Proverbs 24:30-34 30 I went by the field of the lazy man, And by the vineyard of the man devoid of understanding; 31 And there it was, all overgrown with thorns; Its surface was covered with nettles; Its stone wall was broken down. 32 When I saw it, I considered it well; I looked on it and received instruction: 33 A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to rest; 34 So shall your poverty come like a prowler, And your need like an armed man.
It's not because of laziness, but what we call "The Four-Acre Field" back home is going back to woods. I have no means to farm it myself, and it's situated where farmers who'd rent it don't want to take their big equipment. It's sad to see, but the woods surrounding the field keeps encroaching more and more - taking over. If it is continues to lie unattended, it will grow back completely: one little sapling after another - saplings turning into TREES!
I am aware of the truth of this to a LIFE. It is true in a lot of areas of life; but I'm thinking primarily now about my relationship with the LORD. It's easy to drift away from quality time alone with the LORD. Reading this or that; checking this or that; doing this or that, can encroach into my time alone with the LORD, taking over my limited and valuable time that could be set aside to be alone with Him. Once something is allowed to take root in my "field" of time, it grows bigger; consumes more; and spreads out to consume even more territory.
Every so often I realize that I haven't been as diligent in and with my time alone with the LORD as in the past. If I don't keep my mind plowed by God's Spirit, and planted with the seeds of His Word, I will subtly and gradually lose what has been gained.
I'm hesitant to ask the LORD for help to keep my mind tilled by His Spirit, and planted with His Word. I'm hesitant because I'm afraid that conflict might be the plow He uses in opening my mind to receive His Word. I hate conflict. My flesh resists anything that does not make it feel good, and that's not comfortable and easy. And yet I know that in this world I WILL HAVE tribulation: Jesus said that (John 16:33). I also know that such tribulation is often the plow God uses to open the heart and mind to His Word. And so the question I need to answer is: "Which am I afraid of (which do I dread) more: tribulation? or a heart and mind that is overgrown with this world's growth?" LORD, I want to choose YOU.
One of the things I dread about tribulation is that it would be of my own making; that it would be because of my own foolish action(s); that I would bring it on myself because of my sin. I fear that, because I don't want to bring reproach on the name of Christ. Ephesians 5:15 says, "See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise." ("Circumspectly" means: "cautiously, with watchfulness in every way; with attention to guard against surprise or danger.") O LORD, I pray that I walk "not as a fool, but as wise." Don't let the tribulation that You may allow to come my way to plow my heart, to be the result of my foolishness.
Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." That verse is so common - especially at school graduation times. God's "thoughts" regarding His...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
Before I was married I was asked if I wanted to house-sit for an older couple who was going on vacation. They didn't want to leave their house unattended, so they asked me if I would be interested in staying there. It would not cost me any rent;...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
Epaphras is a person we know little about; but he is known intimately by the Lord Jesus Christ! Jesus heard Epahpras' voice often, as he was "always laboring fervently in prayers" (Col. 4:12). The account we have of Epaphras is found in...[ abbreviated | read entire ]