Relentless Weapons{After months of intense work on this project, I’m thrilled to open the Relentless shop today! Get a copy for yourself, and better yet, join a HelloMornings group where my study will be featured August 24-October 2. I’ve been excited to hear about HelloMornings Relentless groups forming at my home church, at my parents’ church, and through my local book club! I’m also encouraged to hear of independent in-person groups, like the one my sister-in-law is forming in the San Francisco area this fall. Whatever you do with the study, I’d love to be a support for you as you dig through this important text, so be sure to keep in touch.}

One of the things I value most in life and friendship is authenticity. I’d take someone’s hot temper over a cold shoulder any day, because it gives me a real picture of a situation or relationship and allows me to address any issues head-on. Maybe that’s why I did the crazy thing of taking on the book of Judges. This book tells us the good, the bad, and the ugly about the people of God. There are no whitewashed tombs here. Israel’s decay is laid out in the open for all to see.

As a highly-sensitive person who can’t watch violent movies without shielding my eyes the majority of the time, this book has been heavy lifting. I’ve stayed up late into the night for weeks on end tackling a text that, at times, has tackled me. Yet, I couldn’t put this epic story down. First, I know that “all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16), which means God has something to benefit us even in the most difficult parts of His word. Second, the strange storylines are surprisingly relevant to my own life and culture.

In the Relentless study, you will consider how to….

cultivate unity in your family and church
resist temptation and avoid the pitfalls of cultural trends
gain confidence to tackle the tasks God has assigned you
deal with narcissistic people
keep your faith intact even when trusted leaders fail
recover from disappointments like infertility, loneliness, career problems, and family dysfunctions
bring stress and trauma under the healing relief of the Holy Spirit
build in habits and safeguards to help you keep your commitments
deal with anger issues
develop a proper reverence for God
stand up for those who are victimized

As Israel ignores God’s instructions about steering clear of enemy groups and false gods, they put themselves under the oppression of various tyrants over the 400 years of the Judges era. Twice in this book, the author writes the reason for Israel’s mess: “In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 17:6, Judges 21:25). We see Israel continually reject the King of Kings as their leader and cast off His blessing, yet in these dark ages of perversion and sin, God’s power and love shine through.

After a few months sojourn in Judges, I feel like I’m one soldier bonded to another in this epic story. Not only do the names and places not sound so much like a foreign language to me anymore, but I’ve seen how much I take after the flawed characters presented here.

I get cold feet like Ehud.
I second guess myself like Gideon.
I overanalyze and get paranoid like Abimelech.
I take my boldness too far like Jephthah.
With my words as weapons, I rage like Samson.

I know from watching God work with these wild ones, that He can use me in any condition. Still, I’d rather Him use my obedience than my rebellion. That means I have to treat sin like the enemy it is and let my Warrior do away with it. This is not hypothetical for me. In the months that I’ve been working on this study, I’ve been scorched with the darts of spiritual warfare.

The resistance I’ve felt in writing this tells me there is something here worth fighting for. An imposter thinks he has a claim on our hearts. We’ve fallen for too many of his sweet-talking lies. But our Hero is fighting to win us back. Let’s re-claim those pieces of ourselves that we’ve so foolishly given away. Join me in clearing out false affections and giving our hearts back to the One who loves us with an everlasting love. Gather yourself a group of faithful friends and join in the good fight. This is going to be epic.

“Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.”

I don’t know what you are facing these days, but I hope that you’ll commit to this weighty study, and let God’s word do its work, destroying the strongholds of the enemy in you so you can experience the peace of His presence. Let’s do this.

I’ve been waking up with HelloMornings for the last three years and am so excited to help others wake up in the Word this next session as my Relentless study on the book of Judges releases. Find a group that works for your time zone and needs…or form your own group and study with us from August 24-October 2! Visit this week to join a group, or simply purchase a copy of the Relentless eBook to use in your own in-person group or to study independently.

These words are borrowed from the introduction in the Relentless eBook.

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