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~Psalm 23:3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Life’s lessons can be tough ones. To the believer, these lessons can be viewed in two ways:

  1. We accept the trial and learn what God intends for us to learn from it.
  2. We refuse to accept what God wants us to learn.

Either way, there is a lesson to be learned from the Master with each trial. Even if God’s instruction is not specific, He has taught us to depend on Him! All lessons from the Father dealing with character building are for your benefit. These lessons are all to lead you down a righteous path. Never would God lead you down a path of destruction. It is your own sinful flesh that leads us the wrong way.

If you are the type of believer who accepts your trial and looks to God for answers, you are admitting we need His help. That’s the foundation of spiritual growth. Being willing to accept God’s changes for you is the first step spiritual growth. Refusing His help is the sin of pride – you believe you can do it ourselves. There’s no peace in that.

If things are falling apart in your life, then why continue down that path? How is that going for you? Is your way bringing you total peace? Chances are, no! But God promises to restore our souls. This is not talking about losing one’s salvation and regaining it. According to Noah Webster, it means:

To revive; to resuscitate; to bring back to life.

God desires to revive us. God desires to resuscitate us. God desires to bring our beaten lives back to life. It is up to us to submit to His will and direction for us. When we allow God to restore, the end result is being led down a path of righteousness, which is always good for us!

There is no growth of character when life is fun and easy. Growth occurs during the hard and difficult times. Vegetation is sparse on the mountain top, but in the valley growth is plentiful. Remember: All sunshine all the time makes a desert.
~Anonymous

~John 12:24-26 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. 25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. 26 If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.

Scientists have tried to create a seed in laboratories for years but have failed to do so. Yet, the Creator provided us with countless numbers and varieties. A seed cannot bring forth anything until it dies in the soil. That simply amazes me! Our Lord and Saviour used the seed as an example of our lives. If we could compare each kind of seed this world has to offer, we would most certainly find that each one is unique – different from the others.

Let’s just look at flowers for today’s example. I have irises in my back yard and roses in my front yard. The picture above was taken from a friend’s yard – her irises look different from mine. As well, when I inspected my roses, I discovered that each rose came from the same seed and each rose look different in appearance. Year after year, this seed produces more roses and each looks different from the ones before. Each is unique and special in its own way – in size, in variance of color, etc. To think that the seed had to die before it could produce such beauty is a wondrous thought on which to meditate.

How does my spiritual walk compare to this beautiful flower? Let’s use the iris as our analogy for today’s thoughts. Was the seed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ planted in good soil in my heart? Am I feeding my flower, my spiritual life, with the word of God and growing? Am I pollinating and “reproducing”? Is my spiritual walk beautiful or filled with bugs and sickness?

One can only produce a beautiful flower if the seed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been planted in the heart – in good soil. (Mark 4:20) The seed (the old man – Romans 6:6) has died and a new life (John 3:3, Romans 6:4) has been born. Our new life is then made public by being watered, both by baptism (Romans 6:3-6) and by the watering of the Scriptures. (Psalm 23:2) Now we have a flower that has grown from a seed and has sprouted from the ground. The beauty of this flower has not yet been revealed but with just the right amount of sun, water and good soil, this flower will grow into something beautiful.

But what about the snares in life? Flowers can lack nourishment from the soil; they can wilt from lack of water; they can die from bug infestation. I can glean so much from this analogy! It’s amazing how we can look at God’s creation and learn from Him!! I cannot grow spiritually if I do not work at it. You’ve never seen a beautiful Japanese garden that has gone untouched by human hands. It takes hours of gardening to make a garden that beautiful. It’s the same with our own spiritual walk. I cannot just absorb God’s word without opening its pages, reading them and applying what the Holy Spirit has revealed to me. (Hebrews 3:7-12) He convicts me of my sins and molds me into the image of Christ (Romans 8:29).

As I walk on my Christian path, I can myself from sin or I can succumb to temptation or I can resist it. Any good gardener will tell you that pests that are allowed into the garden will destroy the gardener’s hard work. He must use pesticides or natural predators to eliminate the problem. We can only resist temptation if we keep ourselves in God’s word. (1 Corinthians 10:13) I find that I am at my weakest spiritual state when I am not armed with the power of God to resist temptation. (Ephesians 6:10-17) It is not my power, but God’s power that helps us resist sin. My power, my flesh, is weak (Romans 7:18) and in it lies no good thing. Yielding myself to the Lord gives me His power to resist the bugs, the sins of life.

Although I may fall into sin, my Master Gardener (Psalm 30:5) can take my tears and renew my spirit come morning! With the morning dew comes a beautiful new day which produces a beautiful flower. But this flower will be of no use if it does not affect another’s life – whether it is sharing its beauty or “pollenating”! (Romans 1:16, Proverbs 11:30)

So, dear friend, what kind of flower are you? What stage of growth are you in? It’s never too late to work on your spiritual garden!

 

JasperNatlPark_800x585

~Psalm 23:3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Life’s lessons can be tough ones. To the believer, these lessons can be viewed in two ways:

  1. We accept the trial and learn what God intends for us to learn from it.
  2. We refuse to accept what God wants us to learn.

Either way, there is a lesson to be learned from the Master with each trial. Even if God’s instruction is not specific, He has taught us to depend on Him! All lessons from the Father dealing with character building are for our benefit. These lessons are all to lead us down a righteous path. Never would God lead us down a path of destruction. It is our own sinful flesh that leads us the wrong way.

If we are the type of believer who accepts our trial and looks to God for answers, we are admitting we need His help. That’s the foundation of spiritual growth. Being willing to accept God’s changes for us is the first step spiritual growth. Refusing His help is the sin of pride – we believe we can do it ourselves. There’s no peace in that.

If things are falling apart in your life, then why continue down that path? How is that going for you? Is your way bringing you total peace? Chances are, no! But God promises to restore our souls. This is not talking about losing one’s salvation and regaining it. According to Noah Webster, it means:

To revive; to resuscitate; to bring back to life.

God desires to revive us. God desires to resuscitate us. God desires to bring our beaten lives back to life. It is up to us to submit to His will and direction for us. When we allow God to restore, the end result is being led down a path of righteousness, which is always good for us!

There is no growth of character when life is fun and easy. Growth occurs during the hard and difficult times. Vegetation is sparse on the mountain top, but in the valley growth is plentiful. Remember: All sunshine all the time makes a desert.
~Anonymous

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