July 7 Hosea 10,11,12; Psalms 73; Hebrews 4

These are a few of our SOAP notes from today’s reading. We encourage you to read and journal on your own first, then join us in conversation about what God revealed to YOU today. Click HERE to go directly to the daily reading if you wish.

Printable reading plan: Life Journal Reading Plan

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What I Have Learned About Myself During Times of Feast and Times of Famine | Michelle Myers

S~ Israel is like a large vine that produced plenty of fruit.  As the people became richer, they built more alters for idols.  As their land became better, they put up better stone pillars to honor gods. Hosea 10:1 (NCV)

O~ What I do with the blessings that  God gives to me matters.  He expects me to use it for good, to bless others, and to bring Him glory.

A~ I have gotten it wrong so many times when you have blessed me.  I spent many years searching for some financial, materialistic, worldly thing that I thought would fill some void in me or my life….a remodeled kitchen, a nice vacation, new clothes……none of it worked.  Eventually, I got to where I had peace when we had very little.  In fact, I didn’t just have peace, I had more peace than I ever had with money.  Yet, I felt that if I just made it through the difficult financial times still giving, still sacrificing, and having a good attitude; I would have passed the test and You would end the constant struggle.

Oh, how I was wrong!  Instead, my reward seemed to be that I got a husband who was financially irresponsible and deceitful, not to mention had this painful addiction.  I was SO confused by You.  I was SO angry with You.  The initial discovery, in the end, wasn’t even the hardest part.  It was the loss of EVERYTHING in such a short period of time, that really began to take a toll on me and my faith.

Then you started to show me patterns within myself, during the different seasons of feast or famine.  In seasons of abundance, I went back to trying to fill myself up with the wrong things.  In seasons of famine, I didn’t have the gas money to drive around. I didn’t have the funds in my account to take my girls to the movies or the means to go shopping.

As a result,  I spent a lot more time with You.  I also spent more quality time with my husband and girls.  Eventually, I was once again more content.  I was able to appreciate the small, insignificant moments rather than trying to make some “grand event” happen to entertain them, give them great memories, or fill some of their holes.  I started to really understand my need for YOU on a daily, moment by moment basis.  I also saw YOU work through others to fix financial issues that no other human being that I was relying on, including myself, had answers for.  You also showed me, that the more money I had, the tighter my grip was on it.  I had a lot of anxiety as I watched life…car repairs, doctor bills, obligations for the girls, etc…..take it from my grasp.  It stole my peace.  You showed me, how my mood would change in accordance to our financial situation.  My reliance on You for my security, would dwindle as the money in our bank account increased.

Just about the time I would think that I had it figured out, was focusing on what I should be (YOU), and wouldn’t get distracted or off course again, You showed me how that lax attitude will get me every time.  You showed me that I need to remain vigilant to remain obedient.  Compromise, no matter how insignificant it may seem, is still compromise.  It does not glorify You.  I will eventually take me down a road that will rob me of my peace.  It can lead me down a path toward more destruction, and before I know what happened, I am in the pit again.  It will keep me from making progress.  It opens the door for the enemy.

So, now when I am given plenty of fruit, I look for ways to share it with others.  I can still struggle with my fleshly desires.  I still can want things that really serve no good purpose or are not necessary.  However, I am much more aware of what YOU say about them or how they reflect upon YOU, how they aren’t really that important, or how they can eventually lead to destruction.  I am a lot better about relying on YOU for my security.  I am a lot better about being content and stable during times of feast or famine.

P~ Thank you God for your faithfulness, and for never giving up on me.  Please continue to show me what I need to see.  Please remind me that the drift, when it comes to compromise, can be a split second thing, that I don’t even notice, until I have lost my peace in some way, shape, or form.

Balance | Luisa Penaherrera

S~ Jacob fled to the land of Aram and earned a wife by tending sheep. Hosea 12:12  (NLT)

O~ The notes in my bible say: Hosea was using this reference to Jacob to say, “Don’t forget your humble beginnings.  What you have is not a result of your own efforts, but it is yours because God has been gracious to you.”

God had blessed Israel but the more they got the more they used for evil.

Chapter 10: 1 says, “How prosperous Israel is—a luxuriant vine loaded with fruit!  But the more wealth the people got, the more they poured it on the altars of their foreign gods.  The richer the harvests they brought in, the more beautiful the statues and idols they built.”

A~  God has been speaking to my heart about sharing what I have.  It’s not so much that I don’t like to share but my mind goes to this person and what I know about them and my past experiences. Ugghh!

P~ I know , dear father, that you want healing for me in this area.  I am not a victim here.  Help me with my thoughts, help me with this struggle.  Thank you for showing me my heart, for showing me balance.  I can help this person who is in need but I do not have to be a doormat for them to walk all over me.

Reminder | Nikki Metzger

S~ Then I realized that my heart was bitter, and I was all torn up inside.  I was so foolish and ignorant – I must have seemed like a senseless animal to You.  Yet I still belong to You; You hold my right hand.  You guide me with Your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny.  Whom have I in heaven but You?  I desire You more than anything on earth. Psalm 73:21-25 (NLT)

O/A/P~ I love this Psalm!  It’s like the author got inside my head today and took my thoughts and put them into these beautiful words.  It’s a great reminder and prayer.  I’m reminded of how much heart surgery that God has done on me.  I must have seemed (and sometimes still do) like an animal to Him, yet I was, and AM ALWAYS His!  I belong to Him.  He gives me strength, He gives me counsel and He leads me.  Thank You Lord!

Messy | Jill Terry

S~ My flesh and my heart may fail, But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 63: 26 (NAS)

O~ I may fail and become weak. God is strong and mighty and offers eternal comfort when I question or doubt.

A~ This week was a big mess, financially and emotionally. A rather large false charge was made on my debit card. It triggered a cascade of overdraft charges at $36 a pop. I was a wreck as I watched our bank account, go further and further into the negative. I was taking my frustration out on everybody including God. My husband kept telling me “ It will all work out. Quit stressing about it. I will handle it.” Which only managed to stress me out even more. But he did take care of it and as of today, all of the charges have been reversed. It’s ridiculous to get that worked up about something that I had no control over. I knew God could handle it, but for some reason, I always think I can do a better job of it than He can. I am always baffled later by my thought process when I am in the midst of my mess. I am better than I used to be but this past week, I forgot all of the times God has been there when I needed Him most.

P~ Lord, thank You for always being there when I question and thank you for always fixing my mess. Amen

Come Boldly!! | Joni Tyner

S~ So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. Hebrews 4:16 (NLT)

O~          The writer of Hebrews is reminding believers to approach God with confidence and boldness.  He is there waiting for us to give forgiveness and help us in areas that we are weak.

A~ This scripture stood out to me personally because I don’t think I come very boldly in prayer—at all.  I understand and believe in God’s character—yet I seem to live like I don’t think God is going to answer my biggest prayer requests. I want to have more faith, to really believe that He is there to help me, yet deep down I tend to think that the answer will be a no.  This is stupid but I feel like I’m not worthy of my prayers being answered—that other people are “higher up” on the priority list or something.  I’m not completely sure why I don’t go before the Lord boldly in prayer, but I just don’t.  I’m sure that is one of satan’s tactics, to get us doubt that God cares for our insignificant stuff.

P~ Dear Lord, please grow me in the this area!!!! I know your character is to love me and help me and give me all that I need.  I desire to live and pray like that.  Thank you for patience and scripture that reminds me to come to You for everything.

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Posted on July 7, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. I think you should start sharing your journals, Lisa!

  2. I love the book of Hebrews! And especially studying it and allowing it to penetrate….the NIV study notes on 4:12-13 (copied below) reminded me that I am kinda going thru my own Kadesh now, but this time, realizing the need for an active dependence on God and His word. The fire at the office opened an opportunity, in a weird way, for this time of rest and study…feast and famine…balance…reminders…messiness…to come boldly…I love seeing how a verse affects ya’ll and then reading thru the passages with anticipation that ~today~ the Holy Spirit has something for ~me~ too. What I thought to be the straw that would break this camel’s back, has actually given me an opportunity reflect on how I need to order my day on what is truly important. In the midst of this grief and now a “perfect storm”, I see His promises, I hear His voice and feel His presence, and I’m not sinking. The rain has given me the opportunity to tend to my family rather than plant more rescued tomatoes at HFS…the lack of internet and cable has driven me into the actual pages of the Bible and the board games in the closet…the lack of clients allows me to do mom’s laundry and clean out her room and make her potato salad. Each piece of this storm reveals His abundance and moments of decision based on the realization of His promises. Thank you for continually sharing your DOT journeys with the rest of us readers; because of your testimonies and sharing how God uses His word to affect your lives, I can no longer “rest” with my casual attitude of Jesus’ work on the cross. I have been like those compared to the lukewarm water in Revelation 3:16, grateful and confident in my own salvation and supposed purpose. Now I need to reveal my dependence on Him, for His glory, else I be spit out. If my true selfish desire is to hear “well done, good and faithful servant” on my first day of eternity, I cannot be lukewarm. Joni, we are worthy; Jill, when we are weak, He is strong; Nikki, we ~DO~ belong to Him and Louisa, we are His priceless treasures – not a doormat; Michelle, we are Israel where He came to dwell. Yeah, let that one sink in…He dwells within us. Here’s my bare spiritual reality: I’ve denied it…like Peter on Maundy Thursday. Worse than Peter…his was one night, I’ve been doing it my whole life.

    “The author suggests the possibility that some among the original hearers of Hebrews were at Kadesh (Num. 14:32–35). They were hanging between entrance to the rest of God and turning back to a spiritual desert marked by disobedience and punishment. They are now confronted with a moment of decision. The word of God to them will either be a word of promise, the acceptance of which will mean their entrance to God’s rest, or a word of punishment, which will be fulfilled by their falling in a spiritual desert. Some of the hearers are marked by a casual attitude in their evaluation of the word of salvation and their estimation of the consequences of its rejection (cf. 2:1–4). The author wishes to impress on them the real opportunity that lies before those who will take God at his word and in obedience move forward to lay hold of his promise of rest.

    Based on insights gained from Genesis 2 this rest consists of resting from one’s own work as God did from his work on the seventh day. This, however, does not mean a cessation of effort but rather an obedient, active dependence on God. The powerful language of 4:12–13, by contrast, reminds the listeners that God is not casual in assessing their spiritual condition. Rather, his word cuts deeply to the darkest corners of the inner life and lays bare spiritual realities that one might wish to keep hidden.”

    • Oh, Lisa…thank you for sharing! I love it, keep it up! What a treasure 🙂

    • Thank you, Lisa for sharing! Thank you for encouraging us too! 🙂

    • Michelle Myers

      Thank you Lisa; your encouraging words mean so much! I am so glad to hear that you are finding His purpose for the pain and struggle. It isn’t what we would necessarily choose for ourselves or what we would think we would need, but He knows way more and better than we do. It is often hard to see or understand, while going through something, how He will turn it out for our good, but He does!

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