This morning, I went out and worked at cleaning out the leaves and weeds from the flower gardens. Carefully discerning between weeds and good plants has never been my strong suit, but I am learning. Like I told my wife, the newly growing flowers like to breathe, and taking out the dead ‘stuff’ gives them room. Taking out the weeds gives the plants a chance to grow without being slowed down. This reminded me of the necessary weeding that must be done in our lives to ensure that faith can grow as it should.
Romans 13:12 tells us to put off the works of darkness, and put on the armour of light. When God changes us, adopting us as His children, we have the responsibility of walking away from our past life, living the new life wearing the armour of His light. This is like taking the dead leaves and branches out of the garden. They are useless, and a hinderance to the air and sunlight that the new growths need. So many times we hold on to pieces of our past, either because we still want it, or because we don’t know how to let go of it. If you are indeed a child of the King, then you need to recognize the power of the Holy Spirit of God in your life, enabling you to get rid of those works of darkness. Ephesians 4:22 (and Colossians 3:9) puts it this way, “Put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires” It is by the power of the Holy Spirit that you are able to take out the dead stuff, recognizing how corrupt and deceitful it is. Hebrews 12:1 says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” Just like the dead branches and leaves wanted to cling to my irises, so there are sins that seek to cling to you. We need to ask the Spirit of God to help us get all the junk out of the way so that we can properly grow and thrive as He would have us to.
Revelation 2:5 warns us, “Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.” You must remove the weeds in your life, or your faith will be choked out, like in the parable of the soils (Matthew 13). The warning is that if we do not weed the garden of our hearts, then repentance and true faith cannot grow from the seed of the gospel, and your lampstand will be removed. In other words, an improperly tended garden is overtaken by weeds, and later all that is in it must be thrown into the fire! Jesus talks about that in the later half of Matthew 13, in another parable. In the last days, Christ and His angels will gather up the weeds and burn them in the fire of Hell, that is all the things that offend, those who practice lawlessness. Then that which remains, the righteous, will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Will you be one of those, or will you get pulled and put into the fire?
Matthew 25:13 warns us that we must “watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.” The time is short. Much of the prophesies regarding the ‘end days’ seem to be coming to pass. The Bible teaches that the next event in the Christian calendar is the Rapture of His Church, which could happen at any time. I want to get at those weeds early on in the spring so that the plants have lots of time to grow. Likewise, I want to get at the weeds in my life as early as possible, knowing that the time of ripening is coming very soon. Will you be ready?
May the garden of your heart be ready for the return of the Master Gardener. Let us seek to be weed free, and healthy, growing the seed of the gospel to bear much fruit for the glory of the one who planted the seeds.