3 Ways to Stay Deeply Rooted in The Lord
- Garden of God's Word -
- Garden of Worship -
- Garden of Prayer -
Picture credit: Christie Purifoy
Garden of God's Word
- I will give you a full life in the emptiest places.-
A friend recently shared this devotion with me, "Are you in a barren or bleak season? There are still things happening in the soil, roots and stems that we can't see. God will provide nourishment and comfort. He will sustain you through the winter until the hope of Spring arrives. Spring time will come, new life will burst forth. There will be new leaves, buds and growth will appear. God created all the seasons for His purpose. God loves us and will always pursue us. Because our God is a God of restoration, rebuilding and renewal!" That devotion was such an encouragement to me.
God's Word is water to our thirty souls, it reminds us of His truth and His unfailing character. We need to know the truth when the enemy lies to us. It's easy to let weeds of doubt, discontentment, jealousy, regret, shame and ______ (fill in the blank) grow and overwhelm us. God is faithful to remove our sins from as far as the east is to the west (Psalm 103:12), but the enemy keeps track and is constantly on the prowl, hoping we'll neglect to pull the weeds that choke out the truth of God's forgiveness.
When the e-n-e-m-y tries to plant some weeds, remember there is no room in your heart for his lies, he has no hold on you. You are forgiven. You are a victor. You are a child of God. So when your garden is overrun with weeds lay them at your Lord's feet, He is faithful to forgive them and cast them away! (Excerpts from Playing in the Dirt: 90 Devotions for Crazy Plant Ladies.)
Here's how to keep those weeds pulled out:
Plant the truth of His Word by faithfully reading scripture.
Do a word study on roots, garden, refresh, sustain, water, worship, prayer.
Water your walk by going to church consistently. Don't just attend your church - love your church. Serve, give, invite, worship, engage and participate!
Tend to your growth by committing to a Bible study and memorizing scripture.
Sometimes the soil of our hearts are depleted and anemic. Like a successful garden - good soil is imperative. Sunlight, water, minerals, essential plant nutrients—your garden requires a few basic requirements to thrive. But did you know that your garden soil has another crucial characteristic that can determine whether your plants thrive or struggle? It’s a soil property called pH, and it’s essential to understand if you want to grow happy and healthy plants. Your plants pH can be tested and adjustments made. What if you tested the pH of your heart today, what would you discover? Sometimes additives and amending is needed. For that let's look at WORSHIP and PRAYER.
Garden of Worship
"Worship is the fertile soil where joy grows best."
A counselor once told a new client, "Bring your checkbook to your first appointment." "Oh, I thought you said you didn't charge for the first appointment?" "I don't, it will tell me where your heart is."
Worship is about what we love. What we live for. It's about who we are before God. What we love most will determine what we genuinely worship. Are you asking yourself, "How do I know what I love most? By looking at your life outside of Sunday morning. "What do I enjoy the most? What do I spend the most time doing? Where does my mind drift when I don't have anything to do? What do I spend my money on? Your answers to those questions will lead you straight to the God or gods you love and worship.
How do we cultivate a heart of worship? Worship! Singing His praises lifts our hearts and weeds of discouragement will flee. Bring your hearts to Him, spend time in His presence. Romans 12:1-2 instructs us to: "Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will."
How does one fight off the pesky weeds of distraction and the pests of doubt?
In Colossians 3:16 we learn, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” And this quote from Well Watered Woman expresses it well. "Worship through your worry, fear, stress, and exhaustion. The Lord inhabits the praises of His people! "Praise protects our hearts from being calloused by complaining and worrying. It builds a fortress of protection around our souls and guards our hearts. It prepares us for what is to come and fills us with joy." And lastly a call to guard the gates of your garden, "This is how I fight my battles. Worship is my weapon of choice. When we worship, we stop looking at the fight in front of us and start looking at the God in us! (Excerpt from Worship is My Weapon by David Villa)
Garden of Prayer
“When you pray do you give God instructions or do you show up for duty?”
"He who lives without prayer, he who lives with little prayer, he who seldom reads the word and he who seldom looks up to heaven for a fresh influence from on high - he will be a (woman) whose heart will become barren and dry..." C.H. Spurgeon
Prayer is our lifeline, like the garden with a drip system. Like a well He beckons us to be filled at. Keep coming to the well of prayer. God cannot deny Himself. If you come He will fill you. Keep coming. He is always listening. Even while waiting for prayers to be answered you can be sure He is working to bring about a harvest of beautiful fruit.
In John 4:14 Jesus tells us, “But whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” He longs for us to spend time in prayer with Him.
One thing I love to do is journal my prayers. Journaling enables me to chronicle my journey with Christ and His faithfulness. The words I've poured onto the pages serve as a scrapbook of sorts, recording the Lord's reliability, trustworthiness and steadfastness. Inevitably, over time, it reveals God's faithfulness to me and it will to you as well.
"Blessed is the (woman) who trusts in the Lord. For (she) shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, not will cease from yielding fruit." Jeremiah 17:7-8
I had to include this story, it is a beautiful explanation of our walks with the Lord.
Butterfly, Botanist or Bee?
I remember enjoying the observations of a perceptive young girl who was gazing down at her mother's garden from an upstairs window of their home. First she saw a butterfly flitting from flower to flower. It spent a few seconds on the edge of each, but derived no particular benefit from any of them.
Next she saw a botanist with a large notebook and magnifying glass in hand. As the botanist carefully observed each flower and plant, he made copious entries in his book. But after hours of meticulous study, most of what he learned was shut up in his book. Very little remained in his mind.
Then came a little bee. When it entered a flower, it emerged laden with pollen. It had left the hive that morning empty, but would return full.
When it comes to Bible study, some people are like butterflies going from one favorite verse to another, one seminar to another, or one book to another. They're very busy and expend much energy but have little to show for their efforts. They remain unchanged in any significant way because they never really delve into the Word wholeheartedly. They're content to simply flutter around the edges.
Others, like the botanist, may study in great depth but never apply it to their lives. I know of entire commentaries written by unbelievers. In some cases their grasp of Scripture is exceptional, but they know nothing of true love of God and obedience to biblical truth. What a tragedy! But you don't have to be a biblical scholar to make that mistake. You need only to fail to apply what you learn to your life.
Rather, strive to be like a bee, spending time in God's Word - reading, studying, taking notes, then emerged fuller than when you began. Your mind will be filled with wisdom and biblical insights. Your life will be sweeter and purer because the Word has done its work.
Are you a butterfly, a botanist, or a bee?
"Every generation needs courageous believers who will trust God at His Word and pick up the baton of intercession, continuing the powerful legacy of faithfully standing in the gap & seeking His heart in prayer." Stephen & Alex Kendrick