Sometimes we can become stagnant and we often will not even realize it for a long time. One day we do awaken to that fact and find ourselves enveloped in the well worn phrase, “how time flies!” in which somehow things did not go the way we wanted them to. We would be cheating ourselves if we believed that growth always happens automatically, but even a weed can grow in the right environment.
The natural world we live in provides constant reminders of growth: our neighbor’s baby that we haven’t seen in awhile is now walking or the grass needs to be cut again. The Bible gives us analogies about growth, comparing us to a tree that produces fruit (Psalm 1:3) and a branch of a vine that bears fruit (John 15:2). We can safely say that God wants us to grow. Wouldn’t we be more productive with our spiritual growth if we paid attention to doing it purposefully? How do we go about generating spiritual photosynthesis?
We can gain the needed solution simply by applying our spiritual growth to the correlation of a natural plant. Even though the four elements of seed, ground, light and water are common knowledge, one or more can sometimes be overlooked. Omit any one of these and we will not make our goal.
The seed is the Word of God (Luke 8:11). The ground is our heart. In the parable of the sower of the seed (Luke 8: 5-15) we see there are four kinds of hearts (people), those who have the Word stolen by Satan from lack of understanding, those who believe but fall in time of temptation, those who get caught up with the cares of this life, and those who keep the Word and bring forth good fruit. We all need to have good ground, of course!
Before seed can be planted the ground must be plowed. Hosea 10:12 says to “break up your fallow ground.” Fallow ground is land that has been left dormant. The right thing to do, then, would be to put the Word of God into our heart by memorizing it which comes by meditating on, talking about, and praying verses of scripture.
Jesus is the light (John 8:12), but that fact it is not just some religious cliché. Light does not just bring us out of darkness, but into revelation and understanding. A plant needs light regularly. How often are we getting a fresh revelation about God or a new understanding of Scripture?
Just as a plant takes in water, we must tap into His life-giving Spirit. Water can represent the refreshing presence of God. Jesus said to drink of the water that He gives (John 4:14).
Bringing fruit to maturity is when we don’t leave our hearts fallow, but instead take the Word of God and put it inside of us. If we cultivate our hearts only during times or trials or temptations, we will not grow very fast. If we are faithful to tend our “garden” continually, then our seeds will grow up from a plant just sprouting to a strong tree with delicious fruit all over it!
How fast you grow in God is really up to you! If you are ready to grow in God ask yourself these questions:
Have I been planting the Word of God into my heart? When was the last time I had a fresh revelation? Am I regularly staying in the presence of God?
But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen. 2 Peter 3:18