I have often been accused of having a green thumb. It is true I do love to garden, I love to grow things. It makes me happy to watch it go from seed to harvest and finally end up in nice, neat jars lined up on my kitchen counter. However, it doesn’t always turn out that way. Occasionally, there’s hot, dry weather in which the plants just don’t do well. Sometimes life happens and I don’t get out to weed as often as I should and the weeds take over and I have to dig through them to even find what little produce there is. Every so often, the seeds are not good and the plants don’t come up at all. From time to time, the pests come in; whether it be bugs, deer, rabbits, or some other critter and eat it all up before it even has a chance to produce.
Our spiritual lives are a lot like my garden.
Sometimes we produce a lot of fruit because the conditions are just right. When we are spending time in the Word, time in prayer, and time in fellowship with other believers, we tend to produce fruit and walk in God’s will.
Then there are times when the weather changes and we hit a season of drought. We begin to depend on ourselves and seek our own way instead of God’s way. We dry up when we get out of the habit of spending time with Him and being fed by His Word so our spiritual life suffers, the growth stops, and the fruit becomes withered and dry.
Then there are the times the pests attack. The ugliness of the world surrounds us and we feel overwhelmed and defeated, and try as we might we can’t even get through the day let alone produce anything.
How do we fight against all these obstacles that threaten our walk with God?
The same way I handle problems with my garden.
When I’m faced with hot, dry weather, I have to be diligent about watering it regularly.
The same is true in our spiritual lives. We must be intentional about spending time in God’s Word, especially during those times when we want to go our own way.
The Bible tells us that there is a way that seems right to man but the end of that way is death.
(Dried up and shriveled kind of death)
It also tells us to trust God with our whole heart, to not lean on our own understanding, to acknowledge Him in all we do, and that He will direct our paths. (Make our path straight and show us the way)
When the pests begin to attack my garden, I have a solution depending on what critter is the culprit. I have an arsenal of remedies to keep attackers at bay. I use 7 dust or pepper spray for the bugs. I will put up fencing to deter the deer and bunnies, and I use Irish Spring soap to keep squirrels and other varmints out. (They hate the smell)
We too have an arsenal at our disposal when the trials of this life threaten to overwhelm us.
We have a Father in heaven that equips us beyond what we can handle alone. He has given us His Holy Spirit to live within us and gives us the strength and guidance we need through the dark times. God says He does not leave us alone. He promises will never leave us and will be with us always.
He also gave us each other. God has made us for community. We are not meant to walk through this world alone.
I surround myself with like-minded people who love Jesus and we live life together, the good, the bad, and the ugly.
I want to leave you with this encouragement.
Tend your spiritual garden.
Make it a top priority to feed your relationship by spending dedicated time in God’s presence and in His Word.
Rely on His Holy Spirit to walk with you and guide you every step of the way.
And surround yourself with Jesus-loving people who you can trust to do life with.
Be intentional because our enemy certainly is.
He roams about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.
So, set your mind on the things above and allow God to lead the way.
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