Happy Friday friends! I pray this day finds you filled with God’s joy regardless of the circumstances and issues you are facing in life. Today, I feel the need to remind you, as well as myself, that we are all properly prepared to handle life through our belief in Christ Jesus. We are welcome to approach the throne of God and can boldly lay our burdens at His feet.
This gives me HOPE! What about you?
Scripture clears backs up these thoughts in Hebrews 4:14-16, Therefore since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens-Jesus the Son of God-let us hold fast to the confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tested in every way as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us at the proper time.
PAUSE—God knows and He will come through!
Thank you for your grace to allow me to “squirrel” prior to this posting. Just felt it necessary to share my own inward struggle and thoughts before I wrote the main segment.
The Refining ministry is continuing their Monday night online studies of Major Wisdom through Minor Prophets for the remainder of 2021. We recently started Zephaniah and boy, Chapter 1 was a dozy! There were a few who stated it seemed like a scene from a horror show. However, the valued learning and deep discussion shared during the hour was, once again, an overwhelming blessing to my heart. I am blown away each time we meet—this week God revealed hope and compassion even in a difficult passage.
Our ministry believes in infusing Scripture into daily living. Each week, we are challenged to allow the Lord to guide us and press into the message He has individually-based on our Bible intake.
Thinking about Chapter 1 of Zephaniah, I approached the garden to see if we had any new produce to harvest. I took my phone with me because I wanted to capture the beauty and growth.
SIDENOTE: WOW! If you could only see our garden. It is the most remarkable, overgrown jungle ever because we have received more rain in the past few weeks than we normally receive in a year. Yes, we live in Texas, but we are in the “desert” for the most part. We have never had a garden this abundant.
Once I had a chance to review the photos, the carrot picture caught my attention. I began thinking about Zephaniah. The people of Judah seemed to be flourishing just like the tops of our carrots. Everyone seemed to have what they needed to survive. They believed in God and worshiped Him. However, they also paid homage to other “gods” with their daily acts and rituals. Their hearts were receiving a fatal cocktail.
Zephaniah came as the last warning to Judah. He wanted them to take an inward look and focus on their roots and fruit-the unseen! Just like the roots and carrots growing underground in our garden. Their hearts-a place where fruit can wither or grow.
Our heart generates our thoughts which then produces our words, actions, viewpoints, etc. When we are filling our lives with proper nutrition, God, the fruit we produce can be pleasing to the Lord. However, Zephaniah Chapter 1 clearly states that we cannot partially serve God and partially serve “gods” with the expectation that we will not experience harm to the fruit we produce. We will eventually wither and die! OUCH! It distorts our thinking of ourselves as well as others.
Our carrots will not produce an abundant harvest in the fall if we occasionally expose them to contaminated water. They want pure, clean goodness overflowing with all the necessary nutrients. No matter how beautiful they seem above ground, the measure of their true work is revealed once their “roots” are exposed.
This made me take an inward inventory is so many ways. What do I fill my heart with daily? What do my actions, words, and thoughts reveal? Am I guilty of syncretism-mixing true worship with false? Do I fall into a complacent state when it comes to praying, worshiping, studying, reading, witnessing, etc.? Are there times when I limit my intake of God and allow worldly “junk” to enter His vessel?
Yes-all that from Zephaniah Chapter 1-plus so much more.
Listen, I am but a simple woman trying to do my best to love and serve God with all that I am. I mess up more than succeed-trust me! However, in this spiritual pathway, this I know for sure: God loves us beyond measure, and He will not give up on us.
So, with an earnest heart I cry, Father God fill me with your goodness, weed out the junk I have allowed, let my fruit reveal You, Oh Lord, help me lay my burdens down, and heal me from within so all that I do is pleasing unto You. I am sorry Lord for my disobedience and my unclean heart. I need You, Oh I need You! Reveal the unseen with compassion and help me stay under your authority regardless. I love you Father God!