Day 12 – He Will Bring You Out

Find the Seed: God’s Word

He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters.

Psalm 18:16 NIV

Prepare the Soil: Devotional & Prayer

When God called Gideon to fight, this mighty man of God who would deliver his fellow Israelites hid and asked God if He was sure He’d picked the right man. From our perspective, it seems crazy for Gideon to ask God if He is sure. Many of us know what happens at the end of the story, but we must not overlook the extreme difficulty which caused Gideon to be so terribly fearful and insecure.

Gideon lived in a desperate time.  He and his fellow Israelites had allowed the sin of idol worship which brought the consequence of being ruled by the cruel, harsh Midianites. Far beyond bullies, the Midianites were abusing and starving the Israelites, taking not only their harvest, but Judges 6:6b NLT says the Midianites “stripped [the land] bare.”

Gideon was hiding in a wine press, frightened, just like his fellow Israelites, trying to seek out just enough sustenance to keep him and his immediate family alive.  In Judges 6:12, the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said, “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!” The word valor, in other translations, is interpreted as brave. The angel of God shows up to a quivering, quaking, fearful man and says, “Hello, there Brave Superhero, you have the favor of God!” With insecurity surrounding him, Gideon was desperate in His task to defeat the Midian army, so he asked God for confirmation. 

Are you facing a desperate situation? It could be a desperate need of confidence, guidance, comfort, or hope. Regardless, our Heavenly Father wants you to experience breakthrough and freedom even more than you want it.  Ask Him to show you the plan to victory. While you’re waiting for the answer, ask God what you can sacrifice or give up right now as you put your trust in Him. He may want you to commit to pray, to give of your time or finances, or to read His Word. When we pray out of desperation and offer ourselves, we land in a place that is fully dependent on God alone. The Lord made it clear, Gideon was the chosen man to lead his family and fellow Israelites to breakthrough and freedom.  In like manner, God wishes to use your breakthrough to point the way to freedom to your family and friends.

Prayer: Father, I come to you now in need of You. I cry out in desperation for my family, my circumstance, and my situation. Lord, lead me to a place of dependence and trust in You. I offer you everything I am and everything I have. Thank you for drawing me out of deep waters. In Jesus name, Amen.

 

Get Rooted: Apply it Today

What are you desperately seeking God for? How, in your waiting, will you choose to glorify Him?

 

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Day 11 – Growing Up

Find the Seed: God’s Word

You must remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you. You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.

2 Timothy 3:14-16

 

Prepare the Soil: Devotional & Prayer

You may not have had access to the scriptures since childhood, like Paul says Timothy had in the scriptures above.  But would you consider yourself in your “spiritual childhood”?  If you have only just begun your journey with Jesus, you might feel like an infant.  Maybe you’d consider yourself a toddler if you can “talk the talk” and learning to “walk the walk”.  Are you an adolescent, giving your own words and ideas to describe your thoughts on deep spiritual truths?  Or are you a seasoned believer that has taught others how to grow, and has helped others mature?

A friend recently described believers that are stunted in a state of infancy or toddlerhood as “30-year-olds in diapers”.  It may seem like a funny metaphor, but it is a sad experience to witness a faith that does not develop to full spiritual maturity.  What do you need to learn about God, about your own faith, to make it to your next spiritual milestone?  God has given us the bible, His very word, to prepare and equip us and give us the wisdom we need to fulfill our destiny.

Prayer: Lord, I pray that you teach me to be faithful in the things that I have been taught.  Holy Spirit, work in my mind and heart so that I will be open to the teachings of God’s word, and so that I will do what it says. Give me a desire to grow mature in my walk with you so that I can help others mature as well. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

Get Rooted: Apply it Today

Where are you in your spiritual journey?  Are you taking steps towards maturity? What might God’s word teach you? How might it correct you? How might it prepare and equip you for the next steps in your journey?

 

Dig Deeper: More Scripture

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Day 10 – He is The Word

Find the Seed: God’s Word

“In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God.”

John 1:1

Prepare the Soil: Devotional & Prayer

The oceans, the turbulent sea, the unknown of the deep waters, were often viewed as “chaos” to the ancient Hebrew mind. In the creation story, “the earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep” (Genesis 1:2).  Sounds pretty chaotic!  What does God do?  He causes His Spirit to be present and hover over the face of the waters. Then, He speaks His word into the chaos:  “Let there be light” (Genesis 1:3).  And something amazing happens- there was light! Similarly, God can change the chaos in your own life and bring it into order by speaking His word into your turbulent circumstances.  Will you let Him speak into your life?  Will you listen to and consider the words that are written in the bible, the very words of God?  In the bible, you will read what He says is good and what He requires of you- how to do justly, how to show mercy, how to walk humbly with Him on the path He’s placed before you (Micah 6:8).  A life that relies on God’s word is gracefully anchored in His truth, it will withstand the unpredictability of life on this earth.

Prayer: Lord, you created the world and put all things into order.  You cause the sun to give its light by day and the moon and the stars to give light by night.  You stir up the sea so that its waves roar, and when you speak, the winds and the seas obey.  Help me hide your word in my heart, so that You may remind me of it when the fires of life arise, helping me to walk through unscathed. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Get Rooted: Apply it Today

Have you opened your bible today? Give it a try. See if you can find the first chapter in the book of Joshua.  Read the first nine verses.  How does God encourage Joshua?  What tool does God remind Joshua that he has, and what is he told to do with it?  Why?

 

Dig Deeper: More Scripture

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Day 9 – Not By Bread Alone

Find the Seed: God’s Word

“He humbled you by letting you go hungry; then He gave you manna to eat, which you and your fathers had not known, so that you might learn that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.”

Deuteronomy 8:3

Prepare the Soil: Devotional & Prayer

During the 40 years that the Israelites wandered in the desert God fed the Israelites manna, a type of bread that appeared daily in the mornings.  This “manna” bread was their daily provision, the food the entire country of Israel depended on to eat every day.  They had to seek it out in the morning, gather their individual portion, and there would be just enough of it to fulfill their food needs for the day.  The next day, they’d gather their portion again. Only on the Sabbath day did they rest from gathering the manna; the portion they gathered the day before was enough to last through the Sabbath day, too.

But before He provided the manna, God had allowed the Israelites to go hungry.  They had to experience the need for His daily bread in order to appreciate the miraculous, life-giving provision that it was. It is the same with us! Do you have a hunger, a weakness?  Maybe there’s something you like to think about, some activity, obsession, addiction? Have you considered what God’s “manna” might do for this hunger, this weakness of yours? Here’s your chance to find out!  Rely on His Word, not on the physical “bread” that may seem to temporarily feed your current needs, but on the provision His Word gives.  His Word is living and active, it can help you separate yourself from that hunger that may be pulling you away from God.  God’s word will help you realize whether your ideas, actions, or the thoughts of your heart align with His own heart to provide for your every need.   

Will you choose to walk by faith, to read the words that are bread and life for your soul? Or, will you choose something else to feed your weakness?

Prayer: Lord God, I ask for your strength to commit to reading your words, the bible, every day. Help me realize that I cannot live by “bread” alone, but that I must live by the words of God. Reveal to me how I can take a new step to deepen my desire for your Word daily. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Get Rooted: Apply it Today

Write down on a note card these words from the book of Deuteronomy.  Pull the card out as often as you can today to read and think about how you may build your life on His word.

“Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is One. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.”

Deuteronomy 6:4-8

 

Dig Deeper: Go Further

Also, consider beginning (and finishing!) a bible reading plan on the YouVersion Bible App. Some suggested plans are Discipleship Journal Reading Plan, Bible in One Year, and In The Word. Let us know which plan you’re going to start!

Day 8 – Praise

Find the Seed: God’s Word

David and all the Israelites were celebrating in the presence of the Lord. They were playing wooden instruments: lyres, harps, tambourines, rattles, and cymbals.

2 Samuel 6:5 NCV

Prepare the Soil: Devotional & Prayer

When you hear the word praise there are certain things that may come to mind. Perhaps you’re imagining singing, dancing, clapping, or musical instruments. Praise to God can be expressed in all of these ways and are all reflected in scripture. In 2 Samuel 6 we see King David dancing before God with all his might. It’s powerful to know the background of the story and why David chose to lavish praise upon God at that very crucial time.

The Ark of the Covenant – the place that held the presence of God, needed to be brought back to Jerusalem. After his first failed attempt, David waited 3 months before he tried to move the Ark of the Covenant again. Two men with good intentions had been punished because they were negligent and irreverent in the way they handled the Ark. God had a prescribed way for “his presence” to be moved but they didn’t follow his way. David recognized their disobedience and chose to do it right the second time. He determined that he would praise God every step along the way until the mission was completed. After every six steps, a bull and fattened calf were sacrificed. David set an example for us that praise is a deliberate act of lavishing adoration and celebration on the One we love and revere.

David even said in verse 22, “I’ll become even more undignified than this” when he was ridiculed by his wife about his extravagant praise. Praise is not just about the first 10 minutes of service on a Sunday morning. We can praise and access God’s presence anywhere at any time. In all circumstances no matter how terrible a situation may seem. He will always meet us there. The promise is His presence. When we realize we are in His presence our attention and perspective shift to gain his insight. Psalm 100:4 reminds us to “enter His gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name.”

Prayer: Dear God, I enter your courts with praise, living in reckless abandonment to you. Man looks at the outward appearance but you look at the heart. I pray that as I praise, choose to adore, and celebrate you God that you would make my face shine as a result of being in your sweet and holy presence. Help me to lay the burdens of life at your feet and choose to praise you, the One who is worthy. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Get Rooted: Apply it Today

Think of an area of your life that you can make a deliberate choice to PRAISE God, to lavish upon him all your adoration and celebration of Him. It may be difficult in certain seasons of life to Praise but we need to know that we are able to access his presence and nearness when we praise Him. Consciously decide to praise Him when a situation naturally leads you to feeling fear, despair or hopelessness.

 

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Day 7 – All We Need

Find the Seed: God’s Word

“The Lord is all I need. He takes care of me.”

Psalm 16:5 NCV

Prepare the Soil: Devotional & Prayer

Often times we view ourselves in a compartmentalized way. The list might include God, spouse, children, work, hobbies, etc. Everything has its place and a healthy balance in those areas makes all well in life, right? Well, how about a different perspective. Would our Creator God go through all the trouble of sending Jesus to suffer for us just to get 15 minutes of our day? Why would our big God redeem us and save us from an eternity separated from Him so that He could be just a PART of our lives? Our Heavenly Father wants to be fully involved in everything to provide a life of abundance and contentment. We all have to remember that a life of abundance is experienced when our lives are centered on Christ. When we make Christ the center of our lives, we invite God to be a part of everything that goes on in our families, our free time, our finances, our everything.

A life centered on Christ believes the word of God is true, believes He is for us, believes He will be with us and will never leave us nor forsake us. It also believes that Christ is Enough and His sacrifice covered all of our sins, and it desires to share the hope of Christ with a world in need. While life may not always be happy and pleasurable, we can have a deep enduring hope that He wants to be a part of those trials so He can perfect all the brokenness both now and in eternity. We will find all that we need in Christ. The closer you draw to Him the closer He will draw to you. As you are seeking God in prayer, never forget who your hope, healing, and provision is found in. We might all be seeking things, but focus your prayers on the fact that when your life is lived with Jesus at the center, you have all you need.

Prayer: Dear Lord, life is hard sometimes, and I need more of you. Teach me to always remember that you are still for me. Reveal to me the places of my life that I need to make your one and only son the center of so that I may live. Remind me that the abundant life you have for me here on earth comes when I center my life on Jesus every day. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Get Rooted: Apply it Today

Think of every prayer request you have today, now thank God for being the answer to each of those requests. He is our Healer, our Shepherd, our Father, our Provision, and our Hope. Take a moment and ask God how you can focus your attention back to our only true hope, Christ.

 

Dig Deeper: More Scripture

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Day 6 – The God Who Restores

Find the Seed: God’s Word

He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.

Psalm 23:3 NKJV

Prepare the Soil: Devotional & Prayer

Ever found yourself asking questions like, “How can my broken life help anyone else?” Or,How can I find purpose after life has knocked me down?” These are genuine questions. Truth is, it takes the work of the Holy Spirit to lead us through the rough seasons that occur. We’re not talking about slapping bible verse band-aids on our pain. The Spirit of God brings true healing and restoration when we choose to walk with Jesus. 2 Corinthians 12:9 reminds us, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’” So don’t worry if you feel tired. When we’re weak, He is able to be our strength. Jesus wants us to have a full and abundant life that is healed and restored.

John 10:9-11 “I am the gate. If anyone enters through Me, he will be saved. He will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come that they may have life, and have it in all its fullness. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” No matter what is in your past, God can take those moments and use them for His glory. No matter what hurts you have endured, God will heal you and bless others through you. We have a redeemer who will turn every pain experienced into purpose. Allow God to transform your heart, and you can find rest in the fact that the old has gone. In every trial, He brings us peace.

Prayer: Father, I thank you that you are our Shepherd and you restore our souls. You are near to the brokenhearted. Lord, I surrender my areas of brokenness and weakness. Every pain I have felt and am feeling, I pray now that you will be my peace as I walk through these seasons. I pray for strength over any other believers who may be enduring something similar. I thank you Father that when I am walking through difficult circumstances, you will use those moments for your glory. Strengthen me to encourage others in this time. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

Get Rooted: Apply it Today

Think of an area in your life that you feel is tired and weak. Psalm 23 says that God, our Shepherd will lead us beside still waters and restore our soul. Set aside 15-30 minutes of your time and ask God to lead you beside still waters, give you rest, and bring joy in all the heaviness you’re experiencing today.

 

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Day 5 – Christ is Enough

Find the Seed: God’s Word

“Yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.”

1 Corinthians 8:6 NIV

Prepare the Soil: Devotional & Prayer

Is Christ Enough? Many of us might quickly answer, “Yes, of course!” We have all learned this truth in our heads, but it takes true relationship with Him in order for it to settle in our hearts. Even then, it still takes a daily surrender to Jesus. When our lives take an unexpected turn, it becomes more challenging to remain at rest knowing that Christ is enough. Instead, our actions begin to say something more like “My 10 year plan is enough”, “That job promotion is enough”, “His/her attention is enough”, or you fill in the blank. When the winds and waves begin to toss us, it takes intentionality to remind ourselves that no matter what is going on, Christ is all we need. We can always do this by going back to the basics of the gospel. The good news in short:

  • God created a perfect world – Eden.
  • Through Adam & Eve’s disobedience, sin entered the world and introduced sickness and death.
  • Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice so that we may live both a full and abundant life on earth and a whole, perfected life in eternity.

It is through the finished work of Jesus that we live. While earthly life can be full of confusion and suffering, it can also be full of joy and pleasures. When our lives are centered on Christ, we don’t have to fear or worry about what will happen. We have the hope of Christ to make it through the dark, difficult days. Those who have not yet surrendered their hearts to Jesus are out in the world searching for something more. For, we are all lost without Christ. It is not just about knowing it in our heads and posting it on social media. We have to truly believe in our heart that “Today and everyday, Christ is enough.” When we establish our faith in our Heavenly Father who loves us and redeemed us through Jesus, our Savior, we have a reason to keep going. Every void in our hearts and lives will be filled. Choose, today, to hope in Jesus – the One who is Enough.

Prayer: Father, I thank you for Jesus, the reason I can have hope. Regardless of my circumstances, I thank you that I don’t have to grieve the way those without hope do. I pray for those who are lost and do not have an eternal hope. Give me courage and boldness to share the reason I can still smile while enduring painful circumstances with those who do not know you. Draw their hearts to you. Lord, I pray that your love will flow through me into the hearts of those around me today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Get Rooted: Apply it Today

Write down the names of those in your life who do not have hope in eternity with Jesus. Pray for them and call out their name specifically to God. End by asking God what you can do today to help them take one step closer to a relationship with God through Christ.

Dig Deeper: More Scripture

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Day 4 – Everyday Battle

Find the Seed: God’s Word

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

1 Peter 5:8 NIV

Prepare the Soil: Devotional & Prayer

As we continue to practice obedience, we gain victory over sin. Yet, no matter how intentional we are to obeying the Word and direction of God, we all still face daily struggles with temptation. It is important that we remain alert and recognize when temptation is coming our way. The enemy wants nothing more than to steal the life God has for us through temptation. There is so much we can learn from Jesus and how we can overcome temptation and lead lives of obedience and freedom from the bondage of sin. In Matthew 4, we find the story of Jesus being tempted by the devil. After fasting for 40 days and nights, Jesus was hungry. (Wouldn’t we all be?) In this moment of vulnerability, the enemy tempted Jesus with three things that many of us have to fight in our own lives today.

The temptation…

  1. To satisfy our fleshly cravings (v 2-4)
  2. To desire power/authority over others (v 5-7)
  3. To worship and serve the things of this world (v 8-10)

If the enemy was bold enough to tempt Jesus, you have to know that he will find every opportunity possible to tempt you.  Yet, what we learn from Jesus in this moment is that the Word of God is so powerful and will help us stand against the enemy every day. While the enemy did in fact tempt Jesus, it was still Jesus’ choice to keep fighting and not give in. During this season of unified prayer, you might have made some commitments to help you in your obedience to God. He has led you to change these things for no other reasons than the glory of His name. For, when we choose to fight temptation with the Word of God, we are led down the path that our Heavenly Father created for us.

Prayer: Lord, I thank you that you always provide a way of escape in moments of temptation. Help me to overcome all the temptations to satisfy myself, to crave power over others, and to give my devotion to the things of this world. I thank you for your Word which is a weapon against my enemy. Help me remain alert today. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Get Rooted: Apply it Today

What is the enemy tempting you with? Jesus used the Word of God to fight the enemy. Find a scripture that will help you fight, and read it out loud every day for the remainder of the 21 Days and beyond.

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Day 3 – When it Makes No Sense

Find the Seed: God’s Word

“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.”

Luke 1:38 NIV

Prepare the Soil: Devotional & Prayer

There are always moments in our journey of faith where God will prompt us to do things that sometimes make no sense. It is our confidence in God alone that will keep us on the right path because what might make sense to other people may be the exact opposite of what God is asking you to do. Scripture demonstrates that divine plans often defy human logic. Consider these moments in scripture that simply required obedience.

  1. Despite his years of fishing experience, Peter returned from a night’s work with nothing to show for it. However, Jesus told them to cast their nets one last time which might’ve come across as a bit unreasonable—after all, Peter and his partners were the professionals. Nevertheless, he complied, and his act of obedience blessed many because their nets were overflowing with fish.
  1. When developing a battle strategy, who would design a strategy that involved only marching and shouting? God told Joshua to conquer Jericho that way, and doing so proved successful. Can you imagine the number of people probably wondering, “How in the world is this going to work?” Joshua, however, remained obedient to instruction of the Lord and after doing so, the walls of Jericho came down.
  1. Mary & Joseph are another example. When she was only a teenager, Mary was told that she would birth a son, the Savior of the world. How was that supposed to happen? She asked in Luke 1:34, “How can this be since I am a virgin?” It just didn’t make any sense. However, both Mary and Joseph obeyed what God had asked of them, and now the world can receive the gift of salvation because of their obedience.

In these examples we see that in our obedience God will do miracles, help us overcome our enemies, and use us for a greater purpose in life to glorify Him. Whatever it is God asks of you, choose to obey, because it will not only bless you but many others. Before your prayers today, stop for a moment and ask God to show you what things He is asking you to do.

Prayer: Father, we thank you so much for leading us. You are all-knowing, and there is nothing in this world that you are not already aware of. As you are leading and guiding my heart today, I pray that you will give me the eyes to see where you want to use me today. Give me the boldness to obey, even when it may not make sense. Let your will be done, I want to live for your glory. You are Sovereign, and I will trust in your ways, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

Get Rooted: Apply it Today

What is something that has always been on your heart to do? Have you put it off because it doesn’t “fit” into your life right now? Who are the people your obedience could bless? How could your disobedience impact them? Now, continue to pray and listen to see how God stirs your heart on this matter.

 

Dig Deeper: More Scripture

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