Be Ruthless! Be Consistent! Be Faithful!

I am paying to kill my lawn! That’s right, this Spring I finally broke down and contracted a lawn company to make my lawn a luscious, weed-free green carpet that would make Augusta National envious (not to mention, my neighbors…even Larry two doors down whose lawn has been MY secret envy for twenty years 🙂 ). The only problem is that my lawn is now worse than it has ever been! What happened? Do I demand my money back, after all it IS satisfaction guaranteed? My “highly trained and well-experienced ”lawn care technician explained to me that this is a TWO year program (of course!). BEFORE we do anything, we must FIRST kill the weeds (wow, are they stubborn!) The weeds have got to go so that the new grass will have the room and nutrients to grow healthy. Presently the weeds are sapping the life out of any grass trying to grow. We’ve also got to build up the soil with fertilizer and lime so that when we core aerate and overseed in the Fall (surprise, an extra fee), the grass will have a healthy environment in which to thrive. And then, drum roll please…VOILA – next year, a lawn to rival the ninth fairway at Augusta National (ok, I will settle for the sixth rough at Chisel Creek).

Somehow this hits close to home. How many “weeds” are in my life that are choking out the fruit of the Spirit and sapping my spiritual vitality? Hebrews 12:1 exhorts us to “lay aside every weight, and the sin that clings so closely. ”The need to be right, the pursuit of one’s own comfort and convenience, an unforgiving spirit, pride, self-centeredness are just some of the stubborn “weeds” that need to be “put to death” in our lives so that the fresh, new green grass of the Spirit can grow and thrive. Perhaps for you it is too much TV or poor financial habits or social media is robbing you of quality time. We all have weeds that need to be uprooted! When it comes to weeds… Be ruthless!

What kind of environment are you cultivating, let’s say, in your relationships? I often tell young couples preparing for marriage that the MOST important thing you can do to foster good communication is to cultivate the right environment – that is – treat one another with respect,

have one another’s back, be kind, courteous, gracious, and appreciative while avoiding harsh tones, criticism, sarcasm, and yelling. In the same way, we can create an environment for God’s Spirit to work by regularly exposing ourselves to His Word and consistently meeting with God’s people for worship. Don’t get sloppy over the summer –“not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some…” (Hebrews 10:25). Notice both are habits–whether consistently meeting together or NOT – they become patterns habits, which are hard to break. When it comes to cultivating a good environment…Be consistent!

Finally, I WISH my lawn would be lush and green THIS year! But sometimes things have to get worse before they get better. Often barrenness precedes fruitfulness. Godliness is not instantaneous. Nor does it develop mostly through the good times, though we welcome them with gratitude. God does some of His best work in the darkness but always remember, “Even the darkness is as light to God.” (Psalm 139:12). You may have chosen to do the RIGHT thing – and since then the bottom has fallen out. Take heart, “joy comes in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5). When it comes to hard times…Be faithful!

So…maybe that “highly trained and well-experienced” lawn care technician knows more than I think he does after all. I know this – he has taught me a few things this summer. Now, if you will excuse me, I have to go find my 7 iron…just you wait til next year!!

In His lavish GRACE,
Pastor Bill

About the Author

Christian. Senior Pastor of Bible Fellowship Church of Newark. Husband. Father of 4 daughters. Grandfather.