Thursday, September 22, 2011
Get the Weed Eater!
Yesterday I "came clean" about my closet (wish my closet came clean) and confessed that I opted for working in my yard. My entry today has a similar message from a little different perspective.
Sometimes, I feel like my front yard flower bed is the bane of my existence. No place else in my yard can grow weeds like this particular patch of ground can. It also grows oak trees. Thousands of them. You think I am exaggerating? Please - come to my house and I will let you help me pull them up. The thing is...If we don't stay on top of them, they take over the entire area. They are relentless.
Once again, this is such an analogy to our spiritual lives. We let one little thought or action take hold without dealing with it, and the next thing you know it has multiplied, dropped seeds and put down roots until it takes over your heart and mind. It is a continual battle to stay on top of these spiritual weeds.
I believe a few gardening tips are in order:
1. Do not make your mind a weed-friendly zone.
In the parable of the sower (Matthew 13), Jesus talked about the different kinds of soil that make our hearts receptive to the Word of God. The same is true in reverse. We can open our minds to things we should not see or hear, tolerate attitudes that we should not have, and cause our hearts to become fertile soil for the seeds of sin. 1 Peter 4:1-2 tells us that we are to arm ourselves with the same mind as Christ in order to avoid falling to sin. "Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God." We only develop this mind by spending time with Him and with His Word.
2. You have to weed on a regular basis.
Just like any garden we tend, we have to get rid of our spiritual weeds on a regular basis. All through scripture we see the giants of the faith spending time in prayer daily. The gospels tell us that Jesus went out to pray in the morning "as was His habit to do". 1 John 1:9 gives us the promise that if we "confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness." If we are allowing the Holy Spirit to have reign in our hearts, He will alert us at the first sign of any weeds. It is up to us to pull them (confess them) and give them to the Master Gardener.
3. You have to get at the root.
Any time you are pulling weeds, you have to pull them up root and all. If you don't, the weed grows right back. If there is a recurring problem that you just can't seem to get over, maybe you are just lopping of the top of the weed and not getting down to the root cause of why it is there. Hebrews 12:14-15 says "Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled". Any sin is bitter and when we let it take root it will surely cause trouble. The scripture tells us that this does not just defile us. It defiles MANY. We can't use the excuse that we are only hurting ourselves. That is a lie of the enemy. Sometimes the root is deep and digging it out is painful, but it is the only solution to getting rid of the weeds altogether.
So, time to do some spiritual weed eating! Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal and "weeds" that you may need to get rid of. Ask Him to help you dig out the roots for those tough ones that just don't want to let go and then fill you mind with things that make it receptive to God's Word, not Satan's lies.