On a regular basis I like to shake things up. No. It’s better said that I have to shake it up. If things get too static for too long I get a little crazy. Ask my mom. And my husband. Well, and my co-workers. My restlessness has prompted many a furniture rearrangement, get out of dodge adventures, and half-baked ministry projects. What I love about this process is the daring, new experiments that are launched. Full disclosure, some of them crash and burn. Some of them fly high for a season. Some of them resemble oak trees that just continue to grow deep in roots and broad in reach.
Another truth to disclose, I never know what result they will be until they have left my hand. The artist’s plight, I guess. But the Lord reminded me about a verse the other day. “The good tree produces good fruit.” (Matthew 7:17) I read this again and let out a deep, long sigh. Ah. There it is. Pressure is off.
It doesn’t say that every single branch will produce a perfect blossom that will produce a perfect fruit. Rather it says the good tree will produce good fruit. Overall, in an ongoing way, the natural behavior of a good and healthy tree is it sprouts, blossoms and yields fruit from different branches at different times. It is the tree’s lifetime destiny. And the outcome of the fruit is not necessarily the point either. Some of that fruit falls to the ground and rots. Some feeds squirrels and us. Some fruit is replanted in far away places as the birds carry it away. But the tree, the good tree, firmly planted, just keeps producing fruit.
Before you ask… in God, we are good trees. One thing I have learned the hard way is God is Less interested in my 100% perfect outcomes and More interested in my 100% surrender. My “yes!” answer to Him really, really matters. It really impacts His heart. Your “yes” has the same affect. So today, just give Him a fresh “yes” and let Him pour His good, good love through you.
Here are a couple of the outpourings He and I have been playing with. Feel free to partake of new fruit!
God gave me a huge download this last week. I had a birthday which can be exhilarating and excruciating at the same time. Smile. I guess that reality aligns with our actual birth days which were full of joy and full of pain. However one precious gift I received was a word from the Lord. An actual word: honor. I am still translating all that the Spirit poured out but I thought it was no accident to get this word right at Christmas time.
Honor is to elevate above, esteem, hold in high value. The Spirit brought to mind the verse, “he who honors me, him will I honor.” (1 Samuel 2:30) It’s an odd verse. But it is packed with promise. This isn’t a duty-bound, fear-driven demand. This is an invitation. From God. He is saying, if you honor me, it’s not a one-way street. I am going to turn around and honor you back. Selah.
I don’t know if you know this about God. But here is the word picture. A mom says to her daughter, “You go fill up your hands with candy and give it to me. And then I will fill up my hands with candy and give it to you…”
Who do you think has bigger hands?