Beautiful Bouquet

a-bouquet-of-roses-40487I want you to picture in your mind –flowers– beautiful flowers!  There is a garden full of flowers which include roses, gardenias, tulips, daisies, carnations, lilies, marigolds, violets, orchids and so forth.  Each one of you is like one of those beautiful flowers.  You have been created uniquely by God to give off a beautiful and special fragrance all your own.  You are not like anyone else, you are uniquelyspecial!  There is no such thing as an ugly flower, and all the flowers put together, you and me included, make up a beautiful bouquet for our Lord.  Yes, we are a part of His bouquet.

Each flower has different petals.  Each petal has a different virtue or fruit of the Spirit or Christ like quality that it possesses.  One petal is purity, one is dignity, one is courage, another is strength and honor, one is meekness, one is patience and long suffering, one is contentment; one is compassion and so forth.  These petals are the different from each other.  All the flowers are to have petals with these qualities regardless of what kind of flower they are.  Some of us are still buds.  Others have opened a little bit, others are in full bloom; yet all of us are very precious to the Lord, regardless of what stage we are at.  We see in the Proverbs 31 woman, a woman who has beautiful petals.

We too can have these same virtues to adorn our lives.  God has put this portion of Scripture in the Bible just for us women, saying to us “this is the way, walk ye in it.”  We learn to add petals of virtue and the fruit of the Spirit!  But before we can add petals or be in full bloom there is one thing that we have to do, we have to make God our First Priority!  We need to take care to keep our horizontal relationship with Him open each day and not get distracted with other seemingly good things; yet still distractions to our walk.  And, so importantly, we must walk in obedience.  This always seems to be the key or condition to fellowship and closeness with our Lord, “ye are my friends if ye do whatsoever I command you” (John 15:14).  “When you obey me you are living in my love” (John 15:10).  “If you love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15).  “The one who obeys me is the one who loves me, and because he loves me, my Father will love him, and I will too, and I will reveal myself to him” (John 14:21).  And finally John 14:23 says, “I will only reveal myself to those who love me and obey me.”  There must be nothing blocking our relationship with the Lord.  We need to realize that giving ourselves to Him enables us to give ourselves to others. Consequently, after reading these convicting Scriptures, we see that we need to be daily in His Word and in prayer, drawing strength and fellowship from Him.  We gain growth, strength to obey, victory over temptation, and we draw closer to and appreciate  Him even more, and when this happens we realize that He, and He alone is worthy of all our love, devotion and obedience because He is truly so wonderful to us.

“Seek ye first” (Matt 6:33).  The deepest desire in our heart should be to know Him, to love Him, to give Him joy and pleasure and to glorify Him with our lives.  We have been created for His pleasure, not our own.  We have been created to glorify Him, not ourselves. He is the One who is so worthy and good, and we have so much to be thankful for.  David oftentimes wrote how he meditated day and night on the Lord and His Word.  Meditate means “think about.”  May our deepest desire be “to make Him smile” at us. I had a little revelation one day when I saw the Lord on the cross dying for us, and then the scene changed and I saw Him on a hill all alone up in heaven.  He looked so lonely and there was no one else around anywhere.  I said to Him, Lord why are you all alone?”  And He said to me these words, “they love the gifts that I give, but they don’t love the Giver.  Will you love Me?” Will we love Him just for who He is?  Will we make Him our first priority and the One we love and think about the most?  Whenever our thoughts have a chance to think about something other than the mundane duties of this life, do our thought go up to Him and just tell Him how much we love and appreciate Him?  That is what He is looking for, loving obedient children that He can be so proud of.  I for one want to be that child who delights in my Father, and He in me.  We can all do this you know and we will receive back joy unspeakable and full of glory.

We must be careful that our lives don’t get so cluttered that He is crowded out and there is no room for personally loving Him with all our hearts.  After all, HE is the source of everything concerning us; our happiness, our joy, our strength, our health.  His guidance and protection all come from Him and Him alone.  No other Person in the entire world can provide these things except our blessed Lord, and yet it seems He is the One who is most neglected.

It’s His greatest desire for us to TRUST Him.  That shows our love to Him, and is the highest honor we can give to Him.  But sometimes, we are afraid of what He may ask us to do.  We must believe that He knows what is absolutely best for us and not fear releasing our hopes and dreams that we have to Him.  He will either fulfill them or replace them with something better.  He knows the beauty of His arrangement of flowers (you) and just where to put each one, so that it will show up the most and give off the most fragrance for His glory.  He knows exactly where you fit, what your ministry is to be, who you should marry and so on.  He also knows just what to trim off and throw away, in order to produce the most glorious arrangement possible.  He is the Master Creator!  He desires to bring YOU into complete fulfillment in what you’ve been created for.  He knows exactly what special plans He has for you and what purpose you are to fulfill down here.  All of this requires that we trust Him completely, releasing our whole selves to Him.  I often cry out, “Lord, don’t let me miss it.  Don’t let me be too lazy and slothful, or too selfish and not complete the race that you have for me.”  I must press towards the mark of the high calling that Jesus has in mind for me to win the prize at the end.  In order to reach the mark however; we must go His way and in His time.  Timing seems to very important in the scheme of things; and oh how we are in such a hurry.

Foundations must be built first, however. He has promised to change us and makes us beacons of light, to shine in this dark world of sin and sickness; to a people without hope and who are in great despair.  Oh how badly they need to see Jesus in us; to give them a glimpse of Him.  We are the reflectors of His glory and are to be to His honor and praise. We are to represent Him on this earth and to be His hands extended.  Oh dear saints, this is our wonderful purpose and joy in life.  Life is not found in the abundance of the things which a man possesses, but in righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost!  WE are responsible for that growth happening in our lives.  WE are to press towards the mark.  WE are to seek 1st the kingdom of God.  WE are to study to show ourselves approved.  No one can do it for us.  Our husband can guide us and encourage us, but we can develop without our husband’s help.  It is folly to think that they must do it first.  No, we are each responsible before God to pursue Him.  God will honor us for doing this, and He will then be able to help our husbands in their process of becoming what He wants them to become.  Unsaved husbands are won by the manner of life of the wife.  We are not to point fingers except at ourselves.

If there is a blockage in our horizontal relationship with the Lord, we must see if perhaps we are in disobedience in some area of our lives.  We then are to confess it, turn from it and open ourselves up to His will.  The result of a blockage in our communication with the Lord is awful.  It produces dryness; we can’t pray, we can’t read, we feel guilt and condemnation, we lose our joy and we become irritable and unhappy.  This will unfortunately never change until we yield.  Happiness is a by-product of obedience.  For example, I disliked my mother-in-law intensely and that created a blockage between me and the Lord.  The above-mentioned things occurred in my life and I was miserable.  Then I realized why.  I had to confess and repent of the terrible attitude I had towards my mother-in-law.  I asked the Lord to put love into my heart for her.  Things then turned around completely.  The Lord began to use me once again, and the phone started ringing off the hook for work (I had no calls for the prior 2 weeks for temp work).  Oh how foolish we are to be so slow in learning. We must therefore let Him change us by His power to become: women of God, priceless helpmates to our husbands, blessed mothers for our children (we don’t have these precious lives for very long), happy homemakers who bring a spirit of joy into our homes, and a blessing to our neighbors and the Body of Christ.