Recognize this?

It’s the symbol for “Recycle”.

Recycling is wise–in an environmental sense. It is good stewardship of the planet and of our resources. ‘Wasteful’ and ‘irresponsible’ are not characteristics of God. I do not think anyone would argue otherwise.

And then, there are ways in which recycling is not good. I am speaking of problems in our lives. We often see repeated patterns of both behavior and circumstances that appear to recycle over and over. We think we are done with them… and here they come around again.

Some “recycled” problems we can do something about. Some we cannot. Today’s Scripture passage recounts a woman’s recurring problem, her inability to change it, and the day Jesus changed it. What does this have to say to us? A lot! Let’s first look at why problems and difficulties recur (are recycled) in our lives.

  • Some we enable by our behavior.
  • Some are direct attacks by our enemy.
  • Some occur are because we live in a fallen world.

We enable recurring problems through strongholds (ingrained patterns of thinking) that influence our behavior, thereby enabling circumstances to repeat. Most of the time we are unaware of their existence and operation.

In these we must seek God for revelation (disclosure of previously unknown information) of the stronghold. Once revealed, we must take accountability for it and move in God’s wisdom to demolish it and replace it with beneficial, Godly patterns of thinking. Paul describes this in 2nd Cor 10:3-6:

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete. (NIV)

Notice that everything in these verses deals with our mind. This is where strongholds are constructed and destructed. I would like to spend more time here, nevertheless, I must move on.

Sometimes we do nothing to invite an attack yet we are afflicted by the enemy nonetheless. There are numerous examples of this in Scripture. Though we do not have enough background to know for certain, it appears that the woman in today’s passage is in this category. I say this because Jesus did not correct her; He only commended her faith.

The previous category is similar to the last: Some problems occur (and recur) simply because this world is corrupt and evil is present–and in some cases, prevalent. If you walk a muddy path, you will get some mud on you because of where you are regardless of how careful you may be. It works something like that.

The latter two categories have the same solution. This unnamed woman did it right: She recognized the problem as well as the only solution available to her. She sought Jesus and was healed.

The first category is the one you can influence. A stronghold works with impunity (exemption from punishment) until it is revealed. Then–and only then–can it be dealt with as Paul described. And even then, it is a process, not an event.

In most cases where a pattern repeats, a stronghold is at work somewhere, somehow. Your task is to seek God for revelation of it and how to tear it down. I say ‘tear it down’ because it was built up layer by layer in your mind. You must demolish it in the same way.

Recycling physical things is good. Recycling problems in your life? Not so good. Send them back to where they came from because you do not have to keep them! It is time to break free of the cycle.

Today’s Seed™ Scripture and Prayer for Mar. 13, 2023:

A woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years came up behind him. She touched the fringe of his robe, for she thought, “If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.” Jesus turned around and said to her, “Daughter, be encouraged! Your faith has made you well.” And the woman was healed at that moment. (Mat 9:20-22 NLT)

Prayer: LORD, I become discouraged when problems go on and on with no end in sight. This woman awoke every day for twelve years to face the same problem. But one day she encountered You–and You changed it! Help me have faith that my circumstances can change because I encounter You. Today can be that day. Do whatever You need to do to make it so. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
(c) 2023 Randall Vaughn • All Rights Reserved •

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Today’s Seed™ (c) 2023 Randall Vaughn • All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

Today’s Seed™ by Randall Vaughn is published daily (M-F) by E-MIN Global Ministries, P O Box 220, Warrior, AL 35180 (USA) • • Copyright Terms/Permissions/List Privacy

Scripture quotations marked “NLT” are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

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“Today’s Seed” from E-MIN • Mar. 13, 2023

About Randall Vaughn:

With 40+ years as pastor, author, teacher, worship leader, and songwriter, Randall pioneered E-MIN in 1997–one of the earliest online ministries and today the longest operating. His passion is leading people to deeper, genuine relationship with God. He lives in Alabama with his lovely wife, Karen, and their dogs, Hadi and Casi. He enjoys hiking, exploring new tech, and “prayer walks”.


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