After I hit publish on my last post, All. Is. Grace. I worked ahead to schedule the next two posts. I like to tell myself that working ahead will help me avoid feeling the pressure of a deadline, albeit self-imposed, but the truth is once I schedule a post I still revisit it and edit it repeatedly before it “automatically” posts. I need to ask the Lord to show me if this is actually helpful or if I am once again allowing my flesh to take center stage.
Regardless, in the midst of processing the last post (yes, once I hit publish, it’s not over for me, I continue to meditate, pray, think) and scheduling the next two posts, the Lord divinely interrupted my plan and gave me the following verses, Jeremiah 17:5-8 (NASB):
5 Thus says the Lord,
“Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind
And makes flesh his strength,
And whose heart turns away from the Lord.
6 “For he will be like a bush in the desert
And will not see when prosperity comes,
But will live in stony wastes in the wilderness,
A land of salt without inhabitant.
7 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord
And whose trust is the Lord.
8 “For he will be like a tree planted by the water,
That extends its roots by a stream
And will not fear when the heat comes;
But its leaves will be green,
And it will not be anxious in a year of drought
Nor cease to yield fruit. (Emphasis mine)
My heart was so encouraged by these words, and I pray your’s will be too. The truth is as I have lived these long years out of my flesh instead of by the Spirit of God, my heart did turn away from Him. I have been that short, stubby bush in the desert. I’ve been dry and brown, never growing tall and strong. I didn’t recognize prosperity when it came, in fact I ran from it. I’ve camped in the stony, waste places of the wilderness, in a land of salt, dehydrated and utterly alone.
BUT God has pursued me and NEVER relented in His unfailing love for me. In this season He has given me eyes to see and ears to hear. He has chosen to reveal the truth of my mere existence, and lavished me with His grace. He has unveiled the truth that through the blood of Jesus Christ I am loved, I am accepted, I am valuable to Him, and I am secure in Him simply because He says so. You can hear this your whole life (and I have), but until it is shed abroad in your heart, you receive it, and you believe it, they are just words.
As I turn this corner led by the Spirit, away from my flesh, away from the lies, and towards Him, He has given me the promise above (v.7 – 8) that as I trust Him (not my flesh, not my strength) I am blessed. I will no longer be that lonely, short, dry, stubby bush. I will be a well watered tree, taller reaching heavenward. I will have roots that keep me firmly planted and connected to the streams of life. The heat is going to come, but the fear that has plagued me, tormented me, will no longer have power over me. My leaves will be green, healthy and beautiful. There will be no more of the anxiety that has consumed my life for fear that there wasn’t enough or worse that I wasn’t enough. I will bear eternal fruit, that gives life and sustenance, simply by trusting in Him. Resting in His love. Abiding in Him.
Thank You Father for sending Your Son so that we may all have life and have it more abundantly, a life way beyond necessity, an extravagant life, in Christ Jesus.