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.
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.
Waking up from a nap and my emotions run wild and turn south. Interesting how this happens since I woke up this morning and my emotions were of gratitude, joy, strength and love. So what of this rollercoaster ride I often find myself in? Simple: its all emotion and from what I have learned, emotions are subject to change like the waves of the sea.
The solution: Encourage yourself in the Lord, in the faith, in who you really are. If you allow your emotions to dictate you or the emotions of others for that matter, then you have just given yourself a one way ticket to defeat.
I was driving my tractor the other day and noticed that even though i did not change any setting, the mower was cutting lower and lower and more on one side than the other. I had to actiually stop and figure out what was going on, thinking maybe a pin or something major took place to my mower deck. TO find out a few minutes later, it was a simple leak in my tire from a mesquite thorn. It pricked a brand new tire and so began a SLOW air leak. DEFLATION got the best of me that day. The same is true with many of us…DEFLATION does not come suddenly but rather slowly. We leak away and embrace subtle thoughts of fear, lies that prick at our emotional adequacy and eventually we feel drained and come to a hault spiritually. The subtle lies of “your a failure, you’re not enough, you’re not wanted” will drive you further and further away from your original and eternal destiny.
I must turn to scripture and allow His Words to penetrate the thoughts of another attempt for daily defeat. Be DETERMINED to rise above the fray of negativity and Embrace the words of strength He has for His children, The mind is like a WILD HORSE, but the mind must be tamed, disciplined, and renewed.
“Isaiah 12:2 “surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation.”
Habakkuk 3:19 “The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer. He enables me to tread upon heights.”
32 Sing to God, you kingdoms of the earth;
Oh, sing praises to the Lord,
33 To Him who rides on the heaven of heavens, which were of old!
Indeed, He sends out His voice, a mighty voice.
34 Ascribe strength to God;
His excellence is over Israel,
And His strength is in the clouds.
35 O God, You are more awesome than Your holy places.
The God of Israel is He who gives strength and power to His people.
Blessed be God!
Regardless of where I am, every morning and evening I sit, look, imagine, and contemplate on Gods beauty. “Daily” He loads us with benefits as the psalmist says. In the middle of the night last night, as we laid to rest near the waters, I heard the thunder and lighting strike upon the waters and the strongest force being displayed right before me. I have never heard thunder as such. The vibrations rushing though my own frail body. I awoke to a calm and a peace in the sunrise. The sea of glass before me and the soothing sounds of the shore as it gently whispers against the sands at bay. But when i looked up at the clouds…although calm and peaceful, I was reminded of the One who rides on the heavens of heavens. He has a mighty voice and He sends His Word out this morning to all who have ears to hear. His strength is in the clouds and I cannot deny His existence. The first Bible is His creation. He spoke and it was and is and continues…The Rock underneath the shore is a reminder of God Almighty, forever grounded and immovable. The sand is humanity who is held firmly in His hands. The waves of the sea that brush up against the sand of the sea are life’s situations. You thoughts, emotions, life. They all come and go my friend. Pay not much attention to it all. What really secures an individual is that He has you. He is the Rock on which you stand. All else will come and go, but He remains grounded and sure. Who has your attention? Who has your being?
Wherever you may rise. Whatever country, nations, city, or street. Always remember there is One who sits on the throne of heaven. His excitement this day is for you and Him to spend time together. Let Him whisper His song in you. You are not alone my friends. He is all around if only you have eyes to see and ears to hear.
May the peace that passes understanding guard your heart and mind today. In Jesus.
Been doing some devotions lately and decided to place some of them on site rather than the journal i reserve for family and future. There is a structured I have been on lately and its really help for daily devotional. We call it SOAP with stands for
S = Scripture (which passage)
O – Observation (about the passage.
A = Application (How does it apply to me right now)
P = Prayer (pray it through)
Luke 11:1-4The Model Prayer
(Matt. 6:9–15) 1 Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.”2 So He said to them, “When you pray, say:
Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. 3 Give us day by day our daily bread. 4 And forgive us our sins, For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.”
S – “…when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray,”
– The initial observation was “wow, what a powerful moment to be able to see, hear, and experience Jesus praying. Had to make an impact that Luke comes out and asks, “hey, what the heck! Teach me…show me…i want to do what i just experienced as I watched you! I’ve never seen nor heard anything like this in all my life. I do my devotions, read my scripture, sing my hymns, but there is nothing compared to what I just experienced this day. Lord, Teach me to pray!” (My paraphrase of course)
Is there anything in my life that people can see, hear, and feel the passion I have about my devotion to God that provokes a session to sit down with them so they can ask questions?
- What of my personal devotion
- My prayer time?
- My interaction with unbelievers?
- My interaction with the Body of Christ?
- My love for my family?
- My love for God?
DO any of these things provoke others to inquire of me?
- STOP allowing others, the needs and emergencies of others including myself to place the most important first…my devotional time daily…early.
- Be not worried about the naysayers and comments of the past. You are not defined by your past mistakes but by your current passions.
- Study, listen, and learn of others. Be a student of people and those who draw you in to provocation, well….have a meeting with them and begin asking, learning about the inner workings of their being.
- RELAX MAN…GOd loves you and is for you and has tremendous things for your life. It’s all good and use the mentors He has provided in scripture to provide some of the most basic and essential life lessons. (Moses, Peter, David, Samson, Elijah, Aquila, etc…)
Father, my prayer today is one of repentance first. Allow me 1st part of the day be centered around you and listening at your feet rather than the news, the flesh, the emotions, the anxieties of the circumstances in life. I pray You help me to be so laser focused of our time together that it will provoke others to see and experience your goodness and love. “Tell them how much I love them” is my mandate on earth and that cannot be done until I spend time with my lover, my Lord, My Christ.