“1 Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land the Lord promised on oath to your ancestors. 2 Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. 3 He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. 4 Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years. 5 Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the Lord your God disciplines you.”
I ran across of this piece of Scripture this morning and boy am I glad I did! So much of God’s goodness is packed in here and so many lessons to be learned and applied to our lives. I’m going to break it up, try my best to keep it brief and simple for ya, and most of all I pray that this Word moves you in some awesome ways closer to God and strengthens your daily walk with Him!
It’s cool how you never hear of the Israelites getting out of Egypt and then walking on the yellow brick road, this straight easy path with no harm, no struggles, walking right into the promised land. The story of what the Israelites went through teaches us so much about our lives because their journey resembles ours in a lot of ways. It’s a journey that contains a lot of bumps, bruises, curvy roads that leave us wandering and moments where we feel like we aren’t where we’d prefer to be. I know for me, I constantly want to get to the promised land, but I don’t want anything to do with the crazy road in the wilderness it takes to get there. It’s like wanting six-pack abs but never spending anytime working out in any form or fashion. Ab’s just don’t appear, neither does the land of where God is taking us. It’s a battle, a day in day out grind that will leave you so many times wanting to give up and quit but thank God we have His promise to hold onto. His promise is what keeps us striving forward.
God says to be extremely careful to follow His every command, follow His Word in how He’s told us to live and conduct ourselves in this life. So often we sit back and say, “Jesus has already done it all, I’m good.” That’s true but “faith without works is dead.” Believing in what God has done for you through Jesus goes directly into living and striving to be more and more like Christ in our daily lives. I’ll be honest the moments I’m living for me, following my commands, doing what Jordan wants to do. It’s easy to see that traveling this wilderness road without God is first of all impossible, but it really sucks. The moments lately when I’ve been more obedient lately isn’t because of anything I did, it has just stemmed from praying more, staying and meditating on His Word more, then God just does what He does and I’ve sat back to watch jaw-dropped like, “WOAH!” Be careful to follow God’s commands and stay close with God because obedience to God, living a life that pleases God, being so super close to God to be obedient and seeing Him work through our lives of obedience completely changes everything, God says to do this, to be obedient in following Him because when we do, that’s the keys to actually LIVING man! Seriously, we aren’t truly living, increasing or getting better in any kind of way unless we’re with God. He’s given us the promise, and He’s told us how to get there.
There are many moments like I mentioned where life doesn’t look like you hoped or thought it would. You go through seasons in a place where you may not want to be and I don’t blame you because the Promised land sounds really good. Those seasons in the wilderness are extremely necessary though. I’m sitting here right now to tell you, at 22 I received a call from God, no not a phone call but a call to live the rest of my life in ministry for Him. It was a super exciting time, I got to go on some overseas mission trips to Rwanda, Africa, got some more really cool experiences to serve, I’m telling you I could see the promised land and it looked SOOO GOOD! Then life started looking a little different, I kept trying to jump into ministry to get in that promised land as fast as I could but remember it’s not an easy straight path from the wilderness to the promised land. I began working different jobs, as hard as I tried to go and do elsewhere in the BIG BEAUTIFUL plans God has for me, instead I worked for awhile as a farm hand, and currently I’m working as a part time stocker in a grocery store, and part time loading up cars with bags of feed at a feed and supply store. I’ll be honest with you, it’s been a tough part of the journey, I’ve struggled to accept where God had put me, I tried and tried to get out of it with all I’ve had but it just led to more and more wandering in the wilderness.
I tell you that to say, a lot like the Israelites, God takes us through seasons in the low and humbles us greatly to realize that we can’t possibly do this journey on bread alone but WE CAN do this journey, ONLY by the Word of God! It hasn’t been fun or where I wanted to be but through the humbling in the wilderness, God has taught me SO MUCH! That’s why that last verse hits me so hard. How God disciplines us in a similar way to the way our parents have disciplined us growing up. God allows us to mess up, make mistakes, walk in circles wandering through the wilderness on our own strength. He allows this to happen to bring us farther away from ourselves and our weakness but into a new walk of life. Even still sitting in what I would have called the wilderness 6 months ago, God has taught me to be thankful wherever He places me, He’s taught me to keep me eyes on the promised land and let that be the fire in my belly to keep pushing but to stay in tune with Him on a daily basis, attacking whatever is put in front of me. It may not look like much but an intentional conversation with a grocery shopper, going out of your way to care for someone, help someone, love someone. Those little things, when attacked with complete obedience to God’s commandments, out of complete thankfulness for what God has given you and attacking what’s in front because you are lucky to even be on this journey with God in the first place and the others around you, God has given you a simple purpose to show them God, show them that they’re life can be with God too that they can start actually LIVING too.
I could go on and on about what God has taught me during this season of life but the main thing is that God is with us, through God alone we have life, and He’s given us His Word to LIVE this life to the fullest of what He has in store for us. It doesn’t matter what your title is, who your congregation is, or how “cool” it may look in a worldly lens, God has placed you exactly where He wants you around people He wants you to serve. Trust that, TRUST HIM! You can sit around and complain saying how bad your life is, how much better everyone else has it, how you don’t want to be there, but you’ll just live the rest of your life as a complainer, a victim, a “poor old me.” God has given you a LIFE to LIVE, live it! Focus in on what God has placed in front of you, judge it by His standards not the worlds and in each and every moment, be obedient to serve, love and follow His commandments. I used to think the promised land looked like a place in life on a big stage preaching truth to millions of people. The promised land is in daily communion with God, learning more of Him and walking with Him and serving every single person in your path for Him. That’s the promised land, just simply living life with God!
Learned something really cool tonight with the youth group I’ve been getting involved with. It was SO COOL I just felt like not sharing it would be doing you a disservice. You’re probably wondering why the title of this is “SOAP SOAP SOAP?” Like what could that possibly mean???
Well I had the same question tonight when I started hearing that we were having a SOAP night, that we were going to SOAP together. I was thinking, “are we going to wash our hands, wash someone else’s hands, what are we doing with the SOAP?” SOAP is a Bible study method that this youth group has been doing for awhile now and it’s brought the students along with the adult leaders into better Bible study disciplines and allowed them to dig deeper. SOAP simply stands for;
S- Scripture, O-observation, A-application, and P-prayer
So SOAP is basically a way to study the Bible using all if these things just mentioned by writing it down, whether on a piece of paper, a sticky note, or journal it which is probably best so you can look back at recent SOAP moments. You just take a piece of scripture, write the scripture out which really helps you dig deeper already, then you write down observations you have on it, next step is to write down how this scripture can be applied to your life, then take everything you’ve learned through your time studying over the Scripture more deeply and pray about it with the Lord. Ask Him to help you understand what He is saying, ask Him how to apply it to your life and even ask for help applying it because living out the Word of God can only be done through His Spirit withing that gives you His strength.
This video below is what our youth pastor sent us to give a better glimpse at what the SOAP Bible study method. Definitely worth the watch because he explains it much better than me.
Okay so now you know what SOAP is, here’s the Scripture we used with the students tonight so you can take it or pick another piece of Scripture and SOAP. Start SOAPing NOW!!! Have fun with it and I pray this Bible study method can help you dig into the Word more deeply on the daily!
“28 Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.”29 A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. 30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.”With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.”
I’ll be honest, just doing this I had some huge lessons learned about the time I spend in God’s Word which isn’t nearly as much as it should be. Also, with this verse it’s easy to say, “oh yeah, it is finished, Jesus died on the cross for our sins, I know that.” Then you go about your day like nothing happened BUT WAIT! This truth about Jesus saying, “It is finished” that’s such a powerful statement and holds so much for me and you. I tend to hear what I want to hear and go on like I heard nothing, but take a second today, put down your phones, spend a little less time doing you and spend it with God in His Word, SOAP a little bit. It can be tough to do when people and life in this world we live in pulls us a million different directions but there is only ONE WAY that really changes things in our lives, that way is through the Word of God. Coming to a deeper understanding of the magnitude of who Jesus is, what He’s done for us. Seriously, coming from a guy who struggles to stay consistent in the Word and even when I’m there it’s just a pit stop where I don’t really stop long or dig in at all. The easy thing to do is opening your Bible, reading a little bit and saying I’m good, or not reading your Bible at all, that’s easy, anyone can do that. And if you’re reading this whether you are a believer or not, you can say all you think you already know, be “too busy” to take time with God in His life changing Word, or say that nothing in there is going to help me anymore than I can help myself or something in this world can help you. I challenge you and encourage you, open up His Word, don’t just read it but SOAP, really dig in. I guarantee you will never be the same. I would say it’s definitely worth trying, you can say all you want but how do you really know how powerful, true, and life-changing God’s Word is until you actually open it up and find out for yourself. SOAP SOAP SOAP babyyy!!!!!
Saw this quote today from Tony Bennett, the University of Virginia’s head basketball coach. Last night if you didn’t already know, his team won the biggest prize in college basketball, the National Championship! It’s always cool to see people like Tony express their relationship with Christ and speak of their faith on a bigger platform but to think, this guy just won the NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP!!!! He’s accomplished the biggest goal he possibly can in his coaching career, BUT even when he’s got it all. He’s reached the top of the mountain, what more could he have or want that’s bigger than that??!?
In last night’s post-game press conference Coach Bennett shared a statement that shows that NOTHING in this world, no level of success, no accomplishment, amount of money or possessions amount to the greatest to a relationship with Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior!!!! This is the quote from Coach Bennett! Praise God for his faithfulness on such a large, widely viewed platform! Makes you think a lot about the platform God has given you! It doesn’t take it being big and famous for your faith to be heard and impact others lives for Christ! If this man can share his faith on this big of a platform, ask yourself how you are using the platform God has given you, even if its smaller, any platform God has given you is big. Ask yourself, “how am I using what God has given me to share His awesome truth and gift of LIFE with others?”
And I may have used the restroom beside Coach Bennett during my time working at the Hyatt Hotel as a bellman. Just saying…. It was the most surprising potty time I’ve ever had! Sorry couldn’t let the opportunity pass by! Enjoy this and have a super awesome day!
“I have great things in my life — my love for my wife, my love for my family, my love for coaching, my love for basketball,” he said in 2014. “Those are wonderful things, but when you line them up in comparison to Christ and the relationship you have with Him, with what He’s done for you and with what He’s given you, they don’t compare. That’s the greatest truth I know.”
“1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Had the opportunity to sit down with a pastor today and received some extremely helpful and wise council. It’s crazy how God sets people in front of you to speak the words of encouragement and words that you are in great need of hearing. Today, these words I received were words that broke through a lot of my own weakness to see the awesomeness and freedom in this life with God.
I had mentioned to this pastor kind of a rundown of the last few months of my life. Facing bigger decisions than I’ve ever made before I can honestly say I struggled but in the struggle were great lessons to be learned. I kept trying so hard to seek God’s will, find out what God’s will was for me in these decisions and the next steps I needed to take. I looked so hard to see where God wanted me to go and what God wanted me to do that I overlooked the simplicity in God’s truth. In Romans 12:1-2. this pastor referred to these when speaking about God’s will today. Of course most Christians may have heard these verses, I mean I’ve heard them a bunch and even wrote God Gold messages about them but today I heard it explained in a little different way, a simple, and straight from God way.
If you haven’t learned yet, we as humans can be our own worst enemies at times. If you would have asked me what these verses meant or ask any other believer, you would probably get a wide range of answers because most would be based off of our experiences instead of GOD’s simple and literal truth. During my time seeking out God’s will with all of these big decisions, I have had so much of me in it that I made God’s will extremely hard to see. Pastor Mike today mentioned how we so often see God’s will as this big mystery where we have to uncover the truth out of it’s mysteriousness. We see it as a mystery because from my example, I couldn’t seem to figure it all out so I kept trying harder and harder to decipher this special code or formula that is God’s will but in my effort it only led me to be more blind from seeing the simple truth in front of me. We do things our way, we choose what we want, we try to make God’s will fit the desires we have and then trying to actually see what God’s will is, we’ve made it so hard wrapping it up in what it isn’t that we look right over the SIMPLE TRUTH. We over complicate it, we over analyze, we do this so much that in my case I spent months scared to commit or take a next step because I wasn’t completely sure what God’s will was. I guess I thought that this miracle or heaven opening experience would happen where God speaks out probably in a super low voice. Well that’s just how I imagined it but He would say, “Jordan go here, Jordan do this, Jordan this is my will.” Hate to say that never happened. I was far from impulsive but that caused me to live scared, live stuck in the mud, bogged down to make any step out of my comfort zone for God.
On the other end, people are so impulsive that we don’t care to know what God’s will is, we just act in whatever seems best or whatever is more enticing in the moment, never praying about or seeking guidance from God’s Word just doing. Both can be harmful and leave some nasty scars between a person’s view of “God’s will.”
What Mike told me today was that God’s will is not a mystery and in these verses, God’s will is shown so simply and true to us. Offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, don’t live for self but live for God in every way. That means to find out what is pleasing, perfect and good, you have to get yourself out of the way. Don’t over complicate it or not care enough but seek what is good, pleasing and perfect to God. You find that all over God’s Word and when dug into, you seek what God wants, what God says is good, what God wants you to do, how God wants you to live. You see I said God, not Jordan right?
And instead of over analyzing this “mystery” just stay grounded in scripture, constant in prayer and watch how God works in your life on the daily. Pay attention to all that God is doing in your life, it’s not a heaven opening momemt but it’s literally just God placing you in situations He wants you to be with opportunities that move you farther into His will for your life. Attack what God has placed in front of you. I saw this so true the last couple of months as I made such a mess of things. I made the big decisions and I know without a shadow of a doubt it was in God’s will because I didn’t think too much I just stayed more constant in prayer, more active in His Word and God placed things in front of me. I just did it, I attacked them and honestly had no idea I was until after the fact sitting there with such a peace about me. I became so fearful to mess up during this time but learned that God’s will isn’t meant to confuse us or scare us, it’s every day making decisions that honor God and moving in what God places in your path. Before you know it God has moved you so much farther down the road than you would have ever been by doing it your way.
So simple but we make it so complicated. Don’t be conformed to this world is simply telling us not to listen or declare that anything is truth unless it’s from God in His Word. We can easily be swayed to think we’re supposed to be a certain type of person, do a certain thing or told different opinions on what God’s will is but don’t buy in. Buy in to what tells you throughout the pages of His Word, through moments of prayer growing deeper with Him, through what He has placed right in front of you in your life. You can easily go a million different directions but God gives us the tools and the power of His Spirit within us to decide what is He saying and doing compared to outside and personal influence tells us. A million different options, but only ONE option is good, perfect and pleasing to God, only ONE option truly brings us to freedom of fear, freedom of doubt or worry, only ONE option leads us to LIFE and truly LIVING, that ONE option is God’s will and He’s told us so simply what His will is. Walk in it, live it, and love it! God just made our rocket science into a kindergartners homework. Have fun today in God’s will!
“5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.”
My good buddy Cory sent me some pretty awesome God Gold the other day and I couldn’t help but share it with you. I’ve always heard this verse and the phrase, “anoint my head with oil” and I always thought it had something to do with David being king and getting anointed with oil is something they do before one becomes king. In other ways I know some pastors and different people anoint others with oil to pray over them, pray healing over them from sickness, different things like that. Honestly at the end of the day, I read this and have no clue what it really means or the complete AWESOMENESS of what it means. I’ll go ahead and shut up now so you can dig into this piece of gold. I pray it brings you into a closer relationship and deeper love for God in every single way.
“Anoint my head with oil
Sheep can get their head caught in briers and die trying to get untangled. There are horrid little flies that like to torment sheep by laying eggs in their nostrils which turn into worms and drive the sheep to beat their head against a rock, sometimes to death. Their ears and eyes are also susceptible to tormenting insects.
So the shepherd anoints their whole head with oil. Then there is peace. That oil forms a barrier of protection against the evil that tries to destroy the sheep. Do you have times of mental torment? Do the worrisome thoughts invade your mind over and over? Do you beat your head against a wall trying to stop them? Have you ever asked God to anoint your head with oil? He has an endless supply!
His oil protects and makes it possible for you to fix your heart, mind, and eyes on Him today and always! There is peace in the valley! May our good good Father anoint your head with oil today so that your cup overflows with blessings! God is good and He is faithful!!! -Author Unknown”
Pretty awesome right??? David speaks Psalm 23 describing what he knows from his days as a shepherd. In this Psalm, God is the shepherd and we are the sheep. Thank God for anointing our heads with oil! Protecting us from the evil surrounding us that is always seeking a way to get inside of hearts and minds! He is GOOD!! He is FAITHFUL!!! And He is God!!! Our shepherd that always watches out and helps His sheep!