I have the most annoying vine looking weed that has thorns on it growing in one of the raised beds in my garden. When I set it up two years ago, I fluffed the soil and added additional dirt, but I didn’t really pay attention to what was already around the area. As a result, we’ve got this vine that chokes out whatever it is that’s planted along where it snakes around. I went to grab it one day last year only to be stuck with one of the thorns. Because I didn’t take it out by the root then or remove it properly from the garden, this year, it’s weaved its way around my flowers and nothing is really growing. My flower garden is stagnant.
This is what happens when we allow sin to enter our lives. When bitterness, resentment, and sin come into our lives, without taking the proper steps to ensure it doesn’t take root, it’s allowed to grow and fester. It begins to take over our lives in ways we could never imagine.
God tells us that the fruit of the Spirit include joy, peace, patience, and self-control. But when we aren’t properly weeding our faith garden, it affects those fruits. The weed takes hold of the peace and leaves us with a feeling of jealousy that someone has something we aren’t able to have. It stunts the patience we have learned to understand when the anger takes over at being passed over for a promotion we thought we deserved. It strangles the self-control we have as we find ourselves trying to live in the world but not be of the world (Romans 12:2). Those menacing vines steal the joy we have in the Lord when we don’t remove them…and remove them at the root.
Just as it is in gardening, we can pick the weed out. We can pull at the vine to remove it to allow for more growth on the surface. However, when we don’t remove the full root that it’s attached to, it’s allowed to continue growing and being a menace.
We can’t just ask for forgiveness of sins and “hope” it doesn’t come back. We must repent—meaning to turn away—from what we have allowed to grow. Then we must take the root out. It may mean removing certain music from your life to prevent you from feeling a certain way. It may mean reexamining your friendships. It may mean recognizing that you need deeper study in the Word and less time on social media. But when we take out the root, we remove the hinderance and can see the beauty in the growth of a full and complete garden.
This doesn’t mean that other choking vines or weeds won’t come, but when we take out the root of the issue, we can find our hope in the Lord that says we can be more vigilant about what may come next. We can be prepared for what satan sends our way. God can have the victory in our lives!
This week, I’m praying that God reveals what the weeds are in my garden so that I can take them by the root and remove them! How about you?