“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped… “ Philippians 2:5-6
Jesus did not hang on to his heavenly glory, but surrendered it to save us. Now he asks us to follow his example and share his heart. He wants us to treat each other as he has treated us, thinking of their needs and God’s will before our own. Now that’s one revolution I hope I get to see fully happen!
O Father God, please transform my heart and mind by the power of your Holy Spirit. I want my thoughts to be your thoughts. I want my heart’s desire to reflect the passions of your Son. I want my will to be guided by your Spirit. Please forgive my tendency to ruthlessly hang on to my own importance, my own will, and my own self-justification, even when I know it is not right or best. Make my mind more like the mind of your Son. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
• How to Experience God’s Love and Forgiveness (3 parts)
• Why I need to Press the ‘Reset Button’ – confessing sin is like a reset button in our relationship with God.
What happens to us, as Christ seekers, when ill winds of adversity whip around us?
The cry of the heart….“We would see Jesus.” (John 12:21 KJV)
The cry of the hungry and thirsty…a cry that sometimes cannot be identified. Some nebulous something or other.
Yet, most of the time, those who cry out don’t even know they are searching, for, they (we) attempt to fill that void in our lives by pursuing all sorts of other things.
But what happens to us, as Christ seekers, when those ill winds of adversity whip around us? Many times, we fall apart.
Cries can be heard in the wilderness. We cry out in our hunger and thirst. We find no comfort, no peace.
And yet, sometimes, the Lord allures, persuades, and draws His people into wilderness valleys. Hosea said, “Therefore, behold, I will allure her, will bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfort to her. I will give her vineyards from there, and the Valley of Achor as a door of hope; she shall sing there.” (Hosea 2:14-15a NKJV)
The only word used in the Old Testament for wilderness is midbar. It doesn’t mean a sandy desert; it means a pasture (as an open field, where cattle are driven) and implies the meaning of a desert as a deserted place. It also means speech and comes from a word meaning to speak.
Wilderness is a lonely, uninhabited wasteland, yet, a place where God will draw you in order to speak to you. Where you are set apart from the madding crowd.
To a place filled with His presence.
A place where He will speak comfort to you.
In the Hosea verse, comfort (or comfortably) actually means heart and also means speak into a heart tenderly, friendly, and comfortably.
So there, in the midst of your heartache, your afflictions, your trials, He will speak tender comfort to your heart and bring forth vineyards from the Valley of Achor, meaning the valley of trouble.
Vineyards, as a fertile place, a place of growth in circumstances, a place to glean a harvest, this is where Jesus will meet you. And you will sing there, as Hosea said.
The Hebrew word for sing means ‘to heed, to pay attention, to respond, to begin to speak, specifically to sing, shout, testify, announce.
So that which causes affliction, as the valley of troubles, will be an entrance, a gateway to hope, as a cord of expectancy.
Oh, to see Jesus when we are in that lonely wasteland of hopelessness, to walk with Him there, to hear Him speak comfort to our discouraged soul, that we may pay attention to His voice. And there, we will find our vineyards, as sustenance, supply, and growth, in Him.
Our hope is renewed in Him. And we sing His praises, for that which had been a source of calamity has become a source of redemption and blessing.
A valley of trouble. A strange place to find vineyards, isn’t it? But it is God’s doing.
“This was the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. (Psalm 118:23 NKJV)
Yes, God knows your need while you’re in that wilderness experience. He knows how long you’re to stay there and just what you need while you’re there. Mainly, you need Him.
And Jesus is there to walk you through the wilderness and to bring you out of it.
The cry of the hungry and thirsty? Yes…
“We would see Jesus.” (John 12:21 KJV)