During my devotion this morning, I was struck by this passage of Scripture.
Psalm 37:3 – Trust in the Lord and do good; Live in the land and cultivate faithfulness.
Of course, I have read this before. However, if you know God, there are times when you read something. Then, you read it again and again, and yet see something that didn’t strike you before like it does at that moment. “Cultivating faithfulness” was impressed upon my spirit. I looked up the word “cultivate” in the dictionary. Even though I know what it means – nurture, feed, promote growth – I had to see the definition again. The fifth definition given was “to develop or improve by education or training; train; refine”. The seventh definition given was “to devote oneself”.
In perspective of this Scripture, the word choice of cultivating faithfulness is speaking of our spiritual journey. We are responsible for cultivating our faithfulness. We are to devote ourselves to being faithful. Educating ourselves in the Word of God and then applying to our daily lives. While it does seem very simple, it takes time and practice. Being faithful means being aware of what you have chosen to do, and then continue doing it. It means educating or learning something new to do it better. I mentioned in an earlier post this week that some things will always take time. We have the microwave, the computer, etc. and can get things done faster than ever before. However, cultivating takes more time and attention to detail, as well as practice. The first thought that came to me about cultivate is relative to land. When you consider farmers, they must cultivate the land to get the best harvest. Aren’t we looking for the best harvest when it comes to our walk with the Lord? Of course, the Lord gives the increase. There are those in our lives who plant seeds. But, are we cultivating those seeds towards faithfulness?
Do you have daily practices in place to cultivate your faithfulness? This question is for you to answer, to ponder, to consider what your harvest will be. Be blessed and have a great day!
Today, I am up early and enjoying the morning. Learning new information and reinforcing useful information that I already know. I am re-energized this morning. I would like to say that being a person who encourages others, I have to make sure that I encourage myself. I think about the coaching perspective of how to help others and know that you must practice what you preach, as it is commonly said.
Today is my youngest daughter’s birthday. She is 21 years old. She told me this morning she is now a law-abiding citizen..lol. Just the beginning my dear! My encouragement today is to be present. Enjoy the day, your family and your friends. Even if you are alone, enjoy that as well. Enjoy yourself. No worries, no anxiety, no sadness. None of it. Be glad that you are alive and breathing. Be mindful that if you could do something about anything, you would. If not, don’t let the negativity grab hold of you and rob you of your joy.
As you maintain an attitude of gratitude, things open up. Should you need to be creative, it will come. Should you need to be productive, get up and do something. I think about motivation and realize that when I have needed to be motivated about something, getting up and getting started does the job. Willing myself to be motivated is just way too hard. It is much easier to just get up and do it. I believe Nike had the best slogan ever, “Just do it.”
As I move on to the next thing this morning, everyone have a great day! Be blessed and be present in the moment. Enjoy your surroundings and the morning sunshine. Take care and talk to you soon!
Today’s post is a revealing story of the heart. With the upcoming Sunday being Easter and all about the resurrection of Christ, it is perfect timing to check our hearts. Numbers 16 is about Korah and his 250 followers who rebelled against God. There was jealousy and conspiracy from Korah and his 250 followers (incense burners) against Moses and Aaron because they were discontent with what God had given them. They had a special ministry to minster to the people of Israel given by God as their service to Him. Yet, they were jealous of Aaron and the priesthood. Moses had to remind them that they were rebelling against God, not him and Aaron.
Numbers 16:8-11 – “8Then Moses spoke again to Korah: “Now listen, you Levites! 9Does it seem insignificant to you that the God of Israel has chosen you from among all the community of Israel to be near Him so you can serve in the Lord’s Tabernacle and stand before the people to minister to them?10Korah, He has already given this special ministry to you and your fellow Levites. Are you now demanding the priesthood as well? 11The Lord is the one you and your followers are really revolting against. For who is Aaron that you are complaining about him?”
We do have to choose carefully who and what we follow. We will be held accountable for our choices. When Moses asked Dothan and Abiram to come to him during the confrontation, they refused. They were still stuck on being removed from Egypt, the land flowing with milk and honey. They were not content with God’s timing for entering the Promised Land and as seen, their hearts were revealed in the rebellion of Korah. They looked back and desired what they used to have (check Lot’s wife, the pillar of salt). They showed contempt for what God had for them and their future.
Numbers 16:12-14 – “12Then Moses summoned Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, but they replied. “We refuse to come before you! 13Isn’t it enough that you brought us out of Egypt, a land flowing with milk and honey, to kill us here in this wilderness, and that you now treat us like your subjects? 14What’s more, you haven’t brought us into another land flowing with milk and honey. You haven’t given us a new homeland with fields and vineyards. Are you trying to fool these men? We will not come.”
Take note, we may be willing to follow something or someone but your heart will be revealed in the matter. Check your motivation for the things you do. Are you following truth? Or, are you following someone or something to justify your own ulterior motives. Remember, God knows the heart and He has not stopped revealing the truth so we can truly know ourselves.
In that, Moses was a human being, though called and anointed by God for his service to Him. Moses was angry with the Kohathites but unlike times before, he did not intercede for them before God this time. Korah and his followers were then told to present themselves before God the following morning with the appropriate preparation. In coming before the Lord, God’s anger toward the people was major and He was prepared to kill them all. This time, Moses and Aaron interceded again for the people. This confrontation was the Lord confirming Korah’s (and his followers) contempt for Him by doing something new; the ground opening up and swallowing the entire clans of Korah, Dothan and Abiram because He had mercy on the other Israelites who were not a part of this rebellion. The initial 250 followers, the incense burners, were burned up in the fire that followed the ground opening up because they had sinned with Korah in rebellion against the Lord. Because they were holy to the Lord as incense burners, their remains were used as a reminder to the other Israelites.
Check this. Can you believe after such a day, the Israelites were still complaining the following morning? Yet again, Moses and Aaron interceded before God’s anger was released in full force but not before another 14,700 Israelites were killed by a plague. Listen, this was the Old Testament and since then, God has shown His love for us by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, reconciling us to Himself. That doesn’t mean that God doesn’t still want your love and devotion to Him. We are still accountable to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He will reveal your hearts to you. What does your heart to say to God? Do you make Him jealous?
Fight … Surely the fight of faith is a fight worth having.
I believe all of us know what the word fight means. It is to contend or struggle in war, battle, single combat. It is a conflict or struggle. It is a vigorous effort in the face of difficulty. Holding our own in this world is a daunting task. However, God knew that we couldn’t do this alone or without Him, and because He loves us so much, He sent Jesus to die for us and Jesus left us His Holy Spirit to arm us. Let us fight the good fight of faith! God gave us all that we need including the descriptive details of what this looks like in Ephesians 6. There are no excuses other than we just don’t want to. I believe that equipping ourselves daily-yes, daily-with the Word of God is one of the first and very critical steps in fighting this fight.
Ephesians 6:10-18 – “(10)A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. (11) Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. (12)For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. (13)Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will be standing firm. (14)Stand your ground putting on the belt of truth and the body of armor of God’s righteousness. (15)For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. (16)In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. (17) Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (18)Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.”
It is imperative that we get this. God is so detailed in how He gives us His Word that we should be excited. He has covered all the bases. Are you wearing your full armor in this battle? Fighting the good fight of faith is about the unseen. It is not necessary to have faith in what you already see because you see it. The unseen world, or the heavenly realm is just as real as the natural. The enemy seeks to steal, kill and destroy by any means necessary and he certainly will use the supernatural realm to try to stop us from walking by faith. You have no ammunition that can fight the enemy when you do not have God’s armor. Those negative thoughts will come and those testy situations from the enemy are used to wear us down. However, we are not to be weary in well-doing. If you don’t put on the armor, you get weaker the more you get hit. Ask any veteran about the true art of war. To fight the battle, you have to be prepared. God is so gracious to us because He has given us explicit instructions on how to fight this thing. The battle is truly not ours anyway but the Lord’s. We are His soldiers. Make no mistake because Jesus has given us the victory in His death and resurrection. The requirement from us is to fight in faith here on earth. The extent of His love is so phenomenal because He still gives us free will to say yes. God gave us Christ to save us, gave us His Holy Spirit for power in the resurrection and the Word of God to arm us. How much more can we ask for? The enemy certainly has a clue of the value of you standing in faith for your purpose in the kingdom of God. I now ask again, “Are you wearing your full armor in this battle? Is not this a fight worth fighting for? ” Our eternity is based on the answer.