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Letting God Be Enough

Building Relationships / Dr. Gary Chapman
The Truth Network Radio
December 11, 2021 1:00 am

Letting God Be Enough

Building Relationships / Dr. Gary Chapman

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December 11, 2021 1:00 am

Do you struggle with self-doubt? On this edition of Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, you’ll hear about the man in the Bible who was the biggest self-doubter. He was given a huge assignment but shrank from it. Author and speaker Erica Wiggenhorn says our problems today are similar to his. How can we stop striving and let God be enough? Find out on today's program.

Featured Resource: Letting God Be Enough: Why Striving Keeps You Stuck and How Surrender Sets You Free (Moody Publishers)

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Today, I'm Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, Letting God Be Enough. Welcome to Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, author of the New York Times bestseller, "The 5 Love Languages" .

You struggle with self-doubt. You won't want to miss the conversation today with author and speaker Erica Wigginhorn. Our featured resource is her book, Letting God Be Enough, Why Striving Keeps You Stuck and How Surrender Sets You Free.

You can find out more about that at TheFiveLoveLanguages.com. And before we hear from Erica, I'm interested to know from you, Dr. Chapman, if you ever struggled with self-doubt, did it ever hold you back from doing something in your life? You know, Chris, I learned rather early on, John 15 verse 5, where Jesus said, I'm the vine, you're the branches, you stay connected to me, you bear fruit. Without me, you can do nothing.

And I mean, it was graphically burned in my heart. And so I, through all the years, I basically have had the attitude, God, I can't do it without you, but with you I can. You know, Paul said, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. So there are many, many times when I'm getting ready to do something, a project, a writing project, or speaking or something, I just say, God, I cannot do this without you, but I know that you can give me the ability to do it. So, you know, I haven't gone through, looking back, periods in which I had a lot of self-doubt.

It's just, I know. I can't do it without Him. It's not a matter of doubting myself, it's just a matter of being honest with God, you know. But the other part of that, of course, is it, and that's kind of the theme of the book here, it seems to me, is it, you know, let's, let's, let's let God do it, you know. He's, I mean, we have to cooperate to be sure. I'm excited about our conversation today. I am too, because I think there are a lot of people who aren't at the place where you, you know, have been.

They feel a certain thing on the inside, that I'm not enough, that I can't do this, but they're not, they're not fully invested in believing that God can in and through them. So, we're gonna meet Erica Wiggenhorn today. She's an award-winning author, founder of Every Life Ministries, bringing you the truths of Scripture to transform your life. And that's what she's about, transformation, not just one little change here and there, but transformation in your life.

And how do you do that? By digging deeply into God's Word. Every Life Ministry encourages you to discover your unique purpose, accept God's promises, and live by his power. She's the author of three Bible studies released by Moody Publishers, An Unexplainable Life, The Unexplainable Church, and Unexplainable Jesus. She's a graduate of, and postgraduate, of Azusa Pacific University. She lives in Phoenix with her best friend and husband, Jonathan, and their two children, Eliana and Nathan. A featured resource today is her book, Letting God Be Enough.

You can find out more at fivelovelanguages.com. Well, Erica, welcome back to Building Relationships. Thank you, Dr. Chapman.

It's a joy to be with you again. Now, for those who don't know of your ministry, tell us a little bit about yourself and why you do what you do. Yes, so I came to know Jesus later in life as a teenager, and when I accepted Jesus, my youth pastor handed me my nifty student Bible with all of Jesus's words in bright red letters, and I remember sitting on my bed and reading my Bible and saying to Jesus in that moment, how am I supposed to follow you when I can't even understand you?

You know, I grew up in Los Angeles. I had never seen a wheat tare, a plowshare, a millstone. You know, I didn't know any of these things Jesus was talking about, and for years of my life, I really struggled to read my Bible. I felt guilty because I didn't enjoy reading it.

I found it to be frustrating. I didn't know how to apply it to my life. I would hear other believers talking about, you know, how they would have a quiet time. God would speak to them and through the Bible, and that wasn't my experience, and so I felt ashamed like I was a bad Christian because I didn't love reading the Bible. And finally, the time came where a friend, a dear friend, took me kicking and screaming to my first Bible study, and as I sat around the table in community with other believers who walked me through the scripture and helped me understand it, it was like a light bulb went on. And that really became, that life experience became the catalyst for me wanting to create resources where, even though I'm not physically sitting next to people, but just coming alongside people, helping them walk through the scriptures, understand what it means, how to apply it to their life, and in the hopes that the light bulb comes on and they are able to fall in love with the Word of God the way I was, and not feel intimidated by trying to understand a book that was written thousands of years ago and talks about things they've never seen. That's really the passion of my life is get your face in the book, the Bible, and live like it's true, because Jesus saved us from our sins, but His Word will save us from ourselves countless times. I like that, and the reality is, you know, many people who have not been exposed to the Bible, you know, in early age, read some of the metaphors that are hard to understand.

You're exactly right. Well, this book deals with feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt. Why do you think so many Christian women struggle in these areas?

I think they struggle in these areas for a couple of reasons. One of the reasons is that when it comes to being a Christian woman, there is sort of this cultural expectation that you are going to be be good in a lot of different things. You're gonna be a good mother, and that means you're going to have good well-behaved children. You're going to be a good wife, which means you are going to have a happy and successful husband and marriage. You are going to have a good home.

It's going to be neat and orderly, and you are going to take care of all the things so that anyone can enter at any time, and it's going to look presentable. You're going to take care of yourself physically, so you can be attractive to your spouse. You're going to be a good servant, so when the sign-ups for the casseroles for the family in need goes around, your name is always on it. So we have all of these areas of our lives where we are expected to do well, and the reality is for most of us, we know that there are areas where we are falling short and our kids are not perfectly well-behaved, and ugly words happen between our spouse and ourselves behind closed doors, and we are resentful that the expectation is that there's yet one more area where we need to serve or we are not a quote-unquote good Christian woman. And so we try to keep up the facade so everyone thinks that we are a good Christian woman, but on the inside we are worn out, we are exhausted, we are weary, and we are wondering if there's a better way to follow Jesus. So expectations, and you've laid them out for us, is one reason why.

Now is there another reason? I think the other reason is that this is just very much a pervasive lie of the enemy and a pervasive lie of our culture, that if we are, you know, if we are operating in our giftedness, if we are doing the things that God created us to do, then we should be full of joy and it should be easy and we should just be crushing it at every turn because this is what we were made for. And yet when we look in Scripture, even though this is culturally what a lot of churches are even preaching, when we look at Scripture, when we look at God's great servants, that's really not the story that I see at all. I see servants with a lot of self-doubt, I see servants with some elements, moments of fear, servants that were asked to do very difficult things that were beyond, far beyond their ability without God's miraculous intervention, but yet somehow we live in this lie that we should be able to do all the things and be all the things to everyone all the time.

And it's doing a number on us, Dr. Chapman, it's doing a number on our relationships and our relationship with God and our relationship in our families and with our friends and our faith families. Now in the question I ask about Christian women, but do you think that men struggle as well with this sense of inadequacy or self-doubt? I think men do. I think it's more focused than it is for women because I think the expectation for men is a little bit different. The expectation for men is that they're going to do well in their jobs, they're going to be able to provide for their family successfully and in a healthy manner, whereas women were spread into a whole lot of different areas. An example might be this, if someone were to come over to my home and I have a huge pile of dishes in my sink and there's five loads of laundry strewn all over my couches in my family room, most often people are not gonna say, man, that Jonathan, that Jonathan, he's such a slouch, like he doesn't fold his laundry, his house is a disaster, right? Like they're not gonna put that expectation on my husband, right? It's gonna fall on me, like what's wrong with Erica? Why is her house in such disarray?

Is there something going on, right? So women are spread in a lot of different orbits to perform well and to do well, whereas men it's much more focused on their career, I think. That doesn't mean they don't struggle with it because I think they do struggle with it, especially in terms of their career.

But for women, the enemy can come at us with this in a lot of areas, not just our work. Thanks for joining us for Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, author of the New York Times bestseller "The 5 Love Languages" . If you want to know more about our guest or learn your love language, go to our website fivelovelanguages.com. Today author and teacher Erica Wigganhorn is with us. Our featured resource is Letting God Be Enough, Why Striving Keeps You Stuck and How Surrender Sets You Free.

Find out more at fivelovelanguages.com, that's fivelovelanguages.com. Erica, in the book you talk about the imposter syndrome. What is that and what does it look like and feel like in our lives? Yeah, so the imposter syndrome is basically this whole idea that the way people see me on the outside is not really who I am on the inside. So there's this disconnect between sort of the persona that we put out there and how we really feel inside of our own heads or inside of our own feelings.

And obviously living in a culture with social media, this exacerbates the problem hugely. But the big problem that really occurs, especially when we talk about relationships, right, is when we're feeling like we are an imposter, when we're feeling like we have to continually keep up this image of what other people want us to be or expect us to be, it causes a lot of isolation in our relationships because we no longer have any level of authenticity in our friendships or in our most meaningful relationships. But for me personally what I can share is how it really affects my marriage while my husband really knows the real me, how it really affects my marriage is because I'm living in this constant place of striving all the time. I'm so tired and so I don't have the focus and the intentionality of building up my marriage and building up my husband because I'm so busy trying to keep up this outside persona for everyone else and keep my life looking like it's all together. And so then a lack of intimacy with my husband begins to, you know, get further and further away because I'm putting all my time and energy into keeping up this facade, this image that I feel like I have to live up to.

I can hear a lot of wives taking a deep breath and saying, yes, yes. What are some signs that indicate a person is striving out of fear rather than working with a passion in whatever role or responsibility they hold? So one of the biggest signs that I talked about is isolation. You know, nobody really knows how you're feeling. Nobody really knows the fear that you're harboring over your marriage or over your children or over that prodigal. You just don't talk about that with anyone.

You feel like you can't talk about it because you feel like people will reject you if you are authentic about some of those fears. So isolation is a big one. Another big one is micromanaging and hyper control. You're trying to micromanage, you know, your husband all the time. You're trying to micromanage your kids all the time because you don't want them to fail or you don't want people to think that your kids are struggling or you don't want people to know that you and your husband are struggling. And so you're trying to manipulate and micromanage all of these things to keep up this image that you're the good Christian family. And you're dying inside because nobody really knows.

And so you're trying to do this all by yourself. And one of the things that we talk about in Letting God Be Enough is how the enemy's whole desire is to isolate us. Because if he can isolate us, he becomes the only one to influence us. And so we're just listening to his lies over and over and over in our mind.

And this is exactly what he wants. Because if there's no community, if there's no one speaking the truth into our lives about who we are as children of God, and that every marriage struggles, and that every parent says, well, I hope I'm doing the right thing for my kid here, but you know, sometimes I don't know. I'm trying to be a good parent, but I feel like I don't know if I'm doing this right, God. You know, when we begin to have those honest conversations with other people in community and invite them to encourage us and pray for us and speak truth into our lives, there's great power in that. And the lies of the enemy become silenced over the truth of who we are as part of God's family and as God's child.

And so tackling this tactic of the enemy becomes really important. I can see that because we were not designed to live in isolation. We were designed to live in community. And wherever we are in the journey, we need we need an openness with other people, right?

Absolutely, 100%. Now you start the book with a story about your first job at the mall. Tell us about the performance review. Yeah, so I grew up in a family where, you know, hard work was the most excellent way.

And so performance was always a big a big thing, right? And when you performed well, when you did the right thing and you did things well, you were celebrated and you were applauded. But when you didn't, there was great shame in that.

And so my first job, I remember going down to have my first performance review. And I was terrified that I was going to hear, you know, you're doing a good job. It's just not good enough. I was so certain that I was going to be told that I was falling short. And because that, that had been the experience of my life, you know, you're doing you're doing a good job, honey, you know, but but it's not good enough.

Like, you could be doing more, you could be doing it better, you could be doing something else, something more important, something more worthwhile. And so as we slid into the booth in Chick-fil-A, you know, my stomach is in knots, my, my fists are clenched, you know, under the table. But you know, I'm trying to feign my enthusiasm that I get this golden moment to hear how to be a better employee when inside I'm actually, you know, just dying. And she went on and on about what a hard worker I was and, and how I was so faithful and showed up on time and I was so enthusiastic and, you know, just giving me all these great accolades and, and you know, they're giving you a raise and I'm promoting you to assistant manager and I mean, just huge, like accolades. And and she said, but I have to give you one thing to work on. And I was like, Oh, here we go. You know, here we go. And she said, you talk too much.

All I heard was the one negative thing. And I just it just kept ruminating over and over and over. And I think we do this all the time, right? Like, we're looking at our marriages. And it's like, there's all these great things about our spouse, all these things that are going well, in our marriage, but we just ruminate on that one thing that we think needs to change or needs to be different.

And and so what do we do? Do we let God be enough in that? Or do we try to micromanage our spouse? Or we isolate that that disappointment or that feeling that we have towards them instead of having an honest conversation, right?

This is that it's that fear of inadequacy that's coming out. And and we do the same thing with our kids, right? It's like our kids are, you know, they're, they're so awesome. And all of these areas, we see God working in their lives in all of these ways. And they have all of these wonderful things about them. But they have this one thing they do that makes us a little nutty as mom or dad. And we just hyper focus on that one thing, we ruminate on that one thing. And then we try to micromanage them, or we shame them to stop doing that one thing instead of celebrating all of the wonderful things that they're doing as children of God. And especially if their love language is words of affirmation, and they hear the negative, the negative is a sword in their heart.

You know, they feel it more deeply even than other people do. Sure. Now, you know, there are millions of copies of self-help books that are sold helping people gain self-confidence. You believe the Bible, I believe the Bible holds eternal truths. So you want us to find God confidence instead of self-confidence.

Is that, is that the picture? Amen. So in letting God be enough, you know, when I, when God first really revealed to me that this imposter syndrome was a lie that was keeping me in a lot of bondage, being a Bible girl, the first thing I did is, okay, well what does Scripture have to teach about this? Where, where can I find Scripture to examine? And I came to the life of Moses, whom I now refer to as the greatest self-doubter of the Bible, because I don't think there's anybody who argued with God over his assignment and over his abilities and feared God's rejection and abandonment more than Moses. And so I didn't so much focus on Moses, like, okay, I get Moses, I can relate to Moses, but I really focused on God. What does God do with Moses in this struggle?

And, and what does God want Moses to, to know and to understand and to experience as he teaches Moses that the lie that he's living in? And when I came across, which was so profound to me, was in Exodus 3 10, when Moses is going to God and he's arguing with God and he's like, well, you know what, who am I? Who am I, God, for this, for this season, for this assignment? I think we've all said that to God at some point or another in our lives, you know, who, who am I to parent this kid? You know, I don't know how to do this.

You know, who am I to parent this, this spouse who's struggling with an addiction? Or, you know, who am I to do this, God? This is beyond me. And what God did for Moses in that moment was so beautiful, because unlike what the world tells us to do when we're feeling like we're not enough, we're feeling like we're just not the girl for the job, you know, they want you to unroll your resume, look yourself in the mirror, give yourself some props, cite your past successes, look at your educational toolkit and your experiential toolkit, and, and give yourself a nice big pep talk. God did not do that for Moses at all when Moses asked God that question.

In fact, God didn't give Moses props at all. He simply promised him his presence. He gave Moses three promises. He said, first, I'm gonna give you the promise of my presence.

I will be with you. He said, Moses, get your eyes off yourself. This isn't about you, right?

It's exactly what you were saying, Dr. Chapman. Moses, you can do all things through me strengthening you. This is about me, Moses. This is about God, me, God, doing these things. So get your eyes off of yourself and remember that I am with you. And that brings me so much comfort, you know, when I'm struggling like with one of my kids and I don't know what to do and, and, and I don't want people to think I'm a bad mom and I don't want people to think my kids are bad kids.

You're with me in this. So he gives the promise of his presence, but then he goes on and he gives Moses the promise of fulfillment. And I loved this part when I was reading this in Scripture because he goes on and he says, Moses, my presence will go with you and when you lead the people out, when you finish this assignment. And I circled that word when because I, what I noticed was God did not say to Moses, you know, if you're spiritual enough to understand my will, you'll carry out this assignment. Or if you're obedient enough that I can keep blessing you, you'll carry out this assignment. Or, you know, if you are wise enough to make all the right decisions, you'll carry out this assignment.

Or if you are, you know, a good enough communicator that the people will listen to you, you'll carry out all this, you'll carry out this assignment. God just said win because God's plans for our lives don't depend entirely on our performance. They rest on God's promises. If God is in it and God has ordained it, God will finish it. He is the author and the finisher of our faith. And so God will finish raising our children and God will finish the work that he started when we stood at the altar and God will finish the assignment that he has given us. We just have to learn to rest in him. He will do the work. We are along for the ride.

Thanks for joining us for Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman. Today we're learning how to let God be enough. And what does that mean and what does it look like to live it out? Our featured resource at fivelovelanguages.com is a book by Erica Wiggenhorn. You can find Letting God Be Enough at fivelovelanguages.com.

Erica, before the break we were talking about Moses and God's promise, I'm going to be with you and when you do this, which I really like that. There are people who would say, you know, okay, so God is with us and so anything he has for us to do, it's gonna be relatively easy for us because he's with us. Is that always the case? Well it certainly wasn't the case in Moses's life. I would not call any part of Moses's assignment easy, right?

I mean, two million grumblers in a campsite. That's not easy. So easy is not where it's at and this is really one of the lies that the world throws at us, right? And where the enemy comes against us. You know, like, well, you know, if you were a good wife you would have a good marriage.

If you were a good mom your kids would be good. It's because you're not enough that the struggle is there. And that's the lie that the enemy comes at us with. But the reality is what we see in Scripture is when people are following God and people are doing what God has asked them to do, it's hard.

It's hard, Dr. Chapman. And so God being with us doesn't mean that it's going to be easy. It's going to be miraculous, right? We see within Moses this incredible intimacy that he had with God, right? To the point that his whole face becomes radiant from God's presence because of this deep intimacy. And that's the prescription for the inadequacy is the intimacy with God. It's exactly what you were talking about in John 15 5.

It's the abiding, right? As we abide in him we get our eyes off of ourselves. We get our eyes off of our own limitations. And we realize that we are serving and following and obeying a limitless God. And he is big enough to get us to the other side of all that we're facing today. And we can trust him. We can trust that he will be faithful even where we become faithless. Yeah.

Why is it that so often we feel like the things that we really try the hardest at seem to be the most difficult? Well, because I think it's exactly that same thing. God wants us to know apart from me you can do nothing. You know, I love it in, you know, 2nd Corinthians 12 when, you know, the the Corinthian Church is basically saying to Paul, you know, like, I know that you were the first one here to, you know, come and tell us about Jesus and tell us about the gospel and all that. But, you know, since you've left, Paul, you know, we've had a lot of other preachers come through here and, you know, we just got to tell you, man, like, they're a whole lot better than you are. Like, you know, they're super apostles.

You know, they got it going on. You know, they're polished and they're perfect and they're great rhetoricians. And, you know, and you can almost hear Paul in his letter sort of chuckling, right? Like almost saying to them, do you, do you think I need your approval to feel like I know that I'm doing what God has called me to do? You know, I don't see my adequacy is coming from myself or from you, Corinthian Church.

I don't need you to validate me. My adequacy comes from God. I know this is what God has called me to do. And, and I'm going to boast all the more about the fact that I don't know how to do it perfectly, because that means I'm going to invite the power of Christ to rest on me. And it's going to be the power of Christ that comes through my preaching.

And there's so much freedom in that, right? Like, I don't need your approval for the way I parent my kids. You know, I don't need Instagram's approval for the way, you know, the way I love my spouse. I'm, I'm, I'm not going to do it perfectly.

I'm not going to get it all right. But I'm going to invite the power of Christ into my home and the power of Christ into my parenting and into my marriage. And that's going to be where the most profound things happen, not when I try to do it in my own strength or do it in a way that I think is going to make other people applaud and go, oh, she's such a good mom.

Yeah. So what are some of the practical ways to stop responding in fear and instead surrender in faith when God calls it to serve him in a particular capacity? What are the kind of steps we go through to, to get there? Yeah, I, you know what, I, I would so love to say you just do one, two, and three, and there you go. You are surrendered and you're free and it's never a struggle again.

That would be amazing, wouldn't it? But it's not. And it's intimacy with God.

That, that whole fear of inadequacy, the antidote is intimacy. And it's a process. You know, we sing that song, you know, I surrender all. And when we think about surrender, it's, it's like this huge, vast abstract thing, right? But I think if most of us were to be honest with ourselves and most of us were to get quiet for even five to 10 seconds and say to God, what is that thing in my life that I'm hyper controlling? What is that thing in my life that I'm just striving and striving and striving to secure the outcome that I want?

It wouldn't take more than five or ten seconds for us to instantly know what it is. And that's the one thing today that I think God is saying, will you surrender that over to me? Will you trust me with that one thing? Will you allow me to be faithful? Will you let me be enough in that one thing and stop feeling like you have to be the one to secure the outcome that you want?

Will you let go of it? So surrender is a process just like intimacy is a process. And so what God is calling us to surrender today will probably be maybe something different six months from now. And the intimacy with God is something that happens over time. You know, just like I shared in the beginning of my life, reading my Bible, spending time with God in His Word was not something that I said, okay, Jesus, I believe you died on the cross for my sins, come and live in my heart. And then instantly I opened up my Bible and had this incredible time of sweet fellowship abiding with the Lord.

That was not my experience. It came over time. Yeah, yeah. Well, why do you think God wants us to surrender? Because he's God. We need to let God be God, amen? We didn't let God be enough. Because the surrender is the path to intimacy.

Yeah, yeah. That's how we develop the intimacy is through the surrender. As long as we're self-reliant, as long as we're over here spinning our wheels, striving and striving, there's no intimacy with God.

And that was really what God was after with Moses the whole time. My presence will be with you. Moses, I'm not asking you to follow a certain checklist.

I'm not asking you to, you know, do ABCDE. I'm asking you for intimacy. I'm asking you to come and abide in my presence. I want to be with you.

He was the God who tabernacled with his people. That is what God is saying to all of us. He's like, I don't want your performance.

Stop trying to perform to please me. I just want to be in your presence. I want to hear your heart. I want to know the fears that you're harboring. I want to know the doubts that you're wrestling with.

I want to know the questions that you have. I want you to come and be in my presence so that I as the vine can flow my life into you, and you can bear fruit. That is the God that we serve.

Why is the Bible and Bible study so important in this process of having intimacy with God? Well, I kind of equate it to this. You know, if Jonathan were to say to me, you know, honey, we've had a really busy week. We haven't really spent any time together. How about Friday night, you and me, we go out, we have a date, and we just we catch up. And of course, if I don't have to cook and clean up the kitchen, I'm there in a minute, so I say yes, absolutely. And so we get to the restaurant, we slide into the booth, and Jonathan just starts sharing his heart with me.

And, you know, what the highlights of his week were, what the struggles are. And he doesn't get very far into that conversation, and my phone dinks. And so I dig through my purse to get my phone out because, you know, it might be that one of the kids needs mom, right? So I get my phone out, and the phone dings, and it's not one of the kids, but it's a reminder of something I forgot to do.

So then I get out another app on my phone, and I start going to pay that bill that I need to pay, and then that reminds me of something else, and then and then another text message comes through, and I check it again. You know, I don't know about you gentlemen, but I can tell you my husband in about three seconds, he's just gonna stop talking. And he's gonna say to me, honey, when I have your full attention, I have some things I'd like to share with you. But until I have your full attention, I'm just gonna sit here and be quiet, and I'm gonna wait until you're ready.

That's gonna be what my husband says to me. And the reality is, is that we do this with our spouses, yes, but we also do this with God. And we wonder why God feels far away, and we wonder why we don't know what his will is, and we wonder why we feel like we don't have wisdom in parenting this difficult kid, and we wonder why we can't communicate with our spouse, and we wonder why we're praying and praying and we're praying, and yet God seems silent. And I think it's because God's sitting across the booth, and he's reaching out with his hands, and he's saying to us, child, I have so many things I want to share with you, but I'm gonna wait until you're ready to give me your attention. This is Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, author of the New York Times bestseller, "The 5 Love Languages" . Our featured resource today is, Letting God Be Enough, Why Striving Keeps You Stuck and How Surrender Sets You Free.

It's written by our guest, Erica Wigginhorn, and you can find out more at fivelovelanguages.com. Erica, before our break, you were talking about the illustration of you and your husband sitting in the restaurant, and your answering the phone and responding to text messages, and he's saying, I'm waiting. When you get time, you know, I have some things I want to share, but I want your full attention. And you parallel that between our sitting in front of God, and God, we've got so much stuff that we're doing, and we're doing all this stuff, and God wants to talk to us.

He wants to share with us, but he's saying, whenever you're willing to listen, then I want to talk to you. You were showing the value and the necessity of our taking time to be alone with God and reading his Word, because this Bible is his clearest message to us, you know, and that's even where we find out about Jesus. But now, you do empathize with the person who struggles to make Bible reading or Bible study a priority.

Have you been there and worked with other people who are struggling with making it a priority? Yes, absolutely, and I shared a little bit of my journey at the beginning of the program in that, and the whole idea is that somehow we get this belief that as soon as we are a Christian, then we're going to open up our Bible, and it's all going to make sense to us, and we're going to just love this book because it's God's book, and that was not my experience at all. And what I found, Dr. Chapman, what really became a game changer for me was to commit to community, to commit to studying this book in the presence of other believers. That really enabled me to begin to make sense of it, to see how kind and tender and personal God is because we could all be studying the same thing, and yet God would speak to each one of us in a very personal way regarding our situations and our trials and our difficulties that we were walking through and how we would meet each one of us personally on the pages of Scripture. And so for the person who really struggles, it would say, I get it and you're not alone, so don't believe the lie that, you know, everybody loves the Bible but you and everybody understands it but you because that's definitely not the case. And for me, I hesitated to go and study the bibling community because I didn't want anybody to know how dismally small my Bible knowledge was, right? You know, the imposter was gonna come out, like I do so little about the Bible because I didn't read it on my own and I didn't want people to know that.

But what I discovered was when I committed to being in God's Word and community, it helped keep me on track and I learned as much from my brothers and sisters who were studying with me as I did from reading it myself. Yeah, so we individually are in the process, once we come to Christ, I mean we're pictured as babes, being babes in Christ, and a baby can't do much of anything, right? That's right. That's right. Somebody's gotta feed that baby.

Yeah, and also take it out the other end, you know. So the parents, in this case, the parents are the community. They know more than the babe and they're processing and helping the babe. And I'm hearing you say that is true in the spiritual realm, that those who have been walking with Christ for a while and been studying the Bible, they can share with us, who are babes, and give us some perspective that will help us understand what God is saying in the Bible. That's right. That's right. And share their life experience with us as well.

Oh, yes. How God has spoken to them through the scriptures and how that's ministered in their lives. So if you are a young Christian or if you are struggling, maybe you've read the Bible a few times and you said, ah, it just doesn't make sense to me. In addition to being a part of a group in a church or a Christian group and studying the Bible with them and hearing others, any suggestions in terms of, like, where would you start if just on a personal level in if you wanted to begin to take seriously your own private time in the Bible, where would you start reading?

Well, I can recommend a couple of resources. One, if if they go to my website, ericawigginhorn.com, I have a free ebook bundle on there, The Busy Woman's Bundle. And one of those books is 50 Days to Intimacy with God. So if intimacy with God and spending time in the Word is a struggle for you, that resource is completely free and it would be a great place to begin. If you're saying, yeah, I'm ready to do this, you know, that intimacy book that I'm talking about is going to get you, you know, five to seven minutes a day of just developing the habit of being with God.

If you're like, you know what, I'm ready. I'm ready to really study my Bible if I had the right resource, the right tools. My study, Unexplainable Jesus, Rediscovering the God You Thought You Knew, is going to take you through the Gospel of Luke and it's going to help you understand all those red letters of Jesus in your Bible. What did Jesus actually mean when he talked about those things and how does that apply to our life today?

And what is the relationship with you that Jesus is really after? So either of those resources would get you going on a good path. Yeah, and I think things like that, helpful tools like that, can really help the person who's beginning to walk with God. Now, the more time, of course, they spend with the Word, the more we get to know God, the more intimate we get with God, and the more we see the Scriptures beginning to jump out in our hearts, in our minds. One of the things I've suggested through the years is when you read a chapter in the Bible, if something really jumps out at you, a statement, underline it.

And just the fact that you underlined it, that's kind of strong. Maybe you understand it, maybe you don't fully understand it, but you talk with God about what you just read. Maybe you're asking him a question saying, I don't quite get that, you know. And then you can ask somebody else about it later. But the other also is you're saying back to God, thank you that this is true. Or you're saying, God, I can't do that by myself, I'm counting on you, I'd like to be that person that I'm just reading about here. Because it is a person, it's a conversation thing, in a sense, with God, right?

Absolutely. And another great question is, you know, God, do I really believe this? Do I really believe what the Scripture says here? Or do I believe something else? Because then there's a lie there that needs to be uprooted, right?

There's something that you're not believing. And so those are all great questions to ask God. Or to even say, where is this true in my life?

And where does it need to be true in my life? And inviting the Holy Spirit to search our hearts, right? Jesus made it clear that he was going to give us the Holy Spirit.

Why? Because he was going to guide us into all truth. And so we have the Holy Spirit living inside of us to help us make sense of the Scriptures.

And yet we also have the community of believers to help us make sense of the Scriptures. So we have both resources. So it's kind of like, you know, if I were to go to the doctor and the doctor says, okay, Erica, you're pretty healthy, but there is an issue with your heart. So I'm going to send you over here to the cardiologist because the cardiologist is going to speak into this issue as well. So then the two of us can kind of work together to get you healthy. And I say to my family doctor, well, that's okay, you know, I've got the fan, I've got you, you're a doctor, you know, I don't need anything else. And if I don't get fully healthy, well, you know, that's okay, whatever.

I'm just gonna only listen to you, the family doctor. I mean, that would be pretty ridiculous, right? But yet, we kind of do that with God, right? Like, we're like, okay, well, you know, I have God and God is all I need.

And so I don't need community. And I don't need to be studying the Scriptures with other believers. And I don't need to actually attend church.

I can just listen to my preferred pastor online. And then we wonder why we don't feel fully alive and fully healthy, and we sort of spiritually languish. Well, it's because we're not taking part of all of the resources that God has given us to live the John 10-10 life. We wonder why we're not bearing fruit. Well, because we've said, well, I only want just this this little part of the vine to flow into me, but these other parts of the vine, I don't need that.

What do you think is the value of memorizing a particular verse or statement in the Bible that really, really is meaningful to you? Oh, man. Do we have another hour?

No. There's one thing I want to say about that very quickly, is that we need to be really careful with that. Because as Christians, a lot of times, you know, we have like our favorite like t-shirt verses and coffee mug verses, if you will. And we need to make sure that we're really understanding what those verses actually say and not just what we hope they mean or where we've, you know, where we've gotten them maybe a little bit Americanized, if you will.

And so we have to be careful with that. But when we have come across something in Scripture that has really stood out to us, like I mentioned, you know, the Exodus 3 10 and how that just that when that word when jumped off the page at me and God just saying my presence will be with you and when you lead the people out. Memorizing that and having that with me becomes a game changer because as I'm going through my day and I'm having a frustrating conversation with my teenager, you know, I'm saying, you know, it becomes that in the back of my mind that go to God is with me and He will help me raise this child. God is with me. He will give me wisdom what to say.

God is with me. He will show me how to navigate this disappointment with my teenager well. It becomes the default that we can lean on instead of those those lies of the enemy that come in and it's like, oh, you're not a good mom. You're not doing enough for this kid. You're not parenting him well. You're not, you know, you're not setting healthy boundaries.

You're making more mistakes. Instead of allowing the enemy to whisper those things in my ear, I can go back and I can recite scripture in my ear and I can then begin operating from a place of confidence because I can do all things through Christ. I can do things when walking in truth and I don't operate out of my emotions. You know, emotions can be beautiful indicators that there's something that we're thinking or believing that's not true, but emotions do not have to be dictators. But if we're not focused on truth, if we're allowing a lie to continue to ruminate in our mind, those emotions are going to become dictators and they're going to worsen the relationship and worsen the situation. Yeah, and that's precisely what Jesus did when he was being tempted by Satan, right? He quoted scriptures to Satan. So if we have memorized those things, you know, when the lies come, we can counter them with the truth.

Let me ask you this, Erica. As you were working on this book, was there anything unexpected or surprising that you learned in the process of writing this book? You know, what really jumped out to me and what I loved is, as I'm looking at God's relationship with Moses and how God repeatedly with Moses is just saying to him, I am with you. I am for you. I have a plan. Stop stressing out Moses.

I have this under control. I know what I'm doing, right? As God is just continuing to reiterate that over and over to Moses and then Moses finally has like this epic moment with God, right? The Red Sea. The moment that the people of Israel cite throughout Scripture more than any other moment, more than creation itself, they cite the Red Sea. And right after the Red Sea parts and God destroys their enemies and they get to the other side and they're free from their captors and, you know, they're dancing and they're celebrating, right after that moment of just incredible quote-unquote success where God works mightily through Moses. Immediately after that God brings Moses face to face with his limitations and I love that because I think sometimes we get this very foolish notion that when things are going well or we've got the first kid off to college and they love Jesus, hallelujah, we made it, right? We get this notion that, you know, we've arrived at this level of spiritual maturity or this level of success and now all of a sudden we have life figured out and we can just kind of keep rolling along and immediately what God does with Moses is the opposite. He basically brings Moses to these places where Moses can't can't do it. He's not enough and I love that because it's like God again is saying this is about intimacy with me, this is about dependence on me, this is about letting me be enough in all of the areas where you lack, Moses, all of the places where you fall short. I will be more than enough. Well this discussion has been incredible and I think you're exactly right that when we think that we've got it made now we can handle this.

God does allow things to happen to show us that it's not us, it's him. So thanks for the time you've spent with us today and also thanks for the time that you have invested in writing this book. I know it's going to be a help to those who are listening and I would encourage them to not only get a copy for themselves but also for friends maybe even to study it in a study group for example. Yes it's laid out to be used in a small group. It has a Bible reading plan and then we walk you through the scriptures so you understand what you're reading.

It's got some discussion questions that you can share in a group so it's definitely formatted in a way that it can be done in community. And some of the feedback that I've gotten is people have loved that with this particular book, unlike some of my study books, they can get through a chapter in what some moms have said is through the pickup line. While I'm waiting in the pickup line I can get through a whole chapter. It's not a huge huge time commitment but I truly believe that God wants to set us free from this lie of the enemy that is really robbing our joy and causing us to isolate and just really causing a lot of strife in our relationships.

Yeah. Erica thanks for being with us today. It's been an enjoyable conversation and may God continue to give you wisdom. Thank you Dr. Chapman.

Thank you Chris. What an encouraging hour and if you want to know more about the featured resource by Erica Wigenhorn, go to fivelovelanguages.com. You'll find out more of Letting God Be Enough, Why Striving Keeps You Stuck, and How Surrender Sets You Free.

Again just go to fivelovelanguages.com. And coming up next week, the music of Christmas is filled with deep meaning for our lives. Hear David and Barbara Lehman in one week. It's a great celebration of the hymns and carols we all love. Well a big thank you to our production team Steve Wick and Janice Todd Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman is a production of Moody Radio in association with Moody Publishers, a ministry of Moody Bible Institute. Thanks for listening.
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