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.
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All I Know | Vicki Burns
S~ Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and worship of angels disqualify you for the prize. Such a person goes into great detail about what he has seen, and his unspiritual mind puffs him up with idle notions. He has lost connection with the Head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow. Colossians 2:18-19 (NIV)
O/A~ Years ago I found myself listening to a conversation with someone dear to me. They were speaking in an enticing manner about an experience with an angel. They went into great detail about what she had seen. It was all, “oooo and aaaaaah” all up in there. She seemed to me a bit too puffed up with idle notions. My children were being drawn into this and my protective mother instincts kicked in. So. I. Spoke. I wished I had this verse on the tip of my tongue at that moment but I didn’t. Holy Spirit, however, knew exactly what was going on and directed me thus: The only way I could think to address the core issue here was to ask simply, “Who is getting the glory here? Jesus is the One we are to worship and not His messengers. Where do you think they get their power?”
And another time I listened to a woman speak in detail about her quite dramatic near death experience where she had been clinically dead for 20-40 minutes (sorry, I don’t remember because it wasn’t important) on an operating table during surgery. Since many others were mesmerized by the story, I again felt the need to insert some sobriety into the situation by asking, “What is the object of awe here? Is it Christ or an experience?”
I came from a cult that was led by my mother who was quite the “shape-shifter.” She passed the muster with so many believers it astounds me now to think of it. Even outside our little congregation people were taken, drawn in to her subtle traps. I loved my mother but she was quite the stumbling block to many…including me. If there was one characteristic that left its mark on me it is the drawing of people in to something that seems mysterious and deep. I’ve come to despise such experiences. Although I have been marked by the cult experience, I have learned very well to counter-attack and throw up the defenses when I notice things going amiss in this area. I spent too many years tangled up in that mess and I can’t stand the thought of anyone else stumbling in this.
II Corinthians 10:5 We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ. (NLT)
I Corinthians 2:2 For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. (NASB)
We are created to worship. That’s what we do. This is the reason it is so imperative that we do frequent reality checks because we are so easily drawn away by our own lusts! James 1:14
Who or what is exalted? As the Body of Christ we need to stay connected to our Head Who bought us with His very life’s blood.
P~ I pray I never try to draw attention to myself by my spiritual experiences or draw others to honor anyone or anything above You. I have no life or breath without You.
Make the choice | Marisa Tomlinson
S~ So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Colossians 2:6-7 (NIV)
O~ Our lives are to be rooted in Him. We are strengthened by His guidance, As we follow His lead, our hearts become full of thankfulness.
A~ Once I received Christ, that wasn’t the end of the story. Every day I must choose to “continue to live (my life) in Him.” I get to wake up and decide who will rule my day: Christ or me. Too many days I choose me. I am selfish and like control. Our gracious God lets me make those dumb choices. He wants me to choose Him. He lets me wander so that I can see how well that goes for me. When I choose to remain rooted in Jesus my life goes so much smoother. I have joy and peace even when the tough times come. When I’ve taken back control and neglected my relationship with God, hard times feel chaotic and unmanageable. Truly walking in relationship with God makes things so much better that I can’t help but be thankful. He calms my panic. He quiets the noise in my head. He shows me that I am loved and not overlooked. I’m like a dog chasing squirrels sometimes- easily distracted and chasing the moving target. I’m thankful that God patiently waits for me to return so that we can continue our walk.
P~ Lord, thank you for your unending patience. Thank you for always welcoming me back to You with open arms. Please help my focus stay on You- the master of my heart. Your ways lead me to joy. Your guidance teaches and refines. Thank you for allowing me to learn. I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on my life over the last week. I want to thank you over and over for how You’ve used my life and mistakes. My heart and life are Yours forever. Amen.
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