Posted by: glorifyhim1 | May 16, 2011

Blooming for Christ

Recently while hiking a short mountain trail, I stumbled upon a single clump of bright, beautiful wildflowers. The path was rocky and rutted. The effects of winter and early spring storms were clearly visible along the rough trail, yet there in the middle of seemingly nowhere, bloomed beautiful wildflowers. At the time, I remember thinking what a shame – such lovely flowers that few people would ever see! I finished my hike and didn’t think anymore about the flowers until a couple of days later while downloading pictures from my camera. As the downloaded images appeared on my computer screen, there once again were those beautiful wildflowers! How pretty I thought. Perhaps I could use the picture on note cards or even frame a copy and display it on the wall. As I began to think about all the possibilities, it occurred to me that those wildflowers are just like you and me.

God created us unique and equipped each of us for the individual plan He has for our lives. He plants us where He wants us to grow and bloom. As God told the prophet Jeremiah: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5). God knows the perfect plan He has ordained for each of us, but the choices and decisions we make can affect whether or not these plans come to fruition.

So how do we know God’s plan for our lives? How can we know if we’re making the right decisions? Throughout my life I’ve struggled with different decisions. Should I stay home with my kids or work outside the home? Should I change jobs? Should I accept the promotion and make more money, but have to travel more? Did I always make the right decisions? In some cases, I know I did. I knew it then and in retrospect I know it was the right thing to do. At other times, I really don’t know. But through my questions and struggles, God helped me see a few things that continue to help me as I deal with choices in life.

  • First and foremost, God wants me – all of me. He wants a relationship with me more than He wants anything I can do for Him. As I read my Bible, pray, and seek to follow Him, not only do I come to know Him better but I also grow more sensitive to His Spirit within me leading and guiding me. I am more in tune with God’s will as I learn about Him and as I experience Him in my daily life. Similarly, some choices I must make are not really either-or decisions. They are clear instructions in God’s Word – either I choose to obey or not to obey.

 

  • Secondly, doing good things and pleasing others is not necessarily the same as pleasing God. In all honesty, I want to please others. I want others to like me and I don’t want to offend anyone. Yet God has helped me see that pleasing others is a form of trying to justify myself before men. Jesus stated to the Pharisees: “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God” (Luke 16:15). When I do things just to impress or satisfy others, I’m doing them for the wrong reason. Even good things can be done for the wrong reason. Seeking God’s will often means choosing between better and best instead of good and bad.  

 

  • Thirdly, hasty decisions are not always wise decisions. Psalm 37:7 states: “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.” Lamentations 3:25-26a also states: “The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should hope and wait quietly.” A willingness to seek and wait for the Lord’s direction reveals our confidence and trust in Him, even during difficult and trying times.

 

  • Finally, our decisions should never be based on feelings of guilt or condemnation. Sometimes even other believers can place heavy loads of condemnation and guilt on fellow believers. Jesus spoke against the Pharisees for this very thing: “For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers” (Matthew 23:4). Jesus, on the other hand, called the people to “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30). God convicts us of sin, but He doesn’t condemn us. He promises to forgive us when we confess our sin and to remember it no more. “For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more” (Jeremiah 31:34b). We are fully justified because of what Christ did for us when He died on the cross. “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:17). We serve Christ out of love and devotion, not out of guilt and condemnation.

 

God places each of us in a certain place at a certain time for a particular reason. He endows each of us with certain gifts or talents and just like the lovely wildflowers, He wants us to bloom where He has planted us. He may use us in many different ways, perhaps even in various places, or He may use us to brighten that one spot where He planted us. It is God’s decision where He places us and the gifts He gives us. It is our choice how we respond. May we all bloom for Christ!

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