April 15 1 Samuel 17; Psalm 9; Matthew 2

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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The Power of Perspective | Vicki Burns (guest post)

S~ “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” 1 Samuel 17:26 (NIV)

O~ Israel, under King Saul, had experienced an onslaught of forty days of continual defeat by the taunts and challenges of their enemy. Imagine how debilitating and demoralizing it must’ve been to subject yourself to this twice-daily-ridicule and humiliation of a brazenly, uncouth and arrogant boasting—and that against the “armies of the living God!”

It’s all in our perspective.  Saul, although still king, had long lost sight of the power of the God he served. T i m e – steeped in humiliation and ridicule had taken its toll on both king and army.

Contrast this with David, the young, newly anointed shepherd/king who was fresh off the fields of victory! He was on a roll, warming up to this strange new call and the thrill of killing bears and lions to save his father’s flock. David was a war waiting to happen! The battle lines had already been drawn for him and the demands of the challenge, laid out. David was instilled with such confidence he could even resist his king’s attempt to arm him for this dramatic confrontation! He was able to access, under such stress, the wisdom God had trained in him through the repeated experience dealing with bears and lions. Ultimately, David was most comfortable with a shepherd’s staff, a sling and a sack of smooth stones. He had the uncircumcised Philistine sized up from the moment he saw him! Now it was just the matter of the terms. “What’s my reward?” He already knew the demands, but David knew something else everybody else had missed completely. Beyond a doubt, David was convinced that God, David’s ultimate KING, would defend His own honor and that, :47, “the battle is the Lord’s!”

A~ I’ve been on a war theme lately. I know. I get it. Such passion and violence flies in the face of today’s more civilized sensibilities. But, you can’t spend much t i m e in the Bible without detecting the theme either openly or hidden just below the surface. The battle is real and it is spiritual, but the tactics are the same. What we find in the Word is, no matter how unfair the odds, if the Lord is on your side, you win, and if not, you lose. Like David, I am only going to gain experience through fulfilling my obligations and responsibilities. As I gain these victories, I am training for war where I see clearly, the defeat of the enemy no matter his sizeT i m e in the Word shows me over and over, victory after victory because, “the battle is the Lord’s!”

P~ Father, don’t let me sit idly by while Your great name is defied around me. I thank You for the power of perspective in Your Word! Grant me, by Your great mercy, wisdom to discern Your plan and that my battle lines are not necessarily Yours. Teach me skillful use of the weapons You’ve provided. Help me turn a deaf ear to the taunts of the enemy, even those that may slip in from my “brother” and fellow soldiers. Don’t let me fall for hidden and deceitful traps. Remind me that the odds don’t mean a thing in Your accounting and that I should not to look at or dwell on what is designed to terrorize rather to keep my eyes focused of what You see and plan. Thank You for King David and his shepherd/king/warrior heart was a heart after Yours. Make it mine too, I pray. May my reward follow my one request, namely, from Psalm 27:4, One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek Him in His temple. (NIV) [caps of deity pronouns, mine]

Remember! | Luisa Penaherrera

S~ I have done this to both lions and bears, and I’ll do it to this pagan Philistine too, for he has defied the armies of the living God! The Lord who saved me from the claws of the lion and the bear will save me from this Philistine! 1 Samuel 17:36,37 (NLT)

O~ David recalls how in God’s strength he fought a lion and a bear and won.  He remembers God helping him be victorious in those battles and is confident that in this matter it will be the same.  That God will bring victory!

A~ I can face (with confidence) the challenges of this day, the challenges in relationships because God has helped me through before and he will help me again!

P~ Father, why do I fear in areas that you have given me victory in before?  Please forgive for not bringing those things to mind, help me to recall how you have helped me and to stand on your truth.

So the Whole World Knows! | guest post

S~ …and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 1 Samuel 17:46b (NIV)

O~ When we walk into battle knowing God has already won, we are always triumphant. Victory is ours, because He has already gone before us. Both Saul and Goliath saw David as a mere boy – unworthy and inexperienced. But David had all he needed to win the battle – his faith in God. David knew the battle was in God’s hands – that His strong arm was flexed, ready to save His people. David knew His God would not fail, because this battle was already won!

A~ I love David’s heart here. Notice David is not concerned about anything other than proving His God is real and worthy of honor. David responds to the Philistine’s call, not for himself, but for the sake of God’s glory! When I am faced with battles, I would be wise to do the same. I must put my confidence in the Lord, whatever lies before me, and let God lead.

P~ Dear Lord, Thank you for going before me. Help me to remember that it is for your glory that I move forward, and never my own. I love you and I trust you. Amen

It is YOUR Battle! | Michelle Myers

S~ All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give all of you into our hands. 1 Samuel 17:47 (NIV)

O~ It is not by worldly weapons that the LORD saves.  It is not by my nagging of my children that the LORD saves.  It is not by me running myself ragged or trying to give the best to my children, that the LORD saves.  It is a spiritual battle, and like David with Goliath, it is way beyond my human, fleshly realm.

A~ My oldest daughter is battling some major demons.  She is also not putting forth much effort in using the tools she has been given, relying on the help offered, and taking responsibility for her own choices.  Like with many other people in my life, that I have spent years trying to help, change, fix,etc.; at the expense of my own health and well being, You have shown me that the battle is YOURS.  I can be loving and stable, and I can pray for her; but that is about all I can do.

P~ Thank you God for your wisdom.  Please help me remember and accept my limited power and responsibility.  As You know, my husband and I are not on the same page, when it comes to parenting.  It has caused a lot of wounds.  That too, is Your battle.  Please help both our daughters see the truth, and heal her of the demons that are keeping her from living up to their potential. Please help us, as parents, because we are struggling.

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

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Posted on April 15, 2016, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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