“One of my neighbors,” Stan commented one morning, “is quite a gardener. Her house has an extra large lot and she has a big garden in the backyard.”
“What’s she grow?”
“Some flowers,” Stan replied, “but mainly vegetables that she shares with the neighbors.”
“Well,” I said, “she must be a very loving person.”
“She certainly is,” Stan agreed, “but she also has some hate in her.”
“Hate? What kind of hate?”
“She hates weeds,” Stan said with a smile. “Weeds in her garden and weeds in her life.”
Continuing, he added, “She hates weeds with a passion because she knows that the weeds in her garden are going to impact what she’s growing. They rob moisture and the nutrients that are in the soil. Unless she gets rid of them, they are going to do their damage. Same with the weeds in her spiritual life.”
“Weeds in her spiritual life?” I replied. “What kind of weeds?”
“Well,” Stan said, “I don’t know the specifics of the ‘weeds’ in her spiritual life, but I sure do know mine, and I know that if I don’t have the same attitude and take the same approach that she does, those weeds are going to do their damage.”
“If I’m not diligent in looking for the weeds,” Stan replied, “and if I don’t dig them out by their roots, they will spread and choke out what is supposed to be growing in my life.”
“Oh,” I said, “it’s like the weeds will choke out the vegetables your neighbor is trying to grow in her garden, and the weeds in your life will choke out what God wants to grow in your life. Is that it?”
“That’s it,” Stan replied. “My life, your life, everyone’s life. When God granted us the assurance of spending eternity in His presence by accepting the finished work of the cross, He gave us His Holy Spirit to live in us to grow His fruit. We are to be diligent in not allowing any weeds to choke out what He wants to produce!”
Bible verses to consider:
Lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, that you may be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. Ephesians 4:22-24.
And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be with you. John 14:16-17.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Galatians 5:22-23.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for your provision of life with you eternally through the finished work of Jesus’ cross. Thank you, too, for the eternal life of knowing you and Jesus while you keep me here. Thank you that knowing you and your will helps me keep the weeds of the world, the flesh, and the devil out of my life. I confess that too often I do not pay enough attention to those weeds and I allow them to choke out what you have put in. Please forgive the foolishness of allowing those weeds in this life you have given to me. And please help me in following every step of your lead so only your fruit is produced in my life, not anything that will choke out what you have for me. Thank you that I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Where are you in relation to “weeds” in your life. Have you gotten rid of those eternal weeds so you know you will spend eternity in God’s presence? If you do not have the assurance of salvation and redemption, what’s in the way of accepting God’s free and gracious provision of that? If you are a Christian, how are you doing with keeping the weeds of the world, the flesh, and the devil out of your life? If you sense the need for change in how the fruit of the Spirit is manifested in and through you, how is that going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?