“Ponder the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established.”Proverbs 4:26
I’ve been contemplating how we see ourselves, how we see God. Why we walk the path we’re on. Do we get our perceptions from our experiences, our upbringing, our own self-talk? Do we interpret God through the eyes of pain, anger or doubt, or wonder and creation, the birth of a baby? It’s important to know why we think what we think, in case it’s wrong!
“The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.“Psalm 14:1
I don’t personally know many people who really don’t believe that God exists, and yet not all are following Him. Some complain about Him, or ask curly questions. Some have been hurt and so doubt His love for them. Others feel God is too distant to need to be in relationship with Him. Some feel you shouldn’t be too serious about religion, while others have just forgotten, or never knew, that they truly need Him, and He truly wants us!
Jesus speaks to us in the parable of the Sower about the ways we hear and respond to His Word. It gives us some clues, too, to know how we can help others receive the Good News! I’ll start with the path. I’ll look at the other places in later posts.
“A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds ate it up.”
“This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved.”Luke 8:11-12
Whenever you speak, live, or express God’s love and His word to others, it is planted in their heart (even the path-seed which is then taken ‘from their hearts’ by the devil). This is encouraging to me. Whatever I do to tell people about Jesus is a seed that gets planted in their hearts. We know that when seed is sown into good soil, and is tended with sun and water, plants grow and produce fruit, vegetables, flowers, crops. So, how do we turn path-seed into productive seed?
Paths are walked on, over and over, making the soil hard under foot, creating a way forward that is easily followed by many. Hearts that have been trodden on, hurt or broken become hard. Hearts that choose rebellion and stubbornness toward God become hard. Some hearts are just walking the path they’ve always known, not thinking if it’s the best way. Some hearts don’t like change, fear the unknown. Sometimes I have a hard heart.
God gives us choice. He is a kind, loving God that doesn’t force our hand.
“I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life…”Deuteronomy 30:19
We can’t make people choose Jesus, but we can help them with their decisions. We can pray that their broken heart is healed by the God of love. We can show them a better path by living our best life, in being kind and forgiving, loving our enemies, not judging, being generous, lending without expectation, trusting God to take care of our every need. (See Luke 6:27-42) We can encourage the down-hearted, supporting them with our love and care. We can pray protection over them and over the word planted in their hearts so that the devil can’t steal it. We can pray that people find a new path to walk, free of the routines and habits and brokenness that lead away from life. We are called to be like Christ –
“The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners…”Isaiah 61:1
You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
How we think about ourselves, and how we think about God makes all the difference in the path we choose to walk, and in the fruit we produce. Let’s make God’s Word our first priority, choosing His Truth as our source of hope, strength, direction and life.
“When you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.”1 Thessalonians 2:13
“You visit the earth and give it rain…You saturate its furrows, and soak its plowed ground. With rain showers you soften its soil, and make its crops grow.”Psalm 65:9-10
Blessings, Jenni xx
- Pray for the people God brings to mind, that He would soften their hearts to hear the Gospel and they would receive it.
- Perform a random act of kindness – or not too random! Who can you bless today?
- Choose to make the Word of God a priority in your life. Read and enjoy what God speaks to your heart.
You truly speak the living word. All those times when you’ve soaked in the scriptures and pored over the Word are coming togther. It’s life-changing and life-affirming to see the different verses pulled together to illustrate a word for this season.
Holy Spirit has been highlighting to me recently about being a blessing to others, and blessing people in Jesus’ name. And now your post is affirming that too. Yesterday, due to lockdown, people are at home so much more and seeking any social exchange they can get. I chatted to 7 of my neighbours yesterday, just because they were out in their front yards, some whom I have hardly ever had an opportunity to talk to. One lady who was taking out her bins (she’s always been aloof and distant with me) told me of a medical condition that is making her unable to work as a nurse. I offered to pray for her. She laughed but said “Yes”. I was able to bless her in Jesus’ name that her skin condition would be healed (actually said her skin would be new as a baby!) and that she would be able to return to work (I had to adjust that when she said “I don’t know if I want to return to work” haha). Another Christian neighbour who was with us said “I am in agreement with you Linda”. Seemingly random encounter, but I know that God orchestrates our paths so that we are in the right place at the right time!
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That’s awesome, Linda. You have such a heart or others. And a gift of evangelism. Thanks for the encouragement xx
Of course I should make clear that I don’t always follow the prompting like this. Often I feel that it will sound too way out or too strange, but this time I had the believing friend there (not planned!) and knew she would be praying too 🙂
Always good to have a friend. Jesus sent them out in pairs!