Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Believe and Flourish

UV 2172/10000 Believe and Flourish
And it grew, and became a spreading vine of low stature, whose branches turned toward him, and the roots thereof were under him: so it became a vine, and brought forth branches, and shot forth sprigs.
Ezekiel 17 v 6

The vine of low status and stature grows and flourishes while the vine of high status and stature perishes. The Lord is the One who decides the destiny of individuals as of nations. This is the reason why one nation rises even as another declines in history. Arnold Toynbee, the eminent historian who studied the rise and fall of nations could not fathom this and hence, attributed it to the X Factor. This is the reason why one business thrives while another fails. This is the reason why one individual flourishes and fulfils the purpose of his life while another fails. Peter Drucker, the father of modern management said, “Innovate or Perish.” But, the word says, “ Believe and Flourish.” Humility is acknowledging the Lord as the source of all our success, prosperity and happiness. Pride is thinking that one can do it all on one’s own steam. The manger leader or manager knows that humbling oneself before the Lord goes before honour, success and advancement in this world and the life to come. The secret of all growth lies in the roots. The roots though they lie under need to grow towards the source of water and nourishment- the Lord Himself.

The roots of the manger leader consists of humility under the Lord , fear of God and its accompanying restraints and wisdom, faith and hope in his future, reliance on the Lord for strength and guidance, an uncompromising sense of integrity and commitment to truth and the adoption of right means to achieve any end. Such roots growing under ground in his soul are planted in the fertile soil of His word. The powerful eagle that Ezekiel speaks about that planted him is Jesus, the Messiah. Jesus described Himself as the “true Vine”. The manger leader is planted by Jesus besides streams of water that never dry up. This is apparently a cross reference to what Jesus said, “ The Holy Spirit shall come upon you and there shall be rivers of life-giving water flowing from your hearts.” Indeed, we must listen to our hearts to check if we hear the bubbling brooks, the gush of the meandering river, the gentle flow of the eternal springs that lie deep in our souls.

The vine will shoot forth a shoot. From the shoot and stem, shall come the branches. Our branches too need to turn toward Jesus just as all trees turn their branches towards the sun. The branches so turned will be strong, grow steadily and bear a lot of foliage that will be a shade or comfort to many people in their hardships. On each branch, we will find leaves or words and actions that are meant for the encouragement, edification and enlightenment of people of all nations. On each branch, we will find different spiritual fruit. On one branch, there will be the most excellent fruit of all – love. On another, the delicious fruit of joy. On yet another, the healthy fruit of peace. The vine will have a branch that will bear the fruit of patience, endurance, the ability to wait out with faith times of trouble, times of famine, times of testing. From time to time, the Lord will prune the branches in order that each bear more and better fruit.

Prateep V Philip

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