A Typical or Atypical Pastor's Wife-whichever one you come to believe

Welcome to the barnyard. Watch your step! The things written here are raw and unedited. Just my thoughts thrown on a page as they flow from my heart.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Lawnmower Devotions--Weed and Feed

To the homeowner, weeds are a nuisance. They are like eggshells in your omelet or ants in your peanut butter. When present in your yard, they are just annoying. Once you have them, it takes hard work and perseverance to get rid of them. Even in times of drought, when the grass is sinking into the look of deceased dormancy, weeds will still be green and growing strong, making them all the more aggravating.

There are things one can do to keep weeds at bay. In the spring, just as the grass is greening, a preventor can be applied to the yard. This preventor forms a barrier on the top of the soil that obstructs the path of a germinating weed seed and prevents it from growing. A preventor must be applied after germination but before the plant breaks the top layer of the soil or it is not effective.

Regular fertilization also helps with weed control by nourishing the soil and the roots of the grass, causing them to be healthy. As they absorb the fertilizer, the root system of the grass can spread which leaves less bare spots of soil for weed seeds to invade, thus lowering the chance of a weed problem.

But what if weeds still prevail in your yard? Then there is weed spray. Weed spray is a topical application liquid that covers the weed plant and travels via the plant internal system all the way to the root, killing the weed.

The influences of this world and sin are like weeds that invade our hearts. The weeds of our spiritual lives are not discriminating either. In sunshine and rain, good and bad, they are attempting to invade and establish themselves in our hearts.

The master gardener of our hearts, God Almighty, has also provided us with preventors, fertilizers and sprays to keep those weeds out.

God’s Preventor—The Word

In Ps. 119, God gives us instruction in how to use this preventor in our lives. In v. 9 the Word asks the question “How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your Word.” Verse 11 goes on to say “Your Word I have treasured (or hidden) in my heart that I might not sin against thee.” In v. 25, the Word is described as a reviver that can be used in times of drought or hardship, restoring the soul to health and strength. Verse 74 goes on to tell us that the Word does a work in us, just as the preventor does a work on the soil and the psalmist declares, “I wait for your Word.” Verse 116 reveals that not only does the Word keep us, revive us, and work in us, but it also sustains us as well. “Sustain me according to Thy word that I may live.” In order to have faith in the working of the Word, we must first know what it says. If we do not know what God has spoken, we have no grounds to hold Him to His Word. Because God has given us His Word, we now have “clout” when we speak or pray against evil.

We are also to pray to prevent sin. Lk. 18:1, 22:41, 46 instructs us to “pray and not lose heart” and to pray against temptation. When we are in prayer regularly, it will make it harder for “spiritual weeds” to take root.

God’s Fertilizer—Fellowship

The practical definition of fellowship is a sharing or partaking together with others. This is what we do when we, as the Body of Christ, come together for times of worship, meditation, learning and reflection. Phil. 2:11 tells us that we have fellowship with the Holy Spirit. Then as a result of this fellowship that we have with the Spirit, we are to look out for the interests of others. (v. 4). Earlier in Philippians we see that this was “the mind of Christ” as He humbled Himself and came in human flesh. We, as His followers are to have “the same mind”. We are to walk with other believers always having their best interest first and foremost in our hearts even to the point of denying ourselves. God loves the humble but the proud of heart are an abomination.

Philemon wrote in 1:6, “I pray that the fellowship (communication) of your faith may become effective (active and powerful in action or energy) through the knowledge of every good thing which is in you for Christ’s sake.” This reinforces the idea that fellowship is about fellows-in-a-ship together. John writes concerning fellowship between believers, “if we walk in the light….we have fellowship with one another.” This requires vulnerability and transparency on our part. When we live in close fellowship with others, they see our strengths and our weaknesses. So in fellowshipping together with the Holy Spirit and in the Word, we receive encouragement from one another in our areas of weakness and strengthen others with our strengths. There is a tangible communication of faith that yields active and powerful energy into our lives as believers that keeps us strong in the faith.

God’s Spray—Prayer

So what do we do when we discover that a “weed of the world” has taken root in our hearts?

“If my people, who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then I will hear from heaven, and forgive their sin, and heal their land.”

John tells us “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us of all unrighteousness.” So the first step to restoration is confession and repentance. James instructs us to “confess your faults to one another, and pray one for another, that you may be healed. The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”

Sin and worldliness causes us to suffer. James (5:13) tells us to pray so that we can be healed. Just as weeds can damage a yard, damage occurs in our spiritual life when sin and worldliness take root. Sin and worldliness carry consequences that cause suffering in the lives of human beings.

So prayer is like a spray. It kills the weed so that our hearts can once again be strong and healthy.

When Simon the Magician believed and was baptized, he was a true believer in Christ, but a weed of pride and selfish ambition had taken root in his heart and he desired to buy spiritual power to use as a self-promoting influence. In Acts 8:22, Peter instructed him to “pray that the intention of your heart be forgiven you.”

So as believers, we must continually weed and feed spiritual lives. We must use what God has given us to prevent evil and worldly desires from gaining access into our hearts. If we do this, God has promised us that He will “cause us always to triumph in Christ making manifest the savour of his knowledge by US (what a thought) in every place.” It is through the death of Christ that the victory was secured and it is through His resurrection that the victory is manifest in our lives. It is for this reason that Christ came.

“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; 2To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; 3To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.” Isaiah 61:1-3 (KJV)

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