Letting Others Range Free
 

Ever known someone controlling? Possessive? Domineering? Is that person you? There is a penetrating subtlety about this in Isaiah 32:20, from which the Holy Spirit is prompting a word of wisdom and mini-teaching. Isaiah 32:20 (NIV):

                                                 How blessed you will be, sowing your seed by every stream, and letting your cattle and donkeys range free.


Letting Cattle & Donkeys Range Free
 

In Isaiah 32:20, Isaiah says Israel would let their cattle and donkeys range free. How so? No fences or enclosures to keep them penned? What if they run away?
    I came across this scripture in my morning meeting with the Lord. He fixed my eyes on that last phrase, letting your cattle and donkeys range free. I then thought, playfully and sarcastically, "I know some controlling people who need to let others range free."
    In the midst of my cynical self-entertainment, He nudged my attention to the first half of the verse: How blessed you will be, sowing your seed by every stream...
    Oh the wonders of illumination. I understand Holy Spirit, I understand.


Seeds & Streams
 

The cattle and donkeys could range free, without wandering off or running away, because their owners had seed and lived by streams--food and water. Animals need both. The sown seeds would eventually become a harvest of crops, which would provide food. The streams would not only water the seeds, they would provide immediate drinking water. The primal instinct to survive would invisibly tether the animals to the source of nourishment. They did not need to be controlled as long as the owners had what the animals craved.


Influence by Control, or Nourishment?
 

Controlling individuals do not truly grasp this important mechanism. Even more so, they feel powerless to influence others or keep them close through legitimate, more skillful, ways. To use Isaiah's words, they do not influence with seeds and streams, but with rods and rapiers.
    People are not hard to influence if you have seeds and streams: something that contains longterm promise (seeds) and something to immediately nourish and help them (streams). But, you only have seeds and streams to the degree of God's blessing you have experienced. To say it another way, the more God blesses you the more seeds and streams you have for those around you, the less you need to control, the easier it is to influence others. Notice how Isaiah begins with the concept of blessing (underline added):


                                              How blessed you will be, sowing your seed by every stream, and letting your cattle and donkeys range free.


Increasing in Blessings, Seeds, & Streams
 

Ephesians 1:3 says the born-again have already been "blessed with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places". The problem is, these blessings are hovering in heavenly places. To experience them increasingly in real life on earth, seeking God daily and consistent cooperation with His sanctification are required. Hebrews 11:6 says God rewards those who earnestly seek Him, and 1John 3:22 says God will do just about anything for the one who consistently obeys or cooperates with Him.
    So how is your daily meeting with the Lord? How often do you get alone to worship and bond with Him? Are you learning daily from His illuminations in personal Bible study? Where are you resisting or dragging your feet to obey? What aspects of your life are "off limits" to God? Have you allowed Him into your soul's basement? Have you inquired diligently to find and fulfill your life calling?