“The Lord will open the Heavens, the storehouse of His bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands…” Deuteronomy 28:12
I don’t much like to shop. Actually, I hate it. But what I hate even more than shopping is not having what I need, so that I can do what I need to do.
Take dinner, for example. Cooking doesn’t come naturally to me, so I can’t just toss whatever I find in the fridge into a pot and create something magical. My husband has that gift, but I definitely do not. I have to know what I’m going to make at least a day ahead, so that I can go to the market and gather my supplies, and be somewhat successful at feeding my family…for another day. (It is literally a day-by-day, meal-by-meal, well-thought-out-and-planned endeavor for me!)
When I don’t plan ahead (because life sometimes interrupts, as I’m sure you will agree) and don’t make it to the market, we survive – but with a fair amount of chaos and consequence. Anyone who has taken the fast food route knows what is sacrificed for the benefit of time and convenience.
As my life has grown busy and, in this season, increasingly difficult, I’ve found myself – many days – opening the cupboards of my soul only to find them empty. The shelves are bare because, while I’ve gulped down whatever Biblical encouragement has been within closest reach, I haven’t spent a lot of time prepping for what the days will require of me. In essence, I have taken the “fast-food” route with Scripture, grazing on whatever has come quickly and conveniently. It’s enough to get me by, but not enough to thrive on, for me or my household.
The amazing thing is that God promises, for those who put their trust in Jesus, to bless and prosper the work of our hands. He gives the rain from Heaven, the bounty of His storehouse, to provide for every need. Rain brings growth and nourishment. Rain is also a symbol of the Holy Spirit’s presence, power and help in our daily lives. It is literally the open market of Heaven, full of everything you and I could possibly need to be successful in whatever we need to accomplish today!
I once had a boss who gave me the number to an office supply company she held an account with. She told me to look through their catalog and order whatever I needed. I must have looked at her strange (I was used to bosses that tried to save money, not spend it), because she quickly explained her philosophy: she had found that people were more successful when they were equipped with the supplies to do their jobs well. I don’t work for her anymore, but I still believe what she taught me is true.
Making a List and Checking It Twice
So this morning, I am taking stock. I have taken a peek into the cupboards of my soul and found that I need some things, if I am going to be successful and truly satisfied today. Rather than rolling out of bed and wincing at what might hit me, I am looking at what’s on the agenda, making a list of what I’ll need to accomplish each task, and preparing to go to the Market of God’s Word, to find the necessary provisions.
One thing I’ve discovered is that knowing something is available at the market is not the same thing as actually going to the market, buying it, bringing it home, and using it. And the difference is not a matter of intention, but commitment.
It’s not always enough to know God’s Word has every promise we will need. We must plan and commit to picking up the ones we need for today and bringing them home, using them where they’re needed, and storing the rest in the cupboard so they will be there the next time we look.
Here are some things I picked up from the Market today. I hope they will encourage you to plan your own trip to the storehouse of God’s Word. May you check the cupboards of your soul, make your list, and be on your merry way. I believe it will make all the difference we are looking for in our world!
For the wisdom, help, and comfort I need:
“I will ask the Father and He will give you another Helper (Counselor, Comforter) to be with you forever – the Spirit of Truth.” John 14:26 (The Greek Word for Helper/Counselor/Comforter is parakletos, which means “one called to the side of another to counsel or support the one who needs it.”
For the strength and self-discipline I need:
“Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me His own…One thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ.” Philippians 3:12-14
“But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness…'” 2 Corinthians 12:9
For the ability to rejoice and praise instead of complain:
“Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth. Keep watch over the door of my lips.” Psalm 141:3
“…we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us.” Romans 5:3-5
For the refreshment I need:
“Don’t get drunk with wine, which leads to reckless actions, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making music from your heart to the Lord…” Ephesians 5:18-19
For the discouragement I face:
“Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” Deuteronomy 31:8
For the humility to be selfless:
“Instead of being motivated by selfish ambition or vanity, each of you should, in humility, be moved to treat one another as more important than yourself. Each of you should be concerned not only about your own interests, but about the interests of others, as well.” Philippians 2:3-4
“For you were called to freedom…only do not use your freedom as an opportunity to gratify yourself, but through love serve one another…walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” Galatians 5:13, 16