Psalm 84:5-7 (NLT)
What joy for those whose strength comes from the LORD, who have set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. When they walk through the Valley of Weeping it will become a place of refreshing springs. The autumn rains will clothe it with blessings. They will continue to grow stronger and each of them will appear before God in Jerusalem.
A couple of years ago, we came up with this crazy plan that in the midst of a poor economy and plummeting home value that we would put a pool in our home. We had wanted one for many years and coming across an affordable package embarked on transforming the useless backyard into a suburban oasis. We marked off the back yard envisioning chairs lined up for lounging, concrete as far as the eye could see and in the center a glistening pool filled with splashing children on hot summer days. Then construction began. It was a painstaking and laborious process that became a huge lurking unsightly pit as bulldozers tore up the grass leading from the front to the back barely getting an excavator through the carefully constructed line of homes. The picture of tranquility became a tragic mess. The plan was for a quick project to be completed in a limited amount of time. That is until the rain began to come down in droves. Now there was a massive muddy pit. The orange mud this part is known for was everywhere, it was a mess. Some days, I regretted the decision we had made wishing we could go back to the order that once surrounded our life. I worried that so someone would get hurt as days became weeks of rain. Tired, frustrated and just ready for it to over, no longer did I see the glorious transformation complete as I became lost in the process. However, in the end the pit became a pool. What made the difference? There is only one difference between a pit and a pool – the water. The Lord has promised that when we walk through the Valley of Weeping with our minds set on knowing Him and living in His Presence that it will become a place of refreshing springs. The rain clothes your troubles in blessings. You will grow stronger as you walk through life to appear before God being transformed day by day to experience His Glory!
Have you decided that the Lord is your strength? You will never know how strong you are until it is tested. Have you set your mind on making it to Heaven? A made of mind must be confirmed by its choices. God is moving you by faith into a lifestyle of confident hope and confirmation that will allow you to experience His Joy in full effect. His Strength is carrying you through but you have to make it “through” to see His Outpouring that turns your problem into a promise.
Psalm 23:1-6 (NLT)
The LORD is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the LORD forever.
The toughest part of any project is the point of no return. It is when you have come too far to turn back now but the end is not in sight. When I find myself in such a place, it is overwhelming and exhausting as human strength is ready to give up and the only motivation I can find is “things have to get better than this.” The Lord is my shepherd. It says so in John 10:11. He is a good shepherd who lays down his life for His Sheep. We are the Lord’s Sheep. He rejoices when just one is found and safely arrives home. (Matthew 18:12-13) Although you may feel very alone in the midst of your process, the Lord is with you. His Word reminds us that Jesus will lead the way giving me all that I need. He will renew my strength. He guides me to His Glory for His Glory. Failure is not an option or how would the Lord receive the honor that He is due. I will not be afraid because I know that He is preparing me for victory. My enemies will be shamed beginning with the one who has tried to take my life, steal my joy and rob me of my peace. He prepares a feast for me in the midst of famine. I am anointed with oil which is the blessing of God for my life projected to overflow my life in His Blessing. What should I expect in the days to come? Goodness and unfailing love to finally catch up with me as it is pursing me all the days of my life. Welcome to your process as God prepares your life (the pits) to become a pool overflowing with His Love, Joy, Peace and Blessing. You may experience problems but through them God will prosper your soul. You may meet opposition but that is an opportunity for God to strengthen you.
Genesis 37:18-20 (NLT)
When Joseph’s brothers saw him coming, they recognized him in the distance. As he approached, they made plans to kill him. “Here comes the dreamer!” they said. “Come on, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns. We can tell our father, ‘A wild animal has eaten him.’ Then we’ll see what becomes of his dreams!”
Talk about boy meets world and it all comes crashing down. Joseph was an innocent dreamer sheltered by a doting father and despised by his half brothers. He shared his dreams with his siblings making them only hate him more. “Here comes the dreamer!” Face down in the bottom of a pit Joseph falls, now “we’ll see what becomes of his dreams!” God will turn your opposition to an opportunity. The Lord wastes no time preparing you for prosperity. The enemy cannot take away your inheritance in Heaven for it is closely guarded. As we watch the progression of Joseph’s process, it may shed light into the steps ordered by the Lord for your life. In Chapter 38, Joseph seems forgotten as we read about Tamar and Judah. Then in Chapter 39, we meet up with the dreamer who is now a servant in a stranger’s home. He is tempted by the owner’s wife and wrongly accused landing in the nearest prison. God uses his imprisonment and isolation to expand his knowledge and understanding of the Lord and His Ways. So in Chapter 40, the dreamer now can discern and interpret dreams. This is very important in finding the Will and Way of God. In Chapter 41, Joseph is now ruler over Egypt but he must wait until Chapter 45 for his dream to come true. The chapters that depict the life of Joseph encompass many years of his life. It is not an overnight transformation but many years of hardship met with endurance that began with a dream that would become Joseph’s destiny. Your dream becomes your destiny when you commit to achieving all that God has promised.
Genesis 5:29 (NLT)
Lamech named his son Noah, for he said, “May he bring us relief from our work and the painful labor of farming this ground that the LORD has cursed.”
Your life is no mistake but perfectly planned and executed by God. Without the Lord’s careful intervention in our life, purpose will never be maximized much less fulfilled. When Noah was born, his father named him with the thought “may he bring us relief.” Well, Noah did just that but probably not the way that his natural father envisioned, but according to the plan of His Heavenly Dad. To think that you have missed the Plan of God for your life in some way, shape or form implies that Jesus did not do enough on the Cross to allow His People to move from cursed to blessed. Jesus paid it all. He completed the work on the Cross to perfection and snatched the keys to death and grave back with force and finality. You have no excuse to give up or fail because all you can do now is move from victory to victory because Jesus overcame the world. (John 16:33) Hardship should be your hope. God is bringing relief to your life and His Spirit is evidence that He is not finished with you yet!
Genesis 6:8-9 (NLT)
But Noah found favor with the LORD. This is the account of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous man, the only blameless person living on earth at the time, and he walked in close fellowship with God.
What do I have to do to change the pits of my life to pools of refreshing springs? Make room for God by getting all the junk out of the way. Brokenness allows us to be filled. It dumps out the mess that was keeping us from receiving all that God had for us. Noah found favor with the Lord. Intentional Christians live to find favor with God. Noah was a righteous man. This doesn’t mean that Noah was perfect but he lived in such a way to remain in rightstanding with the Lord. He was made blameless by his sacrifice. In a word going to hell in a hand basket, Noah decided in his heart to continually walk in close fellowship with God. Sin will not allow such a partnership. Willful disobedience will not bring us closer to God but moves us further and further apart. If you want God’s Will, it must be done God’s Way according to His Word! No compromise. It would save the life of Noah AND his entire family not to mention the perpetuation of mankind.
Genesis 6:22 (NLT) So Noah did everything exactly as God had commanded him.
If I stopped right here, you would know enough to experience all of God’s Promises and Blessings for your life. You would have God’s Very Best by simply doing EVERYTHING EXACTLY as God commanded. But as human beings we demand compromise in the name of freedom. We want it when we want it our way! Although He is indeed King of Kings and Lord of Lord’s contrary to popular opinion, Jesus is not Burger King and no, you cannot have it your way UNLESS you decide to make His Way your way by living every day according to His Word, repenting when you fall short, and continually seeking to live in a righteous partnership with the Lord every single day of your life. We must evaluate our life to be sure that we are doing EVERYTHING EXACTLY as God has told us to. He speaks to us through His Word and His Spirit. Are you listening to the Lord’s Instruction? Are you doing EXACTLY what He says? If you do, your pit is about to become a pool overflowing with His Blessing. Your problem is about to become purpose! It’s about to rain in your life, but do not be afraid the flood is about to bring you victory!
Genesis 7:17-18 (NLT)
For forty days the floodwaters grew deeper, covering the ground and lifting the boat high above the earth. As the waters rose higher and higher above the ground, the boat floated safely on the surface.
Our latest process has lasted a year and a half so far, God is leading us through the Valley of Weeping as our toes barely reach the refreshing springs, but soon we will dive into the depths of God’s Favor experiencing God’s Restoration and Revival once more. I will not let the enemy convince me to stop, give up or turn back. Even when life is uncertain and the storm seems so strong, the waves of His Mercy and Grace allow us to float safely on the surface. If you fight the rising tide, you will drown. But if you rest in the Grace and Peace of God, you will be renewed. He will lift you above the problems so you can see His Promise coming to pass in your life. I know it seems like you have been floating along forever. You are not wandering aimlessly but headed straight for Destiny. Just be thankful, you were not chosen to spend all that day in close quarters with your in-laws and livestock. Do not give up. Do not give in. Grab hold of His Righteousness. Release all regret. Victory is just around the corner. Your pit is about to become a pool. You are not hopeless but hope-full! Let His Spirit lead you home today! Take a dip in the refreshing spring of His Mercy and Grace living in the Favor of God!
Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.