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They delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do. Psalm 1:2-3
THE WORD of God is to your life as a river is to trees. And the trees to which the psalmist points us didn't just spring up naturally. They have been planted. Placed in that location deliberately so that they have direct access to nourishment and refreshment and the flow of life. They put down their roots where water is abundant.
The trees take in the water through their roots, letting it circulate to every cell and molecule. The water that once flowed in the river now flows in the trees. The fruit the trees bear season after season is the visible evidence of what we don't see— strong root systems.
We find another description of trees in Jeremiah 17:8:
Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.
A tree deeply rooted and continuously nourished will be fruitful even during times when the environment is brutal and deadly.
Today, sink your roots deep into the living and active Word of God. Let its truth circulate to every corner of your life. As it nourishes your soul, you will find yourself resilient even when the heat is on. The difficulties of life will just force your roots deeper and make you drought-proof.
Lord, let me drink deeply from your Word. Let it inform my life and transform my circumstances so that I will bear hardy fruit. Jennifer
The trials of the saint are a divine husbandry, by which [God] grows and brings forth abundant fruit.
—CHARLES HADDON SPURGEON (1834–1892), English preacher and writer
FAITHFUL AND TRUE
This fulfilled what the Lord had spoken through the prophet: "I called my Son out of Egypt." Matthew 2:15
GOD ALWAYS keeps his word—always.
We all find ourselves in times when chaos seems to reign and our situations feel out of control. It must have seemed that way to Joseph—newly married under less-than-optimal conditions, away from familiar surroundings, and having to navigate the treacherous waters of intrigue and danger. He must have felt that all the experiences that recently had defined his life were sweeping him up in a tidal wave. Who could have planned ahead for a middle-of-the-night escape to Egypt?
But how events look and feel at the time is almost never the true picture. God knows every tremor long before a tidal wave forms. Things are never out of his control. He is shaping events in a way that will highlight his faithfulness.
Joseph followed God one step at a time and found himself in Egypt, a place he never thought he would call home. But he settled in and waited until the next summons came. Do you imagine that between the times when the guiding voice of the living God was clear and Joseph's faith was strong, Joseph wondered when and how, and even if? Do you suppose you might have looked at those circumstances and wondered, Did I make a mistake? Is God really guiding me?
Step back and see how God is telling the story. He is doing as he promised he would do. He spoke his intentions generations before and did not vary one iota from his plan. No matter how things might appear on the surface, God is always working out his purpose in his way, in his time. His promises will not fail. If your circumstances seem to be running on their own steam with no escape in sight, take another look through the prism of God's promises and know that everything is proceeding under God's careful management.
Lord, I believe that you are working everything out for your own good purposes. I trust in your love for me and in your power to do all you have promised. Jennifer
You cooperate with the immediate inevitable because you know that in and through things God's will is being worked out. —E. STANLEY JONES (1884–1973), American missionary and theologian
WALKING WITH GOD
Enoch lived 365 years, walking in close fellowship with God. Then one day he disappeared, because God took him. Genesis 5:23-24
TUCKED INTO one of those who-begat-whom chapters in Genesis, we stumble across a statement about a man named Enoch. The statement reveals more about God than it does about Enoch. It gives us another little glimpse into the character of God, showing us a promise about how he will act in our lives.
As you read the chapter, watch the rhythm. "So-and-so lived ... and then he died." Someone lived, and then he died. Over and over, generation after generation. Someone lived, and then he died. The drumbeat never varies—until Enoch. Enoch throws everything out of sync.
My late husband was very tall. His stride was much longer than mine. When we walked together, he would sometimes forget and be far ahead of me, talking to me as if I were right beside him. He had to be intentional about pacing his steps so that I could walk with him instead of behind him. He had to want to walk with me.
When I read that Enoch walked with God, the first thing that amazes me is that it means God also walked with Enoch. God was willing to calibrate his stride for Enoch's sake—to take into account Enoch's frailty.
So intimate was the relationship between Enoch and God that when the time came for Enoch to leave earth and enter eternity, his walk just continued. One last step on earth's ground, the next step in heaven's vast expanse. Death for Enoch was the natural extension of his life. He just kept walking with God. He received the promise early that came later to the followers of Christ: "He who believes in me shall never die."
Thank you, Father, for the gift of your presence. I am filled with wonder, amazed and awed, that you love me so much you actually desire my presence. Teach me more each day what it means to walk with you. Jennifer
Forbid, O Lord God, that my thoughts be wholly occupied with the world's passing show.... Grant rather that each day may do something to strengthen my hold upon the unseen world. —JOHN BAILLIE (1886–1960), Scottish preacher
Excerpted from The One Year PRAYING the PROMISES of GOD by CHERI FULLER JENNIFER KENNEDY DEAN Copyright © 2012 by Cheri Fuller and Jennifer Kennedy Dean. Excerpted by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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