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For today’s promise, Matthew 3:11, I am praying a Spirit Baptism for my children. I am praying by faith. In Hebrews 11:1 the bible says, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." As you pray, pray by faith. You may not see the evidence of your prayer yet but believe it will come forth. I invite you to pray along with me for your children, young and old, or anyone you feel led to pray for.
Spirit baptism is different from water baptism. Matthew 3:11 says, “I (John the Baptist) baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes One who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with THE HOLY SPIRIT and fire.” This is what I am praying for my children today – spirit baptism, baptism with the Holy Spirit!
Father, I come before You today to pray the Spirit Baptism promise over each of my children. Your word says in John 7:37, they must thirst for Your spirit. May my child/ren thirst, crave and have a passion from within their soul for a complete union with You and the fullness of the Spirit. Your word says in John 7:37, they must come unto You. May my child/ren come unto You, Lord. May they completely surrender their life to do Your whole will as they receive Your light. I thank You for removing all hindrances and road blocks from them coming to You. Your word in John 3:37 says they will come unto You and drink. I thank You that my child/ren will receive into their soul what strengthens them and nourishes their life. Your word in John 7:38 says, “He that believe in Me, as the scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” My child/ren are believers in Christ and out of their belly, out of their innermost being, their seat of intellect, their emotions and desires will flow rivers of living water. This flow is an unlimited power to do the works of Christ. My child/ren will have living water flow through them and bless a thirsty world, Lord! They will have a constant flow from the Spirit without measure.
I thank You that a Spirit Baptism is for any person who believes in You. I thank You that the Spirit of God in my children satisfies their inner person and enables them to bear fruit. I thank You that they will place confidence in You, Lord. They will hope and have assurance of things not seen yet. They will fully surrender, have absolute dependence upon the word of God. They will have full surrender, they will yield and will be obedient to all known truth. They will trust wholly and unreservedly in the faithfulness of You, Lord. They will give one’s self over to a new way of life, joyful faith in and the acceptance of Christ as the substitute for sin and our Savior whereby one receives salvation, access into grace, fulfillment of the promises, the Holy Spirit, righteousness, sonship, healing, eternal life, and answers to every prayer. I thank You that the Spirit is giving my child/ren a new birth, He's a life-giver, imparter of power, eternal comforter, eternal helper, teacher of truth, reminder of all truth, guide into all truth, revealer of Christ, revealer of events, glorifier of Christ, witness for Christ.
Through the baptism of the Holy Spirit my child/ren will receive the gifts of the Spirit: tongues, prophecy, word of knowledge, word of wisdom, miracles, healings, discernment, faith, and they will manifest the fruit of the spirit because of a spirit-filled life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. They will be earnest and united in faith and prayer with other believers. They will walk in the Spirit this day forward, they will be led by the Spirit this day forward, they will crucify the flesh of wrong affections and lust. My child/ren will live in the Spirit. Thank You, Lord, they will continue in Christ all the days of their life, be patient in hope, and continue in faith. I thank You for Your spirit, the spirit of truth. I thank You my child/ren have received the fullness of You: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name Amen.
If you just prayed this over your child or any other family member or friend, please know you have just given them the greatest gift you can give them – PRAYER and INTERCESSION! God will answer these prayers for them. Just believe!
On June 27th, I was honored to be a part of the Rejuvenate Women's Gathering at Cornerstone Church in Vidalia, Louisiana. It was apparent that God had already begun touching the women in the Miss-Lou community and I credit Calley Reed who, along with her husband Danny, pastor Cornerstone Church. God laid it on Calley's heart to have a gathering event for the women of the Miss-Lou area that reached past the walls of their church. Around 1oo women attended the four Mondays in June and each Monday night God's presence was felt. Again, it was an honor to be one of the speakers at this event. Thank you, Calley!
Below is the video of the entire fourth Monday night. Paula gives her amazing testimony first and then I come up to speak a message about Woman, take the wheel. A message about Rahab and Ruth and how they steered to God's path and not only changed the course of their life but their whole family as well.
To view the first three Monday night speakers, search youtube keywords Rejuvenate Women's Gathering Week One, Week Two, Week Three.
DAY FOUR (cont'd from Unveiled Treasures)
There we were, about 12 intercessors, holding hands standing in a circle late one night in the church's children's nursery room. We were an hour into praying and interceding for the church when all of a sudden while the person across from me was praying I received a vision. There was no doubt I was receiving a mental picture from the Lord. The image was so clear. My head was down and my eyes were closed when I saw three huge black gorilla looking creatures sitting on side of each other on the road facing the church. They were huge, bulky, burly scary beasts that seemed to be about 25 feet high in the air and each 10 feet in width. My heart started pounding and beating faster. I knew I was supposed to pray against what I was seeing in the spirit but I was so nervous; I had only been part of the church's prayer group for a short amount of time. The person across from me finished praying and the room became silent. I felt the nudge of the Holy Spirit to pray against what He just showed me but I was too afraid to open my mouth. All of a sudden the girl next to me, the one I was holding hands with to my left, burst into prayer. With such confidence, she prayed against these big black demons that were trying to enter our church. She bravely started rebuking the enemy and releasing the spirit of God over the church. She spoke with such authority of the truth from His word and the boldness of a warrior! I stood there in complete amazement. She just prayed the exact vision I saw; then a rush of regret flooded over me. I was the one that was supposed to pray that prayer but I let fear stop me from doing what God wanted me to do.
God taught me two truths that night. One, I can receive visions from the Lord through the Holy Spirit as to what and how to pray for specific situations. Two, He taught me that He flows through His people; His will gets accomplished by the ones He calls but if they refuse to do what He asks them to do then He moves on to the next person so His will gets accomplished.
Years ago I started listening to Reinhard Bonnke. His love and passion for the Lord is so contagious. I absolutely love listening to this evangelist bring forth a word from the Lord but I also love his story on how God called him into evangelism: (from http://www.cbn.com/700club/guests/bios/Reinhard_Bonnke091306.aspX :
When Reinhard tells of God calling him to a life of evangelism, he speaks easily about a dialogue they had. It seems God laid out for him what would be expected. And Reinhard told God that he would obey and follow what God was asking of him. Before this extended conversation ended, however, God told him, “You weren’t my first choice.” Reinhard listened. “You weren’t my second choice either.” Later on there was a time when Reinhard hesitated to schedule a specific crusade. He says as he wavered, “God said, ‘You drop the vision and I drop you.” The evangelist attributes the tremendous responses he sees in ministry to simple obedience to what God requires.
I've heard Reinhard say on several speaking platforms that when he gets to heaven he wants to meet and shake the hands of the two people that turned down this calling.
I want to be used by God and be obedient to whatever He calls me to do. I want to respond as I should as the gifts of the Holy Spirit flow through me. I don't want to be passed over because I am too afraid of what others will think if I move in the power of the Holy Spirit or be passed by because I thought what God wanted me to do was way too big for me. No! I want to do what He wants me to do no matter what!
Recently, I was with a group of people in a little room at church before Sunday service. While we were praying, the Holy Spirit quietly and gently whispered to me and said, "After prayer, lay your hands on the man's head next to you and pray for his healing." After prayer ended, while the group started talking amongst each other, I turned to the man on my right and noticed he was sitting and not standing as we all were doing. I looked at him, smiled and said the Lord told me to pray for you. I put my hand on his head as the Holy Spirit had directed and prayed a simple prayer of healing. It was not fancy. I was not loud. No profound words came out of my mouth except for the Lord to heal this man and that was it. He thanked me and we all went to service. A couple weeks later I received a text from a friend of mine who was friends with the man I prayed for and she wrote, "Do you remember that man you prayed for before service several weeks ago? Well, he wanted me to get word to you that God healed him. He could not walk because of his knees and he started walking again that day!" I was overcome with such joy and excitement as I read that text over and over again! Over the years and through obedience to what God calls me to do, I have moved in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. These unveiled treasures from the Holy Spirit are for all believers.
Moving with power begins on our knees in prayer. It begins with full submission and understanding of the Trinity; the Godhead as one God in three distinct persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. God, through His Son and by the power of the Holy Spirit flows in us and saves, heals, teaches, guides, and protects. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are the Living Waters that continuously flow; that are continuously active. As the Living Waters flow through us, there is also a flow of living water that comes out of us that releases His power, His gifts. In 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, the bible says "There are different kinds of gifts. But they are all given to believers by the same Spirit. 5 There are different ways to serve. But they all come from the same Lord. 6 There are different ways the Spirit works. But the same God is working in all these ways and in all people. The Holy Spirit is given to each of us in a special way. That is for the good of all. 8 To some people the Spirit gives a message of wisdom. To others the same Spirit gives a message of knowledge. 9 To others the same Spirit gives faith. To others that one Spirit gives gifts of healing. 10 To others he gives the power to do miracles. To others he gives the ability to prophesy. To others he gives the ability to tell the spirits apart. To others he gives the ability to speak in different kinds of languages they had not known before. And to still others he gives the ability to explain what was said in those languages. 11 All the gifts are produced by one and the same Spirit. He gives gifts to each person, just as he decides."
These are His unveiled treasures waiting to be stirred up in you. Do not limit yourself by your weaknesses or by fear. Let the power of the Holy Spirit flow freely through you and freely respond and act according to what God wants you to do.
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.
Do you know there are still hidden treasures in this world waiting to be found? A quick search on the internet will pull up several real-life treasure adventures. There are people that dedicate their lives to this wonderful exciting adventure searching for unveiled treasures such as gold, jewelry, metals, coins, watches, antique arrowheads, and valuable documents just to name a few. But did you know there are hidden treasures in the bible waiting to be found?
God has a treasure chest full of insight, knowledge, and wisdom and hidden gems waiting for you and me to uncover. He wants to reveal what the world does not know. He wants us to experience a beautiful supernatural encounter with Him.
Just like finding treasures on this earth, finding the hidden treasures of God can be done but it takes the determination of a true explorer! To maximize your quest, you will need the right tools. The two main tools on this journey are the bible and prayer. Then, before starting this adventure, you have to decide how far you are willing to go. Are you willing to go the distance to discover treasures that God has waiting for you to uncover in His word?
Prayer. When I think of the word prayer instantly I am taken back to the memory of my little loft bedroom late one night in my mid 20's. There I was all alone sitting up in my bed three floors up with my blanket up to my waist. It was a small and simple room. Nothing fancy. This room reminded me of the many times I played in the trees as a young girl. It was like a tree house. My bedroom was nestled near the branches of the oak tree in the courtyard. Every night I lay in bed gazing out the window at the branches and leaves lit up by the night lights until I fell asleep. But this evening was different. I was restless. I was dissatisfied and unhappy with myself and my life. I had asked Jesus to be my Lord and Savior when I was 7 years old but as a teenager and young adult, I walked away from God. For the first time in a very long time I looked at what I had become as a young adult. The road to become a social worker was behind me. I even worked a short time as a foster care worker right out of college but quickly lost interest and quit my job. And now a couple years later I sat and wondered what happened to the desire inside of me to change the world, to help the hurting? I hadn't thought about the hurting for some time now. Actually I was so consumed with me that I hadn't noticed the pain of others around me. But tonight! Something inside of me welled up and I thought there had to be more. I believed I was born for a purpose to make a difference in this world but somewhere along the way I let that desire fade away. Tonight it would change. "Lord, I have made a mess of my life. If you can do better take it, take my life, Lord! It is yours!" That night the peace of God fell upon me. Something had happened. That night God entered my life and touched my heart. Something in me changed!
Prayer. A cry for help. A proclamation of hope. A place to empty all of me and receive all of Him.
Who can really live fully for Christ and live that Christ life and not pray or surrender it all to Him? If we are to walk out the call on our life and change the world around us; if we are to make disciples of others, heal the sick and set the captives free then prayer, communication with God, and surrender must be part of our life.
Since that night I cried out to God, He has been faithful to take me on a journey and reveal His deep secrets that He has for me. He has put me on a path of purpose that I never could have fully imagined for my life. I believe the same is true for you! God has some unveiled treasures available for you!
YOUR TURN: (You are more than welcome to share in the comment section or just leave it between you and God.
What is the first memory or significant memory you have of a prayer encounter with the Lord?
The world cannot teach us the deep secrets of God; so how will we learn them? In 1 Corinthians 2: 1-16. (verse 10, 11, 12), we see that we receive the Spirit of God so that we might know the things that are freely given to us by God by words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truth in spiritual words. Then in verse 14 it states, the man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God.
Take time to pray today, thank Him, praise Him, and recommit your life and calling to Him. Ask Him to infill you with His Spirit. God wants you to go deeper with Him. He wants His Spirit to reveal His truths to you.
I am happy to see my friends, Beth and Jason Forbus, launch Sarah's Laughter Infertility Podcast! They are a couple who truly understands what you are walking through and provide much needed hope for you while on this journey!
You can also check out their website, Sarahs-Laughter's, for support groups in your area and all the new and exciting things they have planned in 2016.
Balance. What does it mean to get balance? The definition of balance is an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady, keep or put (something) in a steady position so that it does not fall.
When we get balance we remain upright when a storm approaches, when instability comes our way. We stay in a steady position and we do not fall; but how do we get “balance” in a busy life with the many hats we wear as a wife, as a mother? Can we really and truly get balance?
For the woman who is a single Mom, can she get balance when her children are raised with two parents who have total opposite ways they parent? Can she get balance while in custody battles? Can she get balance when her bills are behind and the next month bills are in the mail?
For the woman married, can she get balance as she tries to meet the needs of her husband, children, and the home responsibilities?
What about the woman who is fostering or has adopted, can she get balance in raising children who need lots of love and discipline to undo what was taught or not taught to them?
Getting balance goes beyond having our meals prepared, our home tidied up, and our routines in place. We can have a meal prepared and ready for our family, home spotless, the laundry caught up, and routines written on the wall but these will provide temporary balance; balance for the moment. Storms still come and sometimes we find ourselves overwhelmed with being unbalanced even though our world looks balanced. Right? But God wants you to experience balance when your world shakes, when instability steps in.
When we look at The Parable of the Sower of the Seed in Matthew 13:3-9, 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.”
Matthew 13: 18-23, “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 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. The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 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. 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. 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.”
Jesus mentions four kinds of grounds a seed can get planted in. The Hard path: it’s a worn out path, a packed down hard, tough, firm path. It’s a path with unfenced fields. There are no signs of growth on this path, no plants, no flowers, nothing too pretty on this hard dirt path. If seeds fall they can get eaten by birds.
The Rocky ground: you don’t see much dirt here. There are some plants that can grow on rocks but they don’t live too long. Plants must have roots down in the soil to grow and flourish but the rocks block the roots. If seeds root it’s shallow and quickly get scorched by the sun and die.
The Thorny ground: Now the thorny ground has soil but as the seeds grow into plants along with the thorns the thorns eventually take over and choke the plants. This is true for weeds as well. Because there is soil, the weeds are also able to root in the soil and grow along as the seeds grow into plants but eventually the weeds take over and smother the plants. So this is a place seeds can grow but they grow with stuff that can eventually choke and smother them.
The GOOD ground: this is the fertile ground, the rich, abundant soil. It’s a place a seed can grow, flourish, mature.
In this parable, the good ground/soil represents the condition of our heart and how we receive the word of God which is represented by the seed. For this teaching, we are going to see the seed as our children and the ground/soil as the heart of our homes. The principle is the same. The answer to getting balance in our busy lives lies is the last of the four soils….. GOOD GROUND. We develop and create this beautiful raised garden bed in our home if we want to get real balance in our busy lives. Not the hard dirt path, the one where there are no fences, the one we trample about our home but don’t really pay any attention to what we are doing. We just do life and we do it hard. We go about our day on auto pilot. We know what we have to get done and we do that and move on. The home with the hard dirt path is really not a “home” atmosphere. It’s just a place where we eat, drink, sleep, pass each other up in the hall with not much communication. Not many memories being made. Just people getting through the day.
We will not get balance with rocky or thorny ground in our home. A small amount of soil exists. A small amount of bible knowledge exists. Just enough knowledge of a small portion of what God has said because church is not a priority, God’s word is not a priority, we may go to church but only a few times a year like Easter or Christmas or maybe we heard about Jesus but don’t know He is the Savior of the world, that He died for our sins, rose and conquered death so that sin cannot take dominion over us. We have possibly heard of Jesus but old habits continue, bad behaviors persist, rebellious attitudes direct their steps, anger and frustration lives on the rocky, thorny ground. Bitterness dominates us. Pain follows us wherever we go. You will not get balance with this type of ground in your home.
What do you notice about the picture of the raised garden bed above? It’s beautiful with no hard dirt, rocks, thorns, or weeds. Its plants have room to grow and flower. It has a frame around it; it has boundaries.
If GOOD ground is how to get balance in our busy life, then how do we create good ground in our home?
First, we have to PREPARE. We have to prepare our hearts by going before the Lord in prayer. We can bow our knee to Him and say “Search me, O God, and know my heart; know my ways; test my thoughts. Show me where I am not creating good ground. Lead me along the path you have for me.” We prepare our home. We need to take the bible off the shelf and not just place it on the table to see it every day, but to open it and read it.
Second, we START BUILDING. We establish boundaries; dividing lines that protect and keep our children and us safe. We cannot do that unless we know God’s boundaries and where He tells us to draw the line. This is where we make the tough parenting decisions to limit tv shows and certain songs, establish limits in relationships with others for our families.
Third, we PLOW. We start digging deep, turning over the dirt with each dig. This has to be done before sowing. This is where we prepare the soil for planting. The biggest mistake you can make is thinking that once the frame is up you can now plant the seeds in your raise garden bed. Not yet. Take the time to plow that soil right. Take scriptures and speak it over your home. God’s word goes forth to accomplish what it is supposed to accomplish. It does not return void. How can His word do this if we are not speaking forth His word? How can we speak forth His word if we are not opening up the bible to see what His word says? Part of getting that rich soil is mixing in God’s word. And for most of us, as we plow we will uproot some old thorns and weeds, old mindsets and behaviors, and maybe uncover some rocks, some hard stubborn attitudes . Just go ahead and pull them up and get rid of them. They have no place in your raised garden bed.
Fourth, we PLANT those seeds. But some of you might be saying, “my children are a little older. They are already planted in rocky, thorny ground.” That’s ok you’ll just need to transplant them into the GOOD ground you are creating. You know how transplanted plants are at first? They are taken from where they were and placed in rich fertile soil and at first they droop a little almost like they don’t like this new rich fertile soil but over a little while they start to perk up because their little roots have started to go down into this rich soil. Their little leaves start to stretch out. The top of their little head starts to rise up. They realize the sun and the soil and the water is life to them. This is our God and His word for us! This is where balance is starting to happen, the plant is steady and upright. His/her roots are slowly going deeper so when a storm or instability comes this little plant will not fall because he/she is planted in GOOD ground. It’s where your children have strong roots going deep. It’s where they do not fall when storms come, when instability comes their way.
Fifth, we TEND TO IT. Sometimes we are excited to start a new project. We have lots of energy and enthusiasm. But when the project looks more like work many give up. Can I encourage you not to give up with this part of the process, with the “the tend to it” because your rewards will be great! This IS where relationships are strengthened. This is where we renew our mind with the word continually. We learn to rest and stop spinning all the unnecessary plates in our life. The enemy would love nothing more than for you to have lots of plates to keep spinning instead of tending to what’s the most important: your family. Take time to pause, take moments to observe your raised garden bed. Use these times to also give attention to your husband and children.
Those moments on the couch, those moments before bedtime, these are times to pour into our children making sure no rocks or thorns have come in, and if we see they have we ask God how to remove them and then remove them immediately before they take root in our raised garden bed.
After we have prepared, built, plowed, planted and tended to our raised bed garden, tended to the ground in our home, we then witness true balance when we see our children making the right decisions when the parents are not around. We witness true balance when a storm does come and try to shake us but our family doesn’t fall apart because we are upright and in a steady position. Because we are balanced the way God intended for us to be balanced.
What if the ground in your home is one of the other grounds and not the GOOD GROUND? Be encouraged, it is never too late to change the ground in your home. God is a loving Father. His voice is gentle. He will not yell at you to get you to change or condemn you for starting now. His Spirit, the Holy Spirit, meets you where you are and gently takes your hand and guides you and leads you. With Him, the ground in your home can change. You can experience true balance in your busy life!
In the meantime, g0t a good crockpot recipe? I need a meal for tomorrow ;)
Hello and Welcome!
Wife, Mother, Adoption Advocate, Writer
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.
Recipient of the Angels in Adoption Award 2016. A program of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute in Washington D.C.
Adoption and Foster Care Support
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