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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.
War…Again | Vicki Burns
S~ From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it. Matthew 11:12 (NIV) (emphasis mine)
*Parallel saying in Luke 16:16 …the kingdom of God is being preached.
O~ Study Bible note: Matt. 11:12, The best understanding of this verse is that the kingdom is pressing ahead with force even though violent men are trying to overcome it by force. It is not the strong and forceful who obtain the kingdom but the weak and helpless who know their own weakness and thus depend on God (vv. 28-30).— :28 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. :29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. :30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
There is an intrinsic nature to the human soul that is faced with the Light of the Gospel to resist the truth of our own sin exposed. By its very nature, it is a confrontation. Our fight-or-flight instinct for survival kicks in. And what survival are we protecting except that of our sinful nature, the very thing that wants to kill us! This is the spiritual battle…the war…to trust…to surrender to Love. The rest falls to the Conquerer, our Sovereign Lord, to bear.
It seems counter-intuitive; Paul says, “when I am weak, then I am strong” II Cor. 12:10. And Jesus invites the weary and burdened to come to Him for rest as we surrender to Him and strive to learn from Him. What a delight to discover that when we lay down our defenses in surrender to the Lord, at our most vulnerable, He takes over and fights for us. He sustains us. He enables, enlightens and supplies all we need of courage for the next breath. And the next.
A~ I have lived many years in varying degrees of closeness to the Lord. Many. Looking back I can honestly tell you that the more promising and “together” my life looked to outsiders, the more broken-fragile I truly was. The most productive in school or workforce, the closer was my brush with death; once from work exhaustion and once from deep depression. My condition ran along the lines of how much of my ugly burden was I willing to release to the invitation to Come weary and heavy laden to find rest for your soul.When I am undone, God intervenes. I love the word, undone. It speaks of complete surrender. Of a cross. Of an empty vessel cleaned out, ready for use.
Isaiah saw, in v. v. 6:3-6 the Lord in heaven with the seraphim. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. :4 And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. :5 Then said I, Woe is me! I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts. (KJV)
I am undone and the Lord is the safest place in the world for me. In fact, only undone people are allowed; it’s a requirement. Every crown will be cast before Him and every knee will bow. He came to save the sick. So I look back over my life and can still say with confidence, “Yep! I’m still sick; still need the Good Physician every moment of every day.” And I still find Him faithful as I hear Him call out to me, Come. There’s rest to be had.
P~ Help!!! This is the prayer I have found most effective in my life. Over and over in Your Word is the pattern: they cried out to the Lord and He heard their cry. I have asked before and I ask again, make me desperate for You, Father…because if I saw what You see, I would be desperate for Your constant intervention in my life. My point of deepest desperation for You IS the closest I come to being truly authentic in REALITY…truly myself, a needy child. We’re Sheep and I am transformed by the Love and gentle prodding of The Good Shepherd.
Check out this video for an excellent break down.
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