“It is because of the hasty and superficial conversation with God that the sense of sin is so weak and that no motives have power to help you to hate and flee from sin as you should.” -A.W. Tozer
I know I’m guilty of these type of superficial conversations with God that A.W. Tozer speaks of.
Oftentimes, I’m regretfully amiss in making my conversations with God another item on my to-do list.
On the outside I’m checking all the right boxes – keeping up with my devotionals and studies, all the while my mind is held hostage by my unruly thoughts which leaves no room left for the Lord.
My conversations end up being shallow and unrooted.
I allow other ‘non-important’ things to sprout up like out of control weeds and take captive of my every thought.
“And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” Colossians 2:6-7
The Lord doesn’t want to just sprinkle seeds on us in passing in hopes that at least one will sink in and sprout – no – He wants us deeply and beautifully rooted.
I’m no gardener, in fact, I have a black-and-blue thumb because every plant I touch ends up battered and bruised – I even destroy succulents! (Who knew that was possible?)
I do know that gardening takes time. It’s a process.
Before you even plop a plant in the ground or add a smidgeon of seedlings, the soil must be prepared.
Once that’s been cultivated, then the seeds can be placed in the ground, however, the care and cultivation process doesn’t stop there. The seedlings need nurturing and TLC.
If you try and do this process too hurriedly or skip it all together, you’ll end up with sad saplings on your hands – or worse yet, none at all.
Jesus gave us a perfect example of this in the parable of the seeds found in Luke 8:4-15, where the soil represents our heart and the seeds represent God’s word.
So how do we grow beautifully rooted and mature in faith when the world is overgrown with rocks and weeds?
Well here are six steps in preparing and tending to our garden so we can become rooted and fruitful in the Lord:
1. Prepare the soil
Before the Lord can plant His word deep down in our heart, we must prepare the soil. The best way to accomplish this is to pray – fervently pray – before seeking the Lord or studying his word.
We must ask him to cultivate our heart and remove any debris, worry or distraction that may be getting in the way and then, allow him to go to work.
2. Plant the seeds deep
This is where those shallow conversations come in. If we don’t thoroughly complete step 1; if we think we can just breeze through, glance over or skip about God’s word and get something out of it, we’re wrong!
Planting the seeds of God’s word takes time; His seeds are scattered all throughout and unless we hear them and cling to them with all our might, they will never take root deep down inside of us.
3. Get daily sun (Son)
What more can I say; daily doses of the Son of God is essential for our growth.
4. Get plenty of water
Only the quenching of the Holy Spirit can nourish us. We must ask God to drench our heart with His spirit and revitalize our soul everyday.
The Holy Spirit is like miracle grow for our soul – apart from Him, we become wilted and brittle.
5. Remove weeds and predators
It’s inevitable that weeds are going to sprout up and predators are going to attack, but it takes a conscious effort to persistently tend our garden and remove them immediately – a lot of times, we take all the necessary steps previously listed but FAIL here.
This is what A.W. Tozer was referring to, when we go about our faith hastily, we have no sense of sin – before you know it, the weeds and predators have wrapped around our thoughts and choked out our faith and we become powerless.
So be on guard!
Spend time with the Lord and continually ask him to pluck out the weeds and exterminate the predators, then sin will have no power and the enemy will have no choice but to flee.
6. Grow a mature and fruitful tree
“And the seeds that fell on the good soil represent honest, good-hearted people who hear God’s word, cling to it, and patiently produce a huge harvest.” (Luke 8:15 NLT)
God promises us a harvest if we don’t grow weary.
Just like with any garden, results are not seen above ground for weeks, months, or even years but what matters most is the work that’s transpiring deep down inside – that’s what makes us BEAUTIFULLY ROOTED.
Stop & Reflect: Do find yourself making time with the Lord another to-do item? Do you find yourself hastily tending your garden, only to wonder why you’re dry and brittle? What’s one thing you will do differently to help cultivate and grow mature and fruitful?
I’d love to hear your thoughts, please share your heart in the comments below.
Thank you for visiting and God bless.