Mark Affleck

But I HATE Gardening, God.

June 24, 2021
Spiritual Growth

God started everything in a GARDEN by putting man in charge “to work it and keep it” (Genesis 2:15). And he encourages his followers today to be gardeners. He EXPECTS us to tend to the gardens in our life.
Gardens are inextricably linked to our faith walk and spiritual growth.
The first step in that process is to identify what gardens God has given us and then commit to nurture them day-in and day-out with disciplined consistency.
Our gardens are the roles and components of our life. My spiritual growth is a garden. My ministry is a garden. My role as husband and father is a garden. My career is a garden. My physical health and friendships are gardens. You get the idea. Looking at the parts of our life as gardens ELEVATES them in terms of importance. It puts God’s light on them. And it reminds us of OUR responsibility to pay attention to them.
We cannot grow all of the gardens we dream about. Our gardens must be prioritized because there are always more gardens that we want to establish than we have the capacity to manage in a Godly way. The seasons of life will rotate our gardens based on what they require at that moment in time.
The amount of focus we put on each one of our gardens MATTERS to GOD because he EXPECTS us to produce fruit (Luke 13:6-8). He is not happy when our gardens become parched, unproductive deserts of dust.
“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” Galatians 6:7
God holds righteous dominion over every part of our life, but he graciously gives us significant responsibility to tend to our gardens so they produce fruit and spiritual growth.
God is not patrolling our gardens with a stiff set of rules hoping we will fail under that pressure-induced fear. NO. He is watching intently and available to give us whatever we need to make our gardens grow. The only thing he asks is that we focus on him day and night, meditating on his Word frequently to nourish our faith (Psalm 1:1–3).
I want to be a good gardener. I want to tend the gardens God wants me to nourish. I want to have those gardens and my work in them produce fruit that glorifies him and brings others into his Kingdom.
Are you tending the gardens God has identified for you?
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8

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