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Stick with It - A Devotion

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Psalm 1:1-3 (AMP)
Blessed (happy, fortunate, prosperous, and enviable) is the man who walks and lives not in the counsel of the ungodly [following their advice, their plans and purposes], nor stands [submissive and inactive] in the path where sinners walk, nor sits down [to relax and rest] where the scornful [and the mockers] gather. But his delight and desire are in the law of the Lord, and on His law (the precepts, the instructions, the teachings of God) he habitually meditates (ponders and studies) by day and by night. And he shall be like a tree firmly planted [and tended] by the streams of water, ready to bring forth its fruit in its season; its leaf also shall not fade or wither; and everything he does shall prosper [and come to maturity].

There is a crepe myrtle tree in our backyard by the deck right next to our house. It is not the tallest in our yard nor does it produce the most beautiful blooms. It came from humble beginnings. I found it in a plastic bag dead in my dad’s garage. He promised that if I planted it that it would grow. I had my doubts that day as he grabbed hold of a little dead offshoot unceremoniously ripping it off to show me that there was still green inside the broken limb. So just to prove my father wrong, I took it home and stuck it in the ground. I didn’t really pay much attention to it after than just left it there tucked in a corner clinging to life. The soil underneath our house is actually red clay. It has hard to grow things in it but the little stick held its own. After a few seasons passed, it began to grow first ever so slightly until now as it towers over the deck rail to the roof of our house. The little stick now has become a crepe myrtle tree.

Blessed, happy and fortunate is the person who walks and lives in the Presence of God. His delight and desire is serving the Lord. The Lord promises that such a person will be “like a tree firmly planted and tended by the streams of water (not just any water but Living Water), ready to bring forth its fruit in its season, the leaf will not wither or fade AND He will prosper in EVERYTHING. When I think of the little stick that I put in the ground, it is difficult to perceive it growing into the lovely tree that it has become. It had the potential locked inside of it as it sat dying inside the garage. All it needed was to be planted to grow. I wonder what would happen if every believer planted themselves in the Presence of God and decided to tap in to Living Water? What would happen if we began to truly prosper in everything we do? You will never know until you try it.

Numbers 17:1-11 (AMP)
And the Lord said to Moses, Speak to the Israelites and get from them rods or staves, one for each father’s house, from all their leaders according to their father’s houses, twelve rods. Write every man’s name on his rod. And you shall write Aaron’s name on the rod of Levi [his great-grandfather]. For there shall be one rod for the head of each father’s house. You shall lay them up in the Tent of Meeting before [the ark of] the Testimony, where I meet with you. And the rod of the man whom I choose shall bud, and I will make to cease from Me the murmurings of the Israelites, which they murmur against you. And Moses spoke to the Israelites, and every one of their leaders gave him a rod or staff, one for each leader according to their fathers’ houses, twelve rods, and the rod of Aaron was among their rods. And Moses deposited the rods before the Lord in the Tent of the Testimony. And the next day Moses went into the Tent of the Testimony, and behold, the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi had sprouted and brought forth buds and produced blossoms and yielded [ripe] almonds. Moses brought out all the rods from before the Lord to all the Israelites; and they looked, and each man took his rod. And the Lord told Moses, Put Aaron’s rod back before the Testimony [in the ark], to be kept as a [warning] sign for the rebels; and you shall make an end of their murmurings against Me, lest they die. And Moses did so; as the Lord commanded him, so he did.

I feel sorry for Moses and Aaron. The Children of Israel were quite a bunch. Probably not much different than the people, we deal with day in and day out. Or maybe we are like God’s Chosen People constantly complaining, grumbling, griping and rebelling. Bless Moses sweet heart! How many times did this man fall on his face before God and beg Him to spare their lying, cheating hearts! In Numbers 16, they doing what they do best and stirring up trouble and God is giving them what they deserve – well most of them anyway. Two whole families and all their belongings swallowed up alive by the ground and thousands who die from a plague. Finally, God is ready to settle this mess. In Numbers 17, we read the account of the blossoming rod. We are studying signs, wonders and miracles in church. This one particularly caught my attention right about here. “And the next day Moses went into the Tent of the Testimony, and behold, the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi had sprouted and brought forth buds and produced blossoms and yielded [ripe] almonds.” (Numbers 17:8) When we read this account, it was Aaron who stayed on Moses side each time. He was with Moses face down on the ground pleading for God’s Mercy on the people. Aaron took a lot of heat for doing so. The people directed their anger and jealousy at him along with Moses and God. When the rod representing Aaron was laid in the Presence of God something miraculous happened. It sprouted, budded, blossomed and produced ripe fruit – all at the same time. Thus confirming miraculously that this was God’s Chosen Priest from the Tribe of Levi. This miracle is no different than the one hidden inside of you today. Did you know a supernatural life is nothing more than Super God and Natural Man working together to prosper? You sacrifice your life as a seed and God plants it into the firm foundation of faith whose Name is Jesus Christ. Living Water washes over you and then through you and everything in our life begins to grow, mature, develop and prosper. The only question is will you use your freedom to give up your stick to become a Tree of Life?

Isaiah 55:9-11 (AMP)
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain and snow come down from the heavens, and return not there again, but water the earth and make it bring forth and sprout, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My word be that goes forth out of My mouth: it shall not return to Me void [without producing any effect, useless], but it shall accomplish that which I please and purpose, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

It makes me laugh to think how many times I have been blessed just trying to prove God wrong. There are so many times that my step of faith was nothing more than a personal challenge to show the craziness of faith. When my dad told me the stick would become a tree, I truly did not believe him but it was that seed of faith and hope in my heart that decided to give it a shot. God will do whatever it takes to get us to put our faith in Jesus Christ so hope becomes a reality in our life. I do not have time to outline every single promise found in the Word of God for our life. I will not rob you of the feeling that comes when new hope is discovered and faith begins to grow as we invest time and energy into our relationship with the Lord. I will tell you that you have a future and hope according to God’s Plan for your life. (Jeremiah 29:11) Grace covers every sin you ever committed giving you free access into the Presence of God. You were created to prosper from the inside out in every season. If you are not doing so, it is your position not God’s that is compromised. God’s Ways are higher than our own. He sees things from “800 feet” up as we blindly stumble around in the darkness. God’s Word will “sprout” in our life if we believe that it is true because we connect our heart and mind (natural) with God’s Way (which is super). When God’s Word is planted in your heart and convinces our mind that it is true, we will become planted by faith in God and soon everything will begin to prosper in our life according to God’s Purpose. The enemy will begin to try to put weeds in our garden because he knows that if we become “rooted and grounded” in the Love of God – he can no longer steal from us, kill us or destroy us because we belong to God by faith in Jesus Christ. (Matthew 13:25-29) Jesus is the “Sprout” that gives us new life. (Romans 15:12-13) As we become grafted into the Body of Christ, something begins to grow inside of us. We must strive to grow deep roots by faith in Jesus Christ. It is the beginning of prosperity. When faith produces confident hope that keeps us planted in the Presence of God – our life has the “supernatural” power to change overnight as we become a new creation.

I Corinthians 13:12-13 (AMP)
For now we are looking in a mirror that gives only a dim (blurred) reflection [of reality as in a riddle or enigma], but then [when perfection comes] we shall see in reality and face to face! Now I know in part (imperfectly), but then I shall know and understand fully and clearly, even in the same manner as I have been fully and clearly known and understood [by God].
And so faith, hope, love abide [faith—conviction and belief respecting man’s relation to God and divine things; hope—joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation; love—true affection for God and man, growing out of God’s love for and in us], these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Budding shows signs of life in a plant. It is when the young sprout begins to how sign of productivity. In the life of a believer, it is a glimpse that the Lord is changing us. It is the outward display of hope in our life that occurs before the promise arrives or blessing comes. It is the moment that we know God is going to do it even though we cannot see clearly how or know exactly when but refuse to move until He does. ”Though the fig tree does not blossom and there is no fruit on the vines, [though] the product of the olive fails and the fields yield no food, though the flock is cut off from the fold and there are no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will exult in the [victorious] God of my salvation!”(Habakkuk 3:17-18) These are the words of those “budding” by faith. Their hope is not in the things that they see but the Lord who they do not see. Such people can rejoice when there is nothing really to be happy about, they can love others even when the “other” rally against them. They trust God’s Word, Will and Way so much that they have no faith for other things. This is when God is maturing us and preparing us to enter our purpose and begin to reach our full potential. This isn’t the fun part and take a lot of patience as we endure to the end. God is maturing us from the inside out so we will be ready to properly be the blessing that He has created us to be. The Lord will not prosper you until He perfects the seeds you are sowing. In other words until He is confident the contents of your heart is pure, He will not allow abundance to overflow in our life. We must reach full maturity to maximize our true potential. No more spiritual babies always crying out for milk. No we will crave sustenance from the Bread of Life consumed by Living Water. (Ephesians 4:14-16) No matter how “mature” in Christ we become, there will always be more to do. Do not grow weary in pursuing God’s Perfection for you. Keep your eyes on Jesus Christ and remain in His Presence and you will grow miraculously no matter what is happening all around you. (Hebrews 12:2-3)

Mark 11:12-14; 20 (AMP)
On the day following, when they had come away from Bethany, He was hungry. And seeing in the distance a fig tree [covered] with leaves, He went to see if He could find any [fruit] on it for in the fig tree the fruit appears at the same time as the leaves. But when He came up to it, He found nothing but leaves, for the fig season had not yet come. And He said to it, No one ever again shall eat fruit from you. And His disciples were listening [to what He said].

In the morning, when they were passing along, they noticed that the fig tree was withered [completely] away to its roots.

You are created by God to prosper and produce in every season, not just natural ones. When Jesus came to the fig tree covered in leaves, it should have had fruit on it even though it was not necessarily the right time of year. Jesus expects those called by His Name who think they are believers to be blossoming where they are planting. Hypocrisy will never produce anything in your life. Pretending to have faith will not produce hope. There is no such thing as “faith it ‘til you make it.” There are a lot of people speaking words of faith without anything to back it up. The Word of God is the substance of our faith. If you do not know the Word, your faith has no credibility. You must know the Truth to be set free. You may know of Jesus but do you know Him for real is the question. The little twig planted in our backyard was planted close to the house unintentionally but in that season of growth when it appeared weak and fragile the house shielded it as it took root to grow. For many season, it stayed the same size to the rest of the world but underground its root were taking hold of the earth so when it did begin to grow and tower over our house it would not be burned by the sun, uprooted by the wind or knocked over in the storm. Be patient! God is most definitely not finished with you yet. Allow Him to work in you and through you to produce the promise and prosperity that He has already spoken into existence for your life and belongs to you because of Jesus Christ. “So be patient, brethren, [as you wait] till the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits expectantly for the precious harvest from the land. [See how] he keeps up his patient [vigil] over it until it receives the early and late rains. So you also must be patient. Establish your hearts [strengthen and confirm them in the final certainty], for the coming of the Lord is very near.” (James 5:7-8)

John 4:34-35 (AMP)
Jesus said to them, My food (nourishment) is to do the will (pleasure) of Him Who sent Me and to accomplish and completely finish His work. Do you not say, It is still four months until harvest time comes? Look! I tell you, raise your eyes and observe the fields and see how they are already white for harvesting.

When we decide to live in the Presence of God, we see the harvest that was there all along. God provides seed to the sower. (2 Corinthians 9:10) Those who live by faith and believe in Jesus Christ will see the prosperity that has been there all along. When our satisfaction comes from doing the Will of God, we will prosper. We will grow (sprout), mature (bud), develop (blossom) and prosper (harvest) every single day that we are alive rather than in certain seasons. You have the potential inside of you to live supernaturally. You have the ability to witness signs, wonders and miracles every single day. It’s time to get on the stick and place our life no matter how dull and “lifeless” it seems in the Presence of the Lord and refuse to move until the process of prosperity begins inside of us making its way to the outside of our life. We have everything we need to prosper! We were created to prosper! Jesus want us to prosper! God called us to prosper! His Word will not return to Him void. What are you waiting for? Get in His Presence and get ready to grow! It’s your season. The harvest is now!

Galatians 6:8-10 (AMP)
For he who sows to his own flesh (lower nature, sensuality) will from the flesh reap decay and ruin and destruction, but he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint. So then, as occasion and opportunity open up to us, let us do good [morally] to all people [not only]being useful or profitable to them, but also doing what is for their spiritual good and advantage]. Be mindful to be a blessing, especially to those of the household of faith [those who belong to God’s family with you, the believers].

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