When a young tree is first planted, the earth is prepared with digging and dung and it is placed in position.  A stake is then driven in the ground along side of it and the young sapling is tied to the stake.  The stake is just dead wood but supports the sapling when strong winds come, preventing its young, willowy growth from breaking off, or worse still, being uprooted.  Thus the dead wood, the stake, the sapling is tied to, has purpose.  It supports the young tree while it’s root growth developes and spreads deep into the earth, finding nourishment from the soil as it matures and strengthens the tree.  When the sapling has reached a certain stage in growth towards maturity, the stake can be removed as it is strong enough now to withstand the winds.

Consider this:  There may be certain circumstances in life that God, in His permissive will, has allowed in our lives.  We would like to rid ourselves of them but God has tied us to them, like the stake and the sapling, in order to do a work of maturity in us.  God is IN our circumstances.  Seek Him and you will surely find Him.  Stop blaming the devil and allow God to do a work of maturity in spiritual growth in your adverse circumstances.

Stop fighting, start inviting!  Stop fighting God and complaining, (murmurers don’t get into the Promised Land), start inviting Him into your situations and relationships.  “….be subject one to another, clothed with humility, for God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.  Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.  Casting all your care on Him,  for He cares for you”, 1 Peter 5:5-7.  God cares for you, loves you unconditionally.  Why would you not come to Him?  Jesus’ words are always current, “Come unto me all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest…..learn of me for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you shall find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light”,  Matthew 11: 28-30.  Jesus bids us to humble ourselves and come to Him.  Let go…..and let God….  Let God be true and prove Himself to you in your circumstances.  He is right there with you, waiting to be invited into your circumstances with His answers, His wisdom.  Let us not be counted amongst those who resisted Jesus and caused Him to weep over when He said, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how often I would have gathered you…… but you would not….  behold, your house is left desolate…”,  Luke 13: 34-35.  Our part is to make the choice, God will honour our choice.  It is time to make the right choices.

The apostle, Paul, was in a literal prison, but he considered himself to be a prisoner of “the Lord Jesus Christ” primarily, (Ephesians 3:1), not Caesar and the Roman Empire.  His prison bars were the circumstances, (the stake), God permitted in restraint for eternal purpose.  Today, centuries later, we still read and benefit from those wonderful epistles Paul wrote to the churches, inspired by the Holy Ghost, from his prison cell, that contribute to our New Testament.

God permits, in His wisdom, what He could prevent in His power………..for His eternal purpose.

If I do not understand the journey God is taking me on and I continue to resist Him, the result is confusion, frustration and I remain a shallow Christian with stunted growth…….stuck!  The stake God ties me to in my circumstances has purpose to bring me to another level of maturity in Him.  Whatever my challenge is today I need to find God in it, in order that my roots grow deeper in Him, resulting in deeper fellowship with Him and another measure of the stature of the fullness of His Son developed in me……that is the purpose and the goal.  When God is pleased and sees fit, He will remove the stake when it has served His purposes in me.

Today there is such an abundance of teaching, instruction in books or Youtube, other on-line sermons, our Church meetings/gatherings, people sharing fellowship around God’s word with just two or three gathered together…….all of these can be our divine schoolroom in our personal School of the Spirit.  The important thing is to take what we have heard into the school of life and apply it in obedience to daily living in order to grow in God.  Here is where God gets personal with me.  I can develop sensitivity to His Holy Spirit as I hear and obey, moving in line with, and discovering, His purpose in my life. The apostle Paul arrived at the place where he considered it more joyful to have his heart captivated by Christ, than to consider the literal prison bars that resricted his life.  He took the position of calling himself, not a prisoner of Rome, but a prisoner of Christ Jesus.  This is true freedom, independent of circumstance, discovering the rest, joy and peace in fellowship with Jesus.


Photo by David Vig on Unsplash