That particular part of the study was about the second time that Abraham lied about Sarah being his wife...this time King Abimelech took Sarah to be one of his wives (Genesis 20). God intervened once again, however, saving Sarah from committing adultery and in the process revealing Himself and His power to Abimelech and his people.
The first thing that stuck out to me is how God intervened twice on Sarah's behalf and held Abraham responsible for the whole situation. Scripture isn't really clear whether Sarah was going along with the scheme or whether she was just obeying Abraham. It is clear, however, that Abraham allowed Sarah to be put into a very compromising situation because of his own fear and that God stepped in to protect Sarah. It got me to thinking of how many times I balk at doing what Miguel wants to do, being unable to trust God with the outcome?
The second thing was that the study points out that Abraham seemed to have a "default" reaction whenever he felt threatened regarding Sarah and that was to lie and deceive-in this case, wilfull, premeditated sin (Gen. 20:13). What is my "default" when confronted with stressful circumstances-what is my pattern of handing crisis situations? I relate to this in several areas of my life...my responses under stress, my speech and responses to my kids and Miguel, my struggle with food, my thought life, dreams...like Beth says, repeated patterns of sin and foolish decisions that cause pain and self-contempt...
In her own life, God showed her that freedom would only come through the renewing of her mind.
1Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy,
to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—
this is your spiritual act of worship.
2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world,
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—
his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 12:1-2 NIV
3For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.
4The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world.
On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.
5We demolish arguments and every pretension
that sets itself up against the knowledge of God,
and we take captive every thought
to make it obedient to Christ.
II Cor. 10:3-5 NIV
23to be made new in the attitude of your minds;
Ephesians 4:23 NIV
Beth decided to ask God to not only renew her conscious mind, but her subconscious mind as well...including her dream life and thought life while she slept. She continues to ask God to place His truth deep inside, even in the places of her mind that she doesn't even know exist!
Later, Beth says she discovered the Greek word, "horme", which refers to impulses, urges, a forceful movement towards something, a sudden thought, whim, or dictating inclination. So then she began including that in her prayer as well, asking God to make even her reactions and sudden impulses godly!
Like Beth, I ask, what would it look like if I began attentively and repeatedly praying for the Holy Spirit to invade and renew me so richly and so deeply that even my impulses are godly? That even my "default" response is sanctified?