"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me." - Galatians 2:20

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Friday, August 3, 2012

WEED AND FEED

Romans 8:13-14  (NIV 1984)  "For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God."



You are kidding me, right?!   How in the world did this occur?

While checking the status of the dishwasher last week I noticed something strange in the quarter-inch crack between the dishwasher and the counter.  

I maneuvered my fingers to pinch and pull, hoping to extract the unknown object from this narrow crevice.  After securing a quarter-inch of substance I began to lightly pull until about three feet became exposed.

Can you believe a weed from the outside of our house sneaked under the wood siding of our home, into our wall and began to grow in this crack by our dishwasher?  Crazy!  We inspected the outside wall behind this appliance and sure enough, we saw the invading culprit taking up residence in our domain.

Here's the irony: about six weeks ago my new friend Jennie came over for a visit.  She saw the nuisances and even warned me, "You've got to get rid of those nasty weeds.  They will rip the siding off your house if you're not careful."

She was right.  Because we didn't take the time to remove them or recognize the threat they posed, they started to worm their way in and create havoc.  

Like physical weeds in our yard or garden (or dishwasher), we also possess spiritual weeds.  They may present themselves differently at different times, but they are present.  If left unchecked they will continue to grow and cause problems in our lives.

These weeds can be blatant sin, weaknesses or struggles we face.  When we don't remove the weeds in our lives they begin to fester in our hearts and begin to invade areas of our lives that may shock us.  Weeds also have the potential to cause us to be choked out, unable to hear the Lord and may also lead to a disobedient life.

Spiritual weeds bear fruit and manifest themselves according to their kind.  
  • The weed of selfishness clinches to one's possessions and is reluctant to share.
  • The weed of pride insists on being right and possesses a high opinion of self.
  • The weed of being self-centered demands having one's own way.
  • The weed of bitterness resists forgiveness and is easily angered.
  • The weed of discontentment compares their life with others.
  • The weed of materialism seeks to have more things and the newest/nicest.
  • The weed of disrespect usurps biblical authority and is strong-willed and stubborn.
  • The weed of complacency lacks passion and purpose.
  • The weed of comfortableness ceases to be challenged in spiritual growth.
  • The weed of insecurity finds value and worth outside of Christ and His Word.
  • The weed of undiscipline lacks self-control or restraint.
At times, I struggle with each of the weeds mentioned above .  They rear their ugly head and my human flesh wrestles with my tendency to possess them.  I know I am created for more than bearing weeds.  God created me to bear His fruit.

In Romans chapter 8 Paul addresses our life in the Spirit.  He reminds his readers (vs. 5) the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit of God.  He also exhorts his audience (vs.11) to remember that the Spirit who raised Christ from the dead is the same Spirit living in us, which enables us to overcome our fleshly tendencies.  Because we live by the Spirit we must put to death the misdeeds of our carnal nature.

In my pursuit of Christ, the Lord makes me aware of the necessity to uproot my weeds and keep them under His control.  This is only possible through the strength and power of His Holy Spirit.  I can choose to surrender to my flesh or surrender my flesh to the Lord.  

Wouldn't it be nice to treat weeds once and be done?  But no, removing weeds is a daily battle.  This constant pursuit of checking our heart, seeking the Lord and striving to grow in His likeness enables us to keep our weeds under control.  This is truly a spiritual version of weed and feed: weed the weeds, feed the spiritual seed.  

Try these steps for maintaining weed control in your life:
  • Recognize and admit weeds exist.
  • Confess and repent of sin.
  • When a weed sprouts be proactive and get the root.
  • Daily seek the Lord's help in removing weeds.
  • Feed and nourish your soul with the right things so that weeds have less room to grow.
Don't feed the weeds.  Rather, weed the weeds and feed the seed!   

Heart Work:
Ask the Lord to reveal the weeds in your life. 

In the comment section below, share the side effects you experience when you fail to keep your weeds in check.

Heart Exam:
What weeds are you struggling with?  How willing are you to manage your weeds?

Do you feel weeds are taking control of your life?  How are you encouraged by this statement, "Removing weeds is a daily battle."?

How do you respond when others point out your weeds?

What are you feeding your soul?  Are you consuming the right spiritual food to help keep weeds at bay?

Heart Changing Word:
Matthew 13:26-27  "When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.  'The owner's servant came to him and said, 'Sir, didn't you sow good seed in your field?  Where then did the weeds come from?'  'An enemy did this,' he replied."

Romans 7:19-20 & 23  "For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do - this I keep on doing.  Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.  (23) But I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members."

Galatians 6:7  "Do not be deceived:  God cannot be mocked.  A man reaps what he sows."

Hebrews 12:1  "Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us."



Copyright 2012 by Hester Christensen.  All rights reserved.