"Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flows the springs of life." Proverbs 4:23
I heard my garden neighbor say she had to dig up an entire section of good plants because something was wrong in the soil. To my eye all looked well. She pointed out the yellow leaves on the plants, but it didn’t look so bad to me. The plants appeared to hold so much promise of good fruit. Couldn’t she just spray the plants and carry on?
As a Master Gardner she knew good soil is the treasure and only good soil will produce good crops. So early she arose the next morning to attack the problem with a vengeance. After the plants were removed the soil was tested and found to have a fungus that had to be treated. She knew she had to remove the plants in order to properly take care of the soil before it spread ruining the entire garden.
What truth the garden continues to show us!
The principle is the same in the garden of our hearts. On the surface a life can look healthy, pretty and successful, but what’s going on down deep in the soil will eventually affect everything. If left untended, the fungus will grow and choke out the life that produces good fruit. It takes a watchful eye and great diligence to keep a healthy heart.
It’s easy to ignore a little yellow leaf here and there but the Spirit convicts us of those little things that are rooted deep down in our heart. It may look like we are producing good things, but the truth be known, it is often rooted in pride, people-pleasing, performance and religious activity. We produce some good stuff, but with a wrong motive. Oh, how we need the Master Gardner to show us the truth of our soil. He is the One to test it and show us the truth of what is going on.
We can be so quick to excuse what is going on or even defend the good things in our lives, but it is often the good things that are choking out the best. We play like we are God knowing what is best in our life, but we know there is only one God and it’s not me. We can trust that He knows what must go. He knows about the fungus spreading in our soil, seeking to take out our faith and our spiritual growth.
He knows when a person is taking His place, becoming a little treasured idol, or the one who is toxic spreading poison throughout our life. He knows when we are gaining security from good things or fulfilling positions. He sees the attitude that is tainting the soil. He detects the bitterness waiting to turn to anger. And yes, He sees the unforgiveness that is hardening our soil a little more each passing day.
When God shows us the signs, we need to arise early and go after it with a tenacity and determination.
We do this by quickly responding to what He shows us. Quickly obeying everything He says. The outcome is a healthy garden producing much for the glory of God.
Spirit of God, come and look over my garden. Show me truth of what is down deep in the soil of my heart. Give me courage to say no, where I need to say no. Make me brave to remove people from your position. Clean up my heart, dear Lord. Soften my heart as I forgive. Apply your blood and kill any fungus sin that is hindering growth. I trust you to do this work Lord. It is worth it all to have a heart pleasing to You.
“Then you will be able to live as the Lord wants and will always do what pleases Him. Your lives will produce all kinds of good deeds and you will grow in your knowledge of God.”