, I now forget to think about it.
Verses like, ”…But each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed,” (that was me!) and, “…Humbly accept the word planted in you which can save you,” began living and working within me!
I have an amazing new weapon in this battle. The memorization worked to occupy my mind when I replaced those negative thoughts with my daily scripture. James says, “…Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin…” Well, desire didn’t have a chance to conceive when I had my weapon, ”The Sword of The Spirit,” at hand and was willing to use it. I’m an analyzer (can’t you tell?) so I don’t want to over analyze how this process began freeing me in a way I’ve never been free before, but God was answering my prayer and showing me the power of “His perfect word that gives freedom.”
Recently, I had to give a presentation in front of a large audience at a prestigious hotel in California. I am not a public speaker and normally would have been sick with nerves and anxiety. The worst part was waiting, with my mic on, to walk up on stage. I had to wait all the way through one presentation. I did not allow myself to think about it. I just started with James 1:1 and recited all of my memorization over and over again. When it was my turn, I was calm and gave the best presentation of my life. I couldn’t believe it.
God is faithful.
I hope I’m not giving the impression that this is all about the act of memorizing because that is not the case. It’s about God and His word. It’s about my obedience and His love and mercy. I never want to stop memorizing scripture because I want to have victory in this battle, and I desire to be a servant God can use. I want His word to truly abide in me. It’s my medicine, my freedom, my hope, my answer. I thank God for it. God must love us to give us such a treasure.
And I thank Beth for sharing her wisdom with me and teaching me! God has used her books and studies to change me and help me grow. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to share this testimony with others. That is something that humbles me because God asked me, a weak, sinful woman, to speak of Him for just a moment. If you are struggling and confused, I hope this will encourage you to not stop praying and seeking. God will bring answers. He will show you the way.