Faith that takes action will lead us to our fullest potential.

Lead us through a gateway of hope into a place of rest. 

“But whoever drinks from the water that I will give him will never get thirsty again. In fact, the water I will give him will become a well of water springing up in him for eternal life.”

John 4:14 (CSB)

Dearest Readers, 

I spent three and a half days in Nashville, Tennessee drinking from The Well, blessed to attend LifeWay’s Women’s Leadership Forum. Though my body is rebounding in painful ways, leaving me empty of strength, my soul is full. 

Just this morning, I heard Emily P. Freeman in her podcast The Next Right Thing, say this, “Seeds break open and bear fruit, but first, they must lie in the darkness.” 

How I can relate to that this morning! The drive home, followed by a full Sunday, I longed for quiet rest. The seeds planted in the darkness, sprouting new growth, as I waited for the opportunity to consider all that may grow in me.

Monday morning dawned, I turned the pages to Hosea, chapter two. Words jumped off the page, and I prayed the words:

“Lord, may your word dwell richly within me. Make me a tree that bears much fruit. I do not care to be a beautiful tree, covered in leaves only. I long to be a bearer of fruit. Open my eyes to wonderous things from your instructions”

Hosea, the prophet, was instructed by God to marry a prostitute named Gomer.

Warren Wiersbe, in his commentary, Be Amazed, said this of Hosea:

“But no prophet preached a more painful ‘action sermon’ than Hosea. He was intructed to mary a prostitute named Gomer, who subsequently bore him three children, and he wasn’t even sure the last two children were fathered by him. Then Gomer left him for another man, and Hosea had the humiliating responsibility of buying back his own wife.” 

Several key verses grab my attention, I lean in and listen:

“Therefore, I am going to persuade her, lead her to the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her.

There I will give her vineyards back to her and make the Valley of Achor into a gateway of hope.

There she will respond as she did in the days of her youth, as in the day she came out of the land of Egypt.” Hosea 2: 14&15 CSB 

God used Hosea’s marriage to Gomer as a spiritual picture of the Israelites prostituting themselves for other gods. Ouch! I am in awe of Hosea’s obedience; I cannot help but wonder would I be willing to do the same?

Do I possess this all in, surrendered obedience? Can I? Can you?

If I am to bear fruit, if His Word dwells richly within me, I have to be willing to live as Hosea. Hosea is a beautiful picture of a posture of surrendered obedience, even in the hard things, in spite of the hard edges of his life. In a very public, and humiliating way.

God used Hosea in a mighty way to show the Israelites they were worth going after. He is also speaking to us with this story, wooing and pursuing us away from evil and worthless idols.

We too are often enticed by worthless idols, wrapped up in worth and glittery temptings.

How can we resist the glittery distractions, the greener grass, the better life, and live our best life to its fullest?

Just as Hosea saught out Gomer, purchasing her again, God surrendered His one and only Son for you and me. We are bought and paid for by His blood.

Are we living to our fullest potential from this place? Are we willing to live a faith that takes action?

You see the Valley of Achor was the valley of trouble, choosing a life of faith leads us through a gateway of hope. In verse eighteen we are told that in returning there is rest.

In returning there is rest if only we choose a life of faith that leads us through a gateway of hope, through surrendered obedience.

Gifts of Grace

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I’m blessed to serve you in this place, to share with you the Gifts of Grace as I journey through the wilderness. I picture you across the table, hands wrapped tightly around your cup, sharing life, and laughter, and tears. As I share with you, my daily struggles, I long to hear what yours may be. You can do that by commenting below or reaching out to me here.