June 4, 2018 2 Samuel 4,5; Psalm 139; Galatians 3:1-22

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: Discover One Thing Reading Plan

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Never By Human Effort | Joni Tyner

S~ After starting your Christian lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort? Galatians 3:3 (NLT)

O~ Paul is teaching to the Galatians.  They began faith in Jesus Christ but started to add  “rules” to the Christian faith, many of which came from their Jewish background. (example: requiring Gentiles to be circumcised).   Paul is reminding the Galatians that it is ONLY what Jesus did on the cross, it is NOT what they do by their own effort.

A~ As I’ve shared in previous posts, I’ve grown in my Christian walk since I started opening the Bible for myself and reading and then journaling.  I’ve been convicted of certain sin in my life and have imperfectly tried to live out a lifestyle that I believe is honoring to the Lord.  I do this because I want to, I want to give back an expression of love to Him, it truly isn’t because I want more “brownie points”


This past June, I got hit with a tough family circumstance with one of my kids.  It was a big blow to me personally and I found myself blaming God.  The night of the actual offense, I audibly said to God in a very sarcastic tone, “thanks a lot God, this is what you give me for loving you and doing____, and  ______, and _____.?

I have a lump in my chest as I write this because of the shame I feel for feeling like I was entitled to a blessed life. I thought God “owed” me for doing good things for the Kingdom.   I knew it was wrong as I thought it, but the Deceiver took my weakness and weaved more doubt and lies in my head.

I came to the conclusion that God was permanently “mad” at me—and by golly, I’m not gonna keep doing things for Him.  Within about 24 hours, I “resigned” from writing for Discover One Thing, I quit my volunteer work at church, I un-programmed KLOVE from my radio and replaced it with an 80’s station.  I intentionally called and made plans with a friend I knew didn’t attend church to go for a bike ride on Sunday morning so that I had a “legitimate” excuse to not be in church.   I decided to stop “doing” things for God.

It lasted 3 days…

I was miserable without Jesus. 🙂 I craved my friends that loved Jesus.  I missed singing to KLOVE in my car and finding joy in the crap of daily stuff.

This is why it lasted just 3 miserable days before I repented and begged God for forgiveness.  I had received the Holy Spirit into my life with I trusted the Lord for my Savior.  I can’t “kick” him out.  He. Is. FOREVER. There.   …and He relentlessly pursued my heart to come back into fellowship with Him.  I know God is big enough to handle my anger and doubt and parenting frustrations.  I think He maybe shakes His head and  says, “me too,–I’ve been there and watched lots of my kids mess up.  I identify with your disappointment.  I’ve got a plan,  hold on to Me and we are going to walk this together.  I’ve built up your faith for this season in the desert—we are going to overcome the Deceiver.”

P~ Dear Lord, once again, I’m overwhelmed by Your love for me.  I don’t deserve any blessings—yet you daily give me strength.  I know you are passionately pursuing my kids in Your way, in Your timing.  I am slooooowly learning that this is Your plan, not mine and I need to just get out of the way and let You do Your thing. I love You and I thank you for choosing me and loving me too much to let me wander far from You.

***update***   I wrote this journal 3 years ago and as I read it this morning, a lot of emotion filled up in me as I recalled that dark season in my life.  When I wrote this post, I was too embarrassed to share the details, but the circumstance was that our 17 year old daughter had got a DUI.   Because we have walked this tough road for the past 9 years with our son, I completely freaked out and thought that I couldn’t handle it.  But God.   He was so faithful, I simply kept crying out to Him and getting in the Word and trusting my kids to Him.   The Deceiver completely underestimated  the power of God’s Word to fuel me to continue to show up, (rather imperfectly) and trust and love God. God’s Word overpowered the reality of my crummy life circumstances.   

God is weaving a beautiful story in our family. It doesn’t look or sound like anyone else’s, –it doesn’t necessarily have a pretty bow on it.   It is a story of having tenacity in the middle of life’s stuff and continuing to choose to love and follow Jesus each day.  Please feel free to contact me if you need encouragement to keep going – the God we love is bigger than the circumstances that so often discourage us. 

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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