Several years ago my wife and I bought a small acreage. This acreage had a very large garden fenced off and ready to be tilled, planted, and reaped of a bountiful harvest. When Spring came we worked the ground and planted rows and rows of various seeds: sweet corn, cucumbers, green beans, you name it and we planted it. With each seed sown, I pictured a harvest festival come fall.
When all the seeds were in the ground, I sat back and watched...watched the weeds take over and destroy any hope I had for any yield. Why did this happen? Simple, I did not count the cost before I planted. I assumed that to be a master gardner I merely had to want it. Obviously this was foolishness. Gardening takes endurance. Day after day weeds must be pulled. Failure to weed means failure to reap.
This same foolishness is rampant within the Church. Weeds have overgrown our hearts and turned disciples into fruitless consumers. The reason for this is that many self-proclaimed Christians are not Biblical Christians. The Biblical Christian is one who believes in Jesus to the point of laying down all things, so as to have Him. It is picking up your cross and being covered in the dust of Christ. It is selling the desires of your heart, giving it to those in need and following Jesus. It is putting your hand to the plow and never looking back.
Many people would not fall into the above category of being a Biblical Christian. Their christianity (which is no Christianity) is one of consumer choices. Jesus is just a commodity on the shelf of their life. Most times, other things on the shelf are more desirable such as sleep on Sunday mornings versus attending Church, watching the Hawkeyes versus attending a Bible study, facebook versus reading the Bible. These cares of the world choke out the Gospel.
Jesus was keenly away of the consumer christian. Many people followed Jesus as long as it was convenient or comfortable. Thousands of people would follow him around hoping for something entertaining, a free lunch, or a political upheaval. When Jesus didn’t fit their agenda, they ditched him. They went shopping for another messiah, one that would cater to their sinful desires.
Being a Christian is not about saying you are a Christian. Being a Christian is about BEING a Christian. Too often I see people catch fire for Jesus, just to have those same flames doused by the water of the world. Perhaps it will be a promotion at work that causes you to work a few more hours. Perhaps it will be a hobby project such as a remodeling your home. Perhaps it will be your child’s success in sports. Perhaps it will be something as trivial as a captivating TV show series or secular book. Because of this frequent occurrence, my default has become, “we shall see.” For in two-three years we shall see if your life is more weeds or grain? We shall see if you really are a Christian.
If this resonates with you, then good. That is the point. Perhaps today is a good day for all of us to do some gardening. Walk through the garden of your life and evaluate what is choking out your time with God. When you find it, don’t water it, pull it out by its root so that there is room for God’s Word to produce fruit in your life for His glory and for your good.