Genesis 1:26-28 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the heavens, and over all the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the face of the earth. v:27 And God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them, v:28 And God blessed them and said to them, Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth. and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens, and over every living thing that moves upon the face of the earth.
Genesis 2:15 And the Lord God took the man, and put him in the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
Luke 11:21-22 When the strong man fully armed guards his own home, his goods are in peace. v:22 But when a stronger then he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he takes his whole armor wherein he trusted, and divides his spoils.
This weekend I was out working in my yard. The weather was unseasonably warm so the sun was shining and the birds were chirping, it was a beautiful day to be outside. I looked around the yard in anticipation of Spring imagining the grass being green again and the trees budding when suddenly I noticed weeds growing in the gravel area of my backyard. Not only were they growing, they were thriving! Snow still on the ground in some of the cooler shaded areas and the ground still soaking wet, yet the weeds were everywhere. Again anticipating Spring and the horror of trying to get on top of them as the weather begins to warm, I quickly set in to remove them. As I sat there scraping the gravel aside to get to the soil so I could get to the weeds and pull them up by the roots, I was thinking to myself how easy it is for weeds to grow, even in rocky soil in the middle of winter, and just how tough it is to get the good things to grow in the garden and in life! I looked around at my home and all that God has blessed Tracie and I with. We are surrounded by family and a community of loving people and I realized in that moment just how vigilant we must be to keep the weeds out.
God created humans to have dominion. We were placed in the Eden of God where we could fellowship with God and enjoy all the bounties of His holy creation. Given an intellect that surpasses the animal kingdom we bear the DNA of Heaven because there is in us an unction of right and wrong. The world and all that is in it is under the influence and control of humanity and so it was meant to be from the beginning. Yet something went horribly wrong and into the garden of sublime purpose and fellowship weeds were introduced. I believe the first weed was apathy. When God told Adam to protect the garden and keep it He meant to keep it from intruders. God knew that slithering around in creation there was a deceiver but God gave Adam dominion and as long as Adam protected his home or Eden from the liar then Adam would continue to enjoy dominion. No one knows for sure how long Adam may have been in the garden with his wife, but I suspect they were there for a while. Living the good life and enjoying the bounties of God breed in us all kinds of weeds unless we live our lives in the presence of Christ. Like I said, apathy and being ungrateful start to settle in because everything comes easy and we just naturally start to drift away from the source of our life because we are so close to the Divine Image we deceive ourselves into believing we either do not need God or that He does not exist. We take for granted the things that grow naturally under the inspiration of their original creative purpose and in that moment the weeds of pride and selfishness spring up and in times when we think it is okay to relax because the weeds are dormant, they are still growing and gaining root in our hearts eventually choking out the good things that both God and we have planted. This can happen to marriages, it can happen to businesses, and it happens to countries. Eventually the weeds become stronger then the grain and when that happens we can no longer look forward to a harvest because the weeds have choked out all the good things that the earth was meant to produce if we had been diligent in keeping the garden clean we were put in charge of and this means our minds and our hearts. Whole civilizations have been wiped out because their societies would not remove the weeds and eventually stronger and more disciplined nations rise to power and when those nations become lazy and filled with entitlement the whole process repeats itself, over and over again, reenacting the garden of Eden and the initial fall of man.
The same way we look out over the landscape of our homes and we see that which is not befitting our gardens, we need to look out over the horizon of our marriages and our own hearts and in the presence of God we need to ask the Holy Spirit to show us the weeds that are trying to take root in our lives. Maybe there is the weed of bitterness or unforgiveness? Maybe there is the weed of jealousy? Maybe there is the weed of materialism and we are putting too much pressure on ourselves or someone we love to provide when contentment and waiting on God is in order? All these intruders can invade the gardens of our thinking and slowly they take up the ground that was meant to produce the life of Christ and most of the time it is so subtle we do not even realize it is going on. One day we realize that the grass and flowers can no longer be seen because they are overrun with things that started out looking like flowers but were deceivers all along?
Today I am asking God to show me the weeds in my garden and to give me a heart to keep those troubling influences out of my life so that I can continue to live in the peace and dominion of His presence over that which He has committed into my care. To whom much is given much is required and that much more we must labor to have a life free of weeds!
Quote of the day: “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear!” Martin Luther King, Jr