The Blessed Woman Draws Near to God
When I read Jeremiah 17:8, the fact that the tree is planted near the water jumps out at me.
“He (the blessed man) is like a tree planted near the water …”
Don’t miss that.
The believer is strong only when he is near the Lord. James 4:8 says if we draw near to God, He will draw near to us. That is great news! That means we don’t have to do this alone. We simply have to position ourselves closer to God.
Psalm 1:1-2 reminds my heart that I am blessed when I walk with the wise, stand with those that pursue holiness, refuse to sit with the scoffer. I am blessed when I delight in the law of the Lord – which is Scripture – and meditate on it day and night. It makes me like a tree planted by streams of water. Again, we have a word picture of a tree near the water that is productive, healthy, and prosperous. We are productive, healthy, and prosperous when we position ourselves close to the Lord.
This makes me think of Hebrews 4:14-16, “Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weakness, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
We are commanded to hold fast and draw near. Hold fast to what? We hold fast to our confession, the gospel, the teachings of Christ. We are to hold on and not let go; we are to persevere in the faith. Jesus, our perfect high priest, knows the heat and drought are coming. Our Savior knows our struggles and temptations because he faced them all and secured our victory by his blood. Hold fast to Jesus. And then we draw near. We are to draw near to the throne of grace. Not just get close to it but draw near with confidence. I am a blessed woman only when I stay close to the Lord.
Further along in Jeremiah 17:8, we see that the tree sends out roots to seek water because water grows things. When a plant has roots with access to water, it can survive long stretches without rain. If I dedicate my life to studying God and His Word, if my confidence and trust are in Him and His character, then when the drought comes, my root system will funnel God’s Word to my heart. Just like in the experiment I mentioned a few days ago about celery turning color after soaking in water mixed with red dye, God’s living water will impact me and change me as I trust in Him.
The tree doesn’t fear the heat. The tree refuses to fear the heat because its leaves remain green. When the drought hits hard – the green leaves of my faith will encourage my heart. The green leaves are evidence that although the circumstances around me are in chaos, although the sun beats down and there is no relief in sight, the green leaves are proof that God is with me and that God will sustain me.
The tree is not anxious during the drought because it still produces fruit. No one wants the drought. No one longs for trials and hardship, but Scripture is clear that hard times are a reality for the believer. If you’re not coming out of a drought or in the midst of a drought, get ready, because the drought is coming. We must stay near the Lord and send roots to the water. Heat and drought will come, but when the heart is settled, when the roots are drinking from living water, the fruit still grows. It makes little sense to a watching world how a believer can praise the Lord in hardship and worship the Lord when life appears to be falling apart. It makes little sense to a watching world how a believer can produce the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control when circumstances dictate that they should hate, sorrow, be anxious, unkind, unfaithful, hard and short-tempered. When the world expects your faith to shrivel up and die, but the fruit of the Spirit grows anyway, it allows you to share the object of your faith. Remember, the object of the blessed woman’s faith is God. Her trust is God and is in God.
Prayer: Lord, you are my God, and I earnestly seek you. My soul thirsts for you and my flesh faints for you. Your steadfast love is better than life. Help me to remain close to you. Help me to apply all that I have learned. Reveal to me any circumstance or situation where anxious thoughts or fears have been controlling me. Help me to be deeply rooted in my faith and trust in you. Give me a desire to love you and serve you well.
In tomorrow’s segment, we will dig into questions that address matters of the heart! Click here for day six of The Blessed Woman.