Week 3 // Learning to “Be” Instead of “Do”
Know: They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. Jeremiah 17:8
Kori Yates, founder of Planting Roots, talks about being THAT tree in Week 3 of our new online Bible studies.
Consider: I want to be a tree.
Not just any tree, but THAT tree. The one that doesn’t fear, its leaves are always green, it has no worries, and never fails to bear fruit. Trees come in all sizes, from the barely alive twig in my front yard to the majestic trees down by the Missouri River on the other side of post. I want to be the tree by the river, though. Don’t you?
How do I grow to be THAT tree? I do so by changing my objective, my goals. Through the power of God’s living Word and His indwelling Spirit, I shift from a to-do list that is more about me to a recognition of who He is and a desire to courageously obey him, even in the hard things. This is where we grow – where He grows us.
I know in my own life, this revelation means I need to change my focus. Yes, reading my Bible is important, as are times when I gather with other believers in worship and study, but Christ wants me to have a relationship (which is what the homework below is intended to foster – it’s not another to-do list ). He wants me to spend time “being” in His presence instead of “doing” things in the hopes of growing myself.
What does this look like in your life? Obedience and courage is all He asks of us. He does the rest. Are you doing instead of being?
God wants me to “be” in His presence rather than “do” things to grow myself.
Reflect: Questions for Discussing & Journaling
1. Reread Jeremiah 17:8. Draw a picture of the tree described.
2. What is the source of this trees strength and growth? Describe this in more than one word.
3. How attached am I to my “to do” list? Does it represent self-striving in my life?
4. How easy is it for me to be obedient? How easy is it for me to be courageous?
5. In what areas of my heart and life do I need to be more like THAT tree?
Continue: Weekly Memory Verse and Daily Homework
Day 1: This week’s homework will focus on memorizing Jeremiah 17:8 and studying Psalm 23. Using your journal or a card you can carry in your wallet, write out Jeremiah 17:8 and meditate on it. Now, simply read through Psalm 23 and write your impressions in your journal.
Day 2: So many times I feel like the twig in my front yard. I wonder how in the world I will ever grow up to be that majestic tree. Psalm 23 has much wisdom to share about tree growth. A well-known Psalm for many of us, you may be wondering how it can teach us to grow. Read Psalm 23 again. Write down the things God does in a list on the left and then write down the things we do in a list on the right. Did you notice anything?
Day 3: I am a “doer” by nature. I love lists, and checking them off. Schedules are one of my favorite things, all the way down to the bulletin at church. I want to know exactly what I need to do in order to reach the objective or finish the task. Growing in our Christian walk does not work that way. Our life with Christ is not a “to do list” waiting to be accomplished. Read Psalm 23:1-3 which talks about all of the things God does–He is our Shepherd, He makes us lie down, He leads, He refreshes, He guides–He grows us through life and experience . . . and relationship. Our relationship with Him is what changes everything. When we figure out that it is about Him and what he has done, is doing, and will do, we are changed. It is then that we grow, a little more every time we encounter Him. Using your journal, reflect on specific ways that God has restored, guided, lead, and grown you.
Day 4: Read Psalm 23:4-God requires two things from us in verse 4–to walk and to not fear. Obedience and courage–a to do list with only two things on it. How easy is this? Which feels easier for you – obedience or courage? Is there an area of life where you need more of either – obedience or courage? Using your journal, share these thoughts with God through prayer.
Day 5: Read Psalm 23:5-6. These verses are personal – a time to remember the promises and faithfulness of God. He will prepare, He will anoint. No doubt goodness and love will follow me. How do I know? I’ve experienced them. Using your journal, make a “list” (wink) of all the things in your past for which you can thank God. This is a way of remembering His goodness and reminding yourself of His mercy.
Submitted by Kori Yates (www.koriyates.com and founder of Planting Roots)
Creative Community (Pin It!):
“Little Trees & Cheese” Recipe (Broccoli with Browned Butter & Mizithra Cheese)
1 lb. fresh chopped broccoli, steamed
¼ cup butter
¼ cup grated mizithra cheese (or more to taste)
Place hot broccoli in a large serving bowl. In a small saucepan, heat butter over medium heat until it is lightly browned. Pour browned butter over broccoli and toss. Top with shredded cheese and serve.
Post a Comment: What does the tree in Jeremiah 17:8 make you think of? How easy is it to be obedient and courageous in military life? What obstacles do you face? What tips do you have to share?