I am a visual person. I work through spiritual or theoretical concepts by making a physical application. This one came to me while tending my strawberry patch.
I remember that the year I began this garden it was an early sprint. The process was involved and intentional:
Mixed in rich soil
Spaced the mounds
All I had on my mind was fresh picked strawberries!
The first year was all about tending the plant, pruning back the eager vines and fighting the weeds. It was easy to see the weeds the first year – anything new that sprouted was a weed.
As Fall came, I prepared the patch for a time of rest as the strawberries went dormant.
Spring brought understand of this parable.
The strawberries began sprouting, but so did the weeds.
Some weeds were easy to spot -they looked nothing like the strawberry plants. Other weeds look identical to the plants until they flowered.
I had to tend the entire patch – waiting for the plants to flower so I could pull the weeds. I killed many plants pulling weeds too early. The 2nd year I lost all but 4 strawberry hills… What did I learn?
My heart is God’s garden.
When I was saved, God began the intentional work of creating my hearts garden.
He tilled my hard heart.
He pulled the rocks and weeds – forgiving my sins.
He gave the Holy Spirit to enable growth.
He planted seeds of righteousness.
Do you remember the passion that came with those first years of salvation?
I was a 6 year old and wanted everyone to know my Jesus. I wanted to read the Word and know Him more and be in His house anytime I could. Then there came a season of rest from the initial passion.
Through that season, the ground became unyielding (Hosea 10:12-13). Weeds began to take root – mixed in with the Spiritual plants God had sown.
I sometimes forget that I have a very real enemy! He is often sowing seeds in the nighttime. It’s hard to tell that they are sinful desires as they begin sprout. Well, some of them are obviously sin… but others are subtle and look a lot like the plants God started.
How can we tell the difference between the weeds and the plants (Galatians 5: 16-25)?
We have to be in the Word!
We need time to listen to the Spirit through Prayer and silence.
We must learn to cultivate the good things and deny ourselves the bad things.
But sometimes wehave to wait until the plants begin to bear fruit.
The weeds will show themselves as “Deeds of the flesh”.
Reading this list it seems like obvious sin, but it often feels justified. If I’m honest, some weeds look good and “feel” good – so I am slow to pull them.
It isn’t until I see the real plants in full bloom that I see the weeds for what they really are. Seeing the delicious Fruits of the Spirit helps give me the courage to pull the weeds.
The Plants God began will show themselves as “Fruit of the Spirit”.
Those are the things that make life joyful, hope filled and abundant! Only when I saw the weeds choking the real plants… sapping the potential for abundant fruit…did I develop a desire to pull the weeds.
Tiffany of Hope Joy in Christ inspires Christian Women to grow in faith, live out Biblical Marriage Principles and raise Godly Children. Join the Wives Only Facebook Group here or keep up with her through Pinterest.
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