When Sharon, our woman’s ministry director, shared her heart with me about the Soaking tonight at our church, I could barely contain my excitement. The explanation for that is too long for this space, but I will say that part of the story involves a struggle I shared with our life group last year. For two years, I tried to walk away from the TV by nine p.m. every night, and for two years, my pattern was, every night, to fail. This may seem like a small thing, but I assure you, it was a spiritual struggle, and I was locked in a pattern of defeat.
Although I’ve in no way arrived, I do have victory in this area now, and it doesn’t look anything like I thought it would. I will share a few points, and then, back to the Soaking.
First, God used Pastor Todd’s messages from Judges, especially the first two, and also a teaching series by Dr. Tony Evans called Life in the Spirit to guide me. They worked almost lockstep together, and of course, God was the Author of it all.
Next, I had to change my mind. Both teachers used those words exactly, and it was true.
Also key was that I had to spread my worship out over the week, or the world/the flesh/the enemy drained my tank before I got past Monday. And a biggie: idols had to fall. And finally, I had to align my views with God’s.
Which brings me back to the Soaking. It wasn’t until Sharon shared the Soaking with me that I understood a story Dr. Evans told about a crusty pot in his kitchen sink. It had to soak to break loose. It had to stay there awhile. It had to abide.
4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15: 4-5 ESV)
I was soaking in Netflix. I was soaking in indie and pop music. I was soaking in social media. And all the while I said I wished I had more time for God.
After some thought, I decided to replace chunks of time I was spending on those other things with better things to soak in: worship music on my bike ride, Todd/Tony Evans/the Bible on my phone while I actually do the dishes after dinner, not walking away from apartment ministry after all, opening the paper Bible to determine God’s view on a matter, and more.
And while we’re talking idols, forget walking out of the room. I had to do my worship before I could even walk in. Ouch.
So, there you have it. I can’t wait until the Soaking on September 17. I’m going to totally lose myself in it, like a crazy person.