Pearls of Great Value

The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls... - Matthew 13:45

A simple blog. For those in love with Jesus.

Pearls Blog

Pearls Blog

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, 46 who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it. - Mat 13:45-46
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  • Nov23Thu

    Rest. Wait. Listening. Renew

    Seasons November 23, 2023
    Filed Under:
    Pearls Blog
    Seasons come and season go. Winter, spring, summer and autumn. We experience these year upon year and don't think much of it. It's routine. Winter comes and we settle down until spring arrives and has us bustling right into summer. And summer doesn't let us sit much, it barrels us along until we hit autumn and we wonder, where did time go? And so we start the cycle again. Seasons. We might not think much on them, but they are essential never the less. We need winter just as much as we need summer. I was thinking on each season this morning and came to the realization that they reflect the seasons of our spiritual walk. 
    Winter. The season we are in right now is a season of rest. I don't know about you, but this season is the one the Lord is consistently reminding me to come into. Rest. How do I learn to rest in God? This word rest always reminds me of Jesus resting in the boat as a storm was paralyzing his disciples with fear. How could he rest with such a storm going on? I believe the peace inside of Him was much bigger than the storm and so the storm never registered to him as something worth getting up for. What did get him up was the need of his disciples. If they hadn't been afraid and hadn't needed him, he would have slept right through the storm confident His Father would get him to the other side. 
    So, how do we acquire this peace? How do we rest in confidence? I'm thinking that the answer is simply in dwelling or making our home with Jesus. Not just visiting him occasionally but actually living with him in his house. Jesus often went away to be alone and to pray. Do you know what praying is? It's like me saying, "I'm going over to my friends house to visit." And as I'm visiting we share what's on our hearts, we enjoy each others company, we receive from one another. This is prayer. It starts with intentionality and blooms into acquiring. 
    True rest trusts. It hopes in and on the Lord. Think on how you rest on a couch. You trust the couch to hold you and not fall apart. You don't worry, you don't strive and strain to make the couch hold you! Yet this is what we do with God our Father. At some point we have to get how pointless striving is. God already loves you. Very much. Are you trying to impress Him with your appearance or good works or your spiritual resume? Have you contemplated that maybe He just wants your heart?
    Do you think you can rest and trust on the Lord just as much as you would on a couch to hold you? Only if you comprehend His goodness and love. And this solely comes from spending time with Him. If you don't believe the couch is any good you'll never trust it to hold your weight.
    Spring. The season of the Wait. This season is often the hardest for us. How do we go through a season of waiting without flat-out going crazy? A farmer who plants a seed has to wait until a plant pops out of the ground. The worst thing he could do is dig up the seed every day to see if it will grow or not. Wait on the Lord, the bible instructs us, wait on the Lord, be of good courage and He will strengthen your heart.( Ps.27:14) 

    In Isaiah 40:31 we learn that those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength. This wait is qavah which is a twisting or binding. It is the word used for making rope and has the connotation of entwining. Think of how a mother braids her little girls hair. Or how a sailor entwines hundreds of strands to make a rope. Waiting here does not mean sitting around twiddling your thumbs. Instead, it's a season of entwining your heart with the heart of the Lord, and as you do so bit by bit you're getting stronger. It's letting His will become infused into your will, letting His desires become your own. It's a honeymoon season, if you will.
    Becoming one. This is the purpose of the waiting season. Taking a hundred strands of your life and binding them together with the Lord. So, find what it is that draws you closer to Gods heart. Is it taking a walk and talking with Him? Is it journaling? Is it singing and playing music? Is it in praying the psalms back to God? Whatever it is, carve out time each day to knit your heart together with His. The rewards will astound you.
    Summer. The season of listening. I'm a child of a man who specialized in growing a good-yielding crop. What often amazed me was his ability to read the land, and read the plant. It was as if he listened and heard its needs and then made decisions accordingly. He saw things I never thought to see because he was observant and watchful. If your a farmer of any sort, you'll probably know the importance of listening, watching, and attending to the needs of not only the plant but the soil as well. If the soil is terrible you endeavor to bring it up to par. If it's good you continue to care for it so it stays good. Every farmer and gardener knows that your crop is only as good as the soil.
    The question is this: am I a good listener? Are you? How observant are we to watch over and care for the soil of our hearts? Do we listen when the Master gardener admonishes us to watch out for the weed of bitterness, do we tear it out or feed it some more? When he tells us that we need to apply patience, do we do so or do we try another cheaper way? How about when He asks you to forgive, to turn the other cheek, to walk the extra mile? Every act of obedience nourishes the soil, beautifies the heart. 

    Listening is essential in the walk of a believer, but even more so is the need to obey His instructions. If you feel him knocking on the door of your heart and he tells you it's better to give than to receive, do you shrug it off or do you seek to give? We will never grow fruit if we don't first work on the root. The root is listening and obeying, the fruit is the blessing that comes from applying his instructions. The yield depends on how continually you keep on listening. 
    Autumn. Renew. The season where God works on out inner man. Where our Father renews our strength, revitalizes our desires and hopes and transforms us. I'm thankful the majority of the work is in His hands, because I can sweat blood trying to change me and will never get too far. It's only by His mercy and grace that I can be transformed. We might look at autumn and see how everything is changing color and say, its dying. Yet, it's in the giving up of the old that the new has a chance to emerge. It's in the submitting and resting process that the new is formed. 

    A caterpillar gives up on its old life and submits to the cocoon. And inside this hidden form a miracle ensues. Wings take shape, colors emerge and from the old comes forth a brand new creature. Does the caterpillar have anything to do with it? I'm not sure but I believe not. It just submits to the process. The eyes of the Lord are continuously searching to and fro to strengthen those whose hearts are fully devoted to Him. He is looking for  hearts that is inclined to do His will. It is these hearts that are ready for transformation. Ready to walk through fire to let the diamond emerge. Ready to be molded in the secret place in order to soar for His glory in the public square. 

    The hidden place is not coveted by many, but unless one gives his heart and life to the cocoon, one can not be transformed into a different creation. The hidden place requires sacrifice and sometimes it's painful to go through the process of shedding the form of darkness, but praise God He watches over the transformation to bring it to pass. He who has begun a good work is faithful to see it through. It's His hands at the helm. He is the one who transfers us from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light. 
    Rest. Wait. Listen. Renew. Ask the Lord today to give you fresh insight into each of these seasons and to reveal to you which one He would have you in. Actively seek His face and may the joy therein give you the strength for today; he truly delights in you. And fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. It is His joy and delight to give to you!  

      Rest in the goodness of the Lord and trust that He loves you. Wait on the Lord, keeping your eyes fixed on His, let him bind your will and desires to His. Listen to His instructions for they are good and for your well-being; don't add anything and don't subtract either, for they are perfect. Finally, be renewed in the spirit of your mind, submitting your whole body and soul to His will. Let Him transform you.

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