There is a yard I pass by on a regular basis that is full of weeds. They are often edged and mowed weeds, but nevertheless after the rains and the sun come on them a few days – the scraggly patches of dandelions and spiky leaved weed patches come right back.
I’ve seen this man walking the little green Scott’s spreader along his property lines and across the yard in recent weeks. The sprinklers are running not long after soaking in the nutritious fertilizer to feed the grass and kill the weeds. Just the other day I saw him out front spraying his yard down with some sort of “weed killer,” and still, the rain, the wind and the sun comes and without delay the weeds pop up from the earth, choke out the grass and litter his lawn with their bristly leaves and undesired flowers.
The problem is not that the man has not attempted to take care of his lawn. He is just missing the most important step. It doesn’t matter how many times you kill a weed, if you never dig up its roots… The weed will eventually poke it’s scraggly little head up out of the ground and deface your lawn once again.
I remember as a young girl, my father buying an undeveloped lot upon which he planned to build our family home. That summer, my family and I got out into that lot and worked one end to the other pulling small “sticker” weeds out of ground. My father gave us instruction and a stern warning: “Be sure not to drop any of the stickers on the ground because they will just come back.” So, off we went across the yard with buckets, gloves and bags pulling weeds to make a yard safe for our feet to play.
Just like the weeds… various sins and their influences return again and again until we cut it off at the root and extract it. The soul of man that is drawn to sin must be completely submitted to the Spirit of God and God must be allowed to do heart surgery to remove the weed-like spiritual cancers that come to us by generational inheritance, core lies, inner vows and judgments, hurts and traumas, as well as willful sin and demonic oppression.
In the Parable of the Sower Jesus compares those who hear the Gospel to fields where seed is sown.
Matthew 13:3-23 (NKJV)
Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”
He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: ‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, And seeing you will see and not perceive; For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, And their eyes they have closed, Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.’
“But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.
“Therefore hear the parable of the sower: When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside. But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.” (Emphasis mine.)
So in the same vein of thought, I wanted to write about what we find in Scripture about weeds.
1. From the parable of the sower we come to understand two things that will keep us from reaching our potential and God-given destiny.
- Shallow Roots – Those seed that were planted on the rocky places received the word with joy, but then fell away. Why? Because they had not roots – the first strong storm that came along, the first wind that blew their way knocked them right out of the ground.
- The Cares of the World or “Weeds” – Think about the cares of the world, the deceitfulness of riches.. Where do these things take root in our lives. Comparison, Lack, Competition, Expectation… Generational Herigtage? These are the things of life which come to distract us, deter us and dissuade us from following the heart of God into our destiny.
2. Shallow Root Systems create instability. Our yard has a beautiful young Live Oak tree set in the middle of the downward slope of our front lawn. Last Spring we noticed that when the storms and wind came – the tree rocked and swayed from its roots in the wind. It looked as if at any moment a strong wind would come along and uproot our tree.
The tree was not stable at all. It moved and swayed with the wind and the leaves and branches looked dull and on the verge of death. My husband got three stakes – three – and he tied the tree to each stake by a cord. He left a little slack in each line to keep the tree from being hurt, but the stakes planted firmly in the ground stabilized the tree and allowed it time to develop roots.
Where I came from we constantly reminded ourselves when our zeal for God threatened to compel us into territory that we were not prepared for that we wanted to both deep and wide into the things of the Lord. The truth is you can be soaring high in your passion for God (5 miles high) but so unstable that you rock and sway each time a strong wind comes and blows your way, in other words, your roots only go about a half an inch deep.
We must be tied to our Father God, His Son, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit in order for our root system to go deep and for stability and balance to come to both our relationship with them and the way we relate to others both personally, professionally and in ministry. When the winds and storms come – they serve to reinforce our relationship with God rather than unearth our roots and destroy our foundation.
3. Deal with the Weeds! Weeds can honestly be anything from soul wounds and core lies carried through painful experiences or belief systems we’ve developed in our lives. They may include demonic oppression or just the sinful bent in our flesh man. The problem with weeds is they can look evil or they can look good. They can have thistles and thorns or they can have beautiful flowers that look harmless, but given the run of our life — they take over and destroy us. A few things you may not consider weeds: People pleasing or peace keeping, ambition or an inordinate drive for wealth or success, insecurity or pride, shame or guilt, worry or anxiety, fear, deception, or dare I type it… Religion or legalism – being given to or controlled by anything that at it’s source is not rooted in Grace or producing Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self Control. Really – anything or person that would keep you from rightly relating to others and God.
So how are we doing here? Are you noticing any instability in your root system or any weeds that might need tending?
The Lord will guide you continually, And satisfy your soul in drought, And strengthen your bones; You shall be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. –Isaiah 58:11 (NKJV)
Allowing God to tend our Garden and identify the areas where weeding and staking the ground need to happen will make us more like Him – a reflection of His glory and image upon the earth!