Prophetic word for the SUM community - Oaks of righteousness by Libby Finan
When Lynn Donovan's husband Mike got baptized in March 2019, I was thanking God in prayer and he showed me a vision of an oak tree which represented Mike following his salvation. Fast forward to earlier this year in January, and again God reminded me of this vision, but this time He showed me a vast forest of mighty oak trees, and I knew it was not a vision just for one spouse, but for many. In this forest, there was distinct space around each tree so you could see how many trees there were, and here is the best bit...each oak tree represented a saved SUM spouse!
He led me to His promise in Isaiah 61:
"So they will be called the trees of righteousness [strong and magnificent, distinguished for integrity, justice, and right standing with God], The planting of the Lord , that He may be glorified. Then they will rebuild the ancient ruins, They will raise up and restore the former desolations; And they will renew the ruined cities, The desolations (deserted settlements) of many generations."
Wow! The SUM spouses will be planted by the Lord, and they will display his glory. They will be mighty men and women of God and they will impact generations to come. What a promise.
You may be thinking my unsaved spouse is nowhere near that at all. But, there is an old English proverb that reminds us, 'mighty oaks from little acorns grow'. How amazing to think one little acorn can grow into a huge oak tree which can live for over a thousand years.
Acorns have a thick tough shell, but inside there is a single tiny seed of destiny. But in order to fulfill its potential, the acorn must first fall to the ground, just as pre-believers have to fall in surrender to Jesus. Then, the acorn must break open to release the new life - maybe things may seem to get worse before they get better - but it is all part of the predetermined life cycle.
PREPARING THE SOIL
When the acorn germinates it produces a tap root which will anchor the tree for the rest of its life. What a wonderful metaphor of faith as a lifelong anchor. God is preparing the soil so that the acorns do not fall on the path and get plucked up; or fall on the rocky ground where they can't take root and die, or fall in the weeds and thorns that stunt their growth; but fall on good fertile soil where their tap roots will flourish. He is cultivating the soil, softening it, watering it, nourishing it...He has been pulling out the weeds of addition and trauma, breaking up rocks of strongholds and unbelief, and fertilizing his good soil.
Between the acorn and the tree, comes the sapling - the young tree, the baby Christian, the new believer. They are starting to fulfill their potential, and to mature in the Lord, but this is a necessary growing process. God showed me the vulnerability of this stage in the process and how vital it is to protect these saplings. We know the enemy is roaming around looking to devour, so it is our role as the more established believer to intercede and battle and protect our spouses - to pray a hedge of protection around them as they grow.
DEAD TREES COME ALIVE
For some spouses, they have grown into trees, maybe even flourishing for many years, but they have since turned from Him. When they are no longer being fed by Him the tree withers. But His word reminds us that the tree is not dead, all is not lost, this is not the end! In the middle of a pretty desolate passage in Job, it says "For there is hope for a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that its shoots will not cease. Though its root grows old in the earth, and its stump die in the soil, yet at the scent of water it will bud and put out branches like a young plant." Resurrection power can make all things new.
"Let us not become weary in doing good, for AT THE PROPER TIME we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." (Galatians 6:9 NIV)
It is not a race or for comparison...each acorn will grow at its own pace, and only God knows when that is - "When the time is right, I the Lord will make it happen" (Isaiah 60:22). He encourages us to stay filled with hope and faith. I truly believe that the acorns are sprouting - some are still so deep in the soil there is no physical evidence of it yet to be seen. But unseen, God is working, hearts are changing, spiritual battles are being won, eyes are opening, and progress is happening! One day you will see the tiny green shoot emerge, the new life of a sapling growing strong, and then the mighty oak tree will flourish!
(For a study into the characteristics of trees in the bible take a look at Tiffany's blog about the cedars of Lebanon and to read more about the parable of the sower and the soil, see Ann Hutchinson's blog.)