Vineyard Life Journal

An online forum for our church family to connect around our 2012 daily Bible reading plan using the S.O.A.P. method.

Day 110

Friday, April 20, 2012

Welcome to Day 110 of our Life Journal!

Click here for today’s reading: 1 Samuel 23; Psalm 31, 54; Matthew 7 (2012 Daily Bible Reading Plan)

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

S cripture

1 Samuel 23:14, “God did not give David into his [Saul’s] hands.” 22, “They tell me [Saul] he [David] is very crafty.”

1 Samuel 23:17, “You will be king over Israel, and I will be second to you. Even my father Saul knows this.” 18 The two of them made a covenant before the LORD.”

Psalm 31:1, “In you, LORD, I have taken refuge.” 2 “Be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me.” 20 “In the shelter of your presence you hide them from all human intrigues; you keep them safe in your dwelling…”

Psalm 54:7, “You have delivered me from all my troubles, and my eyes have looked in triumph on my foes.”

Matthew 7:9, ““Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”

v 24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.”

O bservation

I should change the heading to O bservation(s). The scriptures are loaded with wisdom and great stories from which to draw insight.

First thing I noticed is a matter of perspective. From the writer’s perspective, “God did not give David into Saul’s hands.” From Saul’s perspective, David was “very crafty.” God’s protection was viewed by Saul as David being crafty…

I’m wondering why David didn’t stay and fight Saul. Why run and hide? God had already anointed him as king. Could Saul kill him and thwart that? Perhaps. He did kill the 85 priests…

I often then wonder, why didn’t God stop Saul from killing those innocent priests??

In David’s hiding, his perspective wasn’t that he was hiding in a cave. He was hiding under the wing, in the shadow of the Almighty! Same place, different perspective.

David proclaimed victory as he was running and hiding. Some days, just surviving is a victory, isn’t it?

I love how Jonathan came into agreement with what he knew God had already spoken regarding David and his kingship. That was Jonathan’s rightful claim. He could have turned out just like his father, Saul. Angry and jealous. Fighting to keep hold of what God had already removed from him. Instead, he flowed with what God was doing. He offered to be David’s #2. To serve the one God had anointed.

Smart man.

A pplication

Coming into agreement with God has spoken to us, either through his word, or perhaps even prophetically is vital to our lives and to fulfilling his will for our lives.

Jesus said that when we put his words into practice, it’s like building (our life) on a solid foundation. That when the storms of life make landfall, our house will stand.

If we really believe that God is good, that he has our best interests in mind, that he wants to give us good gifts, that he will protect us, then we will live life differently, by trusting in him. Knowing that he is like the best father ever.

I’ve been thinking a lot about perspective lately…

For instance, our band rehearses every Wednesday for the weekend services. We practice, not so that we can play perfectly, or to impress anyone. The focus is on ushering in God’s presence not on our performance.

Don’t get me wrong, we want to play well, with excellence… but that is not our focus.

If we play well and there is little evidence that the Spirit is moving (subjective), i.e. people’s participation and response, the atmosphere in the room changing, the people out-sing the band, there is a sense of awe or celebration (beyond clapping and hooting…), these are evidences that the Lord is in the house.

Keep in mind, his promise is that he “inhabits praise.” So it’s not like we have to beg him to show up, or crank it up to make it happen… It’s more that there’s an undeniable sense that he is there with us. Delighting in our praise to him. There are often people with eyes closed, hands raised, tears of repentance, or joy!

Blank stares or people leaving to get coffee are never good signs.

Is my perspective that God is good? Or do I doubt that?

Is my perspective that I have to beg God to show up? Or that he wants to be with us?

Is my perspective that I’m hiding in a cave? Or under that wing in the shadow of the Almighty?

I prayed for someone yesterday who has Lymphoma… Is my perspective that God wants to heal them? Or that it may not happen? Am I praying with hope and faith, believing? Or throwing in little disclaimers, “Well, Lord… You’re in control. If it’s your will… would you maybe, kind of, possibly, perhaps…”

I believe it is God’s will. We have no idea what effect our prayers have in lengthening a person’s life, whether they are “healed” or not.

I went to Hospice three years ago to pray for a friend’s 90-year-old mother. She went home soon after. Very few people leave Hospice alive. People go there to die.

She lived another THREE years. I did her funeral a few weeks ago, age 93.

Was she healed? I don’t know, but I know she lived three more years!

That puts things into perspective.

My favorite saying this year, “God hasn’t called me to be realistic, he’s called me to be hopeful.”

Psalm 31:24, “Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD.”

P rayer

Help me Lord to see things through your eyes. To have a “heaven to earth” perspective. To see the possibilities in every situation. To build my life on you and your word!

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4 thoughts on “Day 110

  1. Great post Scott!

  2. Got behind in reading. This is my first day back as I decided it was best to begin again than keep waiting to catch up. Yes, great post! Matthew 7:21-13 is sobering as usual!

  3. I could spend days up days SOAPing the Sermon on the Mount. It’s like a guidebook for Christians.

    When reading the psalms, I feel a little out of touch. Verses similar to Ps 31:13, “For I hear many whispering, “Terror on every side!” They conspire against me and plot to take my life.” I don’t feel as if I have many, if any, enemies. I’ve always tried to keep short accounts with people. David didn’t have that option of course since he has being chased by a madman. This makes me extremely thankful.

    Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. (Matthew 7:1-2 MSG)

    Back in Genesis, God promised Abraham that he would bless those who bless him and curse those who disrespect him. I think this establishes a biblical principle that extends beyond Abraham since right after saying this God tells Abraham that through him all nations will be blessed. We can look at this as we reap what we sow or what goes around comes around. Somehow, it seems like I should help God out when it comes to cursing those who disrespect me. After all, revenge is a dish best served cold, right?

    Note to self, let God do the cursing. He is better at it. Romans 12:17-19 MSG says Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.”
    This is VERY hard. It doesn’t mean we have to let people run all over or outright abuse us. I think it means that we have to be honest and upfront with others. It’s always better to seek reconciliation than revenge.

    Lord, thank you for providing shelter for us. I want to outsource the cursing of others to you because you are just and righteous. I pray for protection against those who earnestly want to do harm, both emotionally and physically. In Jesus name.

  4. I’ve always considered any issues that cause distress ” the enemy. ” Psalm 31:8 says, ” you have NOT handed me over to the enemy but, set my feet in a spacious place” Father, my eyes are on you for I know that your plan is perfect and all things work together for good.

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