SOAPing My Way to Maturity

In my last post on SOAPing I introduced the method of daily devotions.  I want to continue to share some of my personal devotions done through SOAPs with you so that you will see how powerful these can be in your own journey to maturity with the Lord.  I also am hoping that this will make you hungry to grab a scripture and try it for yourself!

Please share your thoughts with me.  I’m interested in hearing about how your SOAPing is impacting your life.  These can be very simple and very powerful.  Try it out!

Here’s my example from this morning… It’s titled:  The Impact of Immaturity

Scriptures:

Galatians 4:1 What I am saying is that as long as an heir is underage he is no different from a slave although he owns the whole estate.

Galatians 4:3 So also, when we were underage, we were in slavery under the elemental spiritual forces (basic principles) of the world.

Galatians 4:7 So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.

Observations:

As I read through these scriptures last night I began to look at this from a new perspective.  I have always looked at these scriptures the “typical” way that they have been both viewed and taught by teachers and preachers but I feel that God has been pushing and challenging me over the past period of months to push the limits.  God wants me to challenge everything that I have ever been taught, to dig deeper to get His truth for me and not just what he has shown to other people.  I’m not saying that what He has shown others is wrong.  I’m just saying that just because that was the nugget of truth that set them free it does not mean that this will be the nugget of truth that I need to set me free.

The word has so many nuggets and part of the reason why people keep reading the word and it isn’t effective in their lives is because they haven’t gotten the right nuggets of truth out of the scriptures.  They are content to eat off the same nuggets God produced for other people.  But for their situations and their circumstances, God has other truths that are the right truths to set them free.  Not opposing truths, just deeper truths that speak to them directly.

So, what am I seeing here that I haven’t seen before?  What new truths and perspectives is God showing me about these scriptures that He hasn’t revealed to me through someone else’s study of the Word?

In the past I’ve looked at this scripture as a walk of maturity where a child had to be monitored and sit under tutors as they grew up into maturity until they were able to stand on their own two feet and the father said they were old enough or mature enough to manage the estate on their own.  That perspective takes these scriptures and views them through the eyes of the child of the estate and his growth from a child into an adult who is ready to take over the estate.  A child the father views as entitled and who will inherit regardless of his actions.  A child who walks in his father’s footsteps and grows to maturity.

But, there is another perspective here that I haven’t heard anyone address that God is addressing with me now.  There is the perspective of the slave.  These scriptures are talking about a person who owns the entire estate – they are the heir – the son.  The rightful owner and the one with all the control and authority on the estate.  But, because they are too young or immature to walk in that authority they are no different than a slave ON THE ESTATE THEY OWN.

They have full authority over everything but what they own (the slaves, tutors, guardians, and trustees) actually is controlling them.  Vs 2 talks about the guardians and trustees that they are subject to  — these people are actually people they have authority over but because of their age and immaturity they are subject to them.  At some point in their lives, they (the child) will step up and begin taking authority over these people – if they actually mature properly.

Depending on who the guardians, tutors, and trustees are and what areas of the estate they are in the child will mature in different areas at different times and stop becoming dependent upon them and will take authority over them or cast them out all together.  The child doesn’t mature all at one time in every area.  For example, the one who helps him take a bath will be told that he wants to do it himself when he reaches 4-6.  Even at this young age, he will take authority and dismiss her.

The person who chooses his clothes and helps him get dressed will be told by him to stop picking out his clothes and helping him when he gets somewhere between 8-14.  He will take authority and dismiss her.  He will do the same with the school teacher, the one telling him to clean his room, the nanny, the field hand, the one handling the finances, etc. until he finally takes authority over the entire estate.  Depending on how quickly he matures, he may take over the entire estate at 16 or 18 or 25 or 35…or never.  His maturity is dependent upon his decision to mature.

Application:

This is really powerful to realize.  What is this saying?  How does this apply to me personally and to the people to whom I minister?  This gives me a lot of insight into why people struggle in certain areas and not in others.  Pockets of strongholds and pockets of areas where people are still subject to slavery to sin or control of a spirit.  I see something deeper here than I’ve seen in the past.

It’s not just healing that needs to occur.  It’s not just taking authority that needs to occur.  It’s not just a breaking of the chains that needs to happen.  This gives me insight to what needs to happen in order for people to get to the place they need to be for the actual breaking free to happen.

Spiritual Maturity.  As long as we are immature in an area, we are content to be in slavery.  We are content to be ruled over by something that we have full authority over.  Until we begin to mature, we don’t begin to recognize that there is something out of order.  Then, as we begin to grow and mature the usurp feels unnatural until we can’t tolerate it any longer.  Then, we rise up and say, “No more.  Take your rightful position in submission to me!”

This makes so much sense.  It is exactly what people need – and what I need to evaluate my own life and know where I need growth and maturity.  Where am I struggling?  This is the question people need to ask.

Am I struggling with fear?  If so, than I am immature in the area of fear and this is where I need to concentrate to gain spiritual maturity in my studies and prayer so God can help me to grow.  This is where I need to get mentoring and practical knowledge and exercise any other growth opportunities that will help me to become mature.  The quicker I become mature the less I will be willing to tolerate a lifestyle of fear.  This spirit that constantly controls me will begin to sicken me and I will start to take authority over it because I will realize that it is usurping my authority and will no longer tolerate its control over me as I mature.

Am I struggling with finances?  If so, than I am immature in the area of finances and this is where I need to concentrate to gain spiritual maturity in my studies and in prayer so God can help me grow.  This is where I need to get mentoring and practical knowledge.  I need coaching, I need classes, I need a budget, I need a plan, I need to practice fasting in my spending, I need to do whatever it takes to gain maturity in this area until I am sick of being controlled by a spirit of poverty, a spirit of greed, or whatever other spirits are controlling me and forcing my spending habits to be out of alignment with my income.  If my career is out of alignment with my need for income, I need to mature enough that that comes into alignment also. What do I need to do in order to bring these things into alignment?  What do I need to do in order to mature in this area?   What do I need to submit to in order to mature?

All of these things are a part of spiritual maturity but people don’t get the connection between how spiritual maturity connects to the natural world.  When we reach spiritual maturity these financial struggles will fall off because we will be subject to God to lead us and direct us and we will not be slaves to anything else – even ourselves in the area of finances.

Where else do people struggle?  What questions do they need to ask themselves? Am I struggling in my marriage?  In my relationships?  The same thing applies as in the other areas.  Am I struggling with the language I use?  Am I struggling with eating?  Wow-that’s a big one for a lot of people.  It’s just an area where spiritual maturity is an opportunity.

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus who walk not after the flesh but after the spirit.

Prayer:

God, this is good.  Thank you for showing me this.  This was like the missing link that people need to understand to diagnose themselves.  We all want to “solve the problem” but the truth is that when we go “solve the problem” what we are trying to do is take care of symptoms.  We need root cause to truly fix problems.  If the root cause of ongoing struggles where we are still in slavery to things that we have authority over in Jesus’ name then show us our immaturity clearly so we can begin to take steps to mature.

Make us want to mature.  Make us so sick of being slaves to the things we have authority over that we rise up and want to mature and take authority.  God show us that this world is our estate!  We own this world!  You gave it to us and put us in authority over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth!  Over everything that flies in the air!  Over every principality and power that is in the second heaven!  All authority and power is ours.  The only reason we are still subject to our slaves – the only reason our slaves are ruling over us, is because we have not yet matured in that area.

It’s not a judgment of condemnation, it’s just a statement of where we are in this walk.  Show us ourselves clearly and point to us where you want us to take the next step of maturity.  I know in my life the areas where you are maturing me right now.  This year is a huge year of growth and maturity for me in areas where you have not worked before.  I am a totally different person than I was just 7-8 months ago and I know you aren’t done yet.  I receive whatever it is you need to do in me to make me completely mature in these areas.  I want to walk in full power and authority – spiritual maturity in every area of my life.

I want to be whole.  Not fragmented.  Whole.  Complete.  Mature.

 

 

 

 

 

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