From The Heart

Publish date: 08/05/2001

Thus says the Lord: Cursed [with great evil] is the strong man who trusts in and relies on frail man, making weak [human] flesh his arm, and whose mind and heart turn aside from the Lord. For he shall be like a shrub or a person naked and destitute in the desert; and he shall not see any good come, but shall dwell in the parched places in the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land. [Most] blessed is the man who believes in, trusts in and relies on the Lord, and whose hope and confidence the Lord is. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters that spreads out its roots by the river; and it shall not see and fear when heat comes; but its leaf shall be green. It shall not be anxious and full of care in the year of drought, nor shall it cease yielding fruit.  Jeremiah 17:5-8 Amplified

The man who believes in, trusts in and relies on the Lord is blessed. The Lord is his hope and confidence. He is like a tree planted by the waters—spreading out his roots by the river of God—drawing water and nourishment from the fertile soil of God's Word and His Spirit. He will not feel the heat of the enemy's attack and he will have no reason to fear it. His leaf is green all the time. He is not anxious and full of care in the year of drought, nor will he cease from yielding fruit.

On the contrary, the man who is strong in his own strength; who trusts in and relies on frail man; whose power comes from weak, human flesh and whose mind and heart turn away from the Lord is cursed with great evil. He is like a shrub—like a naked person—destitute in the desert. He will not see any good come to his life, but he will remain permanently in the parched places—in the wilderness—in an uninhabited salt land.

Because you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing'--and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.  Revelation 3:17 NKJV

You can put your trust in God and you can drink from the river or you can put your trust in yourself and live in a parched wilderness. You can choose to draw your life and your strength from the Lord or you can struggle out there on your own. When you put your trust in the Lord, you are not afraid of the weather, you are not afraid of what life may throw at you. When you trust in and rely on the Lord—no matter what comes your way it will not hinder or prevent you from prospering.

You can choose to serve God and honor Him, or you can serve your own interests and dishonor Him. You can choose to be blessed or you can choose to be cursed. You can be a big tree next to a river or you can be a little shrub in the hot desert. You can be gloriously attired in green leaves or you can be a naked, small bush. You can spread your roots out—increasing your capacity to receive nourishment, life, strength and blessing. You can tighten your grip on God and draw in closer to Him—your life can become ever more entwined in His life and it will be even harder to remove you from your foundation.  But if you have little shrubby roots, they could just be ripped from the soil.

You can yield much fruit or you can be devoid of any fruit at all. You can have your roots in the water and your branches covered in green leaves and not be afraid of the heat or you can be dried up and destroyed by it. You can live in comfort, peace and safety or you can live in fear and anxiety—exposed to the elements, constantly fearing for your life.

You can be comforted in God's presence or you can be destitute in the desert. The shrub in the desert has nothing to offer anyone—no shade and no food. But the tree planted by the river gives shade, protection and fruit. Those who trust in the Lord will be abundantly blessed and will be a blessing to all those they touch, but those who trust in themselves have nothing to offer anyone else because they are in need themselves. The blessed man only knows abundance, but the cursed man only knows lack.

Make up your mind to trust in the Lord, to look to Him for guidance and sustenance. Firmly plant yourself on the banks of His river, yielding to His will, His Word and His Spirit. When you remain in His presence, drinking the waters of life, you will live a long, prosperous life of peace and safety.