Chapter taken from our book
written by Cypress Ministries
copyright 2011, all rights reserved
Today's Devotional is from To Seed a Soul
To Seed a Soul... one woman's story of how God has grown her in His grace.

For more information on this series, click HERE
Growing in Grace
It isn't your past that defines you, it is what you let God do with you because of your past, that defines who you become.
- Kassie
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Lessons Learned
continued from A Beginning of Something New

Welcome back, now that you have read how Cypress
began, I would like to share with you the lessons this
encounter has taught me.

   As I write this now, it has been almost two years since I sat in my car that Friday morning. In fact, right now it is the end of May, which was about the same time two years ago when I was having the whole “FORTY DAY” sound off in my spirit.

   Boy how my life changed! I have learned what it means to be dependent on God. I have learned what it means to truly TRUST GOD and step out in faith when He says to move. I have learned that God is faithful to provide when you are leaning on Him when nothing else makes sense. I have come to have a deep appreciation for the manna that God sent the Israelites each day, and let me tell you, He really meant it when He told them to take only what they needed for that day and then to trust that He would send supply the next day.  I now know firsthand what it means to pray, “Give us this day, our daily bread.” But I have also learned that “bread” isn’t always money or literally food.

   To date, and by this July 10th-- the two year marker of when I sat in my car praying and asking God what was next… I will have finished writing four books!

Well, actually I can say I have written a lot more than that. I will have four core books completed.

  • Two out of the four books of “A Worshiper’s Heart Bible Study Series,” with the other two already outlined.
  • The introduction book for the “Reflections of His Heart,” Journaling Guide Series, and three of the twelve monthly  journaling guides outlined
  • And, this one which is the introduction for the “To Seed a Soul” series.  Plus, I have the other two books for this series outlined. In fact, you could say that in a very rough manner, they are almost finished. I know how they are to be completed, but I am again at a standstill, because I can’t finish them until God moves and brings to fulfillment what I know He has promised to do.  I have sat down many times and “mentally” finished them, but until God “brings it to pass,” I am again waiting for Him to act.

   What I have learned is that it truly does take courage “to stay the course.”  It takes staying focused on Him, who alone can lead you through some very rough waters. It takes a surrendered heart to step down from our own desires and really mean it when you pray, “Your will, not mine” and then let Him lead you through the dark.

   I have also learned that it takes a heart that is committed and a willingness to obey one step at a time, to be able to finish once you have started.  I have also learned, perhaps for me, one of the hardest lessons which is, “You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you’” (2 Chronicles 20:17 NIV). And also, “So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For, in just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay. But my righteous one will live by faith.  And I take no pleasure   in the one who shrinks back. But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved" (Hebrews 10:35-39 NIV).

   I have learned that it really is “not by my might, or my strength but by the power of the Holy Spirit’” (Zech. 4:6). And that it is in Christ alone that I can find strength when I seem to have none.

  In John 6, Jesus told His followers, “The only work God wants you to do is this, to believe the one He sent.” What I have learned is that, “believing” is hard work! No wonder He only gives us this one thing to do, because sometimes it’s all we can do-- all we can handle. But, what I have also learned is that if we will just do this part -- our part-- God is faithful to do the rest. That what would seem impossible from a human standpoint, really isn’t impossible for God when it is His will for you. I have learned that God really can, is able, and willing to do what they say “can’t be done.” I have also learned that sometimes “time” really isn’t an issue, and that what can seem to drag on at such a snail’s pace can overnight be accelerated when God’s time is finally right.  Read with me a portion of Isaiah 60 that the Lord has really shown me here lately.

   "The sun will no longer be your light during the day nor will the brightness from the moon be your light, because the LORD will be your light forever, and your God will be your glory. Your sun will never set again, and your moon will never be dark, because the LORD will be your light forever, and your time of sadness will end. All of your people will do what is right. They will receive the earth forever. They are the plant I have planted, the work of my own hands to show my greatness. The smallest family will grow to a thousand. The least important of you will become a powerful nation. I am the LORD, and when it is time, I will make these things happen quickly" (Isa 60:19-22).

   I have learned firsthand, that if you don’t believe God the first time and take “that step,” He will send you back out into the desert to circle around again. It is also amazing how He will bring you back to the very spot your faith faltered and lean down and say, “Let’s try again.”

   I’ve learned that there was a really good reason He parted the waters first when the Israelites needed to cross over the Red Sea, but then waited until they put their feet in the water first before parting the water at the Jordan River.

   You see, when we first start out, God knows that we need to see that He can! We need to see and know that He is just as mighty today as He was back then. We need to see and know that He does not, and has not, changed. But, after we have had a chance to walk with Him and spent time with Him; He brings us to the promise, He leads us right up to where we are going, and then He takes a half step back and puts us to the test.

  • Will we remember what He has done for us?
  • Will we believe that the one who has called us is faithful?
  • Are we willing to take that one step of faith into the unknown before He parts the water (or removes the obstacle)? 
  • Will we walk up in faith and claim what He has told us, even if we can’t see it?

   Here again, just like the Israelites at the Jordan, we find that if we will just look up to where our help comes from and take that one step and “put our feet in the water”, we find that God will come in and takes up the rest. And it really does start with, “Lord Your will, not mine. Lord whatever You want, just lead me.” I have to tell you, God really does hold to:

Then I will lead the blind along a way they never knew;
I will guide them along paths they have not known.
I will make the darkness become light for them,
and the rough ground smooth.
These are the things I will do; I will not leave my people.
(ISA 42:16)

Have a wonderful Journey!
And God Bless!

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