“Would you even publish a book called Bad Girls of the Bible?” Silence hummed across the phone line as I waited for my editor’s response.
Finally she confessed, “We need to see a chapter first.”
So, I began filling my computer screen with the fictional story of thoroughly modern Mitzi, who made eyes at her husband’s fine-looking new hire, Joe. A few pages later we met her biblical counterpart, Potiphar’s wife, who showed us verse by verse what Bad to the Bone truly means.
Then, with shaking hands, I fed my sample chapter into a fax machine—I know, seriously old school—and waited for a response. Before the final sheet of paper slipped through the machine, my phone rang. “Keep writing, Liz.”
Fifteen summers later, here we are, my dear, taking a walk on the wild side with ten shady ladies from Scripture. The plan is simple: each Wednesday I’ll review the story and unpack one verse from the biblical account. Then I’ll offer my take on one Discussion Question and invite your comments. Easy, yes?
If you have a copy of Bad Girls of the Bible in hand, that’s fab. If you prefer to use just your Bible, that’s great too.
Time for our First Bad Girl.
Chapter 1: All About Evie
“Eve” means “life giver,” but in the beginning she was just called “woman.” She could be any of us. She could be all of us, male or female. We too have listened to the father of lies and said yes.
When that “clever, shrewd, cunning” (EXG) serpent appeared in the garden, planting seeds of doubt in Eve’s mind, she didn’t call out to God, seeking help or guidance or enough strength to resist the serpent’s wiles.
Oh, no. She told herself, I’ve got this.
Eve’s sin wasn’t her appetite. Eve’s sin was her pride.
She believed that delicious, nutritious forbidden fruit was helpful for “gaining wisdom” (Genesis 3:6). How could that be a bad thing? Didn’t Solomon ask God for wisdom?
Yes, he did. But Eve didn’t turn to God. She turned to God’s enemy.
Understand, there is no third option. We’re either serving God or we’re serving “that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan” (Revelation 20:2). Mr. Good-for-Nothing.
In a single verse, she took, she ate, she shared. Sin with me, Adam. “And he ate it” (Genesis 3:6). No hesitation, no resistance, no protest.
When is smart not smart? When God says “don’t,” and we say “do.” When God says “stop,” and we say “go.” When God says, “I love you,” and we say, “That’s nice, but if you don’t mind, I’d like a little time off for bad behavior.”
When their eyes were opened, Adam and his woman “saw things differently” (ERV) and “knew things they had never known before” (NIRV). They “became aware of their nakedness” (KNOX) and “suddenly felt shame” (NLT).
So, they reached for the nearest fig tree—the largest leaves in Canaan—and wove them together without sewing needles or staples or duct tape.
Alas, no matter their size, leaves are problematic. They shrivel up and fall off. When we try to hide sin, our efforts are just as foolish. Before we know it, we’re uncovered. We’re undone. Our sin is there for the whole world to see.
Now come the two verses I want us to look at closely. Adam and Eve’s future—and ours—was sealed in this scene.
Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” Genesis 3:8-9
Then the man and his wife… Genesis 3:8
Not “the couple.” They were individuals, each responsible for their own sin. However much we might wish to blame others when we stumble, God is gently asking us to see ourselves as he does: one person, in need of forgiveness.
Can you own your sin, beloved? Can you say, “I did this, and this, and this too”?
One of Eve’s lessons for us is this: Don’t cover up. Fess up.
…heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden… Genesis 3:8
They truly heard him—the Hebrew word is shama, as in “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is One” (Deuteronomy 6:4).
And the sound? In Hebrew, qol can be used of bleating sheep or the stamping of hoofs, the din of war or the crashing of waves. Sometimes it’s used of thunder, rumbling low across the land, warning of a coming storm.
Most often, the sound is a voice. When they “heard the Lord God walking around in the garden” (GW), we’re not asked to imagine loud feet stomping about. No, it was the “voice of Jehovah God” (ASV), the “voice of Adonai “(CJB).
… in the cool of the day,… Genesis 3:8
What made that hour cool? Moving air. “Late in the afternoon a breeze began to blow” (CEV). It wasn’t the temperature that mattered; it was the wind itself.
The Hebrew word, ruach, means “breath, wind, spirit.” The Spirit of the Lord was moving through the garden like a “cool evening breeze” (CEB).
At that moment guilt kicked into overdrive. He knows. He’s coming.
…and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Genesis 3:8
Instead of running to meet him, Adam and Eve ran away from him. Although the Hebrew doesn’t actually tell us “they were frightened” (CEV), clearly they must have been. Shame drove them into hiding. Shame separated them from God.
Shame is the serpent’s favorite weapon. As long as we are ashamed of our actions, we’ll avoid turning to the only one who has a remedy for our sin.
Guilt is different from shame. When we’ve done something wrong, an admission of guilt is necessary, produced by the Holy Spirit’s quiet, firm conviction. See this? And this?
Yes. We hang our heads. Can you forgive me?
Yes. He lifts our heads. It is done.
Once we confess and are forgiven, shame serves no purpose. Shame is God’s enemy throwing our sin back in our faces. Sin that God has already paid for on the cross. Sin that God has already forgiven and washed clean.
Adam and Eve wore their shame like fig leaves, taking “cover among the trees” (VOICE), convinced they needed to “hide themselves from the face of Jehovah God” (YLT).
Don’t look at me. Don’t see me.
But the Lord God… Genesis 3:9
There it is. The pivotal phrase. But the Lord.
Whether it’s “but” or “and” (JUB) or “so” (HCSB), clearly something had to change. God could not allow them to turn away from his mercy, could not permit them to die in their sin.
How like God! When we do the wrong thing, he does the right thing. When we hide from his love, his love comes and finds us.
…called to the man,… Genesis 3:9
The wind of God’s mighty voice blew across the garden. God didn’t whisper. He “called out” (GNT). He summoned Adam and “asked him” (GW) a question.
“Where are you?” Genesis 3:9
This wasn’t an accusing, belittling, shaming voice. This was the voice of a loving parent, crying out, “Where art thou?” (ASV). In Hebrew, it’s a tiny, one-syllable word: ay. “Where?”
In the story of the prodigal son we’re told, “While he was still a long way off, his father saw him” (Luke 15:20). God saw his two wayward children in the garden, and he called out to them, “Where are you?”
It’s a good question. Where are you right now, beloved? Are you hiding from God? Ashamed of something you’ve done? Fearful that God will punish you?
God did not come to the garden to punish Adam and his wife. He came to find them. To rescue them. To show them how much he loved them.
Yes, there were deep consequences because of their sin—there usually are—but because of God’s mercy, Adam and Eve did not remain stuck in their sin. “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
Bet you’ve already figured this out: we’re all Bad Girls, all Bad Boys. We all need God’s forgiveness—not just on our bad days, but every day of our lives.
What have we learned from Eve and her man? Listen for God’s voice. Sense the move of his Spirit. And come out of hiding.
Here’s Our Discussion Question
When the story is told and the lessons are clear, it’s time to apply what we’ve learned to our lives. The 2013 edition of Bad Girls of the Bible has two sets of questions tucked in the back:
1. The Discussion Questions are meant for book clubs. Read the book in a month, discuss it in an hour. One question per chapter and done.
2. The Study Guide is for readers who are working through the book one chapter over several weeks and want to dig deeper.
To keep this post from turning into another book (smile), how about I answer the single Discussion Question?
Eve couldn’t stop listening to her growling stomach or marveling at how pretty the fruit was or thinking how helpful it would be to have more knowledge. Our craving for more is manifested in every area of our lives. What do find yourself wanting more of (yet needing less of) in your life?
What do I want more of? Everything, it seems. I buy too many clothes, watch too many movies on Netflix, and spend too much time playing Solitaire when I should be writing (please don’t tell my editor). When I’m discouraged or upset, I turn to food instead of friends. When I’m sad, I go shopping to cheer myself up.
That’s the ugly truth of it. Not all of the time, but enough of the time. Groan.
How might you satisfy those longings in a more Christ-centered way?
Doing this. Opening God’s Word with friends. Spending time rather than money on something that really matters. Keeping my hands busy and my lips shut. Giving it all away with joy.
Now it’s your turn
My question is your question: What do find yourself wanting more of (yet needing less of) in your life? And how might you satisfy those longings in a more Christ-centered way?
Be honest. Your journey, your truth is welcome here. Share you thoughts below under Post a Comment.
And just for fun, take a gander at Eve’s Pinterest board for some insights into her character. Anything else you might suggest that captures Eve’s story? Say the word, and I’ll do a bit more pinning.
Next week, it’s Chapter Two with Potiphar’s Wife. Ayeee! Bless you for being here.
Your sister, Liz
Imagine a Bible study wrapped in a beautiful gift book…
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Elizabeth is barren, yet her trust in God remains fertile. Mary is betrothed in marriage, yet she is willing to bear God’s Son. Anna is a widow full of years, yet she waits patiently, prayerfully for the Messiah to appear in the temple courts. Join me as we unwrap each verse and meet afresh The Women of Christmas.
Thinking about it for a Bible study? You’ll find 8 short chapters and a 12-page Study Guide at the end of the book—ideal for a 4-week or 8-week study.
Thinking about it for gift giving? The Christmas story unfolds verse by verse, inviting each reader to enter into the season in a life-changing way.
“In her warm and welcoming voice, Liz Curtis Higgs draws us into the compelling stories of the women who surrounded our Messiah’s birth and encourages us to consider our own relationship with him. An inspirational and biblically rich devotional. What a wonderful way to experience Christmas!”
—Kelly Minter, author of Nehemiah: A Heart That Can Break
Enjoyed your lesson! I find myself wanting “approval from people” where as I should be seeking God’s approval.
Right there with you, Pat.
I totally agree with you. Always feeling I must explain or make excuses for being me or my feelings.
I am just wondering about a comment that was in the book concerning animals not talking to Adam and Eve… there is a lot left out of the story maybe perhaps God did make animals talk to Adam to give him companionship? The bible doesn’t tell us otherwise, maybe Eve was not so surprised to hear a serpent speaking because she spoke with all the other animals in the garden? Not saying she was correct in speaking with a stranger but maybe she was accustomed to speaking with all Gods creatures big and small and maybe satan took the form of a creature because he knew Eve would speak to him if he did? Just wondering… of course you probably guessed by now I am an animal lover to the core of my being. animals have and do give me great comfort and companionship. Just a thought I had and wanted to share.
I am by no means a Bible scholar, but when I read your comment a thought popped into my head. I don’t know if I’m right and I;m definitely not saying you’re wrong, so please don’t take this that way. I don’t think the animals could talk to Adam. The reason I say that is because Eve was created for Adam to have companionship because he was lonely. I take that to mean that he had no one aside from God to talk to, so that would mean that while he could talk to the animals until he turned blue, they couldn’t answer him, at least not in any way that he could understand. Again, just my thought, but I guess we won’t know until we can ask God, since like you said there are many details left out of this story,
As Pat says, I want the approval of others; I also want an ‘easy’ button even though I know there’s no such thing. Thanks for having the Wed study. God uses your writing to work on me.
He is SO faithful, Cathy, and is working on me at the very same time!
Thank you for a wonderful lesson! I find myself seeking God’s guidance then when he doesn’t handle things the way I think he should I get upset and try to take matters into my own hands.
I surround myself with animals and have the want, need and desire for more, always. We have the standard kick-me dogs, cats, fish, horse, and a rat but it’s never enough for me, ever.
I talked my non-animal loving, non-country boy into 3 hens for their eggs, we now have 7. I want to add a dairy goat and honeybees to our small urban garden and live a more self-sustaining life. This is my must-do, a need I feel deep within but my husband doesn’t share my desire and at times I don’t ask permission (so to speak), I ask my husband for forgiveness where recently accepts my selfishness.
How do I stop this? Is my desire to care for my family in this manner truly what God wants me to do? By writing this comment I’m reminded of how disrespectful I’ve been towards my husband. I need to ask him to forgive me and really listen to God. Thank you, Liz
Isn’t God good, to show us even as we are typing the words what we need to do next? Thanks for your honesty, sis, and for your willingness to listen to God’s voice.
Thank you so much for doing this Bible Study. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I love your books and enjoyed hearing you speak. I knew this would be exceptional. God Bless.
One thing that I discovered when I was studying this garden event is that after Adam and Eve were banished from the garden of Eden, every time a garden is mentioned again, it is dark. That is, until the morning of the resurrection when Mary turns and Jesus is there completing her redemption. The light had dawned again. There was no shame… only joy! Thank you Liz for reminding me that in my ‘want’ of everything (and I DO think I want and need everything…. ouch!), I really truly only have one ‘need’ and that is Jesus. <3
Wow, Kathy, I’m going to have to look into that “dark garden” theme. Thanks for pointing me in that direction!
Could you please share what you find out? I never thought of or noticed this either. But just thinking of the other garden stories off the top of my head this sounds right. I’d love to hear it with your twist, since it makes it so much easier for me to grasp things that I miss all the time.
Right now I’m wanting to improve my health and to do that I’m learning to crave God more than any yummy tidbit that tempts me. God has given me the resources to take care of my body & I’ve ‘hidden’ myself from His direction. Thank you so much for this study. I’ve loved this book since you wrote the first one. Your insight blesses my soul.
Totally get the “hiding” bit, Denise. Thanks for sharing.
I tend to get pleasure out of people praising my sons and how well my husband and I have raised them. I also tend to ridicule others whose children are poorly behaved. It has even grown to the point that it has affected my relationship with certain family members.
I have to remove myself from situations where the behavior is being discussed because I cannot be a part of it. I also have to remind myself that it’s not my job to judge others. It’s my job to raise my children the way that God has shown me and let Him deal with the other situations.
Well done, Alyssa, identifying the problem and seeing the underlying issue. That’s the first important step, isn’t it?
Yikes. I hate to admit this, but I desire to be desired. I long to be alluring. I want to be delighted in. Even if I have to make up people to love me (blergh). You said it, Liz: pride. I want to be the apple of someone’s eye, and I suppose I don’t have enough faith that I am the apple of my Father’s eye.
You have much company, Michelle. Here’s our prayer: “Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings.” Psalm 17:8
What a great way to start the day! I want more patience, the ability to stop the rush of life, the ability to rest in God’s care. As a pastor I feel that I must be available to others all the time, when in fact, there are many days I’d like to go to a quiet place and just “be”. Lately though, I have been more intentional in seeking that quiet time and it is there that I find more patience, Being faithful in morning devotions helps set my mind in the right track, and if I can remember later in the day, I can have that patience even when I am being pulled in many different directions.
Thanks Liz for your gracious, God -filled words
Oh my gosh Miss Liz – Your answer to the discussion question is the same as mine…shopping, movies, food – even Solitaire with the actual cards and not on-line. (One of my granddaughters told me the other day she had never seen anyone play Solitaire with the cards. She said, “Let me look at those.” Too funny!) Eve, Eve, Eve could be replaced with Jo Ann, Jo Ann, Jo Ann. Bless you for your perfect words for me this morning. God is good!
(Real cards. Love it, Jo Ann.)
Eve, Eve, Eve could be replaced with the name of anyone who ever lived. We’re all sinners who need a Savior. Oh, how he loves us!
Liz, this blog lesson was truly sent with God’s Providence. I had been wishing for a good study site that I could use to study more about God and the Bible at home in my reading corner at my own speed. Thanks so much. God Bless.
Shopping makes me happy….. for a little while but now I have clutter and when I see the clutter I eat and I do this things when I feel frustrated, alone or condemned. Instead of going to God I go to shopping.
Your sisters here understand, Kelly. We’re seeking his grace and freedom together.
Never thought about the leaves shrivelling and dying …falling off as it were continuously. Great analogy to trying to cover sin. I’ve always been fascinated by the fact that our Heavenly Father walked daily with Adam and Eve….at the best part of the day when the day’s work has been done and you can sit back and review it. But not this day. This day was different because routine had been broken when the serpent showed up. It was exciting…the prospect to have it all. It always is…for me too. I want…I want…I want. But do I need? The thing,the best thing she could EVER have wanted was direct fellowship with the Father Himself. But she took it for granted (I do too). She dismissed the daily opportunity to be with and commune with the God of all creation because there was this flashy skinned serpent who talked and who introduced a beguiling thought “to be like God”. She was so foolish. She already was like god…being able to rule her garden’s world with her husband. When you think about it, she had it all but wanted even more.
I am so like that. I look out at others and think they have the “It” or something I want/need completely ignoring all the many many blessings I already have.
And God, in His incredibly loving ways continues to love and woo me and my foolish heart and mind. He calls to me. He calls for me. Thank you my most kind and gracious loving Heavenly Father. Thank you. Today, I listened. Thanks,Liz.
You did indeed listen, Edie, and taught us as well.
My want is to feel “worthy”. I find myself wanting to feel “needed” in the sense of my knowledge. I feel people falsely judge my intellect, because of my outward appearance.
I know I need to be content knowing God “knows” me. He is the only one I should be trying to please. Thank you Liz, for doing what you do. You have been such a blessing in my life.
Oh, Liz, I do exactly the same things. There’s so much more that He has to give us yet we settle for what we want instead of what He wants for us- and then it all goes pear shaped and we hide in our shame. Time to really listen to His voice.
I try to ignore the “hard” stuff that I can’t handle – instead of taking everything to God – I am guilty of only taking the big stuff to God. I can’t handle anything without him and the more I ignore anything the deeper I get into my shame of not going to my Heavenly Father. I am working on my commitment with Him and working with cleaning up myself, my attitude, my life to be aware that without God nothing is possible. I love reading your lessons because it makes me aware how individualistic I think I am – I have the same issues people have had for centuries, sin and disobediance to God. Forgiveness and His Love is all I need.
Through out the years I’ve heard from many priests, pastors and people say that “Adam and Eve brought sin in to the world.” Yes, they did disobey God by doing the exact opposite of what they were told not to do. God was the first parent to have his heart broken. Yet, they never give Adam as much of a burden to carry for his role as the world seems to give to Eve because she’s a woman and some people believe that women are not to be trusted. These same people seem to forget that Adam was supposed to protect and watch over Eve. I really had a good laugh when I saw the stunned expressions on the men’s faces when this was brought to light by a male Pastor in a church that I attended many years ago. The conversation that Eve was having with the serpent in the New Living Translation tells us that Adam was with her. Other bible versions tell us that she was alone. Why wasn’t Adam looking for or calling out to Eve? Was he sleeping? Either way, why didn’t Adam speak up and say, ‘no’ to eating the apple, most likely a pomegranate? Adam was placed in a role as a leader but he followed instead. Now, we are all left with a legacy of hard work and physical pain.
Then, Jesus comes, He lifts our burdens and makes our way easier.
Just a thought on your question why didnt Adam speak up and stop Eve? I think it was love. He loved her, he couldn’t change her mind she was already swayed by satan she was already convinced, I think, Satan had already tempted her. Adam loved Eve sooo much he sacrificed everything to be with her! What a love story! God loves us sooo much also, even when we are so wrong God loves us back into the right way… love is really the most powerful thing we have, the only real thing we have.
Oh, Adam absolutely dropped the ball. When God came walking through the garden, the Bible tells us, “the Lord God called to the man.” He wanted Adam to explain himself first! As we read in Romans 3:23, “…all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” Men and women, Jews and Gentiles. It’s the next verse that gives us hope: “…and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” Thank you, Lord!
Wow.I find myself in the same situations as Eve.Pride really being the root of it all. I think wanting to be “liked” by everyone can be a struggle as well.I really liked how you helped explain the difference between guilt and shame. It took me a LONG time to figure that one out. God never shames us! I will meet you here every Wed.! God blessings to you.
I always want to be the center of situations. Always in the “know.” It leads to gossip and at times out and out lies in order to maintain it. I hate it but I continue to feed it.
Thank you for this study. Your writing inspires me.
So appreciate your honesty, Carol.
I agree Liz, my wants sound so much like yours but another that I struggle with is time. I always want more time! I am beginning to realize it is because I do not use what I have wisely. O wretched woman that I am, what I want to do, I don’t and what I don’t want to do, I do. (Jenn’s paraphrase) I deplore mornings so I use that as an excuse for not getting into the word first thing…then the day begins and it feels like a whirlwind every day. I am always rushing from one thing to another and I get so overwhelmed! How might I overcome this…go to the Lord before I even get up out of bed. Could a short talk be better than no talk? Pray and listen, listen, listen. Thank you so much for this God inspired Bible Study.
I completely understand the challenge. I’ve started talking to the Lord even before I get out of bed. I sit up, pause with my legs over the side of the bed to pray and read a Scripture or two, and THEN stand up. Just helps me get my head in the right place.
I also thank you for this study. I had just bought the book when you announced this study! Now to try and keep up! What I tend to want more of and do not need is food. I’m convicted it is gluttony. Trying to turn to God each time I want more. So hard.
I am like you Lizzie. Your answer is the same as mine. I need to turn to God and His Word. Doing things for others and turning the focus from myself.
Can you imagine the Spirit of God breezing through your garden. Wow. What do I want more of and need less of. For one, books. I am a book addict; I admit it. What you wrote Liz is so like me. Shopping. Eating. Yet when I am consistently in the Word, I am better. Lately I had an incident that caused me to loose 10 unpacked boxes of books, first editions, cherished study books, music. Ouch! I was really mad about it. It took me a while (weeks) to sort through it with the Lord. I am not sure that I have yet truly surrendered the hurt, still grieving the loss. That can’t be good. It was just books. Why am I still so upset. I don’t know for sure but I am asking and waiting – for the voice of the Lord in the cool of the day.
Oh, Sandi, I almost put “buying books” on my confession list, so we truly ARE kindred spirits. Praying for you to work through those lost boxes. Might it be a gift from the Lord in some way?
I need to TURN OFF! Between the laptop, emails, kindle, TV, netflixs, iphone… When I’m alone, I find myself constantly switching between “toys” to stay “busy”. To find our Lord we need time to Listen. Listening means being still. I’ve allowed my life to stay “busy” (yes I play too many games of spider solitaire)… all in an effort to avoid…what? Being alone with myself? with my Lord? Lord, strengthen my resolve to spend time each day in silence to Hear your gentle voice.
I used to think that people under 20 were the only ones busily multitasking with their various devices. Now I know that age has nothing to do with it. Most of us are there. I sure am. Your questions are excellent and give us all something to think about.
Thanks for the great lesson. I find myself ‘following’ on facebook instead of following God to His book! I read and write God’s Word, but to study…I want to spend time being immersed in His Word.
A great goal, Becky, for us all!
Wow.. I loved the visual of the cool wind blowing… the Spirit moving…
What a great start to a bible study.. It came in just the right time because our church women’s group is set to start “Bad Girls of the Bible”. But to answer your question like you want to much stuff. I used to fill my days with mindless TV and computer games and face book. I still struggle with that but with God’s help I am trying to quit “hiding” from God. It wasn’t until God showed me that the issues I was having with my youngest son wasn’t my son as much as my need to “help” him and in the process I was helping him not grow up. He has shown me that I was using my “helping” to fill the hole in my life that I should have been filling with God and His word. Through this all I am beginning to Trust God. Big issue for me from my past. A sister in Christ pointed this out to me one day. You may love Him but you don’t Trust Him.. I was floored. never thought about that.. well can’t wait till next week. by the way I too am a former Bad Girl redeemed by Christ.
Missy. Trust is a big issue with me too. Also, trying to “help” my kids only to have them resent me. We(I am) are a part of our(my) past and God helps us(me) to get thru that past and make our(my) “now” and future a better memory for us and our family.
Reading your post made me realize that I too love God with all of my heart, but I don’t trust Him with all my heart. I trust Him for many things, but there are definitely times when I doubt Him. I never thought of separating the two, maybe because then it would show me yet another weakness and I already seem to have way too many of them. Thank you for your honesty and willingness to share because it set off a light bulb for me.
Liz. Thank you for sharing your struggles. If I could I would probably spend, spend, spend. Or buy cars (lol). That is why God keeps me where I can not do that! Ha!Ha! Anyway, I guess what I do is retreat.I retreat into my own world where I do not have to talk to people. Play games on my computer or just go in my room away from everyone. Maybe it is because of the chaos in my home. I do not go to God with my emotions. And then the cycle continues.
I can take the things I love to do and hide in that too. Giving away things that I make gives me self-worth.
So, how can I satisfy my longings in a Christ-Centered way. I know that I have to re-focus my thought life. “How do I do this?” I ask myself. Of course pray and read my bible. This is a given. But, also, I know that when I write it re-focuses my mind. I know I had been super depressed a few weeks ago and I could not snap out of it. I was watching Andy Stanley and he said something that struck me. My fingers were writing away. A poem. It was all my feelings. But then it ended with a prayer to God. Thru that God would speak thru a tv sermon or going to church. This gave me hope that God does listen and he does hear. He will use others to help me along even though they do not know me.
It really does give me joy to make things for others and give it away. I will always do this. It is part of my nature. It is a gift from God and I need to dwell on the wonderful gifts that God has given me to give others joy in there life. But I have to realize that God is my joy and not what I do.
Pslm 121 has been my life passage to help me thru my tough and dark days.
Bless you for sharing your journey, Sandy. Giving gifts to others surely must please the Lord. Trusting him completely, even more so.
I am a big person on pride, and I let it get in the way of a lot of things, so I guess my issue is worrying about what other’s think of me. Wanting the nice car, nice home, all the things that don’t matter, they are all things I can live without, and can’t take with me! I have also wasted time on tv, facebook, and other point less time consuming things. I also find myself hiding from God, seeking him only when I need him, not realizing I need him every day, all day, and all the time in between. I have issues admitting I am wrong, and need help. Your blog hit where it hurt and open my eyes to different issues that I am blocking out… Thank you!
I have always been uncomfortable attending group Bible Studies. I have a lot of heartache in my life and often the discussion turns to things that bring up painful memories. Controlling my emotions and not crying is very difficult for me…so I just stay away. I love that I can sit at my computer and be drawn closer to God as He blesses me through your gift of teaching.
We’re glad you’re here, Pat.
I want the time and have faith in my ability to write a cookbook/life growing up in a Mennonite Home. But I fear failure….at 64 you would think I would be over the fear of failure.
I love your Bible Studies and I love this book.
Thank you so much for your writings and your study! I am so much like you! I spend too much…watch to many movies on netflix and I turn to food for comfort…when the devil tempts me I need to remember to run to our Lord!
My “More of” would be my family.
I was told be a counselor that my security is in my family.
I need to keep becoming more dependent on Jesus and less dependent on my family.
Wow! So glad the Study is here. Thank you Liz! I tend to be like you, I love to shop, I love to go to lunch with friends, so I am going to turn lunch into a Bible study with your blog! And than we will go shopping together. Maybe I need to rethink this! Hehehe. I promise to try harder to do better. Can’t wait for next week.
Ok so I’m sitting here thinking, Liz said don’t cover up and that is exactly what I did. Truthfully -I don’t like to be told I am wrong. Even when I am! Lol! Help! I will try to accept my downfall and admit when I am wrong. Now I feel better, thank you Liz!
Thank you, Liz! I struggle with more highly valuing what people think,Rather than what God thinks….I want to be accepted and liked and highly thought of! Ouch !!
I am also sucked into shopping, wanting more things (typically clothes). I have way too many as it is, but yet I buy more. I need to fill this void with more time with the Lord, more generosity toward others who need these things more than I do.
Thank you Liz for sponsoring this! I grew up with nothing, very poor. As an adult I buried my brother and parents, and 4 babies. Even though I have a wonderful family of my own, the loss has left me with untold grief. I have a wonderful husband, 4 beautiful daughters, 4 grandchildren, and another due any day, but the grief haunts me and I find myself, as you, spending. I need so desperately, to stop.
I can totally understand the pain you are feeling.I lost my mom in 03. My grand daughter was born on Dec 25 of 03. She passed away on Feb 06, 04. I took care of my dad for three years. In these 3 years, I lost my brother, and a Pastor friend. Then, at the end of 06 I lost my uncle while he was visiting me and dad. Then, in Jan (first week) my dad went into a coma and died. My other uncle died 2 weeks later. I did not have time to mourn my family and went into a depression. I still have moments where I just cry. BUT! I know where my family is. In Heaven. My mom is enjoying her great great grand daughter and my grand daughter is loving being with all her family and being with Jesus. It is what I hold on to. I have 8 living grand children and I make sure that I let them know how much I love them…..my oldest grandson just accepted Jesus into his heart 3 weeks ago. What a joy! Take care dear lady and know that you are not alone and that Jesus feels all your pain and is loving on you.
Understand completely. I have a lot of pain in my past.. bad childhood to a bad marriage. Stayed with an abusive husband for 27 years till he died actually. Wasn’t all bad but got two wonderful blessings from it. My boys Christopher and Jordan. Christopher died in 2003 playing semi-pro football. Pain is still there grief untold at times. But the love of Christ has redeemed me. Still struggle with food issues, depression at times, overspending and the inability of letting my youngest fly on his own. But just recently God has shown me so much. I just needed to stop running long enough to hear His voice and learn to trust again… day by day process. sometimes minute by minute.
I find myself wanting things,and I don’t need stuff.I have more then I need now.What I really need is more of Christ,spend more time in the Word and prayer.If I would put Him in place of my wants,oh how blessed I would be.I am very close to Him,but I could move closer.Thank you for this study.I really love it.
Thanks for doing this online study! I read your book many moons ago and loved it! I have it around somewhere… thankfully my Bible is closer. =)
You and I could hang out. I, too, turn to food and buying “stuff” for comfort and am working to be more conscious of that. I read the book Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst and had to start thinking a new way. How do I replace my “go to objects” for coping with God instead. Eat my Bible? Well, you know what I mean. Thanks for giving yet another perspective on this issue.
See ya next Wednesday!
I thought I was a contented person until I stopped long enough to honestly answer today’s question! Honestly – I do want more time, more pain free days, more appreciation. I need to daily remind myself: that I am fully accepted and appreciated by God in Christ; that the pain is allowed by a loving Savior and He uses it to sharpen me; that at least some of the time I so desperately long for would be available if I was more careful how it was spent.
Liz I needed this study-I have ‘sort of” wandered-doing my own thing-but I know I need to stop and listen for God’s voice -calling in the cool of the day and anytime and say ‘here I am Lord’ ready to stop listening to the ‘serpent’ the devil when he says ‘the Lord is not hearing you’ …..
I am so glad to see this Bible Study. A new one started with the ladies at church yesterday but have no way to get there so this is great. Your lesson really hit home today. So many parts of it did. I remember a time when I was young that a situation happened and after I felt like I could not cover up and be clean again. So many things have contributed to my problems now, but I have a terrible time with eating and controlling it. Thank you so much for doing this, I’m looking forward to next week.
Thank you Liz ! I think of Eve as the most perfect woman who ever lived, sheltered in the Love of Adam the most beautiful of men and surrounded by Love – God’s Love, who placed them in a Garden we can only imagine. She is like most women, likes conversation, likes to feel she is important and has it all together, she is adored by her husband, she has no fear at all and the evil one just slithered into her mind and tricked her. For me I want to be loved, so loved I never have to doubt my family or friends. I can be myself without being judged. I want to found worthy to my God, God sees our heart not the outward cool outfit , but the real me. I can relate with Rebecca Jo, the cool wind blowing!! God walking with us – the stars late at night I want more — I want heaven !!
My church did this bible study and I could not join it because I had to work. Now you are doing it online which is cool. I learned I have to be happy with what I have and what I am doing for myself. I have to approve of myself first then others might come around or not thats alright. i know that Jesus loves me and wants good things for me, so he will put the right people in my life, when he feels like it i guess.
Loved this Liz! Your writing is Spirit-filled and I was so blessed as I read this! The photos you post compliment your writing as well. I just finished your ‘first’ book of “Bad Girls of the Bible” last month…It’s been hiding on my library wall all these years! It was so fantastic that I was very bummed when I finished it. It was not nearly long enough! 🙂
Thank you so much for sharing your gift of writing all these years, with all of us!
I read this early Wednesday Morning getting my girls ready for the day. Just happened to find 10 minutes to do it. I enjoyed it. HOWEVER come to my surprise I would need to use this exact part of Gods perfect and precious promises to teach my youngest daughter who is 8 a lesson in obedience. She had chores to do and while I was working in my office 1 hour later I found her after “searching for her ” hiding in her brothers room doing exactly what she was told not to do watching TV. while I told her she was punished for disobeying the Lord reminded me about the early morning teaching in Eve. So I directed her to that passage in the bible as she read it out loud I asked her why was Eve hiding from God, She responded with the correct answer I said, does that remind you of what you just did to me, hide from me ? She said MOM STOP I am so Sorry. Immediately she was remorseful.. All I can say is we have an amazing God who can meet all our needs according to his riches in heaven. Thank you Liz for doing this it was a gift to me today.
Wow, Michele. Incredible to see how God gave you just what you needed, when you needed it. He is BEYOND faithful!
I need approval. I want to be the instructor that everyone wants to have for writing classes. I want to be the preferred Mamaw by my grandsons,b I want my daughters to ask me for advice and help. I want to people to like me. I want to be I clouded in activities, not forgotten or overlooked. I craved approval. Lately though I have been studying what Happens When Women Say Yes to God through an online Bible Study with Proverbs 31 Ministries. My daughter and I also attended the Women of Faith conference in Indianapolis recently and heard Liz speak (2nd time for me…first was in Wooster, Ohio last fall). It is FINALLY sinking in to me that the only one I need to please is God. Plus it is finally sinking in that if I aim to please Him, everything else falls into place.
We are in the 3rd week of the semester and my classes are good. Students are engaged. I am relaxed. They ask questions. They are working hard, and I am enjoying them. I spend time with my daughters and grandsons, and the time the past couple of weeks has been good quality time. In fact last night my grandson and I laughed and played before dinner and it was so much fun. Relaxed. Just fun.
I don’t need to worry about approval from others. When I follow God’s plan for me, it all falls into place.
Love seeing this progression, Beth, from honest admission to more peace and less angst. Wonderful.
SO MANY of us have commented here about the need for approval. Our pride is the sin. God’s love is the answer. We’re teachable, Lord!
Thinking on this question I’m kind of stumped, then I realize I want more, more of everything. More life, more money, more animals, more children, more, more, more. I try to say I’m satisfied, but in so many realities I’m not. My three older children are grown up, 2 are completely out of the house, 1 is in college. I have one beautiful 10 yo at home, but long for the days when we had a full house. It’s like I’m never satisfied with God’s blessings. I say I am, and for the most part I am, but there’s always some little part of me that wants more. Wow.. lots to pray about!!
Thank you Liz for this Bible study and how to I make sure I don’t lose place, I want more! LOL.. but in this case I think it’s a good thing. (a friend gave me this link)
Another powerful study, Liz. Honestly, what I really want I am not at liberty to share. It’s actually a very “Godly” thing, but apparently not in God’s will or timing right now. However, it eats away at me and affects my relationships. I need to go to the Lord in prayer and release it to Him. Release–oh, so hard!
I want more time to be by myself, and I’ve been shown that I really need to be with others. When I do have a lot of time by myself, it does not make me feel good. So…Back to God’s plans and dying to self and my plans.
I think that my biggest vice is that I feel I have a right to “me” time…like I am so important that I can just sit and ignore what needs to be done. While I fully understand that God gives us downtime to refresh and strengthen our bodies, we also have responsibilities of life that must be accomplished. I think that if I delve more completely in to the Word, I will find that purpose for which I was created, and strengthen my will to work and do for the One who has given me all that I have. My “me” time sometimes takes me away from the Word, sadly…but that needs to change! God, give me strength to do what I should do, and not that which I want to do! Thanks for the reminder, Liz!
First, thank you, Liz, for this great study. While I’ve enjoyed reading your comments over the past weeks, I particularly like the interactive component of this study, which has a book for us to delve into and stimulate us to think more deeply about the topic. Since seeing this advertised, I’ve been looking forward to it & was excited to find it in my email this morning!
In answer to the discussion question, I first thought about THINGS that I want more of but certainly don’t need and really cannot practically use (more Bibles, more purses, more shoes, more bathing suits, etc.). After reading the chapter in the book, though, my response is that I tend to want more KNOWLEDGE (even about God & His Word) while sacrificing KNOWING HIM. I find it easy to be involved in studies (such as this one and another that’s starting at my church this coming Sunday) and get hooked into listening to series (such as sermons on Proverbs) but find that I allow my personal time with God to suffer–not really spending time “hearing” from Him and praying and truly seeking communion/fellowship with Him. As I thought about this tendency in my own life, I remembered teachings I have had from an OT Survey class. In my notes, I wrote that specifically the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil relates to a temptation to want to know everything and that one of the results of the fall is that there is more information available than we can handle (I think of our information-overloaded society). The challenge for me is to step back from formal educational opportunities and focus on Him (thinking of putting the principles & relationship of THE PRACTICE OF THE PRESENCE OF GOD as written by Brother Lawrence into my daily life).
Robin, your comments are very insightful, especially about the Tree in the Garden. All of us who are Bible teachers can relate to the struggle between knowing ABOUT God and truly knowing God. Father, help us listen with both ears.
Hmmm. Interesting that I want more “TIME” so I can do things like type comments on the same day I read a post, for example! Somewhere in my brain I know it’s not MORE time that I need, it’s the ability to manage the time that I’ve been given. Sorry if I’m repeating, I didn’t have, errr, ummm, time to read all the comments. 🙂
BTW, a friend & I were discussing her fig tree just last week. It’s one of the largest ones I’ve ever seen, but despite it’s size, I can’t imagine why Adam & Eve chose such puny leaves from a full Garden. Not being in the “know” about anything green that doesn’t come from Hobby Lobby, my friend said, “I can’t imagine their choice either. Not because of the lack of size, but their propensity to be very itchy! ”
Blessings ~ Jackie
Itchy leaves? Wow. Thanks for that little tidbit, Jackie!
Boy howdy, did you open a can of wo, er–hearts! Good job! I relate to every woman here–including you. And Praises be to God–He relates to us ALLLLLLL. <3 I also feel terrible because what I want, is not what God wants for me right now. I cannot complain as I'm married to Prince Charming, my Godly, hunky man–but his mother has lived with us for 30 yrs and she is now 98–I am tired. God gave us this job, this joy, yet… Life is good, she is quite "alright" in most every way–yet… Ohhhh, life is filled with so many yets… YET GOD! I love Him.
Wow. I want more time to do all the things I want to do, and then I waste the time I have watching far too much television. I crave attention from someone that I know God does not want giving me attention. I know I need to spend more time in study time with God and pay more attention to what he wants for me instead of what I want for me.
As anyone knows who has built a house knows of all the “oh, that’s an upgrade” comment. And immediately I want it. I hate that feeling of wanting “it all”. So I have to purposefully ask God to give me a contented heart, thankful heart for the blessing of being able to build a beautiful house and say “NO” to all the available upgrades, praying through this process each day for all my contentment to be found in him alone.
I’ve never built my own home, so can only imagine the temptation to say yes, yes, yes, to ALL of it. You are wise to say no, no, no, Denise.
I struggle with the “keeping up with the Joneses” mentality. I compare myself to others and am jealous of their success and blessings. I ask myself why God gave them a custom home/ ability to stay home with the kids/ perfect hair that never gets frizzy (ha!) and not me. Meanwhile, I turn a blind eye to the bachelor’s degree, meaningful job, good husband, beautiful sons, and gorgeous apartment He has given me.
I am learning that His fingerprints are all over my walk. My journey may look different than someone else’s, but that doesn’t make it inferior. God has richly blessed my family, and He is calling me to be His hands and feet and richly bless others
with whatever I have, whenever the opportunit
I crave the things that give me comfort which led me to think so much of myself. My love of food and approval of others has been a roadblock in my life. God has given me gifts that I need to use. I also read the book Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst and it has totally changed my thoughts about my relationship with God. In all areas I need to crave Him more than anything and trust Him to provide what I need. I also want to get comfort from being in His word instead of material things. It will fill me up with lasting joy!
Lysa really knows what she’s talking about. So glad her book has helped you, Linda!
When God asked A & E where are you?….i never thought of the call as one of I love you…let me help. I always thought HIS voice was one of judgement. New insight into how much I am loved.
Liz, thank you so much for this! I have the book and this is the the weekly food I’ve been needing in my life. You are such a blessing!
Thank you Liz, I just bought your book yesterday at the Women of Faith conference in Philly. I just can’t put it down, I am reading through to get ready for a Bible study for a group of women at my house. Many of these women do not feel that they are good enough to be Chrisitans because of their backrounds. I am hoping that this book will help show them that you do not have to be a perfect person to be a Christian. I also am co chair of a codependent women’s group at my church and can’t wait to share in hopes of helping in their plight. My next endeavor is womens prison ministriy and this is just the Bible study that is need for them. Just a note to say I have a farm that is half MD and Half Pa and love your town of Lititz. I have friends that have generations of family from there, and often go through your little town going to Gods Mountain in PA.
My biggest fear? That I will dishonor God. The earth , belongings, well I am exceedingly fond of them, but I also know I have no control over what happens to them.
Stuff all belongs to Him, I am a caretaker. Dishonoring God is so easy to do. I turn to sweets, or gossip (all in the name of keeping up with what is happening). There are other temptations which spring up out of nowhere, things I never thought of before. Tears welling up as I write along with humble thanks that He forgives me. He knows me, He gets me better than I do. While I do not know why I do things, He does. Praise be to His Holy Name…He loves me!
Thank you Liz, for this Bible study online. I’m one that never seemed to get it together and a great procrastinator indeed! I’ve been that way from the beginning. Now, I’m 62, I crave being able to take my time about getting on with my life. I never wore makeup(except maybe, lipstick & blush) but I find of late that I want to look younger than I really am. I have not wanted to grow old gracefully, lately. I spend money on foundation,eye shadow,more lipstick & blush,age defying creams for my face,neck and eye areas. It has improved my look and feels good so that’s my go to nowadays. This study and all your writings inspire the spirit. So, I need to spend more time in His word and listening to Him than making myself look good to me and others around me. If I spend more time with Him, He can make me glow naturally and I will look young naturally. God bless this study, to see ourselves in these woman, is to keep ourselves humble by admitting our sins and little quirks that we usually refuse to see in ourselves. This study is a good reminder to keep us on track. Eve, our greatest grand-mom sure shows our vulnerability to that snake Satan. It will help us keep on our toes. I’m doing this study on my own for my church and family & friends are not getting involved. I consider the people here with me my friends and family. I’m most certainly looking forward to this study. I enjoyed and profited from the last study also.
I also want to thank you for sharing your testimony story. It was so heart breaking to read. You have some great courage telling everyone. It must have been so hard on your preparing and writing it but you know it will help many woman in that same position now and from their past to know that they are not alone. Again thank you and God bless you, sister in Christ.
Now that you are looking good, girlfriend, I’m so glad you are also seeking the beauty that only God can provide. The mirror of his Word reflects who we truly are. Together, I hope we can all reflect the image of his Son!
Hey love all r bible study Thank u Mrs .Liz . Keep up . God Bless u .and Family.
I just resently found your Bible study Blog…..I’ve seen some of the gals from our church commit that they just got home from “The Bad Girls of the Bible” Bible study yet I never knew about it. We are new to the area and I’ve yet to find a friend! IT’s hard being 64 and no friends. So many life changes…losing a son..moving….etc people don’t understand so they leave you out of life. I’m praying for friendships! But I have also found comfort in your studies….THANK YOU! Blessings!!!
I was at Sandy Cove this week end. Nov 8th was my birthday (73) What a way to spend a birthday. It was great Thanks God Bless you Diana
This is not my first time reading this book. I’ve read it twice before and used the workbook the second time through. The first time I heard of this book was in a Sunday School class when I was a teenager. My youth pastor’s wife was the teacher and she didn’t like the curriculum she was given, mainly because when she asked all of us girls said that we were bored to death. So she went to a bookstore and said a prayer and your book just about leaped off the shelf to her. She moved before we finished the book and couldn’t remember the title. For years I searched for this book and I don’t remember now how I found it, but I’m so glad that I did.
When I went to start this study again because I wanted to use the blog and DVD to dig deeper than before I discovered that somehow my book was gone. I gaurd all my books like a lunatic, it’s just one of my quirks. Anyway, I just decided to order a new one and hope that wherever my first copy is it’s blessing someone.
When I read this question I basically thought that there was nothing that I wanted that’s a bad thing so I simply put this question off as something I couldn’t answer because it didn’t fit me. But reading the responses I see myself mirrored in SO many of them. For me it’s definitely wanting more in my life. I look around at those my age at my church and none of them are single. Most of them have at least one child and here I am, actually older than all of them with no husband/boyfriend and no kids. I hate it. The other thing I want is daily is to be “normal” whatever that is. I have a rare nerve disorder that makes my life and the way I do things very different from others my age. But I need to remember that I am nowhere near as bad as the doctor’s said I would be by now. It’s not easy for me. Even simple things like picking up a pen or sitting in a chair have to be done differently if I want to accomplish them, but I can also see that dealing with these issues better equips me for my calling of teaching special needs children.
I didn’t mean to ramble so I’ll stop now. But thank you to all who shared their stories and weaknesses, because it showed me what I didn’t see on my own. Thank you Liz for this study and all your others that have blessed me immeasureably.
Oh my dear sister Liz! How I have needed to know about all the ‘bad girls’! Being a bad girl myself, I will never stopped being amazed at God’s grace! Whew! Thank you for your obedience in writing for the Lord. I continually get myself in trouble over the idea, ‘Did God really say…”. Thankfully He longs for me to seek out the truth every day and is willing to give direct and unquestionable answers! Blessings on you~