Hearing God in the Garden: A summer blog series
I recently came across a picture of my raised bed garden right after it was built. It was clean, fresh, and beautiful. That newly constructed garden bed was now ready to be planted. But I had to wait because even though the construction was complete, the timing was just not ready. The outcome of a garden depends on proper timing. If you plant too early the frost will kill the young seedlings and if you plant too late there is not sufficient time for that same seed to germinate and grow into a mature plant that will offer a fruitful harvest.
The picture above moved me to look back over my life as a Christian. It reminded me that timing is everything and that stepstones throughout your life should be expected. Care should be taken at every new stage of growth to mature and prepare for the next stage. I must admit that I have had many moments when I have tried to leapfrog over several steps to get to the next stage more quickly. The result was that I had to go backward and restart.
“I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for his name's sake.” 1 John 2:12
When we first accept Christ as our Lord and Savior, we are little children. At this point, we generally have limited knowledge of the Bible, but are typically on fire to learn and grow. We look at what He did for us when He saved our souls and our heart experiences the awe and majesty of His goodness. We rest in the freedom that comes from knowing that we now serve a God who knows us, loves us, and forgives us. Just as the timing of the garden is critical so is this stage of our walk. The seedling must take time to grow its roots and establish a sturdy foundation, so it is with the life of a new believer. Sometimes our mistakes in these moments come from simply not allowing God the chance to grow us in the current stage. We want to learn just a little and then rush to the next stage. Here He wants us to rest in Him and gain knowledge of who He is and what He wants to do in our life. This growth and strength prepare us for the next stage. So, if you are a new believer, do not rush to the next step. Just rest Here and allow the One who saved your soul to grow you more into the likeness of Him.
“I am writing to you, fathers because you know him who is from the beginning.” 1 John 2:13
Just as there are children, there are also fathers. These fathers have grown from a seedling with tiny roots that had an eagerness to grow into mature plants with a solid foundation. They have weathered the storms and stood strong throughout each season of growth in addition to the hardships they may have endured. They have had the benefits of learning from Christ as well as the experiences that life has offered to them. They have witnessed firsthand the goodness that comes from living in Christ solely as well as the riches of His grace and mercy. That plant grew to maturity because of its patience in each stage along the way. Have you been a follower of Christ for many years? Have you gained an understanding of Christ and positioned Him at the head position of your life? Are you able to look back over your life and see the multitude of ways that He has grown you from a little child to a father? Celebrate this stage. You are a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. (Jeremiah 17:7-8) But fathers, remember... even in this place of your walk, God is still growing you. If you are still here, then He is still molding you more into His image.
“I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one.” 1 John 2:13
And just as there are children and fathers, there are also young men. These are ones that have stood on the front line, face to face with the enemy, and have overcome Him only with the knowledge they have obtained from the stage as a child. The stage, if you remember, where they rested in the goodness of God. They are seedlings that have grown, matured, and are dependably producing fruits for Christ’s sake. These people are paving the way for the ones coming behind them. They are reliable leaders who use their lives to set an example of what it means to live devoted to Christ. If this is the stage you find yourself in, be assured that the young believers are trusting in you to set an example for them. An example that will give them the courage and boldness that they need to live for Christ.
Whatever stage you find yourself in today, I encourage you to rest in Christ there and let Him grow you exactly where you are. There is a purpose in each stage. Follow in obedience one step at a time at God's pace and not your own. Without the seedling, the harvest is impossible. But in that same way, if the seedling is not cared for in that time, the foundation will never be formed.
Are you a new believer? Rest in the beauty and wonder of the almighty.
Are you a father? Enjoy the fruits of your labor and stay on the path.
Are you a young man? Keep fighting, the children walking behind you need you as an example to follow.
This week, the daily readings will focus on listening to God, learning His ways, and resting in His goodness
This week's Bible Study:
-MONDAY: 1 John 2
-Tuesday: Psalm 25
-WEDNESDAY: Psalm 143
-THURSDAY: Psalm 32
-FRIDAY: Philippians 4
-SATURDAY: Psalm 100
-SUNDAY: Exodus 34
This week's verse to memorize and meditate on:
"I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for his name's sake. I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one."
1 John 2:12-13
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.