Bring On The Rain

I have a dear friend that also started writing a blog, and I was reading her newest post https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/159171827/posts/65 and a quote she mentions (that I had never heard before) struck me, and I immediately asked if I could write about it.  The quote was… “I asked God to help me grow, it started raining.” This got me to thinking (dangerous I know) about a passage in the New Testament.  So I feel the need to expand on it.

Planting Seeds

In Matthew 13 we read about planting seeds in verses 1-23 we read…

 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake.Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear.”

10 The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?”

11 He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12 Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables:

“Though seeing, they do not see;
    though hearing, they do not hear or understand.

14 In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:

“‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
    you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.
15 For this people’s heart has become calloused;
    they hardly hear with their ears,
    and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
    hear with their ears,
    understand with their hearts
and turn, and I would heal them.’[a]

16 But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. 17 For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.

18 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. 23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”

Now, first of all, I am NOT going to discuss the parable in full, but the concept it brings up… planting seeds and the conditions needed for a good crop.  So, let’s take a look at what is required to grow a good crop.

Soil

The parable makes it clear that we need good soil.  We can not plant in rocks, or overgrown thistles, on sidewalks or roads, we need soil.  Now the parable says that we are the soil, but I want to take it a little deeper (you will understand why later). The soil is our HEART.  We must have a good heart in order for the seed that is planted to grow.  Without the proper soil/heart planting is useless.  We have to have a proper heart to hear the word of God, our heart needs to have the right Ph balance and fertilizer to insure proper growth (meaning we need the right frame of mind and conviction of the Holy Spirit in order to receive the seeds being planted.)

Seeds

We also need good seeds, this is the Word of God being planted in us.  Now first I want to look at the next parable real quick verses 24-30

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. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.

27 “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’

28 “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.

“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’

29 “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”

I point this out to show there are different seeds out there, there is what God intends to plant (the truth) and what the enemy has thrown out there (lies).  We need to make sure we harvest the good seeds and destroy the weeds.  For this I we need to examine the seeds that are being planted.  What do I mean by that? Simple, answer this question, where do seeds come from?  They come from a good plant, good fruit, a mature vine.  For this quick example let’s say we are planting grapes.  We do not go to a corn stalk to get our seeds, because they are not what we want.  Instead we are going to find the best vine we can in order to grow the best grapes we can.  So we will go see John for our seeds in 15:5

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

And once we get our seeds and plant them, looking at this parable… The enemy comes and sows other seeds (weeds that look like our desired plants) so that we will not have a good crop (that is what the enemy is thinking anyway)… But the owner in this parable knows there is another thing that crops need…

Time

Our crop needs time to grow.  Nothing is going to happen overnight, but given time our crops will grow.  Once it does grow, we will be able to go and sort out the good fruit from the enemies weeds.  (now it is easy to weed out some of the enemies lies along the way, and I strongly suggest doing it throughout the gestation period, but you will never get all of the weeds out at first.)  Depending on the crops we plant will depend on how long we will need to wait to truly weed out the enemies plants, because I guarantee that he threw in some plants that are almost exactly like the ones we planted.  In the parable they talk about wheat, and my pastor once explained that when wheat is mature the “head” starts to bow where as the weed that looks like it stands straight up making it easy to tell them apart.

 

Rain

Now we get to one of the most important things needed for our plants, and the thing that started me thinking about this in the first place, RAIN.  We always look at the negative for rain storms, but there is a positive.  Rain gives our plants what is needed to grow.  What do we get when there is no rain???

 

This is worse than throwing our seeds in the rocks.  There is nothing there to help our seeds,  The “soil” will cover our seeds, and the time will still happen, but without the rain… NOTHING, not even a weed.

There is also an issue with to much rain…

Too much rain will kill the plants that are growing.  It will destroy the soil and make it so there is no harvest to have.

God knows exactly how much rain to bring, and we know the proper irrigation techniques to drain off the excess.  We just need to make sure we regulate the rain we have coming in.  (We always can see a storm on the horizon that we can prepare for, but we should always be prepared for a sudden storm and have our emergency plan ready to activate.)

Sunshine

We also need the Son shine in our field.  Providing all the warmth and goodness needed for our growth.  But remember that the Son shines over all the Earth as we are told in Matthew 5:45

45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

The Son does not discriminate, and neither does the rain.  God covers all the same, good and bad seeds get the same rain and sun.  They both get the same good times and bad times.  The only difference is the fruit they bear.

Add It All Up

So when you put all the pieces together what do you get?  You have taken good seeds from a good fruit, sewed them in good soil, given them time, weeded out the bad, they have gotten plenty of rain and sunlight, what is the final result?  You get good fruit.  YOU become good fruit, and what do we get from good fruit??? Good seeds to be planted in more good soil.  Are you maturing into good fruit? Look into your field and see what needs to be done to make sure that you are growing into the best fruit God can harvest.

Prayer Time

Lord, thank you for giving me these ideas, thank you for inspiring me with these analogies, and thank you for the friends that share these thoughts with me that grow into such wonderful storylines to share.  Help me to grow into the best fruit I can be.  Lord, I pray that you help me weed out the lies, help me to grow the best harvest I can, and help the seeds that I share with others to also grow into healthy plants for them to harvest as well.

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It’s A Pride Thing

I have an issue, that I do not want to talk about because, to be honest, it is a pride thing.  And, this morning at a prayer breakfast with a few brothers in Christ the subject of conversation turned to this subject (see guys I was listening and thinking which is why I was quiet)  So, I decided that I need to write on this because, well to put it simply….

It’s A Pride Thing

I am struggling with personal issues (will talk about it throughout this post) and I do not want to discuss them because… “I really do not want to focus on me, or my issues.”  “I am a man”, “I can deal with it”, “I do not need help”, “I will just push on”, “It is not a big deal”, “others are struggling with bigger problems”  These, and others, are excuses we use to NOT bear our issues with one another.  And I have used these excuses continually myself.  So, I have been in a “funk” lately and it has weighed me down.  I have had some issues that are pulling on me, and I have barely shared them with anyone, until recently.  So, I MUST ADMIT that I have a pride issue in my life.

Today, after my prayer breakfast, I came home and started looking at verses I could use to express what is on my mind, and could not find exactly what I wanted to say.  But, I stumbled upon several words of wisdom to use, and so I am going to try and convey my thoughts to you with them.  The words of wisdom come from Proverbs 27 (various verses) and so I am going to discuss some starting with what I already discussed which can be found in verse 3…

Stone is heavy and sand a burden,
    but a fool’s provocation is heavier than both.

I will admit that I am a fool at times, and my “provocation” is my pride.  Stone is heavy, carrying sand is burdensome but my pride is HEAVIER and MORE BURDENSOME than they are.  I get bogged down because of the burden I carry, it weighs me down and makes it hard for me to focus or live my life.  I am my biggest obstruction, and when I am in my way, I am adding my own weight to the burdens I am already carrying which now makes my burden unbearable (really hard to carry the weight of my burden and my own weight at the same time)

I Just Keep Pushing Forward

I just deal with it, and keep pushing forward.  I do not address my issues, I bury my head in the sand and just hope it goes away.  But it doesn’t.  And verse 12 address this…

12 The prudent see danger and take refuge,
    but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.

Our burdens, issues, struggles are our danger, and when we are smart and see them we take the necessary action to deal with them.  But, when we are filled with our pride we just keep going.  Have you ever walked in a thunderstorm?  You can not see where you are going, you get soaked, you may get lost, you have to stop every time lightning hits, you might get hit by objects blowing in the wind, and it is not worth any of that in the long run.  A smart person would stay home and wait the storm out, but the simple venture on in their folly thinking to themselves “I got this.”

All Alone

Here is the other thing I noticed on this subject… We deal with it alone.  (I am going to jump ahead in the chapter here, and end in the middle) We have friends around us and in verse 23 we read

Be sure you know the condition of your flocks,
    give careful attention to your herds;

We need to know the condition of our “flocks” those around us that we care for.  We need to pay attention to the condition of their lives because 1) they need us in their lives, 2) they may be filled with pride themselves and refuse to ask for help, and 3) when we are “burdened” with other’s problems but do not address them that adds to the burdens we carry and weigh us down even more.  For this I go back to verse 17

As iron sharpens iron,
    so one person sharpens another.

We sharpen one another, we make each other stronger by association.  But, when we have flaws in the material we are only as strong as that flaw.  So we need to purify the metal (ourselves) to rid the metal of those flaws.  Iron will sharpen iron, but a solid piece of iron will destroy a flawed piece.  So we need to rid our iron of as many flaws as we can.

When we go at our life alone, we do not address our flaws (we are usually blinded by our pride so we do not address the biggest flaws we have).  We are weak when we are alone, we are flimsy and frail when we are the only layer of material that we have.  The only way to to rid ourselves of our flaws is to be put to the fire.  Some of the strongest steel in the world is Damascus steel, it is layer upon layer upon layer continual layers forged in fire added to the previous and then put in the fire again, eventually forming a solid, strong piece of steel without flaws in the material.

So in James 4:10 we see that we need to

10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

We must humble ourselves before God, (and our brothers) so that we may be lifted up.  We need to rid ourselves of our pride so that the burden we carry does not weigh us down any more and we can be lifted up.

Placing My Pride Aside

So, I need to share my burden so that I am no longer stumbling under the weight.  So that you, my brothers and sisters can pray about the thorn in my side.  Some of you that know me know MOST of this, but I am going to attempt to address all that is going on…

I am a brittle diabetic with no control whatsoever over my blood sugar levels.  And, PRAISE GOD, currently I have no bad consequences from my levels (although doctors seem to think I should have had many consequences years ago) My levels fluctuate continually no matter what I do, no matter how much insulin I use, or how much exercise I get.  And because I have no control, it has weighed me down tremendously.

I have been dealing with this for more than 25 years, with no control no matter what, with fluctuations continually no matter what I do.  But, more so lately.  The last few weeks my levels have had violent swings between highs and lows (although very few lows).  The fluctuations weigh me down emotionally and even spiritually because I am unable to anything to control them.  So, I went to my doctor for an adjustment in my insulin last week.  For a few days, the changes seemed to work, lowering my blood sugar to near normal levels on a nearly consistent leveling, but it only lasted a few days.  This is my burden, I need to learn to rid myself of my pride so that I can address it better than I have, and I need to stop holding it in and let my brothers and sisters help anyway they can.

And on that note, I need help… emotional and spiritual help.  This issue weighs me down so much that I am constantly depressed (although I do not show my depression) because I am unable to control it.  And, when I am weighed down by the depression it weighs me down spiritually because my pride gets in my path to God.  I do not feel worthy of coming to God for anything because of the emotional baggage I have.  So, please, my brothers and sisters, lift me up.  Pray that God helps me with my pride, and with the rest of the issues I am struggling with so that I might be a better child for God.

Prayer Time

God, help me… Help me to remove the pride I am holding on to so that I might focus on you, not on my burdens.  Help me to place ALL my issues at your feet so that You will care for me, instead of me holding onto my flaws making me a weaker piece of steel that what You have planned for me.  Lord, please help me to rely on my brothers and sisters to help me carry my burdens and address my issues.  Help me God, to focus on you and your promises for me instead of focusing on my stumbling blocks and my failures and problems.  I know that you have my life in your hands and that You are there for me, but I am choosing to ignore that and weigh myself down even more with my pride, help me to remove the pride from my focus help me to remember that I chose You as my savior, and that You are the savior of ALL my life.  Help me to lay this down at your feet and to walk away without trying to take it back with me.

 

Pointing Fingers

Pointing Fingers

When things go awry
And the days seem so long
We point our fingers
At Those we think did us wrong.

We point at the clerk
At the grocery store
Because they didn’t greet us
The second we came to the door.

The cop that ticketed us
For breaking the law
We were over the limit
From what he saw.

We can point at our spouse
the neighbor’s barking dog
The morning alarm clock
Or this morning’s fog.

It was not God’s fault
So don’t look there
The problem lies with us
In our hearts, that’s where

But if we want to know
Where the trouble came
We must look inside
To see who to blame.

So stop pointing fingers
At everyone else
And start to point them
At yourself.

John R. Shuman

Jesus Wept

This is one of my favorite topics, because it shows God’s love for me (and you).  Just a few quick notes on this, I quit smoking when I was 35 (so 19 years ago now) I do not know the condition of my mom’s heart at the time of her passing, so I do not know if she ever repented and turned back to God (but that will be a sermon for another time) AND this is not all the times that Jesus wept for me, but just some of the best examples.

 

JESUS WEPT

THE FIRST CHRISTIAN I KNOW OF IN MY LIFE WAS MY GRANDFATHER, MAXWELL SHUMAN. AS A CHILD I REMEMBER SITTING AND WATCHING HIM PLAY SOLITAIRE AT THE KITCHEN TABLE (I LATER DISCOVERED THAT I WAS THE ONLY PERSON HE EVER LET WATCH HIM PLAY) ONE DAY, WHEN I WAS ABOUT 10 YEARS OLD, HE TOLD ME HIS FAVORITE VERSE WAS JOHN 11:35 THE SHORTEST VERSE IN THE BIBLE. HE WENT ON TO TELL ME IT WAS HIS FAVORITE BECAUSE IT SHOWED HOW MUCH CHRIST CARED FOR US. IT STATES “JESUS WEPT.” LATER ON IN MY LIFE, A PASTOR DID A COMPLETE SERMON ON THOSE 2 WORDS, TELLING ME IT SHOWED THE COMPASSION OF CHRIST, AND THE HUMANITY OF THE SON OF GOD. OVER THE YEARS, I HAVE THOUGHT ABOUT THOSE STATEMENTS, AND I HAVE RECENTLY REALIZED HOW MUCH JESUS HAS WEPT FOR ME.

WHEN I WAS 10, HE WEPT BECAUSE MY GRANDFATHER SHARED HIS WORD WITH ME, AND MY HEART’S DOOR WAS OPENED (A LITTLE) AND JESUS WEPT TEARS OF JOY THAT HIS KNOCK WAS HEARD. TWO YEARS LATER, HE WEPT TEARS OF JOY BECAUSE I SAID “LORD, PLEASE ENTER MY HEART, THE HOME OF THIS SINNER, AND GUIDE ME.” (ALL OF HEAVEN WEPT THAT DAY) THAT SAME YEAR HE WEPT TEARS FOR MY GRANDFATHER, TEARS THAT SAID “WELCOME HOME MY DEAR FRIEND, YOU HAVE SERVED ME WELL. ENTER IN AND KNOW PEACE AND JOY AS YOU HAVE NEVER KNOWN BEFORE.”

WHEN I WAS TWENTY ONE, I HAD A CAR ACCIDENT AND GOT WHIPLASH TWO YEARS LATER I WAS IN COLLEGE WITH A BIG PAIN IN MY NECK, I KNELT AND PRAYED FOR HEALING AND I FELT GOD’S HAND ON MY NECK TAKING THE PAIN AWAY (IT HAS NEVER BOTHERED ME SINCE) AND JESUS WEPT BECAUSE I TRUSTED HIM IN HEALING ME. WHEN I WAS TWENTY NINE, JESUS WEPT WITH ME AGAIN AS MY DAUGHTER WAS BORN, HE SHARED IN MY JOY AND TOLD ME I WAS SPECIAL IN HIS EYES, AND SO WAS THIS LITTLE GIRL. AND ON MARCH 31, 2003 HE JUMPED FOR JOY AS THAT YOUNG LADY ACCEPTED JESUS INTO HER HEART IN A SMALL CHURCH IN ILLINOIS.

BUT ALL THE TEARS HAVE BEEN JOYFUL THOUGH. HE WEPT THE DAY I STARTED SMOKING, I WAS TWELVE AND FOR TWENTY THREE YEARS I USED THEM AS A CRUTCH, TURNING TO THEM INSTEAD OF HIM WHEN A PROBLEM AROSE. AND HE WEPT MANY TIMES AS I TRIED TO QUIT ON MY OWN (NEVER SUCCEEDING) BUT WHEN THE TIME WAS RIGHT, I LAID THEM ON THE ALTAR (PHYSICALLY PUT THE CIGARETTES ON THE ALTAR) AND HE WEPT AS I GAVE THEM COMPLETELY TO HIM THAT DAY (I HAVE NOT SMOKED SINCE AND IT HAS BEEN TWELVE YEARS NOW)

HE WEPT TEARS OF COMPASSION AS MY MOM WENT INTO A COMA IN 1988. BUT WEPT TEARS OF JOY WHEN SHE WAS HEALED BY NO ONE ELSE BUT HIM. BUT THEN WEPT TEARS OF SORROW A FEW YEARS LATER WHEN SHE TURNED HER BACK ON HIM AND, AS FAR AS I CAN TELL, NEVER TURNED BACK (EVEN THOUGH I TRIED FOR THE REST OF HER LIFE) AND WEPT IN 2008 WHEN SHE PASSED ON AND HAD HER BACK TO HIM STILL.

CHRIST LOVES US, AND IS WITH US ALL THE DAYS OF OUR LIVES, GOOD AND BAD, NO MATTER WHAT. HE IS THERE WEEPING BESIDE US IN OUR SORROWS. LAUGHING WITH US IN OUR JOY. CARING FOR US IN OUR HURTS. AND REJOICING WITH US IN OUR CELEBRATIONS. HE LOVES US AND NEVER LEAVES US FOR ANY REASON.

Prayer Time

Lord, thank you for sharing your life with me.  Thank you for the love, the peace, the joy, the pain, the sorrow, and even the anger that you have shared with me, they are all ways that you have shown me how much you love me.  Thank you for your forgiveness, I have done so many things wrong, and yet you refuse to give up on me.  And, thank you for the people you placed in my life to show me how much you loved even me.  Help me to be that same shining example to someone else searching for someone to cry with them!

Clip Show 6

216) Clip show 5

https://truthfullyspoken327716841.wordpress.com/2019/02/26/clip-show-5/

217) Mission Possible

A mission statement for my sunday morning prayer group.

https://truthfullyspoken327716841.wordpress.com/2019/02/27/mission-possible/

218) Don’t Go Back

God brought you where you are, do not turn around and go back.

https://truthfullyspoken327716841.wordpress.com/2019/02/28/dont-go-back/

219) Either Or

Your EITHER are a child of God’s OR you are not.

https://truthfullyspoken327716841.wordpress.com/2019/03/02/either-or/

220) Poem- Painting A Day

The beauty of a day in poetic form

https://truthfullyspoken327716841.wordpress.com/2019/03/05/painting-a-day/

221) Snowflake Moment

The beauty of this moment.

https://truthfullyspoken327716841.wordpress.com/2019/03/07/snowflake-moment/

222) Thanks For The Pain

Rejoice through your suffering.

https://truthfullyspoken327716841.wordpress.com/2019/03/09/thanks-for-the-pain/

223) Poem- A Tiny Drop Of Water

A poem about water.

https://truthfullyspoken327716841.wordpress.com/2019/03/12/a-tiny-drop-of-water/

224) It Is So Simple

God’s word for us is simple.

https://truthfullyspoken327716841.wordpress.com/2019/03/14/it-is-so-simple/

225) My Disciples

With God’s help, I reached a goal… THANK YOU!!!

https://truthfullyspoken327716841.wordpress.com/2019/03/15/my-disciples/

226) Correction

My last post did not come out as I thought so I needed to clarify some things (sorry)

https://truthfullyspoken327716841.wordpress.com/2019/03/15/correction/

227) Poem- Ode To My Baby Sister

A poem for my sister.

https://truthfullyspoken327716841.wordpress.com/2019/03/19/ode-to-my-baby-sister/

228) Daily Vitamins

a list of vitamins needed for the body of Christ

https://truthfullyspoken327716841.wordpress.com/2019/03/20/daily-vitamins/

229) It Is The Truth, Logically

God is telling the truth.

https://truthfullyspoken327716841.wordpress.com/2019/03/21/it-is-the-truth-logically/

230) My Shepherd

An IN DEPTH look at Psalms 23

https://truthfullyspoken327716841.wordpress.com/2019/03/23/my-shepherd/

231) Poem- The Wait Is Over

Poem about Chicago Cubs

https://truthfullyspoken327716841.wordpress.com/2019/03/26/the-wait-is-over/

232) Slaves To The World

We are slaves to the sins we have.

https://truthfullyspoken327716841.wordpress.com/2019/03/27/slaves-to-the-world/

233) Come As You Are

God wants you just as you are.

https://truthfullyspoken327716841.wordpress.com/2019/03/28/come-as-you-are/

234) The Rabbit In The Hole

Getting help out of our holes.

https://truthfullyspoken327716841.wordpress.com/2019/04/01/the-rabbit-in-the-hole/

235) Poem- Red Apple BBQ

A local place has a weekly BBQ

https://truthfullyspoken327716841.wordpress.com/2019/04/02/red-apple-bbq/

236)  Call To Arms

Looking at the spiritual battle we face

https://truthfullyspoken327716841.wordpress.com/2019/04/03/call-to-arms/

237) The Right Tool For The Job

God Uses as to help build up one another.

truthfullyspoken327716841.wordpress.com/2019/04/04/the-right-tool-for-the-job/

238) Controversy

Why we need to STOP PRAYING TO END ABORTION.

https://truthfullyspoken327716841.wordpress.com/2019/04/04/controversy/

239) Poem- The Storm

A poem about the battles we face.

https://truthfullyspoken327716841.wordpress.com/2019/04/09/the-storm/

240) Proclaiming God’s Word

Looking at Peter and John’s trial

https://truthfullyspoken327716841.wordpress.com/2019/04/10/proclaim-gods-word/

241) Poem- When God Speaks

What to do when God speaks to you

https://truthfullyspoken327716841.wordpress.com/2019/04/23/when-god-speaks/

242) Biblical Lessons From A Two Year Old

To God we are all two year olds.

https://truthfullyspoken327716841.wordpress.com/2019/04/24/biblical-lessons-from-a-two-year-old/

243) Song Bombing #3

A look into “Spirit Lead Me”

https://truthfullyspoken327716841.wordpress.com/2019/04/27/song-bombing-3/

244) Selfish

A look at what God says about me.

https://truthfullyspoken327716841.wordpress.com/2019/04/29/selfish/

245) Poem- My Day Of Prayer

A psalm about prayer

https://truthfullyspoken327716841.wordpress.com/2019/04/30/my-day-of-prayer/

246) Day Of Prayer

Just a prayer on the national day of prayer

https://truthfullyspoken327716841.wordpress.com/2019/05/02/day-of-prayer/

247) Walk By Faith

A look at faith in Hebrews 11

https://truthfullyspoken327716841.wordpress.com/2019/05/04/walk-by-faith/

248) Poem- An Adventure In My Mind

A poem about my dreams

https://truthfullyspoken327716841.wordpress.com/2019/05/07/an-adventure-in-my-mind/

249) Where To Find A Friend

Can you “find” a true friend?

https://truthfullyspoken327716841.wordpress.com/2019/05/09/where-to-find-a-friend/

250) Trust Me

Proverbs 3:5

https://truthfullyspoken327716841.wordpress.com/2019/05/11/trust-me/

251) Poem- Friend

A poem about (you guessed it) friends

https://truthfullyspoken327716841.wordpress.com/2019/05/14/friend/

 

Friend

I wrote this poem with the old english writing style in mind, where the start of paragraphs are the letters four times larger than the other letters in the word.  And so, in my printed version, the title is created by those larger letters down the side of the page (For this website I bolded the letters to at least make them stand out more)

 

Few are the people of this world
That are worth their weight in gold
This is one of life’s lessons
That I have always been told.

Rare are the individuals
That will stand by your side
When in your life
Stress and troubles abide.

In every life we need
Someone we can share
Our precious memories
Or our deepest, darkest fears.

Even when nothing around us
Seems to be going alright
We need someone with us
That will stand with us in our fight.

Now I know that such people
This day and age are rare
They are a real treasure
To be treated with loving care.

Do not think this task is hard
For I found that treasure, you see
The moment in my life
You became a FRIEND to me.

John R. Shuman

Trust Me

Trust Me

I have been thinking about one particular verse this week,  Proverbs 3:5

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;

God is saying “Trust Me!”,  and there are so many times in the Bible where he has shown His wisdom is better than your thoughts.  So, I want to look at this verse in depth with scripture examples of what He is saying.

Don’t Think

The first thing that jumps out at me is we are to trust “with all your heart”.  Don’t think about it, follow your heart.  There are many examples of times when God’s plans are contrary to man’s thoughts.  The passage that made me start to think about this is Joshua 6 (I am going to do a LOT of paraphrasing here, but I will throw in the pertinent verses)

In Verse 1 we see the dilemma

 Now the gates of Jericho were securely barred because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in.

The people of Israel were shut out of the city of Jericho, and this was a land God had promised them.  Now, our first instinct would be to fight our way in, we will lose some men, but we will eventually win because we are stronger than them, we have more fighters than them, and they are confined in side the town with nowhere to go.

But God says “No!  Don’t think about how YOU are going to do it, here is MY plan for you.” (verses 2-5)

Then the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in.”

“See Joshua, I am going to give you the victory.”  God’s plan is to show HIS might, not ours.  God is showing the world what he can do, not allowing us to take the credit.  Now here is a great example, Joshua had two choices 1) follow his plan and attack or 2) follow God’s plan and march around the city.  Joshua is a man of GREAT faith, and he did what God instructed. And we see in verse 20 what the outcome was…

20 When the trumpets sounded, the army shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the men gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so everyone charged straight in, and they took the city.

Now, we do not know the outcome, but we do know that they followed God’s plan and God provided what He had promised.

You Will Overthink It

The other issue when using our plans, we tend to overthink the issues. God has got it under control, we just need to listen to Him, and DO AS HE SAYS.  For a great example of overthinking, I turn to Judges chapter 7 and look at Gideon against the Midianites.  Gideon brought his WHOLE army to fight.  and God says in verse 2…

The Lord said to Gideon, “You have too many men. I cannot deliver Midian into their hands, or Israel would boast against me, ‘My own strength has saved me.’

If you do it your way, the whole world is going to say “yeah, of course they won look at the size of their army.  Look at the strength of their men.  No matter what they were going to win.”  You need to think smaller so that I will shine through the situation.

Gideon started with 32,000 men, and God said you need fewer. so, God threw out some qualifiers to limit the men in battle.  First, are you scared? (verse 3)

Now announce to the army, ‘Anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave Mount Gilead.’” So twenty-two thousand men left, while ten thousand remained.

More than two thirds of his army is now gone.  Side note, if two thirds of your army is scared of your enemy, you are facing a formidable enemy.  Next, how do they drink? (verses 5-6)

So Gideon took the men down to the water. There the Lord told him, “Separate those who lap the water with their tongues as a dog laps from those who kneel down to drink.” Three hundred of them drank from cupped hands, lapping like dogs. All the rest got down on their knees to drink.

Now, our thinking would be drop the 300 and keep the rest, but we are not to rely on our thinking, but God’s so in verse 7 we read…

The Lord said to Gideon, “With the three hundred men that lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hands. Let all the others go home.”

Please note that Gideon started with 32,000 men, God has him with 300 which is  .9375% of what he started with, not even 1 percent.  Now, God also did not use conventional wisdom in this battle, because he instructed Gideon on what to do. verse 16

16 Dividing the three hundred men into three companies, he placed trumpets and empty jars in the hands of all of them, with torches inside.

And the “battle” in verse 19-21

19 Gideon and the hundred men with him reached the edge of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, just after they had changed the guard. They blew their trumpets and broke the jars that were in their hands. 20 The three companies blew the trumpets and smashed the jars. Grasping the torches in their left hands and holding in their right hands the trumpets they were to blow, they shouted, “A sword for the Lord and for Gideon!” 21 While each man held his position around the camp, all the Midianites ran, crying out as they fled.

So, with less than 1% of his army, Gideon defeated his enemy WITHOUT a single weapon in his “army’s” hand.

It Is Not What You Think

Our main verses ends with “lean not on your understanding.”  There is only one example I can give for this… The Messiah.  To this day, the jewish people and Rabbis are looking for a great warrior to come and deliver them from the hands of their enemies, to this day they are searching for the one that God promised would come and fulfill the prophecies in God’s word.  To this day they are BLINDED by what THEY think.  They are looking at God’s words thought their minds, not in their hearts.  They are relying wholly on what THEY believe God would do (even though they have these examples, and others, to look at that SHOW God does not do things our way, but His.  In the new testament, we even see the prophecies being fulfilled right in front of their eyes, but they refused to see it.  Why??? Because it was not what THEY were looking for.  We have the advantage of hindsight, we can take the whole of the gospels and compare it to the old testament prophecies and they didn’t, RIGHT?? John 7:14-24

14 Not until halfway through the festival did Jesus go up to the temple courts and begin to teach. 15 The Jews there were amazed and asked, “How did this man get such learning without having been taught?”

16 Jesus answered, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from the one who sent me. 17 Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.18 Whoever speaks on their own does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him. 19 Has not Moses given you the law? Yet not one of you keeps the law. Why are you trying to kill me?”

20 “You are demon-possessed,” the crowd answered. “Who is trying to kill you?”

21 Jesus said to them, “I did one miracle, and you are all amazed. 22 Yet, because Moses gave you circumcision (though actually it did not come from Moses, but from the patriarchs), you circumcise a boy on the Sabbath. 23 Now if a boy can be circumcised on the Sabbath so that the law of Moses may not be broken, why are you angry with me for healing a man’s whole body on the Sabbath? 24 Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly.”

This is just one example of Jesus teaching about what He is doing and using God’s word for explanation.  Jesus here was talking about “working” on the sabbath, because he performed a miracle on the sabbath.  Here Jesus points out how hypocritical they are on the issue of “working” on the sabbath.  So, my point, Jesus showed them through scripture where his power came from, Jesus pointed out where He was doing the will of the Father, Jesus told them of the prophecies being fulfilled, but they were too blind to see.

In Conclusion

There are many times in our lives where we say “That will never work” when dealing with things we feel are from God.  Yet, when we do them they do work.  We need to listen to what  Proverbs 3:5 says and put those words in our hearts.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;

We need to stop overthinking, and sometimes even just stop thinking, and just rely on God and His plan for us.  We might feel like we are facing an impossible task, but God slayed Goliath with a small stone thrown from a boy’s sling, God destroyed the walls of a city with people walking around it, God destroyed an entire army with 300 men without a sword in their hands, and God will take care of your situation in what will probably seem like an impossible way, because in Matthew 19:26 we see that

26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Prayer Time

God, my father, I want to lift up to you the impossible things that are before us.  I want to place them in your hands, and then right next to them I want to place my trust.  I trust that you will take care of the impossible with an equally impossible solution so that as you say in scripture.

Israel would boast against me, ‘My own strength has saved me.’

Let me rely not on my strength, my understanding, or even my plans, help me to follow you completely so that the whole world will see that it is not me, but You within me that is accomplishing these great things.  Lord, thank you so much for all the things you have done, I praise you for the things you are doing, and I look forward to the awe and amazement of the impossible things you will do in my life.   I LOVE YOU, LORD WITH MY WHOLE HEART!