Sunday, April 22, 2012

Weeds #2

It was a while ago, but I think that I wrote about weeds.  I mean, I like my lawn to be weed free and I especially like my garden weed free.  As I stated before, there are some funny tings about weeds.  You never plant them - they just show up.  Some of them are very hardy and don't need a ton of water to live (when your yard is brown in August, there are still nice green spots of weeds!).  They tend to grow faster than what you are trying to grow.  They spread.

My daughter is having a graduation open house this summer so the I have a project list to accomplish around the house.  One of the projects is to clean up some of the landscape beds - in particular one that is really weed infested.  As I examined the area a couple of weeks ago, I sighed - TONS of weeds have overtaken the ornamental grasses that I had planted there a few years ago - in particular quack grass.  The problem with quack grass is that the roots go every where.  When I tried to weed it, I found the roots of the quack grass had wrapped itself around the roots of the ornamental grasses so I could not remove the weed without damaging the plant.  I finally decided that the only option I had was to spray Round Up on the whole area, kill everything and then start over.

Life lesson - don't let the weeds grow.  Get rid of the root of bitterness EARLY (Heb. 12:15) before it consumes you.  Get rid of the weeds in your life that are keeping you from experiencing the fullness of God - the weeds of disobedience, the weeds of a bad habit, the weeds of anger, the weeds of - pick your favorite sin. 

I am afraid if we don't get rid of the weeds in our lives, they will consume us - even Christians!  They will continue to grow until we find the fruitfulness of our lives overcome by the weeds of sin.  The lesson of this year was that if I don't take care of the weeds, there might be whole areas of my life that needs to be killed so that something good can grow.  Frankly, it seems a whole lot easier to pluck a few weeds in the short term then it is for God to have to wreak havoc in an area of my life because I allow the weeds to grow and consume me. (Did you hear who's responsibility it is to remove the weed?  Mine.  Yes I have the Spirit of God to help.  Yes the power of change comes from God, but I have to take the step to WANT to get rid of it.)

Start pulling those weeds today!!!

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Been thinking more about complacency and how it impacts my spiritual life.  It is amazing to me how easily I slide into not doing the work that I know I need to do to maintain a relationship.  This is true not only with my relationship with God, but also in my other key relationships. I find this is true with my wife, my kids, etc.  I forget that relationships take work - time, thought focus, prayer, action, communication - relationships, good ones, long lasting ones - don't just "happen". 

From a spiritual sense, the work is on my end - God never moves away from a relationship with me; I move away from my relationship with Him.  One problem I is that I have an enemy that is relentless; who is, along with his forces, constantly working on moving me away from God (see Ephesians 6:12).  He is bent on ruining my relationship with God.  The other problem I have is me.  The human tendency, my tendency, is toward complacency, toward "resting on my laurels", toward moving away from God instead of toward Him, toward wanting something (a relationship) for nothing (no work), toward self centeredness and feeding my flesh, instead of being centered on God.  For sure the Spirit is working to maintain that relationship, but MYwork is to follow the Spirit and DO the things that I know I need to do.

I have to make conscious decisions, I have to consciously work,to maintain or I will slide.  If I let my guard down, if I coast, if I become complacent, if I rest on my laurels - my relationship with slide.

I guess that is why I wrote this.  I have to remind myself that I have to be diligent.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Complacent Grace

What is the third thing you do when you are driving in the winter and you start sliding around on a slippery road?  (The first thing you do is correct the problem.  The second thing you do is take a couple of deep breaths and let your heart settle down.)  You slow down.  You pay more attention to the road conditions and to the cars around you. You begin to believe that YOU can have an accident.  You are shaken from your complacency; shaken from thinking that nothing will happen to you because nothing has.

Complacency seems to be a human characteristic.  There are so many areas of our lives that we just settle into and become complacent.  Parenting - until one day we wake up and our child is suspended from school.  Marriage - until one day we are told by our spouse that she doesn't really love us any more.  Work - until we find our selves on the receiving end of a pink slip.

Spiritually.....  Our relationship with God.  When we do receive a wake up call?  When are we shaken from complacency?  I think there are three times when we can be shaken.  First, at funerals - when we are faced with the fact that we are going to die one day.  Secondly, when we die and stand before our creator and the events of our lives are reviewed.  Thirdly, when we look at scripture and allow the Holy Spirit to work within our soul.

The first, funerals, typically are few an far between when we are young and really have the energy to change.  The second, death - well, then it is too late to do anything.  The last is something that we can control.  We can pick up the scriptures and be challenged.  We have the ability to read.  We have the ability to allow the Holy Spirit to speak to us.

So why don't we choose to shake ourselves out of complacency?  Why don't we pick up the scriptures?  Because we are complacent.  Vicious circle isn't it.

I find myself too often content, complacent.  I have been saved from sin and from eternal damnation, isn't that enough?  I mean, why is it important for me not to be complacent.  I will write more about this in my next post.  Stay tuned.....