March 19 Joshua 3-6; 1 Corinthians 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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Consecrate My Heart |  Thomas Cellilli (guest post)

S~ Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.”  Joshua 3:5 (NIV)

O ~ Consecrate is a declaration or dedication of something as sacred. Joshua commands the Israelites to dedicate themselves as holy relics to God. They are to prepare themselves for the presence of God to do something amazing. He will only do these things when our hearts and minds are open to seeing His work.

A ~ What is my daily reading to me? Is it to check a box off a list, or to broaden my knowledge of the Scripture in order to teach it? Or am I daily consecrating myself in the utmost expectation for God to show up in my midst? By daily preparing myself for the King, I am better equipped to be used by Him and for Him to reveal Himself to me. If an esteemed guest is coming over, you do not wear your pajama pants and over-sized T-shirt! If we are constantly interacting with God, we will know what to wear and how to act to best be used by Him. And you never know who He might send your way in His place.

P~ Lord, daily consecrate me to be Your vessel — that I might prepare the way for Your presence. Father, I believe You will show up and do miraculous things. Thank You. Amen.

The Power Posture | Vicki Burns (guest post)

S~ Then Joshua fell face down to the ground in reverence, and asked him, “What message does my Lord have for his servant?” Joshua 5:14 (NIV)

We are fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are honored, we are dishonored! To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless. We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; when we are slandered, we answer kindly. Up to this moment we have become the scum of the earth, the refuse of the world. I Corinthians 4:10-13

O~ So how do we get to the place where God’s power flows through us? Well, it seems to be when we’ve given up, rather, it’s the place where we surrender our will to God’s will. I liken it to being in a speeding car that will surely crash with me in the driver seat so I “posture” myself to get out of the way and let the expert take over. My goal? To get out of the way! “Face down to the ground in reverence” is the recurring posture of God’s leaders when faced with overwhelming circumstances; Moses at the burning bush; Moses and Aaron at Korah’s Rebellion. There, the business of the day was intercession in response to gross guilt and offense before God. With Moses and Joshua, God was interjecting Himself into the story. Here it was declared both times, “15…Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” When God suddenly shows up, the safest place is down and out of the way in reverence.

A~ Whether God is confronting us or we are beseeching Him for mercy in intercession or we need instruction or guidance, the proper posture is “face down to the ground.” It is a visual proclamation to God that we acknowledge He is in control here and that we submit, we yield to Him who formed us in the womb and is always good and righteous.

This posture also powerfully proclaims to our own arrogant flesh that we serve God and not ourselves or another. It is, in fact a posture of worship. Being prostrate on the ground is not only for the physical body. We may not like to hear it or think about it but our arrogant flesh needs to be postured within a humble, prostrated life.

Look how Paul, arguably the most powerful apostle of the New Testament, lived out his life before the world. The posture of the Christian life he exemplified is on display as he shares, “We are fools…;” “We are weak…;” “…we are dishonored!” “…we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless;” “12We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; 13when we are slandered, we answer kindly. Up to this moment we have become the scum of the earth, the refuse of the world. I Corinthians 4:10-13

If there is a way to live a life that shows reverence for God, is it not through the life of our Servant Savior, Jesus Christ by the sacrifice of His own life? Is it not through the likes of our example in Paul? What about Job?

The times are changing in our world. Where once Christians were honored and trusted, increasingly, we are becoming despised and hated. We are being confronted with evil. Do we know and are we ready to embrace the “posture of power?” We must gird ourselves for battle by practicing the posture…the posture of humility, intercession and worship. We must let the fire of God’s Holy Spirit burn the chaff of arrogance off us and steel us, God’s people, for war and service.

P~ Oh merciful Father, Your ways are past our finding out! Astoundingly, You have set apart for Yourself, a people who are called by Your name! Prepare our hearts, I pray. Help us make friends with Your given “power posture” of self sacrifice, surrender and worship before You that we may receive Your instruction and learn Your heart and ways. Purge from our lives all pride and arrogance that we may serve You as fit vessels to bring Your glory to a lost and dying world. Through the powerful name above all names, Jesus Christ the Savior of the World! Amen!

From God | Luisa Penaherrera

S~ What makes you better than anyone else?  What do you have that God hasn’t given you?  And if all you have is from God, why boast as though you have accomplished something on your own?  1 Corinthians 4:7 (NLT)

O~ Everything I have is from God. I’m not better or less than anyone else.  Everything others have is from God and they are not better or less than me.  And God loves us all.

A~ I need to shine in how God made me, but not at the expense of others.  He calls us to love.

P~ Help me understand this better, Father, please, especially when it comes to boundaries.

I’m a fool! | Nikki Metzger

S~ Our dedication to Christ makes us look like fools….For the Kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk; it is living by God’s power. 1 Corinthians 4: 10a, 20 (NLT)

O~ God’s way of living is so different than the world’s!

A~ I feel like I’m in the middle of this tension in the Kingdom of God.  I’m moving from a life of ‘a lot of talk’ about the Kingdom to living by God’s power.  It’s great and awesome in trusting Him more, but there is tension in this.  My dedication to Christ is making me look like a fool to the world.

I’m a fool to non-believers, and even to the religious, maybe even other believers.  And I’ve always been sensitive to this.  I want people to like me.  I don’t want people to think I’m foolish.

But I really have to think: what is going to sustain me in the long run? People liking me and not looking like a fool or living by God’s power?  Living by God’s power is best!  So do I only surround myself with people who love God so I don’t feel uncomfortable or look like a  fool?

NNNNNNOOOOOOO!!!!

The world would love me if I belonged to it, but Jesus chose me to come out of the world, so it hates me (John 15:19).  So I guess I’m at that point in my walk where my life, or what I want my life to be about is way different than what the world says is great.

P~ Father, this tension is just new to me.  I still feel lonely as I’m becoming a bigger and bigger fool for You.  There is a plan for Your glory somewhere in there.  And I NEVER want to go back to a Sunday faith, church check box faith!! Thank You!  I LOVE YOU!

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Posted on March 19, 2016, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Me too, Nikki!!!!

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