Before the year started, there were three words that I believe with all my heart that God was speaking to me about but I just didn’t get it. The three words are ( seed, planted, rooted). These three words became repetitive in my everyday life since 2017 began. I remember watching a video in January and the topic of discussion was focused on the same topic about planting. In the video, the lady discussed about the parable of the sower. For a second I hesitated to tell the lady that exactly what she was talking about was in alignment with what I believe that God was speaking to my heart. I eventually shared it with her. I was started reading a devotional by Rick Warren and for the few days it was also talking about planting and seed. He was sharing his experiences in his Christian walk. I called my sister and I was like can you imagine that this devotional is talking about planting and seed? She started telling me that girl God is speaking. Then I was on Tumblr and a girl messaged me asking me this question ” How do you know if you have accepted Jesus in your your heart?” I honestly didn’t know how to answer the question because I’ve never heard that question before. Then I asked one of my sister’s in Christ and she also didn’t know how to answer. I prayed about it. Then one girl I know crossed my mind for me to ask. She was surprised by the question. In process of her explaining what she thought, I was reminded of a seed. It’s just interesting how God works. I answered the girl and she understood. All glory to God. Even in the men’s Bible study I attended, the same words have been repeating. We are currently studying 1 John. It’s been an amazing study. Learning and growing in the Lord. There’s no greater joy than being in his presence.
Below is the devotional: Rick Warren
“Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy. They weep as they go to plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest.” (Psalm 126:5-6 NLT, second edition)
You need to plant by faith, not by your feelings.
Do you think that every day a farmer wakes up excited to go to work on his farm? No. It’s hard work! But if a farmer only worked his crops when he felt like it, not much would get done. He may not want to get up early. He may not want to go harvest and plant and weed. But he does it anyway.
Let me make a little confession: I don’t always feel like being nice to people. I hate to admit it! Sometimes I want to be cranky. Sometimes I just want to say, “Leave me alone!” I don’t always feel like being kind. I don’t always feel like being generous. I don’t always feel like giving people hope. I don’t always feel like preaching.
But I don’t happen to live by my feelings. I happen to live by faith. Sometimes I plant when I’m tired. Sometimes I plant when I’m distracted. Sometimes I plant when I’m stressed out. Sometimes I plant when I’m in deep, deep grief. And I move ahead in faith in spite of my feelings, expecting God to act.
As we approached the most recent anniversary of my son’s death, I really didn’t want to be at church. It was close to Easter, and I would have rather just celebrated the Resurrection at home with my wife, my Lord, and my kids and just get through the day.
I was in tears most of that week, and I claimed Psalm 126:5-6 as a promise: “Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy. They weep as they go to plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest” (NLT, second edition).
And you know what? As I was planting seeds in 14 Easter services, God gave a harvest of 2,604 people who came to Christ. Those who sow in tears will reap in joy. All those people are going to be in Heaven because I didn’t do what I felt like doing. I did what I did by faith.
Sometimes God will call you to make a sacrifice — through your money, yes, but also through your time, talent, and maybe even your life. You may feel like saying, “I don’t feel like it.” But if you do, you will miss the blessing that God wants to do by using you.
Plant by faith, not by your feelings.
Talk It Over
- Do you live most of your life by your feelings? Why do you think it is so easy to do this?
- What would it look like for you to live by faith? What would change in your life?
- What sacrifice is God asking you to make that will require you to plant seeds by faith?
Reflection: God speaks. The problem is that we don’t listen. If we don’t spend time in his presence, how can we grow? Even when Jesus came to Earth, he had a task he needed to complete but in the book of Mark 1: 32-35, we see that Jesus went to a solitary place to pray to God.
Verse: Mark 1:32-35
32 That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. 33 The whole town gathered at the door, 34 and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was.
Jesus Prays in a Solitary Place
35 Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. 36 Simon and his companions went to look for him, 37 and when they found him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!”
38 Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.” 39 So he traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.
What are some ways in which we can stay rooted in Christ:
- Read the Bible. Before reading, pray and ask the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart and reveal, teach you all that needs to be taught during your time with the Lord.
- Attend Bible Study: We are reminded in Hebrews 10:25 that “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encourage one another and all the more as you see the Day approaching. I can personally say that attending Bible study has helped tremendously in my growth in the Lord. When we come together as one, there’s always something to learn. There may be people that God will use to reveal or speak to your heart. I love this verses Hebrews 10:25 because it’s reminding us not to give up meeting together as many are in the habit of doing. There are people who stop going to church or Bible study because they feel like someone knows more than they do or because someone mistreated them. Nothing should stop you from growing deeply in the Lord.
- Spend time in God’s presence: There will be many times that God will speak to your heart and it may be during the time your spending alone time with him. There was a verse my friend shared with me last semester from Psalm 119: 105-112.
105 Your word is a lamp for my feet,
a light on my path.
106 I have taken an oath and confirmed it,
that I will follow your righteous laws.
107 I have suffered much;
preserve my life, Lord, according to your word.
108 Accept, Lord, the willing praise of my mouth,
and teach me your laws.
109 Though I constantly take my life in my hands,
I will not forget your law.
110 The wicked have set a snare for me,
but I have not strayed from your precepts.
111 Your statutes are my heritage forever;
they are the joy of my heart.
112 My heart is set on keeping your decrees
to the very end.
She attended Exchange (Hillsong Wednesday service) and a woman spoke about hearing from God. My friend was sharing with me that it was exactly what she needed to hear. Many times, we are so distracted and make so many excuses to even read our word. We can read so many books about how to hear from God but honestly one way to hear from him is reading his word. He speaks in many ways to us but his word is key.
4. Ask questions. If don’t understand a Bible passage, feel free to ask a Bible study leader. Google is helpful but not always. There are certain questions that Google cannot answer. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Everyone is on a different journey. Some of us are still baby Christians with a desire to grow but if we are asking questions which is an important factor in growth, how will we move on from being fed with milk to eating meat. In 1 Corinthians 3:2, we are taught about being fed milk and not solid food because we aren’t ready. It reads, “I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready.”
When we take a look at Hebrews 5:12-14, it reads “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.”
5. Prayer. There is so much power in prayer. As you continue to grow in faith, your prayer life will also flourish. The spirit will give you utterance on what to speak. We can’t do anything on own accords but in everything we must seek God.