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Are You That Resilient?

I’ve been thinking about the generations lately. God says in his word that he will bless those to a thousand generations of those who love him. And he gave his covenant to Abraham down to a thousand generations. I suppose we haven’t made it yet to that thousandth generation since Abraham’s life. So, I am included in that blessing. My children’s children’s children, and so on, are still included!

Psalm 102:18 says, “Let this be written for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the Lord.” Verse 27-28: “But you remain the same, and your years will never end. The children of your servants will live in your presence; their descendants will be established before you.”

What great news! God’s ways are established already! It’s just a matter of whether or not we are going to get in on it. Will we participate in his blessings, and will the benefits go on to our future generations? We have that opportunity!


I think about the story Jesus told of the seed sower:

· Seed that fell along the path was eaten by birds = anyone who hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart.

· Seed that fell on rocky places, sprang up quickly because of shallow soil but became scorched when the sun came up because the plants had no roots = someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since they have no root, last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.

· Seed that fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants = someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful.

· Seed that fell on good soil produced a crop a hundred, sixty, or thirty times what was sown = someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.


There were more opportunities to fall away than there were to grow. But the ones that grew were abundantly fruitful! While weed eating, this spoke to me. The weeds are so resilient, so determined! You cut them down; they come back. They spread themselves and reproduce so that when you cut one, more come back all around. Weeds even grow up between a rock and a hard place! In the strangest places you can see weeds growing, so determined...









Are we that resilient?


In this life, I’ve had to be resilient, or I wouldn’t survive it! People brag on me about having so many kids and not looking like they could all be mine and what not. Strangers tease me that I must not have known what causes pregnancy. Sometimes I give them an answer, and sometimes I don’t. But the fact is that I wanted my kids! They weren’t accidents! I wanted each one. I got a bonus one in the first pregnancy! I started out with twin boys—two for one!

Bragging and teasing aside, it is no easy task to take care of children, no matter how many you have. It is abundantly worth it! But it is challenging. Sometimes it is a lot of guess work, especially in those first six months, right? Baby cries. You try milk. You try rocking. You try changing diaper. If those things don’t work, you just have to try stuff!

Then there’s discipline! Now that is a lot of guess work! Don’t tell my kids, but I don’t always know what I’m doing in that area! Isn’t it such a balance between being stern and being gentle all of the time?! You want them to get the point! You don’t want to have to be harsh, but darn it if they won’t just get it with “nice mom”! You do what you have to do! And trying to think of the right kind of punishment for the crime can be challenging. When my kids do something outrageous that I would have never expected, the punishment must match so that the point is made memorable to them. Discipline is not the fun part of parenting! That is for sure! This is Alabama in 2023, and spanking is still not against the law. That is my go-to for the younger ones, a little pop on the butt to make a point, or more if they’re bigger and more adamant. As they get older, they don’t seem to care if they get a spanking. I have to go to grounding and restrictions from video games. It is a consistent work to grow these kids up right! And I assume having to discipline to enforce my word is not going away any time soon. My oldest—twins—are turning 11. And my youngest is a year and a half.

Back to the weed eating. So, I notice as I edge the driveway and curb, those grass roots are pretty strong! The longer I let them go, the harder they are to get back in line! However, if I am consistent with trimming, it’s not hard at all to make those wild, rebellious sprouts disappear.

This speaks volumes to me in the area of spiritual warfare. The more we cut down that enemy by resisting, by refusing to be tricked into wicked reasoning, the easier it becomes to live our lives without being strangled out by thorns.

I read in a book recently where the author was differentiating the words “sin,” “transgression,” and “iniquity.” The bible uses all three words. Most of us probably think of these three words as being pretty much the same thing. But the author makes the point that God is intentional about his word. She believes that “sin” refers to missing the mark, stumbling, doing something that is not exactly according to God’s ways—getting sidetracked. In contrast, “transgression” seems to specify intentionally hurting God or another; when you know the right thing and you do the opposite, you commit a transgression. However, the word “iniquity” is different than both of these, according to this author’s understanding. Iniquity is a sin tendency or brokenness that likely was passed down to you. These could be things like alcoholism, anger problems, abusiveness, etc. Also, it could be diseases or emotional scarring. Attitudes of being a rejected person, of living in fear, or being wounded are examples of iniquities than can be passed down.

A little look into family history could be uncomfortable but eternally helpful to you if there is a lingering struggle in your life. It could have come from something in a great-grandparent’s past, even. It can leave a “stain” or a burden in the family line. That can be an overwhelming thought, I know. But a simple prayer of faith can break the curse/tendency. Example: “Lord, I recognize that you are God, and you sent your Son to save me from a life of sin and the curse of death. Please forgive me for participating in any sin whether it was a tendency passed down to me or not. I declare that all iniquity is broken off of me, my ancestry, and my descendants. Thank you, Father for healing me of all diseases. Jesus bore all my iniquity on the cross and took it to the grave. I shall not be tricked into believing that I am stuck living this way any longer.”

It is not the prayer that saves you but the faith! Therefore, if you do some prayer-work of breaking iniquity, just take up FAITH and believe that it is done! God paid the highest price with the blood of his Son, Jesus. There is no higher price that can be paid for your forgiveness. And we must each give account for our own actions. We can’t pay the price ourselves. It wouldn’t be enough. So, all we can do is place our trust in the price that was ALREADY PAID FOR US!

Remember to keep cutting down the weeds. If problems pop back up, say the prayer again and again. It gets easier! In the meantime, be as resilient as those weeds! Reproduce a transformed thought pattern in those around you. They will see your hope. Life can begin to spring forth in them, too! Keep growing even when things are hard! Be determined! It is not in our own strength that we live and grow, anyway. All good things come from our Father in heaven. May more grace be granted to any individual who takes on this task of determining to grow more life within and around themselves!

As we make declarations such as what I have expressed today, even our great-grandchildren will reap the benefits of our stance! Abraham is still remembered, only because he CHOSE to place faith in God and God's words to him. What can God do with you and me?



References:

Deuteronomy 7, Psalm 102, Matthew 13, Genesis 11-12.

Victorious Living; The Life You Were Created to Live, by Joanne Hoehne.

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