Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them. Deuteronomy 4:9
Suggested reading before reading: Exodus 4-5 (NLT)
Exodus 4 starts out with Moses posing a couple “what if..” questions. Been there for sure! Knee deep (who am I kidding) neck deep in “what if…” worry; anyone else been there too?! Come on, even for a short visit of hyperventilating panic?!
I think it’s safe to say Moses was visiting this place, right here in Ex. 4. God however is never in that state of mind but He will visit that place just to pull us out of it. Amen! That’s just what we see Him do with Moses as He combats his list of worried “What if’s…” with “What IS…”
Good golly sometimes the quickest way out of the worried quicksand of “what if…” is to stand on what IS! And you may say, “but that is just it, I’m worried about what is!!” So look at what Moses does with what is…
God asked Moses what IS in your hand (vs. 2)? And Moses responds, a shepherd’s staff. But you know what it’s called by verse 20?! In his hand he carried the staff of God. That’s right ladies and gentlemen, if I place what IS, in God’s hand, He can transform my perspective of the whole thing and see it not just as a “shepherds staff” but the “staff of God”!
Verse 17 God instructs Moses to “use it” as “I have shown you.” verse 21 “as “I have empowered you to do.”
Philippians 2:13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. 2 Cor. 5:5 God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has give us his Holy Spirit.
Romans 8:11 says that Spirit is the one that raised Jesus Christ from the dead!! Talk about power! And in case we have any doubt He clarifies it in 2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
John 15:5 states, apart from Him we can do nothing! Zech. 4:6 …Not by might not by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD Almighty.
So who needs to go back to what IS and wrap it in His Truth and trust Him to be I AM over it? Who needs a perspective change to see what IS in your hand is something of great value and worth and was given to you to steward for His mighty purpose? Will we choose to use it? Will we take time with Him to let Him show us how?
Maybe these are not easy questions but as you know Christmas trees are everywhere this time of year and maybe they can help us with this…
Evergreens do not fade they are EVER green and keep their leaves even when other trees will loose theirs in winter or dry seasons. Tempting isn’t it, to fade in the “winter and dry” seasons of life.
It is due to the shape of the evergreen needle that allows it to store up more water than other trees and thus is able to thrive when others will die. (Just think of all that wasted time if an evergreen sat around wondering “what IF” it could just be a beautiful maple until they saw a maples leaves shrivel up and die?! Maybe we should just start enjoying “what IS”!)
How does the evergreen reinforce their survival you ask?! Well… the evergreen needle litter has a higher carbon-nitrogen ratio which increases the soil’s acidity and lowers the nitrogen content. Sooo this enables conditions that favor the growth of MORE evergreens and the shelter of the existing evergreens then make it easier for the younger ones to survive in the winter and dry seasons as they establish their roots and grow up!
My take away…
While everyone is giving gifts around the evergreen Christmas tree I’ll remember John 4:10 “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have give you living water.”
The gift of LIVING WATER found in His Word is what I need to be drinking from constantly so that I have a storage in my “needles”, my heart, for the wintry dry seasons of life of which the Holy Spirit can bring back to my mind. Bring back what IS His Truth at the time I need it (John 14:26) in order to remain ever green and thrive in any season!
I’ll remember an evergreen is not ever green only for itself… it is a shelter for those under it. Filled with His living water and firmly rooted in what IS I can let go of what IF and encourage those around and under me to grow into His purpose for them too! I can take courage to seize opportunity to share with others the everlasting joy found in His living water that no “what IF…” of this world can shake!
I’ll remember to pray that when my life is gone and my “needles drop”, the soil, the legacy of faith left behind will be fertile ground for “saplings” still to come to sink their roots into and not let His glory fade but to grow and glow brightly in faith!
Live evergreen without fear or fade dear one! What IS His glory is just too bright!
Allow Him to shine His glory, the hope you have in Jesus, into the world through what IS right now, YOU!
And never fade.
Independent Read: Hebrews 12:2, John 3:16