Weeding the Garden of Your Heart
Growing fruit is a lot more difficult than growing weeds isn’t it?
I don’t know about you, but on any given day I have no problem sinning. On a daily basis I have to make choices all throughout my day to intentionally go against my nature to sin. If we are really honest, this is honestly how it is for all of us, isn’t it?
Have you ever noticed how weeds can grow anywhere? Abundant?
Yet if you tried to plant a tomato or cucumber seed in a gravel driveway there is no way they would thrive as prolifically as weeds.
“‘Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.’ And he said, ‘He who has ears to hear, let him hear.'” Mark 4:3-8, ESV
Weeds may grow well in the worst of nurturing environments, but they truly thrive in good soil, threatening to choke out any plant that gets in it’s way.
Just like weeds, sin grows in our lives without even having to try. It is in our nature to be sinful, selfish, to make unwise decisions that result in us sinning more.
It’s our nature to struggle with forgiveness. It’s our nature to grow angry with those who sin against us, isn’t it?
If we tried we could probably come up with thousands of ideas and concepts that describe the different ways which we sin and how easy it is for us.
Selfishness, which is a form of sin, and usually at the root of other sins, is instinctual. Choosing to live in a garden without weeds, lives free from sin, comes with work. It is our responsibility to work at it.
We need to make time to pull out the weeds by the roots so that there is room to grow fruitful seed.
If one was to simply grab a weed whacker and start whacking away at a garden it may not be as ugly as those three-foot weeds, but there would still be a thick hardened ground cover of weed roots that prevent one from successfully planting good seed. So it is with fruitfulness in our lives. If we simply focus on covering up our sins or dealing only partially with our sin then the soil of our hearts, souls, and minds will still struggle to produce the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, patience, kindness, gentleness, and self-control). Jesus warns us in this parable. He warns us to be aware of the effects of sin in our lives.
Do you get your hands dirty and put some “back into it” when it comes to weeding out your sin at the roots? Or do you take a weed whacker to it? Only dealing with the surface of the sin, the part that everyone else sees?
Really digging in deep and dealing with ones sin usually requires apologizing, confessing and repenting because often times sin that runs deep, usually hurts others along the way. It usually prevents strong relationships from growing, just like the weeds prevent the fruit from growing. Admitting ones sin is probably one of the most humbling things a person can do. But once you do, you are set free. The enemy can know longer have a hold on you regarding that sin.
It’s amazing how our outwardly unexposed sins can prevent us from ever experiencing the authentic fellowship God designed us for in relationships. The enemy whispers deceit telling us that if anyone really knew us, knew about our past, or what we had done, or attitudes we struggle with, they wouldn’t want to be our friend. Then in an attempt for self preservation, we put up fences.
Sadly, many people live in their own bondage, in a garden thriving with thistles and deep rooted weeds, simply because of fear, pride, or living spiritually blind to their own sin. It prevents them from thriving and living in the sun, with room for their roots to grow.
“And other seeds fell into the good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thrityfold, etc…”
And even once you have weeded, the work is not done… it won’t grow fruit by itself… nope it will only grow more weeds. You have to plant good seed to grow and continue tending the field. The good seed is the Word of God. You have to intentionally plant the truths found in the Word of God in the garden of your heart. You have to water them, tend them, protect them from pests and weed out new sins that will try to choke out the fruit.
It is a constant work we need to do in the garden of our hearts.
“If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.” Genesis 4:7, ESV, emphasis mine
When we rule over it versus letting it rule over us, the freedom that comes from not be entangled in the weeds of our sin, the weeds that were choking us from being able to grow to be who God has fully made us to be, is worth all the work.
May God bless us all and may the Holy Spirit soften all our hearts towards the process of sanctification. May He help us to choose and pursue those experiences that will grow us, lest we not become entangled, as a prisoner in our own sin, prevented from becoming who God is calling us to be in Him.
Together We Grow and Glorify Him,