I wanted to start 2018 with this collection of words titled: Two Roads. As we all know, the new year brings new routines, diets, exercise plans, relationships and resolutions. Unfortunately, most of us have experienced our new fads ending in a flop after a few short months. Every new resolution that fizzled each year has one thing in common: YOU.
What if I told you that this year is going to be different because you and me are going to be different? Lasting change will happen because we have been given a seat, a specific season, and a source of nourishment. And with these three specific gifts, we can choose the right road, the one that will lead us to God’s very best.
“Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on His law day and night.” Psalm 1:1-2
The first fork in the road we come to is where we will sit this new year. Will we sit in the company of mockers, or choose to surround ourselves with those who teach us, inspire us, and support us? It is our choice whether we sit with those who mock what God considers important and tear down the very dreams and aspirations we are building with Him. Instead, may the company we keep be that of believers who are driven to drawing closer to God and meditating on His words and ways day and night. Do your friends help you draw closer to God and build up your faith? Do you help your friends draw closer to God and build up their faith? As we choose our seat, either with mockers or faith-filled, life-giving friends, may this be our prayer: Lord, surround me with those who build me up. And help me be that person for others. Amen. And may we use God’s Word to guide us in our daily decisions.
“That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither- whatever they do prospers.” Psalm 1:3
God’s wisdom is planted in our hearts when we spend time reading and meditating on His Word. And it is His Words that must saturate our soul most deeply. We can diligently decide to pursue God no matter if we are in a season where everything is going right or everything is going wrong. I think the verse above is telling us that if we stick our roots deep into the Living Water, and remain in Him in season and out of season, we will produce fruit. Juicy, vibrant, luscious fruit that is directly from the hand of God. Trials will come. Unanswered prayers are likely. But we have an opportunity during our season of soaking our roots and growing good fruit to abide in Him. When we hit a dead end or circumstances falter, we have another choice to make. We can use those tribulations as excuses, or they can be opportunities to dig deeper into God’s direction for our lives and come up with a new avenue. Imagine if we committed in season and out of season to meditating day and night on God’s Truth. We would be so well-equipped and filled up to fulfill our God assignments. And even when the rain and wind come, we will not wither. We will stand the storm because we have diligently dug deep roots and saturated our soul with the Living Water. In season and out, may this be the cry of our heart: In every season I pray to be connected to You always. Breathe life into my roots and saturate my soul most deeply with Your Living Water. Open my heart to hear Your truths that will prepare the way. I diligently desire to meet You in all circumstances. May my name be lettered on each blessing from Your hand. Amen.
Source of Nourishment
“Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.” Psalm 1:4-6
Nourishment is necessary for growth. To stay the path and stick to the right road, we have one more choice to make. We can humbly and patiently take God’s hand and allow Him to take the lead, or we can persistently pursue the tantalizing path crafted by our most wanted longings. Have you ever run so far ahead of God that backtracking felt utterly impossible? I have. And it is in these moments I find myself drifting without direction, in desperate need of God’s sanction and support. Chaff, as referenced in the verse above, is the corn husk or outer shell that must be removed to get the valuable kernels of grain inside. After threshing and winnowing (the process used to remove chaff), the plants are cut and crushed then tossed into the air. Chaff is extremely light and is carried easily by the slightest wind. It drifts without direction. Too many times I have been like chaff. Have you? I have drifted without direction and pursued what I thought was the very best for me. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to drift without direction or lead myself down the path of destruction. And this is why we must attach our roots so deeply to our Support, soaking up His nourishment. When we are established deeply and firmly in the wisdom and ways of the Lord, we are transformed in the direction of God’s best. And may this be our prayer: Thank You for being my source of nourishment and stability. It is through Your real root that I produce faith and fruit. May I cling to You, Jesus. My assignment is faithfulness not fruitfulness or lists. Your peace transcends all of my understanding, so this peaceful place is where I will stay, connected to You always. Amen.
Soak into the Source of nourishment and surround yourself with those who build up your faith. Your season for lasting change is now. Delight in His presence and diligently pursue Him. And may we be faithful servants who use God’s gifts to find the right road, the path that leads to God’s very best. Scribble down this prayer and talk it through each morning with God: Heavenly Father, make me so aware of Your peaceful presence today that I am not forsaken or forgotten, but resting in the still, sure knowledge that You are with me through it all. That You will take my hand in the middle of the mess and teach me. Don’t let me run so fast that I miss You or take Your place. And help me see rejection for what it is- a protection and process for me to find Your very best. I want to hear You, see You, know You, and follow hard after You. Come with me into each day. Help me process the perceptions, reactions, and words of others correctly. Be with me. Use me. Fill me up to fulfill exactly what You have purposed. Amen.