About a month or so ago I received the book "SoulPrint: Discovering your divine destiny" by Mark Batterson. As a member of Blogging for Books, I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. Batterson wants his readers to realize that, according to the description on the back of the book, that "there never has been and never will be anyone like you. But that isn't a testament to you. It's a testament to the God who created you." The way that Batterson does this is to explore the life of David and how we found God's soulprint (the God-given distinction that makes each of us unlike anyone else) for his life and how exploring the life of David finding his soulprint helps us find, identify and live out our soulprint.
Batterson uses 5 scenes from the life of David to expand upon various issues related to a persons soulprint. The 5 scenes are:
1. Holy Confidence- This chapter deals with the David's encounter with Goliath. It deals with the fact that David wasn't even a soldier in the army and was only on the battle field to bring his brothers some food. He was at a disadvantage for several reasons including size, qualifications, and vocation (a shepherd not a fighter). But David had one thing that his brother's and the rest of the Israelite army didn't have...a Holy Confidence and trust in God that God would deliver Goliath into his hands. David realized that all his past experiences (killing a lion and a bear) led him to that point in his life and to that moment when he stepped out onto the battlefield to face Goliath. Several quotes from this chapter stood out to me including:
"I tell every church planter that I meet that the first five years don't count, because God has to grow the leader before He can grow whatever it is that person is leading. Don't worry about church growth. If you're growing personally, church growth will take care of itself."
"Your dream seems like a mirage that remains the same distance away no matter how fast or how far you pursue it. You know you have a destiny to fulfill, but the elapsed time causes you to second-guess yourself." (Feels like he was speaking right to me about how I feel about Veritas sometimes...)
"It starts with little opportunities and small victories."
2. Lifesymbols- This chapter deals with the result of David's Holy Confidence..the death of Goliath. Batterson's theorizes that the stone that hit Goliath in the head became a lifesymbol for David and that he kept it as a remembrance of God's deliverance. Scriptures also state that David took the Giants armor which weighed 125 pound, 15 ounces into his tent and it traveled with him wherever he went. Why? As a giant reminder or lifesymbol of God who can fell Giants. Batterson also asks us what our Lifesymbols are, those things that we have kept that are from defining moments in our lives. Here are some quotes from this chapter that spoke to me:
"And that is one of the jobs of parents. They manage their children's memories by the stories they tell, the keepsakes they save, and the pictures they take."
"Preimaginging is imagining the future before it happens. Postimagining, for holy or unholy reasons, is reimagining the past after it happens."
"God has gifted us with three kinds of sight: hindsight, insight, and foresight. That three-dimensional ability to look backward, look inward, and look forward is part of the image of god that sets us apart from the rest of creation."
3. The Crags of the Wild Goats- This is the story of David cutting the corner off of Saul's robe while Saul is relieving himself in a cave. David's men thought it was an opportunity to take Saul down and assume the kingship. But an opportunity isn't an opportunity if you have to compromise your integrity. This chapter is all about integrity. Who you are when no one is watching. There is alot in this chapter that struck me and related to my life in the midst of planting Veritas. Here are just a few quotes...
"It was less about building His church and more about building my ego. It was less about His reputation and more about mine. Truth be told, I cared more about the numbers than the people."
"The goal is not accomplishing the dream that God has given you. The dream is the secondary issue. The primary issue is who you become in the process. We fixate on what and when and where. God's primary concern is always who. And He won't get you where He wants you to go until you become who He wants you to be."
"Sometimes you have to die to the dream God has given you so that God can resurrect the dream in its glorified form. And by glorified form, I simply mean pursuing the dream for God's glory. When you stop living for selfish purposes, the pressure comes off. And that's when your destiny comes into focus."
"Maybe it's time to quit taking the credit so you can quit taking the blame. Maybe it's time to quit proving yourself to people and start proving yourself to God. Maybe it's time to quit building monuments to self and start building altars to God."
4. Altar Ego- This chapter deals with the story of David dancing before the ark of the Lord as it came into Jerusalem. The story is told that he disrobed and danced with all his might in worship. Unfortunately his wife Michal wasn't happy about that. She didn't think that was fitting for a king, but David cared more about worshipping God with all his might, than what others thought of him. His identity was securing based on God and not on what others thought of him, or anything else. This chapter, to me, strikes me where I live. So often I base my identity and security and self esteem in what others think of me, or how I perceive they think of me, than in what God thinks of me. Or I base my identity on how Veritas is doing or how I perceive it to be. (usually based not on discipleship, mission, etc.. but on who shows up on Sunday morning). Here are some quotes that stood out to me...
"Is your identity based on what you can do for Christ, or is it based on what Christ has done for you?"
"They never take risks. So they forfeit opportunity."
"Comfort impedes spiritual growth. ....My job is not just to comfort the afflicted. My job is to afflict the comfortable."
5. The Devil's Workshop- This is probably the best known chapter in David's life...his indiscretion with Bathsheba. Idle hands is the devils' playground...and David's hands and eyes were idle and not doing what he should have been doing. He was supposed to be off at war, but instead he was wondering around his rooftop and spying on Bathsheba as she bathed. David was bored and boredom is the seedbed of sin. The thing that struck me the most is this quote related not only to David but also to us, "And the cure for sin is a vision from God. If you are consumed with a God-sized vision, you have less time or energy left over to sin."
Here are some other quotes that struck me...
"Laying down my identity as a Pastor helped me see myself for myself."
"The glory of God, said Saint Irenaeus, is a person fully alive."
I would say overall that this book helped me to look deep inside to my soulprint, to see where I've substituted my soulprint and tried to live someone else's print, and how all too often my identity is wrapped up in what I do and not in whose I am. All too often it's about what I can do for God and not what he has done for me. I can't say it better than this..."The best form of worship is becoming the best version of who God has created you to be. Worship is more than a lifestyle. Worship is life." May we all live out our soulprint that God has imprinted on our lives and soul.