Friday, December 31, 2010

Bitter

I recall in the Autumn months when I used to live in Utah, there was this abandoned apricot orchard that my brother and I discovered. A neighbor suggested that we gathered as much fruit as we can because she was used to canning. She had her son come with us and it was the first time my mother made apricot preserves. But before we actually got the product she instructed us which of the fruit we should pick. We, as children, enjoyed going to the orchard to have our fill of the apricots. We didn't pick the hard ones because experience taught us that the hard ones weren't as sweet and delicious. So we left those. We also learned not to be so tired and reconcile to the fruit on the ground because it was more than likely spoiled or the bugs weren't finished with it. I recall the ick dance when picking those apricots from the ground. I thought it would be easier and they looked fine from the top. It was where the ground connected with the fruit when I turned it over did I see the rot or the grubs from the dirt enjoying the spoils We learned that the best of the fruit were usually high up in the trees. So without proper equipment or instruction as to why we should wait for particular seasons and at the best time, we forged ahead eating until we were full.

With the instruction of my mother (Proverbs 15:32 KJV), we learned what color, size, and how far we should go up the trees. She had us bring baskets, buckets, and for us to watch out for each other with a reason as to the dangers that could happen if we didn't do as she had instructed us to do. While she prepared for a huge harvest, we thought about the fun we were going to have getting as many apricots as we could; we even challenged each other who would have the most.

How odd and very applicable this is to the Christian views of dating. Before coming into the knowledge of the truth, did we not just forge ahead and do as we felt like doing justifying the use of our feelings and emotions until we were filled? We tend to gravitate toward those that look appealing rather than waiting for instruction as to who and what to look for. if it is too hard to reach for the best of what God intends, do we settle for what seems to be easier?This would be the same in dating or trying to rush the process to get married. If you have read any three of these blogs you can see what the type of person that didn't listen to instruction and forged ahead to taste the fruit that wasn't ready. This person could have still been angry at any given situation, had issues, grudges against another believer, or even had unresolved problems with God. This is not the fruit by which we would pick to eat; however, it has been seen over and over when the believer doesn't go beyond what is seen. Just because there is a nice package doesn't mean what is inside is necessarily what was needed. That is also the fruit that looks good enough to eat but wasn't pruned or it was shaded for too long or it got most of the pesticide - for whatever the reason, it looked good but tasted awful. What happened to that one?

To that lazy individual that just wouldn't even make the effort to get the proper tools to reach the best of the fruit - you deserve what you get. You know who you are. God told you what your calling was and what you had to do to achieve it but instead this believer says he/she is waiting for God to do it for  them. They are waiting for that miracle to come and ring the doorbell. They are standing on the scripture of Peter finding the taxes in the mouth of the fish. Supernatural miracles. Its even cute that they are using a verse to substantiate their laziness. And that will happen! Someone will listen to this carnal way of thinking and believe it is cute because of that one verse used out of context. Jesus was with Peter and told him what to do. Peter was obedient. Stop falling for that same scam! Jesus told Peter to do what Peter was initially called to do - fish. If Peter was called to fish and never fished or only fished when he was hungry, Jesus would have never called Peter to be a disciple. If you recall, Jesus called those who were already doing something.

But back to that one horrid tasting piece of fruit. The one that looked to have the right color, the right kind of firmness, and seemingly in the right place; why would it not taste as ripe and delicious as all of the rest? Have you ever met someone like this? They are sitting right next to you in the congregation. He or she smiles at other members and labors in the ministry, yet upon lengthy conversation you find that he or she has issues with certain people or certain areas of the city or in understanding the Word or something else. What happened and could any of this be missed while dating or forging ahead to marriage? Of course it can. To the frustrated person who quarrels at home and smiles in church; you know who you are (1 Corinthians 3:2-3 KJV). That root of bitterness is difficult to find because of justification as to why you have those feelings. There is no getting around it when challenged with the Word of God. If you use the commandment of love in all that you do, bitterness is uprooted miraculously because the Word sustains life and eradicates darkness (2 Corinthians 6:14 KJV).

That fruit that is found on the ground and is nasty when turned over... recall that the flesh was made from the dust and if it is that which you would much rather wallow in then you cannot be surprised at its effects (Galatians 6:8 KJV). It is carnal thinking that produces carnal results. If there is not one thing that I have continually repeated in these blogs is, if you don't like the product you much change the seed or the ground that you are sowing the seed into.

Recall the instruction that was given to myself and brother (Proverbs 10:17 KJV). We were told to take tools, given something to carry the fruit in, where to go and how high. We were told to leave the fruit that had fallen alone and if its too high, don't try to reach it so we won't fall. Question: when mature in Christ, is there a place thats too high for you to reach? Then why do so many of us settle for what seems to be the easiest without hardly any effort? Selah.

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