DAY THREE (continued from unveiled treasures)
There are many people that answer God's call for their life. There are callings to go to the ends of the earth. There are callings to make a difference in a community or state. There are callings to preach and teach; callings to build; callings to plant. There are callings to adopt and foster; callings to write and create. These are just some of the calls from God. After answering the call from God, many people have found their purpose in life but many also experience disappointment, frustration and burn-out in their calling.
We answer the call from God but so often before we know it, we face frustration and dissatisfaction along with thoughts of doubt about being called to this specific work for the Lord. There are roadblocks, barricades, and obstacles at every turn. This is not what you signed up for. This is not how you thought answering the call from God would be.
Recently, God unveiled a treasure to staying on course and persevering through the tough times of our calling. In Jeremiah 2:13, the bible says, "My people have committed two sins: they have forsaken Me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water." The treasures God wants to unveil in this scripture are the following:
"My people" - These are God's very own children, people who know Him as their God.
"… have forsaken Me, the spring of living water..."- God is the living water in this scripture. His people have forsaken and abandoned Him. The living water is the fountain of life, the flow and source of living with victory, living with joy, the fullness of God; yet, His people have walked away.
"and have dug their own cisterns" - They have built their own cisterns; their own pits or wells to store water; cisterns that cannot hold water for long period of time; cisterns broken and cracked.
Sometimes our mistake is that we think God actually calls us because we will be the best person to do the work because of our education background, our good work ethic, or our ability to lead. These characteristics are great but that's not why God chooses people. He chooses and calls people because He sees a willing and submitted vessel that He, the fountain of life, the stream of living waters will be able to flow through to reach others. We start off refreshed and on fire for the call before us but during the work if we are not intentional about drinking of His living waters continuously; if we are not intentional about making time to be in His presence, we get side-tracked by roadblocks in front of us. We try to come up with our own solutions on how to remove these barricades. We become frustrated with people around us who are supposed to be part of the task. We start to believe the work before us must be done our way because after all we are the ones who were called to this assignment. We focus on how "I" can get this done; how they need to listen to "me" and do what "I" say. We start believing without our skills and our ways to do the work God called us to it will not get done.
During the bumps in the road and the barriers that show up, we start building our own cisterns, our own pits and wells to hold our water, our way. Without realizing it, we have exchanged the flow of His living water for a well to hold our water. A place with cracks. A place where most of the water runs out leaving a small amount of water at the bottom of the pit. Water that sits in a cistern becomes stagnant and dirty and instead of having the pure and fresh living waters flow continuously in our lives, we rely on our well of stagnant, dirty water. We start drinking from our cisterns instead of drinking His clean, refreshing Living Water.
God wants us to tap into His pure and fresh water that is ever flowing and active. His living water is unpolluted and uncontaminated; whereas water that sits in a cistern over time is a breeding ground for bacteria and parasites. The cisterns we build with our water becomes a breeding place for offense and anger. If we are not careful to continuously drink from His stream and renew our mind, we see old habits appear, old mindsets try to resurface. All of a sudden we are walking closer to burn-out, fatigue, and weariness rather than having energy, liveliness and vigor. We may even start to question our calling and whether God chose the right person.
God never intended for us to do our calling all alone. He never intended to call people to go, adopt, foster, preach, teach, build or plant while drawing water from their cisterns. God always intended for a partnership with Him where He leads, guides, directs, refreshes, and encourages along the way.
Do you need to be rehydrated by His Living Water today?
Close your eyes and envision His living waters flowing over you and reaching every area of your life. God desires you to be fully alive as you walk out your call from Him. He wants to see you flourish and bloom where He has you. As you embrace this treasure God unveiled to you, know that YOU are HIS treasure! You are fearfully and wonderfully made. You are the head and not the tail. You are blessed coming in and blessed coming out. You are more than a conqueror. Let His words encourage you. Let His living water flow over you. Rest in His presence. Don’t rush prayer time. Let the Father love on you, His daughter or son.
John 7:37-38 On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”
DAY TWO (CONT'D from Unveiled Treasures Day One)
If you have been a Christian for any amount of time you know quite well that you will encounter people who think you are a fool for living and believing as a Christian. Eighteen years ago, I almost lost all my friends in the beginning of accepting Jesus as my Lord and Savior; however, it wasn't the accepting of Him that made me look like a fool to others. It was the changes in the way I lived that alarmed people. It made them feel uncomfortable and abandoned by me. I didn't set out to confuse my relationships with others, after all, I loved my friends deeply; but when the light of Jesus penetrates the depths of your soul and you are awakened to the fact that the weight of your sin is forgiven, removed and you are washed completely clean something changes you from the inside out. Something compels you to want to live out what the bible says. It's not that you feel like you have to make changes in your life but rather a feeling where you desire to make changes in your life.
Several years ago, I was at home on the floor crying out to God in prayer for more of Him. All of a sudden I heard His still small voice say, "Are you willing to be a fool for me?" Without hesitation I confidently said, "Yes, Lord." I must say I kind of chuckled at the question because that was an easy question to answer. I had already looked like a fool to so many around me over the years of being a Christian. But then God asked me another question, "Are you willing to be a fool for me in front of My people?" I took a quick deep breath in. I repeated the question in my head with a long sigh and slowly repeated it again, "a fool for You in front of Your people?” Looking like a fool was easy in front of people who didn't have a personal relationship with Jesus and didn't fully know biblical truth but looking like a fool in front of people who knew Jesus as their Lord and Savior and knew biblical truth well that wasn’t as easy to answer. I thought and thought about it, took a deep breath in and let it out slowly. Without all the confidence as before but as a submitted daughter of my Lord I gently whispered, "Lord, I will be a fool for you in front of Your people if that is what You want me to do." There I said it. I agreed to this tough, odd question and then added, "Lord, but please don't let my husband think I am a fool for You."
There was a woman in the bible who looked like a fool in front of God's people. Jesus was at the table of Lazarus' home. Lazarus had two sisters, Mary and Martha. Lazarus was reclined with Jesus at the table while Martha served the men but Mary, Mary went against several customs the day Jesus dined at their home. Oh what a precious brave soul Mary was. In that day, there were certain rules for women. Women dined at different tables than men. If a woman was at the table, she was serving them not eating with them. Also, women did not let their hair down in public or in front of men. But the day Jesus came to their home and sat at the table with Lazarus, Mary's behavior changed. But I can't blame her! After all, Lazarus was sitting and talking with Jesus where just days earlier Lazarus was dead. He was dead and wrapped in grave clothes in a tomb! Mary's brother whom she deeply loved and deeply grieved when he died was now alive and well! Mary had witnessed Jesus raise her brother from the dead. So the day Jesus dined in their home, she grabbed an expensive bottle of perfume and went straight to the feet of Jesus. She didn't hesitate to pour the whole bottle of perfume on His feet. She adored Jesus. Then one of Jesus' disciples, who was also in the home, saw Mary pour all the perfume on Jesus' feet. This disciple thought it wasteful and absurd of Mary to pour all of such an expensive bottle of perfume on Jesus' feet. What a fool! What a waste! It could have been sold to help care for the poor in town. But Mary didn't stop there. She let down her hair and with great love for Jesus she wiped his feet with her hair. Such intimacy! But I can see it now, Martha in one corner of the room stopping in disbelief, her eyebrows raised high and eyes wide open as she looked at her sister on the floor at Jesus' feet. Such folly! Such foolishness! Jesus' disciple in another corner of the room looking at Mary with such disdain. What a fool Mary looked like in front of His people. She wasted it all, careless and imprudent; but to Jesus it was a beautiful intimate act of worship.
Kim Walker-Smith has a song called Waste it All. I love the following words of this song:
I want to waste it all on You
I want to pour my heart's perfume
I don't care if I'm called a fool
I'm wasting it all on You
Mary's need to show affection to her Lord far outweighed the fear of what others were thinking and saying in that room. Although Mary met disapproval from others close by, she received Jesus' approval for wasting the whole bottle of expensive perfume on His feet. Mary touched the heart of Jesus with her affection towards Him. If we want to receive the unveiled treasures of God, we must have an intimate relationship with Him. We must be relentless to pursue closeness with our Lord. We must be ok with wasting it all on Him no matter whose disapproval we may have, no matter how foolish we think it looks to other people.
God wants to unveil His treasures to you but it is not without us taking those treasures and sharing them with others. Just know you will possibly look like a fool to some but to God it is a beautiful act of worship.
In prayer time today, give God your all. Pour all your heart’s perfume to Him. Give Him your fears, give Him your desires, give Him your thankfulness, and give Him your praises. Waste it all on Him.
Hello and Welcome!
Wife, Mother, Adoption Advocate, Writer, Illustrator
Who am I? Galatians 2:20 does a great job of summing up who I am. My life is His, the One who loves me and gave Himself for me . In return, I want to be all He wants me to be and do all He wants me to do on this side of Heaven.
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Recipient of the Angels in Adoption Award 2016. A program of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute in Washington D.C.