Summer is definitely over and we are well into the fall season. With temperatures at 29 this morning, frost is definitely on the pumpkin! I’m always glad to announce that the canning season is officially over! On Monday, my husband tilled the garden, pulled out the frost-wilted flowers and mowed were it was needed. Now, as I look out my kitchen window, everything is neat and tidy—ready for the snow!
Neat and tidy…hmm. It made me wonder if my spiritual house matches my physical one. What does a “neat and tidy” spirit look like? Do you see any parallels, like…
- Gathering the fruit of your labors and preserving them—How much time do I spend gleaning truths from God’s Word and storing them for later use by preserving them in my heart through memorization?
- Tilling the ground—Tilly the rototiller chews up the dirt, loosening the clods and chopping up any left over, unwanted growth, turning them into fertilizer (sort of). Have I allowed the Lord access to my heart—going deeper than the surface which is what everyone else sees? Isn’t it wonderful that God can take all the unwanted weeds in our lives and turn them into something worthwhile? When we surrender our bad habits, wrong actions, words and attitudes, and other sins to God, He can use them to make us more aware the next time we struggle, fortifying us to bring forth more fruit!
- Put out the dead flowers—Do you have any “dead” spots in your spirit—Jude called them “spots in your feast” and “clouds…without water” (Jude 1:12). Even though the passage is actually talking about lost folks, we can certainly apply it to areas in our lives where we are fruitless. Satan sends a chilly wind of opposition and our hearts grow cold. He sends temptations and our resolve withers and we yield. He whispers words of doubt and distrust and the chilling effects of fear freeze out God’s fiery Spirit, making us barren or stagnant.
It takes a lot of work to keep a place neat and tidy. It’s much easier to just ignore the weeds or faded paint. It takes time and effort. So often, we just run out of time and can’t seem to get everything done! But when that starts to happen to our spiritual house, the consequences can be eternally disastrous!
Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; Hebrew 12:15
This verse may be talking about roots of bitterness, but we can plug in any “weed” that we are struggling with and apply the results:
- We are troubled by whatever the sin. We may not want to call some of our bad habits sin. In fact, we are often accused of legalism if we even hint that unfaithfulness to church services is a sin. What is it that “troubles” your spirit in your life? What can YOU do about it?
- Many are defiled. This is such a frightening statement. Who will be affected by my lack of dedication, bad testimony, or hobby horse? Am I speaking the truth in my heart concerning my sin?
Do you see the remedy? “Looking diligently…” When we are diligent in our walk, the result is a neat and tidy testimony for our gracious Lord and Savior! I enjoy the compliments we get about our home and the way it looks and feels, but more than those compliments, I long to hear “Well done, thou good and faithful servant” when Jesus comes to call!