We never “arrive” at perfect discipleship. Whether we are baby Christians making huge changes in our lives or veteran followers of Christ who have served and fought faithfully for years, we never arrive at being perfect disciples of Christ! The Holy Spirit is always moving us towards sanctification, always pushing us to look more like the Son, always calling us to holiness.
Lessons from a vegetable garden.
Recently I was pulling weeds in my vegetable garden, preparing the ground for the next season. The Holy Spirit often uses this time to speak to me. With every overgrown, out-of-place plant I pulled from the ground, He reminded me of how He unearthed big, ugly sin and rebellion in my life as I came to know Him better. You know, the sins that are so obvious to everyone around you, like cussing, drunkenness, promiscuity, etc. They pulled out pretty easily, but removing these “weeds” definitely shifted the sands of my life. They changed friendships, led to lost relationships, and opened up a season of loneliness and fear of missed opportunities.
You pull out weeds, and there are still more weeds.
But the sand always settles. I expected to turn around at my worked plot of land to see a beautiful, cleared space ready to be planted for a new harvest… What I found, instead, was a space still littered with weeds… Smaller ones, ones that I couldn’t even see on my first pass because I was so focused on the big ones that seemed way more important to get out of the space. So, I went back to the beginning and started pulling again, this time I was on my hands and knees, and these smaller ones didn’t pull out as easily. Some required me to dig out around the stem and many times they broke off leaving the roots behind…which we all know means they will grow back.
God’s working on the “weeds” that are still in our lives, too.
God is also working on the sins that are less obvious – my pride, unforgiveness, the things and people I still put before Him in my heart. The pruning doesn’t feel good, but I am so thankful He doesn’t leave us in the same condition in which we came to Him. “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11.
What is the Holy Spirit pruning in your heart?
What does God want to remove that you couldn’t even see this time last year?
Use of pornography
We never arrive, ladies, so just continue to pursue Him. Chase righteousness, desire purity. One of the best ways to do this is to be in community with God’s people. Doing life transparently with others who are in the same fight for righteousness will only spur you on towards sanctification even more. “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17