Spring has finally arrived, and I am one happy girl! I love spring with all its warm sunshine and cool rain showers, the beautiful green leaves growing profusely, blooming flowers in pinks, lavenders, blues, and yellows, and colorful birds at my feeders. (Oh yeah, and Atlanta Braves Baseball!)
Spring is a time of intense growth – a “rebirth” of things that have been dormant for months and months.
Proverbs 11:28 (NLT) says, “The godly flourish like leaves in spring.” If you look around outside in the spring and summer, you can see just what it means to flourish in the natural.
But what does it look like when the godly flourish? In order to find out, let’s examine the various meanings of the word flourish:
Definition #1: To grow luxuriantly; to be in a vigorous state; THRIVE
Luxuriant, vigorous growth is what we see during the spring – a profusion of everything in nature. And just like Proverbs 11:28 says, we, as Christians, should be experiencing that in our lives!
Our relationship with Lord, our love walk toward others, our health, our bank accounts, our businesses – every area of our lives should be continually growing, thriving, and flourishing.
Definition #2: To achieve success; PROSPER
We already know that it is God’s will for us to prosper and be successful, and Joshua 1:8 (AMP) tells us how: “This Book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe and do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall deal wisely and have good success.”
Genuine success involves doing what the Lord has called you to do, not just occasionally, but continually. It has to do with persistence rather than perfection. If you are persisting in following the Lord’s plan for your life, then you will succeed, prosper, and flourish!
Definition #3: To be in a state of activity or production; to be in one’s prime
Psalm 92:12,14 (AMP) says, “The [uncompromisingly] righteous shall flourish like the palm tree [be long-lived, stately, upright, useful, and fruitful]…Growing in grace they shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be full of sap [of spiritual vitality] and rich in the verdure [of trust, love, and contentment].”
As believers, we are always in the prime of our life, and we should always be producing fruit for the Kingdom of God no matter what our age.
Definition #4: To reach the height of development, influence or excellence
Genesis 26:13 (NET) speaking of Isaac says, “The man became wealthy. His influence continued to grow until he became very prominent.” Just like Isaac, we have the Blessing of Abraham.
We should be constantly improving ourselves, growing and developing spiritually, intellectually, physically, and exemplifying excellence in everything we do.
Definition #5: To be very healthy
Proverbs 4:22 (AMP) says that God’s Word is “life to those who find [it], healing and health to all their flesh.” If we’re taking care of our “temple” and walking in divine health, that means we’re flourishing physically.
Now that we understand the word flourish better, you might be wondering, “So, how does one flourish?” The only way to truly flourish in life is to remain vitally united with the Lord, to stay firmly planted in His house (His presence) through the Word and prayer.
Psalm 92:13 (NKJ) “Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God.”
Jesus put it another way in John 15:7-8 (AMP). He said, “If you live in Me [abide vitally united to Me] and My words remain in you and continue to live in your hearts, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you. When you bear (produce) much fruit, My Father is honored and glorified, and you show and prove yourselves to be true followers of Mine.”
From this passage we see that:
1. The only way to truly flourish (thrive, be successful) is to abide in Him.
2. When we bear fruit (or flourish) in every area of our lives, we honor Him.
3. Flourishing in life is a sign that we are truly following and obeying the Master.
God desires that we flourish in every area of our lives: spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally, financially, relationally, etc. He wants every area of our lives to be growing profusely like leaves in spring.
We were created to flourish, because we were created for His presence. Are you abiding in His Word and in His presence? Are you honoring and glorifying Him? Are you proving yourself to be a true follower of Him? If you are flourishing spirit, soul, and body, then you are!
Alisha Gratehouse is an artist, art instructor, minister’s wife, and homeschooling mom of three. Her days are filled with creating, painting, writing, drinking lots of tea, laughing with (and at) her family, and spontaneously bursting forth into song. Alisha is the author of several books including, A Life That Flourishes.