Monday, April 8, 2013

Seasons of Growth


To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: Ecclesiastes 3:1
Every believer goes through seasons or phases throughout their Christian walk.
Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction.        2 Timothy 4:2
Hopefully each new season brings forth growth in both the individual’s own faith as well as a fine-tuning of his or her spiritual gifts. Above all else, a Christian should hope for a renewed love and fervent passion for the Savior, but that does not always come easily.
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It is not uncommon for a Christian to experience some dry spells when it comes to their walk with the Lord, however, it is important to understand that a dry spell, (those times in which it is difficult to pray and to get into the Word, or to actively seek fellowship with the Lord or other believers) does not necessarily signify that you have lost your faith or that you are no longer sincere about your commitment to Christ. It can actually be an opportunity for you to  see how God can grow your faith, taking it up a notch, by being obedient to the Lord in spite of how you may feel emotionally, instead of because of it.

2 Corinthians 5:7
We live by faith, not by sight

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In other words, it is easy to have hope and joy and to fill our spirits with nourishment from the Word when we are feeling happy and comfortable; but that is not where the rubber meets the road in terms of our faith. The heart of our faith is: “believing in what we cannot hear or see…This type of faith is the knowing and trusting in Jesus that is the heartbeat of our spiritual life.
I like to approach those spiritual dry times the same way I do when my arthritis or depression flares up…I make it a point to exercise and reach out to the Lord. I keep moving through the pain, and I acknowledge that the condition exists, but I determine to do all that I can to get through it in order to come out on the other side…The pain will eventually fade and there is always a light on the other side of the tunnel!
When you are too sick or weak to eat a meal, it is still imperative that you take in daily nourishment in order to get healthy and grow stronger even though you have no appetite. Likewise, when you seem to lose your spiritual appetite and find yourself picking at the Word without truly taking it in and digesting it, you are allowing your weakened condition to take over and it will only become worse.
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Confess this to the Lord, you will not shock God when you admit that you really don’t feel like talking to Him just then…He already knows, and He wants you to admit that you are in need of His help in order to be able to hear from Him again! This is a time to engage your mind in making the decision to talk to God, to ask for the power of the Holy Spirit to intercede for you. No matter how inept you may feel right now, God is always able, and Jesus has promised that when we are weak…He is strong…You do not need to rely or have faith in your own abilities. God is the one in whom we put our trust, and he NEVER disappoints!
Romans 5:1
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ
 
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And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful. Mark 4:19
Another thing we must never forget is that we do have an enemy who looks for any opportunity to bind us in order to prevent our spiritual growth…After all, God is forming us into the image of His own Son day by day, and if there is anything that the devil hates as much, or possibly even more than God’s own Son, it is a whole family of sons and daughters!
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage Galatians 5:1
So do not give into those negative or neutral feelings and thoughts, but instead give them up to God, and He will turn even this into something good in your life!  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his  purpose  Romans 8:28

All but two of these pictures were taken on our hike last week. I did not feel very inspired to take photos since it was such a cold and dreary day and walking on thin ice on the trail left me tense and sore.
Even the dogs could not wait to get back home, and I know I annoyed Jeff whenever I stopped to shoot what looked like very ordinary almost colorless landscapes displayed before us.
I found my mouth speaking words of gratitude to the Father for giving us each day, and I prayed through the pain and the dullness of the day, and only after I came back home and transferred these pictures onto the computer did I begin to notice God’s hand in each one.
And I am thankful that I stopped to take them.
*Note: the pic of the fallen tree was taken by Jeff just before that day. He said he thought it might go well with a blog post.
The idea of a healthy tree falling over because  of a disconnection of the root system from the source of it’s life sustenance seemed quite relatable to the idea of  how even a Christian who is firmly rooted in  their faith in Jesus, if they begin neglecting the daily nourishment through the Word of God, will not be able to stand, and they will soon wither away. Even though the living water runs just underneath the tree, the benefit is lost as soon as the tree becomes disconnected. 

Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.
but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” John 4:10,14)


We are saved by His grace, but we are kept steady and strong by our connection to the living water who is THE WORD made flesh.

~Jesus is the Living Water~

10 comments:

  1. Lovely pics!! I see your snow is going just like ours.

    I love how your husband supports your blogging by snapping pics for you.

    Blessings hon, the flowers will be budding and blooming soon.

    <><

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    1. Hi Sweetie,
      Yes, the snow is finally dwindling down to just some pockets of ice here and there.
      We are checking daily for that first bud to pop!
      There was a robin trying really hard to get into the window today I joked that it must have been cold, LOL!
      God bless~ Lisa

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  2. Lovely post and the pictures your husband took go perfect with your words. I have been in a dry spell for a few days. I praise and sing and read my bible anyway. I know it will pass.

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    1. Hi Dee,

      That is the good thing to remember that it will pass. I will just put on my hymn CD, and read a few of my favorite blogs. I have also saved a couple of scripture websites on the computer's favorites bar so it is easy to access.
      ~God bless~ Lisa

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  3. Such a great post, bless you.

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    1. Hi Denise,
      Thanks, I'm glad you liked this.
      ~God bless you too~ Lisa

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  4. As one who is suffering from a newly diagnosed chronic digestive disorder, I needed to "hear"/read these words. It's still hard though, especially when you have to deal with pain day in and day out without much relief. I'm trying, but I struggle much though.

    Blessings!

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    1. Our suffering can sometimes make us lean on Jesus more, and appreciate the good in our lives even more as well.
      I am blessed with a very understanding husband who works hard in order to make my life easier, it seems you have the same blessing.

      I have been diagnosed with vertebral and disk disease for 7 years, and have been through every phase of the disease process and I am here to say that with time, you will learn coping skills and will not have as many down days. You can actually find yourself becoming stronger in the midst of suffering with the pain and difficulty of your disease.
      Being a believer, you have the best resource (The Holy Spirit) to help you stay spiritually healthy regardless of your physical pain.

      If this disease is only for a season, then you will grow and learn from this season in your life...God may deliver you from it, I know many who have experienced divine healing.

      Have you ever heard the song where Jesus either calms the storm or holds and calms His child through the storm? That is the picture I have in my mind whenever my disease flares...It will go either way, but either way there will be calm!
      ~God bless you, & happy belated birthday!~ Lisa

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  5. Beautiful pictures Lisa...warmer days and sunshine are really on it's way; I can feel it! So true that in the midst of our busy lives, or downcast days it is sometimes hard to stay spiritually healthy, and we need some discipline to stay on track. We have to have a daily intake of the Word to feed our soul and provide the supplement that is necessary for strength, direction, and joy! :)

    Blessings and ((((hugs)))) sweet sister! :)
    Denise

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    1. Hi Denise,

      I am hopeful that those sunny warm days are just around the corner. God is the creator of all the days, and so each is to be cherished!
      I'm thankful He provides us with fuel to heat our home until the weather warms, and friends like you to warm my heart!
      ~God bless and ((warm hugs)), LOL!~ Lisa

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