Lessons from the Garden (September)

by Lyndsey Heikes

“Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy;
break up your fallow ground:

for it is time to seek the LORD,
till he come and rain righteousness upon you.” {Hosea 10:12}

Our hearts are much like gardens; seeds are sown and a harvest is reaped, whether good or bad. As daughters of the King and stewards of His grace, we are to sow seeds unto righteousness. The days of sowing are at hand, but what preparations must come first? Oh, the days of pulling the weeds that try to take dominion of the soil. What an awful job it is to dig in the mud as the weeds prick your fingers and stubbornly refuse to be pulled! We must dig deep and pluck them up by the roots lest they swallow up life and hope for the good seeds to grow and flourish. Both good and bad cannot have dominion; the one you cultivate will win. The sins within our hearts are much like the stubborn weeds that grow in a garden. If we do not continually submit to God and fight the “weeds” in our own hearts, they will spring up and bear fruit unto death. 

“This I say then, walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” {Galatians 5:16}

We must examine our own hearts, and when we find the roots of such weeds within us, we must repent and ask for mercy from our Heavenly Father. When repentance is true and sincere, it will produce growth.

“They that sow in tears shall reap in joy! He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” {Psalm 126:6}

It is important for us to truly pull out the roots of the weeds and not just be people-pleasers; looking good on the outside while the inside is tangled with the roots of bitterness and self-seeking. God sees the heart; it is before Him, the One that desires truth in the inward parts (Psalm 51: 6), that we must give account. This is no easy task, in fact it will be a constant battle; the weeds in the garden don’t just disappear after you pull them once, we must be vigilant and day-by-day battle them.

“Keep thy heart with all diligence;
for out of it are the issues of life.” {Proverbs 4:23}

As we walk in the Spirit, we are to sow the seeds of repentance, love, and humility within our hearts as He guides and enables us to do so in His grace. “Now He that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness” (2 Corinthians 9:10). To cultivate and nourish these seeds, we must diligently persist in seeking God’s will for us as we search His Word, praying that He will open our eyes and ears to see and hear what He is saying that we may apply it to our hearts and daily lives; that He may prepare the soil of our hearts. Only as we gradually dwell deeper in His presence, will we be able to hear His voice. Much like plants need the sunlight for growth, so we need to dwell in the light of our Father’s presence and be watered by His word.

“See that ye refuse not Him that speaketh…” (Hebrews 12:25a) We must trust and obey and pray that God would soften our hard and stubborn hearts that want do what we think is right instead of submitting to His will. He must be our Master Gardener as He works within our hearts according to His good pleasure and purpose. What seeds will we sow in our hearts? The ones that are sown in pain but bring rejoicing and praise to our Master, or the ones that grow naturally with little effort, but bring destruction? God is good; He knows what is best for us. What we often think will be the best thing for us is often the worst. Through discipline and the sanctifying work of the Spirit, good seeds will be cultivated within our hearts and will grow to bear lasting fruit of true joy and satisfaction. It is a battleground between the flesh and the Spirit; the weeds and the good seeds. God gives us strength through His powerful working to fight the good fight and not lose heart.

The questions I ask myself and want to ask you, dear reader, are these:

  • How is the condition of your heart?
  • What does the evidence in your day-to-day actions reflect?
  • Does it show the weeds of self-seeking consuming your heart’s garden, or does it portray the truly humbled heart that contains the precious seeds of righteousness that grow in praise of the Master?

I’m not asking if you have a garden full of blooming roses and no weeds, but rather if you are fighting the daily battle with Christ as your strength. He can help you pull at those weeds. Seeds start with a sprout, then a plant, then a flower, then the fruit after much pruning, training, and endurance. It doesn’t happen in a blink, sanctification is a lifetime process, so don’t lose heart!

“Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; purify your hearts, ye double minded… humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up.” {James 4:8, 10}

~Lyndsey Heikes (17)
{Guest Writer}

P.S. If you would like to share something the Lord has been teaching you, please feel free to do so! Email us with your article/thought so we can share it with other KBR readers.

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