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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.
Why don’t we humble ourselves? | Nikki Metzger
S~ Lot and his two daughters left Zoar and settled in the mountains, for he was afraid to stay in Zoar. He and his two daughters lived in a cave. Genesis 19:30 (NIV)
O~ This verse is in between the devastation of Sodom & Gomorrah and the devastation of incest & the start of two enemy nations. Evil in Sodom, evil after the escape.
A~ Why didn’t Lot take his daughters and himself to Abraham? Why? Abraham’s prayers and intercession with the Lord is what saved Lot and his two daughters. Why did Lot live in fear and in a cave for the rest of his days instead of joining Abraham’s tribe?
Pride? Fear? What the heck? This just seems crazy reading this story now, Lot’s decision to not return to Abraham seems so childish and caused much conflict in the future. Maybe Lot couldn’t humble himself in front Abraham after how far he strayed? I mean Lot was willing to give his daughters up to men on a lustful warpath.
But am I any different? Just yesterday, I became unglued on my son because of his lackadaisical attitude toward getting his chores done. My response to his sinful behavior and disobedience turned sinful. Instead of repenting and asking for forgiveness for my behavior in the heat of the moment, I let my pride take over. I knew I was wrong in my response, but I justified it and told myself that I was right, and should actually wait for an apology from my son. He should apologize first!
My heart yesterday is so like Lot’s heart. It kept Lot and his family in a stronghold and chock full of pride. I don’t want to be paralyzed in fear or pride because I couldn’t humble myself.
P~ Father, thank You for sharing Lot’s story! Continue to grow in me humility and a swallowing of my pride!
Relying on God Alone | Tara Wiley
S~ But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain. Psalm 3:3-4 NIV
O~ In the face of enormous discouragement, David discovers the great character of God: He is a shield, a protector. He is David’s glory. He lifts David’s head high, releasing him from despair. He hears, and He answers.
A~ This is one of my favorite verses, one I pray often. Today, a new perspective caught my attention. David did not need to rely on his success (whether in conquering his enemies or in raising his children – the note at the beginning of this Psalm says he wrote it as he was fleeing from his own son) to find deliverance, shelter, glory, and joy. With my performance-minded personality, I tend to FEEL good about myself and my life when things are GOING well – when I can take pride in my (or my husband or children’s) accomplishments. Here I am reminded: my emotions and my sense of security should not rest in those things. God is the giver of security (a shield around me), of glory, and of joy (the lifter of my head). Furthermore, when I am feeling low, He hears and answers.
P~ Lord, thank You that I do not need to rely on circumstances or performance to bring security, glory, and joy. Those things come from You! So, I rest in You even as I take time to analyze my own growth this month, to set goals for myself, and to work towards a more productive use of my time. I know that both discouragement and pride can come quickly when I’m focused on productivity. Lift my head often to focus on You during personal growth and change. And thank You, thank You, that I do not have to fear the future’s uncertainty, because You are my certain security, my shield. You’ve got this! I’m so glad.
Believe | Kim Chipman
S~ Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” John 6:29 (NIV)
O~ Jesus had just fed 5,000 (men, not including women and children) with 5 loaves of bread and 2 small fish…and had 12 baskets of leftovers. The next day a crowd went searching for Him and He addressed their motives for seeking Him out. They shouldn’t be to satisfy physical hunger/comfort. Their motives should be “to believe in the One He has sent.”
A~ I’m a DOer. I know I am. Honestly I don’t think that is a problem so much as my motives can be a problem. Lately so much of what has been standing out to me centers on believing, trusting, knowing You and Your character. I know my DOing is not always the outflow of a heart believing and serving You. Sometimes it is from a heart that wants approval, validation, and purpose both from You and (gulp) from people.
“The work of God is this: to believe in the One He has sent.”
P~ Lord, help my heart today. Help me to recognize when My motives are messed up. Help my DOing to come from a pure heart that trusts, believes, and loves You. For Your glory, not to earn Your approval (or anyone else’s!) I love You!
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