Friday, May 10, 2019

Bloom Where You Are Planted

Wherever the Wind Blows (Part 4) 

Well here we are in the last part of the Wherever the Wind Blows teaching series and things appear to have come full circle.  There is one little bit though that I’ve hesitated to share, especially since it shows a side of me that I’d rather keep private.

I have to admit something.  You've heard that phrase, “Bloom where you are planted” ... well, it has always bothered me (that’s putting it mildly – it really gets me ticked off), because I take it as a cop out for settling on whatever comes your way – good or bad. 

You know what I mean, when things aren’t going in agreement to your prayers or hopes, then someone chimes in with their so-called words of wisdom, 

“You know hon, you have to bloom where you’re planted …” 

Bloom where you’re planted - ugh!  I’ll give you bloom where you’re planted … plant this!  If I hear that one more time, I think I’ll scream!  I know, it’s not a “Christian-like” attribute found in the Fruit of the Spirit, but it is honest and surely makes me practice patience which is definitely biblical.

Okay, that sounds a little rough, which definitely isn’t me but it surely isn’t something I want to hear.  Who knows, maybe these people believe that somehow “blooming” in an unsettling place justifies all the wrong things that are happening at the time, and I need to toughen up and accept these things as God’s will.  That would make them right and me wrong – eek!

Need to catch-up on this series?  
Wherever the Wind Blows (Part 1)
Wherever the Wind Blows (Part 2): Big Wind Day
Wherever the Wind Blows (Part 3): Dying to Live
Wherever the Wind Blows (Part 4): Bloom Where You Are Planted

Thanks for joining us on Daily Favor Blog. 
Be sure to read News from Fay, updates and visit the Q & A or other sections. 

I Thought So

Do you remember when I talked about the daffodils that mysteriously showed up outside my fence line? (from 4/5/19 post) When I saw those daffodils where I did not plant them it demonstrated something unexpected.  God plants “seeds” in all His children to bloom where we never intended, so that others may see the beauty of Christ inside and out of us. 

Through saving grace, the unmerited favor of God, those who have trusted in Christ as their Savior have been transformed. No longer are they dead sinful seeds, but beautiful living blooms of Righteousness wherever they are whether it’s in the grocery store, at work and in or outside their living space.  If Christians are to be the plants then the blooms go wherever we do, right?  In other words, bloom where you are planted – I thought so!

The Other Side of the Fence

In my previous dwelling both sides of the fencing were landscaped because it could be seen from the road, but not where I live now since it was to be a temporary residence.  Our current property backs up to a city alley, which is a dirt road mainly used for the weekly trash pick-up.

Planting flowers on the other side of the fence so that those who drive down it could enjoy something beautiful never crossed my mind. It was a place to keep trash cans organized and rotate compost piles over the winter.  

We keep it mowed or trimmed, and that’s about all except for when the garden plants, like my luffas or morning glories, run along the fence line for support.  So, I guess it’s not totally unattractive depending on how you look at it.

The stray blooms were now gone and it was time for a good clean-up around the yard.  My husband and I finished pulling dead vines off the fence then raked the debris in three small piles for collecting.  There really wasn’t much so it didn’t take long.

With all the rain we couldn’t do as much work outside as we had hoped. I went inside and hubby decided to weed-whack both sides of the fence lines around the property.  He had finished the alley side and had locked up the fence when to his surprise, my mate wasn’t alone.

The Drifter

“I’m starving” ... Looking up hubby saw a tired and bedraggled man in his mid-fifties standing beside his bicycle.  Apparently, he had walked it across the highway when he noticed my husband in the yard.

His face and jaw were rather swollen; anyone could tell he had been in some sort of a scrape.  Before my spouse said anything, the stranger continued sharing details about his circumstances. 

“I got beat up too … and I’m homeless”. 

That’s a lot of information in less than thirty seconds of conversation my husband thought.  Walking over to the fence he asked, “What’s your name? Do you know who beat you up and why did they do it?”

“Wayne.”  He hesitated then continued.  “I don’t know who they were but they said some racial comments and then punched me in the face.”

Having worked with special needs and street outreach for over twenty years we pretty much know the scams, and what to ask when confronted in this type of situation.  It’s actually part of the reason why we were in the city in the first place.  Weighing the facts, he proceeded with the questioning that went something like this.

“Why are you homeless?”  Leaning on the fence hubby waited for an answer.

“The place where I lived got sold and the landlord gave me a bad report so I’m having a hard time getting another place.  I’m using my disability money to rent a motel room.  When that runs out, I’m back on the street.”

“Did you know there is a homeless shelter near the college not far from here?  Why don’t you see if you could stay there?”

“I was already there … the people outside in the parking lot beat me up.  They live there so I can’t go back.”

Starting to doubt the story my husband noticed his arms.  Wayne explained how he was sleeping outside and had chigger bites up and down his body. 

The drifter hadn’t eaten in several days.  His disability payment was due to come the next day, but in the meantime, he had nothing to eat.  With that information my husband told him to wait there and he would be back in a few minutes.

A Drink of Living Water

I was in the kitchen when I heard the back door close.  “Do you have any money?”  Hubby asked and then opened the refrigerator to get a drink. 

“Sure honey, I always carry cash when I’m in the kitchen.  Why do you need money, you’re weed-whacking?”

Taking a sip of water, he explained that a homeless man was out back and he felt the Holy Spirit tell him to give him the money.

Leaving the room, I told him that I’d have to look, because neither of us had been to the bank.  Checking around the house for some cash I asked the Lord if this is what He wanted us to do. 

Normally I don’t second guess hubby, but his new pain medication sometimes makes him loopy and over emotional (okay, he turns teary and loves everybody, which is alright but sometimes awkward), so I wasn’t quite sure if that was the case.

There are times when God doesn’t lead us to give cash but to go buy food for someone, but this time I immediately heard in my spirit James 4:17.

“If you have it within your power to do good – do it; if you don’t it’s a sin.”

My husband got a cold bottle of water from the refrigerator and I looked for a gospel tract for Wayne (yes, we still give printed tracts).  Ah-ha, perfect – one on Living Water.  Knowing the situation, I handed my husband the money and went into the back room to keep an eye on him from the window.

What Message Did He Receive?

Taking the items in hand hubby left the house and called to get the man’s attention.  “Yo man, are you still with me here or what?”

Startled, Wayne turned around slightly fixating on a car coming down the alley heading straight toward them.  As they approached, hubby stepped through the gate in case there was trouble.

“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself (herself).  Let each of you look out not only for his/her own interests, but also for the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:3-4 MKJV)

Slowing down the four cohorts in the vehicle stared intently at them making eye contact, but kept going.  Not knowing what to make of it my husband asked, “Are they the guys who were looking for you?” 

Wayne said he wasn’t sure, but refused hubby’s offer to call the police.  The conversation picked up where it left off with him handing the bottle of cold water, some money and a gospel tract to the stranger.  He offered to pay it back, but was told it was a gift from the Lord.

Right then the Holy Spirit gave an opportunity to share the message of Christ.

“We always give a bottle of water reminding us that Jesus is the Living Water.”  Hubby went on to explain the message inside the tract.  You could almost see it in Wayne’s eyes, “Oh shoot, why did I have to stop here?”

Still watching from the window, I couldn’t tell what was going on, but then I saw my husband place his hand on Wayne’s shoulder and bowed his head to pray  From the time I learned what was happening out my back door I began to pray over the word seeds my husband spoke to the bold visitor, and that Wayne’s heart would be receptive to the move of the Holy Spirit through the gospel tract.

Giving Wayne a list of agencies for additional help, he thanked my husband for the items stating he was going to buy a pizza and eat the whole thing.  With that it was over and he rode out of sight.

Favor to Give

Being able to witness to a stranger and give a gift or two isn’t uncommon for believers. When the “Holy Spirit breeze” whispers opportunities to share our faith into our spirit, it’s our responsibility to act on the situation. However, there is another reason I shared this story with you.

If it weren’t for that so called “misplaced” daffodil and debris that was blown into our fence, my husband and I wouldn’t have been outside that day.  After the flowers finished blooming the plant stuck out like a sore thumb, because it looked like onion grass and just didn’t look nice. It had to go!

When I originally talked about how the flowers got there a month ago to this date, I really didn’t have a clue, but thought it probably meant nothing.  Now I know that wasn’t the case.  God knew what would transpire this week, and caused those tiny bulbs to be moved last fall so they would be in place to bloom where they were planted by Him.

First, we had to be at this address for a season even though it wasn’t something we thought would happen.  Next the bulbs had to be moved, the flowers needed to bloom where we would see them, and then they had to die so we would be outside to cut them.  All this was set in motion by God so that Wayne could have an encounter with Jesus through my husband.

Because my husband has the Holy Spirit living inside him, he was able to discern the direction from the Lord without fear.  He was obedient in following the instruction of Jesus to share the message of salvation through the Great Commission.

God allowed hubby to be a part of His plan by showing favor to a man who was hurting physically, emotionally and spiritually.  Living a life of favor through salvation encompasses more than being on the receiving end; it’s being blessed by grace to be “a blessing” with favor to give freely. 

“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.” (1 Corinthians 2:12 NKJV)

Newly placed daffodils were the vessels to something greater and God showed us favor in His plan going forth.  Had they not been there we wouldn’t have been able to minister to a gentleman who was in need of the loving kindness of Jesus.

The “Wind” (favor to accomplish, power) of the Holy Spirit was definitely blowing in this situation and all that led up to it.  We don’t know how many things actually took place to get to that point in time, but God did. His plans and timing are perfect, and will accomplish that which He sets out to do.

“The wind blows (as does Holy Spirit power) where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes.  So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8 NKJV)

“So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11 NKJV)

Prepare to Bloom

My prayer for this series is that people come to the knowledge of their need for a Savior, and they know that God’s grace is available to all who will believe in His Son Jesus for salvation from their sins.

God wants to accomplish great things through His children if we only let Him.  I firmly believe that if you are reading this, the Holy Spirit is prompting you to take a step of faith right where you are.

Mustard seeds have been planted through prayer and watered by studying His word; they have grown into giant faith expectations. Strong winds have blown over you testing (proving) your strength and belief. 

You have not been tossed about through trials, tribulation or set-backs, nor have you wavered, but are ready to receive wisdom concerning God’s favor.  It’s time … prepare to bloom!

God Is Still Moving

As I conclude this series, have you grown in understanding concerning the power of the Holy Spirit, and acknowledged that this same power is available to all who accept Jesus as Savior?  God wants to breathe favor on you or “blow” on you with power, as the Lord said to His first Disciples and followers.  He has a plan and desires that you accomplish it.

“And when Jesus had said this, He breathed on them (the Disciples) and said, Receive the Holy Spirit (power for favor to do and receive good things).”  (John 20:22 NKJV emphasis mine)

In order to experience receiving or giving favor, learn to be mindful when the Lord is moving on your physical surroundings, in the community or in personal life changes.  I know it’s not easy waiting on God, and putting others first doesn’t always come “second” nature, but when you do – wow!  

Think about it, the power of the wind allows an eagle to take flight and soar effortlessly. He has the freedom to go wherever the wind will carry him.  Don't you want to live a life like that?  

As soon as the breeze starts to blow your feet get restless; it's the Holy Spirit moving and suddenly you hear the loving voice of God calling ... get ready to experience something greater than you could ever have imagined!

This Week's Challenge:
Where and Whenever Lord

It is my hope that if you are a follower of Christ you will learn to be led by the Holy Spirit and yes, be willing to be “planted” where God needs you for a season.   Recognize when God is moving on a situation by getting into position to receive and/or give favor.  Allow God to use you wherever and whenever He wishes, then watch great things begin to happen. 

It's time to bloom, yep, you read that right!  Every time you see, think of or experience the blowing of the wind, remind yourself that God is there through every circumstance.  He’s waiting for you to receive the gift of favor through His Spirit by faith.  All you need to do is say, “Where and whenever Lord!”

Regardless to what some may say or believe, whenever and wherever the wind blows – God is still moving!  Where there is a breeze the Holy Spirit is there making it, giving proof that He is alive, active and moving among His people.  

by Karen Peck & New River | from the album Daddy's Home

If this article has encouraged or helped you, please consider sharing it by using the social media icons provided at the end of this post.

Until next time, let Holy Spirit favor bloom in you!

“Come receive the Holy Spirit favor.”
Jesus Christ

What’s New This Week: Click on the link below.

What Happens When God's Spirit Invades the Hearts of His People
by Pastor Jim Cymbala

For those who may be interested. 😊

Fay aka Favored1 on FacebookTwitterYouTubePinterest and Articles.  

Maybe you don’t know the Living God that I know but would like to have this kind of favor in your life also.  Click on the above tab “Tell Me About Jesus” for more information on becoming a child of the Savior.

Note: Emphasis may be given in some scriptures to show clarity or understanding and is not to take away from the inspirited Word of God.

When used, the words satan or devil are not capitalized deliberately, because we give him no place in our lives.

Disclaimer: Article information is not meant to be used as treatment for mental or physical issues but is geared toward spiritual awareness.

Content and Image Copyright from Favored1. Do not copy.  Living Water  James 4:17  Holy Spirit Wind 

Disclaimer Notes: Results may vary due to lack of belief.
Unless noted, scripture reference in series was taken from the New King James Bible Version provided by Bible Gateway.  Image credit:  Creative Common License if not specified.  

Where Faith and Favor Meet, Salvation, Favor, Favored1, Daily Favor Blog, Wherever the Wind Blows, Teaching Series, Bloom Where You Are Planted, Holy Spirit, Wind, Faith.