Like a Tree 10/26/2021

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by Suzanne Williams

My neighbor has these oak trees, large, solid-looking live oaks, that he’s trimmed unnaturally. Live oaks are thick, massive trees with stout, low-hanging limbs and dark foliage. But his have no lower limbs at all and these strange leafy upper branches. Now, I don’t know whether he did that out of fear of falling branches, out of personal taste, to let in more light, or because he has a misunderstanding of the proper structure of oak trees. But an oak tree should be treated like an oak tree. You can’t trim it like a pine tree or a crepe myrtle or a weeping willow.

This is how we usually behave towards a move of God. We trim it to fit our needs instead of allowing God to move as He sees best. We limit what He can do based on our personal preferences, to avoid what makes us uncomfortable, and not offend people. We give God a backdrop. Grow here, in front of this. Or we sit in the back (or click on the video) simply to gawk, not to participate. No prayer is offered from our lips, just an “oh-me, oh-my,” then we’re off to eat lunch or dinner and gossip about the kids.

We view God over our cup of coffee when He wants to commune with us. He wants us to let Him be an oak tree, growing like an oak tree does. Enjoy the shade He provides, enjoy the strength of His power, enjoy the birds that nest there. Even greater, cultivate our time with Him.

When it was built, years ago, our local Walmart moved an oak tree, a massive, full-grown live oak, and because they took care of it, seeing to its needed nourishment, it survived. Rather than cut it down and remove it, they opted to give it a new space to continue to live. Now, we cannot move God. But what if we let Him BE God and we became His faithful children who adored Him?

Our adoration should cause us to alter ourselves to fit Him, not the other way around. Stop trimming the branches to fit your lifestyle and instead adapt your lifestyle to fit His. If I’d made God do and be what I wanted Him to do and be, years ago when locked inside my house, then I wouldn’t be where I am today. He did not change my personality, nor did He force me to become an extrovert. He did push me to LIVE AGAIN, and there were times when I didn’t want to do what He asked. But I did because He’s God. I’m not.

Jesus compared us individually to different types of soil and based on the quality of our soil, we will reap the results of what is sown. (Mt 13:3-8) Good soil grows more abundant crops with more fruitfulness. But good soil allows the farmer to till it, to turn it up and remove the weeds, before planting. Good soil soaks in the rain and allows the water to drain properly. Plant an oak tree in the desert sand, and it will die.

In another parable, Jesus spoke about a field of wheat sown with tares, or, we’d say, weeds. (Mt 13:24-30) The enemy plants the tares, He said. But notice why. The LORD pointed out to me the enemy has no need to plant them where the ground is dry and cracked or full of stones and thorns. The seed won’t grow there anyway. Where he wants to grow the weeds is on the best ground, amongst the healthy plants in the garden. Then, the weeds can do their work and choke the life out of what should be productive.

But here’s the thing, we’re too busy trimming the oak tree to look like what we need instead of what God created. You know, once trimmed, an oak tree cannot grow those branches back. What’s been done to my neighbor’s trees is permanent. They will look “wrong” from now until their life’s end. Of course, God can and will be God regardless, but how we view Him, what we allow Him to do, is stilted by our unwillingness. We see Him as fitting into a certain location when He, in fact, fills everything.

It’s our point of view that needs alterations, not His.

I’ve said this many times before, but when something doesn’t fit into what you know or what makes sense to you, pray about it and trust God. Don’t go lopping off limbs so that it’s more comfortable for you. I usually say to Him, “I don’t understand that, and it seems strange to me, but you know what’s best. You know him or her and their motive.” It isn’t my job to fix someone else or correct them, only to speak His truth. If that person or situation doesn’t involve me, then I leave it up to God to take care of the weeds.

That’s what Jesus said in the parable. The farmer, when asked about pulling up the weeds, said, “No, let them grow and separate them at the harvest.” Notice, the farmer knew what he was doing, and the workers obeyed his instructions. So should we. And because He’s God, it just might be, He might can change one of those weeds into a stalk of wheat. Impossible in the natural, but not to the Almighty. 

 If we’ll give Him the space to work without His will being stopped by our opinions.  

The Passionate Church

 

 The Passionate Church: Being the Church In An Age of Offense 

Amazon 

https://amzn.to/3eIlKeQ   

Other Epub Retailers 

https://books2read.com/u/4XnQq9 

The church cries out for revival and the sweeping power of the Holy Spirit, to see lives changed and bodies healed as in the book of Acts, and this the promise of Jehovah. The church has been sent to GO and do GREATER WORKS than those told in the gospels.

What then keeps the church from an amazing demonstration of God’s presence?

In a study of the Scriptures, author, SUZANNE D. WILLIAMS, describes the church as God expects it to be – a loving, forgiving church, free of condemnation and criticisms, submissive to people, honoring government, and incredibly generous. A PASSIONATE CHURCH, on fire for the things of God and “willing and obedient” to God’s principles as demonstrated in the life, death, and Resurrection of her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 

About The Author: 

Suzanne D. WilliamsBest-selling author, Suzanne D. Williams, is a native Floridian, wife, mother, and photographer. She is the author of both nonfiction and fiction books. She writes devotionals and instructional articles for various blogs. She also does graphic design for self-publishing authors. She is co-founder of THE EDGE. 

www.feelgoodromance.com 

www.suzannedwilliams.com 

Facebook – suzannedwilliamsauthor 

Twitter – @SDWAuthor

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