Ep. 17 – Phoenix – Section 3 – A Grain of Wheat Must Die.
Ah, how we long for Spring. When the early flowers are in bloom. It is the season to think of planting gardens. It can also be the season for nurturing what the Father wants to plant in us. We can ready the soil of our hearts to receive what God has for us.
The hardest reality about the growing process is that the seed has to fall into the soil and die in order for it to bring forth new life. In this scenario, we are the seed. For what God wants to do through and in us, we must be ready to surrender all to even hear Him.
Yeshua had to die for there to be new life. Why? He could just have lived a normal life, teaching that He is The Way, that there has to be atonement for sin and that one day He would take our sins away. How powerful would that have been? No, He had to die in his prime, full of promise. He had to be a viable seed falling to the ground. He had to be at a place of complete surrender.
How can we do what Yeshua had to do? How can we determine what the Father is saying and put it into action.
First, what has God planted in us? What has he said to us?
Are there obstacles that keep us from hearing His voice?
We know we could be “asking amiss,” but, if what we believe God is speaking to us stacks up with the principles of His Word, it IS what he is saying.
Sometimes it is not that we don’t hear God, but that we create blocks against His Word to us—stoney places in our souls. The Lord might ask us to move in a direction where we would prefer to not go. Maybe it concerns a person or situation about which we have negative feelings. Would the Lord ask us to forgive and be forgiven? We know better than to harden our hearts.
There are other times when we don’t follow through because it may not be popular with those around us. As soon as there is persecution or tribulation because of the Word, we drop what God said as if He never spoke it. If others think we are wrong, do we cave?
Probably the greatest deterrent to our hearing and doing God’s will is out of fear. Fears keep us from believing that God is powerful enough to provide for our needs. Fear is the exact opposite of faith. We are surrounded by evidence of God’s provision that inspires us to believe Him.
A sad reality that could hinder us might be places where we have become “comfortable” with wrong behavior or conditions and believe it is part of ourselves, thus not changeable.
And, of course, we might receive the Word, but if it conflicts with our day-to-day concerns, the Word gets choked out and we don’t bear fruit.
How much is our will involved? It is major. We can even ask to be made willing to be made willing. Baby steps. God honors any step in His direction. The Lord understands how hard it is for us to let go and trust Him. If we get into a situation where we are to let go or die, we usually realize we must let go, but often not until then. The Lord knows our weaknesses. We need to appeal to Him that way.
There comes the time to move in what we know. Yeshua didn’t want to just be quoted; He wants us to do what he did and more. The good ground is being in a place of surrender to the Lord. It is to allow our soil to be turned over, broken up, looking for and getting rid of the things that are keeping us from hearing Him and moving in the direction He indicates.
Let’s start with an action plan. We can ask the Lord to identify ONE thing that stands in our way of hearing—and thus doing—His will. Verbally we can surrender that thing to Him. We can begin to redirect our lives so we no longer have an opportunity to be in a setting where we might succumb to this particular temptation.
Let’s purpose with God for change. He loves it when we ask Him at the deepest level of our inadequacies. Again, we only need to be made willing to be made willing.
That’s what dying to self is all about. It’s just about placing ourselves in the Master Gardner’s hands. It is from that place of surrender that God’s plan will take root in our hearts.
We can be that rose bursting forth a sweet fragrance