Preparing the Garden - Encouragement Café - September 8, 2016

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Preparing The Garden
By Joan Walker Hahn
Thursday, September 8, 2016

So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.  The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor.  For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.  1 Corinthians 3:7-9 NIV

My family plants a garden every year.  Some years the harvest is plentiful and other years it’s scarce. 

One year we were still picking green beans up until the beginning of October!  It came to the point that I had canned all my cupboards would hold. I finally threatened my husband if he dared bring another bean into the house! 

But last year the drought was severe and I didn’t have enough produce to preserve anything. 

There’s a lot of work that goes into planting a garden.  The garden spot first has to be plowed, then tilled.  Once the rows are laid off, we add fertilizer as we plant the seeds.  Then the dreaded weeds have to be constantly hoed.  Occasionally we have to add a pest control product to keep the insects from damaging the plants. 

Once the plants start to bear, we fully appreciate all the work we had done.

So much about gardening can be compared to spiritual things. 

We all go through times when we are fully filled with the Holy Spirit and are growing immensely.  At other times, the cares of the world seem to cause a spiritual drought and that “pest” Satan, tries his best to choke out our joy as weeds do a garden.

A lot depends on how well prepared our hearts are to receive the things God is trying to implant within us. 

Is our heart in a condition where it’s ready to receive just as the soil is plowed and tilled before receiving the seeds?  Are we faithful to stay in His Word and allow it to feed our souls as a gardener must fertilize and control the attack of pests?

Growing spiritually does not happen automatically.  Just as a garden requires a lot of work before the plants bear their produce, so must we continue daily following Him.  And once we begin to see that growth, we still must continually watch out for our enemy that would love to just come in and keep us from bearing anything for God.

As we examine our hearts daily, we should ask ourselves, what is my spiritual garden producing?

Is your heart prepared for planting?  Our hearts are receptive when:

●      We have fully accepted Christ as our Savior and Lord.

●      We commit to draw closer to Him every day through Bible study and prayer.

●      We allow God to “weed” our lives of the things that are not of Him.

When we allow God to have full control over our hearts, He will plant within us the things we need in order to fulfill His purpose for our lives.  Then as His purpose if being fulfilled, we will receive a harvest of blessings and bear much fruit for Him.

Heavenly Father,  thank You, Lord, that You love me enough to not leave me in the condition I am in, but that You desire to grow me into Your image.  May my heart be fertile and ready to receive the things You want to plant within me.  Help me to allow You to cultivate my life so that it may yield a great harvest for You.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

© 2016 by Joan Walker Hahn.  All rights reserved.

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