I finally got my hands on Max Lucado’s book Cure for the Common Life: Living in Your Sweet Spot. I believe it’s the book that inspired his children’s book The Oak Inside the Acorn. I think I see now where he got the idea for the children’s book. In chapter five, he quotes Judges 9:8-15. This is a part of scripture that I have never read before. I’m always excited to read “new” scripture. In this passage, Jotham warns the Israelites against Abimelech through a parable:
9 “But the olive tree answered, ‘Should I give up my oil, by which both gods and men are honored, to hold sway over the trees?’
10 “Next, the trees said to the fig tree, ‘Come and be our king.’
11 “But the fig tree replied, ‘Should I give up my fruit, so good and sweet, to hold sway over the trees?’
12 “Then the trees said to the vine, ‘Come and be our king.’
13 “But the vine answered, ‘Should I give up my wine, which cheers both gods and men, to hold sway over the trees?’
14 “Finally all the trees said to the thornbush, ‘Come and be our king.’
15 “The thornbush said to the trees, ‘If you really want to anoint me king over you, come and take refuge in my shade; but if not, then let fire come out of the thornbush and consume the cedars of Lebanon!’
Just to clarify:
Trees = people of Israel
Olive tree, fig tree, and vine = Gideon and his sons (Judges of Israel at the time)
Thornbush = Abimelech (son of Gideon by a concubine)
Jotham – youngest son of Gideon who escaped being killed by Abimelech
Israel was thirsty for a king and Abimelech was hungry for the position. All the other nations had kings, so why shouldn’t they? But God didn’t want His nation to be like the others. They were to be consecrated, set apart for His glory. Gideon and his sons understood this. As seen in the parable, they each knew what job or purpose God had given them and they saw it as fruitful.
In ministry, we all want to do great things for God. We want God to be pleased with us and so we work our bottoms off to achieve that goal. The problem comes when we begin to run ahead of God. Max Lucado says in this book, “In a desire to be great, one might cease being any good.” Yeah, let that one sink in for awhile. Looking at the “oak in the acorn” illustration, it would be crazy for the acorn to try to act like the great oak tree, even though it has all the oak DNA inside of it. It takes time and maturity to reach our full potential.
Check this out:
Romans 12:3 (New International Version)
3For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.
God has gifted me with a passion for teaching his Word to women of all ages. When I am teaching, whether it’s with kids or adults, I am living in my sweet spot. God will grow this ministry on His timetable and in His way. My job is to stay connected to Him and not rush things, thinking I have to be more influential to please Him. I am not Beth Moore or Kay Arthur. I am so thankful for them and l Iook up to their godly influence, but I can release the pressure to minister like them. My future belongs to the One who created me. Right now I cling to 1 Peter 5:6.
1 Peter 5:6 (The Message)
6-7So be content with who you are, and don’t put on airs. God’s strong hand is on you; he’ll promote you at the right time. Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you.
Lord, help me to be the Tree you created me to be.