TODAY IN HIS WORD COMES FROM
(Isa 28:23-24 NCV)
Listen closely to what I tell you; listen carefully to what I say.
A farmer does not plow his field all the time; he does not go on working the soil.
He makes the ground flat and smooth. Then he plants the dill and scatters the cumin.
He plants the wheat in rows, the barley in its special place,
and other wheat as a border around the field.
His God teaches him and shows him the right way.
A farmer doesn't use heavy boards to crush dill;
he doesn't use a wagon wheel to crush cumin.
He uses a small stick to break open the dill,
and with a stick he opens the cumin.
The grain is ground to make bread.
People do not ruin it by crushing it forever.
The farmer separates the wheat from the chaff with his cart,
but he does not let his horses grind it.
This lesson also comes from the Lord All-Powerful,
who gives wonderful advice, who is very wise.
THOUGHT TO PONDER:
When planting a garden or a field, various crops must be treated differently. There is no "one step solution" that works for everything. Also there needs to be a time of rest for the soil. And so it would seem for us as well, when listening to the Lord. There are seasons, some longer than others, for God's Word to be worked in us, before it bares fruit for others to witness.
TODAY’S INSIGHT INTO HIS WORD:
I have been going through a "season" that I wouldn't really call a dry season, because God's Word is clearly being worked out in me. However, it is work being done on the INSIDE of me, and in a way that I don't know how to explain to someone else. You see, I have been in an intense -- don't know what to call it-- kind of season where I haven't been able to write. It isn't "writer's block" because inside of me I can "hear" the writing... I know what I am to write about; but it is for after this season-- after I am through whatever this is that God is bringing me through. I know the verses, the lessons, the thoughts... but am not at a place where I can write them down, and even if I did, I know that they aren't to be shared quite yet.
So I am finding myself in a similar place as our key verse says today, "A farmer does not plow his field all the time..." which has caused some confusion for me, because in the same way that after a while "if a farmer doesn't plant and grow crops-- then he isn't a farmer" I am reminded, that a "writer who does not write is not a writer." And I know this is the work God has given me to do. I know that He has very clearly said on many occasions, "write the words that I speak to you," and "I have given you a job to do." BUT on studying this verse and looking at how different seeds need to be handled in different ways, I find that so does the seasons God brings us into to listen and learn from Him.
I have also found that sometimes our "standstills" we come to really are not about ourselves at all-- but for someone else! In order to explain this I have to take a side step and share something with you:
My youngest son (who is 12 at the time I write this) has been having a really hard time finding where he stands in certain beliefs. You see he wants to respect everyone and let everyone have their own opinion and beliefs; and he is young enough to try to fit all those beliefs into a way that he won't offend anyone and "still believe there is a God." So unfortunately I have been watching him go through a battle inside himself. And there have been many conversations about being "lukewarm" and just "living life" and compromise. In fact the other day he made a comment, "just because you read the Bible everyday..." which led to a discussion about how much the Bible is apart of my everyday life. Which to his way of thinking is that since I am a Bible teacher, it should be, but really should that be the case for everyone else?
So instead of arguing with him, I took it before God and laid it out to Him asking GOD to help in this and in my son's attitude. Later that same night the dogs got loose and the only one to go after them was my youngest son. Unfortunately we have a wolf dog, who when gets out, will go all over the whole neighborhood thinking it is her territory. So when the dog ran out of the back gate that was left open, my son went running after her. I found out later when everyone was settled back in (dogs and all) that my son had made an agreement with God, "please don't let me lose her, and if you will help me catch her without going all over the place, I will watch the next Bible study sermon with my mom." My friend God heard him and getting the dog back in the house was never so easy, let me tell you!
So the next morning instead of spending my normal quiet time and writing, my son joined me to listen to a Bible study. And the study sermon we listed to was exactly what he needed to hear to revive and set fire to his faith again! What is really awesome is that later that night, I shared with him the reason I have not been writing and why. He made a comment about the Israelites and how they would not have been able to write about their promise land until they went in and saw it to see what it was really like. After a moment he tilted his head and said, "Mom, 'Joshua' has his own book in the Bible right?" And I said yes, so then he goes on to tell me that when we get home, I should look up Joshua. He also told me he "felt something about 1 & 8." He didn't know if it meant chapter 1 verse 8 or chapter 18. So I should read both. At which point I said ok. Then a split second later he said, "18 just seems right but there is also a 4 out there, so what does that mean?" I told him it probably meant Joshua 18:4 and we agreed to look it up when we got home.
An hour later while we were on the couch I pulled up my Bible software and read Joshua 18:4 in the NIV since that is the primary Bible he likes to use, and this is what it said: Appoint three men from each tribe. I will send them out to make a survey of the land and to write a description of it, according to the inheritance of each. Then they will return to me. I turned the computer around and showed it to him. His reaction? "Mom that is exactly what I was trying to explain to you!" He sat there for a moment and then smiled and said, "Mom that is just crazy. I felt silly at first telling you to go read something-- but I am so glad I did." The realization hit him that he had experience the voice of God inside of him, leading him in what to do. He then asked me what Joshua 1:8 says, and even though I knew-- I looked it up with him: Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. At which point he looked at me and said he was sorry for giving me such a hard time about reading my Bible day and night!
It was truly a priceless time spent with him, and I found that it had been worth the "dry spell" I have found myself in that led to our conversation, which led to God revealing Himself in such a profound way to my son. My time of listening and being led to "go forth" will come again, this I know-- it is just a different season than I am used to, and it takes a different type of tilling that I am learning. BUT, in the midst of it, God knew how to use it for something even more, and that was to get the attention of my son! Showing me that the seeds in him have to be prepared and tilled in a different way than how He is plowing them in me; and that for a short time the field (my writing) has had to come to a rest in order to do so.
PRAYING IN FAITH;
Father God, what a wise and wonderful God You are. Lord, You know when we should move forward, and when to slow down, and even when it is better for us to come to a complete stop. Thank you for this lesson You have taught me. Thank You for once again showing how Your Word is so viable today! Lord God, I pray You will be with this reader today and help them to see Your Word come forth in an amazing way.
In Jesus' Name,