Flowers or Weeds?
I love this time of year – the fresh, newness of the leaves on the trees, the bluebells, the cherry blossoms that have just burst into bloom, and my personal favourite – the daffodils that grow prolifically at the sides of the roads all around where we live.
On Saturday, while my husband and I were driving to the shops, I noticed something else though; in every patch of grassy area, all along the sides of the roads, literally thousands of bright yellow dandelion flowers have sprung up. The sun was shining on them, and against the backdrop of sky and sea, they looked so pretty. I said to David, “I’m looking at those dandelions and my brain’s telling me that they’re weeds, but somehow I don’t care, they still look beautiful”
As soon as the words were out of my mouth, the thought struck me that this is exactly the way the devil works in our lives!
Our enemy, Satan, presents things to us – shiny, attractive looking things that might look okay, they might even seem right, at first glance; but in truth, they are weeds.
These might not even be glaringly obvious temptations; sometimes they can start out as innocuous and innocent seeming – but as the saying goes “all that glitters is not gold.” Or as 12th century French theologian Alain de Lille wrote; “Do not hold everything gold that shines like gold”
Satan is hardly going to present himself as something unattractive is he? As we are warned in 2 Corinthians 11:14 “for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.” The enemy is a master at presenting himself as something that seems attractive at first glance.
There are some varieties of flowering weeds that are actually very pretty; but a weed is still a weed. We need to watch out for the weeds!
Invasive Weeds in The Garden of Your Heart
There is not much I can do about the billions of weeds growing at the sides of the roads all over Northern Ireland. Neither are they my responsibility.
But I am responsible for the weeds in my own garden; that is, the “garden” of my heart.
“My child, pay attention to what I say. Listen carefully to my words. Don’t lose sight of them. Let them penetrate deep into your heart, for they bring life to those who find them, and healing to their whole body. Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”
Any keen gardener knows that it doesn’t matter how pretty a flowering weed may look, if left to grow, it becomes invasive, can quickly spread, dominate, harm and even choke the very life out of other plants.
Weeds need to be identified and rooted out quickly.
So it is with weeds in our hearts:
Negative thoughts are weeds and can be dangerous and damaging if they’re left unchecked and entertained. If left to grow, or worse, encouraged to grow and spread, they will choke the life out of the good seeds and precious, beautiful flowers already growing in the garden of your heart – planted there by God.
We encourage these weeds to grow by speaking those thoughts out, thus giving credence to them; “I’m not good enough”, “God has forgotten about me”, “I can’t do this”, “God couldn’t possibly love me”, “I can’t forgive that person” – the list could go on.
We Pour “Weed Killer” on Weeds by:
Refusing to entertain thoughts that contradict the Word of God.
As Martin Luther famously said: “You cannot keep birds from flying over your head but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair”
Unlike other plants, weeds thrive on neglect; Neglect of the garden, neglect of the soil.
So if I want to have a heart full of weeds, it’s very easy; All I have to do is… nothing!; Just neglect to read my Bible, make little or no effort to talk to God or have any sort of meaningful connection with other Christians.
On the other hand if I want to keep the garden of my heart weed- free, I need to tend the soil; keep it soft and rich, free of contaminants, and nourished with the correct nutrients – the Word of God; because the heart is the place where God sows the seeds of His Word. Our hearts are the seedbeds of dreams, and needs to be guarded, tilled, and cared for.
Lord teach me today, to differentiate between weeds and flowers in my life; to cultivate only that which you have planted and to allow you to root out and remove those things that are not from you.
Also see Matthew 13:18–23