Last Night’s Gathering – You are a blessing to us

Y’all are such a blessing to me and my family. A big thank you to those who made it in person and to those who were with us in spirit even if not in body.

This Week – Spiritual Training

This week we are going to do something different. I’m very excited about this and encourage you to slide anything else to the side and be sure not to miss this particular week’s prep and especially not miss the gathering next week.

We’ll call this week “spiritual training”. It will be a focused type of kindling/arousing/awakening the spiritual fire inside.

This week, instead of focusing on the Wiersbe guide/workbook questions, I want us to read the selection of scripture from lesson 3 (Psalms 44-47) but not go into the questions in the study guide.

Instead:

Training/Exercise

Pray for the Lord to reveal His wisdom to your heart and spirit, not for you to just acquire knowledge in your mind. And pray that you won’t doubt and that it won’t be stolen away. Trust Him. He is faithful and true.

Read through Psalm 44 once, all the way through.

Then ask yourself the following questions:

1) Who?

2) When/where?

3) How?(What?)

4) Why?

NOTE: With the first three, we are trying to intentionally and consciously paint a picture in our minds (or walk out a play or movie in our minds) that activates our senses and draws us in like a good movie does. This is a creative exercise for our minds, like a child’s faithful “make believe” game, not just a factual/academic exercise.

Who?
Who are the people or groups of people involved in this (author, spoken of, spoken to, playing a part in it, etc)?

When/where?
What is the background/stage/ environment for this text? What would it have looked like, felt like, smelled like, sounded like or even tasted like? If you were going to make a video to recreate this Psalm, how would you set up the stage for the actors?

How?
Can you summarize and picture what happened and the sequence of events? If you were writing out a script and recreating this as a child would in a play or game, what is the general order of events?

NOTE: Now we have stepped through the above, we will step past “just the facts” and surface level written letter “meaning” of the passage and move on to application.

The Why?

“The why inside them”
What is an underlying message or theme the people “inside the story” or the author would have been learning or teaching through this passage?

“The why through Christ”
How does knowing what we know today about the life and teachings of Christ reveal something new or additional or parallel to this passage? Is there a way that we can understand or find parallels in this passage?

“The why inside me”
If we are truly Christians at heart and not just claimed by name, we have the spirit of Christ in us. Knowing this about ourselves and knowing our identity in Christ, what does this teach us, or stir up in us, or convict us to repent of?

NOTE: This is a method of study that I use with my daughter as we read through the Bible together, and it is one of the primary and most profitable ways I have found to approach studying scripture in a way that makes it real, makes it memorable, and makes it effectively applicable for my day to day life.

This approach takes time that is still, quiet, and focused on the Word of God. I know that many of us have busy lives where God may only have had access to our left overs in the past. This is not me judging you or condemning you, I’m just speaking the truth about many times in our lives when we have let other things take priority over God and we have missed out on blessings and growth and kingdom opportunities as a result. I promise that this approach will bear riches for you of you try it. And quality is king here, not quantity. It would be better to dive into this fully committed to the method and to seeing just one passage “come alive” to you — rather than rushing through it like a last minute homework assignment so you can say to yourself that you finished all four Psalms before time to turn in your work.

If you feel stuck or stumped, walk away from the book and spend time praising the Lord for the wisdom you know He is planting in your heart through time in His Word, even if you can’t yet see the fruit of it in your mind, etc.

Rinse and repeat. If you now know Psalm 44 intimately and personally and you are hungry for more, move on to the next one.

NOTE: My goal is to record a video of me walking through this process with one of the Psalms for this week so you can see an example of this played out. Hopefully I can share that in the next day or so.

Next Week’s Gathering – Outpouring

I would also like to build on this “spiritual training” when we gather next week by having a short study followed by a time of “soaking” where we work those spiritual muscles we have been exercising and we allow the spiritual gifts to be active and the Lord speak to us and through us even more clearly. You can come with an expectation to see the Spirit of the Lord — “breathing life into His people”, and the “fount of living waters flowing out of our bellies”. You do not want to miss this gathering.