How to Get Rid of Spiritual Weeds

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My gravel driveway has become overrun with weeds.  They vary in size and species.  Some of them look like really tall grass and other types have pretty flowers on them.  Nonetheless, they have to go!

These suckers are hard to deal with too.  The chemicals that you buy from the store that swear you can see results in as little as a day, seem to only feed them and make them grow faster.  These companies have found a way to create steroids for plant life.  Thus creating an endless cycle.  Weeds grow, spray weed, weeds grow, buy more spray.

I finally got sick and tired of being sick and tired and decided to do something.  It was really hot outside but, it didn’t matter.  I figured I could use this time as ….”exercise”?  (This would count, right?)  I didn’t want to spray and I am no pro when it comes to using any sort of motorized yard tool so, I decided to do some manual labor and pull those bad boys by hand.  I know that seems like doing a bit too much, but it gave me a sense of accomplishment in seeing the actual removal of these parasites.  I am actually doing something about this problem.

I pulled bunch after bunch and in some instances, I would be able to yank out a whole hand full and a clod of dirt with roots and all!  Yes! That felt really good!  As I pulled and yanked and strained, it got me thinking, “What about the weeds in our lives?”  I had to ask God, “Lord, are there weeds in my life that I’ve let sit too long that need to be removed?”

Webster’s definition for weed is  “a plant that is not valued where it is growing and is usually of vigorous growth; especially:  one that tends to overgrow or choke out more desirable plants.”

Let’s look at that in a Spiritual context; replace the word ‘plant’ with another noun. Let’s use ‘characteristic.’ Now our definition is:  “a characteristic that is not valued where it is growing and is usually of vigorous growth; especially: one that tends to overgrow or choke out more desirable characteristics.”  In light of this definition, that characteristic would differ for each of us but it is one that we know is limiting the growth of more positive characteristics that will reflect in us the image of Christ.

One more word: ‘person/people’.  Our new definition is: ” a person that is not valued where it is growing and is usually of vigorous growth; especially: one that tends to overgrow or choke our more desirable people.”  That sounds extreme, I know.  But, think about it.  Have you had someone in your life that was always around and ever-present but they are of no real benefit to your life?  They also block the growth and development of relationships with amazing people from whom you can learn and grow.  Even if you don’t have anyone like that in your life, you probably know someone who does.

Now what?

In my driveway, I had to first acknowledge there was a weed problem.  I can’t make a change to my situation if I don’t acknowledge that there is a situation.  Next,I considered my options and created a strategy.  I used my hands to get to my weeds but I knew that I would need reinforcements so, I sprayed after I pulled and I still know that a weed whacker will most likely be necessary.

So it goes Spiritually: identify that there are ‘weeds.’  Whether an internal weed or external, you can’t address it if you don’t acknowledge it!  Then consider your options.  If it’s personal, you can work on your attitude or read books on how you can change.  If it’s a person, you can kick them to the curb and get some new friends.  Honestly, that’s easier said than done because we often forget about the magnitude of the effect Spiritual weeds have on our lives.  Which is why the situation has gotten to the overwhelming point that it has.  We don’t “see” the Spiritual weeds so, we don’t keep them in check.  But, THEY’RE REAL!! Ephesians 6: 12 : “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”  The weeds are real y’all! They’re Spiritual but they’re real and we have allowed them to choke us out for too long!  You can’t grow if you have weeds eating your soil and taking your nutrients.  Even if you do grow, it’s not as strong as you could be.  The growth will be short-lived because your root system is being infiltrated by invaders.

You can’t produce good fruit in this state.  As children of God, we are called to bear fruit.  That is how we glorify Him!  People see the fruit of our lives and then when they say, “Wow!  What is it about you?!”  You say, “Jesus!”

I know it’s human nature to want to tackle a task on our own but, there is no need for that because …we’re gonna mess it up.  Let’s be honest.  But, I know the Perfect Gardener that can address the weed problem in our lives.  “I am the true vine, and my Father is the Gardener.  He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” John 15:1-2  “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

We don’t have to do this on our own.  We have the Father and the Son to see to it that we bear fruit.  As the Gardener, God will remove things within us and the people around us that need to go!  No compromising.  Because as His child, He knows what He’s placed on the inside of you and where He wants to take you.  If something is hindering that, it has GOT TO GO!  Even as you wholeheartedly seek Him and serve Him, there is still work to do and He will address those areas; this is the pruning.  None of us are perfect.  We ALL fall short. Yet, He loves us so that He provided Jesus as a sacrifice to cover our sin and remove the veil that separated us.  That is why Jesus says we are to remain in Him.  Jesus is our way to the Father.  You cannot have one without the other.

As you evaluate your life and identify the weeds, know that you have access through Jesus to the Gardener whose will it is that you bear fruit.  He wants that for us!  He can remove things better than any spray, weed whacker or you can on your own.  Try as you might to handle this on your own, you’re going to need reinforcements because weeds are persistent so, if not handled correctly, they can and will return.  Break the cycle and connect with Jesus and let the Father in to handle the problem that cannot and should not be handled on your own.

Don’t let the weeds take over!

Fear and Trust

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Photo Credit: Samantha Fowlkes

Psalm 56:3:  “Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You”

I have to be honest with God about my fears.  He knows I have them.  I hold onto them because I feel as though I will be deemed “She of little faith” if I tell Him I’m afraid of the outcome.  But, if I don’t release it,

He can’t take it.

He can’t fix it.

He can’t comfort me.

He can’t heal me.

He can’t show me the divine beauty of the situation.

I hold onto fear and I put the curtain back up that Jesus tore down as He gave up His Spirit on the cross.  I hold onto the fear because I’m afraid that my fears will materialize if I tell Him.  Then the vicious cycle begins:  Each fear feeds another, that plants another, that grows another.  Fear begets more fear.

Then I’m in an all consuming pit that feels like the thickest mud in existence that exhausts me and drags me down further as I kick, struggle, and twist.

As I flail my arms, my Heavenly Father grabs hold of my hand and pulls me out.  He tells me, “It is not my intention for life to overcome you because Jesus has overcome the world. (John 16:33) I want EVERY PART of you.  Yes, even your fears and short comings and doubts because My power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

THANK YOU LORD!

Pay Attention

Often times we pray about a situation and if we pay attention and be still, we will see God answering our prayer. It may be right in front of us the whole time but, it doesn’t look like how we think it should look so, ” That can’t be it, God.”

Don’t miss your answers. Pay attention!

Hello

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What can I say?

It has been a really, really long time since I have written for public consumption.

I started this blog as an outlet for a voice that I am still learning how to use.  I began this blog because I started a journey of self discovery of God’s purpose for my life.  It can be so disorienting to feel as though you do not know what you were created for in this life.  So, I wrote.  I wrote in order to share, I wrote in order to learn, I wrote in order to grow.

But, then I got scared.  (I’m being honest, don’t judge me).  I guess you can call it scared.  I became overwhelmed by the magnitude of being open and vulnerable to the opinions and judgments of others.  I became overwhelmed because I kept trying to think that I had to fit in every box and be welcomed by every one.  But, I know that’s not possible.  It’s not very logical either (remember, don’t judge me).

I know the Bible says, “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”  (2 Timothy 1:7 NIV)  But, I’ll admit, I was timid.  The doubt and insecurities got the better of me.  Time and time again.  So, one day away from writing turned into two, which rolled into a week and, well, you get where this goes.  I kept on believing the lies. “Your words are worthless.”  “Nobody cares about what you have to say.”  “What if what you write about is too different?”  “You want to write about God and spirituality?  You shouldn’t do that!”  But, you know who that father of lies is.  (Hint:  John 8:44)  And he is really, really on his job to keep us from walking in God’s purpose for our lives and I was letting him derail me and God’s plans for my life.

I can see now that I wasn’t secure in who I am in Christ.  I began this journey in order to learn His will for my life but that won’t be possible if I am not diligent in the assignments the Holy Spirit imparts on me to undertake.  I will never be comfortable in who I am or discover my gifts if I don’t walk in the truth of doing the things that I enjoy.  It’s just that simple sometimes.  Yet, I doubted it.  I doubted who I am and compared myself to others and that’s when I started making excuses as to why I didn’t need to continue on writing.

And now, I’m tired of being that Samantha.  That’s not really who I am but, I had to realize that for myself.  My eyes have been opened recently and I am so thankful because I am ready to explore who I am in Christ and to share that with everyone.  So, I’m going to dig deep, pray often, study my Word and “live by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7 NIV)

Here goes…