Some time ago I was driving my mom from Wisconsin to Minnesota for a visit with my family. As she was looking out the window of my car she said, “Look how dry and withered all those flowers are. At your brother’s house, everything seemed dry there as well. Then it rained for almost a full day and it seemed like everything suddenly appeared green and beautiful again.” I immediately responded, “Withering isn’t the problem. It’s a lack of rain.”
Most of us know what it feels like to feel dry in our relationship with the Lord. The fruit of a withering tree reveals itself in every area of our lives.
We see it in the compromises we begin to make which ultimately just accelerates the withering process.
What is withering in your life right now?
Is it your job? Your marriage? How are you relating to your kids?
How is your thought life? Do you recognizing defeating thoughts and are you assuming failure or defeat?
One of the easiest ways to determine the vibrancy of, or the lack of, the inflow of the life of Christ in our lives is by listening to the words that are coming out of our mouths. Are we constantly complaining, criticizing and tearing other people down?
Many times I find myself thinking that I need to fix me, and to be honest, the idea of that is exhausting!
Behavior modification isn’t the answer. Our behavior is an outflow of who we are. Who we are is determined by the deposits we make into our hearts (Matthew 12:33-35).
We’ve all heard the phrase “Garbage In, Garbage Out”. It’s the same thing with our spiritual life. You are what you eat.
As our lives begin to wither, it feels like disaster strikes from every angle. We find ourselves running back and forth trying to put out one fire after another.
God continues to whisper, seek Me and I will send the rain.
But we’re too busy. I wonder if God knows just how busy we are.
We find ourselves not seeking Him and then we wonder why He’s not fixing the problems in our lives.
Sure, maybe we run through our quick wish-list with Him while rushing to get ready or driving to work, sort of like how I would write out what I wanted from Santa Claus. But are we seeking HIM?
Psalm 14:1a NLT “Only fools say in their hearts, ‘There is no God.’”
I know we would never say it or admit it to ourselves, but by our actions and our lack of interest in seeking Him, we start to live our lives as if there is no God.
You know, we talk as if God doesn’t hear what we’re saying or we allow behaviors as if God doesn’t see them. I know that many times we still manage to wear our masks to church and small group, confident we will continue to portray ourselves as good, God-fearing people, all the while our private life shouts from the rooftops, “There is no God!”
In the Hebrew, the word “fool” comes from a root word which means, “to wither and fall, to fade”. It implies that when the glow of our relationship with God begins to fade, so do we. Our lives begin to wither because we are not nurturing our relationship with Jesus, the Vine, as described in John 15:1-7. The glow fades, our spiritual strength withers, we begin compromising values and we begin to fall.
The Passion Translation does a wonderful job of translating this verse this way, “Only the withering soul would say to himself, ‘There is no God.’ (Psalm 14:1a TPT)”
God is actually searching out the earth to see if anyone is conducting themselves wisely by choosing to make seeking God a priority in their lives (Psalm 14:2 NLT).
We read in 2 Chronicles 15:4, 15b it reads: “But whenever they were in trouble and turned to the Lord, the God of Israel, and sought him out, they found him . . . They earnestly sought after God, and they found him. And the Lord gave them rest from their enemies on every side (NLT).”
Withering isn’t the problem, it’s a lack of rain.
“Oh, that we might know the LORD! Let us press on to know him. He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring (Hosea 6:3 NLT).”