July 14 Isaiah 19,20,21; Hebrews 11

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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Determination in the Dark | Tara Wiley

S~ The oracle concerning Edom.

One keeps calling to me from Seir,

“Watchman, how far gone is the night?

Watchman, how far gone is the night?”

The watchman says,

“Morning comes but also night.

If you would inquire, inquire;

Come back again.” Isaiah 21:11-12 (NASB)

O~ The word translated “Edom” at the beginning of verse 11 is actually a Hebrew term for “silence” that is spelled nearly the same. It’s a powerful play on words.

If you’ve followed Jesus long enough, chances are you’ve been there. In the silence of a long, dark night. Wondering where He is, when He’s going to speak to you again.

Lamentations 2:19 uses the same Hebrew word for night and calls on us to have the same response in times of anguish:

“Arise, cry aloud in the night

At the beginning of the night watches;

Pour out your heart like water

Before the presence of the Lord;

Lift up your hands to Him…”

And in Jeremiah 29:12-14 (NIV) we get the promise of what happens when we keep crying out, keep calling out, keep seeking, even in the night:

Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”

A~ I love that our reading plan placed these verses beside Hebrews 11, that great hall of faith. Nearly every one of those mentioned endured times of silence from God. And yet they held on. They doggedly looked for Him like the night watchmen with his eyes peeled, determined to find the smallest hint of motion, the smallest sign of life.

And as we follow their examples, choosing to live out the night season with a determination not to turn our backs on God, but to dare to come to Him with all our emotions, all our shreds of faith, and ask Him for more, we find that the next season is all that more glorious – “anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” (Hebrews 11:1,3 NIV)

The reward may be here on Earth or may require the steadfast faith of waiting until heaven to see it all come clear. But the reward.will.come. For God always keeps His promises.

Our hope in the night is for the Light we know is in our hearts, the Light that will one day eclipse night forever:

“On that day the sources of light will no longer shine, yet there will be continuous day! Only the Lord knows how this could happen. There will be no normal day and night, for at evening time it will still be light.” Zechariah 14:6-7 NLT

P~ Lord, I am in an interesting season. Thank You that it’s NOT the silent night I’ve had in the past. You are here, and You are speaking, even in the struggle, like the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night that led the Israelites through the wilderness. But I know that it is the discipline I learned in the silent night that keeps me doggedly pursuing You regardless of how I feel today. Thank You for working in me the determination to pursue You. Thank You for the reward You have already given me, that leaves me hungry for more of You. Thank You for walking with my friends in the night. Lord, if one person reading these words today is tempted by Your silence to turn and run away, I pray that today would be the day that they would know they are not alone. It is a hallmark of every true believer to have survived the dark night of the soul. With the love of a perfect Father, You use all seasons to grow us up in You. So help my friends, God, to have the determination of the Watchman, to just keep coming before You, even if there are no words but “Why” and “Help.” Thank You, Lord, for building our faith in every season as we submit to You.

Faith Beyond my Lifetime | Luisa Penaherrera

S~ All these faithful ones died without receiving what God had promised them, but they saw it all from a distance and welcomed the promises of God.  They agreed that they were no more than foreigners and nomads here on earth.  Hebrews 11:13 (NLT)

O~ These people spoken of here were given promises that were not fulfilled in their lifetime.  They still held on with the promise.

A~ This hit home with me today because I am feeling dissatisfied with where we are living right now.  We don’t have enough room for all our things and we don’t even have all our stuff here.  Most of it we left in a storage unit and we will be heading back to sell most of it.  There are things I don’t want to sell: the rest of my kitchen stuff, our Christmas stuff, that we just will not have room for and I don’t think my husband would want to get a storage unit to keep it. The notes in my bible for this verse say:  “That we are ‘foreigners and nomads’ may be an awareness forced by circumstances.  It may come late in life or as the result of difficult times.  But this world is not our home.  We cannot live here forever.  It is best for us not to be so attached to this world’s desires and possessions that we can’t move out at God’s command” Am I trying to hold on to my stuff and, God are you wanting me to let go?  If you are, I know it’s for a reason and that you have something better for me.  I might not see the reasons now, in my lifetime, but I can be sure that whatever good you have planned will come to pass.  That’s the kind of faith this verse speaks of and I want to have this faith. Faith that lets go when you say let go, and goes where you say go.

P~ Dear Lord, help me have this kind of faith that goes beyond my lifetime with the promises you give to me.

Not Always Seeing It | Michelle Myers

S~ All these great people, died in faith.  They did not get the things that God promised his people, but they saw them coming far in the future and were glad.  They said they were like visitors and strangers on earth.  Hebrews 11:13 (NCV)

O~ This entire chapter is talking about faith.  It is talking about what exactly faith is, and lists previous people in the Bible, who used their faith.  They all believed in something that they could not see,  and usually seemed impossible, but eventually came to be.

A~ I have faith in YOU being real.  I have faith in what the Bible says.  I have seen YOU work many times in the lives of others, as well as myself.  Yet, I sometimes,…ok, often……struggle with believing that those things are for ME.

I know that part of this comes from just one constant struggle after another throughout my life.  And the funny thing is, that I didn’t even realize HOW MUCH of a struggle it has been since my childhood, until I would start telling people my story and I would see the look on their faces.  I just thought that everyone had struggles, difficult people, issues, etc. in their lives, and these just happened to mine.  Even as an adult, as I would describe some of the words, actions, and attitudes of my mother, people gave me that “WOW!” look.  “The look” really got me to comprehend the level of dysfunction in my childhood and the dysfunction that still existed with my mom and our relationship…Well, actually her relationship with most people.

I can’t say that my adult years have much easier, but I am finding more purpose and lessons in these struggles, than I did with the ones I went through as a child.  I am also finding more people who have their own fair share of junk, so I am feeling less and less like some freak of nature in regards to it.

Yet, there are days where I still feel like a visitor and stranger on earth and I know THAT is supposed to be a good thing, because THIS is not our home.  Yet, those days are when it is the hardest sometimes to understand YOU, YOUR PURPOSE, and YOUR PROMISES.  Those are the days when the enemy is telling me that there is something wrong with me, and that YOU (God) have good plans for other people, but not me.  He will remind me of just how dysfunctional my childhood was, and how I don’t have a relationship with most of my extended family.  He will remind me of how hard I have worked and how much I lost.  He will remind me of the dreams and goals that I had, when I first got out of college.  He will remind me of the hurt that my husband caused me, and how I didn’t even realize how much of a façade my marriage was for many years.  He will point out, the people that I should have been able to rely on and trust the most, from my childhood to my adulthood, have abused my love and trust.

A lot like the people mentioned, there are some things that I am unable to see at this point.  But like Abraham, who fathered a child at a crazy age (TOTALLY, NOT ASKING FOR THAT GOD, SO PLEASE DON’T.  I WOULD RATHER HAVE MORE CATS AT 95, THAN MORE KIDS!), I am using my faith to believe and trust in YOU, YOUR WORD, AND YOUR PROMISES, regardless of what the enemy says or what junk from my past he reminds me of.

P~ Thank you God for YOUR truth. Please help keep me focused on who I am in you.  Please help keep me focused on YOUR words.  Please help me keep a good and loving attitude toward the people who have hurt me, because when the enemy is so intent on reminding me, it is hard to not get angry at them AGAIN!  This serves no purpose.  And if I am not able to stay focused on you during these times, my mouth usually becomes a weapon that can easily bring death to myself, and every other family member that has hurt me.  However, there has been progress.  I used to  have a hard time letting go of any anger towards anyone who hurt me.  I rarely struggle with anger towards acquaintances or strangers anymore.  I am appreciative of that progress.

Our team would love the privilege of praying for you! Please share how we can lift you in prayer at DiscoverOneThingPrayer@gmail.com



Posted on July 14, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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