Friday, January 11, 2013

My Garden

           This morning, as I was getting ready for our Women’s Bible study, the Lord gave me a picture of my heart. I thought I would share with you all what He spoke to me today. The Bible refers to the Word of God as a seed being planted in our hearts. (Parable of the Sower, Matthew 13:1-9,18-23) Our hearts are like gardens, we have different types of fruit growing in them, and Jesus refers to the various types of soil that is in them.
I used to have a garden. I had a flower garden and a vegetable garden, but I have to admit that gardening is not something I take great pleasure in. In fact, I don’t really like to do it at all. But, thought I would give it a try. So, my husband and I tilled up the ground, and planted and mulched and did everything we could to make sure that our gardens would grow. But, getting out in the hot sun each and every day was not something that I looked forward to, so every day I would go out, water my gardens for a few minutes and leave it at that.
                You can imagine what happened. My garden became overgrown with weeds, no matter how much mulch I put down, bugs and pests of all sorts got into my gardens and began to tear them up. Spending a few minutes each day in my garden was not enough, I needed to spend more time than I was if I wanted a healthy, fruitful garden.
                Our hearts are the garden of God. He plants His seed of faith in Jesus Christ into our hearts when we believe in Him. But if we do not spend the time allowing God to water, weed and cultivate our seeds of faith, then what will happen? We too will become overgrown with weeds, bugs and pests of all sorts and the next thing you know you are no longer growing or flourishing. God desires for us to flourish, to bear fruit to Him, to grow in His grace. But how much time does that really have to take?
                The Lord spoke to me this morning about spending time tending to the garden of my heart. This morning was a little crazy for me, so not much spending time was given to the Lord today. Maybe that is why He laid this picture of a garden on my heart. Each time I chose to not spend time in my garden, more weeds would pop up, sometimes I would forget to water my garden and my plants and flowers would be wilted, begging for water to quench their thirst from the hot, humid North Carolina summer.
                My heart is no different. When I allow God to tend the garden of my heart based on His time and not what I have time for, He is able to pull up weeds that have grown, He is able to give me the water I will need to face the scorching heat of the day, and He gives me the tools I need to fend off the bugs and pests that try and attack me. But when I only give Him 5 minutes here and 5 minutes there, not much can be done for my garden, except maybe some water.
                If you want a life that flourishes, a life that produces fruit in abundance to His glory, then you have to make a commitment to spend time each and every day in His presence. If all you allow Him time to do is pull a weed, throw some water on your heart then walk away “feeling” like you’ve done your duty to your garden, then you are sadly mistaken. To really and truly flourish, you must spend time on your knees, allowing God to pull at as many weeds as He can, allowing Him to refresh you in His word and letting Him give you the tools you need to grow and produce fruit.
                Jesus said in John 15 that if we abide in Him, and He abides in us we will bear much fruit, and through this our Father in heaven is glorified. If we want to live a godly life, as we all should who are in Christ Jesus, then we have to get out of the mindset that a few minutes a day is enough. The more time you give to God, the fewer weeds will grow, and the greater you will flourish.
                So many Christians are withering away in the heat of the day because they did not first allow God to tend to the gardens of their hearts. Going to church is great, and we should not fail to assemble together in His word, nor gather in corporate worship. But going to church once a week does not make the garden of your heart flourish, no, to flourish you have to spend time each day with God, the keeper of the garden.  Can you imagine what your garden would look like if you only spend an hour a week in it?
                I do not know where you are at spiritually in your walk, perhaps you are struggling, or perhaps you are flourishing. Wherever you are at, remember that if you desire to grow, if you desire to flourish, the only way that will happen is to allow God to tend to your garden, and allow Him to spend the time He needs each and every day. Some will tell you to spend 10 to 15 minutes a day with Him, I say, spend as much time as He desires, and let Him determine how much time He needs to work the garden of your heart. In doing this, you will flourish, I promise you, and He promises too.
                “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory now and forever, Amen.” 2 Peter 3:18.