Friday, April 8, 2016

What Do I Crave?

“When your words came I ate them, they were my joy and my heart's delight, for I bear your name, O Lord God Almighty.” (Jeremiah 15:16)

Do I crave God's Word?

“I am the vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” (John 15:1-4)


Am I connected to the Vine?

In The Listening Life, Adam S. McHugh writes, “Listening is important enough to Jesus that he devotes his first parable to it (Mark 4:1-20). In Mark's Gospel Jesus frames the parable of the sower with the opening word 'Listen!' and the closing exclamation 'Let anyone with ears to hear listen!' Overtly about a farmer indiscriminately scattering seed on different types of soil, the story is actually about different types of hearers.

There are the path hearers—those who don't really hear at all, deflecting and dismissing Jesus' words. There are the rocky listeners, who let the word penetrate a little but then reject it because of the adverse voices of struggle and persecution.

Third are the thorny listeners, who listen a while longer but slowly allow the subtle power of seductive voices—the accumulation of wealth and the sparkle of material things—to suffocate the word. Finally are the true and fruitful listeners, those who receive the word deep into themselves, where it does its proper work of flowering and bearing fruit.”

Do I receive God's Word deep into myself?

But what happens when we live God's way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.” (Galatians 5: 22-23, MSG)

Is God living out His life in me?

What do I crave?

A life free of struggle and pain? The accumulation of wealth and the sparkle of material things? Getting my way in life?

Or true transformation of my heart by the living and active Word of God? Giving my Gardener the freedom to prune any and every branch? In order to bear fruit that will give glory to the only One who deserves it? 


(Linking up with Velvet Ashes this week on the Theme of Crave)

4 comments:

  1. What do I crave.....too often, getting my way. But I hope, more and more, I crave His word - I crave His presence.

    Thanks for the post, Jodie.

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    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Michele. I find that even though I don't want to, I'm often craving comfort and convenience.

      I just read this in The Listening Life: We desire for God's voice to crescendo in our lives, with the competing voices fading away. That means we must ruthlessly silence the calls of other masters...Most importantly, we must let God define himself. We have to fight the temptation to simply add a couple of God's songs to our playlists--Jehovah's greatest hits. We must put away our convenient notions of God--the one who always agrees with us, the one who always favors our nation or political agenda, the one who feeds us candy and never vegetables...To hear him and to know him we must allow him to speak on his own terms.

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  2. It is good to think about what is truly satisfying in this life. I really like what you said about a life without pain. In the midst of pain it is difficult to remember the truth about how God uses it.

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    1. Thanks for your comment, Davis Family. A pain-free life is pretty appealing isn't it? After the pain is over it's easier for me to look back and see some ways that God might have used it for good. But in the midst of pain it can be a lot harder to see/believe that anything good can come out of it.

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