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 161

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Welcome to Day 161 of our Life Journal!

Click here for today’s reading: Song of Songs 1; Song of Songs 2; Song of Songs 3; Song of Songs 4; Ephesians 6 (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

Song of Songs is also known as Song of Solomon…

Song of Songs 1-4

“Your neck is like the tower of David, built with courses of stone; on it hang a thousand shields, all of them shields of warriors.”

Ephesians 6:12, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood… 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to

stand your ground,

and after you have done everything,

to stand. 14

Stand firm then…”

O bservation

I managed to find a verse with some teeth to it in Song of Songs. (Sorry, I’m a guy and Song of Songs is pretty flowery…) Goes nicely with the verses in Ephesians 6.

A pplication

A couple of years ago, when I was overseeing our Establishing Families ministry at church, we were having a team meeting, giving words to each other. Marcia Zecchini (if you’re reading this, “Hi Marcia!) gave this verse to me. “Your neck is like the tower of David, built with courses of stone; on it hang a thousand shields, all of them shields of warriors.”

She talked about my strength, then made a statement, something like this… “I’m glad I can hang my shield on you.”

I have to tell you it was one of the most meaningful words I have ever gotten. As I read that verse today, the word she gave me washed over me as though she was giving it to me all over again.

It was so affirming. It spoke of her trust in me as a leader. And that’s huge.

I have held on to those verses in Ephesians for years…

Stand firm.

I think that simple statement gets overlooked amidst the instruction to “take up the shield of faith, the sword of the Spirit, the helmet of salvation…”

I know people who love doing battle. (Spiritually, that is.)

I’m not looking for a fight. I love the imagery of standing firm. Holding your ground. Not letting anything get past me.

v 18, “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying.”

When we stand, it is not inactivity. It is an active waiting. “Be alert.” Be watchful. Extinguish those darts with the shield of faith! 2 Corinthians 10:4 states, “Though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.” Paul wrote both passages.

I often think that people give the devil way too much credit. He is not omnipotent, omniscient, or omni-present! He does have a lot of help, but he does not have that much power.

In fact, James 4:7 simply says, “resist the devil and he will flee from you.”

No big deal.

Ignore him.

And pray. Be alert and always keep on praying. Don’t go looking for a fight. Stand firm!

P rayer

I pray that I would know your strategies of doing battle, Lord…

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3 thoughts on “Day 161

  1. Nicole Marvin on said:

    Song of Songs 1-4
    Beautiful word pictures. The love between a man and a woman is a gift.

    Eph. 6:10-20 (Msg)

    “10-12And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.
    13-18Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.”

    Thank you, Lord, for your word. A sword to use in battle. Help me to stay alert and to never give up. Thank you that I can talk with you. That you are available.

    19-20And don’t forget to pray for me. Pray that I’ll know what to say and have the courage to say it at the right time, telling the mystery to one and all, the Message that I, jailbird preacher that I am, am responsible for getting out.

  2. Anonymous on said:

    Hi Scott. Yes I’m here. There is no better way to begin my day than with the word and with your posts. Glad that word from God continues to bless you.

    Today Father is speaking to me about more communion with Him. Just like Song of Solomon relates, He longs for intimate relationship with each of us. I sometimes get so caught up in what I am doing for Him that I don’t spend much time with Him.
    I am task oriented by nature, and tend to have a checklist of all I want to accomplish. He told me today He doesn’t want to be just an activity on my list. That is not a relationship.

    Dear God,
    I tell you today I desire more intimacy with You. I am taking you off my list of things to do and putting you at the top of my relationships to pursue.
    Love Marcia

  3. S.O.S. is a struggle for many men no matter how romantic we are (or aren’t). It’s definitely too smooshy-wooshy for my enjoyment. There are some good snippets though.

    Eph 6 is one of the key pictures of spiritual warfare. So many times, it seems like we need to grab something and go beat up on the devil. How do you defeat an opponent who has already lost? What stood out to me is the reference of the enemies flaming arrows or darts. Life seems like that sometimes, right. One thing after another flying at you. With the shield of faith, we can extinguish them. I noted that they aren’t automatically extinguished; that we extinguish them with the shield of faith.

    Faith is an interesting thing. As a golfer struggling to get to a single digit handicap, I know I can hit good shots and hit them on a regular basis. Every now and then, I will mishit the ball, but most of my shots head toward the target. When I reflect on the bad shots, it’s most likely the result of focusing on conditions, hazards, etc. instead of the target. Other times, I can loose faith in my swing because I remember how I used to play or the fact that I’m not as good as the pros on TV. In golf, it is important to shake off the mishits and remember all the good shots.

    I think the same things are true with faith in Christ. Sometimes I loose sight of Him and focus on the storms of life, problems I’m facing, etc. When praying, I might remember how I used to be or realize that I am not a Marc Dupont, Doug Roe or Scott Sliver and question how effective I can be since it is not my profession.

    Sometimes it’s hard to love the skin we’re in. Lord, thank you for making me, me. I am thankful that my faith in you has grown more than faith in my golf swing. Help me to walk out my faith and to love others. I may never be as good as the major players, but I want to be as good as I can be; all for your glory.

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