Friday, April 13, 2012
Welcome to Day 103 of our Life Journal!
Before you comment or read what I have posted, please read the following passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… How does this work?
S.O.A.P = Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer
My iPhone Bible ap had another error, it took me to 1 Chronicles 14, not 1 Chronicles 4…
1 Samuel 14 “Jonathan [son of King Saul] said to his young armor-bearer, “Come, let’s go over to the outpost of those uncircumcised men. Perhaps the LORD will act in our behalf. Nothing can hinder the LORD from saving, whether by many or by few.” 7 “Do all that you have in mind,” his armor-bearer said. “Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul.”
1 Chronicles 4 gives a detailed account of the genealogies of the Tribe of Judah. (Becomes increasingly important as David is about to come on the scene… and Jesus is “the Lion of the Tribe of Judah!)
2 Corinthians 13:11, “Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.”
I noted in 1 Samuel 14:52 “All the days of Saul there was bitter war with the Philistines, and whenever Saul saw a mighty or brave man, he took him into his service.” This was a difficult time in Israel’s history. “After Saul had assumed rule over Israel, he fought against their enemies on every side: Moab, the Ammonites, Edom, the kings of Zobah, and the Philistines.” The Philistines were especially… pesky… taunting the Israelites… “The Hebrews are crawling out of the holes they were hiding in.”
Seems they have completely lost sight of who they were, their heritage and God’s promises to them. Their disobedience has cost them dearly. They defeated the Philistines by God’s hand, but they couldn’t finish the job. It says the Philistines “withdrew to their own land” in v 46.
This has been Israel’s downfall every step along the way. On top of that, the army begins eating meat with blood in it… It’s like they take two steps forward and three steps back.
I love the exchange between Jonathan and his armor-bearer… “Perhaps the LORD will act in our behalf. Nothing can hinder the LORD from saving, whether by many or by few.” “Do all that you have in mind,” his armor-bearer said. “Go ahead;
I am with you heart and soul.”
To me, the Application portion of this exercise is the most important. If we read the scriptures and make all kinds of great, deep observations, but fail to apply it to our lives, then it’s just good information. The Lord may give us deep insights, but if I don’t ask or think through how this applies to my life today, then so what?
That’s the question I always ask, “So what?”
The “So what?” for me today raises a couple of thoughts. So what if they are eating meat with blood in it? Does that really matter? I mean, they’re hungry after a long, hard-fought battle. Really, what does it matter?
They were disobedient. Rather than take a little extra time to prepare the meat properly, they rushed into it… and this, after the Lord had given them a victory. Then, BAM! Instead of worshiping him, offering proper sacrifices and enjoying a meal… they give in to hunger and sin in the process.
It’s like letting our guard down.
It’s easy to get lackadaisical in what we do… offer strange fire, as Aaron’s sons did. Get overly familiar, loose with our comments (one of my personal weaknesses, especially when I am tired.)
The upside of today’s reading for me was very inspirational… It’s easy to focus on all of Israel’s failings and relate them to my life in a cautionary way. That slaps me upside the head every day as I read…
But I love Jonathan’s trust in the Lord and how he expresses it… “Perhaps the LORD will act in our behalf. Nothing can hinder the LORD from saving, whether by many or by few.” Putting his trust in the Lord, not in his own strength or numbers.
And his armor-bearer’s response, “Do all that you have in mind,” his armor-bearer said. “Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul.”
I always say, “Showing up is half the battle. (The other half is showing up for the right reasons…)”
Heart and soul.
Heart and soul…
Heart AND soul…
HEART… and soul…
Heart and SOUL…
I have always served. I’m known for my dependability (I think) and faithfulness (I hear that often.) But it’s possible for me to be someplace geographically, but my mind be a million miles away… Right? People can see through if/when I am just showing up. I hate that… I am always mindful of what I am projecting, because as a leader, do I want our ministry partners “just showing up?” Filling a spot on the schedule? Or do I want them showing up next to me, “heart and soul” ready to take on the battle of leading worship… teaching our kids… Serving the community. Heart and soul…
Heart and soul.
Heart and soul… at home? Not just while I’m out extending the kingdom, doing my job…
Heart and soul… all the time?
Heart and soul.
Now THAT’S Application.
Lord, help me to put my heart and soul into all that you have in mind for me to do. Give me energy, courage, strength and vision!