Monday, April 16, 2018

The Unwanted Fig Vines

As for the seed that fell among thorns, these are the ones who, when they have heard, go on their way and are choked with worries, riches and pleasures of life, and produce no mature fruit. But the seed in the good ground – these are the ones who, having heard the word with an honest and good heart, hold on to it and by enduring, produce fruit.” Luke 8:14-15

I am on the Landscape Committee for our community, and I’ve been asked to identify initiatives to enhance the overall look. For many years the lower walls of the buildings have been covered with fig vines. These vines have become overgrown, and the decision was to tear them off the wall. They were snipped at the ground level and were removed. We met with our landscape company’s representative who walked the property with us. He explained that cutting the base of the unwanted vine was just the first step. He said that the ground needed to be tilled since the roots ran deep. Once removed, the soil should be treated, and healthy dirt should be brought in and added. Once the soil became healthy, only then would new growth appear producing beautiful blooms.

This morning in my Bible study this passage reminded me of my meeting with the landscape designer. I only need to look back to 2006 to remember a time when my spiritual life was choked out by the fig vines of the world. Growing up I had heard the message many times, but just like the vine my faith was unattended and neglected. That year the Lord came along and began the process of removing the dead vine which covered my heart. Over the last 12 years the tilling of my heart has continued. Some of it has been heart wrenching while other times it has been liberating. As He tilled up my heart, things were revealed that were stunting my spiritual growth. Roots that ran deep of earthly pleasures and subtle compromises were discovered. Daily He works on my heart preparing the soil making it fertile for future growth. But preparing our soil must be intentional, with willing hearts to be uncomfortable and remade from the inside out.

We are going to hear the message of God’s Word, but it is up to each of us as to how we will receive it, and what we will do with it. ‘We have to be receptive soil to God’s Word, His promises, and who He is. When we plant seeds of Scripture and the loveliness of the character of God continually in our hearts…we will be able to persevere. We will produce fruit…Yet for the sower, the soil is everything.’ Looking for Lovely, Annie Downs, p. 34.

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