Overcoming Stagnation

Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs.  Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard him say it. Mark 11:13-14

The fig tree, which did not have any fruit, brings to mind the question__ How does one overcome inactivity, sluggishness, lack of progress__ stagnation? A good place to start is by addressing the perception of who you are to avoid engaging in faulty thinking. Faulty thoughts often wrongly define a circumstance as an individual as well as permanent. They also tend to omit God’s sovereignty and desire for you, whom he fearfully and wonderfully made. However, the bible can help you to know God and increase faith. As reading the word renews your mind you will begin to think about life differently. If you find there has been little to no change in a situation, rather than sulk you will seek solutions. Jesus taught this understanding of obstacles in context with this parable. Even if it appears that everything is in place for growth but nothing is happening, faith can remove mountains. (Mk.11:22-26) If you have started to drag your feet, quitting is not an option. Because if this occurs there is a risk of  experiencing the essence of Jeremiah 8:13 “When I wanted to gather them, says the LORD, there are no grapes on the vine, nor figs on the fig tree; even the leaves are withered, and what I gave them has passed away from them.” But your intended purpose is for something far greater. The plan is the hope of glorious freedom from death and decay.  Do not allow the fruitful life God wants for you to pass by. Recognize that fulfillment is not contingent only upon the possibilities of your intellect, abilities, personality or even circumstances. You did not make yourself. You are God’s workmanship, He made you. Just as He created the fig tree to grow figs, you too were made for a purpose. “It is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose”. Philippians 2:12-13 Fulfilling God’s purpose and plan shows His power in you.

    The intentions of your heart are also very important. Consider the fate of fig tree that appeared to be gloriously in full bloom. In actuality the tree had nothing but leaves; no figs. Honestly examine yourself; assess whether it is all for appearance instead of God’s glory to be revealed. Practicing this daily can help you to whole heartedly pursue and persist in God’s plan and future for you.  “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails”. Proverbs 19:21 You must also understand the times and know what to do like the sons of Issachar. Reflect on the summer-like weather this spring. it has allowed some flowers and vegetation to reach maturity before there season. As a result, gardeners can pick them at an unexpected time. Mathew 24:45-46 indicates that it will be good for the faithful and wise servant who is doing what the master expects when he comes.   Herein lies the commonality of this with our text…” So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. “ Mathew 24:44 There is no time for delay. Never stop growing. It is imperative to be prepared in season and out of season. Although Mark 11 is frequently directed towards the end time, our faith, our lives, our work must endure until the end. “The God of heaven, he will prosper you. Therefore, as his servant you must arise and build…Nehemiah 2:20 Like fig trees we must be cared for, cultured and nurtured through faithful, dedicated commitment to develop fully as intended by God. The Lord still loves and desires ripe fruit in and from the ones he loves.

Yours in Christ,

Rev.  Von Crigler

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