Spiritual Lessons from the Caterpillar

caterpillarI added two small buddleia bushes in my garden this summer. They are called butterfly bushes because butterflies are attracted to them. I was so excited with the anticipation of beautiful butterflies flying around the yard. (photo via Spirit-to-Soul.com)

One day, I walked outside and discovered little fuzzy creatures crawling in my drive and along the side of the garden. They were caterpillars. I thought, “What a nuisance!” Those roly-poly, fuzzy creatures were crawling all around the garden near the butterfly bush. Then it finally dawned on me, caterpillars become butterflies! I was witnessing the beginning stage of the butterfly. That’s when the Lord began to teach me some spiritual lessons through the caterpillars.

Like mankind, the caterpillar is created with a destiny already inside of it. With certainty, it knows that is to become a butterfly. Unlike the caterpillar, however, many humans have no idea that there is a destiny inside of them. Unfortunately, the same holds true for many Christians.

The caterpillar is hatched on a leaf, and right away the newborn begins to eat leaves. It instinctively knows that it was not created to stay a caterpillar, so it eats to get strong for the trials and tests it will have to endure to accomplish its destiny.

Every born again believer has to reach the level of eating the word of God. Initially, all we could take in was milk. We learned the foundational teachings of salvation (John 3:16).  Many Christians get comfortable with their baby formula in Christ and stay in that state for years, if not a life-time. Unlike the caterpillar, they do not realized they were meant to hunger for more. They never get an image of themselves soaring high in the deep wisdom and revelation that God offers. In this state, some coast through life or die spiritually. (Selah) If you’re still feeding on the foundational milk of salvation, I tell you there is more for you. It’s time to stop sucking on the watered down food of the Word and start chewing on the scriptures that produce faith muscles of wisdom and spiritual revelation.

Did you know that the caterpillar faces challenges as it grows? It has to shed its old skin and make new skin as it grows larger?

For the Christian, growing up in Christ can be challenging, also. The Lord’s call on our lives involves shedding our old skin with it sinful habits and fleshy desires to accommodate the new spiritual skin God has for us. It involves trusting the Lord in every area of our lives. Will we go where He calls us to go? Will we use the gifts He gives us? Will we obey; say what He says, and do what He tells us to do? Sometimes we face the challenge of disconnecting from old friends who want nothing to do with a life in Jesus Christ. But like the caterpillar, our destiny is to transition. The more we eat the life-saving spiritual nutrients found in the Word of God and drink of the Living Water that flows through the Word to us, by the Spirit of God, we will transition from faith to faith. Hallelujah!

In the final stage of the caterpillar, the insect prepares itself for a God-ordained metamorphosis by spinning itself in a cocoon-like shell (called a chrysalis) and shutting itself off from its environment. During that time it is developing into something brand new.

We would call that separation a wilderness experience; a time or place where we are hidden by God for spiritual development. We have a cloud of witnesses who have gone before us and can testify of God’s faithfulness during wilderness journeys: Although anointed to be king over all Israel, David ran for his life from a jealous king, and lived with a band of lawless men in caves for years (1 Samuel 19, 1 Chronicles 12). Joseph, though destined to be great, was taken from family and friends and lived his young adult life as a slave, branded an attempted rapist, and put in prison in a foreign land (Genesis 37, 39). Daniel was a captive, placed in the kings’ palace, made a eunuch, treated with contempt by jealous leaders, and offered as food for hungry lions (Daniel 1-6). Yet, these heroes of faith prevailed in their wilderness experiences learning to trust the faithfulness of God. Our wildernesses is where we all get to make our own walk with the Lord personal. No one can take the journey for us.

If we trust God with our lives, we will find life with Him rewarding. When He pulls us away from the hustle and bustle of life, it is to take us to a place in Him we have never been before. We don’t all have the same wilderness experiences. God never gives us more than we can bear. However, we have all been given the same words of comfort for victory in our faith walk. “But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)

I can just imagine other butterflies flying over the one shut up in the shell, yelling, “Be strong!”; “You can do it!”; “Keep pushing, you’re almost there!”

Are you one who encourages? Do you see others struggling or in need and pass by unaffected? Or does the compassion and love of Christ have rule over your heart?

When the caterpillar emerges from its spun-like cocoon, it has wings, legs, antennae, body parts, and is a fully developed butterfly. It looks nothing like it began. Soon it is ready to spread its wings and fly into the world to accomplish its purpose by bringing joy to us, pollinating and helping flowers, vegetables, and fruit produce new seeds, while reproducing more butterflies during their short lifespan.

Even the caterpillar wants to be all it was created to be. How about you? As Disciples of Christ, we must take some time for introspection. What are we pollinating, through the Holy Spirit, from day to day? What is our mission? Are we producing other disciples for the kingdom of God? Is our faith evident to others? Are we carrying the presence of God into our world? Do we forgive wrongs?

God wants mature children and desires to transform us into the beautiful creation He saw us as before the foundation of the world. And like the caterpillar, we can expect to become a new creation in Christ. Praise God for that!   (photo via Pixabay.com)butterfly-1705523_640

Let’s make a firm decision to finish strong in our mission for the kingdom of God and Jesus Christ. In the end, we want to say as Apostle Paul said in 2 Timothy 4:7 (NLT), “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful”. (Selah)

 

All postings are written by Selena Phillips unless otherwise stated. You are encouraged to share postings on this site in hard copy form or email (PDF). Be sure to include Spirit-to-Soul.com website and contact information.

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Storm Warning! Are You Prepared

caught-in-storm

 

Storm warning! Those are the words you typically see trailing across the bottom of your television screen accompanied by an ear-piercing sound when severe weather is imminent. It means everyone in the direction of the storm should take safety actions immediately. The rains come in hard, as the winds whip through the air like giant unseen tails. Storms can be expected when weather patterns produce violent disturbances in the atmosphere with strong winds, usually with rain, thunder, lightning, or snow (per online definition). Those who are in the path of nature’s storms can easily find themselves in the dark with no electricity. They bump over chairs searching for candles or flashlights. Too late, they discover that there are no matches for the candles they can’t find and the battery in their trusty flashlight is dead. Say, “Unprepared!”

Some storms pass over us, and others hit us with a vengeance, head-on. However, there are other storms that come our way that are life-storms. These affect our spiritual atmosphere by creating strong winds of adversity around us; thunderous conditions in our homes, and every element of disaster and destruction in our personal lives. There are storms that come against our character and integrity, and storms that blow hard against our finances, our health, and our loved ones. Its intent is to rattle the walls of our faith or bring it down all together. We all want our life-storms to pass over quickly, or fizzle out before it reaches us or our families. But sometimes, we are caught smack in the middle without any warning signs.  (Photo via Pixabay) Continue reading

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Heaven is Connecting with Earth

sun-raysHeaven has come down to us!

Friday, August 19th, while driving around 6:00 in the evening, my eyes were drawn to the sky ahead of me. I noticed the sky was alive and bright with billowy clouds. The sun was fading in intensity as the day was preparing for evening. I was fixated on the beauty of God’s sky. (By the way, no other traffic was near me, so all was well.)

Suddenly, my eyes caught a wide beam of light piercing through the sky. The light beam’s origin was above the clouds.There was a large hole or opening in the sky that the light was radiating from. Its beam could be distinguished from the natural brightness of the sky. The light beam traveled all the way down to the ground. I knew I was seeing an open portal from heaven to earth. (Photo via Pixabay.com) Continue reading

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You’re in a Season of Transition, Shift Over

Transition.change

Transition. That’s the word I keep hearing in my spirit. According to the online dictionary, transition is defined as the process of changing from one state, stage, or concept to another. It means to make a transformation, to move, to undergo metamorphosis, to evolve, shift, or switch. Continue reading

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Youth Advancing to Front Lines for the True God

Young People.ed

Our youth get a lot of negative publicity. The media bombards us with stories of rape, murder, and other crimes committed by young men and women; leaving most with a bleak outlook for future generations as well as the youth of today. This Post serves to remind our readers that there are beautiful stories about the youth of today that will never be aired through secular networks or papers because they are honorable and display righteousness.  Continue reading

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Daughters Arising, Again

Daughters Arising, AgainDaughters Arising, Again.2Daughters Arising, Again.3

On the heels of celebrating mothers and those who play the role of mother in so many ways in our lives, it seems fitting that the Holy Spirit would once again turn to, and extend a call to action to the daughters of God. “Go!” and “Tell!” (Photos via Pixabay)

As I sat quietly a few days ago, I was presented with a fresh scene of the daughters of God at the grave site of Jesus. These were the women who went to the tomb to anoint Jesus’ body after His crucifixion. When they arrived, they found that the stone to the entrance of the tomb had been moved and the tomb was left open and exposed. As they looked inside, they discovered the body of their beloved Master missing. Jesus was gone! “Who took His body?” they asked each other. Their hearts, already broken, were now broken beyond what they thought they could bear.

The earth shook and a brilliant light shone about. Through their tears, the women saw an angel waiting nearby. With words of encouragement, the angel gave these daughters of God an assignment that changed their lives forever: Continue reading

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The Cost of a Bowl of Stew

bowl of stewYou are a good cook and you make great stew. Your stew is so good, other people can’t wait to eat it. Yet you find yourself desiring someone else’s second rate stew. (Photo via Pixabay)

Chapters 25 and 27 of Genesis tell the story of two brothers, Esau and Jacob, who were rivals from the womb. As the oldest, though only by seconds, Esau would automatically inherit the rights and blessings of the first-born. However, his destiny would forever be changed because of a bowl of stew.  Continue reading

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STOPPING THE LEAK IN YOU

You go to bed after a long hard day; turn the lights off and breathe a sigh of relief. You’re so glad to end the day. It’s peaceful and quiet. Just as you turn over to go to sleep, you hear the leak from the faucet. Yes, you have a leaky faucet! The drip is slow at first, but you’re too tired to get up. Soon the leaking increases in frequency; irritating you and slowly stealing your peace. Avoiding Leaks

We are containers in the flesh where Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, dwells. God calls us His temple. As noted in 1Corinthians 6:19, at the moment of salvation, the Bible tells us our bodies become the Lord’s house. “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies” (NIV). In other words, when we receive Christ Jesus as our Savior, the Father and Son come to live inside of us through the Holy Spirit. Continue reading

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A SAVIOR FOR SIN

cross

The wages of sin comes with a judgment price attached to it called death. There is only one way of escape.

Over two thousand years ago, the Son of God came to live among the humans He created. For thirty-three years, He walked as one of us. He breathed the same air; wore the fashions of the day; experienced our day-to-day survival; felt our pain; learned what it was like to be hungry and in need; danced in celebrations; Continue reading

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BE STILL and KNOW

white-house

“Be still and know that I am God”, says the Lord.

As Americans ponder on whom to choose as their next President and leader of the free world, many are driven to primaries and caucuses by fear instead of the council of God. Fearing leads to wrong thoughts, which causes us to make wrong choices. A fear-based people will always choose what or whomever alleviates their fears, even if it compromises their beliefs. (Selah).

Fear is a powerful emotion that causes torment. It creates all sorts of mental disorders; inviting anger, anxiety, chaos, confusion, lunacy, pandemonium, and destruction. God never wanted us to experience fear. It was never His desire for us to be mentally tormented. In His kingdom there is a calm assurance; a peace that passes all our understanding, and a joyful attitude.

When the angel, Gabrielle, approached Mary, the first thing he said to her after greeting her was, “fear not” (Luke 1:30). That remains, even now, the constant word of the Lord to His people, “fear not”. Scripture in Deuteronomy 10:14 records this statement, “To the Lord your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it”.  Continue reading

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