Little can compare to a peaceful stroll through a beautiful garden. When vibrant colours and fragrances are blended in with the fresh outdoors air, it makes for a tranquil yet exhilarating, sensory feast!
The Bible often likens our lives to being gardens, designed and destined to produce healthy, life giving fruit and beautiful attributes that constantly showcase God's glory at work in our lives.
Just like any garden on earth, the gardens of our lives, being our hearts and minds, need constant nurturing and care. Neglect to pull out weeds that have the power to choke and destroy life giving seedlings, can result in our gardens becoming lifeless, barren and dry wastelands. That's why the Word of God constantly reminds and warns us to be vigilant and on the lookout for things, like harboured offences and unforgiveness, that can steal our peace and joy and cripple our life giving faith.
Now, just as important as ridding our gardens of harmful weeds, is the process of nurturing life giving seeds!
God's Word in our hearts produces faith!
I believe, that the most vital tool we possess to cultivate and nurture the seeds of life and faith in our gardens is to keep God's Word planted in our hearts.
Every promise concerning us in the Word of God, every spiritual gift and the complete work of the cross has already been secured and accomplish by Christ Jesus. By His grace, we can live in the fullness of His blessing and freedom from every work of the enemy. However, scripture clearly teaches that the way we live out that fullness of life is through faith. Remember, by grace it has been made available for us, through faith in Christ Jesus, we walk in the reality of the blessing (Romans 5:2 and Ephesians 2:1).
If you understand the powerful force of faith, you will know that firstly, it is the currency of the kingdom of God. Without faith it is impossible to receive the finished work of the cross in our daily lives. According to God's Word, at the point of salvation, every believer is granted a measure of faith. When we believed the Word of God, which is an incorruptible seed, and received its truth in our hearts, it produced the faith to receive Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. The incorruptible seed of God's Word, when planted into the soil of our hearts, always produces life giving, supernatural faith. The book of Romans teaches that we are able to increase and grow our faith, every time we hear and receive the Word of God in our hearts. In other words, the more time we invest in meditating and feeding our minds and spirits on the Word of God, the more it affects our belief system and produces faith. Keeping God's Word in our hearts and minds will keep a steady flow of life producing faith in the gardens of our lives.
Our words of faith produce life!
Another vital tool I believe we possess, to cultivate and nurture the seeds of life and faith in our gardens is our tongues!
Do you know why? Our tongues dominate our thinking! Our tongues can keep us right in or out of the blessing of God. It's not sufficient to just stop speaking negatively, we actually need to release the power and life giving faith of God's Word into the gardens of our lives by declaring the truth of God's Word!
The way that faith becomes activated to produce life in the gardens of our lives, is when the truth we believe in our hearts, from God's Word, becomes the words we speak with our mouths. Simply put, our words must line up with what we believe. When we release our faith filled confession into the atmosphere, through our words, it will never return void, but will always accomplish what it was purposed to do! Isaiah 55:11 says, "So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please." When we speak words of faith, the gardens of our lives begin to flourish with the blessing and life God's Word promises!
Our Worship produces peace and rest!
One of the greatest blessings we receive when enjoying a walk in a beautiful garden, is the overwhelming sense of peace and rest.
I believe that the gardens of our lives can and will produce that overwhelming, supernatural peace and rest in our lives when we begin to look past our troubling circumstances and choose to put our focus on Who God is in our lives. Intentionally placing our eyes on Jesus, causes our spirits to soar when we see His unconditional love for us and understand His grace towards us. His power and might are incomparable and His intense delight to see us whole and free and victorious in this life, causes us to stand in awe of His awesome presence and simply worship Him.
We may be physically in the same natural realm as our problems but when we connect in the Spirit in worship, praise and thanksgiving, our hearts and minds transcend the natural realm right into the supernatural presence of God to where we are seated in heavenly places with Jesus. A place where we see things from His perspective, where we are already victorious! Directly into the throne room of grace where He has promised to meet us at our point of need. In worship, we are no longer bound to our circumstances, they have no power over us, we are in the presence of our Covenant Partner, Who has already overcome all for us!
When we worship God, we surrender all of who we are into His will. We put our complete trust in Who He is and what His Word says concerning us. We don't worship to receive our healing or any promise He has already made available to us by grace. No, we worship as an act of surrendering our all to Him. We enter the secret place of the Most High, where we trust Him completely, and we receive our rest and assurance that in Him, we receive that healing and all we will ever need for victory in this life.
That's what God taught Moses, in the book of Exodus. He told Moses that His presence would go with him and in His presence he would find rest. Not the rest of being idle and doing nothing. The rest of absolute confidence, that no matter what, God would sustain him and fulfil every promise concerning Him.
When we worship the Lord and allow ourselves to see things from this perspective, peace comes - that fearless confidence that cannot be shaken!
No matter what storm our gardens of life may face, having our hearts secure in God's word and rooted in His love, we will remain secure in His presence and produce the peaceful, life giving fruit that will bring abundant blessing into a world that so desperately needs it.
Keeping God's Word alive in our hearts and releasing its power through our words will cause the gardens of our lives to be bursting with life and vitality. And with a spirit of worship and praise continuously on our lips, we will know the peace of God and remain in a place of rest while His perfect will is accomplished in and through our lives. This is how our gardens grow.
Worry is a weed that will most certainly choke the life and faith right out of our lives! That's why Peter says we are to waste no time in casting it right out of our lives and replacing it with the truth of God's Word!
Psalms 55:22 confirms this: "Cast your burden on the Lord [releasing the weight of it] and He will sustain you; He will never allow the [consistently] righteous to be moved (made to slip, fall, or fail)."
Keeping our lives free from worry is a very important part of tending the gardens of our lives. The more we spend time getting acquainted with the truth of God's Word, we are able to identify and differentiate between thoughts that are inspired by faith and thoughts inspired by fear.
The Word of God clearly instructs us to be diligent in this regard. We are to keep guard over our minds and hearts and not allow worrisome, fearful thoughts to contaminate the soil of the gardens of our lives. Be ever mindful of how your garden is growing. What a joy it will be to see how God's peace and love saturate every part of it, radiating His mercy and blessing. Happy gardening.