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Amplify | Summer is No Time for Faithlessness

2018_amplify (blog)

There is an old saying, ‘you have to make hay while the sun shines.’ Indeed. But how much and what will be the quality of that hay?

Summer Can Seem Like a Blank Check

God made this statement to a young King Solomon: “Ask what you wish me to give you” (I Kings 3:5b). Wow! God was giving him essentially a blank check. Solomon’s answer pleased the Lord. He didn’t ask for riches, long life or for the life of his enemies. He asked for wisdom and discernment to understand justice in order to know how to govern God’s people, Israel, well. This wisdom would be unlike the wisdom God had given to any man before him or any to come after him. There was a condition however. Solomon must walk in the ways of God as his father David had done.

But… God did give him riches and honor too. But these would test Solomon’s heart. Would he wisely receive the blessings and steward them well or would they lead him astray? How did Solomon invest the gifts?

Solomon’s wisdom teach us about sowing and reaping in the natural and the spiritual.

Proverbs 11:25, “The generous man will be prosperous. And he who waters will be watered.”

Proverbs 6:6-8, “Go to the ant, O sluggard, observe her ways and be wise, which have no chief, officer or ruler, prepares her food in the summer and gathers her provision in the harvest.”

Ecclesiastes 11:4, “He who watches the wind will not sow and he who looks at the clouds will not reap.”

Ecclesiastes 11:6, “Sow your seed in the morning, and do not be idle in the evening, for you do not know whether morning or evening sowing will succeed or whether both of them alike will be good."

Solomon’s wisdom became an excuse for busyness and compromise. Everything he wanted to have, know and do he didn’t withhold from himself. Yet he found it all vanity of vanities, a phrase he repeats in the book of Ecclesiastes. He lived to please himself, his many foreign wives took his heart away from the Lord, and he ill prepared his son to rule. When it came time for his son to reign he rejected the good counsel of the elder statesmen for the counsel of his contemporaries (see I Kings 12:6-11). Consequentially the kingdom was divided and ended in eventual exile and captivity.

In the Midwest we enjoy all four seasons. Growing up here, we experience both the childhood excitement of each returning season and then as adults their responsibilities and pitfalls. Though the seasons never fail to come, we see, for instance, no two summers are alike. Some are very hot, humid and without adequate rainfall. Conversely, others are cold, overcast and rainy. Still as the natural seasons prepare the earth for the one to follow, this is true of our spiritual seasons.

The Scriptures do not discredit honest work nor the enjoyment of recreation and relaxation. Due to our short summer season nearly every weekend can be quickly booked with so many activities. Have you ever stopped to realize that this present season is preparing you for both the next natural and spiritual season? Is this summer keeping you from being faithful in your relationship with God?  

Our busy lives or idle pleasures can lead us astray. Prideful pleasures and self-sufficiency will cloud our judgement, and influence others to embrace a Godless definition of necessity and success. God didn’t call us to be successful and find our ultimate pleasure according to the world’s flawed estimation. No. He has something much better and lasting for His redeemed ones. He called us to be faithful to Him, enjoying our life, labor and pleasures with Him.

Jesus often used little children to illustrate His points in how we may relate to our Father. A child stretches out his arms to be held and is quieted upon his father’s lap, soothed by his father’s voice. A child loves to be pursued by his father, saying,” chase me…again, do it again!”

For He has given us everything pertaining to life and godliness. He’s not stingy nor ambivalent about meeting our needs, delights and desires. He gives us all things to richly enjoy starting and ending with Himself. It is the blessing He intends for His faithful ones summer, winter, springtime and harvest.

“There is nothing better for a man than to eat and drink and tell himself that his labor is good. This also I have seen, that it is from the hand of God. For who can eat and who can have enjoyment without Him.”  Ecclesiastes 2:24

 

linda bio pic

Linda Strandquist, a native Minnesotan, has been a member of Sovereign Grace Church since 2006. She spent most of her 40 year marriage working beside her late husband, Larry. A country girl at heart she has learned the suburbs have their own charms. Linda's calling to encourage finds its outlet through reading, writing and music. She has three married children and ten grandchildren.