Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Don't get tired of planting!

A new day begins in our life. It's a day to plant and sew good seeds. Only those who plant good seeds reap good fruits. The dream of every person is to reap happiness. Nobody was born to be unhappy. We all dream with a rich harvest of happiness. But to reap, it is necessary to start planing. Most of the time we forget to plant or get tired of planting seeds. And then here we are, surprised when the harvest is not good. How are we supposed to reap what we don't plant? Paul says "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." (Galatians 6:9)

Sometimes I see people getting tired of planting good. 

They say, "I invested so much in that person for nothing! I didn't get anything in return! Now, I may as well just give up!"

"I'm tired of always being available for them! It's always the same ones who do everything! Those other people don't do anything, ever!"

"Yes, I'm tired of serving, of loving, of doing good."

We can never get tired... Because, He insists, "Don't give up! Don't get discouraged! In time you will reap! Lets learn from the patience and perseverance of the farmer. He knows that to harvest it is necessary to plant, whatever the cost. Sometimes the seed and rain is not sufficient for a good harvest. Sometimes the farmer plants but a storm comes and takes away his seed. Sometimes he plants but the insects come and devour the hard work. Even though these things happen, he doesn't give up planting. He is persistent because he knows that at the right time the harvest will come.

How can I harvest friendship if I get tired of doing good to others?

How can I harvest peace if I've gotten tired of forgiving?

How can I harvest love if I don't want to serve anymore?

How can I harvest happiness if I don't work hard for the happiness of others?

How can I harvest blessings if I live complaining about life?

The great things are not obtained by our strength, but by our perseverance.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Desert

You have already heard about it, certainly in the church. It was during a meeting with the pastor, or during an interview with a pastor's wife or an assistant ...

"One day you'll have to cross a desert ..."
"Everyone must pass through the fire ..."

As long as we still do not live this experience, we can't really imagine it.

We imagine that one day we will pass by a strong event in which God will test us to see if our faith is really strong in Him. And of course, it is clear to us that we will fully succeed in this "test" because our faith is unshakable.

"I will never leave the presence of God for anything."

The truth is close to that, but as I said above, until we live it,we absolutely can't imagine what will really happen to us.

A few months ago, I made this prayer to God:
"Lord, I am really grateful for all that You have given me and for all that You have entrusted in my hands. During this year, You have even given great blessings that I did not even expected.
So I want to be honest with you: I think I don't know the true value of these blessings. I want to give value to all that You have given me, so I will never neglect them. I beg you, reveal to me the profound value of those great blessings that You have entrusted in my hands recently."

Today, I realize that my prayer was answered. Through the desert that I am crossing, I learn every day to give its real value to whatever God gives me.

Here's the best definition of spiritual desert:
"The desert is not necessarily the place of ruin, failure and defeat, but rather a place to learn more of God. God allows some deserts to happen in our lives, to teach us and to build our character. The truth is that there are things that can be learned only through a desert.
The desert is where we depend entirely on God. The place of the daily food of God. The more we depend on God, the more we trust him. "

A woman of God told me: "In the desert, you are alone. Nobody is there for us, we must face everything alone. And the worst part is that even God does not answer you."
When you're in the desert, I assure you that very quickly, all that's inside of you is screaming, "HELP ME! PLEASE! HELP MEEEEEE !"

But there is nobody who can help us, for 3 reasons:

1) Because if you belong to God, you're not going to tell everyone around you, you will be discreet. So, few people see that you are crossing this desert.
2) The few people who know what you go through, will give you words of faith and courage, but they will not always be with you to"caress your head". If they are of God, they will allow God to test you. Those around you can not cross this desert for you.
3) Even if they try to help you, each desert is different for each person: nobody can tell you exactly what to do, YOU are living it.

So, in the desert, you are alone.

But all is not hopeless.
Remember the children of Israel in the desert of Sinai : at the time of entering the desert, God did not tell them which road they should take, or how long they would have to walk. God did not tell them that He would walk with them throughout the journey to help them.
And yet ....
- They had nothing to eat, but food fell from the sky,
- They had nothing to drink but water came out of a rock
- They walked for several years but their clothes and shoes were never worn,
- They did not know where was the promised land, but a huge pillar of cloud guided them by day and a pillar of fire guided them during the night ....

Did you ever wondered why it was a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire at night?
In the desert, the days are dry because the sun is burning mercilessly. This pillar of cloud certainly gave them freshness and even make them shadow as they walked behind it! And nights in the desert are incredibly icy... The column of fire had to warm them in addition to illuminate them in the completly dark nights.

God was with them all this time spent in the desert. Even if he knew that his children had to be alone to be able to fully confide in him, God has done everything to make this journey as painless as possible.
God certainly wanted totest them in the desert so they learn to fully trust Him even in the worst situations, so that when they come into the land of plenty, they will still be able to trust only in God.
For us who are His children today, it's the same. He even set that example and lots of others in the Bible so that we know what awaits us!

YES, each person must go through this experience, and not only once
YES, it will be really different and much more painful than anything you can imagine
YES, you will be alone for the cross
YES, this experience will be incredibly beneficial spiritually

So when you will go through your desert, remember this: it's really hard, but only those who hold to the end will reach the Promised Land. Do not trust what you feel in this moment : continue to hope and especially PERSEVERE.

Written by Aurore Desvarieux - France

Monday, January 10, 2011

Piece of humble pie anyone?

"Now it came to pass, when Rehoboam had established the kingdom and had strengthened himself, that he forsook the law of the LORD, and all Israel along with him." (2 Chronicles 12:1)

Isn't that what happens most of the times? We fight, fast, pray early dawns, and when we get what we wanted we no longer seek God with the same intensity and position. You see that Rehoboam not only turned away from God but he led all the people to turn away from Him. When we take the wrong attitudes, we make others mess up. Do not forget: We are the mirrors to the members.

"Thus says the LORD: ‘You have forsaken Me, and therefore I also have left you in the hand of Shishak." (2 Chronicles 12:5) Leaving God isn't just leaving church, it involves SO much more! For example, it's to stop trusting in Him when facing a big problem, its also reaching the 'self-sufficient' status, or achieving financial blessings and stop trusting in God because we depend on our own achievements. When we stop seeking God we automatically drift away and lose his anointing and protection. This is what happened to Rehoboam. But, I have good news: he humbled himself! If we humble ourselves and recognize that we're nothing, the response of our merciful God will be immediate!

"So the leaders of Israel and the king humbled themselves; and they said, "The LORD is righteous. Now when the LORD saw that they humbled themselves, the word of the LORD came to Shemaiah, saying, "They have humbled themselves; therefore I will not destroy them, but I will grant them some deliverance. My wrath shall not be poured out on Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak. Nevertheless they will be his servants, that they may distinguish My service from the service of the kingdoms of the nations." (2 Chronicles 12:6-8)

This difference exists in each one of us, when we humiliate ourselves before God and serve Him with sincerity. God allowed the devil (Through Shishak) to touch some things (verse 9). In the end the person will reap what he plants; but when The Word of God finds a heart in good soil, the fruits will be obvious! So then, lets be humble! Remember, God is not blind to your problems.
"When he humbled himself, the wrath of the LORD turned from him, so as not to destroy him completely; and things also went well in Judah."

Roberta Tavares

Thursday, January 6, 2011

You can run... but you can't hide

Nobody escapes the desert. Someday, for some reason or another, we will all go through it. Therefore, we must understand that the desert is not necessarily the place of ruin, failure and defeat, but rather a place to learn from God. God allows some deserts in our lives to teach us and to build our character. The truth is, there are things that if we don't learn while in the desert, we won't learn any other way. The desert is the place of full dependence on God. The place of daily provision of God. The more we depend on God, the more we trust Him.

With regards to our character and temperament, the desert is the classroom of lab tests of God. The desert experiences are the refining fire, polishing and sanding touches. It is exactly at this time when many are treated for character and sanded or polished in their temperaments. Moses and Joshua also experienced this transformation.

The scars from the desert are indeed signs of a life that dwells trusting in God. The desert hurts but stiffens. It burns our skin, but tempers our character. In the desert there are no supermarkets, no groceries, but an abudant grace of God supplying the every day needs.

Whenever God wants to use someone, he leads them to the desert to exercise their limits of dependency. With the given drawbacks of life ... God promises us we will overcome! He will not let NOTHING hinder our path! Nothing and nobody can prevent us from achieving what is rightfully ours! Still, hell may rise up and even though it may seem difficult, like you're not going to get what you want, God says: No one will be able to stop YOU!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Dare to change

When someone developes, everything around them develops as well... When we try to better ourselves, everything around us becomes better too.

You are free to choose... to make decisions, but you need to understand to make your decisions with courage, selflessness, and sometimes with a certain amount of anger. We will only understand the world and universe when we stop seeking explanations. In that moment everything will become clear.

Learning something new means stepping into an unknown territory, where simple things are the most extraordinary things. Dare to change, take on the challenges,don't be afraid, and keep insisting over and over and over again.

Remember that without faith you can lose the battle you already thought you won. Do not give up, remember always your goals... and start again if you have to! The secret is to not be afraid of making mistakes and remembering that we must be humble to learn.Have patience to get to the right moment and congratulate yourself. And if seems that your efforts weren't enough... analyze the causes and try harder ...

The world is in the hands of those who have the courage to dream and to take the risks that they come with.

"A servant that has the same characteristics as God does not only do His work, but overall, His will."