by Pastor Tim Burt
I was twenty-five years old when I bought my first house. Along with my first house came my first yard to keep up. After the first winter in that house, I had the joy of repairing the parts of my lawn that had been killed by winter-kill. I was in my mid twenties at that time and fairly inexperienced in home upkeep. I also liked to do everything in a hurry. I was too young and immature to appreciate the old adage, If you are going to do something, do it right.
After buying grass seed, I would sprinkle some over the areas of dead grass from the winter-kill. Then I’d water it. A couple of weeks later, I’d be frustrated because most of the seed had not germinated and little to no new grass had sprouted. I asked a few friends if they knew a better way to get grass to grow. And Yes, there were directions on the box of grass seed but who had time to read directions much less do it the way they recommend? That would take way too much time to read—(at least two minutes.) I’d get varied advice on what to do. One person told me that raking the grass seed in would work. The next year I tried that. It didn’t work. Please forgive me for how stupid this sounds, but I’d keep trying some version of sprinkling the seed on top of the dead grass and watering it, even though it didn’t seem to work. (Immaturity extracts a high price!)
Finally a true gardener found out about my frustration. He said, Tim, you can either cut out the damaged lawn and replace it with a new piece of sod or do what I tell you which will take more time but get perfect results. I asked him what to do. He said it would be hard work—more than just throwing some seed. First, he said, If possible, start in the spring just after the temperature is steady at about sixty degrees. The weather is perfect for growing grass at that time of year because the slightly cooler weather helps the ground stays moist longer. That is critical to the seed germinating. He then told me to take a gardening fork (a small hand-tool to till up an area) and run it over the winter kill a section at a time. I was to rake out the dead grass and dispose of it. Then sprinkle the seed over the tilled area and work it into the soil with the gardening fork. He prepared me. Your yard will look ugly for about three weeks. Then, he said, comes the most important part to get perfect results. You need to water it at least morning and night for a week to ten days. The seeds need to stay moist to germinate and then they need water as they sprout and begin to grow. If you do this, I guarantee you will see the results you want.
I did what he said and it has always given me perfect results. Over time, I learned that the three key things to repairing my lawn are parallel to getting God-results! They are:
1.) Meditate on God’s Word. God’s Word is called incorruptible seed meaning its perfect seed that gets results. Meditate on the word of God before you start your day—before life and your day get too busy. Your intentions might be great but as much as you promise yourself that you will later, you probably won’t! Work the seed (God’s Word) into the soil of your heart. This is important to the start of our day! (And it’s why I write Fresh Manna!)
2.) Confess and pray the Word of God over what it is you are trying to accomplish. The Word of God is incorruptible seed. Confessing what God has said is like raking out what’s dead and putting down the good and incorruptible seed of God’s word. His word is His will and He says in 1 John 5:14-15, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us–whatever we ask–we know that we have what we asked of Him.” When you confess it and meditate on God’s Word it’s like tilling that good seed into the soil. It gets into your heart and builds your faith. When you pray what you’ve meditated on, you know His will and you are praying His will in faith! (Example: Lord, like David, I pray you give me courage to stand up boldly and fearlessly in giving my presentation at work, knowing you give me favor and lead me to victory over every Goliath-obstacle!)
3.) Continue to pray every time you get a chance —ESPECIALLY when you are praying over something critical to you. It’s not a works thing meaning more prayer equals better results. No, the reason to pray often is because it helps you think about God and His word and chase out the unbelief that comes again and again when facing difficult circumstances. Unbelief has to be defeated and prayer is not only talking with God, it reminds you of His love and power, His promises, and that He is working in your life as you trust Him. It squashes unbelief like a bug!
Prayer is the equivalent of watering. It prepares and softens your heart so you can hear from God. It helps your heart grow in faith. It will help God’s Word germinate and take root in your heart. Prayer petitions the heart of God according to His will. The Holy Spirit will help you remember to pray and pray often. Pray whenever you can and often! Turn off your car radio. Turn off the distractions you can control. Water the seed of your requests with the prayer that will cause your answers to sprout! Let your prayer be filled with thanks for what God is doing and will continue to do!
Jesus said in Mark 4:27 (NIV) “Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how.” When we learn God’s Word and pray in faith, God is working whether we know it or not!
It took me about three years of no results before I learned and was willing to put in the effort to grow my grass the right way. For the last 37 years I had a lush yard of green grass—the result of following good instruction. These are also the principles that help you build a strong spiritual house. They are both about planting seed and watering. I used to try to get no results because I gave no respect for how God has ordained sowing and reaping to work. I used to think I didn’t have time. Now I know that the only way to get the results I desire is to make the time. This is how the Lord builds the house. This is how to avoid building your house in vain—doing what you think is the work but getting zero results.
Psa 127:1 Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord guards the city, the guard keeps watch in vain.
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
If Fresh Manna is a blessing to you, let me know how. I’d love to hear from you! Click Here: FreshMannaFeedback