Father, I prepare my heart today to stand firm in faith. I choose to focus upon You and trust You. May my mind, heart and soul rest in You.
Series Focus: “Thy Kingdom Come”
Clutter free! Wouldn’t it be great? Your mind might be going straight to your disheveled house or maybe your disordered workspace. Organizing drawers, closets, and well, just about any space, is exhilarating for me! But today I am not talking about any of those places, or your overflowing “junk” drawer. Today I am sharing a message of Hope as we dig into what it might look like to have a less cluttered, more focused, God centered—heart, mind, and soul.
If our homes get too messy, too crowded, or even too busy, we often shout out “Enough is enough,” and we put time and energy into getting back on track. We do something everyday to reach our goal of a more orderly space. Even if it is one thing, it’s a beginning! But, when our circumstances swirl, trials arrive, or our faith is tested—instead of saying, “enough,” we run every scenario through our mind of how we could have changed the outcome. Our minds become so crowded with the “stuff” that flows from the situation; we don’t even know where to start repairing the damage. We can become numb. We can lose focus. We become vulnerable to the enemy.
If I may be transparent with you—I am writing this message from a place of sorrow and disappointment about a circumstance surrounding my own life. A matter that I cannot control, change, or fix in my own strength or ability. Some fellow Christians would call it a storm. Yet, even though I cannot do one thing—God can do all things. I am learning my part is to trust God, pray without ceasing, and take the next small step in faith.
Jesus set a perfect example of trusting God, praying, and walking forward in faith. We have read that Jesus calmed the waters, healed the sick, and raised the dead. But, He started small. He started by calling a few fishermen to follow Him.
As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him. (Mark 1:16-18 NLT)
He proceeded to gather disciples, one by one, until He had the Twelve. When Jesus’ ministry began, He walked from town to town, step – by – step, one intentional moment after another. His ministry began to grow over the three years He was teaching here on Earth. Even in this small beginning He could see something tremendous about to happen. We call it the Church.
Let’s look at a parable He taught about the Church and the Kingdom of Heaven:
Jesus said, “How can I describe the Kingdom of God? What story should I use to illustrate it? It is like a mustard seed planted in the ground. It is the smallest of all seeds, but it becomes the largest of all garden plants; it grows long branches, and birds can make nests in its shade.” (Mark 4:30-32 NLT)
A mustard seed is incredibly small. Smaller than you are even imagining. Yet, it grows to be one of the largest of all the trees in Israel. Just as this tiny seed produces much, so does the ministry Jesus planted in His twelve disciples. His ministry had a small beginning. He stayed focused on His Father in Heaven. He allowed no circumstance to shake Him. Nothing blocked Him from praying. His final sacrifice paved the way for all of us to have a pathway to the One True God.
When that mustard seed grows into a huge tree, birds will come and build their nests; those nests will clutter the tree. Jesus built His Church and His followers grew the ministry. The enemy wants to clutter the minds, the hearts, and the souls of believers, so that His Church will crumble.
Can we be steadfast even as we trudge through the valleys? Yes, we can. The valley has much greener grass than the mountaintop. The valleys strengthen us, nourish us and grow us into women who care deeply, pray harder, and rise victoriously! If a mustard seed can grow into an enormous tree—you my sister, can bloom into a mighty warrior.
Stand firm in faith. Grow His Kingdom. Bind the enemy. One seed at a time.
Holding Fast to Hope,
Scripture References: Mark 1:16-8, 4:30-32; Matthew 13:31-32; Luke 13:18-19; Zechariah 4:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:17