Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Yield Not To Temptation"1 (Lyrics)
Genesis 1:14 – And God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years." (ESV)
Time is a constituent of life. We cannot stop it or reverse it. From the creation narrative surrounding today's verse, it is clear that time is good and God-ordained. A part of this time experience is seasons. God has given punctuation marks for humanity's procession through time. Just as God prepared Egypt for years of famine through Pharaoh's dreams and Joseph's interpretations, so God prepares us to receive His blessings in both good seasons and bad seasons.
As I walked in the Cotswold Hills picking blackberries recently, I found some well-established bushes more than six feet tall, laden with fully-ripe blackberries just out of reach of the casual passerby on the footpath.
Like many of you who are task-orientated, focused, and determined, I was not going to be put off from harvesting such a bounteous crop of lush fruit! I found an old chocolate wrapper in my pocket in which to collect the prize, and pushed past where the easily accessed fruit had already been taken. Carefully, I avoided the quite substantial thorns, now all about my perimeter, and I started picking fruit, with the autumnal sunshine warming my body.
As I reached out, I was truly struck with God's bounty for me — so much so, that I realized that there was more than just harvesting going on. I perceived that it was God's way of sharing with me how there is a blessing from Him to be had in my life, if I am prepared to put myself out — a season of blessing and intimacy with God, more than in the past, if I can stay focused on Him and carefully navigate the thorns and prickles of this world.
I believe that this blessing is to be had, not just for me, but for all Christians who are prepared to seek the Father's heart, laying down the temporal for the eternal prize of His love everlasting.
Prayer: Lord, like Moses, we ask Your presence to go with us, because without You and the Holy Spirit in us, we will be nothing of consequence to the world. We seek more of Your love and a better understanding of Your will for our lives. May we share with Abraham the right to be called friends of God. May Your blessings be pressed down and running over in our lives, so that as we are blessed, we may in turn overflow with the kingdom's power and light to the people that You take us to, in the good, bad, and impossible situations where we find ourselves, in and through the powerful love and name of Jesus. Amen.