On this Thursday afternoon, I was cleaning my kitchen. I was thinking about something the Lord put on my heart earlier this week.
Something that was keeping me from becoming all who He created me to be.
I didn’t even know how to change this characteristic of my personality, but as God showed me this. I was sorrowful and repented. I realized I was oblivious. I wanted help. I was miserable in my own flesh.
Some things seem daunting to try to change on our own. But I do know that all things are possible with God.
But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. Matthew 19:26
I am grateful for the conviction to change and the grace of God to help me become what He wants me to be.
He never gives up on us. We are in a process. We are on a journey. We will always have something to work on in this life.
I was cleaning my kitchen… everyday I clean my kitchen and every day I still need to clean it.
Anyway, I went to wipe down the dining room table. While I used elbow grease on the messy spots from lunchtime (right where all the kids sit) I noticed a notebook my kids had pulled out to color on.
On the note book page was a prayer request from my sister. Her handwriting revealed she had written this prayer when she was much younger. I turned the page around and smiled at her thoughtfulness of others as she listed family and friends’ names. I decided to flip the page over.
To my surprise, was a note of encouragement, penned in my Mother’s beautiful handwriting.
During one of the most mundane tasks… cleaning my kitchen… It surprised me so!
It’s been nearly 10 years since my Mom’s passing and somehow my kids had come across this notebook. The page may be a little stained, but the message she wrote over a decade ago was just what I needed TODAY.
The words she was inspired to write then, ministered to me now. God knows your future. He is for YOU! He will be there when you call on Him. So make the call!
The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace. Exodus 14:14
My heart is glad. My hope is in the Lord. I can be who God wants me to be.
He will be with me through all the hard times. He is our Hope.
My phone rang on the counter top. A sweet friend (my mother-in-law) asked if I needed anything from the grocery store.
Off the top of my head I listed milk and bananas. I thanked her as we said goodbye. (I’m so very grateful for her random acts of kindness.)
She stopped by with a box filled with quite more than milk and bananas. She said, “I felt to bring you bread”.
I thanked her as we chatted. I didn’t think much of the loaf of bread and I continued on with my day.
After a fun Saturday with freinds, Rob and I were taking some time writing down some goals we felt were God-inspired. They were many dreams on that list. Our lists were quite similar. As we went over our lists I was feeling overwhelmed and unqualified, and not enough.
I was feeling tired. My husband let me take a cat nap with our youngest son. (20 minutes, I’ll take it.)
When I woke up I was thinking of the simple ways God can communicate with us.
We only need to pay attention.
Sometimes His Voice doesn’t come with a “feeling”.
Sometimes it’s a quite whisper or a gentle nudge. And if we aren’t paying attention we’ll miss it.
As these thoughts filled my mind I remembered the bread that was given to me. I thought it was a nice gesture. It was thoughtful.
Then I felt impressed with the words “Go read the label”.
I carefully climbed out from under my soft downy comforter, as my sleeping toddler was tucked beside me. I made my way down the stairs into my kitchen.
I reached for the loaf of bread turned it around and read Specially Selected on the clear package.
A smile came across my face.
I looked up synonyms for these words: Hand-picked, chosen, invited, preferred, carefully-chosen, favored, appointed, designated.
Whatever the Lord has laid on your heart to do. He chose you and He never makes a mistake.
YOU are “specially selected” for such a time as this.
There is much work to do. The harvest is great. You can be a channel God can flow into and out of as He demonstrates His power of His Spirit.
The time is now. Ask God to give you ears to hear, eyes to see, and a mind to know the things that he has for us.
Each person on this planet is designed with a God-given purpose.
YOU are enough. YOU are “Specially Selected.”
“They will be Mine,” says the Lord of Hosts, “a special possession on the day I am preparing. I will have compassion on them as a man has compassion on his son who serves him. Malachi 3:17
During the war years we knew of a mother who regularly received letters from her son serving his country. Being illiterate she could not read them and depended on her neighbor to read her son’s letters to her. On one occasion the son asked his mother for money. The neighbor read the request in a gruff tone of voice, and when the neighbor finished the mother said, “Why that no good son of mine, I’ll not send him one cent.”
Later in the day I dropped in to visit this mother. Desperate to hear even bad news from her boy, the mother asked me if I would read her son’s letter to her once more. Unknowing that another had read it; I read it in a kind tone. Upon hearing the letter read in such a humble tone, the mother broke down and wept and said, “Bless my baby’s heart, he needs money. Of course I’ll send it to him.”
When talking to people concerning spiritual matters, continually remember this very illustration. Suppose our tone of voice is harsh to the soul we are talking to?
Although our words maybe true, they may be rejected because the tone of our voice is unsympathetic. On the other hand speaking to people with love, and showing genuine concern for them personally will do much and may even determine their eternity. Our manner of speaking may even have an effect on the sick. Be it good or bad; power is in the tongue. Our lips are the doors to our mouth. Our words become our guide.
Suppose we visit the sick and our words convey despondency, depression, pessimism or anxiety. Is that desirable? -Does anybody long to live a life like that? -Does any soul want to go into eternity with negative words fed to them? -Is that a reason to want to live?
If our attitude and our voice is kind and sympathetic, it could just be the encouragement that speeds recovery or encourages one in their walk with Jesus.
Proverbs 25:11-A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. KJV
Be very careful of the TONE of your voice. Physical wounds are not the only wounds one can feel and carry for life. Words hurt and can determine how a child grows up or the character an adult will have. Jails are full today because of souls who were destroyed with words alone.
-Your kind words today may be cherished by someone forever.
-Your words are the windows to your heart.
If you want your neighbor to see what Christ can do for them, let the soul see what Christ did for you.
When one is blessed with words; be it good or bad; words are burned in the heart and mind. People do not owe it to you to let you heap verbal abuse on them. If you have the sin of; well that is me; I am plain spoken; then you better lose that sin because it’s of the very devil. It’s not a quality it’s a sin and you claim to use it in the name of Jesus? Woe unto you.
Your spouse; children; public and dare I say it; your in-laws are watching you. Rest assure when you are your lowest your words will be visited back on you.
My continued prayer is Psalm 19:14- Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight…
Nona Freeman was born July 25, 1916 – December 26, 2009. She was an American Oneness Pentecostal preacher, evangelist, author and missionary.
In 1948 Freeman and her husband E. L. (Bug) Freeman were the first united Pentecostal church (UPCI) missionaries to South Africa. There they served 41 years!
Permission to use her writings has been granted by Kneemail.
While I was praying I had a vision of an olive tree. It was beautiful. It had a thick healthy trunk, but it was different. There was a branch on the left and a branch on the right, but the middle was missing. What did this mean? I especially wanted to know because I was praying for unity.
While Rob took the kids on a bike ride a couple of days later (thanks honey!) I had some alone time to really pray and ask God to guide my study.
Without looking up any scripture references I began reading my bible. I came across this scripture:
Now if some of the branches were broken off, and you, though a wild olive branch, were grafted in among them and have come to share in the rich root of the cultivated olive tree, do not brag that you are better than those branches. Romans 11:17-18 HCSB
I am NOTHING without Christ. HE puts breath in my body. I can’t even brush my teeth without HIS help.
I am not better than anyone else. If I think I am, I have a problem. As my Mom would say a “heart problem.”
In studying the Olive trees I found the best time to prune them is after winter and just when the tree is starting to produce the first fruits of the season.
We have gone through the “wilderness.” It was a long “winter”.
During this “winter” you have been seeking God and spending more time with Him. You are able to hear God’s voice clearer. You are walking in the spirit as you are putting your flesh down daily (it’s hard some days) God is bringing you through. You entered a new season. You’re experiencing new and exciting things in God.
Now comes the pruning.
One prayer I’ve tried to pray everyday this year in 2020 is, “God help me see me the way you see me. All the good. All the bad. All the beautiful. And yes… All the ugly.”
Growing closer to God requires the removal of toxic things.
God has done it. He has revealed to me some things He needs to cut out of me (and I’m sure I have a long way to go) Embarrassing things… Like self-doubt, discontentment, jealousy, and comparing myself to others. How toxic!
He has brought things to the surface I didn’t know existed. I could then pray specifically and ask the Lord for His help.
For every ugly thing he revealed in me, He has shown me so much more beautiful things about me!
He showed me I was worth dying for on the cross. I have great faith. I am a peacemaker. I am anointed for such a time as this. I am effective. I am hopeful. I am a “good” mom. I am striving to become a Proverbs 31 woman. I do hear the voice of God. I am led of the spirit. I am joyful. I do trust in Him. Thank you Jesus!
Back to the olive tree, I found there is a special technique to pruning olive trees. It consists of pruning the center of the tree. So the tree gets more light for more healthy growth.
When God prunes us he removes old branches. Old traditions. Old mindsets Old habits. Only then we are able to grow in new areas and new ways. (Not changing the message, of course, Acts 2:38.)
You are producing fruit, but God is not finished yet. He is pruning you so you have the opportunity to grow even more, which means more expansion. More fruits of the spirit. More love. More anointing.
You can’t produce oil without being pressed.
Our attitudes can get us in trouble. His word says to “humble yourself”.
It would be ever so nice to skip the pruning process, but we wouldn’t be all what we are called to be and we wouldn’t be ready for what God has in store and that’s not part of God’s plan either.
We can’t go from point A to point D. We are in a process. We are on God’s time. Not our own.
When we try to figure out the details, we move from the dimension of faith to the dimension of hope. We walk in FAITH.
We have to wait on God when he says to wait. While we wait we put our COMPLETE TRUST in Him. And give him FULL CONTROL in our lives.
Stay busy in His presence. Give God 100%. Stay faithful. Stay consistent in prayer and fasting.
You will make it through! God has a specific call for everyone. When you find it, it’s exciting and it’s the only thing that satisfies.
Stay content in the process. Stay humble. Stay kind. And you will go far!
He is like a tree planted beside streams of water that bears its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. Psalms 1:3 HCSB
Prayer to pray: Lord help me see myself the way you see me, all the good and all the bad. Help me learn to reflect.
I believe the vision God gave me was the picture of a healthy Olive Tree after it had gone through the pruning process.
What are some beautiful things God is revealing about you? What are some things He has helped you realize He is not finished working with you yet?
Thanks for reading! I’d love to hear from you in the comments.