“The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. It is the same with my Word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it. You will live in joy and peace. The mountains and hills will burst into song, and the trees of the field will clap their hands!” Isaiah 55:10-12
How does God send out His Word? He sends out His Word through us. As a pastor, sure, but every one of us is responsible for knowing and sending forth the Word of God, not only for our own good but for the good of others. When our Bible is closed up and sitting on a shelf, the Word of God is certainly not being sent out.
Just as the rain and snow come down from the heavens and CAUSE the seeds to grow into plants that will feed the hungry, so God sends out His Word and CAUSES fruit to grow out of us. However, when there isn’t any rain or snow, it is a drought and the harvest suffers and dies. Why should it be any different for our hearts to experience drought and suffering without the living Word of God?
The seeds of faith, love, hope, and joy have been planted into the soil of our hearts but they must be watered to cause the plant to break up through the ground, bring forth leaves and buds, then finally, the fruit. We need the water of the Word to grow our seeds.
The world we live in and the devil who hates us will choke out our hope, question our faith, try our love and steal our joy. We must make a stand against them and not shut out the Word of God. This is for our own survival. However, it doesn’t stop there. Our fruit is not only for ourselves but also for a world of hungry and hurting people, in and out of the church. Let the Word of God be on our lips when we come together, building each other’s faith.
Each one of us must do our duty to be healthy before our God because each of us is needed to build up the church of God: healing broken hearts, bringing reconciliation, being an example of grace, etc. The Word is our daily bread. Let us feast. Let’s get healed and help others get into the Word so they can be healed as well. And let us expect great things as His Word is being sent forth.
“Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” Rom 10:17
“They rejected my advice and paid no attention when I corrected them. Therefore, they must eat the bitter fruit of living their own way, choking on their own schemes.” Proverbs 1:30-31
It is really easy to just toss this Scripture off as being something for a person who isn’t a Christian. We can just gloss right over this section and be off onto the next chapter without a thought.
Did you know that even as a Christian we can reject God’s advice and not pay attention to His correction? Have you seen a Christian eating the “bitter fruit of living their own way?”
Protect yourself from “living your own way”:
When reading the book of Proverbs, where we can acquire common sense, good judgment, successful living, and guidance (Prov 1:2-6) there is a theme of the intentional student. The intentional student cries out, seeks, asks questions, meditates, listens on purpose with the intention of obedience, and “lets” the Word have a place in their being.
Pay attention to correction from the Word and from others. We must be humble enough to consider what people have to say about the way we lead our lives. A lot of people have a lot to say, so this can be tricky. We must be intentional about getting wise friends that we can trust to know us deeply. It is wise to give an invitation to these friends to give correction.
We should also safeguard ourselves by being in consistent fellowship in a body of believers with a pastor who will teach the Word. Then we must study the Word on our own time, worship Who God is on our own time so that we can get all ‘healed-up and loved-up’ so we can bind up others and love on others when we come back together for fellowship.
We must be intentional students and in the body of Christ, using its resources (the people of God) and being an active member of helping others if we are to avoid falling into the snare of sin that will bind us up and choke out our lives.
When we are trying to do the right thing in life and we are praying for change and don’t see it, we lose heart and hope.
Sometimes, we get angry.
Being angry or frustrated at God for our circumstances is a natural thing. He knows we get mad. When we are honest with God about it, there is a ton of relief. He can handle it.
Sometimes, however, our anger will keep us out of the Word of God. Then sometimes, as we do read, we will hear “God is for you…He is pleading on your behalf” and our heart will harden and say, “Yeah, right.” Anger is then clouding our vision and understanding of Him. This kind of anger is not allowing God’s truth into our heart. God cares deeply for us and wants us to have success, so He requires us to be careful with our anger.
Let us take time to hear what God says to us:
“If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since He did not spare even His own Son but gave Him up for us all, won’t He also give us everything else?…God has given us right standing with Himself….Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and He is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.” Romans 8:31-34
God IS for you.
GOD is for you.
God is FOR you.
God is for YOU.
He wants the VICTORY for you.
He wants your victory on your behalf.
He wants your victory more than you want your victory.
Jesus is now in the audience of the King of kings with YOU on His lips, PLEADING for you and your spiritual success.
He DOES care about where you are and He wants the victory for you.
Don’t lose heart.
Meditate on TRUTH. God IS for you. Let His Word change the way we think about our circumstances.
He has not forgotten you. He sees you every day. He wants your success. He cares deeply for you. He is by your side. Don’t forsake the Word of God in your anger.
It has been said that people have come to faith because they saw Christians filled with hope, joy, purposefulness, and peace. Those things are very strange to people who are perishing. Those things are enticing.
Of course, we all go through the darkest of dark seasons in our Christian walk. Even, and especially, in these times we always have a Savior who died for our sins and made us right in God’s sight. Between the sobs of despair there is a beacon of light that reminds us that this is just temporal, all things will work out for our good, and Jesus resurrected was enough no matter what life gives us. With those thoughts, we become unlike any other creature on earth and we break through the sobs and give shouts of praise.
As we obey God’s Word and give Him the sacrifices of praise and turn our thoughts over to all the things that are lovely, just, good, and worthy of praise, we survive times of despair and become a strange thing to people outside the body of Christ. This is a good thing!
Life can be quite a drag as well. Maybe this is just a season of the “hum-drums.” Day in and day out it is just the same ol’ stuff. It is very tempting to sink into depression, despair, and the pity parties. What kind of witness is this?
There is a song that is in the mainstream right now that talks about this not being our home and just needing Jesus. That is all true. But did you know that we are given this life for a reason? All the boredom, all the struggles that come along with it, the frustrations, all of it, is a gift. We only have a short window of opportunity to seek out God, choose His ways, and bring people alongside us into heaven; then, and only then, will God call us on home and there will be no need to seek Him, choose Him in the dark times, or bring people to Him, all of that will be done away with. Today is the day we can tell Him that we choose Him alongside people who hate Him and hate us because of Him! What an opportunity!
There are pieces of heaven all around us to keep us longing for a more perfect home…let us consider some things to be grateful for!
Sunshine! Air. Wind. Sand. Trees. Flowers of all different colors. Our pets. Our family. Food! Comfy clothing. Smiles. Laughter. Singing. The ability to taste, smell, listen, touch, and see. The Bible. Electricity. Snowcapped mountains. Valleys. Instruments. Music. Running water. Homes. Heat. Air conditioning. Fans. Books.
Imagine life without some of this stuff. What can you add to this list to thank God for?
It is our duty to think about life in a way that honors God. We will be an awkward people, the way we were meant to be.
Life is a gift. It is short. Laugh. Love. Live it. Be a witness.
The only way to be genuinely happy in life is to obey God.