Sowing Seed

Our garden is just about fully planted. We bought some plants and sowed some seeds.

Sowing seeds is always somewhat a mystery to me.

I buy the seed packets with the pictures of the vegetables I want to grow, and in most cases the packet seems empty; the seeds are so small. When I tear open the packet I find dry, brown seeds that don’t seem to have any life in them at all. I then carefully place a single seed into each hole I have made in the soil. Once I’ve filled the holes I smooth over the soil, covering the seeds.

I leave the garden with it looking no different that when I went in. There is no visible evidence that I did anything. I know that I sowed the seeds, but no one else can tell.

Only time will prove whether or not I sowed seed.

Our words are as seeds sown in the hearts of others.

And at the end of most days I don’t really notice any difference from the words I have spoken.

But as time goes on a harvest will come.

“Now this is the commandment, and these are the statutes and judgments which the Lord your God has commanded to teach you,… that you may fear the Lord your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, you and your son and your grandson, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged. Therefore hear, O Israel, and be careful to observe it, that it may be well with you, and that you may multiply greatly as the Lord God of your fathers has promised you—‘a land flowing with milk and honey.’ “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. “And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.” Deuteronomy 6:1-7

This remains God’s promise to His people today;

God realizes the power of sowing seeds!

God desires a great harvest! Generations of much fruit!

Sowing seeds in the home begins with the fear of the Lord.

It is the profound reverence and awe of who God is, of all His attributes, of His sovereignty, and His never-ending love, that convinces us to commit ourselves to wholeheartedly obey Him, no matter what.

Complete obedience makes the soil of the heart good!

Good soil produces good fruit!

“Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.” Matthew 7:17

The fear of the Lord and wholehearted obedience to His word produces a harvest of good fruit that our family will taste and see that God is good!

So, I must ask myself,

“What kind of seeds am I sowing in my home?”

“What kind of fruit is being produced?”

Buying a packet of seeds, putting the seeds into a hole and covering them up seems so easy compared to what God is calling me to in these verses. Yet, there is a simplicity to my analogy that I like.

“Jesus also said, “The Kingdom of God is like a farmer who scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, while he’s asleep or awake, the seed sprouts and grows, but he does not understand how it happens. The earth produces the crops on its own.” Mark 4:26-28

Jesus said that a farmer scatters seeds and while he goes about his day he doesn’t understand what is happening to the seeds. They sprout, grow, and produce a harvest on their own.

The simplicity of doing what I’m called to do; to fear God, wholeheartedly obey Him, and talk about Him and repeat His commands throughout my day, and then leave the sprouting, growing, and producing a harvest of the seeds I’ve sown in His hands sounds like a good idea!

Realizing that I’m not responsible for the sprouting of those seeds,

I’m not responsible for the growing of those seeds,

And I’m not responsible for producing a harvest from those seeds,

that sets me free!

When I sow seeds in my garden I don’t go back every day and dig them up to check on them. I don’t worry or cut them open so that they will sprout quicker. I don’t get frustrated and pull on them to get them to grow faster.

But as ridiculous as that may sound I have found myself checking on the seeds I have sown in the hearts of others. I’ve worried about them and tried to convince them to sprout. I’ve become frustrated and angry trying to get them to grow quicker. I have seen the fruit from their lives and have tried to change it by manipulation and control.

Working in our garden has helped me to realize what my part is and what God’s part is.

There is a cycle of life that is found in everything God has created. 

There were seeds of truth sown into my heart. No one caused them to sprout, pulled on them to make them grow, nor manipulated and controlled to produce a harvest.

Those seeds of truth sprouted as the Holy Spirit watered them with conviction and opened my eyes to see my need for a Savior.

Those seeds of truth grew as Jesus shone His light into my heart, trading my shame for His righteousness.

Those seeds of truth produce a harvest because God is for me and His love for me keeps me in abiding in His presence.

This is the cycle of good that God intends for my family as well. And so I am called to sow seeds into the hearts of my family.

And I can have full confidence that the same Holy Spirit, Jesus the Son, and God the Father, will sprout, grow, and produce a great harvest from the seeds I sow!

 

 

 

Purpose of the Critter?

God says its worth the work of tending and guarding the garden of your heart.

God tells you not to give up, no matter how invasive the weeds or how destructive the critters!

God tells you this because He knows…

The condition of your heart determines the fruit of your life.

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” Proverbs 4:23

And, the condition of your heart affects what you say and do.

“What you say flows from what is in your heart.” Luke 6:45

God understands gardens and the work they require.

He planted a garden for Adam and Eve, filled it with beautiful plants and trees, and told them to tend it.

But even God had a critter get into His garden!

The critter got in and did a lot of damage by trampling God’s truths with his lies.

This is the same critter that creeps into hearts today with weeds of deception that choke out the abundant life God intends.

It is the same critter that comes in and tramples God’s truth with his lies and destroys us so that we are unable to produce the fruit He created us to bear.

God loved Adam and Eve, He created them to be loved by Him and He enjoyed their friendship; walking and talking with them each day. So when the critter came in and deceived them, breaking their relationship with God, God declared a death sentence over him.

And because God so loves everyone and creates us all to be loved by Him He sent His Son, Jesus, to destroy the damage the critter caused with his deception and lies.

But, even though all power has been removed from him, he still has permission to roam around in hearts to rob, kill, and destroy.

What is the reason God has given him permission?

God is a Good Father, so the reason must be a good one.

What purpose do weeds and critters serve in the good of my garden? How can there be any good found in them?

In my analogy what I find is that those invasive weeds and the cunning critters give me reason to tend and guard my garden regularly. 

I have seen the results of a neglected garden and its not pretty!

So, I have a choice of how I will respond to the weeds and critters that damage and destroy my garden.

And, God has given me a choice of how I will respond to the deception and lies that damage and destroy my heart.

Could God’s reason for allowing the critter to roam around with his deception and lies be so that I will realize how messy, unfruitful, and hopeless my life really is without Him? 

Could it be that the critter’s deception and lies bring me to the end of self so that I cry out to Him for help?

God has given me the freedom to choose.

Who’s voice will I listen to?

Who does my heart belong to?

Choosing to leave the weeds of deception and lies of the critter roaming my heart will not require any guarding or tending, but it will leave my heart messy an unfruitful.

Choosing to listen to the truth of God will require work to guard and tend my heart.

Knowing that the weeds of deception and the lies of the critter have been given a death sentence by Jesus’ death and resurrection…

and knowing the critter has no power, he is just a liar…

I can see them for the good God intends them to be. 

I realize those weeds are the very things that remind me of my need to diligently read God’s word every day. As I read His word the lies are exposed, pulled out, and replaced with God’s truth.

I realize it is the critter that brings me worry and anxiety that causes me to fall to my knees in prayer. It’s there on my knees where worry is turned to praise, anxiety is turned to hope!

Those very things meant for my harm are actually intended for my good!

Even though weeding and critter proofing our garden is a lot of work, there is a joy and satisfaction the comes from the effort. Knowing that my work is protecting the plants from harm and damage so that they can grow and produce good fruit encourages me to push through the digging, pulling, and stiffness I experience.

God’s Garden of Eden was perfect. It was a place where Adam and Eve found satisfaction in the work they were given to do. It was the place where their food grew that satisfied their hunger. And it was the place where they walked and talked with God.

 

This is the Good that God intends for you as well!

To do the work of tending the garden of your heart. To trust Him to provide for your physical needs. And to have a friendship with Him; to walk and talk to Him every day!

 

 

 

 

But what about those Critters?

Weeds are one thing. You can see them, pull them, and as long as you kill them off as much as possible, and daily pull any that keep popping up, you can keep your garden free of weeds.

But what about those critters?

I went into my garden the other day and found my perfectly smoothed garden beds full of holes.

I’ve heard that deer love freshly dug soil and that is what I think was the cause of the damage done to my garden beds.

So, I realized that the things we have put into place to keep critters out, the fencing Mark buried under the ground and the six-foot fence, just aren’t enough to do the trick.

So, again with my analogies…

As long as there were weeds growing in the garden beds I couldn’t tell if deer were jumping into my garden or not. As long as I wasn’t working in the garden I saw no evidence of their presence. But as soon as I began to pull the weeds, smooth the soil, and plant seeds; it was then I became aware.

That is just like your heart. When you aren’t tending your heart and are living in ways that seem right to you the weeds of neglect are creeping in, making a mess, and are feeding critters you aren’t even aware of.

It’s when you begin to get serious about the condition of your heart that you become more aware of all that your heart needs guarding from.

When you begin to read God’s word with full intention, not just out of duty…

When you allow God’s words to sink deep into your heart, instead of just reading words on a page…

When you decide to do God’s words, not just hear them…

That’s when the Holy Spirit opens your eyes to see where you have been wrong, you become convicted of sin, and you begin to pull out the weeds as you confess your sin.

That’s when the soil of your heart gets cleared, turned over, and smoothed out.

When you get serious about your faith and do the work of guarding your heart, you begin to live a life that produces a great harvest for the kingdom of God!

But, you also become a threat to the enemy and he increases his efforts to steal, kill, and destroy!

The damage the deer did to the soil of my garden was very discouraging. When I saw the holes their hoofs made and the tiny plants they trampled I wondered whether it was even worth all the effort. It caused me to question whether or not I wanted to keep working in my garden.

How important is a good harvest?

Is it worth more work?

“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” Galatians 6:9

God says it is!