IF YOU MISSED PART 1, CLICK HERE!
Jesus is the Gardener. Unlike the first Adam who disobeyed and failed to keep God’s garden, Jesus stands guard over the Church today. He fulfilled His Father’s will when He submitted and went to the cross. Now He stands ready to intercede for whoever will call upon His name. Jesus!
Growing in the Garden of God
If you know anything about growing things, gardens don’t just happen naturally. You don’t just one day walk outside and scatter seed and expect a beautifully landscaped garden to sprout forth. Fields don’t just naturally form in perfect rows either.
The garden of God is no different. The natural man can’t produce the garden God intends.
…Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.
If you want to grow to please God, you must walk in the Spirit. When the flesh runs things, it will only go back to the wilderness it was before God redeemed it.
For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Flesh can’t please God! If Christ is the Gardener, then only the spiritually minded will produce a garden acceptable to God. When God’s children work together in harmony and think with the mind of Christ, God is pleased. Then a lovely, fragrant garden is cultivated.
What’s This Mess?
The garden is rich with color and fragrance! But as you stroll along a path, you find a mess that seems to throw everything out of order. Diseased clippings and dead branches litter the ground. The stench of rotting vegetation lingers in the air.
What happened to such a beautiful garden? All the lush green vines and branches look mangled and deformed.
1I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
Like any good caretaker, God puts His pruning shears to work! He prunes the branches and purges all the infected areas that will eventually destroy our life. He only leaves the parts that will bring forth fruit and glorify Him. Are you willing to surrender and let the Gardener go to work in you?
3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
For a time, it may look like a mess, but wait until the next growing season before you judge what the good Gardener is trying to do. The Gardener is not trying to harm you, but is making you more productive so you can bear much fruit.
It may be painful and almost unbearable at times, but…
Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified.
It is all for God’s glory!
He tends to you because you are the branch of His planting, the work of His hands. God knows how to cultivate the perfect plant. He knows how deep your roots go. He knows when to apply pressure to your life to make your foundation more secure so you can withstand anything.
This branch needs snipping! These roots need severing! Ouch! It may be painful, but the good Gardener has a plan. The goal is to use your life…
To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.
He has promised He will turn all the mess, and deformities, into the planting of the Lord. A good Gardener will take drastic measures to care for His plantings, so “…that they might be called trees of righteousness.” If necessary, God might even transplant the tree altogether in order to save it.
But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up.
Although it may be painful, you can trust Jesus. He is a Master Gardener! If you’re not rooted properly, God knows it’s better to uproot and transplant the plant, than to just let it wither away.
6 He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none.
7 Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?
When others are saying give up. There’s no hope for that plant, “…why cumbereth it the ground?” God says, wait! Let me tend to it and nurture it a little more. Nobody has ever loved and cared for this bush so it needs extra attention. This one doesn’t need any cutting or severing. It’s been trampled over enough. It just needs a little more grace and some tender loving care.
8 And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it:
9 And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.
How many seasons has God given you to bear fruit? Have you submitted your life to this Gardener? Or are you resisting and fighting Christ every step of the way? He wants to take everything that’s wrong in your life and make it right!
Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?
He’s a loving, merciful Father who wants the best for you. He is patiently waiting for you to submit and surrender your life to Him. He is laboring over you right now. Watering, fertilizing, pruning.
Maybe you feel so worthless and condemned that there’s no hope for your life to turn around. You don’t have any branches and barely any roots to offer God. You have tried everything under the sun to make things right only to be disappointed time and time again.
Everyone you know has given up on you, and you gave up on yourself a long time ago. If you think you’ve gone too far to turn back now, may I remind you of the woman in Luke 8:2. Mary Magdalene was possessed with seven devils. Drug addiction, sexual perversion, unforgiveness, mental anguish…The Bible doesn’t elaborate on how the demons tormented her. But one thing is clear Jesus delivered her and turned her life around.
The number seven in the Bible represents completion, a finished product. That tells me Mary Magdalene was too far gone. The work had been completed. She was beyond hope, until Jesus passed by. But that’s what Jesus does! In His presence, the impossible becomes possible. He takes the nothing and turns it into something for Him.
Maybe your life has been great and you can’t exactly relate to a Mary Magdalene. It doesn’t matter how beautiful your branches are! If the branch isn’t producing fruit, then it’s useless to the Gardener. You may have the perfect life, perfect job, perfect family! You may have the utmost respect of everyone in the church and the community, but at the end of the day, is it all bringing glory to God?
No matter who you are, Jesus, the Gardener wants to use you in His garden. The garden is not complete without you in it. But God can’t plant you unless you are willing. Will you surrender to Christ today and let Him have His way in your life?
IF YOU MISSED PART 1, CLICK HERE!
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