Last time we looked at what the season of planting means for us and our walk with God. Today, we examine the season of plucking up and what it does for our lives and our ability to better serve God.
We might think that the opposite season of planting would be harvesting. However, while the term pluck up does mean removing something from the ground, it doesn't refer to the produce of our labor. Plucking up is a term for removing unwanted things or preventing something from advancing. It's basically the same as pulling weeds.
While bringing in the harvest might sound like more fun, we can't expect to find a harvest if we don't tend the garden that we've made. Vines and weeds suffocate and stunt the growth of plants, preventing the produce from achieving its maximum potential. Only with regular attention to his garden can a farmer ensure that the weeds will not crop up and hamper, destroy and replace his product.
We must ensure the same is done in our lives. When a new calling, idea or opportunity is planted in our lives by God, the enemy will try to cast its vines and weeds into our lives to prevent us from growing what God has planted. These vines and weeds may be past behaviors or they may be new distractions. Either way, they will work to stifle the thing that God desires to grow in us. The only way to combat the devil's vines is through regular weeding.
Weeding out the enemy is the process of parsing through every part of our lives and all the things and people that look to enter into our lives and filtering them through God. We do this first by using the Word of God. If what we have/are looking to include in our lives can pass the Bible test, it is possible that it is good for our lives at this time. How do we know if it passes the Bible test? Are there multiple scriptures that allow for the idea/relationship we are looking to pursue? If they do, then the idea/thing/person may be good for us. However, there is another step we must take.
After we've looked to God's Word, we must listen for His voice in prayer. When we pray to God, we should ask him if the thing/idea/person is good for us. It may be that God answers right away or it may take many prayers before He does. Regardless, until God answers definitely, we should not further pursue the thing/idea/person we are considering. How do we know when God has answered? Sometimes God answers audibly and we hear His voice. Sometimes He leads us to people or signs that give us the answer. A lot of times, though, God works in the idea/thing/person to either remove them or advance them in our lives. God will provide an answer in His time. We just need to trust Him to answer and then act.
Weed out your enemy by doing the following:
Plucking Up In Others
Once we get a handle on our own lives, it's important to help others who are trying to advance and grow in God, especially those who are a part of your witnessing garden.
What's a witnessing garden?
A witnessing garden is composed of anybody you are actively witnessing to. They can be saved, unsaved or wayward. These people are in need of development and you have the tools and talents to aid them in this development. Instead of plants, your garden is full of souls. These people also trust you as a voice in their lives and recognize you as their "gardener", someone who checks on them and helps them to develop.
Examining the people in your witnessing garden at least once a week is vital to the development of each of your souls. You do this with regular interactions that are spiritually based. In your regular interactions, you should take time to "examine" a person's fruit and see how they are progressing.
How to examine a person's fruit
After pleasant conversation, ask the person if there is anything going on in their life that they might need prayer for. Offer your support and prayer (even praying with them right then). If possible and appropriate, offer your assistance in solving their dilemma, but never before bringing it to God first. Be prepared to share a scripture with them that will help them in their development. Knowing what scripture to share will take time in personal prayer and study before you interact with this person. Finally, set up a time to meet again and give them a realistic task to tide them over until that time (pray about your situation twice a day until our next meeting). These are just a few basic things someone can do when getting the opportunity to examine one of their allotted souls.
Also having a mission statement written out to help drive you to reach out to people to include in your witnessing garden helps to spur you forward.
Example: I will reach out to Todd this week. I know he is going through a rough patch with his wife. Since he likes coffee, I'll see if he wants to go to the coffee shop with me. I will simply ask him how he's been and let him lead the conversation at first. If he doesn't have anything to offer about his marriage, I'll simply keep the conversation positive and light. I'll mention what I've read recently in the scripture and how it has helped me. I'll close with an offer to pray with him if he ever needs anything.
Chris Farris is the author of The Way, a manual detailing how to implement the Beatitudes into your life. He review events and other media and offers other insights into writing and working for the Kingdom of God.