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|Written by drk|
|Monday, 23 March 2009 17:19|
Ancient medical doctors didn’t understand the workings of the human body, and were convinced that thinking and feeling occurred within the heart. That’s why Scriptures usually use the word “heart” to mean mind or soul. Generally speaking, the word heart refers to the personality, the ground for love and hatred, the core and center of a person -- the soul. While carnal men look on the outside, God looks on the heart (the inside, soul, garden) and there He discerns our intents.
Hearts come in all sizes, flavors, and shapes. The Bible speaks of 600 different kinds of hearts and I’m not going to list them all. Let’s just read a few, remembering that heart means soul or mind: there’s a broken heart, contrite heart, grieved heart, willing heart, discouraged heart, obstinate heart; proud heart, divided heart, wicked heart, and a trembling heart. There‘s the perfect, double, tender, soft, pure, upright, clean, fixed, settled, forward, perverse, wise, merry, sorrowful, fretting, haughty, heavy, unsearchable, despiteful, bitter, new, stony, flesh, uncircumcised, meek, honest, overcharged, troubled, single-hearted, foolish-hearted, darkened heart, impenitent heart, true heart, evil heart, heavy heart, deceitful heart, hard heart, and idolatrous heart.
Ps. 20:3 Heart is the place of deep counsel
Matt. 9:4 Heart is the place we think
Mark 2:8 Heart is the place we reason
Matt. 18:35 Heart is the place of forgiveness
Matt. 22:37 Heart is the place of love
Mark 11:23 Heart is the place of doubt
Luke 21:14 Heart is the place where it’s settled
Acts 12:23 Heart is the place where we purpose
2 Cor. 3:13 Heart is the place that sees with an unveiled face
2 Cor. 4:6 Heart is the place where the glory shines.
2 Cor. 9:7 We give as we purpose in our heart
Prov. 20:5 Counsel is in the heart of man
A rejoicing heart is crucial for spiritual health. As it’s written, “Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joy and a glad heart, for the abundance of all things; therefore you shall serve your enemies” (Deut. 28:47-48). If we lose the joy, then bondage and delusion defeats us. Ezekiel 36:26 says, “A new heart will I give you...” It will be a new heart that pumps an even more compelling future. David acknowledged, “With my whole heart I seek thee” (Ps. 119:10).
At the threshold of the promised land, Israel wavered and doubted. They wandered aimlessly, celebrating only momentary victories and then doubted again. They decided that the Lord had brought them out of Egypt to kill them. But Scripture says, “...The Lord your God led you...in the wilderness, to humble you and to test you, to know what was in your heart...” (Deut. 8:2). God sent leanness to their souls (Ps. 106:15) and they never found rest because of the dissatisfaction of their hard hearts. In the same way, He leads you. Why? To know what’s in your heart. Lest you complain and murmur, remember that you’ve voluntarily chosen to leave the world behind and come on this journey. And He still leads you too.
The children of Israel wandered for 40 years constantly lusting after depraved things, pursuing idols, committing acts of immorality, tempting the Lord, and complaining against Him. The writer of Hebrews said they “Always err in their heart (soul), and they have not known my ways” (Heb. 3:10). Hebrews also warns us of an evil heart of unbelief (vs.12-19). The Lord’s much more concerned with the condition of the heart than with externals.
We’re warned against that desperately wicked heart of unbelief (vs. 12-19). It shows up in the way we spend our money and use our time. Isaiah 44:20 tells us that a deceived heart turns us aside until we cannot deliver our soul.
Again, after feeding of the 4,000 (Mark 8), Jesus asked the disciples if their hearts were yet hardened for they perceived not, nor understood.[i] Do you see how hardness in our heart (soul) can also produce spiritual retardation?
Luke 21:26-28 warns the believer about being overwhelmed, because in those final days, men’s hearts will fail them over the fear about what may happen on the earth. Forces of imaginations try to overwhelm us all. While carnality cries out for panaceas and short cuts, steady believers are instructed to lift their heads and take heed lest their hearts (soul, feelings, ambitions, emotions, ground) be weighed down (depressed) with carousing, drunkenness and cares of this life (vs. 34).
Jesus commanded, “Let not your heart be troubled” (Jn. 14:1). That means, don’t permit it, and don’t allow it. Since you’re in charge of your inner person, it’s your responsibility not to accept trouble. What a challenge! It all sounds so simple... can it be that easy? Because worry and anxiety can destroy your destiny, Jesus says don’t endure trouble -- avoid it at all cost. Jesus boldly proclaimed that He was anointed to heal the brokenhearted. There will always be legitimate concerns, but concentration on the correct actions brings changes.
Who are you?
I remember finally going back to Alaska again after being gone for many years. When I approached home, the cold world whose roads I knew better than the lines on my face, seemed uncertain. My heart raced faster in expectation of my surprise visit. I pulled my car up to our favorite old Thursday night Mexican restaurant. Oh, how I missed everyone. I couldn’t wait to get in touch – with the way things were. And it was easy to find my friends, in the same old spot. Just like in my favorite memories, they laughed and joked, except that I had changed... and didn’t belong anymore.
I particularly noticed what my friends talked about that night, the meaningless chatter and the passing of time. Nostalgia swept by, and I momentarily yearned for the way things were... Then, I realized the truth of that old Proverb which states that out of the abundance of the heart our mouth speaks -- the mouth represents the door of the heart (our bank vault, our treasury, our closet) and what comes out is what’s inside.
Proverbs 23:7 also reminds us, “As a man thinks in his heart (ground, soul, mind), so he is.” Many times we forfeit success by continuing on the familiar and well-worn road of compromise and mediocrity. We could say it this way, a man is not what he thinks he is, but what he thinks, he is! It’s our responsibility to control our heart, to concentrate, to move from where we were to where we should go, and to learn to be ruled by our spirit.[ii] No one can do that for us.
If we harbor sin in our heart and deny that it exists, then we’re stopped right there, in our tracks. If we fast and pray with unclean hearts, God regards our actions as an abomination – He is not pleased (Isa. 1:15, Ezek. 8:18). The Lord begs us to be zealous and repent from our flirting with worldly thoughts.
Joshua was unable to take the new generation of Israel into the Promised Land until they were circumcised. The mark of circumcision upon Israel was the token of covenant (Romans 2:28). This painful cutting away of our flesh (carnal nature) becomes a covenant of obedience that we of the better (new) covenant must also enter into: the circumcision of our heart (soul).[iii] Cutting away the extraneous “fleshly programs” (not of God), marks the Covenant people. The sword of the Spirit that divides our soul from our spirit can only accomplish that marking. This cutting away, or self-denial, ultimately brings us to the apex of the purpose in life – to live by the Spirit and not by the flesh. We deny ourselves wrong thoughts, and unguarded emotions, so that we can become new creatures.
THE KNOWING HEART: Joshua said, “Know with all your heart and soul that not one of the good promises that the Lord gave you has failed.” David cried for “...An undivided heart,” one that was not double-minded. Give me a heart that serves every day, not like a National Guard weekend warrior with a quick “Hi, Jesus!” on Sunday, and then a six day vacation.
Even Lucifer said in his heart (soul), “I will be like God.” Where did he fall? In his heart. Likewise, Esau (a type of our flesh) said in his heart, “I’m going to kill my brother.” Where does hatred and viciousness begin? In the heart. Who has control of your heart? You do. The devil doesn’t control your heart, you do. Satan can’t rule your life unless you let him. He can’t dominate your thoughts and make you do bad things. But, a divided heart enables the devil to subtly support any fleshly perversion. Then, the enemy speaks to your old man.
Proverbs say that as water reflects into a face, so a man’s heart reflects the man. This mind (heart) controls your entire life. That’s why Hebrews says to throw off every entangling hindrance and eliminate extraneous emotional clutter in your lives. “Choose life that both you and your seed might live.”
Deut. 6:5 says that we should hide Scripture until understanding comes. Surely, we all need a transplant from the Great Heart Specialist. It’s too late to start memorizing scriptures when the airplane crashes. It’s too late to learn where the books of the Bible are located as you’re hurling through space. Start hiding God’s Word in the foundation of your Christ-like character, your heart.
Again, Deut. 11:18 says, “...Lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign...” This verse tells us about the tradition where Jewish men tied boxes called “phylacteries” to their forehead. These boxes contained scriptures to think about. Now, we don’t just need Scriptures tied to our head in little black boxes, but instead, we put them into the understanding of our heart and mind.
Many years ago, we had a young man in our church who had memorized most of the Bible. His ability was enviable. However, he had absolutely no understanding of what all those words meant. We’re instructed to bind up the meaning of God’s words – not just the words themselves -- and keep them in the center of our heart, for out of it (the heart) flow the issues of life (Prov.4:20). More about this later….[iv]
· Consider David’s scandalous crimes. After committing murder and adultery, he failed as a father, as a spouse, and as a human being. After all those terrible things, how could God still love him and say that David was, “...a man after my own heart who will do all my will?”[v] The answer rests within the Scripture. David would do all God’s will. In spite of everything, David knew how to repent and he longed to be close. Therefore, David’s heart stirred the heart of God.
è God searches for a devoted heart (mind, will and emotions toward God).
Billye Brim points out that inside the word “heart” are the letters “e-a-r.” She explains that the ear we hear God with is located in the center of our spiritual heart. When people hear carnally, then their inner man turns to worldly ways. We can’t “veg out” on TV and still hear from the Lord. The Holy Spirit works to clean up your spiritual ears. [vi]
Like Joshua and Caleb, Ezra was a man with a “different spirit.” He knew the importance of determination upon a goal. “Ezra set (prepared, fixed, guarded) his heart to seek the Law of the Lord (to inquire for it and of it, to require and yearn for it), and to do and teach in Israel its statutes and its ordinances” (Ez. 7:10 AMP). Ezra intentionally set his heart. Notice this word is Intention (not inattention, but “intention” or doing something purposefully), which is the active partner of accomplishment. It’s the way you begin to change your life patterns.
A while back, I preached this sermon about “Setting Your Heart” in Ilo Ilo, Philippines. We met in a large, dilapidated, second story, partially burned building down town where the windows were long ago shattered and gone. Just as I finished explaining what “Setting Your Heart” meant, there was a terrible car crash on the street below. The building shook and screams wailed into the Sanctuary. Every single person in the congregation -- man, woman, and child-- got up and ran downstairs to look at the accident, leaving me standing there alone at the pulpit in the middle of my talk! What an object lesson!
A fixed heart. It means to absorb yourself with the plan of God until it happens. By inserting intention into your thought process, you can begin to assert control over the will. That intention determines how much energy goes toward that effort. On the other hand, a self-defeating intention automatically fails.
Ezra set his heart:
· Not to waver, (to become established, to remain)
· To seek the Word (to study with discipline, to pay close attention to)
· To do it (to pursue excellence, to live according to Godly principles)
· And to teach it (to share life with others).
Many examples explain this intentional deliberateness, such as, when Uzziah was sixteen, “He set himself to seek God...and as long as he sought (inquired of, yearned for) the Lord, God made him to prosper” (2 Chron. 26:25). In that way, we must also reform our old patterns according to our new understanding of the power of the Word of God. This intentional determination to change occurs in the soul (heart) and determines your future accomplishments, how you feel, and where you go from here. You bring forth a good treasure from your own heart.[vii] That’s reason enough to not just cope with a chronic problem. A mature believer has his/her heart fixed and doesn’t waiver with circumstances. [viii]
Learn to rejoice in everything, and everywhere. Don’t get angry at that person who’s talking about you again – rejoice that there’s another situation to overcome.
è God changes our attitudes, and gives us another heart (renewed soul),[ix] that He might totally permeate us with His purposes.
1. Write how your heart could become hardened. Give an illustration of how you act when your heart is hard.
2. What’s in your heart (what do you spend your time doing)? Will you be found lacking? What do you need to do so that you’ll not be rebellious and hard-hearted?
3. What could you do to help soften someone’s heart?
4. Have you been anxious today?[x] Depressed? What are the best ways to deal with it? Read Deuteronomy 7:22.
5. Write a list of the things that are important or have value to you. To what/whom are you committed?
6. Prioritize your top ten goals for personal development. (Be truthful now, this is just for you.) Set certain, specific, short-termed goals that will give you the targeted thrust needed to succeed. They can happen. I know they will!
We can’t measure the result of that seed that we plant. The Good Samaritan only helped one.
Scripture tells the same truth in many different ways. Let’s look at it another way. Your soul is a garden.
From the beginning, Genesis tells us of a world without form, a world of chaos and hostility. In that desert place of rebellion, God planted the most splendid garden. Into that pre-planned paradise, humankind was established. There, the Lord God told “them” to be fruitful, multiply, and replenish the earth. The job description was to tend and guard that place called Eden, the Paradise garden of God’s “delight.” There, seedtime and harvest became the universal principle and every seed reproduced it’s own kind.
è The Fall occurred because Adam and Eve failed to tend and guard their garden.
Similarly, into our desert lives of great chaos and rebellion, God planted Jesus (the incorruptible seed) into the garden of our hearts. We’re God’s garden. Everything that we are, whether we call it our personality, our soul, or our mind-set – that’s the garden that grows. Our commission is the same as Adam’s: to guard and tend that Paradise land that has been given to us. When the tempter comes, we’re not supposed to listen to his voice, but rather respond to the command of God. From that principle of seedtime and harvest, we eventually reproduce after our own kind and become God’s “delight.”
* A seed perpetuates the species, contains the DNA for type.
* In time, the encoding upon the seed will duplicate the parent.
* The seed ensures offspring.
* The seed provides life up to the plant.
* The seed is the Word of God (Lu. 8:11).
* The seed planted in our life determines the quality of our spiritual life.
è Whether you call it: your mind, your soul, your garden, or your heart, the impressions stored within your conscious and sub-conscious mind are who you are.
JESUS IS THE SEED: The ancient Scripture didn’t talk a lot about other nations or other tribes, but describes the lineage that produced the Messiah. Basically, it traces the people in His lineage, and tells stories of the endless battles for the seed. Some call the Bible, “The seedtime plot,” because it makes known The Seed that sowed Itself into humanity.[xi]
The Bible can be summed up:
* The Seed of promise is coming,
* The Seed is birthed,
* The Seed is disclosed,
* The Seed dies,
* The Seed lives again,
* The Seed has a voice.
God’s everlasting purposes centralize in Jesus Christ as The Seed. The Firstfruit. Through Jesus, a company of victorious believers grows into the image of Christ and takes the dominion with Him.[xii]
THE WORD IS A SEED:[xiii] Like a seed, every promise properly tended takes root and eventually sprouts. If our conversion is real, that seed will sprout like the leafy greens on a little radish top. Even the first leaves capture the solar energy of the sun and access the power to grow. With proper care, these seeds of the exceedingly great and precious promises develop into dazzling demonstrations of Christ to the world. The end of self emerges as the real meaning of life, as the kernel of our lives becomes swallowed up “In Christ.”
We inherit God’s promises as a gift, to be tended and guarded.
There’s a strange scripture that says, “...ye are God’s husbandry...” (1 Cor. 3:9). The word husbandry isn’t too familiar in our modern day language. Another translation explains, “You’re God’s garden” Or it could say, “You’re God’s farm or field.” That field or garden was bought for a price (the blood of Jesus). The garden of your heart is likened to the earth, receiving the seeds you plant. Now you have the power to grow into those dreams.
Jesus explains that God, the “Husbandman” (georgos, a tiller of the ground, a vinedresser),[xiv] intends for His Godly seed sown within you to bear fruit that will be collected at harvestime. James 5:7 tells us the Husbandman waits to receive the harvest.
God’s incredible unchangeable Word waits to be planted and to grow. Remember the little boy and his lunch of five loaves and two fish? He didn’t know that it would feed thousands. A seed planted can become a single tree, or an immense forest full of fruit. Just think about it. If rightly used, God-given potential can revolutionize the world. Your seed could turn this world upside down. Yes, together, we become an infinitely great harvest.
THE SOWER: Jesus often spoke about farming – plants, trees, and seeds. One of the most well-known incidents was a comparison of our soul with a seed growing (Matt. 13, & Luke 8). In the “parable of the sower,” Jesus used familiar word pictures so that the listeners could understand the Kingdom. Even so, His disciples remained ignorant and lacked faith.
Briefly, the story tells about a farmer (God) who sows the seed (the Word) into the ground. This word “ground” could have several interpretations, but for our purposes, we understand that ground is likened to our soul, wilderness, field, dirt, or the garden of our heart. The sower (God) sows His word into the heart of the world.
The disciples asked Jesus, “`What does this parable mean?’” He answered, “To you, my disciples, I’m giving you understanding…Blessed are your eyes because they see, and blessed are your ears because they hear.” Jesus emphasized the importance of what they choose to see and hear, because what goes inside the person becomes the garden of who they are.
SEEDTIME AND HARVEST: We all know that each seed reproduces itself exactly. If you plant an orange seed, it won’t suddenly turn into an apple – even if you pray really hard… It doesn’t matter. Genetically encoded in the eggplant seed is an eggplant. No matter how much you confess to the contrary, an apple seed grows grow into an apple. Godly seed produces Godly character. Even if you’re “quite contrary” – the seed grows. So, what’s been planted in you? Silver bells and cockle shells? Gold and precious jewels? It’s up to you…
Eventually, we must ask ourselves, “What must I plant to eventually reap good things in my life?” In lives, ministries, and marriage, everything holds soundly to God’s universal principle of seedtime and harvest. Our present life evidences what’s already been planted. If we want a different crop, we must plow up the ground (Judah’s job), and plant new seed. We must evaluate our current conditions, allowing only the profitable seeds to remain and grow. The principle remains -- seedtime and harvest— we’ll reap what has been sown (Gen. 8:22). Until we take responsibility and accountability for our choices, God can’t change our situation (what’s growing in our garden).
THE ROOTS: Roots are the inward values that keep the plant (our new nature) from toppling over when storms come. Roots intertwine within the hidden nature, and lock onto the Rock. Our conduct is always the out-branching symptom of what is planted and how deep the roots go. Inevitably, growth halts when the roots cannot dig into the hardened ground of the wayside. The 1st Psalm compares us to a tree planted by the water with hidden roots that tap into the river. Ephesians tells us to be rooted and grounded in love.
THE GROUND, THE DESERT OF YOUR SOUL: The condition of the soil also determines the fruitful harvest. In the same way, the type of a person’s heart determines how victorious his life will be. As with soil, the mind grows whatever seed is planted, and the fruit of that particular seed is the consequence.
Wayside ground. Trampled and compacted soil causes the seed (the Word) to just lay on top. Eventually the birds eat it (the enemy takes away the “Word” because of lack of understanding).
Stony ground: Seeds spring up immediately, but there’s no earth for rooting, no way to hold moisture and the plant dries up and withers (when confronted with tribulation, all shallow and un-rooted intentions die).
Thorny ground: The seed does well at first, but then gets caught up in thorns and thistles. We’re reminded to not be like those who have their very fragile roots choked with the cares, riches, worldliness, and pleasures of life.
Good ground:“ General rule: The ground of our heart can be too rocky, too dry, or too hard to grow seed. Jesus prayed that the seed (the Word of His promises) would fall onto “good ground” (your good heart, not just the dust of the carnal nature) that could potentially yield thirty, sixty, or a hundredfold return.[xv] That’s how we reap a manifold return on what we sow (Gal. 6:7, Hosea 8:7b, Matt. 25:24-30). Right away, we see that this represents an honest heart, ready to receive and then to grow.
Even the name Adam means “ruddy ground, or dirt.” Before God breathed, this dust was useless, but the Lord God took this lifeless form and mouth-to-mouth breathed into it a living soul. Contained in the breath of the Almighty was His nature. But, after the Fall, all that was left in Adam was this fallen nature (dust).
· Psalm 119:20 says that our soul clings to the dust.
· Isaiah 65:25 says that the serpent (the devil) feeds on dust – the devil lives to devour our carnal nature, it’s fair game. That’s why we’re consumed unless we put on the new holy nature.
· When we die, the dust returns to dust (3:19). Everything unredeemed will perish.
· First Corinthians 15:47 says that fallen Adam was dust (earthy), but Jesus, the second Adam, was heavenly and spiritual.
ABRAHAM: This analogy of dust is also illustrated in the story of Abraham and Sarah. Abram lifted up his eyes that special starry night. Upon hearing the unknown voice that promised great reward, Abram decided to follow the heavenly instructions.
After eleven years of waiting for promised children, Sarah took the slave-girl Hagar upon her lap (the custom for surrogate mothers), insisting that Abraham father a child. Out of that impatient disobedience came Ishmael,[xvi] and a race of people that eventually inhabited the land from India to Ethiopia. They were Abraham’s seed, (the sand, or dust of the sea). Once again in spiritual comparison, we see that Ishmael represents the sand (dust) or the defeated carnal nature -- the serpent’s food.
· If we build our house on the sand (Ishmael, the carnal nature), then, when the storms come, we can’t stand.[xvii] How often have our impatient attitudes conceived an Ishmael? That which is birthed in the flesh -- carnal children, projects, churches, and human plans (Gal. 4:29) will never be an heir -- because it’s dust. The fleshly attempts must be cast out.
· “Stars of the sky” – Became the words that propelled his faith, and Abraham trusted in God’s responsibility to fulfill His promises. And He will do so by the birthing of His promised seed – the nature of Isaac.
· Isaac’s lineage started a whole new race of God’s chosen covenant people. Galatians says that if you’re Christ’s, then you’re Abraham’s seed and heirs to the promise. Everything promised to Abraham is yours. That same seed is inside of you – with the same potential – as far as you can SEE. You become the stars of heaven (through Isaac shall thy seed be called -- those spiritual in nature). Stars haven’t built their houses upon the sand (canal dust), but on the solid rock. Are you a shimmering star?
“If you are filled with light within, with no dark corners, then your face will be radiant too, as though a floodlight is beamed upon you.”
(Luke 11:36 LB)
THE CHAFF GETS THROWN AWAY: Another way to describe the carnal nature is in relation to chaff, the hard exterior covering the part of the seed that grows. Before the days of modern machinery, the harvest grain was placed upon the threshing floor where oxen would trample and loosen the chaff from the wheat kernel. Then, it was all thrown into the air to be separated.
John the Baptist described the work of Jesus, “…(He) shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire, whose fan is in His hand…” The word “fan” in this context means “winnowing fan” or that which blows away the chaff. The actual kernel of wheat, being heavier, falls straight back down in heaps upon the threshing floor. “…And He will thoroughly purge His floor and gather His wheat into his barn; and He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”[xviii]
Perhaps life has just thrown you into the air. Well, if you’re frantically clutching to hold your life together, then the Lord would say today, “Let go.” Obviously, if the chaff isn’t separated, the kernel of life will burn as well. Without the wind of the Holy Spirit, the chaff can’t separate from your life. Whatever has not separated from the chaff (carnal) will burn along with it.
1. The fan held in the Harvester’s hand (the Holy Spirit) separates me from my inflexible perceptions and uncontrolled emotions -- chaff -- that which needs to be destroyed.
2. The wheat, both head and chaff must be separated in the garner. The wheat should remain (of us) and chaff (the work of the flesh) discarded. We need a funeral for the husks of flesh that weigh us down.
3. Jesus will do as He said and thoroughly purge (burn up, clean with fire) our carnal nature! This baptism of fire frees us from the soulish elements that have brought death and sickness.
4. The only thing chaff is good for is burning.
5. That which remains becomes the harvest that the husbandman waits for with long patience (James 5:7-8). The Lord will gather these kernels of detached grain in the last days.[xix]
6. During these days of supernatural harvest, the plowman shall overtake the reaper (Amos 9:11-15).
7. The ultimate purpose of the universe has been to nurture and mature a compatible companion for the Lord. Parabolically, we’re this harvest ready for matrimony – piled up together in heaps upon His threshing floor.
THE FRUIT: While most of the body of Christ clamors for gifts, the Lord patiently waits for the production of that seed. The whole reason for growing a tree in our garden is for fruit.[xx] The essential fruit of the Spirit – is expressed through the renewed soul. Remember, this fruit never results from striving.”[xxi] Branches don’t strain to produce fruit; they just abide in the vine. Now, we just need to step inside the center of this abiding. The Husbandman waits for the fruit (not the gifts), the produce of our lives.
è To have soul-realm prosperity is to have productive fruit in your life.
è The fruit of human reasoning produces death, but the fruit of the Spirit is Life.
The giving of my best fruit back to the Father is worship. This reverential sacrifice of my renewed mind prepares me. One day soon, He’ll tread out the grapes to make the wine for the wedding… and I’ll be poured out. Can you smell the crushed fruit?
WEEDS: Time after time you trim out the dead growth, rake back the fallen leaves, and plant row upon row of new seedlings. And the weeding! You have to weed your mind daily, clearing those out-of-control thoughts as soon as you discover them. Trouble is, maybe your good intentions begin to spasm at the mere sight of the shovel. Sometimes there’re just too many weeds out there. “Oh, no!”
Wrong thoughts are the weeds that we daily pull so that our faith can grow. Now weed pulling may be tedious, but it brings accountability for our thoughts. Leaving the weeds to grow stifles the growing faith of our lives.
When God made a covenant with Abraham, He spoke words of promise. But it was left up to Abram to make that promise manifest. That’s why Abram had to shoo the birds away.[xxii] Just like that, you have to keep the vultures away so the good seed can grow. The enemy can devour the seed only when you fail to tend your garden.
· Weeding your garden causes you to become a challenge. You know, the devil plans to make you ineffective, and to devour God’s promises.[xxiii]
Not only does the enemy eat Godly seed, he intends to plant his own evil seed. Those weeds sprout into fast growing disasters. If you watch a filthy movie, it may not bother you at the time, but those seeds (of unrestrained desire) continue growing unseen, in your soil. James says that when full-grown, sin brings forth death (1:15). That’s why old thoughts and memories (mind-set) need to be uprooted and replaced. God’s command remains for us to keep and guard our garden – otherwise we’ll sow to the flesh and reap corruption (Gal. 6:8).
Follow this process:
1. Learn to discern weeds from good plants, and decide to get rid of them.
2. Realize that the weed’s power is broken over your life.
3. Declare outloud that weeds are “sin.” Repent. Kill the roots.
4. Plant new seeds from the truth of the Scriptures.
5. And don’t forget – don’t let dead things lay around. After weeding, cleanup the yard. Don’t let ‘em grow back.
Weeds are everywhere. And their around-the-clock endeavor to overtake your garden is a certainty. You’ll need to uproot them daily. But don’t be upset. Remember, if weeds are left to grow, then huge disastrous results may grow: Jealousy, greed, insecurity, dissension, competition, boredom, loneliness, self-consciousness, immorality, impurity, idolatry, sorcery, and sedition. (See drawing of the growth of wicked seeds into trees with evil fruit).
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[i] Mark 6:52. Did they forget that the more that were fed, the fewer baskets were needed? And more fragments remained? In the same way, the Lord will gather up the baskets of all that you have exper-ienced, and that which remains attests to better things to come.
[ii] Mk. 6:52, James 1:5-8, Mat. 17:14.
[iii] Romans 2:29, Col. 2:11
[iv] See portion on prosperity, pushing.
[v] Acts 13:21
[vi] Brim, Billye, “Hearing from God” Christ for the Nations, issue Feb. 1997
[vii] Matt. 12:35, Prov. 23:7
[viii] Ps. 108:1
[ix] 1 Samuel 10:9
[x] Anxious means “to have a distracting care” Phil. 4:6 We cast our cares on God, because the devil wants to devour us through them.
[xi] Jn. 15:7, Some of these ideas came from reading Lora Allison’s book, “Plowman of God.”
[xii] Rom. 8:29, Eph.. 3:11, Jn. 1:12, 1 Jn. 3:1-3.
[xiii] 1 Peter 1:23, Some of this information on seed taken from study books by Kelly Varner listed in this bibliography..
[xiv] John 15:1
[xv] Jesus said His words must abide (be planted) IN YOU (in good ground of good attitudes and a fixed heart John 15:7). Ephesians tells us to be rooted and grounded in (soil of) LOVE.
[xvi] Herman Melville became famous for the line in Moby Dick, “Call me Ishmael.” How much better to be called of the line of Isaac, the seed line of God.
[xvii] Luke 6:49
[xviii] Matt. 3:11-12
[xix] Boaz (a type of Jesus) threshed wheat and laid on the kernels of grain.
[xx] Psalm 1:3. Yields fruit in season, there is a time.
[xxi] Gal. 5:22,23. Jesus was the first fruits, the Father’s best.
[xxii] See also Rev. 18:2-4 that tells of Babylon, the dwelling place of every unclean and hateful bird. We must “come out” of her and not participate in her sins.
[xxiii] Isaiah 60 says that Jesus is the branch of the planting. He was once a little twig -- The Branch. We can’t despise small beginnings.
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 August 2009 14:04|