Tag: Trusting God
Planting Seeds with Anne Wilson
Trusting God to Bring About the Harvest
Anne Wilson, a contemporary Christian music artist, said, “Everything I’ve been taught as a little girl is really true.”
In a recent interview with Family Life Radio, Anne shared how her parents planted seeds of faith in her life from a young age. They raised her in a Christian home and instilled Christian values in her. But, it wasn’t until seventh grade that Anne had a personal encounter with Jesus that changed her life forever. Looking back, she realized “God had used all of those church services and Sunday Sermons to kind of build me this deep foundation of knowledge and His Word and who He is.”
Planting seeds of faith in the lives of others is an important part of your faith journey. You are called to share the Good News of Jesus Christ and to help others grow in their knowledge of Him. But what happens when those seeds don’t seem to take root? When it feels like your efforts are in vain and you’re not seeing the results you hoped for?
Let Anne’s story encourage you that even if you don’t see the results of your efforts immediately, God can still use them in ways that you may not even realize. In Matthew 13:3-9, Jesus tells the parable of the sower, where a farmer goes out to sow seed. Some of the seeds fall on rocky ground or among thorns and are unable to grow, but some fall on good soil and produce a crop. Jesus shared this story to emphasize not everyone may initially receive the message of the Gospel, but it’s important to keep planting seeds of faith, trusting that God will bring about the harvest in His own time.
Maybe you’re a parent who’s struggling to instill Christian values in your children. You take them to church, you pray with them and you try to live out your faith in front of them, but it feels like they’re just not getting it. Don’t give up hope! In Galatians 6:9, we are reminded, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up” (ESV). Keep sowing those seeds of faith and trust that God will bring about a harvest in His own time.
Anne’s song ” Sunday Sermons” encourages people to keep planting seeds of faith in the lives of others, even if they don’t seem to be listening or accepting. The song is a reminder that sometimes it takes time for the seeds you plant to grow and that you may not see the results of your efforts for many years.
In 1 Corinthians 3:6-7, the Apostle Paul writes, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth” (ESV). Your job is to plant and water the seeds of faith, but it’s ultimately up to God to bring about the growth. Anne said, “You’re actually planting seeds in their walk. And I believe that they’re going to come back to that some day and find Jesus in their own way.”
But what about our own faith journey? Have you ever felt like you’re not growing spiritually? Maybe you’ve been going to church for years, but you don’t feel like you’re learning anything new. It’s important to remember that spiritual growth is a process and that it takes time. In 2 Peter 3:18, we are encouraged to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (ESV). This growth comes through reading and studying God’s Word, prayer and fellowship with other believers.
Anne said, “It’s about having a personal relationship with Jesus.” Going to church and listening to sermons can help build our knowledge of God, but it’s not enough. We need to take the time to get to know Him on a personal level. In John 14:6, Jesus tells us, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (ESV). He is the only way to have a personal relationship with God. You must believe in Him and accept Him as your Savior.
Anne had gone to church her whole life, but it wasn’t until seventh grade that she had a personal encounter with Jesus. She realized that all those years of going to church had helped build a foundation of knowledge in her, but it wasn’t until she had a personal relationship with Jesus that everything came together. We can’t rely solely on our knowledge of God to have a true relationship with Him. We must also spend time with Him, praying and listening to His voice.
So, what can we do to continue planting seeds of faith in our own lives and in the lives of others? We can stay committed to attending church, reading and studying God’s word and spending time in prayer. We can also look for opportunities to share the Gospel with others and to serve those in need. In doing so, we not only plant seeds of faith in the lives of others, but we also deepen our own faith and grow closer to God.
As you choose to plant seeds of faith in your life and into the lives of others, you become a light to others and help them grow in their faith as well. As it says in Matthew 5:16, “let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (ESV).
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Not My Soapbox, But God’s Checklist with Meredith Andrews
Handling the chaos of our world today in a way that honors God
Even though Meredith Andrews, singer, song writer and worship leader, doesn’t get it right every day, she believes there is much grace from the Lord in navigating these crazy times in our world.
As a follower of Christ, a wife and a mother, Meredith sees the need to take it one day at a time and have compassion, knowing things are different, hard and often feel heavy.
It is important to remind yourself what is true. “God is on His throne,” Meredith explained. “I know He is not side-tracked, not thrown off or panicked one bit.”
“When I remember what I know is true, it helps me to have the right perspective.”
Meredith said she has to get to the place where she can tell God she trusts him even though she has strong opinions and feelings about things.
“Sometimes God asks me to share my opinions, and sometimes He asks me to keep them to myself,” Meredith observed. “But above all else, He’s called me to love people, even the people that don’t think the same way I do or see things the way I do.”
There has been a lot of fear and Meredith does not believe that fear is ever from the Lord.
“God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV).
When things are swirling around and seem to be on the brink of disaster, Meredith reflected on what it looks like to endure and be faithful to the end.
“It may not look like me being really loud on social media, although I have shared strong feelings. It might actually mean me getting into my prayer closet and telling God I don’t understand. But I choose to trust Him, and I can’t fix this. I must choose to surrender my feelings to Him.”
God has convicted Meredith to examine what she is making the “main thing” in a certain moment. Things in the world need to be addressed, but that’s not necessarily her role. First, she must intercede, be willing to surrender her opinions, which is hard for her to do, and then get involved in the community and continue to stand for truth.
Your view is limited, but God sees all things. Meredith acknowledged God hasn’t asked her to wrestle, or strong arm, a particular problem. He has told her not to be anxious about anything.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7 ESV).
You can take your anxiety to God and thank him that He is sovereign. You can trust Him. You can choose to do what Meredith is doing, taking her eyes off the news, off social media, off of everyone else’s opinion and focusing on things that are unseen.
2 Corinthians 4:16-17 says, “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal” (ESV).
You have to remind yourself you’re just passing through and hold on loosely to the things of this world, so you don’t get tangled up in the chaos. Meredith has no solutions except to get into the Word of God. The more you do, the more you find His peace. The distractions are less.
Meredith explained, “Our assignment is to:
- Make disciples.
- Love people well.
- Point people to Jesus.
- Bring God glory.”
“That’s my checklist. Are those boxes getting checked? Or am I on my own soap box?”
“I have to trust that God is the just judge and He is merciful. I can pray that God would let justice roll like a river and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream in our nation and around the world.”
Meredith’s challenge to you and to each person is to pray to “see things not as right or left, anti-this or pro-that,” but to seek to live like Jesus in this time.
She said, “He was willing to:
- Be interrupted.
- Not be easily offended.
- Not look for a fight.
- Just love people well.
- Be about the Father’s business.”
“He also turned over the tables in the temple, so He wasn’t passive. When there was religion and sin that infringed upon the heart of God, He said, That’s not okay.’”
Meredith encouraged believers to notice those who have been rejected and let them know God sees them and loves them right where they are. When you notice something is broken, raise a red flag and stand for what is true. Don’t stand on principle, but on the Word of God.
Sometimes the most loving thing you can do is tell someone the truth in love, tell someone what God’s Word says.
It’s what He has for them, and it’s better than what they are walking in.
“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8 NIV).
Meredith used the analogy of a baby, “We celebrate when a baby takes the first step. We celebrate as they become more and more independent. It’s the opposite with God. We become more and more dependent on him as we take each step.”
Ask yourself, “Am I relying on him and his Word or on my own strength?”
“For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10b ESV).
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Balancing Boundaries in Parenting
A transparent conversation with Meredith Andrews about children and screen time
Singer, song writer and worship leader, Meredith Andrews has three children. She and her husband have two sons, Maverick and Remington, and a daughter named Francis – a common family name on both sides.
Although they are all her children, Meredith thinks it’s crazy how they all have such different personalities. She teased that they should have named Maverick “Compliance” since he’s such a nonconformist. She explained that Maverick is the boy version of herself. He looks like her and acts like her. But “Rem,” her second son, is more reserved like her husband, and he’s also the comedian. If she wants to know how he’s doing though, she has to get him alone and question him to pull it out of him.
Her daughter, who they call Frankie, is the free-spirited youngest. Her name means “free one,” which is fitting.
Meredith’s kids are into video games, and although she has never done it, there are times when she’d like to throw the Xbox out the window.
She and her husband had to set boundaries in order to balance things out and “not be ruled by screens and devices” as Meredith put it. Most of the time, they reserve Saturdays for Xbox time. Every now and then, if her children have done something extra, like tennis or piano practice, they will allow additional Xbox time as an incentive.
Meredith remembered playing Nintendo and Mario with her friends, but it wasn’t the thing she lived for, but for today’s kids it’s different. She has regular conversations with her children about how they spend their time. She has noticed that her children are “not their best selves when they’ve had lots of screen time.” Without it, they become bored since they’re so used to being entertained.
In order to encourage her children to think of something else to do, she’ll suggest, “Even if it’s just to lie in the grass and stare at the sky. You might invent something while you’re there.”
Trusting God for guidance through the real parenting challenges common to many families today, Meredith finds joy along the way in her “hilarious and amazing children.”
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