Closing the Gates

September 18, 2012

Proverbs 4:23-27
Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.
24Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
25Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you.
26Make levelb paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm.
27Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.

Closing the Gates

This morning as I was meditating on what the Lord would have me to write. I saw like a story above me a ledge much like a balcony that was filled with flower pots.  The flowers had been covered with clear plastic and a cold wind was blowing.  From where I was looking the plastic was loose and the wind and cold air was able to get to the flowers and quite possibly freeze them, not because they weren’t covered, but because there was an entrance open through which the cold air could get to them.
What I was seeing through this that there are gates and the openings we may have in our lives that allow the enemy access to touch our lives with his death and destruction; not because we are not covered with the blood of Jesus, but because there areas in our lives we have left unguarded and open for the enemy to come in.  These openings are what the enemy looks for to gain entrance and establish strongholds in our lives.  Often, they may be subtle, verily noticeable and maybe even quite acceptable to the world around us.  Jesus said even a tiny mustard seed can grow into a great tree.  If that is true about faith, then it can be just as true about doubt, fear, unbelief, unforgiveness, impure thoughts, desires and motives, along with numerous other seeds of the flesh that we can allow access if unguarded.
The garden is a good analogy here, because in it we plant good seed of specific plants that we desire to grow to maturity and fruitfulness.  It is like the fruit of the spirit that we desire to cultivate through our relationship with Christ and the body.  For all of us that have ever planted and tried to raise a garden we find that along with the good seed that we planted something begins springing up along with our good plants.  They are called weeds.  While they are uninvited and we didn’t purposely plant those seeds, yet there they are competing for the water and the good soil we provide for the good plants.  One of the necessities of a good garden is not to only water and fertilize or feed it, but to weed it.  It is one of those chores that requires continued diligence, for when we become complacent the weeds can come up and quickly take over; choking out the good plants and stunting their growth and fruitfulness.  We know that we have to frequently go in and weed that garden, get the weeds when they are young and before they have a chance to grow up and go to seed.  We know that if we just pull the tops off, we’ve just dealt with the surface issues and they will soon be rearing their ugly heads again.  As long as the root is still there we haven’t effectively dealt with the weed.  Sometimes, as our garden is immature and still growing it is hard to discern the good plants from the weeds.  We may see the same principle among younger Christians or even in discerning our own behavior.  It may be hard to tell sometimes what is of the world and what is not.
What helps us to discern the difference, even in our own lives, of what is of God and what is not?  Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”  It is the instrument and tool that we use to uproot those weeds and bring separation between what is acceptable, good and perfect before God and what is not.
Open areas in our lives, unguarded, unprotected and untended can allow the enemy an access to come in.  Most all of us have our areas of weakness and vulnerability.  These are the areas where we need to be particularly vigilant.  Remember who you are and your identity in Christ.  Renounce in the name and by the blood of Jesus any such thing that endeavors to rob that identity from you.  The enemy is always after our identity and if he can cause us to believe the lie then he can cause us to operate and act outside of who Christ has redeemed us to be.  Guard your heart, weed your garden and make sure the covering of the blood of Christ  is secured in all areas of your life.



Parable of the Weeds

July 27, 2012

Matthew 13:32-43
Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”
37He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, 39and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
40“As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.

Parable of the Weeds

The Lord dropped this scripture my heart as I was asking Him about what to write.  As I read back over the chapter I guess I had heard the two parables, but it never really registered with me that there is “the parable of the sower”  and there is “the parable of weeds”.  Jesus’ disciples are asking Him to explain the parable of the weeds.   Let’s just list the metaphors to make it a little easier.
Sower of good seed = Jesus, the Son of Man
Good seed =  sons of the kingdom
Weeds = sons of the evil one
Enemy sowing the weed seed = devil
Harvesters = angels

Throughout the field of this world Jesus has planted His seed that are the sons of His kingdom.  But in the midst of this kingdom seed or kingdom son, the enemy, the devil has sowed weed seed.  Now, in the Lord’s wisdom, God has chosen to allow the two to grow together until the fullness of time or the harvest.
I find it interesting  and just food for thought that God didn’t just pull up His wheat first, put it in the barns and then destroy the weed.  He first dealt with the weeds in judgement. gather and burned them, then gathers the wheat. So when God comes to judge His house that is a good thing for the sons of the kingdom. “41The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.”  From this we can gather that up to the point of God’s judgement and harvest there is a mixture of good seed and the weeds growing together in the same field.  We can see through other parables, such as “the sheep and the goats” in Matthew 25 that God’s kingdom in the earth is a mixed bag.  Now the  distinguishing difference is the fruit that they produce.  Jesus told us that every tree produces fruit after its own kind.  When we look behind and in the way from where we have come from what kind of fruit trails behinds us?  What are we leaving in wake.  Is it life, blessing, goodness, kingdom fruitfulness in the lives of others, or is perhaps division, strife, backbiting, gossip, slander, jealousy, offense and unforgiveness, hurt and brokeness?   In 1 Corinthians 11:31-32 it is says, “But if we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment. 32When we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world.”  We definitely want God to deal with our issues now rather than later and we are exhorted to examine our own lives to be sure that the fruit we are producing and the kind of seed we are is a godly seed. We want to be sure we are allowing the Holy Spirit to prune and trim us so that we can be more fruitful and productive in the kingdom.
When we understand that not everyone who fellowships with the church and the body of Christ is of the body then we can be more discerning about who we follow and listen too.  The key sign here is the fruit of righteousness it is producing or the lack thereof.  Also, it important to note that God didn’t give us the job of tearing all of the weeds out, that is God’s job.
One analogy that I have heard is that this weed that was planted is also called darnel.  If it is eaten it will cause one to become lethargic, sleepy and ineffective.  It can eventually lead to death.  When it is fully ripe, it is distinguished from the rest of the wheat because its head is held high while the ripened wheat around it have their heads bowed low.
The lessons is that, yes, we should be aware of the weeds that surround us and understand that they are always going to be there until the harvest, so our focus is not on uprooting all of the weeds, but producing the fruit of what the DNA of the Sower of good seed has placed within us.  Allow your light to expose their darkness.  Allow your fruit to demonstrate what is truly of the kingdom and what produces fruitfulness for the King.


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