Hello friends. How are you on 02/22/22? Did you do anything fun at 2:22 p.m.? I remember 11-11-11 at 11:11 a.m. I was at a conference with my boss, Diane Reid, and she loved numbers! She had me step out of the large conference hall and take her picture as a memory. Today, as a reflect upon that moment, I am grateful for the photograph. You see, at the time I thought it was silly, but I now cherish the snapshot because she was taken to glory September 2014.
Reading verse one of Hosea chapter 9 reminds me of many conversations with Diane. She was a true believer of rejoicing because of the internal joy that she experienced from living in God’s will. Her life reflected the fact that if a person pursues happiness by satisfying their God given purpose they will reap the joy of the LORD. It wasn’t money or fame that drove her. It was taking life moment by moment and making good choices in those steps. In her cancer battle, Jesus came to her and ask her to simply live. She said it seemed like every time after that when she tried to type love in her text messages-live would appear. One of the last deep conversations I had with her, she advised me to live each moment honoring the LORD in ALL things-easy and hard, good times or in bad. If only she knew where her advice has landed me seven years later.
As I continued to read Hosea chapter 9, verse two just would not leave my thoughts. “Threshing floors and winepresses will not feed the people; the new wine will fail them.” Well, I camped out on this verse for quite awhile this past week.
So, be forewarned, the remainder of this posting is a snapshot of my mental trail as I tried to unfold the message God had for me to grasp.
Threshing floor? What is this? It is a flat area where the harvesters would beat the wheat to separate the straw from the chaff.
Why is this event so important? This only happens 1X annually. There was great value in this timeframe because they depended on the wheat for food substance over the next 365 days. Therefore, the men would stay overnight at the threshing floor to ensure thieves did not take their grain.
What was the desired outcome from the threshing floor? Harvesters always desired a rich harvest. This was their hope each year.
Who provided the crop? God made their provisions. Now, He would discipline through a famine and God was going to supernaturally intervene to cause the crops to fail.
Where does the credit need to go? The LORD is always working and all blessings big or small come from Him. It is often hard to understand because we mainly see the natural order of sowing and harvesting, but God is who decides if it is a success or failure.
So, what could be our threshing floor today? What is the main substance needed to supply our existence? MONEY
What is the main things we do to obtain it? WORK
And when the harvest is ripe–We receive our crop-PAYCHECK
Then we go to our threshing floor and separate out the provisions. As we pound out the bills and budget the income-what normally comes to mind? Will there be enough? Just like the harvesters, our future days depends upon it: shelter, water, food, clothing, etc.
How do we protect it and value it? Maybe this is a personal choice. Do we spend it all or save for a rainy day? Do we stick with the budget? Do we thank God for it each and every time we receive it? Is our first thought to tithe? Oh yeah-IT IS ALL GOD’S provision.
Do we do anything to try to produce a rich harvest? WOW-all that comes to mind is worldly ways-fighting for a promotion, taking short cuts, scheming, etc. Wait-yes I can intentionally give it back to God and ask for every penny to be used for His glory. “Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over the new wine.” Proverbs 3:9-10.
Then Diane’s words came to me again through God’s Word: “Now this is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Give careful thought to your ways.'” Haggai 1:5 (NIV) And my study Bible extended her advise-“Caring only for your comfort and pleasure while ignoring your relationship with God will lead to ruin.”
My discovered concern: When have I ever prayed over a payday or paycheck? When have I ever given it totally over to the LORD and asked for His hand of direction for every penny? When have I stopped and thanked Him for His glorious provisions on those once a month occasion? Do I solely depend on my “major crop” as security and neglect worshiping God when the harvest is ripe?
Will you let your money defile you? What will it take to get your attention? Will God send a drought to destroy your livelihood as a means to call you back to himself?
Payday just happened for me.
I have to stop writing now.
I have some business with God I need to take care of.