You know this past weekend I was working on writing and we walked into a flee market and saw a sign that said, "I don't skinny dip, I chunky dunk!" I laughed for about fifteen minutes as I walked around showing it to my husband and our two friends that went with us. Then as we were leaving, I said to them, "that's it!" They asked me what I was talking about and I told them, "That is going to be the name of my next blog!"
I want to start this off by asking if any of you have ever taken care of a plant. I personally have two plants in our home. One of them is a vine plant, (don't ask any specifics) and the other is called a praying plant. The praying plant is truly the only plant I have ever become attached to.
I believe the only reason it has lasted so long is because it prays, because I do not have a green thumb and as Tommy Tenney claims, I think mine is brown as well. I am not sure if you know much about these praying plants, but they have two shapes. When it is resting its stems and leaves are drooping down, to the point it almost appears dead. When it is praying, its stems and leaves are raised upward and reaching out.
This plant is special to me because it originally only received a tad bit more attention from me, slightly above what a fake plant would, yet it still continued to blossom and grow. It's roots continued to expand and it was determined to grow stronger and stronger regardless of the attention it did or did not receive.
I just recently relocated it into its third pot. It was originally on our kitchen table, but it got to the point where it covered the whole table. Now it has taken residence in the corner of our living room, where it proudly sits steadily trying to reach its fourth pot.
I make sure this plant gets watered and cared for properly now. I prune it often, pulling the dead leaves off, even when it doesn't know they are there. I am proud to say it is a very beautiful plant.
It is ironic that many times as children of God we sometimes are left feeling like this plant. We feel God is not taking care of us. This often occurs during some of the most important growing seasons of our lives. I remember back when I first truly surrendered my life to the Lord I struggled with many things. I would hear some deacons say during offering,
" If you are having trouble in your life or if you can't pay your bills, something is wrong with your tithe."
I would like to at this moment pause and tip my index finger to my forehead and point toward these people and say, "Top O' the morning to ya chief!" That is my sarcastic way of saying, "YOU SUCK" or if I am playing with a friend it means, "Take that wierdo".
A person can be tithing and struggle in many different areas of life. God can bless us in many ways that we don't even see yet when we stay faithful regardless of present circumstances or situations. Don't you ever let a man question your obedience based on lack of present situations. That is exactly what Jobs "friends" did to him. People like that and churches that allow deacons to do that to others anger me. They can actually push people away from the Lord doing that.
We are all plants in different sized pots. We all go through different growing seasons based on the type of "plant" that God designed us to be. The Word says we are to "study to show ourselves approved" (II Timothy 2:15) and that "we are destroyed by lack of knowledge" (Hosea 4:6). It doesn't say to study only if someone else is giving us something to study or to only receive the knowledge that a "Pastor" or "Teacher" pours in our lives. On the contrary it tells us to be careful not to fall away and be led astray by false teachers and false prophets. (II Peter 2:1) That is why many will be destroyed for lack of knowledge because many are being misguided because they are following after a man (Colossians 2:8), rather than following after God, in the steadfastness of Christ.
Through our walk we will go through different seasons of growing. God may have to move our roots somewhere else. Sometimes a plant (Christian) can only grow so much at a specific church. Not that there is anything wrong with the church, but you may be unable to move forward in your walk because the one who are you are currently under may not have a big enough "pot" so to speak for your roots to expand out in. That is why sometimes God has to uproot you and plant you in another pot where you can begin another maturing process. The sad part of this process is that certain pots (Pastors) don't realize they all have the same soil in them. In other words Pastors tend to get caught up with wanting to keep all the plants they can to themselves, forgetting the harvest only belongs to one. If a Pastor isn't careful all the "decorative plants" in his church will be exactly that. We are called to fill a church with a bunch of plants. We are called to continue planting seeds.
Manipulation is the same as witchcraft according to I Samuel 15:23. If someone is accountable for another person and misleads or misdirects them out of selfish ambition and that person isn't obedient to what God wants them to do, that man or woman will answer for that person or people when judgment day arises.
I know that as long as I continue to nurture this plant it will mature accordingly to its fullest potential. The vine plant however has never moved from its original pot. I have spent more time tending to this one than I have the other, yet it is dying daily. Even when I think it may be springing forth, the next day or so, all the leaves will be yellow and curled inward. Yet, it still hangs there, with three or four struggling leaves the way it has been for four years. I actually thought about throwing it out the other day, figuring there was no hope for it.
Ironically, a lot of Christians are the same way this plant is. They don't grow or mature cause they skinny dip in their relationship with God. The only growth they receive is from someone else and the only roots they have are in church services each week. So even though they aren't "dead" they are barely living. Their roots are not expanding and they are not growing. This is what changed my mind about throwing that plant out. It has potential. Thank God He sees our potential and not our current status. If God threw away all the Christians who spiritually looked like this vine plant, surely it would not leave a number no man can number (Revelation 7:9). However, if the Christian continues to skinny dip on God eventually He will spew them out of His mouth (Revelation 3:16). You see He wants all that we can offer Him. He's not coming back after a withered bride. He is not coming back after a Pastor who beat the areas attendance record that Sunday morning, with pews full of misled and misguided followers, with one foot in the world and one foot as a saint. He isn't coming back after a choir that made it on TBN to sing. He is not coming back after golden seats and five hundred thousand dollar homes. He's not coming back after Christians who are occasionally living for Him without maturity or growth. He is not coming back after Christians who have no roots who have not produced new life, not only in themselves through His grace but in others through His manifestation of transformation in theirs.
God does not want a bunch of spiritual "skinny dippers". He wants His body to be "Chunky Dunkers"! When we touch something that is supposed move, He wants to see an impact. We are called to be ambassadors for the Kingdom of Heaven. Leading people to the diving board of Christ. He wants us fully submerged in Him!
So my last questions for you are, are you a Skinny Dipper or a Chunky Dunker for God? If you were a plant, which one would you look like? If you aren't growing, you might want to pray about your soil, your pot and make sure that your water isn't full of insecticide.
Remember if the only time you can hear from God is through another man, something in your soil is jacked up.
My name is Tina Leonard. I have been writing my entire life, but it wasn't until I accepted Christ in 1998 that I began to write for the edification of the body and to bring the rightful Glory to His Kingdom. Feel free to visit my website at www.myspace.com/christisking2.
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