“24 Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away.” Matthew 13:24-25 NIV
As I was weeding in my yard one summer, I received insight from the dandelions I was encountering. I started to look at them more closely and here is what I noticed:
From a distance they are pretty, adorned in bright colors. They can even appear to be a flower versus a weed to the untrained eye.
As I started pulling them, I realized how deep their roots are – deep and tough. It’s hard to get the whole root off because it breaks easily. Pieces stay that will spring up again.
They spread easily – insidiously. Their multiplication system is very easy – where the wind blows, the seeds go. Indiscriminate. High volume.
It’s also tricky. I started simply picking off the flowers, and then I saw deep down in the core other buds coming up. It was almost creepy they were so hidden.
They choke out healthy grass and other plants. They want all the space. They don’t cohabitate well.
They don’t require care or nutrients to prosper and multiply. They remind me of something so ancient – like original sin. Old and ugly. Life smothering. Steal, kill, and destroy.
Still green, they blend in with the grass except when they bloom (bear fruit).
I won’t dissect every point. From a big picture level I realized this is exactly how Satan operates. By being grounded in God’s word we are not deceived. God’s word, time with Him in prayer, and praise and worship of our King is what nourishes us. They are our fertilizer, rich soil and eternal water supply!
Father, let me absorb all the spiritual nutrition that You so readily provide!
15 “If you are so numerous,” Joshua answered, “and if the hill country of Ephraim is too small for you, go up into the forest and clear land for yourselves there in the land of the Perizzites and Rephaites.” Joshua 17:15 NIV
When I read the book of Joshua, it becomes clear that there is a time for all things. It’s key to be in God’s timing. Throughout the book of Joshua there are tribes that readily took their lands and inheritance and those that did not. There were those that drove current inhabitants completely out of their land to take full ownership and those that learned to live with them.
God had just brought incredible victories to them while Joshua diligently sought the Lord’s counsel and followed it to the letter. Not everyone had the same heart to follow God’s direction to the letter. Why? I find it hard to believe….and then I realize the Israelites were more like me that I thought.
They were not perfect. God loved them anyway. They made God angry sometimes. God loved them anyway. They forgot about God. God loved them anyway. They fell back into worldly patterns. God loved them anyway. They faced consequences for their actions. God loved them anyway…
Just like He loves me.
Father, make me sensitive to Your timing in all things. Align my heart so that I walk in Your timing and instruction according to Your will. In Jesus Name, Amen.
“But look at this: You are still holding my right hand;
You have been all along.” Psalm 73:23 The Voice
God is so faithful. So faithful I have a hard time wrapping my head around it. I am so thankful that He will never leave me or forsake me. I am so thankful that He will always be there holding my hand. What an incredible visual!
I can picture a large warm strong hand holding mine. It feels so secure. If I stumble the grip is strong enough to steady my feet. If I’m afraid, I’ll feel protected. I won’t be alone. Never alone.
Sometimes I forget that He’s always with me. Sometimes I act as though I have to handle everything on my own. That is a big lie! That is not what God has promised. Satan wants us to feel alone and isolated in order to deceive us. It’s a smooth move until we figure it out. Once we realize the power and authority we have in Our Father that is always holding our hand, the gig is up. God is our refuge. Our Shepherd. Our Rock and our salvation. Of whom shall we be afraid?
Father, thank you for Your love that abides with us and in us!
“28 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 NIV
I am learning that God does not want us to walk in fear. He wants us to have fun and enjoy life! It was not His intention for us to be hampered or burdened by putting too much stock in the things of this world. He loves to watch us operate in our gifts and talents. That’s how he made us!
I have had concerns about old patterns at times. Sometimes operating in a new way feels unfamiliar and awkward. I can’t build new patterns without practice. So, I look at it as exercise. I am simply practicing my faith in a new environment. I have to trust God. Let go of myself and any self-consciousness. I have to let go of perfection. I know that He would rather I take a step and fall, trusting in Him, than stand in a corner in fear.
Father, give me the boldness, confidence, courage and wisdom to continually take another step closer to You.
“For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.” Deuteronomy 20:4 NIV
When I looked at this verse today I saw a few things I didn’t see before:
God goes with us to fight. This means:
We have to show up for the fight.
He goes with us.
This gave me pause to think about how to become ready for a fight. It requires faith. We have to go into battle with a victory mindset – meaning we have an expectation of success and/or a triumph over an enemy. In order to have that expectation we cannot allow doubt or unbelief to go with us into battle. We have to make sure they are not taking up any real estate in our minds. Doubt and unbelief create internal battles that distract us from the battlefield.
God goes with us against our enemies.
So, who are our enemies? Well, Galatians 5:19-21 has a pretty good list: corrupt sexual relationships, impurity, unbridled relationships, impurity, unbridled lust, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, arguing, jealousy, anger, selfishness, contentiousness, division, envy of others’ good fortune, drunkenness, and drunken revelry. This is a war against our flesh. Satan is a spiritual enemy that uses these things of the flesh in combat.
God gives us victory. We do not fight like the world does. God has given us tools to fight with:
We have divine power to demolish strongholds
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God
Make every thought obedient to Christ
Father, thank you for going with me to fight for me against my enemies to give me victory.
“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21
Father, I thank you for this day. This is the day that the Lord has made for me and I will be glad! Thank you for the special touches that you are putting on this day. I invite You into today and all my activities. I pray that Your love will be a driving force; that I will feel and recognize Your voice in all I do today. I’m so thankful for Your hand in my life. Bless this home and all who come through it. Father I ask that Your presence reign here. Thank you, thank you, thank you for the gift of Your Son. Thank you for the provision and great care that you have provided for my family. I praise You! All praise be to You! My wonderful and powerful Father! Jehovah God! My Protector! Jehovah El! My Shepherd! Jehovah El Roi! Jehovah Rapha! Thank you for Your care and favor. May each and every step I take be Your step as I walk in wonder of You. Amen.