Of Plants and People

I have been noticing how plants and people are alike. Nature can teach us many lessons about growth and health. I am by no means an expert gardener, just an observer. There are some parallels that can be drawn, useful for spiritual growth in discipleship:

Plants have enemies: ranging from windy weather, scorching sun and various insects or worms – they need protecting and defending. Often they are unsuspecting and hidden and their damage can be spotted quite late. Spiritually speaking we can become exposed to either the pagan godless and futile thinking of this world or the false theological doctrines that move away from from a Christ-centered Biblical revelation.

  • Do you know those ‘enemies’?
  • How do you spot them?
  • What measures do you take to avoid their spiritual damage?

Plants need watering: although they can look absolutely superb today, you can wake up the next morning and be surprised how much they have wilted. Yesterday’s water is a distant memory. The harder the sun shines the more often they need the water. You watch and check – rather that than relying on previous experience. Same for our spiritual growth. No water no life. No Bible feeding, no Spirit – filling, no prayer and we slowly die. The more pressures – the greater the need for refreshment.

  • How do you check your spiritual ‘feed levels’?
  • What can you do to keep your freshness?
  • How do you prepare yourself for when the ‘heat’ is on?

I also have a couple of considerations for leaders.

  • Rhythms of disciplined care make a huge difference. If I let the grass grow longer than it should and miss the scheduled cutting time – everything gets messy. The work is harder. Wise pastoral maintenance can be easily seen is a dull and unattractive. Yet a consistent praying and loving the people you serve – is still the healthiest way to nurture and encourage them.
  • Weeds grow fast, stealth like and dealing with them is an unspectacular and tedious job. I never cease to be amazed how weeds have both mechanisms of light-speed multiplication as well as deep and spread out roots. A pain to deal with. Same with sinful attitudes in us and those we serve. It requires observant spirit, patient love and consistent deconstruction of sinful patterns that are of either cultural, demonic or fleshly nature.
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Revival Here and Now

I know when revival comes.
And I know where it comes.
It all starts with me, not others somewhere else.
Maybe it’s not an experience but a choice rooted in obedience to Christ.

And maybe it can happen now.

I wonder if revival is more than just a sovereign act of God – in which I passively wait for something external to happen. Not that I think could fabricate it by manipulating God into ‘making it happen’.

Revival happens when I die to self and let Christ take his rightful place as not just Saviour but King too in my life…

Revival happens when I stop choosing pleasure and comfort instead of the narrow and often less crowded way of of following Jesus…

Revival happens when what He says in His Word becomes normative for my thinking and lifestyle…

Revival happens when instead of self-centred ‘spiritual activism’ I chose prayerful surrender…

Revival happens when I gather in my faith community (prayer groups, small groups, Sunday gatherings, servant ministries) with the same expectation that I have when I go to concerts, events and conferences…

Revival happens when my family, workplace and ‘third place’ are all equally valid places of worship – where I am living for the audience of One wherever I am…

Revival happens when I see the idols in my life and unashamedly I chose to tear them down, daily…

Revival happens when love and truth are not an either or…

Revival happens when the Cross is not a nostalgic fading memory but a vivid daily reality…

Revival happens when the Holy Spirit ceases to be an ‘it’ that I ‘push/tap/plug into’ and becomes the Counselling Comforting and Convicting Jesus- glorifying ever-present God…

Revival happens when I don’t live in order to impress God and others but live in the freedom and acceptance that grace gives me…

Revival happens when church stops being the building I go into or the service I attend on a Sunday…

Revival happens when the Good News is so good that being it’s ambassador becomes second nature…

Revival happens when I throw away the bib and put on the apron…

Revival happens when I chose hope and joy not because everything has fallen into place – but because Jesus is alive…

Revival happens when I admit that this is not my home and I stop gathering ‘treasures and trinkets’ that will vanish – instead investing in the eternal…

Revival happens when I stop obsessing about revival and fix my eyes on Christ…