Wednesday, April 28, 2010

They Got To Come Out

Matthew 15:13
Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted.

Not long ago I had my yard landscaped and made ready for spring. The grass was cut, lawn sprayed for weeds, trees trimmed, and mulch laid. The yard looked splendid, like a gigantic green blanket bordered with well-trimmed edges accented with flowers and greenery. A couple of weeks later flowers began to bud or at least I thought they were flowers. It was too early to tell. It was hard to distinguish between what was planted by the landscapers and what was actually weeds growing by themselves but after consistent observation I discerned that what I hoped to be flowers were really weeds coming up in my mulch. I kept walking past them hoping the weeds were really some kind of exotic flower but my mind kept telling me, “no those are weeds.” I wanted the yard workers to come back and pull them up but they were so focused on the lawn that they overlooked my mulch, maybe because it was closer to my door. Then God told me they are not going to take notice of the weeds like an owner will. I’ve shown you the weeds now what are you going to do about them?” I said, “God they have got to go!” So I went around my house on a Sunday afternoon and uprooted all the weeds around my house. I wanted somebody else to do what only I could do. Immediately, the balance of beauty returned to the landscape of my home.

Sometimes, it’s hard to discern the flowers from the weeds but through consistent observation they will expose themselves. Jesus was debating with the Pharisees about washing hands before they ate food and Jesus told them its not what goes in a man that defiles him but what comes out of him. It is out of the mouth that the heart speaks. Jesus said, “You can tell who a person is by what comes out of their heart.”

This people honors me with their lips but their hearts are far from me. People can be flowery with their words….”I love you, you are the best thing that ever happened, you are a great pastor/leader, “ but they can be “weedy” in their actions…”betrayal, inconsistency, lying, stealing, adultery.” How do you discern Flowers from Weeds?

1. Pray. As a leader you naturally draw all kinds of people for whatever reason. What’s scary is that you don’t always know who you are getting. People can be one way on paper but another way in reality. David had all kinds of people coming to him when he first became king and this is what he said to them: 1 Chronicles 12:17 (The Message)

16-17 There were also men from the tribes of Benjamin and Judah who joined David in his wilderness fortress. When David went out to meet them, this is what he said: "If you have come in peace and to help me, you are most welcome to join this company; but if you have come to betray me to my enemies, innocent as I am, the God of our ancestors will see through you and bring judgment on you."

2. Listen to their hearts by watching their actions. Matthew 15:19 (Amplified Bible)
19For out of the heart come evil thoughts (reasonings and disputings and designs) such as murder, adultery, sexual vice, theft, false witnessing, slander, and irreverent speech.

3. God will expose them and uproot them. Now this one is the hardest to wait on and carry out because you have to be careful how you pull up weeds. Matthew 13:28-30 (Amplified Bible)

28He replied to them, An enemy has done this. The servants said to him, Then do you want us to go and weed them out?
29But he said, No, lest in gathering the wild wheat (weeds resembling wheat), you root up the [true] wheat along with it.
30Let them grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will say to the reapers, Gather the darnel first and bind it in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my granary.

You don’t pull up weeds until the harvest comes, that is, you have to allow them time to mature. After watching them for a couple of years you should know whether they are wheat or weeds. After people have been with you long enough you will know by the Holy Sprit which ones are weeds and which ones are wheat.

When you are sure you have weeds, pull them out or they will throw off the balance of your landscape. Pull people with flowery speech but rotten actions. Pull people with a form of godliness but no power to go with it. Pull people who say they are for you but their actions say they are against you. They got to go!

Dear God, I have some weeds in my garden that I thought were flowers. Now that time has passed it is apparent that these weeds threaten the beauty of what you created. I just can’t set here knowing these are weeds and my neighbor knows I have weeds next to flowers. Lord pull up my weeds so my garden can grow.

In Jesus Name,

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