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Are you preventing, protecting & removing


Hearing God in the Garden: A summer blog series


For any of you who share the love of gardening with me, I would guess that you also share my extreme dislike of weeds. Where in the world do those pesky things come from? It seems as though they just appear overnight. I can spend hours in the garden one day picking them all out only to walk out two days later to see them everywhere once again. A couple of years back, I started using weed control fabric. Now let me just tell you, this stuff was a game-changer. It was a genius invention –meant to keep away the bad and create a better environment for the good. But even though the fabric provided protection against the weeds, they always seem to pop up right around the edges, just looking for a way in. So how do you defeat the weeds? First, you must have the knowledge to recognize them, next you need to understand the magnitude of destruction they can cause in your garden, and last but certainly not least, have an accurate knowledge of how to defeat the weeds when there has been a flaw in your method of prevention?


“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

So how do you gain knowledge of something? You look to trustworthy sources, you study them, know them and understand them. If you are unable to recognize the difference between your plants and the weeds, chances are you may kill the wrong one. And just like those annoying little weeds in our garden, sin seems to have the same effects in our lives if we allow it. We must have a knowledge of the truth of scripture. And the truth is that every bit of the Bible was breathed out and inspired by God, therefore every word in it can be trusted and relied on. The problem that most of us face with sin is that we don’t recognize it quickly enough to prevent it from welcoming itself into our lives. And the reason we don’t recognize it is that we don’t have an adequate understanding of God’s Word. Good fruit will never be produced by a weed just as sin will never bring forth anything eternally profitable for your life. Knowledge is power in any circumstance and God’s Holy Word is a gift to be enjoyed every single day. The more time you spend in it, the more easily you can discern right from wrong, good from bad, and life from death.


“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8

One weed unattended can destroy an entire plant. Regardless of the fabric that I lay down to protect my plants from the weeds, there are always areas that I may have missed –areas that aren’t fully protected. Guess what? That is where the weed sneaks in every time. I have had moments just like this in my life. Moments where I have slipped away from my time with God and as a result of this my focus and attention were placed on my desires instead of God's plan. I minimized the effects of sin. Instead of being grounded in God’s direction, I slipped up and allowed myself to think that the particular sin was just not that big of a deal. It is imperative that we understand the magnitude of the damage that is caused by sin. Whether you view it as a big sin or a little sin; is irrelevant because, in the end, it’s still sin. And sin not confessed before God and repented of leads us down a devastating path. Not just for ourselves but for everyone around us.


“So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” 2 Timothy 2:22

The sad reality is that sometimes, even with my best efforts put forth, the weeds still get into my garden, take root, and grow. Maybe I was lazy and slacked on checking on it for a few days. Maybe the weed was hiding underneath something, or maybe I just wasn't paying enough attention to my surroundings to know it was even there. But just because I know that, regardless of my efforts, inevitably a weed or two will find its way into my garden. The same is true for the sin in our lives. Unfortunately, from the beginning of the creation of the first man and woman, sin has been a part of this world. And regardless of your knowledge and diligence in keeping sin out of your life, sometimes it just creeps in. So, what do we do when we find ourselves in this place? The place where we recognize that there are areas in our lives that are in direct opposition to the truth of scripture? Never, ever should any sin be taken lightly. Flee, run, and get away as fast as you can. When we entertain sin in our minds, it has this way of justifying itself in our hearts. Another way of putting it is, don’t ride the fence when you know that you have a chance of falling off on the wrong side. None of us are exempt from temptation and sin, but each one of us has the chance for redemption found in Christ.


“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation, he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it” 1 Corinthians 10:13

If you find yourself being choked out by the weeds, be reminded today that redemption is found only in Christ. On our own, we will never be strong enough to fight the battles that this world throws at us. God knew that we would struggle in sin and temptation, but He is always faithful, and His word promised that He would always give us a way out of that temptation. Never on our own strength but through the power of Christ in our lives.


Have you become lazy in your prevention of the weeds in your life?


Are there areas, even though your best efforts were put forth, the weeds still crept in?


Are you relying on your own strength to fight the passions of the flesh or abiding in the true King?


When God sent His one and only to this earth to die on a cross for our sins, we were freed from the curse of death and given a new life to walk in freedom. A life where we are no longer enslaved by our sin when we are surrendered to Him. If you have never found that freedom in Christ, I encourage you to spend some time in these verses out of Romans called the Romans Road to Salvation.


AS HUMANS, WE ALL HAVE SINNED

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).


THE CONSEQUENCE OF SIN

“For the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).


THE FREE GIFT OF GOD

“But the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

“But God shows his love for us in that while we were

still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).


OUR CONFESSION

“Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your

heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).


THE ASSURANCE OF OUR SALVATION

“‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved’” (Romans 10:13).



 

Spiritual Disciplines


Spiritual Disciplines have been such a ginormous part of my growth in Christ. These disciplines changed my daily walk with the Lord and have taught me about reliance and dependence on Him! My prayer is that this space can help deepen your knowledge and understanding by teaching you to lean in closer to God. With that being said, my goal is to incorporate these disciplines slowly so that you can gain a clear picture and understanding of each one as well as learn how to incorporate them into your daily walk with the Lord. Here is a list of the 8 disciplines that we will cover. If these disciplines are already a regular part of your day, now is a great opportunity to reach out to a friend that could use some help learning and growing.


  • Bible Study

  • Memorization

  • Meditation

  • Prayer

  • Worship

  • Evangelism

  • Fasting

  • Solitude

We have now covered the eight tangible spiritual disciplines that growing in God focuses on. IF you missed any of these, please go back and review them in the past blogs.


 

This week, the daily readings will focus on being steadfast in your knowledge and understanding of God as well as recognizing and fighting temptations in your life

This week's Bible Study:


-MONDAY: proverbs 1

-TUESDAY: 1 Peter 5

-WEDNESDAY: 2 Timothy 2

-THURSDAY: 2 Timothy 3

-FRIDAY: 2 timothy 4

-SATURDAY: Psalm 119

-SUNDAY: 1 Corinthians 10




 

This week's verse to memorize and meditate on:

“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation, he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it” 1 Corinthians 10:13



 



Tips and challenges this week:

  1. If you have not already, begin implementing spiritual disciplines into your daily walk with God.

  2. Some like to begin by adding one at a time.

  3. Dig deeper and gain a better understanding of the meaning and purpose behind each discipline.

  4. Find an accountability partner that can encourage you in your time spent with the Lord. (For help with this, check out our accountability groups. Scan the QR code at the bottom of this page for more information.)





 

Private Facebook Discussion Group

Would you like to dig a little deeper into your weekly reading and spiritual disciplines? Join our Facebook group where we learn, grow and encourage one another.



 
Questions?

If you have questions or things that you don't understand, please email them to me and I will add them to the Q&A section. I can't promise you that I will have all of the answers, but I can promise I will do my best to find them if I don't have them.


 

Growing in God

Would you like a tool to encourage your growth in God? Check out my newly released 12-month spiritual disciplines book/journal. This journal will give you a brief understanding of 8 tangible spiritual disciplines as well as give you a space to implement these disciplines into your daily walk with God.


 











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