Humorist Erma Bombeck once wrote, “The grass is always greener over the septic tank.” I’d say that goes for weeds, too. Maybe double for weeds. But plants of any sort–the good, the bad, the ugly–surface anywhere a bit of soil “nutrient” or drop of moisture appears.
Of course, a weed is in the eye of the beholder and there’s some measure of attraction to everything. What may be a noxious pest to a dedicated flower or vegetable gardener might be high rent district for critters in the micro-hood. For a given insect a weed may appeal as a ladybug lair, a bee haven, or a beetle bed and breakfast. But be that as it may, this morning I cleared yet another bunch of stickers and creepers that could, if not tended, crowd out the real stuff in the shrub and flower beds bordering the house. And I got to thinking about “location, location, location” in the spiritual realm as well.
THE POWER OF ATTRACTION
Ever notice how false religions and cults tend to stem from and cluster around the “real tree of life,” if you will? Like the power of a well-tended “bloom,” be it destined for decor or dinner, the power of the genuine Word of God to save, heal, and deliver is known to those with other motives because it’s, well, so powerful. And just as weeds in any garden crop up quickly, the spiritual power grab started almost immediately in the very first garden not long after the first seeds were sown.
Those who know the real Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior know His changing effect on their lives in both dramatic and subtle ways, both instant and over time. The attraction—and adherence–to God’s Word in the text and in the Flesh is like none other. Ask any one of them.
But those who don’t know the real Jesus Christ see only the power of the attraction. Though they may note changed lives, hurts healed, and the positive influence in the lives of others who have decided to follow Jesus, they also see dollar signs. A business plan develops. And like the opportunistic weeds in the vegetable or flower garden—some of which look very nearly like the plants they nudge up to and entangle themselves with—“spiritual weeds” clustering alongside the real thing can do a great deal of damage to the Body of Christ as well as to those who know only counterfeits. If the teachings of charlatans, false prophets, and opportunists are not weeded out from among us, no matter how good they may appear, the real fruit is endangered.
THE POWER OF LOCATION
The garden of good takes constant tending because the garden of evil encroaches fast. So how to stay safe? Locate yourself in the Word of God which is the same yesterday, today, and forever and has the power to save, heal and deliver. Accept no substitutes.
And here’s the promise:
“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers” (Psalm 1, 1-3).
I encourage you to nurture yourself there today.
Photo from the public domain