The team at the Ellel Centre in the Netherlands recently chopped down some huge trees in the grounds. They sent a photograph round to the teams at all the other centres explaining that ‘the land will be great for growing vegetables and flowers as the sun can now shine on them without hindrances!’
As I read their news item I remembered a time when God showed me that I was hiding in someone else’s shadow. In fact it was His grace and mercy towards me that had brought this other person into my life to show me His love, but there came a point where I was looking to her for the love and life that only He can give.
Like the eagle stirring up the nest the Lord began to stir up my comfortable place as He asked this person to step back from me, so that I could receive directly from Him the nutrients I needed to blossom and grow, like the flowers and vegetables that will now flourish at the centre in the Netherlands. I couldn’t see it! I was devastated! For some time I ranted and railed, ‘It’s not fair! It’s not right!’ Gradually God’s Spirit at work in me brought me to that place of submission, conceding to the truth of Isaiah 55:8: ‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord’ and to the reality that He, as my Creator God, knew much better than me, the created.
It wasn’t easy to lose my comfortable place. I was so tempted to turn away from God and try and find comfort in other things. But now I can look back and say, yes it was one of the hardest times in my walk with the Lord, but it was also one of the very best times of my whole life, because it was then that, by His grace, I really learned to reach out to my heavenly Father and to truly depend on Him and to know His love in my heart, to know that I truly belonged to Him as His child.
It was from that point that He began and still is continuing to draw me more and more into the freedom and joy of the abundant life Jesus won for us and into my God-given destiny.
I would like to encourage you today to ask the Lord to reveal to you if you are hiding in a ‘comfortable place’ … in someone else’s shadow, or finding a place of comfort and security in someone or something other than the love of your heavenly Father. Whatever He shows you, ask Him to give you the courage to hold this relationship or this thing, this routine, this position or role, these possessions or whatever it is, on an open hand before Him. Sometimes the very thing that we think is protecting us and providing security, can actually become a blockage to growth in our walk with the Lord and in our own personhood.
And just one postscript … When we hold something on an open palm to the Lord, He doesn’t necessarily remove it completely … to my amazement I didn’t ultimately lose that relationship with the person on whom I had become so dependent. The Lord gave it back, but not in its old form – in a new form - a free and healthy friendship which has become a blessing instead of a barrier in my walk with the Lord.
Prayer: Father God, thank You that Your heart of love is to prosper Your children, to draw us into fullness of life. If I have found security in someone or something that has now become a blockage to my personal growth and the release of my God-given giftings, please help me to be willing to let go of it and to trust it to You. And, just as the flowers and vegetables that were once hidden under the trees in Holland can now receive the warmth of the sun and flourish and grow into their full potential, please help me to look to You and receive the love and life You have for me, so that I can grow into my God-given destiny, giving glory back to You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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