Then You’ll Grow
When I was little we sang a song that went something like this, “Read your bible, pray every day and you’ll grow. Grow. Grow.” It never ceases to amaze me the simple and profound truths that lie in children’s songs. Just last week I wrote about break through. I have gone back and read some of my blogs from the early days of this site and felt a sincere relief at the growth in just over a year. I am also made aware that some battles I keep dragging with me like Linus with his blanket. The one key change in this year or so is that I have read my bible, almost everyday, and I do pray everyday. I have “put myself under the word” as Ms. Joi says. I listen to sermons, Christian music and read Christian literature. It has greatly impacted how I approach my life.
I have been growing. Of late, God has been doing a fair share of pruning in my life. At first, I sort thought I was experiencing discipline. Nothing seemed to be going right. As I read more and prayed, I was convicted to address one or two things, but for the most part…I was growing so this couldn’t be discipline…right. Then I started reading more about being apart of the vine. In order to continue growth, you have to be pruned. I am not going into a tangent about growing grapes or anything else. (I can barely keep plastic plants alive.) However, beautiful grape vines have to be cut back so sun can reach the plant and fruit be plentiful. I pray for growth which means I literally ask for pruning. Pruning in out spiritual lives often involves bringing things to light and convicting us to align those issues with God’s word.
Are Those Clippers or a Chainsaw
I like to handle my business. I do not like people seeing me flounder, not even my husband. Admitting to a tangible need takes a lot of pride swallowing for me. I finally admitted a need. I did not do so in expectation. I confessed this need because God really put it on my mind, in my heart that not confessing it was just my pride. I admitted the need because it tore down a brick in that nasty wall of pride. Ultimately, I was blessed to have that need met, but the ripple effect of letting go of that pride as been astonishing to me. One, I don’t feel like I am being fake. When you try to keep it all together and pretend everything is perfectly fine…the façade is rarely convincing. People know something is wrong. It also impedes prayer…at least it impedes mine. I was asking God to meet needs and then blocking avenues to have those needs met. At the time I thought I was being selfless, but it turns out that was not the case. Two, the weight that lifts when you obey is amazing. Do you feel weighted down? Seek where your disobedience lies. Ask God to reveal it to you and forgive you of your disobedience. Only then can you really let things go and let God handle it.
In “Break On Through” I wrote about something our Pastor said in service, “You cannot be a giver until you can receive” (paraphrased). At first, this phrase just kicked my pride about. Since stepping to the challenge and allowing a measure of receiving in my life, giving has taken on a different texture. I love doing things for others. (OK I love doing certain things for others.) Cooking is perhaps the top of the list. This week we served public service members a meal. I was chief cook and bottle washer for the operation. I can only tell you I felt a difference in my heart during this event. When someone said thank you, it was not just polite words. It resonated with my heart.
Perhaps that is the “secret”. In order to be a giver, a true joyful giver – we must receive so we can understand the impact we make when we give. The spiritual aspect to this, is how can we give if we do not receive from the God. We often hear ministers talking about the process of sowing and reaping. This is much the same. As revelation and blessing are received, only then can we impart to others. In accepting, whether in the natural or the spiritual, we are then able to feel and express joy in the giving.
Give. Receive. Repeat.
Luke 6:38 tells us “Give and it will be given…”. Well, if something is being given to complete the process it must be received. I do not believe in giving for the purpose of getting, whether its planting the seed of my tithe or the service of my hands. The fact remains that we do receive blessings, in many forms when we serve others, give and tithe. Often these are unexpected blessings. Sometimes they are tangible, but the most valuable to me are the blessing and lessons I am able to hide in my heart.
As I have looked back at almost a year and a half of blogging, I realize my heart is full to the point of running over with blessings I cannot touch or put a price on. Peace of mind, fullness of joy, fellowship and true Christian family is a treasure that I take to heart each and everyday. Many who read this blog are a part of these blessings, writing this blog is a blessing. Do not be blind to the blessings in your life. Enjoy what God has promised and delivered to his children.