CandidatesSpiritual Life Development

Candidate’s Seminar Devotions: The Story Before… (Part 2)

The son of Amoz.

“Isaiah, son of Amoz.” Thirteen times, Isaiah is referred to specifically as “Isaiah, son of Amoz.” Isaiah is mentioned in the Old Testament a grand total of 33 times and thirteen of them describe him as son of Amoz. It’s a part of who he was. To be the son of Amoz is a part of Isaiah’s identity, part of his story.

We have no idea how Isaiah felt about his father or the quality of their relationship. We don’t know his story or what he did for a living. Beyond paternity, in fact, we don’t know anything about him. It’s also worth mentioning that the only mention of Amoz in scripture at all are those thirteen places where he is listed as Isaiah’s father. While the story of Isaiah’s life is bigger and far more known, it would be incomplete without those three words “son of Amoz.”

We are all in a bigger story. No matter the journey that has brought you to this point in time and the place where you are reading this, you are part of a bigger story.

No matter the journey that has brought you to this point in time and the place where you are reading this, you are part of a bigger story.

I am Chris, son of Craig and of Joan. He is the son of Harry and Lucille and she is the daughter of Harold and Rita. I am the son of a fisherman minister that collects reptiles and an amateur rockhound pastor that can play a dozen instruments. You already know more about my parents than we ever will about Isaiah’s. Yet Amoz is inseparably written into history.

You are so-and-so, son or daughter of so-and-so and so-and-so. Consider the legacy, or legacies they have left you with. If you are journaling through these devotions I would invite you to write your name at the top of the page. Follow that with “daughter of” or “son of” and then their names. Beneath that, list a few things they have left you with. These might not all be good things if we’re being totally honest, and for some of you the names may be hard to write, or even impossible. You may wish to use names of father figures or mother figures with no biological connection at all. However you are willing to approach this, all I ask is that you embrace the opportunity to write your name into a bigger story. If you have children, write their names beneath yours and see it as even bigger.

It’s important to see the bigger story. Without those names and those connections, we are likely to fall into any number of dangerous traps. We won’t see our proper place. We will overemphasize ourselves and thus underemphasize others. Especially in ministry, we will take on a burden larger than we can carry. We will fail to hear the voices that influence us and make us better. Even worse we will fail to recognize our role in growing into the voices that will influence others. Ultimately, the biggest trap in missing the bigger story is that it becomes my story or your story, disconnected and orphaned from the rest.

The bigger story is His story and it carries all of us. It fills us and gives us hope for tomorrow. It dilutes our failings and mistakes. It holds us and it lifts us. It’s a story of continual AND eventual redemption. It’s a story of yesterday and tomorrow. It didn’t start with you or I and it certainly won’t end with us.

It’s always been a bigger story than us. There’s a heritage to remember. There’s a future beyond us that God is working for and toward. We build nothing. He builds. We help in the building and at some point we hand the hammer to someone else.

 

Journal:

Your thoughts and reactions, or journal as directed above. Focus on the legacies, whether positive or negative, that have formed you and shaped you as a person.

 

Pray:

Pray for the names on your list. Pray for those who are or who have been a significant part of your life. Pray for the opportunities now or in the future where you can be a Godly influence.

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Candidate's Seminar Devotions: The Story Before... (Part 3)