When It's Time to Move Beyond Preparing

“Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the Lord, that He may come and rain righteousness upon you.” Hosea 10:12 ESV

 

Who knew a simple phone call could bring with it a life-changing decision to be made? A choice that would either allow me to stay in my current place of comfort or alter the course of my future?

I answered the call with all the reluctance of a child jumping into deep water for the first time ever. I’d spoken to this woman before. Several times, in fact. I’d called her with questions about an area of ministry I had been exploring and praying about, and I knew she had years of experience there.

But I hadn’t yet made the decision to move in that direction.

Now here we were, having an unexpected conversation about an open door of opportunity. She knew about my interest, so she felt compelled to call and offer me the chance first.

And even though I’d spent years preparing my soil, I wasn’t ready to sow the seed.

 

“Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the Lord, that He may come and rain righteousness upon you.” Hosea 10:12 ESV

 

In the verse above, the prophet Hosea brought a word of warning to the people of Israel. They’d let themselves get too comfortable in their sinful ways, and now it was time. Time to sow. Time to seek. Time to reap.

Fallow ground refers to ground that has been tilled and prepared for planting, but then left alone far too long. Because the preparations have been left unattended, the ground must be broken up and weeds removed before it is usable once again.

 

We can be like that too, can’t we?

We read our daily devotionals based on Bible stories.

We pray.

We ask God for guidance.

We study.

We memorize our favorite Scriptures.

But then when God brings opportunity our way, (when we least expect it,) we make excuses. We find reasons why we shouldn’t. We even convince ourselves God must’ve meant it for someone else. We prepare our hearts to receive, but then we don’t allow Him to move in our lives.

From God’s Word through Hosea, we find a valuable truth, one we should plant in our spirits for the coming year and beyond.

 

Once we've prepared our hearts, it's time to do what God has called us to do - seek Him. (Tweet this.)

 

Jeremiah 29:13 ESV says, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Yes, it is so important to prepare. But we can’t stop there. If we don’t sow seeds of righteousness, our ground will become stale, stagnant.

When the phone call came that day, I had prepared my soil. I even found comfort in the safety of God’s promises and the peace of His presence, so much that I just wanted to linger there. But when opportunity came to jump into the deep water, I wasn’t ready to sow the seed. Instead, I left the soil to harden and grow weeds.

That was many years ago, and from that experience I learned how to seek Him without fear. Seek Him in all things. Seek Him, and know that everything else will fall into place.

We can have the same comfort and peace, even in the uncertainty of deep water, when we let go of reluctancy and do what God has called us to do.

May you continue to seek God fully in 2018. Your heart is prepared, now get ready to reap the harvest.

 

Blessings,

Kristine

 

Interested in learning more about how to seek God in decision-making? Find out more about the 5-day study, Walking with Rahab, by clicking the link here.

What the Bible Says About Being Too Busy

“It’ll be faster if I just do it myself.”

“I don’t want to bother anyone, so I’ll squeeze it into my schedule.”

“I don’t mind helping out.”

“I like being busy.”

Do any of these phrases sound familiar? I’ve caught several of the words above escaping my mouth lately. And with those words come the accompanying justification in my mind that says:

Productivity is a good thing. After all, “…every good tree bears good fruit.”

I want to be a good tree. I want to bear good fruit. So how do I know when being productive turns into being too busy?

I always thought Martha was misunderstood. Jesus gently pointed out that Mary had chosen the right way. Mary resolved to spend time worshipping her Lord, but my practical nature can’t help but wonder. If Martha hadn’t been in the kitchen, what would everyone have eaten? Would it display Christ-like character to let your guests go hungry?

I can’t imagine inviting guests into my home and not having anything prepared for them to eat or drink. That’s the defining trait of the do-er. But sometimes, all that doing leaves little time for the most important thing.

Martha and I aren’t the only ones who needed this lesson.

“There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus. Peter said to Jesus, ‘Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.’” Matthew 17:2-4 NIV

Peter was a do-er too. He didn’t like to sit around and wait for things to happen. As a result, he sometimes missed the moments of peace God desired to give.

I can identify with Peter’s actions in the passage above. I know I would’ve done the same thing. With the sinless Son of God standing before me, shining like the sun, I can see myself frantically scurrying about. Do you guys need anything? Here, let me make you a place to sit.

Lord, help me.

Thankfully, from God’s divine words that followed, we learn a valuable lesson for those times when we let ourselves get too busy. Let’s see how God responded to Peter’s gesture.

“While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!’” Matthew 17:5

God knew Peter’s heart, and He knew why Peter responded to this life-changing moment with an act of busyness disguised as an act of service.

Because do-ers like to feel needed, accepted, valued.

So God got Peter’s attention. He interrupted Peter while he spoke and commanded him to listen.

From Peter’s experience that day, we can glean a simple yet important truth.

Being busy can get in the way of hearing God speak. (Tweet this.)

Does God need to interrupt me and tell me to listen? Or will I be ready when the moment arrives?

Being busy is not always a bad thing, and yes, being fruitful is good. But it is possible to get too busy and miss the peace God has given us.

God already values us more than anything. We don’t need to earn it. So as we go about following schedules today, let’s listen for God’s voice. May His words speak volumes to our longing hearts.

Kristine