This past weekend was the weekend of the annual spring clean up of the yard and the landscaping. It's one of those task I just dread getting started and usually procrastinate as long as possible. This year the rain we've had almost every weekend for the past month helped us to procrastinate! But with the rain stopped and finally being in town, we had to begin the large task at hand.
During the hours it took to pull the weeds from the landscaping and to replant new flowers in places, I had a lot of time to think. The gardening and pruning we do in our landscaping is a lot like the spiritual pruning we do in our lives. As I pulled weeds (which always seems like an endless task) I thought about the weeds that pop up in our lives. You can pull the weeds in the landscaping and plant new flowers and everything looks great. In fact, that always the best part. Being able to stand back and look at everything once you’ve finished. It gives you a real sense of accomplishment. But it doesn't end there. Within a week or so, and sometimes the next day, more weeds pop up. The only way to keep them gone is to treat them with something and even then you still have to continue to pull a few of them that keep popping up. You also have to water all the flowers you’ve planted. Without water, everything will die.
Our lives are the same way. Satan keeps putting little weeds in our path. You can try and pull them, maybe by trying to live your life right, but they just keep coming back. And if we’re not careful, the weeds will overtake our life just like they can overtake our landscaping. The only way to keep them from coming back or at least keep them from popping up so often is to treat them.
The only way to treat Satan's weeds are with the word of God. God's word is powerful, but only if we use it. It’s like using the word of God to water our lives every day to keep us alive. The only way to use it against Satan's weeds is by being in it every day. Being in the word every day gives us great power over Satan and the weeds he puts in our paths. It also gives us the water we need to sow the seed of the word in our hearts daily. God’s word will overtake any weeds Satan may try to plant.
Another thing we decide to do was to put in some steel edging around our landscaping to try and keep the grass from growing in. As we put that up for protection for our landscaping, I thought of what an awesome hedge of protection we will have in our lives to keep things from creeping in if we just stay in the word.
Pruning is never an easy process, whether in the landscaping or in our spiritual lives. In fact the word pruning just sounds painful to me. The definition of pruning is " To cut off or remove dead or living parts or branches of (a plant, for example) to improve shape or growth; To remove or cut out as superfluous". Yes, sometimes pruning means cutting off things that are still alive. That is the painful part. But if we are going to prune our lives, we sometimes have to cut out things that are "living" within us.
If you're like me, you may not know what superfluous means. Superfluous means "Being beyond what is required or sufficient". Wow!!! Pruning means we are striving to be beyond what is required or sufficient. Isn't that just what God wants to do in our lives!!! He wants to give us and be in us more than we can possibly imagine. He wants us to be sufficient only through Him. God is the only one who can make us be beyond what is required or sufficient. Nothing else.
God gives us many weapons to use against Satan, but we will never no what they are if we don't give Him the opportunity to tell us. May God continue pruning us all so that we will all be "beyond what is required or sufficient!