As Christians, there are two ways we can live: 1) according to the sin nature); or, 2) according to the Spirit (Galatians 6:7-9). We are given a vivid word picture of the contrast between these two lifestyles in the following Scripture.
5 This is what the LORD says:
"Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
who depends on flesh for his strength
and whose heart turns away from the LORD.
6 He will be like a bush in the wastelands;
he will not see prosperity when it comes.
He will dwell in the parched places of the desert,
in a salt land where no one lives.
7 "But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
whose confidence is in him.
8 He will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit."
Have you been that bush in the wastelands? . . . just a dried up pile of twigs in the desert, burned out, isolated, and unable to see the good things in life? . . . I have. That’s the fruit of self-effort and self-reliance.
What a contrast we see between the tumbleweed in the desert and the majestic cottonwood by the stream. When we walk in the Spirit (relying in faith on God to live through us), hard times still come but we are not destroyed by them. We continue to bear fruit for God, and are free from worry. Our roots go deep, drinking in the Water of Life; we may be shaken but will not be torn down.
It may take 100 years to grow a cottonwood, so if you're still the dried-up bush, wait for the Lord (Psalm 27:13-14). If you continue to put your confidence in Him, you will eventually flourish!
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