Word Farming

What joy it is when the harvest comes.

Meditation Thought: “As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.” (Luke 8:15)

“Honest”, “good”, “patience” – 3 keys to the knowledge of the spiritual kingdom. The kingdom is true – real, though perceived by the mind and the heart rather than by one of the 5 senses.

If our heart is dishonest, we deal in illusions and will flounder, never being secure and sure and at peace. Our heart must be good to be the nutrient that grows good fruit. If it is hard, hoarding its life-giving blood, it does no nourishing to that which it should feed. If it is soft and flexible, and pumping out pure, clean blood – nutrients – it feeds new life – new ‘fruits’. But it takes time for growth. We do not plant the seed one day, nourish it for a day and harvest the fruit the following day. We must take the seed-word and feed it and care for it, giving of ourselves, sacrificing other interests and activities, before we can harvest that fruit. What joy it is when the harvest comes – wonderful fruit to enjoy ourselves, to share with others. All the toil and sacrifice is more than worthwhile. After we harvest our first crop of fruit (the God-works completed), it is so exciting and fulfilling that we eagerly cultivate more seeds. Oh, there will be problems in the tilling – but we must not give up because of them, or there will be no harvest. In overcoming the problems, we may even learn new, better methods of tilling – resulting in a faster harvest, or a more abundant harvest.

Dear Father, I ask this day to be a starting point to be a better farmer of Your Word – that I learn new, better methods to bring Your seed to abundant harvest. Amen.

Paths of Discovery

When you find yourself chopping at obstacles in your path, frustrated, tired and discouraged – stop!

Meditation Thought: “See, I am doing a new thing!… I am making a way in the wilderness.” (Isaiah 43:19)

“Give me your attention… we are starting on an adventure together. Enjoy the thrill, the excitement, the anticipation of discovery. The way will be cleared before you, for I prepare it before asking you to go that way. You must look for the path I have cleared for you – otherwise you will have to fight the wilderness by yourself – finding it very difficult to penetrate. When you find yourself chopping at obstacles in your path, frustrated, tired and discouraged – stop! Look at where you are, and look at where I am – are you following me? Are you taking the path which I have cleared for you? The jungle of circumstances holds no peril for you, no difficulty, if you put your efforts into finding my path instead of into hacking a path for yourself. Direct your efforts where the results will be fruitful and satisfying, not frustrating.”

Avalanche!

What a different attitude we have as we travel along if we know that every time we come to a mountain, we can turn to God.

Meditation Thought: “Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him.” (Mark 11:22-23)

Have faith in God. It is God’s power that moves mountains – not our faith. We must look to God in faith, but not concentrate on our faith, but on God. “I can’t do it – but my Father can” – confidence in Him, giving it to Him so that He can work without our interference. Let Him initiate the movement – we do only as He asks us. God may ask us to roll a stone to start the avalanche to move the mountain – in fact, perhaps it is our faith turning to God that is the stone that starts the avalanche – but it is God’s power that is released in the tumbling of tons of stone being moved, clearing a way where the obstacle was. What a change in perspective, to go from looking at a mountain blocking our way, to seeing it disappear before our very eyes as God moves it into the sea – now our way is easy, our view is clear. What a different attitude we have as we travel along if we know that every time we come to a mountain, we can turn to God and say: “This mountain is in the way Lord – would You please move it?”

New Healthy Growth

There are 2 wings to enable us to fly above our burdens – ‘surrender’ and ‘trust’.

Meditation Thought: “…every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” (John 15:2)

The problems and burdens are the painful cut associated with the pruning process. They are unpleasant, but as we learn to release them to God, He seals over the cut made by the problems and burdens, relieving the painful exposure. And then, with the old branches which were not healthy removed, new healthy growth is produced by the strength which had before gone to the unhealthy branches now shunted over toward new healthy growth.

(Accompanying thoughts that appear to be based on the book ‘The Christian’s Secret to a Happy Life’: There are 2 wings to enable us to fly above our burdens – ‘surrender’ and ‘trust’. The burdens become the chariots of God, sent to take the soul to its high places of triumph.)

Two Gears

Only when we can say “I’m yours. Take me as I am, imperfect, inadequate, but completely yielded does the gear slip smoothly into place.

Meditation Thought: “Anything is possible if you have faith.” (Mark 9:23)

Anything is possible if you have faith, because God is taking the action, not human beings. Faith is the lever that changes our gear from ‘our action’ to ‘God’s action’.

Maybe the gears are marked:
– ‘doubt’ and ‘trust’ or
-‘my will’ and ‘God’s will’ or
-‘my strength’ and ‘God’s strength’ or even
-‘my good works’ and ‘God’s grace’.

Whatever the labels, there is no doubt that the pace and the results are different in the two gears. We can be helped by suggestions on how to change gears, but only by our own act can we actually change them. We may have to pull and tug and experiment, but we must keep trying until we succeed in getting the gears changed.

The changing actually takes place when we relax and gently slip our heart and our will into God’s hands, but we may be unable to do this without some pulling and tugging – then giving up our struggle as inadequate, surrendering ourselves as having tried every way we knew and failing. Only when we can say “I’m yours. Take me as I am, imperfect, inadequate, but completely yielded does the gear slip smoothly into place.

Locking the Door on Fear and Worry

The formula of praise-trust-recall serves as a lock on the door of our heart to shut out worry and fear.

Meditation Thought: “Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (John 14:27)

“Let not” implies a choosing of letting or not letting. Therefore we do not have to allow the trouble or the fear to stay with us when it first tries to enter. God has revealed a number of ways that we can close the door to worry and fear: praising Him in various forms (singing, words of praise), trusting Him (reading or reciting scripture), recalling His past deeds on our behalf.

In the act of closing out fear and worry, we also open up new possibilities for God’s working in our lives, solving our problems, bringing us joy. The formula of praise-trust-recall serves as a lock on the door of our heart to shut out worry and fear.

Hope Does Not Fail

What better description for a life of peace and victory?

Meditation Thought: “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9)

Afflicted (hard pressed) – not crushed
Perplexed – not in despair
Persecuted – not abandoned (forsaken)
Struck down – not destroyed

What better description for a life of peace and victory? No matter what the circumstances, hope does not fail, for “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

We are not crushed, despaired, abandoned or destroyed because we are not alone, we know our “Reserves” are coming to back us up – all we need do is to wait for them to come to change the situation. What a difference it is to know that our uncomfortable position is only temporary – and that good is being worked in it for us.

It’s easy to take discomfort when you know it is bringing rewards later, easy to take when you know it is improving you every minute. We don’t seek discomfort or problems, but when they come (as they do to believers and non-believers alike), we can rise above them in our minds as our minds concentrate on God, seeking His will – His wisdom – His solutions. Soon – or at least on God’s schedule – we have not only our minds, but every part of us risen above the discomfort and problem and feel exhilarated and happier for the overcoming of the trouble, for the knowing more completely than ever before, that God is sufficient. As we come closer to Him in trust, we can not only throw off fear of events, we can almost welcome trouble because we know God will work so much good from it that eventually it will become a blessing.

Growing Season: Seed to Fruit

Faith in Me shall allow you to bend gracefully through the storm.

Meditation Thought: “Blessed is the man
    whose… delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree
    planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
    and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.” (Psalm 1: 1,3)

You cannot look at the seed and call it fruit. Yet within the seed is all that is needed for the fruit if the proper environment for sprouting, for growing, for maturing is provided.

The environment has been provided. Now you choose to sprout, to grow, to mature. And do not give up when storms rage, and drought comes: your obedience to My law waters your deep roots in the righteous water of My Spirit, and faith in Me as Loving Father, Powerful Father, Grace-filled Father, shall allow you to bend gracefully through the storm, and not rigidly oppose the force of the wind by your insistence upon doing things your way.

To the degree that you absorb My principles, to that degree do you find nourishment to shorten the time between seed-planting and fruit-bearing. If the time is shortened, so are some storms avoided during the growing season.

Now do you understand? “He has shown you, O man, what is good.
    And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)

From Without Rather than Within

There is nothing to fear, except the fear of forgetting to turn to Me. And so long as you are weak, you will remember to turn to Me.

Meditation Thought: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

My grace and My power – if you go under your own power, I will not violate your choice not to yield to Me – therefore, I cannot pour My power into you unless you ask for it, unless you yield your own will to receive it. The weaker you are on your own, the more witness of My power as accomplishments are made through you.

Rejoice that you are timid and fearful, for that is what turns you to Me – and it is what will turn others to Me. If you have no dynamic power of your own, then it becomes evident that the power surging and moving and changing in your life is from without: and when results are good (measured by love engendered, My commandments fulfilled, peace and joy abounding) – then the glory comes to Me; the joy of more hearts opening to My love comes to Me, and life in the Spirit is strengthened for My believers. Stand strong – in My power. Armed with My Word, My guidance, My power, My will, nothing can prevail against you – there is nothing to fear, except the fear of forgetting to turn to Me. And so long as you are weak, you will remember to turn to Me.

Increases and Decreases

Thus can I prepare the way not only properly, but with enthusiasm, energy, commitment and a sense of rightness.

Meditation Thought: “He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30)

Thoughts: Just as John the Baptist knew that he was to prepare the way for Jesus, so do I. And as John came under the influence of Jesus, he became aware that he must shift the people’s emphasis from himself to Jesus, and so must I.

So many people recorded in the New Testament leave records of success – success in sacrificing self, in sacrificing comforts, in sacrificing the easier ordinary run-of-the mill existence in order to go where they were needed to be a witness to God-come-upon-earth.

I get weary and discouraged at times as I attempt to seek to know more intimately this God-come-upon-the-earth-within-me, and to help others to know He does live and does live to reconcile us to the Father. At times, when the circumstances reveal an exciting work being done, or accomplished, I can rejoice, and all the doubts, fears and frustrations are as nothing… but, so much of the time, I have difficulty keeping up with what I perceive as my earthly duties as I attempt to perform my primary function (as I see it) of preparing the way for Jesus, and of focusing emphasis upon Him.

It’s the old adage, “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” What I seek to embrace is to have me willing, and the Spirit strong. Thus can I prepare the way not only properly, but with enthusiasm, energy, commitment and a sense of rightness. And thus can I focus everyone upon Jesus, upon the Holy Spirit He has sent – as I seek to reveal these personalities, and the personality of the Father to others, I become more intimately acquainted with them myself – just as did John with Jesus.

Prayer: Lord, I desire to use the talents You gave me to do Your will and Your works in the world. Enable me to perceive in each circumstance what You want me to know, and what You want me to do.

Help me to achieve a balance of spiritual and physical emphases in my life, that You are pleased, I am content, and the world is grateful.

Remove whatever causes my confusion and discouragement.

Help me to not dwell on what I perceive as negative results – but to turn these situations over to You that You may use Your knowledge and power to accomplish all You desire to do in every situation.

I want to do what You need me to do, as Your eyes, ears, mind, hands, feet and energy in the physical world – but I do not desire to take Your place, shutting You out. Please, Lord, teach me how to know Your will and to do it – to Your glory, my fulfillment, and the joy of the world,

In Jesus Precious Name I Pray. Amen.

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