I have a bird feeder that has a lot of traffic these days. Today, I took notice of two female cardinals. (Watch the video.) One hopped right up the feeder while the other sat on our deck railing. As I watched, one took food from the feeder and fed the one on the railing. As she fed it, the fledgling shook its wings in acceptance. I realized that she was teaching her young to find food on its own. This would relieve her of the endless duty of feeding her young. The young female could now feed herself and satisfy her hunger whenever she wanted.
We can take a lesson from this. Often, we rely on a parent, a pastor, a teacher, a mentor, a spiritual leader to feed us, but at some point, we need to learn where they retrieve their food and let them be free of the burden of feeding us. We need to grow up.
I know there were seasons where I fed on sermons, podcasts, and YouTube feeds to satisfy my hunger to grow in the knowledge, faith, gifts and wisdom of God. Then God said, “Do you want to get everything second hand? Of course not! What if I have something more for you personally than getting food that has been regurgitated for you?”
Wow! A Father’s correction to draw me closer in relationship happened. I drew close by spending more time in prayer, Bible reading, journaling and seeking to love others as Jesus did. I have discovered that what I have learned from Him is indelibly written in my mind. I encourage you to go directly to your Lord and let Holy Spirit reveal all He has for you. And yet, there have been times I needed to validate a message from God through the counsel of other Godly mentors, especially if it included a change of direction.
We need to encourage others to grow up too. Maybe we have let our loved one feed off of our faith when they need to seek building their faith through growth in the Lord. This is especially true as we teach our children how to discern God’s path of protection and direction.
A powerful translation of scripture Colossians 1:9-11 (THE VOICE) states
“This is a prayer for knowledge and insight that only can come from God Father, may they clearly know Your will and achieve the height and depth of spiritual wisdom and understanding. May their lives be a credit to You, Lord; and what’s more, may they continue to delight You by doing every good work and growing in the true knowledge that comes from being close to You. Strengthen them with Your infinite power, according to Your glorious might, so that they will have everything they need to hold on and endure hardship patiently and joyfully."
Feed our prodigal, God. Feed us. We are hungry for more.
What have you found successful in redirecting a friend or loved one to help them seek God?