Word of Encouragement,  Worship Devotions

A mighty tree or a bush in the desert?

When God wants to help us grasp the deeper principles of faith, He uses terms we can understand so our minds can perceive what He wants to show us. Throughout His Word, God often compares people to different types of plants like vines, branches, stems, roots, trees, bushes and flowers. Why? Because infused into every aspect of creation is His nature and through His Holy Spirit we can catch revelation of Kingdom principles by examining those things. What a creative, loving, fascinating God we have!

Read the following Scriptures:

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreads out its roots by the river, and shall not fear when heat comes, but its leaf shall be green, and it shall not be anxious in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.” (Jeremiah 17:7-8)

“Blessed is the man [whose] delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season; its leaf will not wither, and whatever he does will prosper.” (Psalm 1:2-3)

The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those that are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be filled with vitality and foliage.” (Psalm 92:12-14)

Instead of falling into the trap of structuring your faith activities around your life, build your whole life around your active faith – it is the path that will lead you to true life.

The flourishing tree is a beautiful picture of the person who places trust and hope in the Lord, delights in His statutes, mediates on them, centers their lives around them and puts down roots in the house of the Lord, worshipping in the “courts of our God”. (Psalm 100) This is a complete picture of the life of someone who truly follows after God. While there is so much in the world and in life that gets in the way of these things, they are the keys to unlock all that God has waiting for you! Instead of falling into the trap of structuring your faith activities around your life, build your whole life around your active faith – it is the path that will lead you to true life: where you go, what you do, the choices you make, the relationships you have, the conversations, the career path, the routines, habits and even hobbies. Every single aspect of your life grows and flourishes in a healthy, vital and productive manner when you plant it all into the ground where God has led you.

On the other hand…

Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, and whose heart departs from the Lord. For he will be like a bush in the desert and will not see when good comes, but will inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited.” (Jeremiah 17:5-6)

“The bush in the desert” is the person who is still trying on their own strength, still relying on their own resources and experiences and wisdom to navigate through this life. Many Christians struggle with this! The person who goes through the motions of faith will soon find that they are dead and dry on the inside, living a life that moves from one lost battle to the next, endlessly victimized by Satan. Because, even without realizing it, these actions of “self” will disconnect you from the vital energy and power of God’s holy presence. You CANNOT live without it – not if you want to really live, instead of just existing. You’ll never be able to see anything good, even when it’s right in front of you, and your life will feel like an endless wilderness where you feel empty, exhausted and thirsty. That is not what God ever intended your life to be!!

For those in Christ – this is a big deal! God has called and purposed you to live a vital, strong, energetic and fruitful life of faith in His Kingdom where you have an important role to play. However, Satan’s strategy is to keep you so focused on running around chasing natural things that you are burnt out and have nothing left in your faith to walk in the supernatural. If you want something fresh and different in your life, you need to uproot your everything in your natural life and transplant it all into the Kingdom. As you heal and grow there, you’ll find that all those things that once eluded you start to come into focus in your life.

Thought for today

But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the mercy of God forever and ever.” (Psalm 52:8)

Trust in the Lord. Hope in the Lord. Turn to His Word in all things. Meditate on His Word. Worship the Lord. Get planted into a body of believers. These are the things that people do in Christ who have the joy, peace, strength, hope and victory that you want to have in your own life. You will bring forth fruit, and be vital and grow the Kingdom of God, never running dry and never toppling over when the storms comes. God has more for you – if that’s what you really desire! Ask Him to help you, to show you what you cannot see, to help you uproot and transplant everything you have into the place where He knows you will flourish.

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