I am SOAPing through the book of Hosea. It’s sort of “gloom and doom” book as it begins with God telling the preacher (Hosea) to marry a prostitute and keep pursuing her when she falls victim to her own vices. The reason for this bizarre command is to create a visual representation of how God’s chosen nation, the Israelites, have “gotten in bed” with neighboring nations and conformed to their customs and worship of idols and how He keeps pursuing them despite their lack of discipline and loyalty.
As I worked my way through chapter 8, my eyes caught a snag on a very simple phrase that had a significant impact.
“…They shall return to Egypt.” (Hosea 8:13)
My mind landed on this one thought: If left to themselves without any discipline to follow the guidelines God had given them for a successful life, they are going to find themselves back where they started, back in slavery and back in Egypt. (If you know your Bible, you know that’s exactly what happened during the
Babylonian Assyrian invasion.)
This is where the “A” (for Application) of the SOAP method kicks in. What are the disciplines in my life? And if I don’t have any, what is my “Egypt”? Where will I end up if left to my own vices? Actually, the way I think, I didn’t give much time to defining what that is. I have no intentions of going there. I began thinking more about where I needed to discipline my life. What practices do I need to implement to make sure my life is going to be fruitful in influence and brining honor to the Lord. What do I need to do to help me get the most out of life?
How about you? Where do you need discipline? What ONE thing can you give structure and accountability to that will make the next 12 months of your life better and keep you from your personal “Egypt”?
Can I help you make that change simply by holding you accountable? Let’s talk over email and explore how sharing this journey with someone will increase the likelihood of success.