Psalm 92:11-13 (NIV) The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God.
I had lunch with my bestie last week at the local Chinese restaurant. When the waitress brought the check, on top of the bill were two fortune cookies. We each took one and opened them in jest to see what was to come. I had to laugh out loud. I believe that God is always speaking to us. Every day. Everywhere. His Spirit constantly whispering truth to us. Why not? The enemy is constantly hurling lies at us. Shouting accusations. Reminding us of our past. Telling us that God doesn’t love us, care for us, has forgotten us or worse left us high and dry. I am confident that there is a still small voice telling us of God’s Love if we would but only listen for Him. Less I digress…
Smoothing the little piece of paper and squinting to see the tiny script, it read: “Good timber does not grow with ease; the stronger the wind, the stronger the trees.” Truth if I have ever read it. It has not been officially announced but my husband and I are now the leaders of the young adult ministry in our church. Praying for direction and vision to equip and empower this generation to be history makers and world changers with real and genuine faith – the Lord gave me the name “Planted”. I have shared before that years ago, a friend in ministry felt that God wanted me to know that the Lord was “planting” me. Not superficially, but as a post being driven into the ground – immovable and unshakeable. God did plant me. I am eternally grateful for every test and trial that brought me to this place and the end of myself. Again…less I digress…
Psalm 1:2-3 (NIV) But whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.
God desires a thriving, flourishing and prospering people. The kind that are not swayed by temptation, moved by situations, contaminated by compromise, limited by lack, or in any way moved by opposition. His Desire is that we become planted in His Presence rooted and grounded in His Love with faith, trust, and confidence that is unwavering. How will you ever know that you are “planted” unless there is wind and rain? Wildfires kill the beautiful display in a tree for that day but those trees with deep roots are renewed and restored with time. See God is more concerned with our forever than the inconveniences of today. He will never leave us or forsake us but will not deviate from His Perfect Plan. He doesn’t lie or change His Mind. But a seed planted must die in the ground, form deep roots and stand the elements to bear its fruit. And so it is with us… we must be planted.
It is not enough to set an alarm to read the Word of God each day. In fact without faith, trust and obedience – it is like pouring water on a rock. Nothing will happen. It cannot yield it promises because it is impossible to please God without faith. Faith in His Word, His Spirit, His Timing, His Perfection, and His Promises produce patience in us to wait for Him. We must cultivate a relationship with the Lord with deep and abiding roots that keep us firmly in His Presence no matter what happens on any given day. Side note: I find it quite amusing that my husband and I are now “planted” in a church with “River” in its name. We are indeed planted by streams of living water. See God has a great sense of humor even giving us hints along the way.
Isaiah 61:1-3 (NIV) The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.
God uses everything that enemy meant for our harm for our good and His Glory. (Genesis 50:20) I believe this wholeheartedly and am a witness firsthand. It is important to plant our life in His Presence unmoved by the winds of change and storms of adversity. The same rain that strips a tree of last year blooms waters tomorrow’s harvest. We must trust the Lord and His Process to have the abundant life that He promises. We must be planted. For those who choose to have faith and trust in the Lord, there is a great exchange taking place. You are called and created to be an oak of righteousness – a planting of the Lord to display His Splendor. Jesus is the broken ground in which the initial seed of faith secures our salvation. We must not stop there but tend to our faith and continually plow fields of trust sowing even more seeds of faith in obedience to God. It is His Good Pleasure to give us His Kingdom, we must be planted there to receive it! It’s never too late to begin this process of prosperity found only in being planted. He gives an open invitation preceded by new mercy each day. His Grace is always enough to receive Him. His Righteous Robe ready to cover you and keep you alive and well both now and forevermore with Jesus.
Psalm 84:10-11 (NIV) Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked. For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.