Can I tell you how good it feels to be through the book of Ezekiel? There is so much prophesy packed in those pages that my head spins trying to figure out what everything means. I’m not there yet.
Oh, but I do like the sound of the river of life that will one day flow from the Temple. Everything the water touches will come to life…and the salty Dead Sea will one day be fresh and filled with fish! This was new to me; I’m sure I read it somewhere, but I didn’t retain that little nugget of information.
The Lord planned to restore His people Israel not because they did anything to deserve it, but because of the holiness of his Name. His reputation mattered to him…his desire is for all the nations to know that He is Lord of all.
And his desire for those of us who follow Him is to abide in Him and in His word…to make the words we read in the Bible become a part of who we are…to give our intellect to the Lord so that our minds can be renewed by the Holy Spirit.
Speaking of renewal of the minds…this morning while scrambling eggs for breakfast, I had a thought pop into my head out of the blue. I was wondering what this week’s ultrasound would reveal and started envisioning all sorts of bad things: more cysts, lesions, fibroids, you name it, I thought it. And then the rebuke came to my mind and my spirit: stop expecting the worst! Instead, expect His best!
He who conquered the grave will surely, absolutely, and completely be a help in time of trouble and turmoil. Take a look at this promise of His best for your life, from John 15:
7 But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! 8 When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.
Let that sink in a minute. Not just glory, but GREAT glory is brought to the Father when what? When we produce much fruit. How do we produce much fruit? By asking for it!
At church today we learned that there is an algebraic equation here: a + b = c. If I remain in Christ (a), and (+) I let his words remain in me and my mind (b), then (=) I may ask for anything I want, and it will be granted (c)! God delights in us when we exercise this equation in our lives.
But before you grumble and think that we Christians are getting something for nothing, think again. The (c) part of the equation is not free. In order to get to c for God’s glory, first I have to abide/trust/give my heart over to Jesus. Then I have to allow the Holy Spirit to grow me and shape me by renewing my mind with HIS words, not words the world throws at me. Only then will I bear much fruit.
It’s the fruit part that’s been holding me up. I’ve been expecting a very small crop of fruit on my “tree.” The anxiety issues that I have just keep intruding on my life to such an extent that I’ve come to expect those weedy anxieties. I’ve come to expect very little spiritual growth in myself because of these issues. But John 15:7 tells me to Expect His Best! Why? Because it brings GREAT glory to the Lord when I produce not just one little crop of peaches…but when I produce bushels and bushels of peaches that are then used to bless others around me. I need to be expecting an orchard’s worth of fruit rather than a few pieces of fruit hiding in a bushel full of weeds.
How is your outlook on God’s work in your life? Are you an orchard full of fruit? Or are you needing to renew your mind and begin expecting His best for your life?
Expect His best…not for what’s in it for you…but because it brings GREAT glory to the one who saves us from death and brings us abundant life.