by Pastor Tim Burt
Winter is gradually fading away, and the refreshing arrival of Spring is on the horizon! I cannot adequately express the immense excitement I feel during this time of year. Perhaps this image will convey the sentiment!
With the rise in temperatures and the snow finally gone, I find myself gazing out the window, daydreaming about tending to my garden. My passion for gardening was instilled in me by my mother when I was young. Little did I realize the profound spiritual lessons and the immense impact they would have on my life.
For those who engage in gardening, it becomes apparent that in every garden, undesired weeds sprout from the ground on their own, uninvited. Similarly, our hearts and gardens share a common trait: they are both susceptible to growing weeds. Our minds easily cultivate weed-like thoughts, encompassing fears, worries, and malicious imaginations that persistently attempt to invade our hearts and minds. These thoughts often arise in predictable circumstances, such as when something unfortunate occurs. However, they also emerge randomly and seemingly out of nowhere, leading us to exclaim, “Where did that thought come from? How random!”
Jesus, in His teachings to His disciples about the workings of our hearts and minds, employed illustrations related to gardening and farming. Jesus spoke of the kingdom of heaven, likening it to a man who sowed good seed in his field. However, while everyone was asleep, an adversary came and planted weeds among the wheat and departed. When the wheat sprouted and produced heads, the weeds also appeared. The servants of the owner approached him, questioning, “Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where did these weeds come from?” He replied, “An enemy has done this” (Matthew 13:24-28 NLT).
Satan perpetually strives to sow seeds of fear within our hearts. It is part of his design. He would rather have us place our faith in our fears rather than in God’s promises. Why? Because our faith determines the harvest we reap. Allowing fear seeds to flourish in our minds and hearts leads to a crop of fear, discouragement, and hopelessness. That’s exactly what Satan wants! It is crucial, therefore, to actively prevent the growth of undesirable elements within us―within our hearts and minds. We must uproot and cast out anything that should not take root. What does a heart with weed seeds planted within it resemble? Mark 4:19 (NKJV) paints a vivid picture, stating, “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.” Thus, we must become gardeners to some extent, at least in our hearts and minds if not in our physical surroundings.
The voices of fear, whether they come randomly from the enemy of our soul or from those who speak of cares, worries, and fear―like the daily news―are voices we must not heed. Jeremiah 17:5-6 NLT elucidates this by stating, “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 you plant good seeds in a heart that trusts God and believes in His promises, a bountiful harvest awaits in due time. So, what does a fruitful harvest from your heart look like? Two promises of God beautifully describe it. Mark 4:20 (NLT) explains that the seed sown on good soil represents those who hear and accept God’s word, resulting in a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as was planted.” Similarly, Jeremiah 17:7-8 (NLT) portrays “Blessed are those who trust in the Lord, comparing them to trees planted by a riverbank with deep-rooted stability. These trees are unaffected by the heat or drought, their leaves remain green, and they continually bear delicious fruit.”
Adopting a gardening mindset reminds me of the seeds I should sow and meditate upon—the good seed of God’s promises, knowing that they are mine through faith. This mindset also prompts me to uproot the weeds of cares, anxieties, and fears that seek to take root and undermine my faith. As 2 Corinthians 10:5 (KJV) instructs, “I purpose to cast down imaginations and everything that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity under the obedience of Christ.”
I am determined to weed out random and circumstantial fears, cares, and worries, disposing of them like a pile to be burned or discarded. Why? Because God is our Heavenly Father who never leaves us nor forsakes us. He remains with us in times of trouble. That truth is the bottom line. By maintaining a heart receptive to His promises, professing and praying them over my life and the lives of others, I will witness a harvest that yields a good crop. I will become like the tree planted by the river, resilient to heat and long droughts, flourishing with unwavering vitality.
God’s Word serves as the seed and the riverbank from which our roots extend deep. Today, remember the promise He has given you: “Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of His love. Plow the hardened ground of your heart, for now is the time to seek the Lord, that He may come and shower righteousness upon you” (Hosea 10:12 NLT).
In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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