by Pastor Tim Burt
Winter is on the downside and Spring is within sight! I can’t begin to tell you how excited that makes me feel this time of year. Maybe this picture will help you get it!
As the temperatures rise and the snow melts, I stare out the window dreaming about working in my garden. My mom helped instill that in me when I was young. I never imagined the spiritual lessons God would teach me from gardening and how much it would impact my life.
If you gardened, you’d soon learn that in every garden, weeds that you never planted, spring from the ground on their own. Your heart and your garden are the same. They are both capable of growing weeds. You mind easily grows weed-thoughts―that is, fears, worries and evil imaginations that all on their own frequently attempt to invade your heart and mind. They come when you might expect them such as when something bad happens. But they also come often and randomly and seemingly out of nowhere. I’ve heard myself say, Where did that thought come from?! Random!
Jesus in trying to teach His disciples about how our heart and mind works, used gardening and farming illustrations. Jesus taught, “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’ ” ‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.” Matthew 13:24-28 NLT
Satan is always trying to plant seeds of fear in our heart. It’s by design. He would rather have you have faith in your fears than faith in God’s promises. Why? Because your faith is what brings forth its crop. When you allow weed seeds of fear to grow in your mind and heart, then fear, discouragement, and hopelessness is the crop you will reap. It is for that reason, you have to work to keep out things you do not want in growing in within you―within your heart and mind. You have to dig up what shouldn’t be there and cast it out! What does a heart with weed seeds planted in it look like? Mark 4:19 (NKJV) paints that picture saying, “and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.” So, this means we have to become a gardener on some level―at least in our heart and mind if not in your yard.
The voices of fear, whether from the enemy of our soul that come randomly, or from those that speak cares, worries and fear―like the daily news, are voices NOT to listen to. Jeremiah 17:5-6 NLT reveals this saying, “This is what the Lord says: “Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans and turn their hearts away from the Lord (and from His promises.) They are like stunted shrubs in the desert, with no hope for the future. They will live in the barren wilderness, on the salty flats where no one lives.”
When good seeds are planted in a heart of good soil―a heart that trusts God and puts faith and expectation in His promises, then you will reap a good crop in due season. What does a good crop from your heart look like? These two promises of God describe it well! Mark 4:20 (NLT) “And the seed that fell on good soil represents those who hear and accept God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!” And, Jeremiah 17:7-8 (NLT) describes it like this: “But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they go right on producing delicious fruit.”
My gardening mindset reminds me what I should plant and meditate on―the good seed of God’s promises knowing that they are mine by faith. And my gardening mindset also reminds me that I need to uproot the weeds of cares, anxieties and fear that try to take root and undermine my faith. 2 Corinthians 10:5 (KJV) says, “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself AGAINST the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” I purpose to do just that. I will weed out those random and circumstantial fears, cares, and worries and cast them into a pile to be burned or discarded. Why? Because nothing changes in God’s eyes. He is our Heavenly Father. He will never leave us for forsake us. He is with us in times of trouble. That is the truth and the bottom line. If I keep my heart good soil and profess and pray God’s promises over my life and others, I will see my harvest produce a good crop. I will become like that tree planted by the river that stays green and is not bothered by heat or long months of drought.
God’s Word is our seed and our riverbank for roots to go down deep. Remember today that the promise He promised you is this: “Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of my love. Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the Lord, that He may come and shower righteousness upon you.” Hosea 10:12 (NLT)
Oh, and if you’d like to seem some pictures from my garden, here they are: https://timburt.org/pastor-tim-burts-prize-winning-garden/http://bit.ly/1AGx193
In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
If Fresh Manna is a blessing to you, I’d love to know. Click here: FreshMannaFeedback