It happens every year. In spite of my best efforts, it continues to show its ugly head. No matter how much I till, rake, mulch, or pull, the intrusive weed somehow finds a way into my garden. Almost mockingly, it maneuvers through layers of mulch and springs forth as the obnoxious, uninvited guest to a party. He robs the other plants of needed nutrients and threatens to crowd them out with a host of other unwanted guests like himself.
Sometimes it seems I can look at a tomato plant wrong and it dies. The weed, however, can be pulled from its roots, cast into a pile, soaked in gasoline, and burned to mere ashes, yet the next day it will return. In spite of such discouraging realities, the gardener must diligently fight back such intruders if they hope to see a fruitful and productive garden.
Likewise, there is the unwanted intruder that continues to shows itself in the depths of my heart, my affections, and my thoughts. No matter how much I battle, sin continues to rear its ugly head and threatens to take over. Its hazardous presence robs my heart of the joy that has been graciously given to me by the Lord. It poisons the well of forgiveness and grace and instead fills me with shame and regret. It distorts my understanding of God’s love and faithfulness and causes me to feel abandoned and forsaken.
Sin cannot create, it can only destroy, pervert, and ruin God’s good creation. It turns godly passion into ungodly anger, gifts and talents to sources of pride, ambition into jealously, love to lust, and financial blessing to greed. It often takes God’s greatest blessings and turns them into idols. Sin promises you the world but only gives you hell. It will rob you of a fruitful and productive life.
This is why, fellow believer, we must continue to battle such a destructive intruder. Make every effort to walk in the Spirit (Gal. 5) and hide God’s word in your heart (Psalm 119:11). Strive to grow in your love for Jesus (John 14:15), love for righteousness (1 Tim. 6:11), and hatred for evil (Psalm 97:10). We must continue to resist (James 4:7) and consider ourselves dead to sin (Romans 6). Pray that you may endure temptation (James 1:12) knowing that the same God who began the work in you will complete it (Phil. 1:6).
Though it’s a persistent intruder, let us continue to wage war against sin knowing that it has nothing good to offer in spite of its false promises. The Master Gardener has plans to use you to bear fruit until he comes and makes all things new. Until then, let us diligently pluck out the unwelcome, destructive weeds.