THE MESSAGE OF THE LILIES??
“For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and
honor. No good thing does He withhold from those who walk
uprightly. O Lord of hosts, blessed is the one who trusts in You!”
(Psalm 84: 11-12 ESV)
An important part of my morning devotions is a request for the Lord to help me see myself as He sees me and provide me the strength and guidance so I can serve Him, as He would have me do as I go through this day and every day. However, at times I feel that one of us is not paying close attention! I am quite aware of the way He would have me be but becoming so is extremely difficult at times! In spite of numerous prayers I still find that growing spiritually requires a lot of hard work – it just doesn’t come naturally to me!
Therefore the reference in our scriptural selection about the lilies not having to strive to grow (Mt. 6:28) just doesn’t seem fair! They attain their beauty in life without any conscious effort and here am I struggling along! However, maybe our Lord is telling us that another type of growth is necessary for us. Further, an important phrase appears in the first verse of our reading: “Therefore I tell you …” (Mt. 6:25). Whenever we see the word, “Therefore” in our Bible, that’s a road sign that we should refer back to what was said just before it, so we don’t take the words we about to read out of context in which they were written. “Therefore” refers back to the previous section: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
(Mt. 6:21). Perhaps, the suggestion for us is to not only let the Holy Spirit take over the growth process but also to make sure we establish proper conditions for spiritual growth. To accomplish this, we must read and study His Word and pray opening our heart to Him and humbling ourselves to secure from Him all that we need. Perhaps the most important thing we can do is trust Him to work in us to bring us to maturity, as we cannot do it all by ourselves. While it is true lilies do grow and gain natural beauty without effort on their part, as we see in verse 30 (Mt. 6:30) as to what finally happens to them, maybe our Lord is telling us that another type of growth is needed if we are to avoid the same fate. Maybe this is the real message of the lilies.