People ask me what I use for my personal devotional time. My default is one of two tools that really allow my heart to find true rest in scripture. These devotional tools have been proven over time and it allows the WORD OF GOD TO READ YOU RATHER THAN YOU JUST READING THE WORD OF GOD. One is the SOLO Devotional written by Eugene Peterson and the other and current one I find myself in is the S.O.A.P. Method which is simply reading through the Living Journal Bible and applying SOAP.
S – Scripture
O – Observation
A – Application
P – Prayer
No Rush. Take your time and again allow the Spirit to breath His life into your spirit. When God breathed into man, He became alive and this same patterns continues to this day.
// S – Gen 2:25 – ”25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.”
20 But behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time.”
37 For with God nothing will be impossible.”
38 Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
// O – The beauty of a new birth. Whether it was a new creation in Adam and Eve or Johns and Jesus birth preordained by God. We are in the very hands of an Almighty, All-Knowing God who lives and rules forever. His plans shall come to pass according to His timing and purpose. Who are we to question Him. Let us keep our conscious clear and our hearts free from question when it comes to Gods plan for us. He knows best and His fulfillment of it is beyond our understanding. Yes, He is good and He of for us but I can almost guarantee you that the plan goes beyond us and impacts others according to His for-knowledge. Don’t resist but embrace the challenging moments you find yourself in as you pursue the will of God. The process, the pain, the promise will all become one when its over and done. And what happens next is nothing but beauty. It begins again but this time deeper and even more consequential because He now has trained a warrior for greater service. Be not weary in well doing.
// A – As I look at this new beginning initiated by God Himself, why resist His purpose and plan. Allow your conscience to be free of question and doubt. Rather embrace the race He has called you to.
//P – Father, you alone what stands before us and all that is ahead is able to submit to your perfect will in the whole picture. I submit myself to your will…Your Kingdom, Your Purpose; your timing be done. Amen.
Read a quote today: “Don’t be impatient. Don’t move before God leads. Accept his training and his timing. Meanwhile, your vision, though it may burn inside you, will enable you to endure the wait, because you know it’s worth it to get it right.”
It’s one thing to get a vision for your future but another to understand that the timing of it is just as vital. For instance, an Olympic athlete has a vision of a gold medal long before he stands on the podium. When the vision begins years before is when the training begins. The preparation of the man is to be embraced joyfully as he awaits the timing of its manifestation.
One reason I believe He gives us the vision early on is that He knows what’s ahead. The opportunities to become discouraged, the various details that seem to weigh you down, even the individuals He has given you to partner with can be challenging. BUT regardless of the heartaches, its part of the process to accomplish His purpose and when the Vision is clear in your spirit…NO ONE can take it away. At times, you want to surrender it but you wake up the next morning knowing it would be foolish to let go of something that should be but is not quite ready yet. Therefore the vision keeps you steadfast, locked in to the future picture of what one day will come to pass and oh what a victorious site in your heart it is and shall become soon.
13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. 14 Do all things without complaining and disputing, 15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.17 Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all.
The VISION always proceeds PREPARATION. Just cause you SEE IT doesn’t mean your ready, therefore BE PATIENT and prepare for training.
QUESTION: how God is preparing you now to fulfill your vision effectively later on.
Years ago I asked myself, Who are you? What do you represent? Not only as an individual but as a family. What legacy will you leave to your children and grandchildren? When they hear your name or ask to describe what type of individual you were, how would one answer? I guess it sounds a little self-serving but I really think about the future and how and if I can impact or influence another generation or just one person then I need to live from a deeper place in my life. Out of that river will flow who i really am and whatever the flow touches will experience a part of who God created me to be.
Not that impressive but oh my word is it challenging. Leading leaves you exposed; Loving leaves you with a constant flow of wounds, and Learning keeps you in a forward motion which is good but again challenging. The more you learn, the more you Lead and the cycle of my Life continues. No one really ever knows the inner workings of His Spirit within but let me be clear, He is gentle, loving, and VERY VERY DIRECT.
Nevertheless, I think Ill begin to write a little about these three qualities just to remind myself of my purpose. But the question at hand is this:
WHO ARE YOU?
WHEN THEY HEAR YOUR NAME, WHAT COMES TO MIND?
WHEN YOU HEAR YOUR NAME, WHAT COMES TO MIND?
WHAT WILL YOU LEAVE FOR YOUR FUTURE GENERATION?
HOW CAN YOU SERVE THIS GENERATION FAITHFULLY AND LEAVE A MARK?
PEACE BE WITH YOU.
I was reading Oswald Chambers this am and just know its a word in season for myself and others. It’s one thing to receive a vision for a preferred future but a totally different thing to see the plan our Master has for our lives personally when we endeavor to pursue it. We know its bigger and ultimately His dream for His Kingdom but in most cases He needs a point man. In order for the vision to come to fruition, the man must ready. He continues to build His Church one disciple at a time. He Alone Equips and trains him to be ready! Read below:
The parched ground shall become a pool… —Isaiah 35:7
We always have a vision of something before it actually becomes real to us. When we realize that the vision is real, but is not yet real in us, Satan comes to us with his temptations, and we are inclined to say that there is no point in even trying to continue. Instead of the vision becoming real to us, we have entered into a valley of humiliation.
Life is not as idle ore,
But iron dug from central gloom,
And battered by the shocks of doom
To shape and use.
God gives us a vision, and then He takes us down to the valley to batter us into the shape of that vision. It is in the valley that so many of us give up and faint. Every God-given vision will become real if we will only have patience. Just think of the enormous amount of free time God has! He is never in a hurry. Yet we are always in such a frantic hurry. While still in the light of the glory of the vision, we go right out to do things, but the vision is not yet real in us. God has to take us into the valley and put us through fires and floods to batter us into shape, until we get to the point where He can trust us with the reality of the vision. Ever since God gave us the vision, He has been at work. He is getting us into the shape of the goal He has for us, and yet over and over again we try to escape from the Sculptor’s hand in an effort to batter ourselves into the shape of our own goal.
The vision that God gives is not some unattainable castle in the sky, but a vision of what God wants you to be down here. Allow the Potter to put you on His wheel and whirl you around as He desires. Then as surely as God is God, and you are you, you will turn out as an exact likeness of the vision. But don’t lose heart in the process. If you have ever had a vision from God, you may try as you will to be satisfied on a lower level, but God will never allow it.