January 2nd, 2019
Every pear has one good day. Apples and oranges are good for weeks. Grapes and kiwis have several good days, maybe even a week. But the vulnerable pear? One.Good.Day.
Prior to its good day, the pear is too crisp and lacks flavor. After its good day, the pear’s skin becomes tougher and its flesh becomes mealy, mushy and likely bruised. But on its day of glory, the pear submits to slight pressure from your fingers. When you bite into it, the delicious juice runs down your forearm as the fragrance is released and the symphony of flavor washes over your palette. Oh there is no fruit so fleetingly exquisite as the pear on its one good day.
I painted these pears on New Year’s Day during our worship night at church. Our church meets every Tuesday night to worship God and pray over those present, as well as for our region and nation. New Year’s Day was no exception. On New Year’s night, we ushered in 2019, welcoming the presence of the Holy Spirit, glorifying God through worship and prayer.
Every December, I ask the Lord for a word or phrase to guide my course for the new year. For 2019, God gave me the phrase “holy strategy”. Strategy is a military term concerning plans and maneuvers in warfare. Holy means set apart, consecrated to God. We live in a strategic time. Every day counts.
As I prayed about my painting for New Year’s Day, I expected something to reflect strategic heavenly movement for the Kingdom of God. But… pears?
I asked the Lord, “Why pears?”
He responded, “What do you always say about pears?”
“Every pear has one good day,” I replied.
“So it is with you.”
You have one good day. Today is your pear day. Yesterday is gone, tomorrow is not guaranteed. Walking with strategic intentionality, what are you doing today to release the fragrance of the Holy Spirit? Have you prepared yourself with nourishment in His presence and His Word?
“This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” -Psalm 118:24 NKJV
Even on its one good day, the delicious pear can be damaged. Because of its tenderness, the pear is vulnerable to bruising. The skin can easily be broken. So it is with you heart today, on your one good day.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” -Proverb 4:23 NIV
We guard things that are valuable. Your heart is valuable; it holds your desires, your dreams, those things that God has planted in you that make you uniquely you. Just like we must care for our physical heart to maintain good health, we must care for our spiritual heart “above all else… for everything you do flows from it.” When we guard things that are valuable, we allow healthy things in and we prevent harmful and toxic influences that are so pervasive in today’s culture.
“Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you, but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in his eyes.” -Romans 12:2 TPT
So to further knit together the pear with holy strategy, consider the battlefield of your mind in respect to your heart-mind connection. From your thoughts come your attitudes planted in your heart, and from your attitudes (your heart) come your actions. The enemy of your soul wants to engage in cunning battle with your mind.
“Be well balanced and always alert, because your enemy, the devil, roams around incessantly, like a roaring lion looking for its prey to devour.” - 1 Peter 5:8 TPT
Like a pear, the heart is vulnerable… to discouragement, disappointment and disillusionment. Guard your heart by entering into the presence of the Holy Spirit and reading God’s Word. Your holy strategy is to put on the full armor of God:
“Now my beloved ones, I have saved these most important truths for last: Be supernaturally infused with strength through your life-union with the Lord Jesus. Stand victorious with the force of his explosive power flowing in and through you. Put on God’s complete set of armor provided for us, so that you will be protected as you fight against the evil strategies of the accuser.” -Ephesians 6:10-11
Today is your one good day. Seize the day. Today is precious, vulnerable, and it is all you have.